The 49th round of the Geneva International Discussions (GID) took place today.
In Working Group I dealing with security issues, the exchanges focused on the situation on the ground and the worrisome developments of August 2019, in particular in the Chorchana – Tsnelisi area. In this context, the Co-Chairs welcomed the continuous efforts undertaken in the framework of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) in Ergneti to defuse tensions on the ground. The Co-Chairs also welcomed the participants’ commitment to de-escalation and called on relevant actors to continue their dialogue to find a mutually acceptable solution.
The exchanges in Working Group I also touched upon various other issues, including extensive discussions on non-use of force and international security arrangements. The Co-Chairs urged the participants to renew efforts to achieve progress on these core issues. In addition, the Co-Chairs reiterated their call for the resumption of the work of the Gali IPRM without further delay.
While acknowledging the recent lifting of crossing restrictions imposed at the Abkhaz administrative boundary line (ABL) in June 2019, the Co-Chairs stressed the need to reopen all crossing points along the South Ossetian ABL.
In Working Group II dealing with humanitarian issues, the co-moderators noted the impact of such restrictive measures on the freedom of movement and livelihoods of the conflict-affected population. The participants also discussed issues relating to missing persons, mobility, documentation, public health, education, cultural heritage and environmental challenges. The participants welcomed ongoing efforts to address the problem of environmental pests and agreed on the need to continue them.
It was once again not possible to complete discussions on the issue of internally displaced persons/refugees due to a walkout by some participants in Working Group II. The Co-Chairs express regret at this disruption and remind participants of the need to engage constructively on all agenda items.
An information session on the topic “Public health: best practices for managing communicable diseases” with experts from the World Health Organization and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control was held on the eve of this round.
The participants agreed to hold the next GID round on 10-11 December 2019.