Day 1 at Georgia Security and Defence Conference
PM highlights Georgia’s “significant progress” in Euro-Atlantic integration

Georgia’s Prime Minister delivered a speech at the opening of today’s Defence and security Conference. Photo by the Prime Minister’s webpage., 24 May 2016 - 17:39, Tbilisi,Georgia

"Georgia's stability can only be guaranteed if the sovereignty, freedom and democratic values which we advocate are fully respected and protected,” said Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili at the 10th annual Georgia Defence and Security Conference (GDSC) in Tbilisi.

Speaking in front of about 300 guests, PM Kvirikashvili elaborated on the global challenges of today’s world and Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration perspectives. 

He stressed Georgia was a willing and able provider of security and would be a valuable member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

About 300 guests are attending the GDSC in Tbilisi. Photo by Georgia's Ministry of Defence. 

We firmly believe NATO has a crucial role to play in strengthening the security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic area and beyond.”

In this context, he said Georgia was fully committed to pursuing and deepening its cooperation with the Alliance and he hoped Georgia’s "significant progress” would be recognised at the upcoming NATO Summit in Warsaw, Poland.

We have been contributing substantially to international missions for over a decade. We have proven that we are willing and able providers of security, not just consumers.”

Vice President of the United States Atlantic Council Damon Wilson stressed Georgia was a reliable partner. Photo by Georgia's Ministry of Defence. 

I am a firm believer that strength is in unity, and that great success can only be achieved through joint efforts. I am confident that the Warsaw Summit will again demonstrate the unity and strength of the Alliance, and its enduring commitment to peace and stability," the Prime Minister noted.

Kvirikashvili’s sentiments were echoed by Vice President of the United States Atlantic Council Damon Wilson, who stressed Georgia needed the support of the international community if it was to successfully achieve its Euro-Atlantic goals.

During its 25 years of independence, Georgia has proven it is an excellent and reliable partner in a region that’s full of challenges,” he added.

The US official also spoke about Russia’s foreign policy and stressed Georgia’s large neighbour "forcibly changed its borders to achieve its political goals”. 

The GDSC is a two-day conference held annually to discuss Georgia’s defence and security environment.

Georgia's Minister of Defence Tinatin Khidasheli spoke about the importance of the conference. Photo by Georgia's Ministry of Defence. 

Today – day one of the event – was solely dedicated to NATO and the Alliance’s upcoming Warsaw Summit, scheduled for July 8-9. 

 Tomorrow the conference will focus on three themes most relevant to the current security challenges:

  • Security in the wider Black Sea region as an indispensable part of the Euro-Atlantic security architecture;
  • Threats to international order and its implications for small states; and
  • Unconventional dimensions of warfare – wars with neither battlefields nor warriors.