The Georgian Studies Day is an annual event, held since 1987 by the School of Life Sciences at the University of Westminster, that aims to provide the British public with information on current political, economic and cultural developments in Georgia.
The conference was held under the auspices of the Embassy of Georgia to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
This year's edition brought together diplomats, government officials, academics and businesses from both Georgia and the UK around the topic of ‘The Restoration of Georgian Independence: 30 Years On’. The event opened with an address given by the President of Georgia, Ms Salome Zourabichvili, and was convened by Dr Tamara Dragadze, Dr Nina Porakishvili and Professor Peter M Lydyard of Westminster University.
During his speech, Mr Kipiani briefly reviewed the past 30 years of Georgia’s independence and the milestones along its path towards the European Union—particularly the 2014 Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement and the adoption of a visa-free regime in 2017. Mr Kipiani also emphasized Georgia’s efforts to adapt its domestic legal framework to European standards and norms as a key pillar of Georgia's integration with European fora, as well as Tbilisi's declared aspiration to join Euro-Atlantic security and defence structures.
'Peace and stability are of course critically important, and the past few years have been important ones in that respect. Hopefully, the very same peace and stability that would further reinvigorate Georgia’s international posture would also increase its domestic resilience as well as render the process of the country's integration with Europe and the Euro-Atlantic community shorter, safer and unchallenged. We are definitely ready to keep progressing down this path, but we also very much expect our international partners to do their fair share. This is very high on our agenda, and we very much hope that they will reciprocate,' concluded Mr Kipiani.