Human rights impacts of Georgia’s protracted conflicts in focus during OSCE PA visit

120123 georgia photoJohan Büser at the Administrative Boundary Line, 12 January 2023COPENHAGEN, 13 January 2023 – The leaders of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s human rights committee have been in Georgia this week, holding meetings with members of the Georgian Parliament, governmental authorities and civil society to co-ordinate work and hear about priority issues facing Georgia. As a country impacted by long-running protracted conflicts and foreign occupation, Georgia’s experience is especially relevant in developing the OSCE’s response to addressing the Russian Federation’s ongoing war against Ukraine, the committee leaders said.

The working visit was hosted by Nikoloz Samkharadze (MP, Georgia), Chair of the human rights committee, and included Vice-Chair Farah Karimi (MP, Netherlands) and Rapporteur Johan Büser (MP, Sweden). It was intended to help identify topics for the OSCE PA to engage with ahead of the Winter Meeting taking place next month in Vienna, where Rapporteur Büser will present preliminary ideas for the report and resolution he will prepare for this summer’s Annual Session in Vancouver.

“Georgia has long been both a beneficiary of the OSCE’s work and an active contributor to the organization,” Chair Samkharadze said today. “Currently, my country is in the process of an electoral reform process, and the recommendations stemming from the OSCE’s election observation missions provide a vital international perspective on our democratic development.”

130123 georgia photoMembers of the OSCE PA delegation discuss findings at the end of the working visit, 13 January 2023On Thursday, following a meeting with Tea Akhvlediani, State Minister of Georgia for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, the OSCE PA delegation visited the Administrative Boundary Line in the Village of Odzisi. In discussions with interlocutors, the PA members discussed issues including continuing detentions along the administrative boundary lines, and the human rights of people living in the occupied regions. The members were particularly interested in any changes in relations following Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

The PA members also focused on Georgia’s commitment and willingness to resolve the outstanding problems by dialogue within the Geneva Discussions and the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms.

“With the ceasefire established in 2008, 14 years ago, it is important to hear about the continued human impact of the war,” Vice-Chair Karimi said today. “Especially considering the ongoing war in Ukraine, it is vital that we consider what can be done to limit long-term suffering.”

“As I begin to work on my report and draft resolution, I am grateful for this opportunity to explore human rights-related topics and ensure that they are at the top of our agenda,” Rapporteur Büser said. “Considering Georgia’s experiences is important for a solid understanding of human rights issues during times of conflict.”

The visit took place on 11-12 January.



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