ERGNETI, 27 September 2021 — The 102nd meeting of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) took place today in Ergneti, under the co-facilitation of 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.
Reflecting on developments since the last Ergneti IPRM meeting, the two co-facilitators welcomed the release of Zaza Gakheladze, and called for a humanitarian approach to all detention cases. They also positively noted the effective co-operation that took place over summer, in particular during the irrigation season, that resolved concrete issues regarding access to water.
During the meeting, participants discussed the impact that the protracted closure of crossing points and the on-going COVID-19 pandemic have on conflict-affected communities. In this regard, the co-facilitators, who stressed that the Odzisi crossing point has been closed to regular cross-Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) traffic for over two years, reiterated their call for the resumption of freedom of movement with adequate COVID-19 mitigating measures in place.
Participants also discussed recent instances of borderization, as well as the most recent security developments at the Administrative Boundary Line. The situation in the Chorchana-Tsnelisi area, flights of UAV and other aerial vehicles in the proximity of the ABL featured as well.
The co-facilitators encouraged all participants to continue using the EUMM-managed Hotline and the IPRM meetings to exchange information, discuss and solve concrete issues, defuse tensions, build confidence and maintain stability. Continued dialogue, they added, is for the benefit of the conflict-affected population living on both sides of the ABL.
The meeting, which was held in a constructive atmosphere, also allowed participants to continue their discussion on how they can further advance the Women, Peace and Security agenda in the IPRM format, including through increasing womens meaningful participation and focusing on specific issues and challenges faced by conflict-affected women and girls.
All necessary mitigation measures were in place to allow the participants to meet safely in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The participants agreed to convene the next regular meeting on 18 November 2021.