PROTOCOL OF THE MEETING OF THE WORKING GROUP ON THE SETTLEMENT OF PROBLEMS OF THE REFUGEES AND THE IDPS AS A RESULT OF THE GEORGIAN-OSSETIAN CONFLICT

City of Tbilisi, February 06-07, 1997.

Agenda of the meeting:

Discussion of the draft regulations of the volunteer return of refugees and IDPs as a result of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict to the places of their former permanent residence.

1. The participants of the meeting unanimously accepted the proposal on participation of the representatives of the UNHCR and its cooperating non-governmental organizations in the work of the Working Group.

2. The participants of the meeting propose to the JCC to discuss and to approve the agreed draft of regulations of the volunteer return of refugees and IDPs as a result of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict to the places of their former permanent residence.

3. To recommend to the JCC to create a permanent acting body, composed of the representatives of the sides and endowed by the JCC with the respective competencies, with the purpose to coordinate the efforts of the sides on the realization of the given Regulations.

To assign to the Working Group to elaborate Statute, regulating activities of the mentioned body and to present it for the approval of the JCC. The sides shall define personal composition of their members in the created body.

4. The Working Group, with a purpose of the organized process of return of refugees and IDPs and creating for them the guarantees of security, raises a question on improvement of interaction of Joint Peacekeeping Forces with the Law Enforcement Bodies of the sides in the places of the return of refugees and IDPs in the conflict zone.

5. To recommend to JCC to appeal to the leadership of the sides to provide assistance to the work of the permanent acting body of the JCC in the realization of the process of return of the refugees and IDPs, taking into account the principle of parallelism and mutual interests of the sides, with systematic exchange of the necessary information between them.

6. To appeal to the UNHCR and other international humanitarian organizations to put forth maximum efforts for obtaining from the International Community resources, which are necessary for the settlement of the refugees and IDPs problems, at the same time periodically informing JCC and its permanent acting body about the programs of provided assistance.

At the same time, UNHCR appeals to the working group to raise before the JCC the issue of necessity of adoption of a decision, directed towards providing security guarantees for the staff of UNHCR and other international humanitarian organizations, giving free access to the returning persons and establishment of simplified procedure for crossing the border.

7. The working group determines, during the process of return of the refugees and IDPs, purposefulness of introduction of amendments and additions to the mentioned Regulations and recommends necessary proposals for the discussion at the JCC.

Chairman (I. Machavariani)

On behalf of the Georgian side (signed)

On behalf of the South-Ossetian side (signed)

On behalf of the Russian side (signed)

On behalf of the North-Ossetian side (signed)

With participation of the OSCE (signed)

On behalf of the UNHCR (signed)

(Archive of the Staff of the State Minister of Georgia on Conflict Settlement)