The 22nd OSCE Ministerial Council in Belgrade

Georgian Vice Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili took part in the 22nd OSCE Ministerial Council held in Belgrade on 3 and 4 December 2015.


Giorgi Kvirikashvili delivered a speech at the plenary session of the Ministerial Council where he spoke about the challenges facing the OSCE area and the grave human rights and security situation in Georgia’s occupied regions. He emphasised the importance of international monitoring mechanisms in these territories.


While on the theme of the occupied territories, Giorgi Kvirikashvili focused the Russian Federation’s disregard of the basic norms and principles of international law as evidenced by the violation of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. According to the Minister, by signing the so-called “treaties” with the Sokhumi and Tskhinvali regimes, in breach of its international obligations, “the Russian Federation intends to fully integrate these regions into its military, social and financial institutions”. Giorgi Kvirikashvili said that Georgia remains committed to the peaceful resolution of the conflict with Russia, based on norms and principles of international law and within the format of Geneva International Discussions.


“The population residing in the conflict zones are deprived of their civil, social and economic rights, including the right to freedom of movement, right to property, as well as recent violations of the right to study in one’s mother tongue in Gali district of Abkhazia region, when in eleven elementary schools, Georgian as a language of instruction was replaced with Russian. The abovementioned is particularly alarming, given the absence of international monitoring mechanisms inside these occupied territories. This brings us to the urgency of finding ways to follow up on the ODIHR/HCNM report on human rights in the war-affected areas following the conflict in Georgia” - the Minister is quoted as saying.


The Georgian Foreign Minister said that reconciliation and trust building between Georgians and the war-torn communities of Abkhazians and Ossetians is atop the list of priorities of the Georgian Government’s policy.


Giorgi Kvirikashvili spoke about the recent political and democratic reforms designed to transform Georgia into a genuinely European democratic state. He also emphasised the Government’s readiness to ensure the conduct of democratic and fair parliamentary elections in 2016 and urged the OSCE organisations as well as the international community as a whole for greater involvement in the process of elections.


“Georgia’s democratic path remains unshaken. We are determined to advance our European and Euro-Atlantic integration agenda, which represents a choice of Georgian people. We are implementing a number of reforms in judiciary, justice and electoral systems in close cooperation with respective OSCE institutions and the international community with the aim of bringing Georgia in line with the European standards and best practices” – the Minister said.


Within the framework of the 22nd OSCE Ministerial Council, the Georgian Foreign Minister will hold bilateral meetings with senior OSCE officials as well as with foreign ministers from various countries. The OSCE Ministerial Council is held in Serbia, on 3 and 4 December.