Georgia: The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on internally displaced persons from Abkhazia and South Ossetia

Грузия: Генассамблея ООН приняла резолюцию о вынужденных переселенцах из Абхазии и Южной Осетии

UN General Assembly Hall. Photo from the archive Georgia: The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on internally displaced persons from Abkhazia and South Ossetia Refugees and migrants

On Tuesday, the UN General Assembly approved the resolution “The situation of internally displaced persons and refugees from Abkhazia, Georgia, and the Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, Georgia.” Its authors expressed concern about the “violent change in demographic situation” as a result of conflicts in Georgia, where, according to the report of the UN Secretary-General, there are currently 295,831 internally displaced people. 

The resolution also expresses concern about the humanitarian situation caused by the armed conflict that occurred in August 2008, which resulted in further forced displacement of the civilian population.

The General Assembly “emphasizes the need to develop a timetable to ensure the voluntary, safe, dignified and unhindered return of all internally displaced persons and conflict-affected refugees in Georgia to their homes.” 

The resolution was adopted with 103 votes in favor, 9 against and 53 abstentions at a meeting dedicated to discussing the issue of “protracted conflicts in the GUAM space and their consequences for international peace, security and development.” 

The co-authors of the resolution called for respect for the property rights of all internally displaced persons and refugees affected by conflicts in Georgia, and to refrain from acquiring property in violation of these rights. 

“The General Assembly reaffirms the inadmissibility of forcibly changing the demographic situation,” the resolution notes. It calls for unimpeded humanitarian access to all internally displaced persons, refugees and others living in all conflict-affected areas throughout Georgia. 

For consideration by the participants of the meeting at which the resolution was adopted, a report of the same name by the UN Secretary-General was presented, in which special attention is paid to the right of refugees and internally displaced persons and their descendants to return. The report covers the period from April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024.

In his report, the Secretary-General reported that as of December 31, 2023, there were 295,831 registered in Georgia internally displaced person. Most of these people have taken refuge in Tbilisi and Zugdidi/Samegrelo. 

“In the absence of durable solutions,” the Secretary-General is concerned about the generational aspects of this displacement. According to the Government of Georgia, between 2016 and 2023, the number of registered internally displaced persons increased by 22,066 people, mainly as a result of natural growth of this population category.

Estimated , previously more than 45,000 people, on their own initiative, returned to their homes in the Gali region of Abkhazia. Authorities in control of Abkhazia continue to prevent the return of internally displaced ethnic Georgians to their areas of origin or habitual residence outside the Gali, Ochamchira and Tkvarcheli districts, the UN chief said in his report. “The authorities controlling South Ossetia continue to prevent the return of ethnic Georgians displaced by the conflict.” 


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