Joint statement of the Group of Friends of Georgia 10 years since the Russian military invasion of Georgia

Published in World
Wednesday, 08 August 2018 13:00

This statement is made on behalf of Canada, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States of America.

We reaffirm our full support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.

Ten years since the Russian military invasion of Georgia, we remain deeply concerned over the continued occupation of Georgian territories and underline the need for the peaceful resolution of the conflict, based on full respect for the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act, and the fundamental norms and principles of international law.

We urge the Russian Federation to reverse its recognition of the so-called independence of Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions.

In the ten years since the August 2008 war, Georgia has made progress in strengthening democracy and good governance, as well as in the process of European and Euro-Atlantic integration and economic development. It is disappointing that these benefits cannot be enjoyed by the residents of Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions. We believe a peaceful resolution of the Russia-Georgia conflict would have a transformative effect not only on Georgia but on the region as a whole.

We support the Geneva International Discussions (GID) as an important format to address the security, human rights, and humanitarian challenges stemming from the unresolved conflict.

Ten years after the establishment of the GID, we regret the lack of progress on the core issues of the discussions, including the non-use of force, establishing international security arrangements in Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions aimed at providing security and stability on the ground, and ensuring the safe and dignified return of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) and refugees.

We call upon the Russian Federation to fully implement the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement, inter alia to withdraw its forces from the occupied territories of Georgia.

We support the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms (IPRMs) in Gali and Ergneti and encourage the participants to find proper solutions for the safety and humanitarian needs of the conflict-affected population.

We condemn the conclusion of the so-called integration and alliance treaties by the Russian Federation with Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions, which constitutes a clear violation of the principles of international law by the Russian Federation and directly contradicts OSCE commitments.

We express our deep concern over the increase of Russian military exercises and its further military build-up in Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions.

We condemn the gross violations of rights related to freedom of movement and residence and to property, as well as the restriction of education in one’s native language. We underline that the so-called borderization through placement of artificial obstacles and fortifying the occupation line with barbed and razor wire fences, as well as closures of socalled crossing points, further aggravates the humanitarian situation on the ground.

We condemn the killing of Georgian IDPs Archil Tatunashvili, Giga Otkhozoria, and Davit Basharuli, and urge the Russian Federation, as the state exercising effective control over Abkhazia and South Ossetia, to remove any obstacles to bringing the perpetrators to justice.

In this context, we support preventive steps by Georgia aimed at eradication of the sense of impunity and aggravation of human rights in Georgia’s occupied regions, and we note the adoption of the Decree of the Government of Georgia on approval of the Otkhozoria-Tatunashvili list based on the relevant Resolution of the Parliament of Georgia.

We remain deeply concerned over the ethnic discrimination in Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions and the mass destruction of houses of Georgian IDPs, illustrations of Russia’s purposeful policy aimed at completely erasing the traces of ethnic Georgian population and cultural heritage in the occupied regions.

We support the voluntary return of IDPs and refugees to the places of their origin in safety and dignity.

We call upon the Russian Federation to enable access by international human rights monitoring mechanisms to the occupied territories of Georgia.

We commend the efficient work and contribution of the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) to prevent the escalation of tensions on the ground and call upon the Russian Federation to allow the EUMM to fully implement its mandate and enable the mission’s access to Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions.

We welcome Georgia’s compliance with the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement and its unilateral commitment not to use force, and call on the Russian Federation to reciprocate, to affirm and implement a commitment not to use force against Georgia.

We support the new peace initiative of the Government of Georgia, ‘A Step to a Better Future’, aimed at improving the humanitarian and socio-economic conditions of people residing in Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions and fostering people-to-people contact and confidence building between divided communities to the benefit of all people.

We encourage the OSCE’s engagement in the process of finding a peaceful resolution to the Russia-Georgia conflict and support the implementation of confidence-building measures with an aim to rebuild trust and improve the living conditions of the conflict-affected communities.

We regret the closure of the OSCE mission to Georgia in 2009.

We encourage the OSCE participating States to agree on the opening of the OSCE cross-dimensional mission in Georgia for the benefit of the conflict-affected population, including a monitoring capacity able to operate unhindered across the occupation line. The mission will considerably strengthen the OSCE’s engagement in the GID and IPRMs, as well as in implementation of confidence-building measures.

The friends will continue to raise awareness of the conflict and the need for its peaceful resolution.

Joint statement of the Group of Friends of Georgia 10 years since the Russian military invasion of Georgia

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  • STATEMENT OF THE DELEGATION OF TURKMENISTAN DURING THE GENERAL DEBATE OF THE 77TH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY

    Your Excellency Mr. Chairman,

    Excellencies,

    Ladies and gentlemen,

    First of all, I have the honor to convey warm greeting and wishes of peace and prosperity to the peoples of your countries from the President of Turkmenistan His Excellency Serdar Berdimuhamedov.

    I congratulate Mr. Csaba Kőrösi on his election to the presidency of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly and wish him success in this important and responsible position.

    I express my gratitude to the distinguished Mr. Abdullah Shahid, Chairman of the 76th session, for his effective work in this post.

    Dear participants,

    The current session of the United Nations General Assembly is considered by Turkmenistan from the view of the need to urgently use the potential of the world community, the levers of constructive influence of the UN on world processes, the search for channels of dialogue as the only acceptable way to resolve conflicts and tensions, the creation of prerequisites for the development of responsible joint approaches to the problems of post-pandemic development, the restoration of economic and humanitarian ties.

    For Turkmenistan, the new political year marks an important anniversary date – the 30th anniversary of its membership in the United Nations. Based on the solid base of relations with this universal organization built over the years of independence and confirming its policy of strategic partnership with the UN, the conviction that there is no alternative to this only world structure with universal legitimacy, Turkmenistan will continue its efforts to increase and strengthen its role in the world, to establish recognized international legal norms and the UN Charter as the political basis of interstate relations.

    The global security architecture created within the framework of our Organization is now undergoing serious challenges. We are witnessing complex processes that impede multilateral cooperation, including in such important areas as security and stability.

    To overcome current difficulties in international relations, Turkmenistan considers it necessary to strengthen the existing ones and think about creating new dialogue platforms for international communication and negotiations on critical issues on the global agenda.

    The restoration of trust, the culture of respectful dialogue is now acquiring universal significance as one of the key conditions for a responsible, non-confrontational approach, the search for opportunities for mutual understanding and the observance of a balance of interests when considering complex issues.

    Further promoting the philosophy of trust-based dialogue in international relations, Turkmenistan intends to propose to the UN General Assembly to consider the draft resolution "Dialogue is a guarantee of peace".  We are convinced that the adoption of such a document will confirm the principled and unambiguous commitment of all UN Member States to a peaceful, negotiated way to resolve conflict situations, no matter how difficult they may seem.

    Reinforcing our efforts in this direction, we propose that the international community declare 2025 the "Year of Peace and Trust", based on the provisions of the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly adopted earlier at the initiative of Turkmenistan.

    Today, the role of peacekeeping instruments in the arsenal of the international community is objectively increasing. In particular, we are noting again the potential of neutrality, its conceptual foundations for strengthening universal stability and security.

    Based on the recognition by the UN General Assembly of neutrality as a factor in strengthening global peace and security, the adopted resolution on the proclamation of December 12 as the International Day of Neutrality, Turkmenistan will continue to work actively with partners to expand the membership of the Group of Friends of Neutrality for peace, security and sustainable development.

    The course of the development of global processes in the field of security dictates the need for strengthening the mechanisms of regional cooperation. On July 28 of this year, the UN General Assembly, by its resolutionproclaimed Central Asia a Zone of Peace, Trust and Cooperation. We are grateful to the world community for the decision taken, which creates conditions on a strategically important part of the political map of the world for active work to strengthen international security, prevent and resolve conflicts, and build strong and effective regional institutions in this regard.

    As the host country of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, Turkmenistan stands for full support to its work, which has proved its effectiveness.

    Taking into account that December 2022 marks the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the Regional Center, we intend to submit to the General Assembly a draft resolution on the role of the Center, reflecting in this document the significant events of recent years and consolidating the mechanisms of regional interaction built on its basis.

    We are particularly concerned about the currently growing threats to global food security, which are rapidly spreading to an increasing number of countries and entire regions. In these circumstances, urgent efforts of the world community and effective measures to overcome the current situation are required.

    In order to maintain the stability of the global food market, jointly search for solutions to complicated problems of providing food to the most vulnerable countries, as well as supporting the efforts of the UN Secretary-General in this direction, we propose to hold an International Forum on Food Security in Turkmenistan.

    In the current conditions, the full implementation of the agreements reached on the Sustainable Development Goals is of particular importance. In this regard, supporting multilateral tools for monitoring the achievement of the SDGs, Turkmenistan will present the Second Voluntary National Review on the SDGs implementation during the High-Level Political Forum in 2023.

    At present, the solution to sustainable development issues largely depends on the level of international cooperation in such critical areas as transport and energy.

    Continuing to promote multilateral transport cooperation, Turkmenistan during the current session intends to summarize the results of the Global Conferences on Sustainable Transport held in 2016 and 2021, other high-level transport forums convened in recent years, including the Ministerial Transport Conference for Landlocked Countries organized in Turkmenistan on August 15-16 of this year, and prepare proposals for the development of a project the concept of the United Nations Special Interregional Programme for Transport Development.

    At the current session, Turkmenistan also looks forward to the continuation of a broad dialogue on the issue of energy security. In this context, we consider it necessary, based on the provisions of the resolutions of the UN General Assembly on the reliable and stable energy supplies to world markets, adopted at the initiative of our country, to accelerate work on the implementation of the proposals submitted earlier by Turkmenistan on the establishment of an open-ended international expert group to develop a modern UN international legal toolkit for regulating sustainable and reliable energy transit.

    Mr. Chairman,

    In Central Asia, for objective reasons, climate change and water issues are the most important, and in some cases, determining factors in the development of regional processes, having a significant impact on the overall situation, the implementation of socio-economic development programmes, and the solution of serious environmental issues.

    Based on the positions of Turkmenistan on adaptation and mitigation of climate change, presented in November 2021 at the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) in Glasgow, as well as practically considered during multilateral consultations within the framework of the Climate Conference in Bonn in June this year, Turkmenistan is preparing for the establishment in Ashgabat  Regional Center for Climate Technologies for Central Asian Countries.

    At the same time, noting the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) of Turkmenistan in May 2022 within the framework of the implementation of obligations under the Paris Agreement, Turkmenistan intends to intensify efforts to implement the goals outlined in this document, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions, promoting the Global Methane Pledge.

    We will persistently and purposefully strive to single out the Aral Sea issue as a separate area of the UN's activities. To this end, in May 2023, we intend to resume negotiations on the draft resolution of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) on the establishment of the UN Special Program for the Aral Sea Basin, which will be based on the provisions of the UN General Assembly resolutions "On cooperation between the United Nations and the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS)", adopted in 2018 and 2019.

    Excellencies

    The impact of the pandemic requires us to continue our coordinated efforts to address the identified vulnerabilities of global and national health systems. Turkmenistan will continue to support the joint activities of the world community to combat this new type of coronavirus infection, to establish tools for health diplomacy. Underlining the key role of the World Health Organization in developing consolidated responses to common challenges, we support the developed global One Health concepand will promote it within the framework of the Roadmap for Health and Well-being in Central Asia until 2025.

    Distinguished participants,

    With all the diversity of tasks facing each of our countries, we are united by common hopes, concerns and threats. Turkmenistan, together with its partners, is ready to look for new ways to overcome the challenges faced by mankind. Based on strategic cooperation with the United Nations, my country will make every effort to achieve these goals.

    Thank you.

  • THE DELEGATION OF TURKMENISTAN MADE A STATEMENT AT THE WARSAW CONFERENCE ON THE HUMAN DIMENSION

    On September 26, 2022, the delegation of Turkmenistan made a statement at the main meeting of the Warsaw Human Dimension Conference, organized by the Polish OSCE Chairmanship.

    The statement noted the achievements of democracy, human rights, democratic institutions in Turkmenistan, the adopted new laws and other positive changes taking place in the country. It was emphasized that profound transformations are taking place in Turkmenistan, legislative, institutional and administrative measures are being taken to further improve the mechanisms for ensuring human rights and freedoms, and work in this direction is the object of constant attention of the Head of State, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov.

    The participants were also informed that the norms of international law are consistently implemented in the national legislation of Turkmenistan. Taking into account the implementation of this work, new tasks are clearly defined and are being implemented to further reform national legislation that ensures the consistent implementation of international obligations and standards in the field of human rights.

     Over the past years, positive experience has been gained in interaction with the UN structural divisions in the framework of joint projects and programs in the field of democratization and the rule of law, human development to achieve the SDGs.

    In addition, the successfully implemented National Action Plans for Gender Equality and Human Rights in Turkmenistan for 2021-2025, the next National Action Plan for the Realization of Children's Rights and a new stage of the MAP to combat human trafficking were announced.

  • Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia regarding A. Lukashenko’s travel to Georgia’s Abkhazia region occupied by the Russian Federation

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia expresses its deep concern regarding Aleksandr Lukashenko’s travel to the Russian occupied Abkhazia region and the meeting held with the representatives of the Russian occupation regime in Sokhumi.
    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia condemns the violation of the Georgian state border by Aleksandr Lukashenko with his so-called visit in the occupied Abkhazia region, which blatantly infringes the fundamental principles and norms of international law.
    We call on the Belarusian side to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the sovereign state within its internationally recognized borders and not to take the actions, which contradict the fundamental principles of international law.

    MFA of Georgia

  • Abkhaz Artist Nikoloz Emkhvari Holds Exhibit at Orbeniani Palace

    The Orbeliani Palace opened today an exhibit of paintings by Abkhaz artist Nikoloz Emkhvari as a show of President Salome Zourabichvili’s support for the ongoing Tbilisi Art Fair and for the freedom of self-expression of young artists.

    During the opening ceremony, the President spoke about the background behind the exhibit, emphasizing its important: “I am glad that today we have the opportunity to host young artist Nika Emkhvari in this palace, an artist whose very interesting works I saw for the time a few months ago at the Sighnaghi Museum. It was there that the idea to organize this exhibit in this palace was born. As Tbilisi Art Fair is taking place, this exhibit is timely and my wish was for us to be a participant in this event. The artist, in addition to representing himself through his work, is from Abkhazia and it’s crucial that Abkhazia is represented here today at the Art Fair. This is Georgian art, this is a very interesting form of modern art. Georgia is a country where the rise of modern talent is taking place and it’s good to see such a creative ability in our youth, and across our country.”

    Nikoloz Emkhvari thanked the President and said, “Art is everything to me and I want to put my soul into my works. Thank you for being here to view my works that depict human nature. This is what I want to show with my creativity.”

    Mr. Konstantine Natsvlishvili, Adviser to the President on Cultural Affairs, stated that Georgia’s reality and environment have been a great influence to the creativity of artists. He said: “We live in an interesting era and of course Nika Emkhvari is no exception. In his work, we can see the role of pop culture, the images that remain in our consciousness and manifested in new form. These images speak for themselves. They show the medium through which the artist speaks to us and in this universal language, understood by the whole world, he says what he needs to say. This artist’s works really deserve attention.”

    The exhibit will remain open until 29 September and will be open to visitors from 12:00 to 18:00 on weekdays and 15:00 to 18:00 on the weekend. Those interested need to register their personal information (first name, last name and ID number) at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • HIGH-LEVEL EVENT “2022 SDG MOMENT” TOOK PLACE AT THE UN HEADQUARTERS

    On September 19, 2022, the delegation of Turkmenistan took part in high-level event “2022 SDG Moment”. The event was organized to give impetus to implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

    The UN leadership, world leaders, Goodwill Ambassadors, as well as the representatives of state and private sectors, academic circles and civil society attended the event.

    Opening the event, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres noted, that at present he world faces various conflicts and climate catastrophe, mistrust and division, poverty, inequality and discrimination, unemployment and massive displacement, rising food and energy prices, consequences of the global pandemic and lack of funds to finance recovery measures in developing countries.

    To overcome multiple crises, according to the UN, it is necessary to ensure the transition to renewable energy sources, reform food systems and increase digital connectivity, as well as invest in human capital.

    The President of the 77TH General Assembly Csaba Körösi, echoed Mr. Antonio Guterres’s words, and said that it was timely and more necessary than ever to “re-dedicate ourselves to the SDGs” as the world falls behind.

    Speaking at the event Goodwill Ambassadors and other personalities noted that time is running out, as we are nearly halfway to the 2030 deadline to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and invited Member-states and world leaders to take specific actions to tackle climate change and boost sustainable development.

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