GENEVA, 12 December 2012 – Pádraig Murphy, the OSCE Chairmanship’s Special Representative for the South Caucasus, urged participants to maintain a constructive approach focused on taking “small steps forward” at the 22nd 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. A joint statement of the co-chairs – Ambassador Murphy, EU Special Representative Philippe Lefort and UN Representative Antti Turunen – confirmed that the next round of discussions would be held in March 2013.
Murphy, who attended his last session of the Geneva Discussions as the OSCE Chairmanship’s Special Representative, called on participants to be constructive and continue to work under the agreed framework.
“Peace is a long process which requires patience and perseverance, and can only be achieved with repeated small steps forward,” he said.
He highlighted the meetings of the Ergneti Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism, established by the Geneva Discussions, held this year, and underlined the water projects implemented by the OSCE and funded by the EU on both sides of the administrative boundary line for helping people affected by the conflict.
The first projects were completed this summer, while the second package of projects underway will supply potable water to Znauri village as well as irrigation water to people living in the Upper Nikosi. The projects will also help to regulate the water level in the Zonkari reservoir and explore ways to provide additional potable water to Tskhinvali.
“The OSCE water projects have achieved important practical results for people living in the area and, I hope, have also helped to build confidence on both sides of the administrative boundary line,” said Murphy.
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.
Ambassador Andrii Deshchytsia, the incoming Special Representative for Ukraine’s 2013 OSCE Chairmanship, also attended this round of discussions.