“It is essential that International Organisations, including the Council of Europe have access to the conflict zones” – Zalkaliani at the PACE session
Speaking before the winter session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Georgian Foreign Minister highlighted that the mission of the Council of Europe includes promoting and protecting the fundamental rights of all individuals in Europe, without exception.
In his speech, Zalkaliani paid special attention to the situation around the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia and Ukraine.
“We continue to witness grave human rights violations in the areas, remaining outside of the control of national authorities and population is deprived of basic rights, guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights. These areas remain inaccessible by the International Organisations, including the Council of Europe” – Zalkaliani said.
The Georgian Foreign Minister called for respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
“The Committee of Ministers continues to closely follow the conflict in Ukraine. Committee of Ministers once again reiterates full respect towards the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders. It is important to fully implement the Minsk accords and fulfill international obligations undertaken including by numerous PACE resolutions. There has been some encouraging steps, such as the new dynamics within the Normandy format and the exchange of prisoners in December. On the other hand, we remain concerned by reports on the deteriorating human rights situation in Crimea, in particular as far as members of minorities are concerned” – Zalkaliani said.
While on the theme of Georgia, the Minister said that last November, the Committee held a discussion on the basis of the Secretary General’s latest report. On this occasion, delegations reiterated their unequivocal support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders.
“It is essential that International Organisations, including the Council of Europe have access to the conflict zones to ensure that human rights are respected in those areas of Georgia. At the same time, the Committee of Ministers’ Deputies annually adopts the Decision within the frame of the agenda issue “the Council of Europe and Conflict in Georgia” – Zalkaliani said.
The above mentioned decision, according to the Minister, is an important legal and political document, which gives the international community possibility to assess the difficult situation on the ground. The Committee of Ministers will continue to pay the greatest possible attention to the conflict in Georgia which will remain a standing item on the agenda of the weekly meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies.