16 September, 2010

A UN General Assembly resolution recognizing the rights of displaced persons from Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia to return to their homes is a diplomatic victory for Tbilisi and a disgrace to Moscow, according to President Mikheil Saakashvili.
Tbilisi is celebrating the resolution passed by the UN General Assembly which reiterates the right of all displaced persons from Georgia’s secessionist regions to return to their homes. The Georgian-initiated resolution was approved on September 8, by the vote

of 50 to 17, with 86 abstentions.

Similar non-binding General Assembly resolutions were released in 2008 (concerning breakaway Abkhazia) and in 2009. Last year’s resolution passed with 48 countries voting in favor, with 19 voting against and 78 abstaining. The lowest level of support within the Assembly was observed in 2007 when the resolution passed by a slim margin of 14 - votes in favor to 11 - against with 105 abstentions.
Russia had earlier branded the document as ‘odious’ and tried to remove the issue from the agenda, maintaining that the Resolution didn’t include any humanitarian aims and its motivations were exclusively political and based on short-term calculations by Georgia. The motion was rejected by the vote of 67 - in favor to 32 - against, with 54 abstentions.


Kakha Lomaia, Georgia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Organization briefly outlined the stipulations of the UN document. According to Lomaia, the Resolution ‘represents a moral and legal commitment to the rights of the displaced persons. Second, it proposes a reporting mechanism to the General Assembly. Third, it expands the geographic scope of the Assembly’s involvement to include internally displaced persons from Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia.’
About 6% of Georgia’s population (about 246,000 people) is displaced, according to a recent report by Amnesty International. During the five-day Russian-Georgian war in August 2008 some 128,000 persons fled from breakaway South Ossetia to escape the calamities of war; a quarter of that figure remains displaced and unable to return home.
President Saakashvili lauded the UN Resolution and the growing support for the return of Georgian IDPs to their homes, referring to this issue as the ‘battle between good and evil’. He also noted Moscow’s fervent opposition to the resolution, saying that ‘Putin made Medvedev to call twice to several countries’ leaders’ to lobby against the proposed document. The Russian Federation used ‘blackmail and coercion, bribery and threats’ and even ‘threatened by gas prices’ but all in vain, according to Saakashvili.
In a thinly veiled reference to Russia, Saakashvili said that no one can expect a dialog with Georgia after cropping off its territory. “We do not want anyone to talk to as long as the occupiers do not withdraw from our land. We do not waive any of our freedom or our territories; neither government, no responsible political force will make it,” Saakashvili said.

Resolutions released by the General Assembly are non-binding and thus cannot be directly enforced; nonetheless the document is of high value since the ‘rights of the Georgian IDPs have been recognized at the international level once again’, according to Sergi Kapanadze, representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who also noted that growing support for Georgia is confirmed by the number of votes.
“We have two votes more [this year] and our opponents, Russian diplomats lost two votes,” Grigol Vashadze, Georgian foreign minister said on September 8. “This trend will continue because of a simple reason – the international community has ruled a verdict on the occupying power’s actions on the occupied territories, including the ethnic cleansing; there is good wording in the resolution - ‘forced demographic changes’, which is a synonym of ethnic cleansing,” he said.
Moscow criticized the UN Resolution for not taking into account the realities on the ground and for referring to breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia as parts of Georgia. Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, labeled the document as ‘counterproductive’ and emphasized that it could jeopardize the Geneva talks, the only remaining forum for discussion between the parties in the conflicts.
“Against the background of Georgia’s persistent refusal to sign with the Abkhaz and South Ossetian sides legally binding agreement on non-use of force, it looks like a pure demagogy [the resolution’s] call on participants of Geneva discussions ‘to intensify their efforts to establish a durable peace, to commit to enhanced confidence-building measures’,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Other Stories
16 persons detained in connection with release of secret recordings
According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, 16 persons have been detained in connection with the release of secret recordings.
Eka Beselia: “You will not be able to stop me, to make me stay silent, to disappear me!!!
MP Eka Beselia has posted an open letter on her Facebook page, following reports of sex tape leak.
CORRUPTION PERCEPTIONS INDEX 2018: Georgia got 58 out of 100
According to the CORRUPTION PERCEPTIONS INDEX 2018, Georgia scored 58 and was consequently ranked as 41 among 180 countries.
83% of Georgians support integration into the NATO, 78% into the EU – NDI
83% of NDI respondents support Georgia's integration into the EU, - the poll results of the National Democratic Institute say.
January 25 – birthday of the second president of Georgia
The 25th of January marks the 91st birthday of the second president of Georgia Eduard Shevardnadze.
Jack Shepherd from the UK detained in Georgia
A British man who went on the run last year after killing a woman in a speedboat crash on the River Thames has been detained in the former Soviet state of Georgia - says Reuters.
Georgia recognizes Juan Guaido as an interim president
Georgia recognized Venezuelan parliament speaker Juan Guaidó as an interim president.
Georgian PM aims to turn Georgian into a center of the region
Georgian PM Mamuka Bakhtadze is in Davos to participate in World Economic Forum. He gave interviews to two media outlets – CNBC TV and Deutsche Welle.
Judges that served the violent regime of Saakashvili should not be in the Supreme Court, says Eka Beselia
Eka Beselia, a member of the parliamentary majority, held a press conference in the Parliament today.
Possible confrontation within the Georgian Dream Party?
Eka Beselia, a member of the ruling party, will hold a news conference in the Parliament at 12:00 today.
13 dead from swine flu in Georgia, emergency treatment to be free for all
13 people died from swine flu in Georgia so far, but there is no risk of epidemy, says Georgian Minister of Health.
Georgian president Salome Zurabishvili not ready for launching diplomatic dialogue with Russia
I'm not ready to give any advice to the legislative body about the launch of the diplomatic relations or dialogue with Russia
Georgia suffering the steepest drop in democratic quality in eastern Europe
According to the statistics for the Democracy Index 2018, published by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU),
“Let’s see if you can wrestle with women”- Interior minister to the opposition
Female Police officers were mobilized in front of the Gurjaani District Court where the case of Davit Kirkitadze, the member of the United Opposition was considered.
Georgian citizens can apply for temporary residency in France
150 permits for young specialists as well as additional 500 permits will be granted each year to go to work to France.
Numbers of Georgians seeking asylum in Germany has significantly decreased
According to Ambassador of Georgia to Germany Elguja Khokrishvili, the drop of asylum requests has been due to recently taken steps.
U.S. Congress supports Georgia with a new bill
Unanimously the U.S. approved the act, which calls for imposing sanctions on Russian actors for the commission of serious human rights abuses in the occupied Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
‘Horn wrestling’ between opposition party leader and police chef
Yesterday on the 16th of December, clashes occurred between Nika Melia, leader of the United National Movement and Teimuraz Kupatadze, head of patrol police department in the village of Velistsikhe, Kakheti region (eastern part of Georgia).
Salome Zourabichvili officially becomes the fifth president of Georgia
The inauguration ceremony of president-elect Salome Zourabichvili took place in Telavi, Kakheti (eastern region of Georgia) on the 16th of December.
Fight erupt in paliament between Georgian MPs during session
Verbal and physical confrontation has occurred between MPs in the parliament.
Famous Georgians invited at the Inauguration of Salome Zourabichvili
The inauguration ceremony of president elect Salome Zourabishvili will be held in Telavi, Kakheti (eastern region of Georgia) on the 16th of December.
Exclusive interview with Lincoln Mitchell, American political analyst and Georgia expert
More than 20,000 people responded to the appeal of the opposition and gathered in front of the former parliament building in downtown Tbilisi last Sunday.
The after-pains of the presidential election in Georgia
Yesterday evening, at a meeting with his supporters in the Philharmonic Hall, the defeated candidate Grigol Vashadze made it clear that he didn’t recognize the result of the presidential elections and called for early parliamentary elections.
National democratic institute publishes their findings about the presidential elections in Georgia
A delegation of the National Democratic Institute, which included observers from five countries, analyzed the election process.
International media about the runoff presidential elections in Georgia
Although it didn’t hit the headlines, newspapers and broadcast around the world report about Salome Zurabishvili as the first woman who became president in Georgia.
GEL Exchange Rate
Other Stories
On 26 May, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, joined celebrations in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi
Violation of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by Assad regime has been strictly criticized
Exactly one year ago, Georgia was granted visa-free travel with the European Union.
Georgia’s ex-president president Mikheil Saakashvili's supporters managed to free detained Mikheil Saakashvili in the center of Kiev.
The US Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly congratulates Georgia on Independence Day.
The regulations on the introduction of visa-free travel for citizens of Georgia have been officially signed in Brussels.
The entire Georgia is involved in Secret Santa game, which means that people are sending gifts to each other secretly
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia is taking part in NATO Ministerial underway in Brussels, Belgium.
A special squad has been mobilized at the 48th polling station in Marneuli, Kvemo Kartli region.
Two politicians in Georgia have come to blows during a live TV debate ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections, Euronews reports.
GEL Exchange