Abkhazia: Leaders Condemn Georgia’s UN Resolution on Refugees
Ministers from Abkhazia and South Ossetia have condemned a recent UN resolution about refugees proposed by Georgia, on the grounds that it glosses over the part Georgia itself has played in both the creation of refugees, as well as on the low level of their repatriation. Additionally, in this resolution Georgia also ignores once more these two states’ independence. In the view of the Abkhazian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this serves only to damage the attempts to make peace between the three countries.
Below is an article published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia
The UN General Assembly has adopted the draft resolution on refugees and displaced persons from Abkhazia and South Ossetia introduced by Georgia for several consecutive years. Georgia has each year repeated text of the document trying to impose a unilateral, politicized and distorted vision of the refugee problem on the world community to support its illegitimate territorial claims.
In June 2015, in the next UNGA draft resolution on refugees and displaced persons introduced by Georgia, the text of which is not different from earlier adopted resolutions of the UN General Assembly, there is the confirmation of the right of all IDPs and refugees and their descendants to return "to their homes throughout the territory of Georgia including Abkhazia and South Ossetia."
The imposed text of the resolution to the international community passes over in silence the fact that the appearance of these refugees and displaced persons is directly connected with the wars unleashed by Georgia against South Ossetia and Abkhazia. It does not mention that among more than one hundred thousand Ossetians who fled from ethnic cleansing from the Georgian territory and found refuge in South Ossetia and the Russian Federation, only a few of them successfully returned home.
It does not mention that the governments of South Ossetia and Abkhazia on their own initiative have returned tens of thousands of Georgian refugees to their homes. The text of the resolution presented by Georgia not only does not include existing political realities, in particular, the fact that South Ossetia and Abkhazia are independent states, but also demonstrates a complete lack of desire from Georgia to find a solution to these complex humanitarian problems.
It is obvious that the Georgian resolution may not only not improve the situation of refugees from Georgia, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, but also might unfavourably affect the course of the Geneva discussions, which remain the only place where representatives of South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Georgia have the opportunity to discuss a wide range of existing problems, including the problem of refugees and displaced persons.
The key to the solution of the refugee problem is not diplomatic tricks, designed for propaganda, but instead a departure from confrontation, the signing of a legally binding agreement of non-violence, and ultimately, a peace treaty between Georgia, on the one hand, and Abkhazia and South Ossetia on the other hand.
The politicization of the refugee problem by Georgia undermines the work towards peace inside the framework of the Geneva discussions. As Georgia prefers to discuss issues related to the situation of refugees and IDPs in such an authoritative international body like the UN General Assembly, then South Ossetia and Abkhazia insists on its right to participate in the discussion of this issue within the walls of the United Nations. As long as they continue the political games around the refugee problem behind Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the discussion of this issue within the framework of the Geneva discussions will have no meaning.