Placeholder canvas

State Depts’ Kara McDonald Expresses Concern for Existing Situation with CSOs, Media

While attending the *6th Tbilisi International Conference titled “Slava Ukraini – Glory to Ukraine” on September 5, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Kara McDonald stated, “I cannot express enough our concern about what we see happening with civil society, with ISFED, [and] with independent media here in Georgia.”

The International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) was excluded by the ruling Georgian Dream party on 18 August from the first meeting of the electoral reforms working group meant to develop the legislative changes necessary for EU candidate status. That decision was criticized by both the civil society sector and the opposition. Among them, the CSO Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA), which was invited to participate, left the meeting in protest. The ruling party claimed at the time that its decision was based on the fact that ISFED had lost its “neutrality.”

DAS Mcdonald emphasized “I am so appreciative for your presence here. Because we are great friends of Georgia, we care very much, but we cannot want it more than you do.” “We stand by ready to support,” she added.

Comments Regarding War in Ukraine

Regarding the war in Ukraine, DAS Mcdonald stated, “[Vladimir] Putin made two wrong assumptions, he didn’t expect the bravery of the Ukrainian people to push back, and he didn’t expect unity not just from the West but the globe.”

“That’s the strategy for victory right there: never forget the power of people to fight for their own human dignity and freedom,” she emphasized.

While speaking during a conference panel there titled ‘Democracy vs. Authoritarianism,’ DAS McDonald also remarked, “There is a concern that this is about great power competition, it is not, this is about countries and nations which stand by the United Nations charter [and] the international order based on democratic values and principles, and those countries that seek to change borders by might and rule with impunity.”

*The 6th Tbilisi International Conference taking place from September 5-6 brings is organized by the Economic Policy Research Center (EPRC), the McCain Institute at Arizona State University, and the George W. Bush Institute. This year, the conference’s focus was Ukraine and brought together experts, leaders, and policymakers, from the U.S. and Europe to discuss Ukraine, Georgia, as well as NATO, the EU, and Russian military aggression.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


Back to top button