Russia said Georgia’s draft resolution submitted to 63rd session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on displaced persons from Abkhazia and South Ossetia was “counterproductive”, not reflecting post-August war realities.
Georgia-sponsored draft resolution calls for “the development of a timetable to ensure a voluntary, safe, dignified and unhindered return of all internally displaced persons and refugees” back to their homes in breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The draft also calls on the UN Secretary-General to present at the next, sixty-fourth session of the General Assembly “a comprehensive report on the implementation” of this resolution.
A similar resolution was passed by the UN General Assembly in May 15, but that one referred only to Abkhazia; while the new draft also speaks about the return of IDPs to South Ossetia as well.
Sergi Kapanadze, head of the Georgian Foreign Ministry’s department for international organizations, said the draft resolution was “purely of humanitarian nature” and there should be no grounds for Russia to reject it unless Moscow tried to “politicize” the issue.
Russia voted against the previous similar resolution in May 2008, like ten other countries (Armenia, Belarus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, Iran, Myanmar, Russian Federation, Serbia, Sudan, Syria and Venezuela). 14 countries were in favor and 105 abstained.
Andrei Nesterenko, a spokesman of the Russian foreign ministry, said on September 3 that the draft resolution “falls behind the existing reality” on the ground.
“And the reality is that two independent states – Abkhazia and South Ossetia – have emerged in the region and both the Georgian leadership and its foreign patrons will sooner or later have to reckon with this fact,” he said.
“On our part, we are ready for constructive work with all interested parties to make the draft resolution balanced, which takes into consideration all the geopolitical changes, which took place in the region,” Nesterenko added.