OF THE SIXTH SPECIAL SESSION OF THE COORDINATING COUNCIL OF THE GEORGIAN AND
The sixth session of the Coordinating Council set
up based on the final declaration of the meeting of the Georgian and Abkhazian
sides (Geneva, 17-19 November 1997) was held as an exception in Geneva on 17-18
December 1998 under the auspices of the United Nations, chaired by the UN
Secretary Generalís Special Representative Mr. Liviu Bota, with participation
of representatives of the Russian Federation as a facilitating side, of the
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the countries,
members of the UN Secretary Generalís group of friends: France, Germany, the
Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as observers.
The Georgian side was represented by the delegation
headed by Mr. Vazha Lordkipanidze.
The Abkhazian side was represented by the
delegation headed by Mr. Sergey Bagapsh.
Opening the session, the Special Representative
noted that after the 16-18 October 1998 meeting in Athens of the Georgian and
Abkhazian sides on measures aimed at strengthening trust and as affected by it
in a wholesome way, the sides started holding fruitful bilateral negotiations
on the issues concerning: 1) security and non-use of force; 2) return of
refugees; and 3) measures of economic rehabilitation of Abkhazia. Without
accusing any of the sides of the lack of conscientiousness in the negotiations,
the Special Representative noted that the negotiations seemed to be protracted
due to certain misunderstanding. Nevertheless, in the Special Representativeís
opinion, the positions of the sides on concrete disputed issues are not
irreconcilable and there is a possibility of continuation of the negotiations.
The Special Representative further noted that the
current session of the Council is being held at the background of speedy
deterioration of the situation concerning security in the conflict zone. The
situation is extremely dangerous and there is a risk of repetition of the
developments like those that took place in May.
The UN Secretary Generalís Special Representative
urged the delegations of the sides, participants of the session, to approach
the discussion of the items on the agenda taking into account the mentioned
circumstances, the acuteness of the situation, and the importance of the
The agenda of the session comprised the following
of sustained cease-fire and security problems;
2. Refugees and internally displaced persons;
3. Economic and social problems.
Representatives of the sides, the
The chief military observer of the UNOMIG General
Tariq Ghazi, the representative of UNHCR, and the UNDP representative Mr. Marco
Borsotti also participated in the discussion of the agenda.
The Abkhazian side stated that it is starting the
process of unilateral return of refugees to Gali District and urged the United
The Georgian side noted that the Abkhazian sideís
statement on the so-called ďunilateral return of refugeesĒ is purely
declarative and in reality, it does not enable to carry out the process of
return of refugees and displaced persons, as it is well known that the process
cannot be organized without creation of related necessary mechanisms and
guarantees with the most active participation in it of the Georgian side and
the international community.
The sides made statements in connection with the
emerging threat of instability in the conflict zone (appended).
Council adopted the following decisions:
1. The sides will without delay take decisive
measures for meticulous implementation by related bodies of their executive
powers of the decisions made by the Coordinating Council previously aimed at
slackening of tension and normalization of the situation in Gali District, and
in the first place those provided for by the Protocol of the fourth (second
special) session (Paragraph 1), Protocol of the fifth session (Paragraphs 1a,
1b, and 1c) and the annex thereto.
2. The UN Secretary Generalís Special
Representative shall continue and complete consultations with the sides on
establishment of a joint group for investigation and prevention of terrorist
attacks and other violations of law in accordance with the decisions of the
Council set in the Protocol of the fourth (second special) session (paragraph
2) and Protocol of the fifth session (Paragraph 2).
3. As provided for by the Protocol of the fifth
session of the Council, in cases the sides disregard protests of the UNOMIG and
the CIS CPKF concerning violations of the Moscow Agreement on Cease-fire and
Separation of Forces, the UN Secretary Generalís Special Representative shall
inform thereof the UN Secretary General who will submit the problem for
discussion at the UN Security Council.
4. To convoke in Gali District an urgent meeting
of authorized representatives of the sides no later than 22 December for the
purpose of preventing destabilization of the situation in the conflict zone,
coordinating and adopting effective measures aimed at implementation of the
bilateral agreements achieved previously and set in the 25 May 1998 Protocol on
cease-fire, separation of armed formations, and guarantees of prevention of
violent actions, and the Protocol of the meeting of the Georgian and Abkhazian
sides on issues of stabilization of the situation along the line of separation
of the sides signed in Sukhumi on 24 September 1998.
The participants of the session took notice of the
proposals of the governments of
(Abkhaz Issue in Official Documents, Legislative
and Executive organs of Georgia, International Organizations, 1989-1999, part
II, 1995-1999; authors: Vakhtang Kholbaia, Teimuraz Chakhrakia, Rafiel
Gelantia, David Latsuzbaia, Tb., 2000, p. 273-275/in Georgan)