The Day After: President Saakashvili on Post-Revolutionary Societies and What Comes After the Arab Spring
On February 1, the Atlantic Council held a discussion with the Honorable Mikheil Saakashvili, president of Georgia, at the US Institute of Peace.
The 2011 wave of revolutions and protests has sent a clear message to the international community: freedom, democracy and accountability matter. Nearly a decade before the Arab uprisings, the color revolutions had swept across Eastern Europe. As North Africa and other parts of the world seek to reinvent themselves, Georgian President, Mikheil Saakashvili, drew on Georgia's democratic transformation to explore the common challenges and opportunities that post-revolutionary societies face. His talk addressed the myriad of issues that these new governments must undertake from building democratic institutions to confronting corruption and earning the trust of their empowered citizens. Stating that these leaders should “ride the wave” of revolutions, he urged that they undertake reforms immediately while popular support is strong. The president also mentioned his meeting with President Obama, and their discussion about launching a free trade agreement and reaffirming Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic ambitions.
Dr. Richard H. Solomon
US Institute of Peace
Mr. Damon Wilson
Executive Vice President
The Honorable Mikheil Saakashvili
President of Georgia