Georgian PM raises Russian occupation at UN, calls on democracies to “act as one for freedom, peace”

  • Georgian prime minister Irakli Garibashvili on Thursday addressed the United Nations general assembly. Photo: government of Georgia press office, 23 Sep 2022 - 11:09, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian prime minister Irakli Garibashvili on Thursday addressed the United Nations general assembly, raising the ongoing occupation of 20 percent of his country’s territory by Russia and calling on the world’s democracies to “act as one to ensure that freedom and peace prevail”. 

Pointing to the founding principles of the UN - to unite to maintain global peace and security after World War II - the head of the Georgian government said the organisation’s member states continued to face aggression. 

In 2008, my country was attacked by Russia resulting in the ongoing occupation of 20 percent of our territory. At the time, the international community recognised this aggression. But, as we have learned, the world’s democracies must act as one to ensure that freedom and peace prevail”, said the PM, noting that the protection of state sovereignty and territorial integrity “is [the organisation’s] duty, our promise”.

Focusing on the Georgian government’s intentions to resolve conflicts peacefully, the prime minister said the Geneva international discussions, an international format on Georgia’s conflict issues since 2008, were “particularly crucial to bring Russia to the table to address the implementation of the EU-mediated 2008 ceasefire agreement”, expressing gratitude to the international community for its support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The PM said even though 20 percent of Georgia remained under Russian control, “we do not let this difficult challenge define us. We continue to punch above our weight and contribute to the international community”. 

I am proud to represent my country before you today. After three decades of restored independence, Georgian dreams are becoming a reality! In recent decades our nation, whose history traces back thousands of years, has become an example of resilience and progress in the face of extraordinary challenges. With our international partners, I am confident that we will build a brighter, more peaceful, and prosperous world now and for the generations that will follow us”, Garibashvili said. 

Commending the government’s work, the prime minister said Georgian Dream authorities had implemented “an ambitious reform agenda that brought us closer to our key international partners, the EU, United States, NATO, and the United Nations” since taking office in 2012.

For the first time since we regained independence, Georgia has enjoyed an unprecedented decade of peace, prosperity, and stability.  We are continuously working on Georgia’s global positioning and are already realising the rewards”, Garibashvili stated, highlighting the country’s leading positions in various international rankings. 

See the full speech here.