Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Remember Georgia?
Russia does.
The dispute in the former Soviet Socialist Republic now known as the Republic of Georgia has disappeared from the global news page that today tells of election protests in Iran and an anti-sanctions rally in North Korea. Yet the dispute about which IntLawGrrls guest/alumna Mary Ellen O'Connell has posted -- a dispute fueled by the desire of the regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia to break away from Georgia and ally with welcoming neighbor Russia -- remains.
And so yesterday Russia wielded its veto clout as 1 of the 5 permanent members of the U.N. Security Council to say nyet to a 16-year-old peacekeeping operation in Abkhazia.
Because the "Council failed ... to extend the presence of the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia," a U.N. press release stated, "Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will instruct his Special Representative to take all measures required to cease UNOMIG’s operations, effective 16 June, and consult with his advisors on the immediate next steps ...."
As for another P-5 member: U.S. Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo (below right), Alternate Representative to the United Nations for Special Political Affairs, decried the veto with these words:

'It is the civilian population that suffers by facing a tenuous security environment without an international presence in Abkhazia, Georgia.'

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