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Press Release from the Office of the United Nations Representative to the Geneva International Discussions

14 December 2017

The 42nd round of the Geneva International Discussions has just concluded.

In Working Group I, the participants reviewed the overall situation on the ground and assessed it as relatively calm and stable. The participants continued discussions on the topic of non-use of force. They conducted extensive consultations on a joint statement and agreed to continue work toward its finalisation. Several other issues were also addressed, including detentions, access to farmland and transparency on military activities. In this context, the participants commended the work of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms, including the use of the hotlines.

In Working Group II, the participants discussed the impact on people’s livelihoods of recent environmental challenges, obstacles to the freedom of movement as well as possible mitigating measures. Furthermore, property rights, personal documentation, education and irrigation-related issues were discussed. The participants welcomed plans for further work by an OSCE-commissioned independent expert on a case of missing persons. The participants also exchanged views on disaster risk reduction in follow-up to an information session held on the preceding day. Due to long-standing divergent approaches to the issue of IDPs/refugees, it was again impossible to complete discussion of all agenda items. In this context, the Co-Chairs regretted the walkout of some participants that led to a disruption of this round.

The participants agreed to hold the next round on 27-28 March 2018.