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Georgian Representative to UN Speaks on Necessity of Int’l Missions in Occupied Regions

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, March 30
Georgia’s permanent representative to the United Nations (UN) Kakha Imnadze has stated about the importance of presence of international monitoring missions in Georgia’s occupied territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali.

Participated in the United Nations Security Council open debate on ”Collective Action to Improve UN Peacekeeping Operations” in New York on Thursday, Imnadze stated that while Georgia never enjoyed a peacekeeping operation with a full-fledged mandate, the United Nations Observer Mission in (UNOMIG) has played a “crucial role” in achieving peace since 1993.

“In 2009, the UNOMIG was discontinued due to the veto by a Permanent Member of Security Council, Russia, which created a very dangerous precedent in UN history,” Imnadze stated.

“The forceful termination of the mandate, preceded by the cessation of the OSCE mission, created a total vacuum of international presence in the occupied territories of Georgia, thus creating the black holes for human rights, and as observed by the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights - "one of the most inaccessible places on earth”, Ambassador Imnadze said.

He said the progress or even a meaningful discussion on the creation of international security arrangements in the Georgian occupied regions remains elusive, while in the Council the primacy of politics does not allow creation of a much needed peacekeeping mandate in the conflict affected territories, where the host country is deprived of its ability to exercise jurisdiction.

Imnadze spoke about the grave consequences of the absence of international missions on the ground, touching upon the death of a 35-year-old Georgian soldier Archil Tatunashvili who was tortured and killed in the occupied Tskhinvali region on February 23.

“Russian occupation has turned Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions into places where murder and torture remain unpunished,” he said.

Imnadze stressed that the recent situation on the occupied territories of Georgia indicates to the necessity of establishment of international security mechanisms, which is envisaged by ceasefire agreement of 12 August 2008, mediated by the EU and signed by Georgia and Russia.