TBILISI, DFWatch – The fifth meeting of the working group on democracy within the U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership Charter was held on April 16 in Washington.
The Georgian Foreign Affairs Ministry informs that parties discussed ongoing and already implemented democratic reforms in Georgia, including amendments of election legislation and preparations for the parliament elections, which are scheduled for October 2012.
During the meeting, they also spoke about cooperation between the U.S. and Georgia within the frames of the open government partnership initiative. It was initiated in 2011 by U.S. president Barack Obama and Dilma Rouseff, President of Brazil.
The initiative aims to provide transparency and effectiveness of governments around the world, to overcome corruption, and to support the fight against other challenges. Georgia joined Open Government Partnership in September 2011 and prepared an action plan.
At the Washington meeting, the parties discussed how to share successful reforms conducted in Georgia with other regions in the world.
Giga Bokeria, Secretary of the Security Council of Georgia and Sergy Kapanadze, Deputy Foreign Minister, co-chaired the meeting, together with Philip Gordon, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Eric Rubin, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs at the Department of State and Thomas O. Melia, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.
The charter was signed in January 2009, in the wake of the Russo-Georgian war to strengthen the ties between the two countries. Then Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Bryza said it was a way of helping Georgia qualify for NATO membership.
The strategic partnership contains a list of policy aims within four areas: Defense and security; economy, trade and energy; democracy; and cultural exchange.