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Cablegate: Unga: Georgian Idp Resolution Passes After Russian

VZCZCXRO3685
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSL RUEHSR RUEHTRO
RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUCNDT #0832 2541520
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 111520Z SEP 09
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7173
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000832

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM KPRM UNGA RS GG
SUBJECT: UNGA: GEORGIAN IDP RESOLUTION PASSES AFTER RUSSIAN
'NO ACTION' EFFORT FAILS

REF: A. SECSTATE 93378
B. USUN 675

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. After rejecting a Russian Federation
"no-action" motion by a vote of 29 in favor, 64 opposed, and
50 abstentions, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a
Georgia-sponsored resolution calling for the return of
internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Georgia by a vote of
47 in favor, 19 opposed, and 80 abstentions. After losing
the no-action vote, Russia withdrew 18 amendments it had
submitted prior to the session. The draft resolution was
adopted with no changes to the text submitted by Georgia (Ref
A). Solid European support was the key to Georgia's victory.
END SUMMARY.

2. (U) During GA discussion of a draft resolution submitted
by Georgia, entitled, "Status of internally displaced persons
and refugees from Abkhazia, Georgia and the Tskhinvali
region/South Ossetia, Georgia", the Russian Federation tried
to prevent a vote by introducing a "no-action" motion (i.e.,
a motion to adjourn the discussion under Rule 74 of the GA
Rules of Procedure). In proposing "no-action", Russian
Permrep Vitaly Churkin called the Georgian resolution
politically motivated. He accused "certain countries" of
being behind the "odious and heinous text," which would not
help to build confidence between the parties. Churkin also
said that in case the "no-action" motion were to fail, he
would seek a vote on 18 separate amendments that the Russian
Federation had submitted to the Secretariat the previous day.
(At the beginning of the debate, the acting President of the
General Assembly had announced that the discussion of the
item would be carried out in English, since the Secretariat
had not been given sufficient time to translate the 18
amendments into the six working languages.)

3. (U) Under Rule 74, two members can speak in favor and two
members can speak in opposition to a "no-action" motion.
France and the United Kingdom spoke against the motion, both
emphasizing that they opposed no-action motions on principle,
because such motions impinged on the freedom of member states
to propose debate on issues of importance. Nicaragua and
Belarus spoke for the motion, both emphasizing that since the
text had not achieved a consensus in the GA, it should be
withdrawn until a wider consensus could be reached. The
"no-action" motion failed by a vote of 29 in favor, 64
opposed and 50 abstentions.

4. (U) After the "no-action" motion was defeated, the Russian
Permrep launched into a diatribe against what he
characterized as the "same countries that were responsible
for the closure of UNOMIG" (i.e., U.S. and European Security
Council members). He said these countries had politicized a
humanitarian issue, had called into question the Geneva
process, and had prevented Abkhaz and South Ossetian
representatives from traveling to New York to present their
views. At the same time, Churkin withdrew all 18 amendments,
and the resolution was adopted after a vote of 47 in favor,
19 opposed and 80 abstentions.

5. (SBU) COMMENT. The key to Georgia's victory was solid
European support, which Russia was unable to overcome. All
26 EU members except Cyprus voted in favor of the resolution
and against the "no-action" motion. The overwhelming EU
support brought with it most non-EU Europeans. (Note:
Armenia and Belarus voted against the resolution. Serbia and
Turkey abstained on the resolution, but Turkey voted against
"no-action, while Serbia voted for "no-action".) Countries
like Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Japan, all of whom
had abstained when a similar resolution was adopted during
the previous GA, told us the EU "consensus" had been a factor
in their decision to vote for the resolution this year.
Opposition to the resolution came from countries such as
Algeria, Belarus, Bolivia, Cuba, DPRK, Iran, Burma,
Nicaragua, Venezuela, Syria, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, among
others, suggesting that their votes were based more on an
anti-U.S. stance, rather than any disagreement with the
principles of the return of Georgia's IDPs. India also voted
against the resolution, as it had done the previous year.
END COMMENT.
RICE

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