John Bass _ Diplomat of the Year 2011
22 December, 2011
John Bass _ Diplomat of the Year 2011

The first Diplomat Award Ceremony, organized by Georgian Journal and Publishing House Palitra took place on December 15. The title of the “Diplomat of the Year 2011” was awarded to the  Ambassador of the United States of  America to Georgia, His Excellency Mr. John Bass. 

 

The venue of the award ceremony was restaurant Cruise. The Consulting Editor of Georgian Journal was leading the event in his characteristic skillful manner. He opened the evening by tasting of GJ cocktail, specially created for

the event. The GJ cocktail won exceptional approval of the guests. The chef of Cruise along with Nemiroff and meat company Stolzberg took care of exquisite buffets served to the honored guests. The first Georgian bio-wine was also presented at the evening.  First Bio-Wine from Nikolashvili cellar is the seconder of the project as well. The Saperavi breed of bio-wine is produced free of chemicals, with the use of natural fertilizers and employing traditional methods and bio-technologies. It is the first Georgian wine that was granted an international bio-certificate.

Within the framework of the evening the guests were entertained by a number of amusing New Year quizes and games, such as guessing the names of subjects in Georgian, the competition “who is the fastest in tying a necktie”, etc. Representatives of several embassies and companies took part in the games. The winners of the said competitions were awarded special prizes offered by the partners and sponsors of the project, who happen to be Duty Free Alliance, Nemiroff, Clinic “Total Charm”, Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel, Jewellery Store “Christal”, book store chain “Biblusi”, Hotel Tbilisi Marriot, Courtyard Marriot, etc.

Significantly, at the quiz winners’ award ceremony, the eyewear company Safilo spontaneously invented a prize for the representative of Italian Embassy, since the company itself is an Italian brand.

After the quizes, time for the main part of the evening came. The Diplomat of the Year was to be named. During the preparatory period for the first Diplomat Award Ceremony, a three-month-long poll had been conducted, involving local politicians as well as political scientists. As a result of the survey, five leading candidates have been elicited and the winner was identified.

According to the poll, Italian Embassy was on the fifth place, UK took the fourth position, Germany was the third on the list, preceded by France on the second place. The winner of the title Diplomat of the Year 2011 became Mr. John Bass, the Ambassador of the United States of America to Georgia. He was granted the prize, exclusively designed for the First Diplomat Award Ceremony in Georgian media space. However, in connection with the arrival of Eric Rubin, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, His Excellency Mr. John Bass had to miss the ceremony; therefore the representative of the US embassy, the Public Affairs Officer Mr. Michael Turner was handed the prize. Later, he shared his emotions about the said event with Georgian Journal:

“This is a terrific honor to appreciate the work of American Embassy and what the American Ambassador has done. Although, somehow this is unfair, because what we do here, we do together with Georgians; our partners are Georgians, our allies are Georgians and most importantly, our friends are Georgians. We could not do what we do here in Georgia without the hospitality, willingness and friendship of Georgian people. Having this title is also a great responsibility”. Mr. Turner added that they hope Georgians and the US Embassy will continue their hard work together; he emphasized that they have a lot to look forward to because next year the US embassy celebrates the 20-th anniversary of US-Georgian relations. According to the Public Affairs Officer of the American Em bassy, they are planning a lot of activities. Talking about Georgian-American relations, Michael Turner stated: “We think this is one of the most important relationships we have; and I hope Georgian people will celebrate it with us.”

Georgian Journal asked the representative of the US embassy about his opinion regarding the project launched by the GJ along with the Media Palitra Publishing house; it also inquired the American diplomat about the viewpoint of the American Embassy on the role of such events in deepening relations between the media and the diplomatic corps.

In response, Mr. Turner pointed out that it is very important that the diplomatic corps and the Embassies have good relations with media. According to him, the role of media in any democratic society is absolutely important. “You journalists, reporters play an important role by asking people like us, hard questions, tough questions, good questions. Your responsibility is to challenge us and that is the function of journalism in the democratic society. We, the diplomats and government officials must learn to work with you, to be responsive. This is good for Georgia, for Georgians and for the Unites States as well”, Public Affairs Officer of the US Embassy, Mr. Michael Turner told Georgian Journal.

The representatives of diplomatic corps and the embassies accredited in Georgia, international and local non-government organizations, politicians, experts and businessmen attended the ceremony. Journalists of printed and electronic media, along with the employees of “Media Palitra Publishers” were invited to the final event and covered the award ceremony and its results.

“The main goal of the project is to make the Diplomatic corps more active in its support of Georgia’s development as well as perfecting of foreign policy of the country. Furthermore, the project aims at deepening of relations between media sector and ambassadors accredited in Georgia. As long as these two fields are effectively connected, it is crucial that the relation between them is transparent, built on trust and support for each other”, the Executive Editor of Georgian Journal Geno Jokhidze stated.

The Diplomat Award Ceremony is supposed to be established as a tradition and it is going to be held annually by Georgian Journal with the support of Media Palitra Publishing House. Significantly, the survey before the next award ceremony is planned to be held for a longer period and will include wider range of interviewees to make the results as reliable and objective as possible.

The Diplomat of the Year 2012 promises to be even more extravagant and attractive. The team of Georgian Journal will be glad to work for our readers, our friends and partners to further enhance the relations between the media and Diplomatic corps and play modest but useful role of a mediator between the said parties for the sake of Georgian people.

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