Georgia’s First Deputy Foreign Minister, Davit Zalkaliani, has paid a week-long visit to the UN headquarters in New York as part of Tbilisi’s efforts to attract support to its sponsored resolution on internally displaced persons, which Georgia has been pushing annually at the UN General Assembly since 2008, according to the Georgian Foreign Ministry.
During the visit on May 1-7, Zalkaliani held “up to fifty bilateral meetings with representatives of partner states” in the UN, the Georgian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
“During these meetings a special focus was made on UN General Assembly’s annual resolution on ‘Status of internally displaced persons and refugees from Abkhazia, Georgia, and the Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, Georgia’ and its support,” the Georgian Foreign Ministry said.
The Foreign Ministry’s statement indicates that Tbilisi will keep on pushing this non-binding resolution, which reiterates the right of return of all displaced persons and refugees to breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia, for sixth year in row.
Russia has always been strongly against of such resolutions, saying that it's counterproductive to address the issue of displaced persons through UN General Assembly resolutions; Moscow has been insisting that it was Geneva International Discussions, launched after the August 2008 war, that was a proper venue for addressing IDPs issue . Moscow has also been arguing that if Georgia wanted to raise this issue at the UN General Assembly, representatives of Abkhazia and South Ossetia should also be given a chance to participate in such discussions at the UN – something that Georgia has always been against of.
Throughout these years Georgia’s argument behind pushing this resolution at the UN General Assembly was that by doing so it was trying to keep the IDPs issue high on the international agenda and on the other hand aiming at widening support towards such resolution among UN member states.
In 2008 the resolution was passed with small margin of 14 votes in favor to 11 against and 105 abstentions; the following year 48 countries voted in favor; 19 – against and 78 abstained. In 2010 margin widened slightly with 50 countries voting in favor and 17 – against, with 86 abstentions. In 2011 57 voted in favor 13 – against and 74 abstained and in 2012 the resolution was passed by a vote of 60 in favor to 15 against, with 82 abstentions.