Georgia Hosts Annual Security and Defense Conference for the First Time

The Security and Defense Conference (GDSC) commenced in Batumi earlier today, as Georgia hosts the 11th annual GDSC conference for the first time. Opening speeches were delivered by Giorgi Margvelashvili, President of Georgia, Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Chair of the Georgian Parliament Irakli Kobakhidze and Minister of Defence of Georgia, Levan Izoria. 

The two-day conference hosts key decision-makers and international experts in the field, to talk about the major challenges in safety and defence today, through rounds of interactive plenary sessions; and open discussions to be held during the event. The 11th annual conference this year focuses on the themes of NATO after the Warsaw Summit, total defence, the future of the European defence, hybrid and asymmetric threats and the changing safety environment in the Black Sea Region. 

General John. W. Nicholson, Commander of NATO’s Resolute Support Mission, James Appathurai, NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, Raimonds Bergmanis, Defense Minister of Latvia, Nurettin Canikli, Defense Minister of Turkey and Michael Carpenter, US Deputy Assistant Secretary for Defense, attended the conference, alongside other high profile guests. 

“We’re gathered here today to move the regional defence and safety agenda forward and discuss the challenges our county is facing, to sicuss the challenges faced by countries that have peace, safety and stability as their core values,” President Margvelashvili said in his speech at the conference. 

The President of Georgia also noted that Georgia has faced serious challenges from the very first days of its independence, and for almost 25 years, these challenges were coming from our northern neighbor, Russia. “This tendency unfortunately continues today too, as the Russian Federation increases armed forces on Georgian sovereign territory, and violates the rights of Georgian citizens”, he said. 

In his opening speech at the conference, Giorgi Kvirikasvili, Prime Minister of Georgia, also emphasized the steps the Georgian Government is taking to ensure the safety of the country and furtherafield in the region. The Prime Minister of Georgia underlined that the “aggressive politics from Russia continue, through the isolation of occupied territories, and ethnic discrimination any many more provocative actions, despite which, Georgia is still commited to the cease -fire agreement of 2008, and is taking diplomatic steps for the peaceful resolution of the conflict" the Prime Minister of Georgia said. 

The Royal United Service Institute, Great Britain, and IFRI- French Institute of International Relations, are the partners of the Security and Defense Conference in Batumi

By Nino Gugunishvili

12 October 2017 15:21