Dieter Boden

Abkhazia this rings a variety of memories in me: my first trip to Sukhumi, Gagra and Pitsunda under OSCE auspices in June 1995 when I was struck by an extraordinary beauty of the scenery, but also by the heritage of a terrible war which had left people traumatized.

Then, only a few years later, the beginning of difficult work on peace building and conflict regulation under a UN mandate. This is work which has not yet come to an end although the UN unfortunately had to discontinue their presence in the field after the August 2008 war.

I wish Abkhazia and the multi-ethnic people living there that after many years of conflict they will eventually find lasting peace and prosperity, ideally with the South Caucasus becoming part of the European family. As for outstanding political solutions I continue to think that the UN peace plan of 2001 can still be a useful tool to this end.

Dr. Dieter Boden, Ambassador (ret)
Former Special Representative of the UNSG in Georgia (1999 - 2002)

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