Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili said on September 15 that the UN “must change” and help Georgia put an end to the “annexation of the territory of Abkhazia” by, as he put it, a “neighboring country.”
President Saakashvili was speaking while addressing a high-level plenary meeting of the 60th session of the UN General Assembly in New York. In his speech, Saakashvili spoke much about the necessity to reform the UN, to solve conflicts, as well as highlighted the progress made by Georgia after the Rose Revolution.
“Today, 60 years after the founding of the UN, 60 years after Yalta, we must change the UN in order to solve our most stressing problems that include poverty, healthy environment and most of all lasting security,” Saakashvili said.
He said that it is not an easy mandate, but for countries like Georgia “the need to reform, to strengthen and improve the United Nations is of particular importance.”
“In order to combat threats posed by instability we need the international community and the UN to do much more than just to talk about the solutions. That means that the UN can solve conflicts; that means that the UN will not so simply look at international law being violated,” Saakashvili said.
Saakashvili said that despite progress, the “situation is not ideal in Georgia” and democratic and economic development of the country is “constrained today by two unresolved conflicts” in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
“Hundreds of thousands of refugees from Abkhazia and South Ossetia remain unable to return to their homes… In Abkhazia hundreds of thousands of people were forcibly evicted from their homes… Georgia will never accept results of ethnic cleansing,” he said.
He said that secessionist regions are “dangerous black holes” which provide a shelter for criminals, drug smugglers and terrorists.
Saakashvili stated that the UN should put an end to the “ongoing process of forcible, lawless and immoral annexation of the territory of Abkhazia.”
“We believe that the 19th centaury logic of territorial seizures no longer applies today,” he added
“In front of [the] eyes of the world, in the eyes of the UN monitors, stations in the [Abkhaz] conflict zone, the very homes where they [Georgian internally displaced persons from Abkhazia] lived in, from which they [Georgian IDPs] have been thrown out, are now being sold. And what is most shocking, in many cases, high ranking officials from the neighboring country are buying those houses and the world says and does nothing about it,” the Georgian President stated.
He said that Georgia hopes "that the Russian Federation will cooperate with us in a constructive way to leave behind the conflict that we have inherited.”
He said that the issue of conflict resolutions must take higher priority for the United Nations.
“We must support a greater role [for the UN], or intervention in support of peace building especially in the areas affected by unresolved conflicts… We must support the establishment of a Peace Building Commission with the mandate to make focus on conflict resolution and post-conflict rehabilitation, including economic assistance,” Saakashvili said.
He also said that the UN Security Council should become “a much more representative body.”
“We also must support transformation of the Human Rights Commission, [so] that it can more effectively monitor human rights abuses,” he added.
Saakashvili said that democracy “is on the rise in our region… but it needs security and stability in order to be permanent. For that we need a stronger and more efficient United Nations.”