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More than twenty years have passed since the day, when the first convocation of the Parliament of the independent Republic of Abkhazia adopted the current Constitution of our state.
For every state, the adoption of the Basic law means a fundamental reorganisation of the political system. It stimulates the development of governmental institutions and society as a whole. This was the role of the new Constitution for Abkhazia as well.
However, we should remember the external and internal conditions in which this fundamental document was adopted. The state was in ruins, and there was a constant threat of renewed military action. Abkhazia was under great pressure to renounce its conquests. Yet, our nation, which passed through the crucible of war and won a historic Victory, was full of optimism and determination to defend the state and create a decent future for it. This was the basis for the creation of the foundations of the new independent state.
The adoption of the Constitution required great courage from the leadership of Abkhazia, since this step meant that it irrevocably chose the path of independent development. This was an open challenge to international organisations and other parties to negotiations, which tried to make Abkhazia part of Georgia again. However, the leader of our nation Vladislav Ardzinba and the deputies of the first Parliament made a very difficult but the only correct decision. This decision allowed to gradually build the institutions necessary for the functioning of a sovereign state. We remember that one of the reasons for the introduction of sanctions against Abkhazia was the adoption of the new Constitution. We had to pay a high price for our freedom even after Victory in the Patriotic War.
Thus, the decision to adopt a new Constitution is, without exaggeration, one of the main events in our contemporary history. In 1999, our First President Vladislav Ardzinba initiated a referendum to support the current Constitution, in the course of which it received nationwide approval. As a result of this referendum, the Act of State Independence of the Republic of Abkhazia was adopted. In this way, the process of the legal registration of our sovereignty was completed on the basis of nationwide expression of will.
As we know, the question of reforming our Basic law was raised many times in the course of a number of years. The first steps towards this aim were already made. Above all, it is the reform of the judicial branch, which led to the creation of the Constitutional court in the state. It will become an important tool for the protection of state foundations and the rights of our citizens. Yet on the whole, the constitutional construction showed its effectiveness. One of the main state and societal tasks is the strengthening of the sense of justice. Without this, we will not be able to build a constitutional state, even if the Constitution and the legislation are perfect. This is a continuous process, which should involve the government, the political and societal organisations, and the mass media.
Today's date reminds us of the significant successes of our people in the past years. Beyond Abkhazian borders, few people believed that we would survive and would build our own state. Yet, we have succeeded in this. We won the war, survived the blockade, built our own state, and achieved its international recognition. This became possible because our aims were united. We may have disagreements about how to achieve our goals. However, we are unanimous in our belief that Abkhazia should continue to develop and grow stronger as an independent state.
The world is currently going through a difficult time, as it is engulfed in financial crises and conflicts. Our strategic partner - Russia is at the peak of these events. It fights for its national interests in the conditions of sanctions and unprecedented external pressure. Today's world dictates new threats for which we must be prepared. This is why we have signed the Treaty on Alliance and Strategic Partnership, which guarantees the long-term security of Abkhazia.
However, the fate of our state is, first of all, our responsibility. Nobody can solve for us the socio-economic and political questions. I think it is wrong, when people try to create irreconcilable political camps. Despite our disagreements, we have a lot of things that unite us. This is why I want to urge once again all the political forces of Abkhazia to understand that political confrontation is ruinous for the state, which is going through a difficult period. The leadership of Abkhazia is prepared to discuss the existing problems in a constructive manner and to work together on solutions that would be beneficial for society. We need mutual trust and understanding.
Only together will we be able to save our state in difficult economic and political conditions and to pass it on to the new generation.
Dear compatriots, the process of international recognition of our state is not over. We will endeavour to make our state join the UN and other international organisations. We are interested to see Abkhazia fully participating in the Eurasian integration. The Russian Federation has helped and will continue to help us in this. The new Treaty with Russia expands such possibilities.
Today, I want to address once again the international community on your behalf, and to urge it to stop using double standards and recognise the independence of the Republic of Abkhazia. To deny this established fact is to obstruct the stabilisation of the situation in the Transcaucasian region.
Dear compatriots, once again I want to congratulate you on this holiday, which is the symbol of our statehood. I want to especially greet and congratulate the deputies of the first convocation of the Parliament of Abkhazia, who made a historic contribution to the creation of our state.
I heartily wish you all peace, happiness in every home and prosperity to our Homeland.