On November 27, Georgia has officially taken over the six-month presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (CoE) from France. Georgia will hold the presidency until May 15, 2020.
The new Chair of the Committee of Ministers, Georgian Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani introduced the priorities of the Georgian Presidency, which include human rights and environmental protection, civil participation in decision-making process, child-friendly justice and strengthening democracy through education, culture and youth engagement.
In his Facebook address, FM Zalkaliani said, “this is a high responsibility and a sort of a challenge as Georgia is chairing an international organization for the first time.” He also told reporters in Strasbourg that during its presidency, Georgia will consider interests of each CoE member state, and that the situation in Georgia’s Russian-occupied territories will always be on the CoE agenda.
In the capacity of the Presidency ??has unique opportunity to contribute to the 3 pillars of t/Organization: democracy, human rights&rule of law. This is both – challenging&encouraging at the same time. Glad to underline that ??& @CoE has been interlinked by 20 yrs collaboration pic.twitter.com/Q381SXecPI— David Zalkaliani (@DZalkaliani) November 27, 2019
Earlier today, the flag of Georgia was raised at Place de la République in central Strasbourg, and a tram decorated with letters of Georgian alphabet was also inaugurated at the station “Droits de l’Homme”.
CoE Spokesperson Daniel Holtgen wrote on Twitter that taking over the presidency today, “Georgia makes an extraordinary voluntary financial contribution of 500 000. A large part goes to fighting violence against women.”