YATA discussions are one of the major project types of the organization, which are held with the support of NATO Liaison Office. Participants of discussions usually are students from Georgian schools or universities as well as representatives of various non-governmental organizations. Discussions are usually held at the end of every month.
In 2013 YATA-Georgia so far has organized three discussions and one teleconference with the support of the NATO Liaison Office in Georgia and the Information Center on NATO and EU. Participants of these events were mostly students and pupils of different Georgian universities and high schools, as well as representatives of the academic and civil society. Events were held at the end of the every month during January-June period.
After the Parliamentary elections in Georgia in 2012, the majority of the seats were won by the opposition coalition Georgian Dream. It was very interesting to get to know what were the new challenges and chances for Georgia’s Euroatlantic inspirations after the first democratic transition of power in our country. YATA-Georgia decided to organize discussion on the topic: “Importance of democratic transition for the process of Georgia’s NATO integration – new chances and new challenges”. Discussion was held on the 25th of January at NATO Liaison Office (NLO). Participants of the discussion were students, representatives of NGO-s, members of YATA-Georgia – approximately 25-30 participants in total. The members of the panel were: William Lahue (the Head of the NATO Liason Office in Georgia); Alexi Petriashvili (the State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration); Zurab Japaridze, (the Member of the Parliament of Georgia from the United National Movement) and Irakli Mchedlishvili (expert on NATO, member of the Civil Council on Defense and Security). Speakers have shared their vision on the topic mentioned above and answered the critical questions raised by participants of the discussion.
Event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/498128333558969/
Second discussion was held in cooperation with the Information Center on NATO and EU at National Library of Georgia on the 28th of February. In February the minority in Georgian Parliament (UNM) had an initiative which was connected to the Georgian’s foreign policy. United National Movement offered the Georgian Dream coalition (majority at the Georgian Parliament) to include the statement of Georgia’s Euro and Euroatlantic integration in the Constitution, namely mentioning that Georgia’s course is connected with the NATO and EU. So YATA-Georgia decided to organize the discussion about the following topic: “Should the constitution of Georgia include Georgian’s foreign policy vector in the frame of NATO and EU.” Speakers of discussion were: Ani Mirotadze (member of the Parliament of Georgia from the Georgian Dream), George Baramidze (author of the bill, member of the Parliament of Georgia from the UNM) ; Sergo Ratiani (member of the Parliament of Georgia from the UNM) and Sergi Kapanadze (Expert in the international relations field and co-founder of NGO- GRASS). Discussion lasted more than two hours and it was quite interactive. Speakers expressed their position about the initiative and participants (approximately 30 people in total) were actively involved in discussion. They stated their vision and asked question to the speakers.
Event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/618019241548029/
Third discussion was held on the 14th of March at the NATO Liaison Office in Georgia. Topic of the discussion was: “How can Georgia contribute to Euro-Atlantic security.” Speakers discussed several issues related to this topic, namely: Georgia’s participation in the ISAF – military contribution and civilian support. They also spoke about the intellectual contribution and energy resources in the frame of Georgia’s role in promoting European energy security. Speakers of the discussion were: William Lahue (Head of Liaison Office in South Caucasus) ; Irakli Mtchedlishvili (expert on NATO, member of the Civil Council on Defense and Security); Tamar Qarosanidze (Deputy Minister of Defense ) and Giorgi Vashadze (Member of the “United National Movement”, Member of the Parliament). Number of participants was approximately 30-35 people. Five members of the YATA Norway were also participated in the discussion. Discussion was interactive and the participants actively engaged in the debates with the speakers. At first, speakers declared their vision of the issues mentioned above, and then participants of the conference raised their questions and comments. At the end the speakers answered questions and summarized their speeches.
Event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/498105646891162/
On the 26th of April YATA-Georgia organized the teleconference with the NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai. Teleconference was held with the support of NATO Liaison Office in Georgia. We considered that it would be really important and interesting for young people to have an opportunity to ask questions to Mr. Appathurai. Young people, who were selected to participate in the teleconference, were very interested in NATO’s activities and future plans. So the topic of the teleconference was: “NATO’s Current Agenda.” At first Mr. Appathurai has greeted the public and made an introductory speech which was followed by the Q&A session. Participants have asked Mr. Appathurai questions connected to the relations of NATO-Georgia, to NATO’s current activities and future plans. Number of the participants was 30 people.
Event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/152008424970218/
As for 2014, YATA Georgia has already organized two discussions:
YATA-Georgia has organized discussion at NATO Liaison Office on March 13th 2014. The main topic of discussion was: “The importance of Wales summit and development of NATO-Georgia relations.” The speakers were:
- Mr. William Lahue – Head of NATO Liaison Office in Georgia;
- Mr. Giorgi Kandelaki – Member of the Georgian Parliament;
- Col. Vladimir Chachibaia –Deputy Chief of General Staff of Georgian Armed Forces;
- Mr. Gia Nodia – Expert;
- Mr. Tornike Parulava – Director of Department of Security Policy and Euro-Atlantic Integration at Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia.
Each of the speakers was given 10-12 minutes to make their speeches. They spoke about the main points that will be discussed on upcoming Wales summit:
- Topic about Afghanistan: solder education and the lack of cooperation between government of Afghanistan and NATO;
- NATO partnership: the point that NATO is keen on making new contacts and increasing the partnership level, for Georgia and other post-soviet countries.
- Defense capabilities: creating common army for NATO member countries, including their partners (Georgia, Ukraine and etc.)
- Short overview about current position of Georgia in NATO;
One of the main points of Discussion was also ongoing processes in Ukraine and if things going in Ukraine will influence NATO to take fast actions according to Georgian integration, because after Soviet Union collision, Russia is still keen on occupying other countries territories. The discussion has been attended by students from various universities. They also had an opportunity to ask the speakers interesting questions and get exhaustive responds from them.
Event on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/611315042295462/
On May 15, 2014, another discussion regarding the matters of international security organized and initiated by YATA Georgia was held. It took place the University of Georgia under the title: ‘’International Challenges and Georgia’’
Discussion was primarily comprised by three panels, all of which contained different, although interconnected subjects:
- Ukrainian Crisis – What should be expected from Russia?
- The importance of the Association Agreement on the process of European integration
- 2014 Wales Summit – Progress and expectations of Georgia as an aspirant country for membership
Two invited speakers were present at the discussion: Mr. Archil Matchavariani (G.R.A.S.S. – Georgia’s Reforms Associates) and Mr. Irakli Mtchedlishvili (Civil Council in the matters of Security and Defense) who, with the active participation from the participants, discussed the abovementioned topics thoroughly. There was approximately 10 Minutes allocated to each speaker. Discussion gathered participants from the following non-governmental organizations: Youth Association Droni, YATA Georgia, Yes Georgia and Georgian Youth Parliament. The discussion lasted for about an hour and a half and proceeded in a quite interactive manner.
YATA Georgia plans to further organize such kind of events in the future.
All pictures of our events are available on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/YATAGEO/photos_albums