UN General Assembly passes resolution on return of IDPs to Abkhazia, Tskhinvali
With 84 votes in favor and 13 against, the UN General Assembly adopted yet another resolution affirming the right of refugees and IDPs from Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region / South Ossetia to return to their homes, regardless of ethnicity.
Since 2008, Georgia has asked the resolution, “On the status of internally displaced persons and refugees from Abkhazia, Georgia and the Tskhinvali region / South Ossetia, Georgia”, be passed annually.
The resolution condemns the drastic demographic changes in the occupied regions of Georgia, “reaffirms the right of IDPs to a dignified and safe return to their homes, regardless of ethnicity,” and emphasizes the need to respect and protect their property rights.
Besides Russia, 12 countries voted against the resolution, 78 abstained. Representatives of 17 countries did not take part in the voting.
As noted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, in addition to the humanitarian context, the resolution carries a practical load: after the adoption of the resolution, the UN Secretary General is obliged to prepare an annual report on the situation of IDPs in Georgia and the implementation of the resolution:
“This is of particular importance in light of the difficult human rights situation in the occupied territories of Georgia and the absence of international monitoring mechanisms, which is another obstacle to the safe and dignified return of IDPs and refugees.
“The resolution also calls on the participants in the Geneva talks to intensify their efforts to improve the security and human rights situation in the occupied regions of Georgia, which, in turn, will facilitate the return of IDPs and refugees to their homes,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.