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Georgia in UN resolution and EU-U.S. summit joint statement

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Friday, June 18
In New York, the UN General Assembly, at its 75th session, adopted a resolution initiated by Georgia and 57 countries on "The Status of Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees from Abkhazia, Georgia and the Tskhinvali Region / South Ossetia, Georgia." This year, the resolution was supported by 80 states.

Like last year, UN member states were given the opportunity this year to co-sponsor the resolution and thus become even more actively involved in international efforts to address the dire humanitarian situation created by Russian aggression and occupation. As a result, 57 countries from different regions of the world joined the ranks of co-authors of the resolution, which is an increase compared to last year. “This fact shows that the mentioned resolution is already a global initiative.” the statement from Georgia's Permanent Mission to the United Nations said

Georgia has been submitting this resolution to the UN General Assembly since 2008. The resolution condemns the forcible demographic changes in the occupied regions of Georgia, affirms the right of IDPs to return to their homes in a dignified and safe manner, regardless of ethnicity, and emphasizes the need to respect and protect their property rights.

In addition to the humanitarian context, the resolution has practical implications, as it instructs the UN Secretary-General to prepare an annual report on the situation of the IDPs living in Georgia and on the implementation of the resolution. This is particularly important in light of the dire human rights situation in the occupied territories of Georgia and the lack of international monitoring mechanisms, which is another obstacle to the safe and dignified return of IDPs and refugees.

The resolution also calls on the participants in the Geneva talks to step up efforts to improve the security and human rights situation in the occupied regions of Georgia, which in turn will facilitate the return of internally displaced persons and refugees to their homes.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Office of the State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality and Prime Minister Gharibashvili welcomed the resolution and thanked all the countries who supported the resolution and became a co-author of the initiative. With this decision, each country has reaffirmed its support for the right of return of internally displaced persons and refugees and expressed its support for each IDP. The PM has welcomed the resolution as well.

Previous day, on 15thof June, a joint statement issued after the EU-US summit mentioned Georgia as well.

According to article 28, parties ‘are determined to continue to stand in support of the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of the EU’s Eastern partners and will support the reform path of Ukraine, Georgia, and the Republic of Moldova. We resolve to work towards long-term peace, resilience and stability in the South Caucasus.

Article further reads: “We stand with the people of Belarus and their demands for human rights and democracy. We resolve to hold the Lukashenka regime to account for its escalating attacks on human rights and fundamental freedoms and for endangering aviation safety through the unprecedented and unacceptable forced diversion of an EU passenger airplane under false pretences, and the subsequent arrest of a journalist as part of a continuing assault on opposition voices and the freedom of the press.”

Georgia is also mentioned in paragraph 27, which deals with relations with Russia. Washington and Brussels have pledged to coordinate policy towards Russia, creating a high-level EU-US dialogue format.

"We condemn Russia's continued actions aimed at undermining the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine and Georgia," the statement said.

The EU-US summit was held in Brussels after a seven-year pause. The parties agreed to adopt a pact defining transatlantic relations.