The UN General Assembly adopted on June 7 Georgia-sponsored resolution reiterating the right of return of all displaced persons and refugees to breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia by a vote of 76 in favor to 15 against, with 64 abstentions.
Similar non-binding resolutions are passed by the UN General Assembly for nine years in row – the first one in 2008 was in respect of Abkhazia and all the following ones in respect of both Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Georgia says the goal of pushing the resolution annually on the Assembly is to keep the issue high on the international agenda.
Last year the similar resolution was passed by the UN General Assembly by a vote of 75 in favor to 16 against, with 78 abstentions.
“For eight consecutive years, the General Assembly has been adopting the document before us with an increasing number of positive votes and an encouraging dynamic of support. Countries from all regions of the world vote for the resolution due to its human appeal and humanitarian values,” Georgia’s UN ambassador, Kakha Imnadze, told the Assembly.
“Voting in favor of the present resolution is not about taking sides between the parties, but making the right choice by saying ‘Yes’ to the basic human rights and fundamental humanitarian values based on the principles of humanity and of international law,” he said.
Along with Russia, other countries, traditionally voting against of the resolution are: Armenia; Belarus; Cuba; North Korea; Laos; Nauru; Nicaragua; Sudan; Syria; Venezuela and Vietnam.
Among others, who also voted against this year, are Burundi and Zimbabwe; South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan in 2011 and which was mostly abstaining from vote in previous years, voted against this year. Myanmar, which was usually voting against in previous years, was absent this time.
Jamaica, which was abstaining in previous years, voted in favor of this resolution for the first time this year.
Turkey, which has always been abstaining up until 2015, voted again in favor like it did last year.
Russia, which has always been strongly against of the resolution, reiterated that pushing of this “politically motivated” issue annually at the UN General Assembly is “counterproductive”, which does not help to solve problems because its goal is not to improve the situation of the displaced, but to divert attention from the real work and to use the Assembly for voicing anti-Russian rhetoric.
At the Geneva talks, which were launched after the August 2008 war, representatives from breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia refuse to discuss issues related with return of IDPs, citing Tbilisi’s attempt to “politicize” the issue by pushing it annually at the UN General Assembly.