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UNHRC Passes Resolution on Occupied Georgian Regions

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On June 22, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution titled “Cooperation with Georgia”, highlighting human rights abuses in occupied Georgian territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia. 

The resolution was endorsed at the 43rd session held in Geneva by 20 member states voting in favor, and 2 members (Cameroon and Venezuela) voting against, while 24 abstained from voting.

The Council raised “serious concern” that provisions of previously adopted resolutions with regard to Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region “have not been implemented.”

The resolution expressed “serious concern” over “the continuous process of installation and advancement of barbed wire fences and different artificial barriers” along the dividing lines.

The UN body further voiced concern about “various forms of reported discrimination against ethnic Georgians, violations of the right to life, deprivation of liberty, arbitrary detentions and kidnappings, infringements of the right to property, violations of the right to health, restrictions on education in one’s native language in both Georgian regions, and the continued practice of demolition of the ruins of houses belonging to internally displaced persons in the Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia.”

The Council highlighted “growing restrictions on freedom of movement” imposed by Kremlin-backed authorities of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region through closures of the crossing points – connecting the occupied regions with Georgia proper. This has had “a severe impact on the affected population in and around both regions, which aggravates its socioeconomic situation and isolation,” reads the document.

The resolution pointed out that Abkhaz and Tskhinvali authorities continue to “deny access to international and regional monitors, including United Nations human rights mechanisms,” to both Georgian regions.

Concluding the document, the UN body called for “immediate and unimpeded access” to be granted to the Office of the High Commission to the two occupied regions.

Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani called the adoption of the resolution another milestone achievement by the Georgian diplomatic corps and “clear evidence” that Georgia remains in the spotlight of the international community. 

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