Georgia: UN Chairs Meeting
Aimed at Advancing Peace Process
de Nouvelles) New York -- 17 février 2004 –
A two-day meeting aimed at addressing the conflict in Georgia opened today
in Geneva under United Nations auspices.
The closed meeting, chaired by the UN Under-Secretary-General
for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Marie Guéhenno, brought together the "Group of
Friends of the Secretary-General" - France, Germany, the Russian Federation the
United Kingdom and the United States.
Representatives of the Georgian Government are also
participating in the talks.
The conflict in Abkhazia - strategically located on the Black
Sea in the northwestern part of Georgia - dates back to 1992 when social unrest
escalated into armed confrontation. In August 1993, the Security Council
established the UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) to monitor a ceasefire
agreement. Although the operation's mandate was subsequently expanded after the
parties signed another agreement in 1994, the peace process has remained largely
stalled in recent years.