SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS MANDATE OF CURRENT UNITED NATIONS OBSERVER MISSION IN GEORGIA FOR FOUR MONTHS, UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTING RESOLUTION 1866 (2009)

13 February 2009
SC/9594

SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS MANDATE OF CURRENT UNITED NATIONS OBSERVER MISSION IN GEORGIA FOR FOUR MONTHS, UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTING RESOLUTION 1866 (2009)

13 February 2009
Security Council
SC/9594
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

6082nd Meeting* (AM)

SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS MANDATE OF CURRENT United Nations OBSERVER MISSION

IN GEORGIA FOR FOUR MONTHS, UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTING RESOLUTION 1866 (2009)

Intends to Outline Elements of Future UN Presence in Region by 15 June;

Requests 15 May Report, Including Recommendations on Mission’s Future Activities

The Security Council this morning decided to extend the mandate of the current United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) until 15 June, while expressing its intention to outline by that time the elements of a future United Nations presence in the region.

By the terms of resolution 1866 (2009), adopted unanimously today, the Council called for the provisions set out in paragraph 2(a) of the 1994 Agreement on a Ceasefire and Separation of Forces, signed in Moscow, to be respected, pending consultations and agreement on a revised security regime, while taking note of recommendations on the security regime contained in the latest report of the United Nations Secretary-General on the situation in Abkhazia, Georgia (document S/2009/69).

In his report, the Secretary-General suggests that an effective security regime should include, among other things:  strict observation of the ceasefire on land, at sea and in the air; a “security zone” on both sides of the ceasefire line where the presence of armed forces and equipment will not be allowed; a ban on overflights by military aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles in that and additional zones; and designation by each party of authorized representatives who would liaise with a view to exchanging information, preventing tensions and resolving incidents.

In its resolution today, the Council underlined the need to refrain from the use of force or from any act of ethnic discrimination against persons, groups or institutions, and to ensure, without distinction, the security of persons, their right to freedom of movement and the protection of the property of refugees and displaced persons.  It also called for facilitation ‑- and refraining from placing any impediment to ‑- humanitarian assistance to those affected by the conflict, including refugees and internally displaced persons, as well as efforts to facilitate their voluntary, safe, dignified and unhindered return.

The Council also called for intensification of efforts to address the issue of regional security and stability, and the issue of refugees and internally displaced persons, through the discussions currently under way in Geneva.  It also requests the Secretary-General to report by 15 May on implementation of the resolution, the situation on the ground and any recommendations on future activities.

In his report, the Secretary-General notes that the dramatic developments in August 2008 and subsequent events had “considerably affected” the context in which UNOMIG was working.  Those events include the Russian Federation’s recognition of Abkhazia’s independence and Georgia’s withdrawal from the May 1994 Moscow Agreement on a Ceasefire and Separation of Forces.

According to the Secretary-General, persisting tensions in Georgian‑Russian relations continue to affect the overall situation in the region.  Georgia had adopted a law on 23 October declaring Abkhazia and South Ossetia as “occupied territories”.  On 4 November, the Parliament of the Russian Federation ratified the Russia‑Abkhaz and Russia‑South Ossetia treaties on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance.  Russian officials stated that the presence of Russian armed forces in Abkhazia and South Ossetia would be based in those documents and announced plans for the establishment of military bases and the deployment of 3,700 troops, respectively, in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

The Secretary-General also describes the three rounds of discussions held in Geneva co-chaired by the his Special Representative, Johan Verbeke, representatives of the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Geneva, and attended by delegations from Georgia, the Russian Federation and the United States, as well as Abkhaz and South Ossetian representatives.  The meeting discussed joint incident prevention and response mechanisms, although no agreement was reached.  The participants agreed in principle to hold the next round of discussions on 17‑18 February.

The Secretary-General further notes that the Collective Peacekeeping Forces of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), which had been in place in the conflict zone for the past 14 years, was officially terminated on 15 October, and the mandate of the OSCE mission expired on 31 December.

The meeting began at 10:18 a.m. and ended at 10:22 a.m.

The full text of the resolution reads as follows:

The Security Council,

Recalling its previous resolutions, including resolutions 1808 (2008) of 15 April 2008 and 1839 (2008) of 9 October 2008,

Considering the report of the Secretary-General of 4 February 2009 (S/2009/69),

Welcoming the six-point agreement of 12 August 2008, and subsequent implementing measures of 8 September 2008,

Taking note of the Geneva discussions commenced on 15 October 2008 and encouraging the participants to reach practical results,

Underlining the importance of the peaceful resolution of disputes,

“1.   Recalls the arrangements entered into under the agreements of 12 August 2008 and of 8 September 2008;

“2.   Calls for the provisions that were set out in paragraph 2 (a) of the Agreement on a Cease-fire and Separation of Forces signed in Moscow on 14 May 1994 (S/1994/583) to be respected, pending consultations and agreement on a revised security regime, taking note of the recommendations on the security regime contained in the report of the Secretary-General of 4 February 2009;

“3.   Underlines the need to refrain from the use of force or from any act of ethnic discrimination against persons, groups of persons or institutions, and to ensure, without distinction, the security of persons, the right of persons to freedom of movement and the protection of the property of refugees and displaced persons;

“4.   Calls for facilitating, and refraining from placing any impediment to, humanitarian assistance to persons affected by the conflict, including refugees and internally displaced persons, and further calls for facilitating their voluntary, safe, dignified and unhindered return;

“5.   Calls for the intensification of efforts to address the issue of regional security and stability, and the issue of refugees and internally displaced persons, through the discussions currently under way in Geneva, and requests the Secretary-General, through his Special Representative, to continue to fully support this process, and to report on progress thereon;

“6.   Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council on the implementation of this resolution, and on the situation on the ground and the activities of the United Nations mission, including recommendations on future activities by 15 May 2009;

“7.   Expresses its intention to outline the elements of a future United Nations presence in the region by 15 June 2009, taking into account the recommendations to be contained in the report of the Secretary-General referred to in paragraph 6, the Geneva discussions and developments on the ground;

“8.   Decides to extend the mandate of the United Nations mission for a new period terminating on 15 June 2009;

“9.   Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”

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*     The 6081st Meeting was closed.

For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.