GENEVA, 11 October 2012 – Pádraig Murphy, the OSCE Chairmanship’s Special Representative for the South Caucasus, emphasized the need to maintain stability and the political commitment to resolve issues at the 21st meeting of the Geneva International Discussions today.
The Geneva International Discussions, co-chaired by the OSCE, EU and UN, address the consequences of the 2008 conflict in Georgia.
“We are marking the fourth anniversary of the Geneva Discussions. In this time we have seen progress, notably with stabilizing the security situation in the region. Some credit for this must be given to the Ergneti/Dvani Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism, which has been meeting regularly to address problems on the ground,” said Murphy.
“However, many challenges remain, and the Geneva Discussions remain an essential means for resolving these issues. I hope that all participants will maintain their commitment to this process, and will work together constructively to build confidence.”
Murphy, drawing on Ireland’s experience in conflict resolution and reconciliation, emphasized the importance of addressing issues related to culture heritage and identity, as well as the issue of missing persons.
“It is essential in the overall context of security and stability to acknowledge and to address the suffering of families of the missing persons. We may call them missing or disappeared, as we do in Ireland, but it is a necessary - in fact crucial - element of reconciliation, alongside political, security and policing issues,” he said.
In a joint statement with co-chairs EU Special Representative Philippe Lefort and UN Representative Antti Turunen, Murphy welcomed the participants’ commitment to address issues including restarting the Gali Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism and the non-use of force and international security arrangements.
The Discussions take place in two parallel working groups, one dealing with security and stability, and the other with humanitarian questions, including internally displaced persons and refugees.
The co-chairs agreed with the participants that the next meeting will be held in Geneva on 12 December 2012.