On December 20, President of the Republic of Abkhazia Raul Khadzhimba delivered the annual address to the People’s Assembly-Parliament of the Republic of Abkhazia.
Dear members of the People’s Assembly-Parliament of the Republic of Abkhazia!
Dear citizens of the Republic of Abkhazia!
In accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Abkhazia, I will deliver an Address concerning the situation in the state and the main directions of the internal and foreign policy of the government.
We have gathered here to sum up the results of this year’s work and, most importantly, to define our goals for the upcoming period.
First of all, I would like to point out that our main goals remain unchanged. They are related to the preservation of the resources of the state and society, the growth of the economy and the human capital development, the strengthening of the constitutional state, the improvement of the quality of life of our citizens and the consolidation of our society on the basis of a constructive agenda.
The elements of this agenda were outlined in the previous Address and they remain relevant. I would like to point out that in general, we are completing the year of 2017 well. We have demonstrated our ability to listen to the voice of reason and to prevent an internal destabilisation.
As before, I urge everyone to work together for the benefit of the people and the state. Without becoming united and agreeing at least on the main aspects of our present and future, we doom our country to degradation and weakness.
Legal order and political stability are the necessary conditions for development. Political disagreements that exist in society should not become a foundation for the extreme forms of political struggle.
This year, the political competition was developing in a civilised manner. The elections to the People’s Assembly-Parliament of the Republic of Abkhazia gave different political forces a constitutional opportunity to be represented in the legislative body. The election campaign was competitive, yet the most important principle was observed, such as equal opportunities for every citizen to become elected. This shows the democratic nature of the elections and their stabilising role in the socio-political life of the state.
Citizens hope that the newly elected Parliament will strengthen the extensive social and political dialogue, intensify the work to ensure legislative positive changes in the economy and the social sphere and continue the reform of constitutional institutions.
I hope to see productive cooperation between the legislative and executive branches of power. I am ready for constant dialogue with members of the People’s Assembly-Parliament and for providing full support to useful and reasonable ideas and initiatives. Only common work for the successful development of Abkhazia can bring results.
This is why I want to urge you to work together to achieve results, and not to engage in the pursuit of competitive ambitions and useless arguments. Otherwise, not a single strategic goal will be achieved, and not only the current government but all our citizens will suffer from this, the latter even more than the former.
I believe that we have to think less about the past and talk less about past mistakes. It is true that these mistakes took place. Yet, it is better to look into the future and to strive for everyone - power institutions, businessmen and citizens - to feel strongly their responsibility for the state.
What does this responsibility mean today?
First of all, it means strict compliance with the law which should become a conscious necessity for all citizens of Abkhazia. Our state will not develop if we do not protect property rights, lift artificial barriers to economic activity and ensure the flow of investments. People should have an opportunity to work and earn without fear of losing their property and business, and without oppression from criminals and corrupt officials.
Responsibility also means that changes begin with each one of us. Here, it is suitable to cite a famous saying: “If you want a change in the future, become this change in the present”. Each one of us should understand that if we do not change in our everyday lives, professional activity, in our relations with people and the law, then nothing will change in this state. Everyone has to start by improving their own selves - this is the key to success.
Responsibility also means having feelings of sane patriotism which finds pride in the amount of personal contribution to the common goal, such as the prosperity of one’s state, and not in the feeling of personal exclusiveness. This is how we should show our love of Abkhazia: by working a lot and with honesty, being useful to people, thinking about the common good and not just personal interests.
A responsible society immediately reacts to injustice. It becomes a shield against negative social and political influences, and it reacts to governmental decisions in an exacting but constructive manner.
Dear members of Parliament!
The upcoming year is the year of the 25th anniversary of Victory in the Patriotic War of the People of Abkhazia of 1992-1993 and the 10th anniversary of the recognition of Abkhazia by Russia as a sovereign and independent state. These fundamental events are connected to a general logic of history and they are the highest expressions of the triumph of historical justice.
By my order, a committee was created to prepare for the celebration of these most important dates.
These events are another reason to assess the road that our nation has travelled and to confirm our strategic goals for the future. Most importantly, we can say with confidence that the sacrifice our people made for freedom and independence was not in vain. The people of Abkhazia have their own sovereign state which many nations of the world do not. By achieving the unity of intellectual forces, uniting the efforts of our society and believing in our opportunities, we will be able to increase the existing resources and endure in the difficult conditions of international competition and the struggle of interests.