Internally displaced persons in Batumi, March 2021. Photo: press service of the Georgian government

21 June 2021, 11:14

Analysts criticize UN's and Georgia's approaches to return of refugees

The UN should not only declare the refugees' right to return to Abkhazia and South Ossetia, but also seek from Russia to provide such an opportunity, Beso Shengeliya, a lawyer, has stated. Georgia is blocking discussion of this problem with authorities of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Paata Zakareishvili, a former Georgia's State Minister for Civil Reconciliation, has stated in his turn.

Another UN General Assembly's resolution on the right of refugees from Abkhazia and South Ossetia to return to places of their original residence is just a formality, Beso Shengeliya, a lawyer and himself a refugee from Abkhazia, told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent. "Nobody decides this issue; the UN should raise it before Russia specifically so that it ensures the return of refugees," Mr Shengeliya has stated.

According to his story, about 30,000 refugees are still on the waiting list for receiving housing in Georgia, but in general, even more need to improve their housing conditions – up to 70% of all refugees.

Paata Zakareishvili, a former State Minister for Civil Reconciliation, believes that the problem should be solved not on paper, but in reality. In his opinion, even without discussing the status of Abkhazia, one can use the platform of the Geneva discussions on security, which is constantly attended by officials from Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The unofficial part of the meeting is constantly disrupted, since Georgia each time starts with announcing the latest decision of the UN General Assembly on the recognition of territorial integrity and the right of refugees to return, Mr Zakareishvili has regretted.

"In my opinion, it is necessary to agree once and forever not to initiate the issue at the General Assembly, but at a meeting in Geneva to put forward the fact to the leadership of Abkhazia and South Ossetia: here, you see, there is no more General Assembly's resolution that irritates you; therefore, now you offer real steps," Paata Zakareishvili has suggested.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on June 20, 2021 at 04:29 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Beslan Kmuzov; Source: CK correspondent

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