The 54th round of the Geneva International Discussions (GID) took place on 12 and 13 October 2021, with requisite COVID-19 pandemic measures in place. The GID process continues to serve as the primary venue in which the consequences of conflict are addressed as mandated by the six-point ceasefire agreement of 2008.
The elements of “Comprehensive / human dimensions of security” were once again discussed at an information session in which participants exchanged views on the fears, wants and dignities of conflict-affected populations in a facilitated discussion.
Participants met in the GID’s two working groups, focused on security and humanitarian issues. The overall security situation on the ground was assessed as relatively stable, although participants brought attention to a number of outstanding issues, including ongoing detentions, unresolved missing persons cases, restrictions on freedom of movement and travel abroad, response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and specific security concerns. Discussions once again paid particular attention to the core agenda item of non-use of force and international security arrangements.
The Co-Chairs acknowledged the continued functioning of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) in Ergneti, including co-operative efforts over the summer on issues of water use, and emphasized the need to resume regular meetings of the Gali IPRM without further delay. The Co-Chairs welcomed the lifting of restrictions at the Enguri bridge and Saberio-Pakhulani crossing points and called for freedom of movement to be fully restored, in particular at the Odzisi crossing point.
Despite constructive engagement on a variety of humanitarian issues, a discussion on the core issue of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees could not take place due to a walkout by some participants, which disrupted the round.
The Co-Chairs again called on all participants to increase efforts to build trust and confidence among them and to address all elements of comprehensive security.
The participants agreed to hold their next meeting in Geneva on 7 and 8 December 2021.