On May 23, Senior Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of Georgia to the United Nations Ms. Salome Imnadze delivered a Statement at the UN Security Council Open Debate on “Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflicts”
In her statement Ms. Imnadze underlined that this year marks the 20th anniversary since the Security Council held its first open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict and adopted the landmark resolution 1265 (1999). Yet, 20 years later, civilian population continues to be victim of devastating impact of armed conflicts, which include attacks on humanitarian and medical personnel, destruction of civilian infrastructure, hospitals and schools, as well as sexual and gender-based violence. Especially vulnerable are women, children, refugees and internally displaced persons – she stated.
Ms. Imnadze briefed the Council on national efforts taken by the Government of Georgia and highlighted most recent decision by the Government which endorsed the French initiative on Political declaration on the protection of medical care in armed conflict.
She also emphasized on Georgia’s cooperation with the ICC in order to conduct investigation of the crimes committed during the 2008 Russia-Georgia war. She underlined that the non-cooperation and refusal to allow access to the occupied regions by the occupying power further hinders progress to address the question of impunity.
Ms. Imnadze spoke about the efforts taken by Georgia’s Inter-Agency Commission of International Humanitarian Law - a standing governmental body leads efforts and coordinates the work of relevant entities aimed at ensuring respect of International Humanitarian Law (IHL). She also emphasized on cooperation between Georgia and ICRC, in particular regards to the assistance provided by the ICRC in locating the whereabouts of missing persons, as well as identifying and handing over human remains to the families. Since 2013, with the help of the Committee, the human remains of close to 200 people were identified and handed over to their families.
Ms. Imnadze stated that Following Russia’s full scale military aggression of August 2008, Georgian Government is continuously prevented from extending protection to the population residing in Georgia’s occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali, who are deprived of minimal safeguards for their safety and are stripped of their fundamental rights and freedoms. Loss of lives of Georgian IDPs on the other side of the occupation line is one of the most alarming developments in recent years and unfortunately this year is no exception. Recently, Georgian IDP Irakli Kvaratskhelia died in a custody at the illegally stationed Russian military base in the occupied Abkhazia region after being unlawfully detained.
Taking into account the effective control of the Russian Federation over the two occupied Georgian regions she called on international organizations to be firm and vocal on Russia’s responsibility in terms of both human rights violations as well as the denied access of international human rights mechanisms on the ground.
Full statement: Final 23.05.2019 - Protection of Civilians in armed conflicts.pdf