The consequences of the war between Georgia and Russia
Reply to Recommendation
| Doc. 12084
| 24 November 2009
- Committee of Ministers
at the 1070th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies (18 November 2009) 2010 - First part-session
- Reply to Recommendation
- : Recommendation 1846
The Committee of
Ministers has carefully followed the successive debates that the
Parliamentary Assembly has had on the consequences of the August
2008 conflict in Georgia. In addition to the information already
communicated to the Assembly at each of its sessions by the successive
chairs of the Committee of Ministers, it would like to provide the
following elements in response to Recommendation 1846 (2008)
of the Assembly.
As to recommendations
3.1 and 3.2 of the Assembly
2 The Committee recalls that
it acted swiftly after the conflict, through a visit in Georgia
by the Chairman of the Committee of Ministers in office at that
time and the Secretary General as early as 11 August 2008. At the
instigation of the Swedish Chair of the Committee of Ministers,
an informal meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Council
of Europe member states was held in New York on 24 September 2008.
This meeting provided an opportunity to review the situation and
to consider steps to be taken to restore respect for Council of
Europe values and standards. The Ministers concluded, inter alia, that the conflict required
a distinctive response from the Committee of Ministers, in line
with the Council of Europe’s core objective.
3 A draft action plan for the promotion of the Council of Europe
values and standards was subsequently tabled on 14 October 2008
by the Swedish Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers.
4 However, the Ministers’ Deputies did not adopt the draft action
plan but agreed a number of measures to restore human rights and
the rule of law and to help the victims of the conflict. Notable
examples of these measures included organising human rights training
for members of the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) in Georgia,
launching projects to provide counselling for children traumatised
by the conflict and to develop inter-community relations at local
level. Meetings were also organised between representatives of civil society
from Georgia and the Russian Federation to promote dialogue and
encourage initiatives designed to overcome the consequences of the
conflict and projects to foster dialogue and co‑operation through
activities in the cultural sphere. The Committee of Ministers also
decided to lend its full support to the efforts being made by the
Commissioner for Human Rights.
5 In order to monitor developments as closely as possible, the
question of the consequences of the conflict in Georgia has been
on the agenda of every meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies. On 11 February 2009,
the Deputies asked the Secretary General to submit two reports:
firstly a regular report on the human rights situation in the areas
affected by the conflict, and secondly a report on the initiatives
carried out, under way or planned within the Council of Europe to
address the consequences of the conflict between Georgia and the Russian
Federation, including information on the findings of the various
monitoring mechanisms of the Council of Europe.
6 On the basis of the 11 February decisions, the Secretary General
started reporting on a regular basis, using all available sources
of information, in order to provide the Committee of Ministers with
a basis for the evaluation of the situation and subsequent decisions
on the follow-up action.
7 At its 119th Session in Madrid on 12 May 2009, the Committee
of Ministers was provided by the outgoing chair with an information
note on Council of Europe action in response to the conflict in
Georgia (CM/Inf(2009)25). In Madrid, the Committee of Ministers
took note of the Secretary General’s reports on “The situation in
the areas affected by the conflict in Georgia and further action
by the Council of Europe” (SG/Inf(2009)7) and on “The activities
for the promotion of Council of Europe values and standards” (SG/Inf(2009)5).
It reiterated its concern regarding the human rights protection
and humanitarian situation of all persons affected by the conflict
in Georgia. It reaffirmed 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, 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. Underlining 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, it invited the Secretary General to submit
projects for further activities to this end.
8 Following the Ministerial Session, the Secretary General issued
the next report on “The activities for the promotion of Council
of Europe values and standards” (SG/Inf(2009)5 add) on 26 June 2009
and the Ministers’ Deputies decided to release additional financial
means for action by the Commissioner for Human Rights on the ground,
as well as for the implementation of activities in the fields of
culture and cultural heritage. On 30 June 2009, the Secretary General
issued the second report on “The human rights situation in the areas
affected by the conflict in Georgia” (SG/Inf(2009)9).
9 At their meeting of 10 June 2009, the Ministers’ Deputies
endorsed the schedule for the presentation of reports envisaged
by the 11 February decision of the Deputies, presented by the Secretary
General (SG/Inf(2009)10) at the request of the Deputies.
10 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.
As to recommendation
3.3 of the Assembly
The Assembly will be informed
of any follow-up which the Committee of Ministers may consider giving to
this recommendation in the context of the response which the Committee
will provide to Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1871 (2009)
entitled “Ban on cluster munitions”.