Our progress in protecting human rights and freedoms is the greatest achievement of our Government. We should not, however, be complacent about our current achievements; our consistent reforms in the country must continue irreversibly, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili stated in his parliamentary speech at the reception celebrating Human Rights Day.
The Head of Government congratulated everyone with Human Rights Day, December 10, as a demonstration of a human being, human rights and freedom, being the ultimate value cherished by the whole civilized world.
"Next year marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Adopted in 1948, this crucially important document, and its spirit and principles, remains just as pivotal today as 70 years ago.
Our Government is committed to these values, and we prize a human being as our top priority. We know well that a democratic state can only be built if human beings are protected.
Our today's gathering seeks mainly to reaffirm how important strengthening respect for human rights and the rule of law in the country's democratic development is to our authorities, both Government and Parliament.
Our shared goal involves constantly striving to better the protection of human rights. Today, we can state boldly that our progress in the past few years has created a qualitatively different reality in our country, which is a result of our Government's robust political will and can be seen by our citizens across all areas on a daily basis. This achievement has also been repeatedly recognized by our international partners, putting our country in the spotlight as a modern, democratic, and developed state," the Prime Minister emphasized.
According to Giorgi Kvirikashvili, the fact that not every Georgian citizen can equally enjoy this progress remains an issue of special concern.
"Equally disconcerting is the growing ethnicity-based discriminatory treatment of the Georgians in the occupied Regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali, especially in the Gali District. Banning native language from schools, restricted movement, and property and other fundamental rights, illegal detention and households torn apart by barbed wires are only a few examples of the numerous consequences brought about by the policy of occupation.
Georgia is obligated to address the needs of the populations in the occupied territories. We are doing everything, be it through diplomatic, political, or peacemaking efforts, to ensure the protection of the populations in the Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions, regardless of their ethnic affiliation, and to improve the humanitarian situation on the ground," the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister thanked international and donor organizations for continuously assisting the Government in implementing human rights reforms. He also expressed gratitude to the UN Human Rights Office in Georgia and everyone contributing to the protection of human rights in Georgia.
Giorgi Kvirikashvili wished success to newly elected Public Defender Nino Lomjaria who also attended today's event.
"Our political team made a decision to support the candidate to the Public Defender's Office nominated by civil society. I would like to congratulate Ms. Nino Lomjaria. Please accept my best wishes for success in this responsible capacity," the Prime Minister addressed the Public Defender.
The Head of Government underscored the importance of broad participation in the continuation of human rights reforms.
"No government can succeed without civic participation and, of course, without the opposition's participation. Protecting human rights is a nationwide task, and I hope that we will cooperate with everyone on this path of reforms, so that we may achieve even greater results," Giorgi Kvirikashvili stated.
The event was attended by representatives of the executive and legislative branches, international and nongovernmental organizations, the diplomatic corps, the Orthodox Christian Church of Georgia, and other religious confessions.