Produced by Xinhua Global Service
On 17 April, the G7 Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and the High Representative of the European Union, reiterated their support for Ukraine for as long as needed, and their determination to provide continued security, economic and institutional support to help Ukraine defend itself, secure its free and democratic future and deter future Russian aggression.
The G7 also remains committed to intensifying sanctions against Russia, coordinating and fully enforcing them, and countering Russia’s and third parties’ attempts to evade and undermine sanctions. The ministers also said that “any resolution to the conflict must ensure Russia pays for the damage it has caused” and that “there can be no impunity for war crimes and other atrocities, such as Russia’s attacks against civilians and critical civilian infrastructure”.
G7 Foreign Ministers called Russia’s nuclear rhetoric and its threat to deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus “irresponsible” and “unacceptable”. “Any use of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons by Russia would be met with severe consequences,” said ministers in a statement. They also condemned Russia’s continued seizure and militarisation of the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), “which could lead to potentially severe consequences for nuclear safety and security”.
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With only a few days left in the year 2022, follow Xinhua's Wu Yao to hit the streets of Chinese cities and hear what expats say about their New Year's resolutions.
Produced by Xinhua Global Service
The main purpose of the resolution is to respond to the dire humanitarian situation in the country as a result of Russia's aggression against Ukraine. The resolution calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities by the Russian Federation against Ukraine and for the protection of the civilian population, medical and humanitarian personnel. The Resolution condemns violations of international humanitarian law and human rights and calls on the parties to ensure safe and unimpeded movement for the population.
At Today’s Plenary Session, the Parliament adopted the Resolution on Possible Military Escalation in Ukraine with 74 votes.
The document developed by the members of the Parliamentary Majority Giorgi Khelashvili, Maka Botchorishvili, Levan Karumidze, Givi Mikanadze and Tamar Taliashvili was introduced to the MPs by the First Deputy Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee Giorgi Khelashvili.
The Parliament, according to the resolution, expresses grave concern about a possible military escalation in Ukraine and condemns any intention directed against a sovereign state and its territorial integrity, which poses a new threat not only to Ukraine but also to regional peace and security.
The resolution further notes that the Georgian Parliament urges on the Georgian government to continue its contribution to the prevention of war in Ukraine by using diplomatic instruments and working closely with strategic partners.
The majority of the opposition, according to Giorgi Khelashvili, is attempting to avoid supporting important state resolutions by providing an excuse rather than a cause.
According to him, the same thing happened to the constitutional record that backed Georgia's integration into the European Union and the Euro-Atlantic area, such as the Parliamentary resolution on foreign policy that referred to Russia as Georgia's occupier, but the UNM refused to endorse it.
Giorgi Khelashvili once again addressed the opposition before the discussion and called for support for the document.
"The opposition, led by the United National Movement, is almost unanimously opposed to the resolution. This is disappointing, because it would be desirable for us to pass a resolution with the support of all political forces. We can boldly conclude that the aim of the opposition is not to participate in the development of real foreign policy, but only political manipulation. I call on other political parties and factions, if not the National Movement, to take a historical perspective and vote for this resolution, because years later, their signatures will not be found on this resolution”, - Giorgi Khelashvili said.
Most of the opposition MPs demanded from the initiators of the draft that the text of the resolution clearly state the Russian Federation, saying that the document would gain support only in this case and would not remain just a one-party document of the ruling team.
Administration of the Parliament of Georgia
On 24 March 2020, the UN Human Rights Council adopted the Resolution on Cooperation with Georgia.
The Resolution was presented by the Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Lasha Darsalia, who spoke about the severe human rights situation in occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) regions.
Notwithstanding the repeated calls by the Human Rights Council and efforts of the High Commissioner, the Russian Federation -continues to prevent the international human rights monitoring mechanisms from entering both Russian-occupied regions of Georgia.
The Deputy Minister referred to the High Commissioner’s reports vividly depicting the deteriorating humanitarian and human rights situation on the ground, as well as the suffering of the conflict-affected people in both Georgian regions, the flagrant violations of the fundamental rights and the various forms of discrimination based on ethnic grounds, particularly affecting ethnic Georgians in both Georgian regions. The Deputy Minister underscored the negative impact of the closures of crossing points – in some cases imposed in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and noted that dozens died since the closure of the occupation line in September 2019 due to the refusing and delaying emergency evacuation.
According to the Deputy Minister, the report emphasizes that no one has been held accountable for the cases of arbitrary deprivation of life of ethnic Georgians that occurred between 2014 and 2019 and the lack of accountability therefore continued to contribute to climate of impunity, which could lead to further tensions and violence in both Georgian regions.
Speaking before the Council, Lasha Darsalia emphasized that the recent decision of the power exercising effective control in Tskhinvali region to prolong the illegal detention of Zaza Gakheladze for more than 12 years is yet another alarming example of manipulation with people’s fates.
Alarmingly, the Russian Federation continues to use the humanitarian and human rights issues for its far-reaching goal to put political pressure on the government of Georgia and further destabilize the situation on the ground.
The above-mentioned once again clearly demonstrates the urgent need of access for the OHCHR and other international human rights monitoring mechanisms to both Georgian regions.
The delegations of the EU, UK, Poland and the Czech Republic made statements in support for Georgia calling on the Council members to vote for the Resolution initiated by Georgia.
In the Resolution adopted on 24 March, the UN Human Rights Council reaffirms its commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders. The UN Human Rights Council recognizes with appreciation the efforts of the Government of Georgia to strengthen democracy, the rule of law and the promotion and protection of human rights.
The UN Human Rights Council welcomes the cooperation of the Government of Georgia with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as with the special procedures of the Human Rights Council.
The Resolution expresses serious concern over the human rights and humanitarian situation in the occupied regions of Georgia with special emphasis on reported kidnappings, arbitrary detention, interference with property rights, restrictions on access to education in one’s native language, free movement and residence, as well as continued discrimination on the grounds of ethnic origin in both regions.
The Resolution expresses serious concern at the continuous process of installation and advancement of barbed wire fences and different artificial barriers along the occupation line in Abkhazia, Georgia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, Georgia and adjacent areas, including during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Resolution expresses serious concern that despite the Secretary-General’s appeal for an immediate global ceasefire, the situation of human rights has further deteriorated in both Georgian regions, particularly owing to growing violations and restrictions on humanitarian access,
The Resolution expresses serious concern also at the negative consequences of the prolonged closure of the so-called crossing points and the increasing restrictions on freedom of movement, particularly the denial of medical evacuations by the authorities exercising effective control in both regions, which has contributed to a number of deaths and the further isolation of the regions, thereby aggravating the humanitarian and socioeconomic situation on the ground which has been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Resolution expresses serious concern further at the lack of accountability for unlawful killings of ethnic Georgians committed in the period from 2014 to 2019, which continues to contribute to impunity in both Abkhazia, Georgia and the Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, Georgia.
The Resolution recognizes the importance of the Geneva International Discussions established on the basis of the ceasefire agreement of 12 August 2008 as an instrument for addressing security, stability, human rights and humanitarian issues on the ground.
It needs to be highlighted that the Resolution takes note of the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights, which holds Russia accountable for the violation of international law norms and fundamental human rights during the August 2008 war, as well as for the occupation of and effective control over the Georgian territories.
The Resolution expresses concern that internally displaced persons and refugees continue to be deprived of the right to return to their homes in a safe and dignified manner.
The document expresses serious concern at the repeated denial of access to international and regional monitors, including the United Nations human rights mechanisms, to both Georgian regions and calls on the authorities exercising effective control in those regions to grant them unimpeded access.
The Resolution requests the High Commissioner to present to the Human Rights Council an oral update and a written report on the follow-up to the present resolution.
MFA of Georgia
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe addresses the Georgian Dream regarding the electoral system.
In a resolution adopted by the Assembly, the organization calls on the ruling party to provide the kind of electoral system before the 2020 elections that that can have the support and trust of all stakeholders.
“The Assembly urges the Georgian ruling majority to ensure the introduction of an election system that can have the support and trust of all stakeholders in time before the 2020 elections; to fully implement all the recommendations of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) formulated in the opinion on the selection and appointment of Supreme Court judges; to promptly implement the fourth wave of reform of the judiciary and for all political forces in the country to work to overcome the continuing polarisation in the political environment”, reads the resolution.
The resolution adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe summarizes the results of monitoring in 10 countries: Georgia, Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkey, Moldova, Serbia and Ukraine.
On 4th of June the UN General Assembly within its 73rd session adopted the Resolution on „Status of Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees from Abkhazia, Georgia and the Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, Georgia” that was initiated by Georgia and 44 sponsoring states.
The General Assembly has been adopting the Resolution consecutively since 2008, reaffirming the fundamental rights of forcefully displaced persons, first and foremost their right of voluntary, safe and dignified return to their homes.
It should be noted that for the first time this year United Nations Member States were given the opportunity to co-sponsor the Resolution and thus participate more actively in a global effort to resolve this important issue. Resolution was joined by 45 UN Member States from different regions. Therefore, the Resolution represents the initiative of not only Georgia, but of 45 countries.
The Resolution condemns the forced demographic changes in the occupied regions, 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 upon the need to fully respect and protect their property rights. The Resolution reiterates the importance of unimpeded humanitarian access in the regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region.
Apart from the humanitarian context, the Resolution has a practical significance as it tasks 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. The above-mentioned has even greater importance in the light of the deploring human right situation in the occupied territories in the absence of international human rights monitoring mechanisms, which constitutes one of the impediments to the safe and dignified return of forcefully displaced persons.
The Resolution calls upon the participants of the Geneva International Discussions to reinvigorate their efforts 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.
During the presentation of the Resolution, the Permanent Representative of Georgia to the United Nations, H.E. Kaha Imnadze stressed that the resolution is based on the Guiding Principles of Internal Displacement. Mr. Imnadze also emphasized that security and human rights situation inside the occupied Georgian territories remains extremely alarming. People endure kidnappings, arbitrary detentions, seizure of property, as well as continued discrimination on the grounds of ethnic origin including severe restrictions on free movement and residence, and access to education in their native language. Ambassador also stressed that it is heartbreaking to see the Secretary-General’s latest report referring to “tragic loss of life” of the Georgian IDPs while in detention by the occupying power. Such cases are far too often and far too many: Basharuli, Otkhozoria, Tatunashvili, Kvaratskhelia.
During the session the supporting statements were delivered by: Permanent Representative of Ukraine on behalf of the GUAM; Nordic-Baltic States were represented by Permanent Representative of Lithuania, whereas Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Poland and Slovenia aligned themselves with the statement. In a national capacity the statements were delivered by the representatives of USA, Canada, United Kingdom and Ukraine.
Adoption of the Resolution by the General Assembly highlights that the situation in Georgia still remains on the agenda of the world’s most important forum.
The diplomatic service of Georgia will continue its effort on the international arena to protect the fundamental rights of IDPs and refugees who were displaced as a result of ethnic cleansing, as this issue, that implies the full de-occupation of Georgia’s Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions and ensuring the safe and dignified return of the internally displaced persons, is and will continue to be the main priority of Georgian Government until its final resolution.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia would like to express its sincere gratitude to all states that have supported and co-sponsored the resolution on the right of return of the IDPs and refugees and thereby once again expressed their solidarity to each and every forcibly displaced person.
The Legal Issues Committee supported the draft resolutions with majority of votes. According to the first draft resolution, continuation of consideration of 32 drafts initiated in the preceding Parliament has been recognized expedient as decided by nine Committees.
According to the second draft resolution, continuation of consideration of 9 drafts initiated in the preceding Parliament has been recognized inexpedient. The draft resolutions shall be submitted to the Bureau to be considered at the plenary session.
Prime Minister of Georgia commented on the Resolution supporting the territorial integrity of Georgia that was adopted by the House of Representative of the US Congress. Giorgi Kvirikashvili considers that statements made at the Congress will support strategic partnership between the countries. Prime Minister extended particular gratitude to the Congressmen Ted Poe and Gerry Connolly for strong and permanent support demonstrated to Georgia.
"I would like to comment on the very important and positive fact. Namely, the House of Representatives of the US Congress adopted special Resolution yesterday. Statements made at the Congress demonstrated unambiguously that our country is a rare example of democracy in the region and a strong partner of the USA. These statements reinforce the vitally important ties that we have with the US. I would like to extend my particular gratitude to Ted Poe and Gerry Connolly for initiating this important resolution," - Giorgi Kvirikashvili stated.
The U.S. Senate passed a resolution (S.Res. 506) in support of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the NATO summit to be held in Warsaw, Poland from July 8–9, 2016, and in support of committing NATO to a security posture capable of deterring threats to the Alliance.
The Resolution recognizes “Georgia’s troop contributions to missions abroad, its robust defense spending, and its ongoing efforts to strengthen its democratic and military institutions for NATO accession”
The Resolution underlines the importance of the NATO-Georgia Substantial Package in terms of strengthening Georgia’s resilience and self-defense capabilities, and highlights the role of the Joint Training and Evaluation Center in developing closer security cooperation between Georgia and NATO members.
The Resolution also refers to Georgia’s occupied territories saying that in 2014, the Russian military invaded Ukraine, adding Crimea to the list of areas illegally controlled by Moscow, including Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions.
The Resolution supports the Alliance’s efforts to deter threats to the Alliance and encourages the Alliance members at the NATO Warsaw Summit to promote unity and solidarity, and to ensure a robust security posture.
The incorporation of provisions supporting Georgia into the U.S. Senate Resolution provides a clear proof of the bipartisan support of the Upper House of the U.S. Congress for Georgia’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and integration with NATO, as well as a recognition of the reforms recently implemented in Georgia.