TODAY.AZ / Politics

"Refugees and Displaced Persons in Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia" on PACE spring session agenda

24 March 2006 [14:27] - TODAY.AZ
Declaration on "Refugees and Displaced Persons in Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia" was included into Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) spring preliminary session agenda. Project of the given document was prepared by the Latvian reporter of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population, Boriss Cilevics.

As Trend informs, the document, referred by number 10 835, states in particular; "The situation of refugees and displaced persons in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia continues to be an obstacle for the development of these countries in economic, socio-political and health terms."

Efforts to find a solution to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict have not as yet produced results. Border incidents still occur, the fate of missing persons has yet to be solved and landmines continue to cause injury and death. There remain urgent humanitarian needs which are becoming ever more difficult to satisfy as donor fatigue sets in.

Urgent humanitarian needs, however, must be increasingly supplemented by international development aid to provide a future for the refugees and internally displaced persons in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. There are, however, some positive signs that the three countries are moving forward with the local integration of their refugees and displaced persons, thus allowing these people to regain their dignity and prepare for the future.

"It is difficult to gauge the number of refugees and displaced persons in the region. By law or by virtue of administrative practice, the three countries tend to recognize the descendants of persons displaced in various capacities within the region as "refugees" or "displaced persons", with the result that the total number of refugees and displaced persons never seems to decrease."

The majority of refugees and displaced persons are in that situation because of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict and deportations between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Without a settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, the objective of enabling refugees and displaced persons to return to the regions from which they came is impossible to achieve. Furthermore, the progress of the dialogue designed to solve the practical problems refugees and displaced persons face, particularly with regard to the return of their identity documents and the official restitution of their property, is not satisfactory.

The Assembly welcomes the fact that the three countries have now embarked on programs for the local integration of their refugees and displaced persons. Article 13 of the resolution project, indicates that "In Azerbaijan three categories of people need to be distinguished: displaced persons who had to flee Karabakh, displaced persons from the districts of the Republic of Azerbaijan that are, strictly speaking, occupied, and Azerbaijanis from Armenia, who are refugees under international humanitarian law."

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