§ Lord Avebury
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they have been informed by the Georgian government of its threat not to renew the mandate of the CIS peacekeeping force when it expires on 31st July unless the force's area of operations is expanded in line with the decision of the March CIS summit; if so, at what point they understand Georgia will notify the Secretary-General or the President of the Security Council of its firm intention not to renew the mandate; whether they will ask for a meeting of the Security Council, to review the position of UNOMIG well in advance of the actual withdrawal; and whether they will make representations to the Georgian government concerning the impact which such developments would have on Georgia's relationships with other states, particularly those which are members of the OSCE.
§ Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean
The Georgian authorities have made the Friends of the Secretary-General on Georgia aware of their threat not to renew the mandate of the CIS peacekeeping operation when it expires on 31 July unless the force's area of operations is expanded in line with the decision of the March CIS Summit. There is no formal mechanism for notifying the United Nations of any change in the CIS peacekeeping force mandate but we would of course expect the UN to be so notified. The Georgian government is well aware of our views on the role played by the CIS peacekeeping force and the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) and of our concerns about possible withdrawal. The position of UNOMIG will be reviewed in good time before 31 July, as its own mandate also expires on that date and would also have to be reviewed in the event of a subsequent withdrawal of the CIS peacekeeping force.