Ministers’ Deputies
Notes on the Agenda

CM/Notes/1057/2.1 revised 19 May 20091
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1057 Meeting, 20 May 2009
2 Democracy and political questions


2.1 The Council of Europe and the conflict in Georgia

Reference documents
CM(2008)150 rev, CM(2008)162, SG/Inf(2008)19, DD(2008)631, SG/Inf(2009)5, SG/Inf(2009)7, CM(2009)PV prov, CM(2009)PV add1, CM(2009)PV add2

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Action

To adopt the draft decision below.

The Deputies are invited to resume consideration of this item bearing in mind the conclusions of the discussion held under item 1.5 regarding the follow-up to be given to the decisions adopted during the Ministerial Session in Madrid concerning the Council of the Europe and the conflict in Georgia. The following decisions were taken in Madrid:

    “The Committee of Ministers

    1. concerned with the human rights protection and humanitarian situation of all persons affected by the conflict in Georgia, gave its active support to the activities of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights and to the full implementation of his six-point Action Plan,2 and called on all those concerned to facilitate and grant access by the Council of Europe and the international community to all persons affected by the conflict and in need of human rights protection;

    2. took note of the reports prepared by the Secretary General following the decision adopted by their Deputies on 11-12 February 2009;

    3. underlined the importance of restoring democracy, human rights and the rule of law in all areas affected by the conflict, in line with the Council of Europe values and standards, and invited the Secretary General to submit projects for further activities to this end, paying particular attention to the need to co-ordinate with other international organisations and bearing in mind the positive role which can be played by civil society and NGOs in this context;

    4. took note of the first report of the Secretary General on the human rights situation in the areas affected by the conflict, looked forward to the subsequent quarterly reports and called all those concerned to facilitate access to information on the situation in all areas affected by the conflict, in order for all views to be taken into account;

    5. welcomed the support provided by the Council of Europe Development Bank to the funding of some social projects and invited the Bank to consider favourably possible additional projects;

    6. agreed that a review of action taken by the Council of Europe following the conflict in Georgia would be carried out at the meeting for the handover of the chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers on 18 November 2009.”

In the light of the conclusions of their discussion, the Deputies might wish to instruct the Secretariat to prepare, for examination at one of their forthcoming meetings, a draft reply to Recommendations 1846 (2008), 1857 (2009) and 1869 (2009) of the Parliamentary Assembly appended hereafter.

Financing assured: YES

DRAFT DECISION

1057th meeting – 20 May 2009

Item 2.1

The Council of Europe and the conflict in Georgia
(CM(2008)150 rev, CM(2008)162, SG/Inf(2008)19, DD(2008)631, SG/Inf(2009)5, SG/Inf(2009)7, CM(2009)PV1 prov, CM(2009)PV1 add1, CM(2009)PV1 add2)

Decision

The Deputies instructed the Secretariat to prepare a draft reply to Recommendations 1846 (2008), 1857 (2009) and 1869 (2009) of the Parliamentary Assembly, for examination at one of their forthcoming meetings.

Appendix

Recommendation 1846 (2008)1
The consequences of the war between Georgia and Russia

1. The Parliamentary Assembly refers to its Resolution 1633 (2008) on the consequences of the war between Georgia and Russia in which it welcomed, inter alia, the initiative of the Swedish Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers to convene an informal extraordinary meeting of ministers for foreign affairs on 24 September 2008 in order to prepare the response of the intergovernmental sector of the Organisation to the war between Georgia and Russia.
2. The Assembly recalls in this respect the 1994 Declaration of the Committee of Ministers on compliance with commitments accepted by member states of the Council of Europe which refers to the statutory responsibility incumbent upon itself for ensuring full respect of commitments in all member states, without prejudice to other existing procedures, including the activities of the Parliamentary Assembly and conventional control bodies.
3. The Assembly therefore recommends that the Committee of Ministers:
3.1. develop an action plan and take concrete measures to respond to the crisis between two member states of the Organisation and, consequently, within the Organisation itself, taking into account the Organisation’s mandate and expertise;
3.2. consider specific action to ensure full respect of commitments undertaken by both Georgia and Russia, including reinforced field presence and a human rights mission on the ground;
3.3. encourage all member states of the Council of Europe to join the United Nations Convention on Cluster Munitions.

1. Assembly debate on 30 September and 2 October 2008 (30th, 34th and 35th Sittings) (see Doc. 11724, report of the Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by Member States of the Council of Europe (Monitoring Committee), co-rapporteurs: Mr Van den Brande and Mr Eörsi; Doc. 11731, opinion of the Political Affairs Committee, rapporteur: Mr Lindblad; Doc. 11732, opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, rapporteur: Mr Pourgourides; and Doc. 11730, opinion of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population, rapporteur: Mrs Jonker). Text adopted by the Assembly on 2 October 2008 (35th Sitting).

Recommendation 1857 (2009)1
The humanitarian consequences of the war between Georgia and Russia

1. The Parliamentary Assembly refers to its Resolution 1648 (2009) on the humanitarian consequences of the war between Georgia and Russia.
2. It believes that there is an important role for the international community to play in South Ossetia and Abkhazia in order to ensure the promotion and protection of human rights and humanitarian law. It is furthermore convinced that the Council of Europe should have a role regarding human rights in this area, without any prejudice to the territorial integrity of Georgia.
3. Therefore, the Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers:
3.1. continue to liaise with the United Nations, the European Union, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and other international actors;
3.2. provide support for the human rights training of members of the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM);
3.3. examine with the United Nations, as a matter of urgency, how it could contribute to the continuation of the work of a United Nations mission in Georgia, including through a possible Council of Europe presence, to replace the current United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG);
3.4. provide support and funding to the implementation of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights’ six principles for urgent protection of human rights and humanitarian security.
4. The Assembly also recommends that the Committee of Ministers invite the relevant sectors of the Council of Europe to:
4.1. provide training to local authorities and law-enforcement agents on the awareness of human rights, as well as the specific economic, social, cultural and psychological needs of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in line with the Committee of Ministers Recommendation Rec(2006)6 on internally displaced persons and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement and in co-operation with mandated United Nations agencies and other relevant organisations;
4.2. examine the possibility of providing training in Georgia for government officials, at national and local level, on spending and accounting for international aid and assistance in a transparent manner;
4.3. provide training to non-governmental organisations on the monitoring of aid and assistance run by the government and local authorities;
4.4. organise a multilateral meeting for government officials dealing with IDP issues to allow them the opportunity to learn how these issues are dealt with in other countries;
4.5. organise a multilateral meeting for non-governmental organisations specialising in IDP issues, to allow them the benefit of learning from each others’ different experiences.

1. Assembly debate on 28 January 2009 (5th and 6th Sittings) (see Doc. 11789, report of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population, rapporteur: Mrs Jonker). Text adopted by the Assembly on 28 January 2009 (6th Sitting).

Recommendation 1869 (2009)1
The humanitarian consequences of the war between Georgia and Russia: follow-up given to Resolution 1648 (2009)

1.       The Parliamentary Assembly refers to its Resolution 1664 (2009) on the “The humanitarian consequences of the war between Georgia and Russia: follow-up given to Resolution 1648 (2009)”.
2.       It believes that the Council of Europe has an important role to play in Georgia, including in South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
3.       Therefore the Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers takes fully into account the recommendations contained in Recommendation 1857 (2009) on the humanitarian consequences of the war between Georgia and Russia, and in particular:

      3.1.       continues to liaise with the European Union, United Nations, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and other international actors;
      3.2.       provides full support to the United Nations in its efforts to broker a new mandate for the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG);
      3.3.       adopts an action plan, in particular with specific activities focused on the protection and promotion of human rights and international humanitarian standards in South Ossetia and Abkhazia and examines how the Council of Europe can be present in these two regions, either in its own right or as part of another international mission run by the UN or others;
      3.4.       provides full support and funding to the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights activities and programme in South Ossetia and Abkhazia;
      3.5.       ensures that the regular reporting requested by the Committee of Ministers to the Secretary General on the human rights situation in the areas affected by the conflict (requested at the 1048th meeting of the Deputies on 11-12 February 2009), takes fully into account the humanitarian concerns, including those of new and old internally displaced persons (IDPs), in this reporting exercise. Furthermore the reporting should cover all the areas affected by the conflict in Georgia, including the regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and also North Ossetia and the plight of new and old refugees and displaced persons in all these areas;
      3.6.       take initiatives to build up a dialogue and trust between all parties and including all parties to the conflict and the international community;
      3.7.       support civil society initiatives essential for empowerment of the people, especially young        people, and the development of society, in order to ensure a strong human rights and humanitarian culture in the former conflict zones.

1 Assembly debate on 29 April 2009 (14th Sitting) (see Doc. 11859, report of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population, rapporteur: Mrs Jonker). Text adopted by the Assembly on 29 April 2009
(14th Sitting).

Note 1 This document has been classified restricted at the date of issue; it will be declassified in accordance with Resolution Res(2001)6 on access to Council of Europe documents.
Note 2 Right to return of those who fled or were displaced; rights of displaced persons to care and support; demining; protection against lawlessness; protection of detainees/prisoners of war and persons in hiding; international presence and monitoring for the protection of human rights.


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