9 October 2008


9 October 2008
Security Council
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

5992nd Meeting* (PM)



The Security Council today, on the recommendation of the Secretary-General in his report on the situation in Abkhazia, Georgia, and the activities of the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG), extended the mission’s mandate, which was to expire on 15 October, until 15 February 2009.

Unanimously adopting resolution 1839 (2008), the Council took no other decisions through its action, though it referred to the Secretary General’s most recent report, in which he observes that, following the recent Russian-Georgian conflict in South Ossetia, UNOMIG’s area of responsibility is unclear.

In the report, the Secretary-General recommends a technical, four-month extension of the Mission, which for the past 14 years has been entrusted with overseeing the ceasefire accord between Georgia’s Government and Abkhaz separatists in the north-western part of the country.

The meeting began at 12:03 p.m. and adjourned at 12:06 p.m.


The full text of resolution 1839 reads as follows:

“The Security Council,

“Recalling all its relevant resolutions including resolution 1808 of 15 April 2008 (S/RES/1808);

“Taking note of the reports of the Secretary-General of 23 July 2008 (S/2008/480) and 3 October 2008 (S/2008/631);

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

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


When the Security Council met today to consider the situation in Abkhazia, Georgia, it had before it the Secretary-General’s report on the issue (document S/2008/631), in which he recommends extension of the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG), which is to expire on 15 October, for a period of four months.

The report notes that, during the reporting period, the situation in the Mission’s area responsibility witnessed dramatic changes following the outbreak of hostilities in South Ossetia on 7 and 8 August, which profoundly impacted the situation in the Georgian-Abkhaz zone and the overall conflict-settlement process.  As UNOMIG’s mandate was limited to the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict, the report refers only to information on events and military operations carried out in and around the Mission’s area of responsibility, whether obtained directly from the Mission or from credible sources.

The report further notes that, on 26 August, the President of the Russian Federation recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states, and that, on 28 August, Georgia’s Parliament declared the two territories occupied by a Russian force.  On 8 September, the French presidency of the European Union and the President of the Russian Federation elaborated a number of provisions for the implementation of the 12 August six-point plan, which reaffirmed that UNOMIG observers would continue to carry out their mandate in their areas of responsibility at the same level as existed 7 August, subject to future adjustments decided on by the Security Council.

According to the report, UNOMIG and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) peacekeeping force continued to maintain close cooperation in fulfilling their respective mandates.  The developments in August had led to some difficulties in communication, however, between the UNOMIG sector commanders and the respective CIS peacekeeping force commanders on the ground.  Nonetheless, cooperation at the leadership level remained close and effective, especially during critical moments.

The Secretary-General observes that almost two months after the end of hostilities, the military situation has not yet been fully clarified and that consultations are ongoing with regard to the international mechanisms envisaged in the 12 August ceasefire agreement.  There is also little clarity as to the future status of UNOMIG’s area of responsibility, namely the security zone, where no military presence was permitted; the restricted weapons zone, where no heavy weapons could be introduced; and the Kodori Valley.  It seems unlikely that the CIS peacekeeping force will have any role in the separation of forces.  Under those circumstances, it is too early to define the role that UNOMIG may play in the future.

In that context, the Secretary-General recommends a technical extension of the Mission’s mandate for four months.  The United Nations should continue to place the experience of UNOMIG at the disposal of the two sides and the international community, in order to respond to the demands of conflict prevention and conflict resolution.  In the coming four months, consultations by the Secretary-General and his Special Representative would intensify, including at the Geneva talks, with a view to exploring whether and how it is possible for the United Nations to follow up on the expressed support of the two sides for the continuation of United Nations involvement.  Any future arrangements would have to ensure the non-resumption of hostilities and the protection of all vulnerable groups.

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*     The 5991st Meeting was closed.

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