Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili has addressed the virtual Summit for Democracy organised by US President Joe Biden and stated that significant threats undermine the progress achieved internally including polarisation, fake news and hate speech which ‘not only fuel internal divisions, but also undermine democratic processes’ in the country.
She also discussed various other challenges that ‘democracies across the globe’ are facing such as occupation, unresolved conflicts, cyber-attacks, disinformation and Covid pandemic.
New threats like the Covid pandemic have also been challenging the ability of democracies to find the right balance between protecting the health of society and preserving individual freedoms,” said Zurabishvili.
Democracy is confronted by serious challenges, to the point that we could say there is a war declared against democracy. A war which we need us all to confront with more political will and determination, consensus and solidarity— Salome Zourabichvili (@Zourabichvili_S) December 10, 2021
My address at @POTUS's #SummitforDemocracy pic.twitter.com/cafDMVrYWz
She underlined that the human rights and democracy remains ignored in the occupied territories of Georgia, noting that Russia still occupies 20 per cent of the country’s territories.
As a small country, we are even more vulnerable to all hybrid threats and even more in need of international solidarity,” added Zurabishvili.
She stressed the importance of Georgia’s partnership with NATO, saying that ‘the path chosen by the country 30 years ago has been successful and has made Georgia a reliable partner of NATO and an associated partner of the European Union.’
Zurabishvili also emphasised the Georgian government’s commitment to the several reforms including the implementation of judicial and electoral reforms ‘through an inclusive process’ and adoption of the new National Human Rights Strategy, the National Action Plan on Combating Violence against Women and the National Concept document on Women’s Economic Empowerment.
I look forward to reporting back on them next year, as they reflect the historic commitment of Georgia to democratic consolidation,” stated Zurabishvili.
She pledged to initiate an ‘inclusive process and a national conversation involving all of society’ in order to ‘achieve a shared understanding of recent history, to help healing the pains and move forward.’
The Summit for Democracy took place on December 9-10 where more than 100 countries' leaders were invited.