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FM Zalkaliani visits Geneva, talks about humanitarian situation in occupied regions

By Nika Gamtsemlidze
Tuesday, February 25
In his speech at the 43rd session of the UN High Commission for Human Rights in Geneva, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia David Zalkaliani talked about human rights and humanitarian situation in Russia's occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Minister noted that the Office of the High Commissioner is still unable to enter the occupied regions of Georgia when the humanitarian situation on the ground is constantly deteriorating and the fundamental rights of ethnic Georgians are violated daily.

The Minister reminded the Council once again of the violations of the lives of ethnic Georgians in the occupied regions - Irakli Kvaratskhelia, David Basharuli, Giga Otkhozoria and Archil Tatunashvili. The Minister thanked the international partners for their support in the 'Otkhozoria-Tatunashvili List' and their outstanding efforts in the release of Dr. Vazha Gaprindashvili.

In his speech, the Minister also referred to the restriction of the right to safe and dignified return of internally displaced persons and IDPs to their homes:

“We firmly believe that the absence of political decision can and should not be an obstacle to the protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of those who are deprived of minimum-security measures in the face of the threat of prosecution. Consequently, the international community, first and foremost, the Human Rights Council, is crucial. Effectively addressing the consequences of Russia's occupation policy, whether in Georgia or Ukraine, is impossible without a firm international response. However, the only way to make positive changes on the ground is to start fulfilling our obligations,” said Zalkaliani.

Zalkaniani also spoke about the large-scale cyberattack implemented by Russia on the servers and websites of the Georgian government and private agencies.

The Minister attended the opening session where the President of the Human Rights Council, the President of the UN General Assembly, the UN Secretary-General, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Head of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, delivered a speech.

In the framework of the visit, Zalkaliani met with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to discuss the situation in the occupied regions of Georgia and the UN's involvement in the peaceful settlement of the conflict.

The meeting also focused on the humanitarian situation in the occupied regions and the steps taken by the occupation regime, which makes the condition of those living in the region a lot harder.

The special role of the UN in the peaceful resolution of the conflict and the effective conduct of the Geneva International Discussions was emphasized. Discussions focused on the next round of talks, including the need to discuss ways of resolving the problem of moving the conflict region and the occupants along the occupation line.

The meeting also welcomed the practice of annual UN resolutions on Georgia within the UN and the UN Secretary General's report on the situation in the occupied regions of Georgia.

The UN Secretary-General has expressed the readiness of the Organization to play an effective role in addressing specific issues within its mandate.