During its 1271st meeting held on 16 November 2016, the Committee of Ministers Deputies of the Council of Europe discussed the 14th Consolidated Report on the Conflict in Georgia, which was prepared by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Mr Thorbjørn Jagland. The report covers the period of April - September 2016. It is important that the Council of Europe continues to monitor the commitments undertaken by the Russian Federation and Georgia following the 2008 war, and that it keeps informing the international community on ongoing developments in Georgia's occupied regions. Among other issues, the Secretary General paid particular attention to the current difficult human rights situation in Georgia's occupied territories. The Georgian delegation, as well as the delegations of the EU and the Council of Europe member states expressed their concern about this issue.
The First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Mr David Zalkaliani made a statement during the meeting, which focused upon the current situation in Georgia's occupied territories, in particular over the human rights violations on the Georgia's occupied regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia resulting from the illegal activities undertaken by the occupation forces along the occupation line and the so called “borderisation” process. The Georgian delegation underlined the importance of access of the international monitoring bodies to the occupied territories of Georgia. The First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs called on the Russian Federation to facilitate and grant unrestricted access to the Council of Europe bodies to the areas affected by the conflict in Georgia as provided by the CMD decisions adopted in 2015 and 2016.
The Secretary General's 14th 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.
A statement on behalf of the European Union was also made during the meeting, in which the EU member states reiterated their unequivocal support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders. The EU called on the Russian Federation to fulfil its international commitments and obligations, including the six-point ceasefire agreement of the 12th of August 2008; to provide the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) with access to Georgia's occupied regions; to commit itself to the non-use of force vis-à-vis Georgia. The EU noted with concern the human rights situation in Georgia's Abkhazia and Tskhinvali/South Ossetia regions and the process of "borderization" along the occupation line and called on the authorities exercising effective control to remove the obstacles to the freedom of movement and to investigate all allegations of all crimes and human rights violations on the ground. The EU underlined the importance of the right of refugees and internally displaced persons to a safe and dignified return. Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Liechtenstein, Iceland, the Republic of Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, Turkey, Ukraine and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia aligned themselves with this statement.
A statement on behalf of the GUAM member states has also been made, in which they expressed their support both for the practice of the Council of Europe Secretary General presenting future reports on the conflict in Georgia as well as for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia welcomes the publication of the Council of Europe Secretary General's 14th 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.