After being sworn-in as Georgia’s new President, Giorgi Margvelashvili delivered inauguration speech at a ceremony held in the courtyard of parliament’s old building in presence of invited guests, foreign dignitaries, government members and lawmakers from GD and Georgian soldiers.
Below is an official translation of President Margvelashvili’s inauguration speech as provided by his office:
“Mister Prime Minister, Mister Chairperson of the Parliament.
I would like to greet His Holiness and Beatitude Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia.
I would like to greet the delegations of friendly nations.
I would like to greet our honorable guests.
I would like to greet every citizen of Georgia, Abkhazians, Ossetians, and all our compatriots living in various corners of the world.
Today I stand before you, vested with the greatest responsibility and confident in my abilities, my collaborators and, most importantly, in our people.
I would like to reiterate my gratitude to my associates whose support I enjoyed throughout the election period. I would like to thank our society as a whole and everyone who, despite his or her political views, honestly tries to serve his or her homeland.
Today the victor is our people’s will. This victory is revealed in the consolidation of democratic processes.
By ensuring a precedent of transfer of power through parliamentary and presidential elections, we succeeded in moving to a substantially new stage in the development of our state. The post-Soviet period is over. And the development of a modern type of democracy has started, laying the foundation for a new, European kind of political culture.
As an individual, a Georgian national is European in terms of self-awareness and an integral part of Western civilization by nature. Until now, however, we have failed to translate our being European into institutional dimensions.
After October 1, 2012 we succeeded in laying the foundation for authentic European political processes. One year ago, Bidzina Ivanishvili united us. And in unity we accomplished what seemed impossible, ensuring a successful political future for our country through a peaceful election.
After the election, we not only maintained and strengthened stability in the country and implemented important economic, agricultural, healthcare, educational, and social projects, but also managed to hold an election in compliance with high democratic standards. Our coalition won a landslide victory in this election.
Naturally, there can be but one victor in a presidential election, yet I would like to assure everyone that in my capacity as President I will serve each and every one of you. I will guarantee equal respect for the rights of every citizen of Georgia.
Regardless of what position our citizens took in this election, there is one goal that unites us all. And this goal is peaceful, unified, democratic, developed, and free Georgia.
With a view to achieving this goal, our government will:
Unwaveringly ensure the introduction of traditions of democratic governance, empowerment of government institutions, and citizen engagement in government;
Pay special attention to economic progress. The government has prioritized the welfare of and decent living conditions for every citizen;
Georgia’s democratic and peaceful development and economic growth constitute the cornerstone of our public policy. All this will enable us to overcome challenges facing our country and ensure that it develops into a reliable international partner.
Our offer to our compatriots living in Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali Region is as follows: Let us build a successful democratic country together, a country that will guarantee the welfare of all citizens, preservation of their ethnic and cultural identity, and respect for their political rights.
As President of Georgia, the ruling party and I assume responsibility for implementing this policy.
As Commander-in-Chief, I declare that I will promote the country’s defense capability. We will always be ready to stave off any external threat. At the same time, peaceful resolution of all international or domestic problems is our country’s unwavering policy.
As Head of State, I will actively work on the implementation of international economic and political projects. I will promote the position of Georgia as a reliable partner on the international stage.
I will also support the furthering of democratic processes and guarantee respect for the constitutional rights of all social strata. I will make an all-out effort to promote the interests of those who require special attention and support.
As President, I will guarantee protection of the Constitutional Agreement with the Autocephalous Apostolic Orthodox Church of Georgia. At the same time, I will be a steadfast defender of the constitutional rights of representatives of all religions in Georgia.
We are not alone in the process aimed at building our country and strengthening the sovereignty thereof.
Throughout the years of independence, we always felt support from other countries, our friends. The policies of non-recognition of the occupied territories and de-occupation, international guarantees of Georgia’s security, and participation in regional economic development projects are built upon these very relations.
On behalf of the Georgian people, I would like to express our immense gratitude to the citizens and governments of our allies for this support. Our international ties will be strengthened even further and become more effective.
Drawing closer to the European Union and furthering bilateral relations with European countries hold a special place in Georgia’s foreign policy. Our government has achieved significant progress in this regard. In a few days, the Association Agreement will be initialed at the Vilnius Summit. It is our priority to execute the Association Agreement with the European Union as rapidly as possible, including Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, confirming and institutionalizing this way the irreversibility of Georgia’s European integration.
Becoming a full member of the free world serves as a long-term guarantee of Georgia’s national security and sustainable development. This, in turn, can be ultimately achieved by means of integration into the European Union and NATO.
Georgia continues to make a significant contribution to ensuring international security. We are proud of our armed forces. Thanks to their professionalism, including participation in the ISAF missions, they not only ensure the security of their own country, but also contribute tremendously to security worldwide.
As the country’s Commander-in-Chief, I honor the memory of our fallen heroes. Their names will never be forgotten.
We have given priority to the full and comprehensive development of bilateral relations with the United States within the framework of the Charter on Strategic Partnership and cooperation in various formats.
We are making an all-out effort to initiate negotiations on free trade between the United States of America and Georgia, which will strengthen our strategic ties even further.
Georgia has a mission of historical significance of becoming hub for cooperation, dialogue, and concord between Europe and Asia.
This is why we ascribe special importance to furthering relations with the countries of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea Regions and Central Asia, promoting transnational projects in cooperation with these countries, and ensuring peace and economic development in the region.
Georgia’s well-balanced regional policy must serve as a unifier of interests in the Caucasus. It is of vital importance to further economic and diplomatic relations with neighboring Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey.
Despite the difficult situation we are facing today and in parallel with integrating into European and Euro-Atlantic structures, we reiterate our commitment to further dialogue with Russia and build confidence to solve the problems existing today. This dialogue will be built upon unequivocal respect for Georgia’s national interests, i.e. respect for our internationally recognized borders and the principles of territorial integrity and sovereignty.
We are paying special attention to cooperation with international organizations, such as UN, OSCE, and Council of Europe.
Furthering relations with the countries of Near East, the Arab world, Africa, Latin America, Asia, and Oceania, as well as development of global partnership in this context, represents a priority of Georgia’s foreign policy.
After years of hardship we have all experienced, it is time to reclaim our identity; as the Great Ilia put it: “We must nurture our present today.” Today these words appeal to all of us.
We do have the most important capital upon which new Georgia will be built, and this capital is our people’s talent and love of homeland.
I am convinced that the worst years are gone now; that the golden age of our country does not apply in the case of the past only but the future as well. This vision cannot be implemented overnight.
Nonetheless, I see Georgia as a place where its children – instead of struggling for survival – lead a decent life, enjoy life, make full use of their talents, and realize their potential;
I see a country distinguished in the world not by political crises and humanitarian problems, but by its stunning beauty, life of ease and, most importantly, by its hardworking, creative, noble, and hospitable people.
I see the energy that compelled Rustaveli to create the Knight in the Panther’s Skin; that granted Ekvtime Takaishvili the strength to preserve our ancestral treasures at the expense of his own life; the energy that enabled Pirosmani to paint Black Lion; the energy that made Doctor Ioseb Zhordania sacrifice his life to save a little girl’s life; the energy that embossed the Khakhuli triptych with amazing mastery and strengthened Giorgi Antzukhelidze to refuse to bow down before the enemy.
I see a comeback of the excitement caused in the whole world by the magnificence of the Mtskheta Monastery of the Cross, the uniqueness of the Georgian alphabet, the depths of Vazha-Pshavela’s poetry, the amazing harmony of the Chakrulo and Krimanchuli [folk] songs, the scope of Georgian academic thinking, and stunning achievements in sports.
This is the Georgia about which I have dreamed all my life. This is the Georgia its children have been nourishing.
Being President of Georgia is a great honor. And today I ask God to grant me strength worthily to carry this responsibility I assume as part of my service to our great country and its people.”