May 26, 2016
Today, 26 May 2016, the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Fund Apsny, one of the most important Abkhaz non-governmental organizations. The MoU recognizes the existence of mutual interests and the need to coordinate efforts to achieve common goals, thus it represents a remarkable step in strengthening ties between the parties. The agreement was signed by UNPO General Secretary, Mr Marino Busdachin and the President of the International Fund Apsny, Mr Sener Gogoua and Mr Maxim Gundjia, Vice-President of the Foundation and former Foreign Minister of the Republic of Abkhazia.
The International Fund Apsny is a public, social-oriented, non-governmental organization established by a group of like-minded people who are well-known in Abkhazia for their activity on the social and political spheres. The foundation carries out projects aimed at preserving the traditions concentrating on the issues of demography, repatriation, social welfare, economy and investment, culture, education and youth policy. The objectives of the foundation are to consolidate all the Abkhaz people for the sake of building a prosperous state based on the principles of democracy, and it works to create favourable conditions for the participation of representatives of the diaspora in the socio-economic life of Abkahzia. Moreover, the International Fund Apsny seeks to preserve and transmit the Abkhazian cultural heritage, history and national identity to future generations.
The recent history of Abkhazia is intertwined with that of UNPO. Member of the organization since August 1991, two fact-finding missions by the UNPO to Abkhazia in the 1990s and 2006 were fundamental in providing the international community with updates on the situation facing the Abkhaz people at times of particularly heightened tension. Both in 2011 and 2014, following invitations from the authorities of the Republic of Abkhazia, UNPO deployed Election Observation Missions to the country, ahead of the presidential elections.
Twenty-four years after its independence, Abkhazia still suffers from the lack of widespread international recognition, despite its remarkable political will and commitment to ensure transparency and legitimacy of the democratic process in the country. Under such backdrop, civil society organizations such as Apsny have a fundamental role to play in bridging the gap between Abkhazia and the rest of the world. Hence, UNPO is delighted to reinforce with this MoU its vocation to serve as a platform for unrepresented nations and peoples.