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UN General Assembly Passes Georgia IDP Resolution

The United Nations General Assembly adopted on June 16 a resolution reiterating the right of return of all displaced persons and refugees to Georgia’s Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia by a vote of 80 in favor, 14 against, and 70 abstentions. Alongside Georgia, which has initiated the resolution since 2008, it was co-sponsored by 57 other states.

Similar non-binding resolutions have been passed by the UN General Assembly for fourteen years in a row – the first one, initiated in 2008, was in respect of Abkhazia and all the following ones in respect of both Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.

In 2020, 84 countries voted in favor, 13 against, and 78 abstentions.

In 2019, 79 countries voted in favor, 15 against, with 57 abstentions.

In 2018, 81 countries voted in favor, 16 against, with 62 abstentions.

Along with the Russian Federation, the following countries voted against the resolution this year: Belarus, Burundi, Cuba, Comoros, North Korea, Laos, Nicaragua, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.

Comoros switched from being against in 2019 to in favor in 2020, only to revert back to being against the resolution this year. Myanmar, which voted against the resolution in 2020, did not show up to the vote this year.

Barbados, Cote D’Ivoire, Palau, and Uzbekistan which abstained in 2020, switched to support.  Bolivia, The Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Madagascar, and Togo, which supported in 2020, switched to abstention.

Malawi and Papua New Guinea, which supported in 2020, did not attend this year.

Georgia’s Permanent Mission to the UN noted in an official statement that the increase in co-sponsors from 54 to 57 this year marks that the “resolution is already a global initiative.”

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