Meeting of the Socialist International Peace, Security and Disarmament Committee, Tbilisi

10 May 1998

Security and stability in the South Caucasian states of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan were the main themes of the meeting of the SI Peace, Security and Disarmament Committee, SIPSAD, held on 10 May in Tbilisi and a number of representatives from the region gathered to highlight the situation.

Organised in collaboration with our member party Citizen's Union of Georgia, CUG, and chaired by Committee Chair Günter Verheugen, Social Democratic Party of Germany, SPD, this was the first meeting of the Socialist International to be held in the Caucasus. Zurab Zhvania, President of the Parliament of Georgia, welcomed delegates and conveyed greetings from Eduard Shevardnadze, Chairman of the CUG. Günter Verheugen emphasised the importance of this Committee's meeting in the region as a way of showing solidarity with and support for the peoples of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan and expressing concern for a region of growing strategic importance which is at a crossroads politically, culturally, and economically. It was SIPSAD's role, he summised, to create a broader understanding of peace and security, away from diplomatic and military efforts to economic, social and democratic considerations.

In its resolution, presented to the Council in Oslo where it was adopted, the Committee acknowledged the successful implementation of political and economic reforms in Southern Caucasus and called on all parties to make every effort to achieve solutions to conflicts within and between individual states, including through procedures mediated with the UN and the OSCE. It also emphasised the need for peaceful cooperation within the region, especially in the fields of protection of human, civil and minority rights as well as economic development.

The next meeting of the Committee will focus on current disarmament issues and will be held in collaboration with the relevant bodies of the UN.