Statement by H. E. Mr. Margus Kolga on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic states on the resolution on the status of internally dispaced persons and refugees of Georgia
I am honored to speak on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic States - Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden.
This is the sixth consecutive year action is taken on this resolution since its introduction in the General Assembly. Unfortunately no substantial progress has been made in the areas of security, human rights or in the humanitarian field concerning the internally displaced persons and refugees from Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia.
On the contrary, during the last year the situation has deteriorated, creating additional impediments to the rights of IDPs. We note with profound concern the threats and increasing activities by Russian security forces to erect fences and other obstacles along administrative boundary lines in Georgia between the territory administered by the government in Tbilisi and the regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali/South Ossetia. Such activities - which contravene Georgia's territorial integrity - create significant hardship for residents on either side of the administrative boundary lines and seriously challenge stability and security in these regions.
Resolution A/68 /L47 is humanitarian in nature and our decision to support it and vote in favor stems from our strong and longstanding commitment to fundamental humanitarian principles, including the right to return, property rights and humanitarian access.
We believe the issue of IDPs requires continuing international attention and only addressing it in an urgent manner would contribute to a conflict solution. Continued international attention can have a significant impact to prevent similar threats in the future in other nea rby regions.
Ahead of the upcoming Geneva International Discussions scheduled on 17 and 18 June, we wish to call upon all the participants of these discussions to work together towards sustainable security and humanitarian situation- related arrangements.
We would also like to take this opportunity to reiterate our firm support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders.