See related documents

Recommendation 1580 (2002)

Situation in Georgia and the consequences for the stability of the Caucasus region

Author(s): Parliamentary Assembly

Origin - Assembly debate on 25 September 2002 (28th Sitting) (see Doc. 9564, report of the Political Affairs Committee, rapporteur: Ms Lörcher). Text adopted by the Assembly on 25 September 2002 (28th Sitting).

1. Membership of the Council of Europe commits all member states to collective responsibility for democracy, human rights and the rule of law and hence implies that they should refrain from the use of force against other member states and that their settlement of disputes should be in accordance with international law.
2. Frozen conflicts in the Caucasus, including those where active fighting has stopped, continue to represent a danger to stability, since the resumption of violence can never be excluded.
3. The Assembly considers that the Council of Europe must intensify its involvement in the Caucasus and work actively with the countries concerned in order to give new impetus to the peace and stabilisation processes in the region.
4. The peace-keeping and law enforcement efforts made by Georgia and the Russian Federation, on their respective territories along their common border, must be pursued further.
5. Article 51 of the United Nations Charter and Resolution 1269 (1999) of the UN Security Council on international terrorism, as well as Resolution 1368 (2001) of the UN Security Council of 12 September 2001 do not authorise the use of military force by the Russian Federation or any other state on Georgian territory.
6. The Assembly stands ready to offer good offices and a platform for dialogue between parliamentarians from Georgia and the Russian Federation in this context.
7. The Assembly welcomes the agreement between the delegations of the Russian Federal Assembly and of the Parliament of Georgia on the need to send a joint fact-finding mission from the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly, with both Russian and Georgian participants, to Moscow, Tbilisi and the conflict area, to report to the Bureau of the Assembly.
8. The Assembly encourages the development of the work of the special representative of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe in Tbilisi, to be appointed in order to facilitate Council of Europe assistance to the Georgian authorities and to co-operate with other international organisations present.
9. The Assembly calls on the authorities of Georgia:
to reaffirm their commitment to solve the conflicts on their territory by peaceful means only, and, in this connection, to refrain from any action which directly or indirectly supports those inclined to solve these conflicts by force;
to take decisive measures with a view to demonstrating its resolution to continue democratic reforms in the country, in particular in the light of the local elections of June 2002;
to pursue their efforts towards substantial progress as regards the implementation of the commitments which Georgia accepted when it joined the Council of Europe;
to co-operate with all states concerned as regards the fight against terrorism and to take the necessary measures to ensure the rule of law on all parts of the territory of Georgia, including the Pankissi valley;
to take strict measures with a view to combating corruption and criminal activities;
to bring transparency to the distribution of foreign aid with a view to ensuring that autonomous regions receive a fair part of it;
to intensify the dialogue both at governmental and parliamentary levels with the Russian Federation with a view to seeking solutions to the issues which create tensions in the relations between these two countries.
10. The Assembly appeals to the Abkhaz and South Ossetian leaders to abandon their harsh positions and accept to engage in serious negotiations regarding the status of Abkhazia and South Ossetia within Georgia.
11. The Assembly calls on the authorities of the Russian Federation:
to refrain from any action or declarations which might interfere in the internal affairs of Georgia or violate its sovereignty or its territorial integrity, and in particular from launching any military action on Georgian territory, as expressed by the President of the Russian Federation on 11 September 2002;
to refrain from any unilateral measures affecting Georgia and its citizens, in particular as regards Abkhazia and South Ossetia, without prior discussion with and the agreement of the Georgian authorities, including in the fields of economic assistance and the freedom of movement of persons and goods, in particular with respect to visas, customs and passport issues;
to intensify the dialogue both at governmental and parliamentary levels with Georgia with a view to seeking solutions to the issues which so far have created tensions in the relations between these two countries;
to remove their military bases in Georgia as soon as possible in accordance with the agreement reached with Georgia.
12. The Assembly recommends the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to:
encourage all action by the Secretary General to resolve the security issues on a multilateral basis, in accordance with the objectives of the Council of Europe;
co-operate in the context of the United Nations conflict settlement mechanisms in Abkhazia and South Ossetia with the European Union, given the economic and technical assistance which the European Union is providing to facilitate the peace process;
co-operate with the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) with regard to their monitoring action in Georgia, and provide the necessary means for Council of Europe participation in this monitoring action;
intensify its assistance programmes to Georgia with a view to strengthening democratic reforms;
initiate, with all the parties and countries concerned, a discussion on the perspectives for an increased regional co-operation.