Rome '08 Workshop
Georgia: International Commitment and Engagement
Her Excellency Eka Tkeshelashvili
Georgian Foreign Minister
The fact that Georgia volunteered to make a presentation on Strategies for Dealing with Regions in CrisisIraq, Afghanistan, Israel-Palestine-Lebanon, and Africa reflects the direct stake we have in these countries and is quite important symbolically. Our participation and presentation clearly show that there are no longer places in this inter-related world that can be called remote, and no longer regions or situations in crisis that do not carry significant implications for global security. In Georgia, we understand this very well and believe that every member of the world community must make its own contribution to stability and peace throughout the world.
Although Georgia is a small country with problems of its own, our beliefs are matched by our actions. For example, we have a 2,000-man force on the ground in Iraqthe second-largest per-capita contingent on the ground there. We also will be contributing to the ISAF mission in Afghanistan. Since we have no caveats for this mission, we will also be involved in the training operations in Afghanistan and view this as an important contribution to the major effort of the international community. The synergy between the different organizations involved in Afghanistan is crucial and the contribution on the ground by every member-state of those organizations is essential as well.
INTERNATIONAL COMMITMENT AND ENGAGEMENT
Is there a good model that can serve us well in different situations? We all understand that there cannot be one ready-made recipe for every situation, because each case is specific, different objectives may need to be reached, and crises may require a different approach in terms of the involvement they require. But in the crises we addressed through this panel, there is one key element: It is a long-lasting and effective international commitment and engagement. For the model to work, comprehensiveness and synergy between various contributing organizations are also crucial. During the discussion we heard good examples of that and how essential these factors are. In addition, although ensuring security is the foundation for building lasting peace and stability, efforts must also be made to rehabilitate and develop our economies and, even more importantly, democratic institutions.
THE ROLE OF DEMOCRACY
Another issue that needs to be discussed is how democracy can be the glue between nations and their minorities in different situations. Within a country or region, what kind of democratic framework can be offered to different constituencies that will permit them to create durable peace and inclusiveness, so that no one feels left out of the prosperity and development of the country or region? Once a formula has been identified, it can be developed to foster genuine reconciliation and inclusiveness as well as promote economic growth in the particular area. Neighbors can also play an essential role by offering constructive contributions. We should keep in mind that such possibilities can be implemented on the ground.
From our own perspective and experience with crises in parts of our country, we believe that an approach of this type can be a working solution, both for the regions that we talked about today and for the world at large. As we all know, crises have the potential to spill over and affect global security. Today, the effectiveness of the efforts undertaken by the international community as well as cooperation between the different parties involved in these crises are key factors that we need to think about. Achieving long-term stability and security in troubled areas of the world is essential, because we cannot expect that frozen situations or periods of political chill in some of these countries will not worsen in the future.
In conclusion, I believe that if we can combine our efforts and pour our energy, attention, and resources into providing security, financial means, human resources, and training for local institutions, we will create the very basis upon which stability and security can be established.