The 43rd round of the Geneva International Discussions has just concluded. In Working Group I, the participants reviewed the security situation on the ground. While the overall security situation was assessed as relatively calm and stable, the Co-Chairs reiterated their strong concern over the tragic death of Georgian citizen Archil Tatunashvili in February 2018. They emphasised the need to address properly this and similar cases to avoid repetition and raising tensions. In this context, the Co-Chairs stressed the need to avoid impunity and called for a thorough investigation into the case and for cooperation among relevant stakeholders, including in the framework of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism.
Despite intensive engagement by all participants, it did not prove possible to finalise the draft joint statement on non-use of force. The Co-Chairs will continue their consultations in this regard. In Working Group II, the participants extensively discussed the humanitarian aspects of the Tatunashvili case, which also impacted on the rest of the deliberations. In addition, they exchanged views on missing persons, environmental challenges and how they affect livelihoods, obstacles to freedom of movement for the local population, healthcare, documentation and education. Unfortunately, it was again impossible to complete discussion of all agenda items given long-standing divergent approaches to the issue of IDPs/refugees. The participants agreed to hold the next round in June 2018.