Statement on the OSCE/ODIHR Needs Assessment Mission Report on Georgia

As delivered by Ambassador Ian Kelly
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
July 16, 2012

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

The United States welcomes the recent release of the report on the needs assessment mission that the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) undertook in Georgia from June 11-15, 2012.  The report thoroughly reviews the pre-election environment and preparations for the upcoming parliamentary elections in that country.

The United States supports ODIHR’s recommendation that an Election Observation Mission (EOM) be deployed to assess those elections for consistency with Georgia’s OSCE commitments, its international human rights obligations and its own domestic law.  We commend the EOM’s plan to focus on the implementation and impact of the amended legal framework, the work of the media, the application of revised campaign finance regulations, the functioning of the complaints and appeals processes, and the conduct of the campaign, among other issues.

The United States also takes this opportunity to reiterate its strong support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.