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Georgia-initiated resolutions adopted

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, June 5
During its 71st Session held last week, the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) adopted the resolution initiated by Georgia on the Status of Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees from Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.

A total of 80 voted in favour of the resolution, 14 stood against and 61 refrained from voting.

The General Assembly has been adopting the Resolution consecutively since 2008, reaffirming the fundamental rights of forcefully displaced persons after the Russia-Georgia 2008 war, first and foremost their right of voluntary, safe and dignified return to their homes.

The Resolution is humanitarian by its nature and is based on the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.

It condemns the forced demographic changes in the occupied regions of Georgia, emphasizes the right of all internally displaced persons and refugees, regardless of their ethnicity, to a safe and dignified return to their places of origin, and focuses on the need to fully respect and protect their property rights.

The Resolution reiterates the importance of unimpeded humanitarian access to the territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region.

“Apart from the humanitarian context, the Resolution has a practical implication as it calls upon the UN Secretary-General to prepare an annual report on the situation of internally displaced persons residing in Georgia as well as on the implementation of this Resolution,” Georgia’s Foreign Ministry reported.

The body stressed that the above-mentioned has even greater importance in light of the deplorable human right situation in the occupied territories, and the absence of international human rights monitoring mechanisms therein, which constitute further impediments to the safe and dignified return of internally displaced persons and refugees.

The Resolution calls upon the participants of the Geneva International Discussions to reactivate their efforts in order to ensure security and human rights protection in the occupied regions, which in turn will facilitate the return of IDPs and refugees to their homes.

“It should be noted that the adoption of this resolution by the General Assembly underlines that the situation in Georgia still remains on the agenda of the largest international forum and gains due attention from the international community,” the Foreign Ministry stated.

The Ministry expressed its deep appreciation to all countries that have supported the Resolution on the right to return of the internally displaced persons and refugees, and thereby once again expressed their solidarity to each and every displaced person.

Currently, there are about 280,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) in Georgia, roughly about six percent of the country’s total population.