The OSCE and Internal Displacement in the Caucasus

Roberta Cohen
Roberta Cohen Former Brookings Expert, Co-Chair Emeritus - Committee for Human Rights in North Korea

June 10, 2003

In the Caucasus region and Turkey today, there are more than 2 million persons forcibly uprooted from their homes by conflict and human rights violations, many for 10 years or more. Most are caught up in what are called “protracted situations of displacement,” situations that go on indefinitely without effective solution. The Commission is therefore to be commended for shining a spotlight on this longstanding problem, which has not received the attention it should from the governments concerned or the international community.

My testimony today will focus upon the role that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) can play to more effectively deal with the serious problem of internal displacement in the European region, in particular the Caucasus countries and Turkey. It follows from and complements the testimony of Francis M. Deng, Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on Internally Displaced Persons, who described the conditions of internally displaced persons in the relevant areas and the steps their governments and the international community could take.