Monsignor José Avelino BETTENCOURT: "We share two millennia of friendship"

26.11.2022 (Caucasian Journal) It is a special honour today for Caucasian Journal to welcome His Excellency the Most Reverend Monsignor José Avelino BETTENCOURT, the Apostolic Nuncio (Ambassador of Vatican) to Armenia and Georgia. 


Alexander KAFFKA, editor-in-chief of CJ: Your Excellency, welcome to Caucasian Journal, and thank you for this opportunity. You have been working in Tbilisi for quite some time already, and your Embassy covers both Armenia and Georgia. In addition, you are the doyen of diplomatic corps in Georgia. This sounds like a huge amount of responsibilities. My first question is what’s your overall feeling about your work now? Do you have to travel much across the Caucasus, and what’s your impression about our part of the world?

José A. BETTENCOURT:  Thank you for your invitation to this interview.  I came to the South Caucasus in the footsteps of my predecessors with the hope to build upon the good that has been traced out as well as meet today’s realities.

The Holy See was among the first states to recognize the independence of each of the South Caucasus states and to establish diplomatic relations.  This year we celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of diplomatic relations. The Holy See was also the tenth state to open a diplomatic mission in Tbilisi.  I like to keep the perspective that we share two millennia of friendship. 

Dr. Ghassan KHALIL: "Government, private sector and civil society should join efforts to prioritize children"

14.11.2022 (Caucasian Journal) Our today’s guest is Dr. Ghassan KHALIL, the Representative of UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) in Georgia.

▶ ქართულად:
  Read the Georgian version here.

Alexander KAFFKA, editor-in-chief of CJ: Dear Dr. Khalil, welcome to Caucasian Journal. You were appointed UNICEF Representative in Georgia in autumn 2018, so it’s exactly four years that you have been working in this country, correct? Let me start with a straightforward question – has the situation in Georgia improved during recent years in the areas that are monitored by UNICEF?

Ghassan KHALIL:  Thank you very much, Mr. Kaffka, for giving me the opportunity of talking about UNICEF’s interventions in Georgia. The four years have been extremely interesting and very challenging especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. I can proudly say that the UNICEF team has contributed a lot during these four years and since the establishment of the UNICEF Office in Georgia in 1993. But worth mentioning is the expansion that UNICEF team implemented in the last couple of years, thematically and geographically in various regions and areas of Georgia. 

AK:  With a doctorate diploma from Sorbonne, and many years in protection of child rights, I believe you are one of top professionals in your field working in this country today. Can you tell little bit about yourself, and how did you get to Georgia?