World Refugee Day: UN Secretary General dedicates report to Georgian IDPs

The UN Secretary General says that several key security, humanitarian, human rights and development challenges remain unresolved for Georgia.Photo: UN., 21 Jun 2018 - 14:28, Tbilisi,Georgia

The need to recognise the return for internally displaced peoples as a human right and a humanitarian issue is essential, reads a report released on World Refugee Day by the General Secretary of the UN, Antonio Guterres.

The report also says that these issues cannot be linked to political issues or the conclusion of peace agreements.

It must be addressed irrespective of any solution to the underlying conflict. At the same time, it is primarily for the individual to assess the risks and make an informed choice as to whether or not to return at a given time. In doing so, a displaced person must be able to take into account all factors that could affect his or her safety, dignity and ability to exercise basic human rights”.

The report says that over the past nine and a half years, the Geneva international discussions have remained a unique platform for Georgia and for participants to discuss security and stability and humanitarian issues, including in relation to the return of refugees and internally displaced persons.

Despite the difficult nature of the discussions, the complexity of the issues and the divergence of the various positions of the participants, all relevant stakeholders have continued to express their appreciation for the contributions of the Geneva international discussions and the Joint Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms in Gali and Ergneti and the humanitarian engagement by a variety of United Nations agencies, funds and programmes and other actors to the improvement of the overall security and humanitarian situation on the ground,” the report reads.

Guterres says that regrettably, several key security, humanitarian, human rights and development challenges remain unresolved, including in relation to the creation of conditions conducive to the return of displaced populations in Georgia.

I remain concerned by the continued negative trends related to so-called borderization, restrictions on the freedom of movement and other unilateral actions, including those that inhibit the possible return of internally displaced persons, as well as the ability of humanitarian and developmental actors to operate freely, especially in South Ossetia”, he stated.

Guterres called upon all participants in the Geneva international discussions and all relevant stakeholders to demonstrate greater political will and to undertake practical and constructive efforts to help revitalise this important process.

You can read the full report here.