Joint statement of the Group of Friends of Georgia 10 years since the Russian military invasion of GeorgiaWednesday, 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.
Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the Tenth Anniversary of the August 2008 conflict in GeorgiaWednesday, 08 August 2018 10:27
On the tenth anniversary of the 2008 conflict in Georgia, the Secretary-General recalls that it is a reminder of the need to resolve this and other protracted conflicts in Europe. This requires increased commitment by the relevant actors, backed by strong political will and a reinvigoration of mediation processes.
The Secretary-General urges all the participants in the Geneva International Discussions to adopt a constructive, forward-looking approach that would allow this indispensable mechanism to fulfill its mandate. All concerned should prioritize progress through appropriate dialogue and refrain from divisive policies and unilateral actions that may adversely impact regional peace and security.
The Secretary-General recalls that while the Geneva International Discussions and the Incident Response and Prevention Mechanism have substantially contributed to strengthening stability in recent years, more should be done on key security and humanitarian issues, including those related to the plight of the many internally displaced persons and refugees. The United Nations will continue to fully support this important mechanism and work with the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to achieve progress on all issues.
A HIGH-LEVEL MEETING ON THE UN GLOBAL COUNTER TERRORISM STRATEGY IN CENTRAL ASIA WAS HELD IN ASHGABATTuesday, 01 May 2018 10:58
On April 30, 2018, in Ashgabat, the High-Level Meeting "Towards a Comprehensive Implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia" was held, and the third phase of a joint project supporting the Joint Action Plan for Central Asia (SAP) was launched.
The event was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan and the United Nations Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), with the participation of the UN Under-Secretary-General, Head of the UN Counter-Terrorism Department Vladimir Voronkov, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Central Asia, the Head of the UN Regional Center for Preventive diplomacy for Central Asia Natalia Herman, deputy foreign ministers of the Central Asian states, as well as UN regional structures.
As is known, the first and second phases of the project were implemented in the period 2010-2017 and were devoted to the consideration of four main directions of the Global Strategy for drawing up recommendations on the development of SAP, which is the first of its kind and was adopted in Ashgabat in December 2011.
In the long term, it is expected that the new phase of the joint regional counter-terrorism initiative of UNRCCA and the UNCCT, entitled "Towards a comprehensive implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia", will be aimed at further strengthening the capacity of the Central Asian states in the field of combating terrorism and preventing violent extremism in a strategic basis.
Speaking at the meeting, Mr. Voronkov noted that the main activities of the project will include the provision of targeted support in the development of national and regional strategies to combat terrorism and prevent violent extremism, further strengthening the capacity of the Central Asian countries in the priority areas identified in the SAP for Central Asia and facilitating the exchange of best practices in the region and beyond.
Speaking at the meeting, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan S.G. Berdimuhamedov stated about Turkmenistan's further readiness to offer cooperation with the UNFC on the implementation of the Ashgabat Action Plan of the UN Counter-Terrorism Strategy. In this context, the Turkmen side made a number of concrete proposals in this direction using the UNRCCA.
In turn, Ms. Herman noted that in accordance with her mandate in the field of regional and preventive diplomacy, UNRCCA will jointly implement this initiative and promote regional and cross-border cooperation in preventing violent extremism and combating terrorism in coordination with other regional partners active in this field in Central Asia.
At the end of the forum, a Statement was adopted following the results of the High-level Meeting "Towards a Comprehensive Implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia".
At the end of the meeting, a press conference was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan for foreign journalists, accredited in Ashgabat and representatives of the national media.
„This year marks the 25th anniversary of Georgia's membership in the UN. I would like to say with pride that over this period, we have managed to transform our country from a UN humanitarian aid recipient into a regional leader that now serves as the Chair of the Open Government Partnership" - with these words the Prime Minister of Georgia addressed the representatives of the diplomatic corps, international and non-governmental organizations attending the UN Day Reception.
Prime Minister congratulated the UN Resident Coordinator in Georgia Niels Scott and spoke about the UN-Georgia fruitful cooperation.
"Our success story is in many ways connected to the fruitful and active involvement of the United Nations in Georgia and a very important cooperation that we have in so many fields. We cooperate with 13 UN agencies in the most important directions, such as democratic governance, human rights, rule of law, economic and social development, healthcare, education, employment and environmental protection. We have gained huge experience and we are very well aware of the importance of cooperation with the UN structures. Today, from this tribune, I would like to reassert that Georgia firmly supports the UN's engagement in the country as well as throughout the region in terms of fortification of the stability and achieving sustainable development. It is our Government's honor to serve as the chair of OGP and contribute to a powerful global movement for openness and deeper democracies that promotes the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goal 16: "Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels," - the Prime Minister stated.
The head of the Government also commented on the first plenary session of the Sustainable Development Goal Council that was held today. According to him, respective platform is a clear indication of the close cooperation in terms of implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
"Every country and government has joined this path of global transformation and integration of economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development into the national priorities. Georgia has already taken steps to reinforce the effective governance and ensure the participation of all relevant stakeholders in the decision making process. That's precisely why Georgia remains committed to the UN and its work. I would like to once again thank Niels Scott and his colleagues for their tireless efforts in contributing to Georgia's development. We look forward to many more years of constructive, stronger partnership between Georgia and UN agencies," - the Prime Minister of Georgia noted.
UN Resident Coordinator in Georgia Niels Scott also emphasized the UN-Georgia cooperation and the progress achieved by the country.
"Since Georgia joined the United Nations in 1992 in the midst of internal and external adversity and chaos, it has not only undergone a remarkable transformation, but also become a highly active and much-esteemed member of the UN. Georgia continues to make substantial contribution to UN's works on security, peace, development and human rights. This dynamic of international engagement reflects the strong will of Georgian government and people to support the work of the UN for stronger, more sustainable economic growth, clean environment and water, equal opportunities and gender equality, better education and healthcare and a decent life to all. I would therefore like to thank once more the government and people of Georgia for this valuable partnership and enabling the UN to continue contributing to Georgia's development," - Niels Scott noted.
Mariam Jashi delivered the speech at the general debates of the 61st Session of the UN Committee on Status of Women
New York, 1 January 2017 - "On my first day as Secretary-General of the United Nations, one question weighs heavily on my heart.
How can we help the millions of people caught up in conflict, suffering massively in wars with no end in sight?
Civilians are pounded with deadly force. Women, children and men are killed and injured, forced from their homes, dispossessed and destitute. Even hospitals and aid convoys are targeted.
No one wins these wars; everyone loses. Trillions of dollars are spent destroying societies and economies, fueling cycles of mistrust and fear that can last for generations. Whole regions are destabilized and the new threat of global terrorism affects us all.
On this New Year’s Day, I ask all of you to join me in making one shared New Year’s resolution:
Let us resolve to put peace first.
Let us make 2017 a year in which we all – citizens, governments, leaders – strive to overcome our differences.
From solidarity and compassion in our daily lives, to dialogue and respect across political divides… From ceasefires on the battlefield, to compromise at the negotiating table to reach political solutions…
Peace must be our goal and our guide.
All that we strive for as a human family – dignity and hope, progress and prosperity – depends on peace.
But peace depends on us.
I appeal to you all to join me in committing to peace, today and every day.
Let us make 2017 a year for peace.
Georgian First Deputy Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani met the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Niels Scott. The sides discussed the difficult situation in Syria and Georgia’s involvement in providing humanitarian assistance to the Syrian population.
Niels Scott thanked Georgia for supporting the steps taken by the international community towards resolving the crisis in Syria, as well as for the Georgian Government’s initiative to provide humanitarian assistance to the Syrian population. The sides discussed various issues relating to cooperation between Georgia and the UNDP.
The Syrian government has suspended the evacuation of civilians and fighters from eastern Aleppo, accusing rebels of breaking terms of the ceasefire. Government sources said rebels had blocked the evacuation of civilians from two pro-government towns elsewhere in Syria, agreed under the deal.
Meanwhile buses carrying people from eastern Aleppo were fired upon. At least 6,000 people have left the city since Thursday, but the UN says at least 50,000 are still trapped. Syria's army, backed by Russia, has taken nearly all rebel-held districts in eastern Aleppo.
The operation to move thousands of people from the areas of eastern Aleppo under attack from the government is extremely delicate. World Health Organisation official Elizabeth Hoff said the planned evacuation of the sick and wounded had been halted on Friday on orders from Russian forces, and that no reason had been given.
However, Syrian state media said the mission was suspended after rebels tried to smuggle heavy weapons and captives out with them as they left the besieged enclaves.
There was a bitter war of words on Sunday at a specially-convened meeting of the UN Security Council over Syria – as diplomatic efforts to broker peace give way to recriminations.
The US singled out Russia, accusing it of “barbarism” as warplanes pounded rebel-held areas of Aleppo – and of consistently lying over its support for the Assad regime.
Russia, it was suggested several times during the session, may have committed war crimes – especially over last week’s bombing of an aid convoy near Aleppo.
Moscow’s ambassador blamed the US for failing to rein in rebel groups and said ending the civil war was almost “impossible”.
The meeting, which had been called by the US, Britain and France in the wake of the collapse of the latest ceasefire, was particularly heated.
In particular the West stepped up its accusations, and the tone of its language, against Russia – as any pretence of finding a diplomatic deal with Moscow went by the wayside.
The most direct charges came from the United States. Washington’s ambassador to the UN accused Moscow of bombing civilian targets and humanitarian convoys.
Samantha Power said instead of pursuing peace, Russia – along with President al-Assad’s government – was making war. She added that Moscow was “abusing its historic privilege” of holding a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
1. The DPRK conducted its fifth nuclear test on September 9, 2016, in Punggye-ri, North Hamgyong Province.
2. Despite the clear warnings sent again by the international community at the G20 Summit and East Asia Summit, the DPRK conducted another nuclear test since 2016 in flagrant violation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions. The ROK government strongly condemns such a grave provocation, which must not be condoned.
3. The DPRK regime is continuing its dangerous provocations, focusing solely on the advancement of its nuclear and missile capabilities while completely ignoring the poor human rights situation of its people and their livelihood. However, the DPRK regime must clearly realize that it has nothing to gain from such behavior. The more reckless provocations the DPRK conducts, the stronger international sanctions and more severe diplomatic isolation it will face, leading to the collapse of its economy and eventually self-destruction.
4. The ROK government again strongly calls on the DPRK to immediately abandon its nuclear weapons and missile programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner. The ROK government will continue to cooperate with the international community and make all the necessary efforts to seek much tougher sanctions at the UN Security Council and bilateral levels.
5. Furthermore, the ROK government will maintain a high readiness posture against any further provocation by the DPRK which threatens the safety of the ROK and the lives of its people and will demonstrate an unwavering response.