The UN General Assembly passed on June 13 Georgia-sponsored resolution reiterating the right of return of all displaced persons and refugees to breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia by a vote of 63 in favor to 16 against, with 84 abstentions.
This is the sixth such non-binding resolution, which the UN General Assembly has been passing annually since 2008.
Last year the similar resolution was passed by a vote of 60 in favor to 15 against, with 82 abstentions.
Recorded vote on June 13 was 62 in favor, but after the vote Azerbaijan’s representative requested that his vote in favor of the resolution be recorded correctly as it had not appeared on the screen because of technical problems.
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. A Russian representative said during debates at the General Assembly session on June 13 that text of resolution was “highly politicized”, which was prepared outside “current geopolitical realities”.
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.
Pursuant to 2012 resolution, the UN Secretary General submitted to the General Assembly a report on “Status of internally displaced persons and refugees from Abkhazia, Georgia, and the Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, Georgia”. The 2012 resolution was calling on the Secretary General to develop a timetable to ensure the return of all internally displaced persons and refugees. The 2013 resolution also makes similar call.
"As long as the conditions for organized returns in safety and dignity are not fulfilled and mechanisms for property restitution are not established, the design of a comprehensive timetable or road map for returns must remain an open matter," reads the UN Secretary General’s report.
Georgia says the goal of pushing the resolution annually on the Assembly is to keep the issue high on the international agenda and also to widen circle of support towards the resolution every year.