Remarks for Adoption of GA Resolution: “Status of internally displaced persons and refugees from Abkhazia, Georgia, and Tskhinvali region

Rodney Hunter
Political Coordinator
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
June 4, 2019


Thank you, Mr. President. The United States is pleased to co-sponsor this resolution, which reaffirms the commitment of all states to ensure the voluntary, safe, dignified, and unhindered return of refugees and persons displaced from the Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions of Georgia.

We join supporters of this resolution to urge the parties to work towards a comprehensive and durable peace. We particularly support Georgia’s further calls on parties to take immediate steps to ensure respect for human rights and dignity; increase humanitarian access; and create favorable security conditions conducive to the return of IDPs and refugees who fled their homes as a result of political turmoil.

We note that the first operative paragraph of this resolution, consistent with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, recognizes only that no one should be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his or her own country, and that generally, all persons lawfully within the territory of a State should have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose their residences within that territory. The Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia are integral parts of Georgian territory.

Mr. President, the United States has consistently supported the human rights, dignity, and humanitarian needs of IDPs, and we are actively working with UN and other partners to find avenues to bring support and attention to them.

The United States fully supports Georgia’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. In light of the current situation on the ground, it is essential that the General Assembly adopt the resolution on Georgian IDPs before us now.

Separately, Mr. President, the United States would like to take a moment to honor the heroic protest movement of the Chinese people that ended on June 4, 1989 – 30 years ago today – when the Chinese Communist Party leadership sent tanks into Tiananmen Square to repress the peaceful demonstration calling for democracy, human rights, and an end to rampant corruption. We express our deep sorrow to the families still grieving their lost ones. Thank you, Mr. President.