Georgia accedes to the 1961 UN Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness

UNHCR: Statelessness is a massive problem that affects an estimated 10 million people worldwide. Photo by A. Zhorobaev / 2010., 30 Jun 2014 - 12:33, Tbilisi,Georgia

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is welcoming Georgia’s move to accede to the 1961 United Nations Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, which aims to protect stateless people around the world and prevent and reduce statelessness.

Georgia will formally accede to the 1961 United Nations Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness by depositing its instrument of accession with a representative of the UN office of Legal Affairs in Geneva on July 1.

United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) believed it had received international recognition for Georgia’s efforts.

A Georgian delegation, led by Deputy Minister of Justice Gocha Lortkipanidze, will deposit Georgia’s instruments then speak at a Special Treaty Event in Geneva. The event will be held on the margins of the 60th meeting of the Standing Committee on the Executive Committee (UNHCR’s governing body) and in the context of the 60th anniversary of the 1954 UN Convention on the Status of Stateless Persons.

UNHCR believed the accessions to the 1961 Convention meant more states apply the same safeguards in addressing the problem of statelesness worldwide.

UNHCR expressed its sincere gratitude to the Government of Georgia for its efforts and the steps it had taken to address statelessness issues in the country, UNHCR’s representation in Georgia said in a press statement.

"Notably, it would like to commend the Government of Georgia for acceding to the 1954 Convention in 2011, developing and implementing a Stateless Status Determination Procedure in 2012, and approved accession to the 1961 Convention in April 2014,” it read.

Belgium, Gambia and Paraguay are also acceding to either one or both Conventions at the Special Treaty Event.

Georgia, along with the above states, will be hosted by the High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres and the director of International Protection Volker Turk.

The 1961 Convention is a treaty on the reduction of statelessness. Accession to the convention underscores Georgia’s commitment to support the international community’s effort to help protect an estimated 10 million people who have no nationality worldwide.

Most stateless people live in the shadows with little or no access to education, health care, social services or employment. Many are unable to move freely because of the lack of identity documents, UNHCR Georgia’s office reported.