19.04.2017, Strasbourg - During its 1284th meeting held on 19 April 2017, the Committee of Ministers Deputies of the Council of Europe discussed the 15th Consolidated Report on the Conflict in Georgia, which was prepared by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland. The report covers the period from October 2016 to March 2017.
It is important that by means of this report the Council of Europe keeps informing the international community on ongoing developments in Georgia's occupied regions, including on the current difficult human rights situation in Georgia's occupied territories.
The First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia David Zalkaliani made a statement during the meeting. He spoke about the ongoing occupation of the Georgian regions and the Russian Federation’s steps towards annexation of the Georgian territories. According to David Zalkaliani, Rusia continues its destructive policy in full disregard of the norms and principles of international law, to which attests the Russian foreign minister’s recent “visit” to Abkhazia.
The Georgian First Deputy Foreign Minister provided the participants of the meeting with detailed information on the security, humanitarian and human rights situation in Georgia’s occupied territories, including the so-called elections and referendum held in the Tskhinvali region, a new wave of passportization in the Abkhazia region, the closure of so-called checkpoints, and the implementation of the so-called agreements signed by Russia with the occupation regimes.
David Zalkaliani also spoke about the Georgian Government’s steps towards confidence building and policy of engagement. He highlighted the importance of the Geneva International Discussions in peaceful resolution of the conflict.
The 15th Consolidated Report was unprecedented in terms of support reiterated by various delegations for Georgia. Statements in support for Georgia were made by the EU and GUAM, delegations of 28 states individually condemned the illegal activities of Russia. Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Liechtenstein, Iceland, the Republic of Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, Turkey, Ukraine the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and San Marino aligned themselves with the statement made on behalf of the EU.
The delegations reaffirmed their unequivocal support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised border and called upon Russia to comply with its international commitments, including those undertaken within the Counicl of Europe.
The delegations of the CoE member states in their statements focused upon the current situation in Georgia's occupied territories. They underlined the importance of access of the international monitoring bodies to the occupied territories of Georgia. They called on the Russian Federation to facilitate and grant unrestricted access to the Council of Europe bodies, as well as to the EUMM to the areas affected by the conflict in Georgia.
The Council of Europe Member States positively appraised the Georgian Government’s constructive approach to the peaceful resolution of the conflict emphasizing that there is no alternative to such approach.
The Secretary General's 15th Consolidated Report was welcomed by the Council of Europe's member states, which supported the practice of submitting the Secretary General's consolidated reports in the future. Only the delegation of the Russian Federation called into question the effectiveness of the Secretary General's consolidated reports.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia welcomes the publication of the Council of Europe Secretary General's 15th consolidated report as well as the statements made by the EU, GUAM and other partners concerning the report. The Ministry hopes that the issue of the "Conflict in Georgia" will remain high on the Council of Europe's political agenda.