The 41st round of the Geneva International Discussions has just concluded.
In Working Group I dealing with security issues, the situation on the ground was extensively reviewed and assessed as relatively calm and stable. The participants continued discussions and consultations on the topic of non-use of force, including on the content of a joint statement. They agreed to continue consultations on this matter during the period leading up to the next round. The participants also touched upon several other issues, including detentions along the dividing lines, access to farmland, exchange of information on military activities and the need to ensure justice for serious crimes.
Environmental challenges impacting the livelihoods of the local population were raised by participants in both Working Groups as an issue of particular urgency. The participants agreed to conduct additional consultations in the coming weeks in order to find joint solutions.
In Working Group II dealing with humanitarian issues, the participants discussed developments affecting the rights of the local population, including freedom of movement, property rights, documentation and education. The exchanges also covered the issues of missing persons, cultural heritage and archives. Unfortunately, because of long-standing divergent positions on the issue of returns of IDPs/refugees, it was again impossible to complete discussion of all agenda items.
The participants agreed to hold the next round on 12-13 December 2017.