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EN.CPS welcomes cease-fire and calls for meaningful steps to address the impact of the fighting

12.08.2008
Member organizations of the European Network for Civil Peace Services (EN.CPS) welcome the end to fighting in Georgia-South Ossetia and the cease-fires ordered by the Georgian and Russian Presidents. EN.CPS calls upon all parties to the conflict to respect and maintain these cease-fires and to refrain from any further military actions which may escalate the conflict further or affect the human rights of the civilian populations in the region.

While the cease-fire is welcome, the situation remains highly volatile. EN.CPS calls upon the international community and international organizations, as well as friends and allies of Russia and Georgia to use their influence to support the cease-fire, to prevent further escalation, and to ensure appropriate steps are taken to develop an authentic, multi-partial engagement for a resolution which meets the needs and interests of all parties involved.

Governments and authorities in the region should act quickly in cooperation with the United Nations, EU, OSCE and local and international organizations to ensure that the humanitarian needs of the affected civilian populations are met – ensuring freedom of movement for humanitarian traffic and full access to water, food and medical services. Populations which have been displaced as a result of the fighting should be supported and enabled to return.

The escalation of the Georgia-South Ossetia conflict was not unforeseeable and was a result of a conjunction of actions and responses by all parties involved. To help prevent similar crisis, we call on the international community – and especially the EU and its Member States - to further strengthen systems for Early Warning and Early Response as well as appropriate peacebuilding mechanisms and capacities.

Immediate, short, and long-term measures should be supported. An Assessment Mission should be sent to meet with authorities and population groups in Georgia, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Russia and national and international organizations engaged in the region. Such a Mission should bring forward a balanced and multi-partial analysis of the situation and proposals for practical steps to enable the development of an authentic peace process. In this regard also the deployment of trained civil society experts to support and protect local civil society stakeholders in their peacebuilding efforts should be considered, e.g. in the framework of Civil Peace Service programmes.

CONTACT for this initiative:
Kai Frithjof Brand-Jacobsen – jacobsen@patrir.ro
Director PATRIR (Romanian EN.CPS network member)
Tel.: +40 742 079 716

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