This statement is delivered on behalf of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development (GUAM) member states, namely Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and my own country, Georgia.

Let me use this opportunity and thank the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of IDPs for the comprehensive report.

The overall scale of the IDP problem points to the continuing phenomenon of protracted internal displacement, which has not been solved. In this regard, GUAM member states welcome the “New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants” as a relevant fundamental step towards the solution.

GUAM member states share the view expressed in the report that new approaches, laid out during the World Humanitarian Summit provide a positive direction that stakeholders should adopt. We embrace the important conclusion of the report that this must be achieved in compliance with human rights law and through the implementation of international standards for the protection of IDPs.

Forceful displacement has led to a range of serious challenges in the GUAM area as well. More than 3 million people have been affected by the ongoing armed conflicts, which continue to challenge member states’ sovereignty and territorial integrity and undermine international peace and security.

Although almost 30 years have passed, the numerous relevant decisions and resolutions adopted by the UN, OSCE, Council of Europe and other international organizations have remained unimplemented.

We underline the importance of the existing negotiation formats: Geneva International Discussions, Trilateral Contact Group, OSCE Minsk Group and 5+2 Talks on Transdnistrian Settlement. However, there is an urgent need to strengthen the efficiency of the work undertaken within these frameworks aimed at comprehensive settlement of the conflicts, on the basis of the fundamental norms and principles of international law, namely respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of the internationally recognized borders of States.

Mindful of the fact that the provision of durable conditions for refugees and IDPs is the primary responsibility of the respective Governments, GUAM member states do their utmost to ease social, economic and humanitarian burden of the forcibly displaced persons, yet, their return is far away.

With this in mind, GUAM member states urge the international community – in particular the UN Human Rights High Commissioner and OHCHR – to adequately respond, including a publicly expressed serious concern over the violations of human rights of IDPs and refugees, and demand unconditional implementation of the existing UN documents, and condemn the perpetrators of these violations.

Thank you.