ERGNETI, 27 April 2021 - The 99th Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) was held today in Ergneti, co-facilitated by Ambassador Marek Szczygieł, Head of the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM) and Ambassador Annika Söder, Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for the South Caucasus. In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ergneti IPRM was accompanied by all necessary precautionary health measures.
The EUMM and OSCE representatives commended the commitment of the participants to the IPRM and stressed the importance of continuing the effective use of the EUMM-managed Hotline, in particular with a view to the upcoming Easter festivities. Ambassador Szczygieł called for a humanitarian approach during these days and special attention to the corresponding needs of the local population. Ambassador Söder encouraged all stakeholders to find solutions to decrease the challenges faced by the conflict-affected population and emphasized the value of dialogue and pragmatism.
The two co-facilitators took note of recent changes concerning freedom of movement and related pandemic measures, and called on participants to implement further solutions to improve the socio-economic situation stemming from the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing closure of the crossing points along the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL).
Discussions in the IPRM furthermore focused on issues pertaining to stabilization and normalization, including ‘borderisation’ processes along the ABL, detention cases and the wider effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. As previously, deliberations were held in a constructive atmosphere, and facilitators pointed to the specific security needs of women, men, elderly, children and other vulnerable groups in the area.
All participants agreed that the upcoming agricultural season necessitated an increased dialogue through the IPRM format and the EUMM-managed Hotline.
Participants decided to hold the next meeting in the week starting from 14 June 2021.