The strength of a unified Georgian state is its diversity.
One of the most important challenges of the young Georgian democracy is to build a state, where every resident, despite differences, will have the feeling that he or she is a full citizen of the country.
We have to deal with the alienation often resulting from the lack of knowledge of the Georgian language. On the other hand, the state has to create every condition for ethnic groups to preserve their unique identities.
Civil integration will not happen overnight. Obviously, cooperation between state institutions and civil society organizations, and between the state and minorities, are very important in this process. However, success is not guaranteed unless there is widespread public acknowledgement of the necessity of tolerance towards diversity.
There is no better indication of our country’s unity than the National Integration Strategy that is being elaborated today by the council functioning under the president. The Council embraces executive and legislative government, the Ombudsman’s Office, civil society, and of course, minorities themselves. This document is symptomatic of the government’s minority policy, based as it is on a vision of civic consciousness.
Of course, we will not be able to develop the conception of national interests more valuable than that of Davit Aghmashenebeli which was created in XII century – a lot earlier than in Europe.
Like Davit Aghmashenebeli, we tell every Ossetian, Abkhaz, Armenian, Azeri, Russian, Jew, Greek, Ukrainian, Assyrian, everyone who was born and lives in our land, that Georgia is our common home, and diversity is a universal value that all of us share.
President of Georgia