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Intervention by Estonia at the UN Human Rights Council 35th Session under Item 10 oral report about Georgia

21.06.2017

UN Human Rights Council 35th Session

 

Intervention by ESTONIA

 

Item 10 – General Debate. Oral report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on Georgia

 

Geneva, 21st June 2017

 

Mr President,

Mr High Commissioner,

 

Estonia aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union. We would like to thank the director of the field operations and technical cooperation division of the OHCHR for the oral update on the follow-up to the resolution on Cooperation with Georgia, which we fully support.

 

We express our concern over the recent developments in the occupied territories of Georgia, including Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The humanitarian and human rights situation remains worrisome. Restricting the freedom of movement in Abkhazia by closing two crossing-points in the lower part of Gali region causes the people further disruptions to their everyday lives. Forced re-naturalization of Georgian citizens and imposing several restrictions on the right to education in native language, as well as neglecting social and economic rights, demonstrates how the de facto authorities consistently violate the fundamental rights and freedoms of people living on both sides of the administrative boundary line.

 

We call on the de facto authorities to permit the staff of the Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR) and other international humanitarian and human rights organizations full access to the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

 

Furthermore, Estonia condemns the so-called Presidential elections and referendum on amending the name of the Georgian occupied region of South-Ossetia that took place on the 9th of April. We find those actions illegal. Estonia does not recognize the outcome of the elections and they do not change the status of these territories nor legitimise the illegal occupation. These steps undermine efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict, and therefore damage security and stability in the region. Estonia reaffirms its resolute support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders - Abkhazia and South-Ossetia are integral parts of Georgia.

 

Finally, we would like to ask the OHCHR, what more could be done to enable independent human rights monitoring in the whole territory of Georgia?

 

Thank you.

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