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Wednesday, July 1
Geneva Talks: Georgia hopes for constructive dialogue

A Georgian delegation led by First Deputy Foreign Minister David Dondua is in Switzerland where the 32nd round of the Geneva International Discussions launched on June 30 and continues today.

At this round of talks, the Georgian side hoped for constructive and result-oriented dialogue, as the previous talks were held in a tense atmosphere.

Since 2008 the Geneva International Discussions (GID) have been the only format of dialogue between Georgia and Russia, where, according to the 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement, issues including non-use of force, creation of international security arrangements in breakaway Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region, and safe and dignified return of IDPs and refugees are discussed.

Before this round of talks, Dondua issued a special statement and said the success of the negotiation process and thorough discussion of existing problems significantly depended on the respect by all GID parties to the format, agreed procedures and agenda of the talks.

"On our part we attach particular importance to having constructive and result-oriented dialogue within the Geneva International Discussion,” he said.

"We hope that this time participants will show a responsible attitude towards the negotiation process and will not endanger the round as well as the established practice of conduct of the GID. We also expect the Co-Chairs to use all their efforts within their mandate to hold the round in accordance with the procedures.”

The previous round of talks coincided with the day when Russia invited representatives of the occupied regime in Tskhinvali (South Ossetia), one of Georgia’s two breakaway regions, to the Kremlin in March to sign the so-called "treaty" on 'Alliance and Integration' with the Russian Federation. (

Members of U.S. congress to visit Georgia

TBILISI, DFWatch–A delegation from the U.S. congress is to visit Georgia from July 2 to 5.

Among the delegation are members of congress from the Republican and the Democratic parties, according to Foreign Ministry spokesperson Davit Kereselidze.

Peter Roskam is the head of the delegation, which includes David Price, Tom Rice, Rob Woodall, Dina Titus and Lois Capps.

The delegation plans to meet with representatives of executive and legislative bodies, including the president and prime minister, as well as representatives of civil society.

“The visit is more proof of the steady bipartisan support toward Georgia,” Kereselidze said. (DF watch)

50.9% of respondents do now own a house, apartment or plot of land in the territory controlled by Georgia - UNHCR conducts survey on Georgian IDPs

With the aim of ensuring the voices and perceptions of internally displaced people on voluntary return and other long-term solutions be heard, UNHCR commissioned an Intentions Survey among IDPs in Georgia.

The survey was carried out by the Institute of Social Studies and Analysis (ISSA).

Two thousand and one (2,001) internally displaced persons were interviewed by ISSA between October-December 2014 in Tbilisi and 10 regions of Georgia.

The survey accounted for IDPs originating from all districts of Abkhazia and South Ossetia currently living in displacement in various housing conditions, including collective centers, cottage settlements, and private housing.

Questions were posed to interviewees regarding the three main durable solutions options for internally displaced persons: (i) voluntary return: sustainable and voluntary return to the area of origin; (ii) integration: sustainable local integration in areas where internally displaced persons have taken refuge; (iii) relocation: sustainable settlement/integration in another part of the country.

Given the opportunity and under conditions perceived as favorable, 88.3%, of respondents want to return voluntarily to their area of origin. 2.6% of IDPs interviewed indicated that they are prepared to return voluntarily under the current circumstances. Emotional connections, property ownership as well as the possibility to be with relatives and friends and to visit grave sites were cited as important reasons why IDPs want voluntarily to return to Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

More than half of respondents (57.3%) feel fully integrated where they live at present. A third (33.3%) feel partially integrated, while 8.3% – feel that they are not integrated. IDPs living in Tbilisi attest to a higher level of integration than those living in other towns and in villages. In general, urban locations appear to support integration of IDPs more than rural areas. According to IDPs, full integration is possible if they are provided with, first of all, livelihoods (46.3%) and a house/apartment in good condition (20.4%) and medical services (10.7%). One of the most pressing problems among IDPs is the inability to visit family members, relatives, friends and acquaintances in the area of origin.

50.9% of respondents do now own a house, apartment or plot of land in the territory controlled by Georgia. 57.1% of IDPs said that they do not want to relocate to another area within the territory controlled by Georgia from their current place of residence. Most of those wishing to relocate would like to move to a large town. IDPs living in Tbilisi expressed the least desire to move to a different location.

"Two thousand and one (2,001) internally displaced persons in Georgia have shared their aspirations, thoughts and feelings regarding their future. For many of them, this was an important step in their own reflection process on returning home, integration, and relocation in displacement. While conducting a survey sounds like a very technical exercise, for the IDPs involved it was an emotional journey as interviewers steered women, men, girls and boys through the 63 questions of the six-page questionnaire. IDPs trusted the survey process and opened their doors, hearts and minds to ensure that the survey results will help to shape their future destiny in a way that reflects their desires"- says Ms. Simone Wolken, speaking for UNHCR in the South Caucasus.

The fact that this survey was conducted, the survey methodology, the way the survey was conducted and the manner in which the survey results were compiled and presented in this report reflects UNHCR standards of best practice globally.

Through this survey and report, internally displaced persons have spoken. Now it is up to all stakeholders to support the realization of durable solutions. (IPN)