France yesterday circulated a draft resolution calling for extending the mandate of the UN mission in Georgia until next June, with diplomats predicting adoption before the end of the week.
The text, which was fine-tuned in closed-door consultations, does not mention Georgia by name nor does it refer to the UN mission by its official name UNOMIG (United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia).
The draft, a copy of which was read by AFP, would extend the mandate of UN observers, which expires Sunday, "for a new period terminating on June 15, 2009."
It would express the council's intention to "outline the elements of a future UN presence in the region by June 15, 2009," taking into account recommendations by UN chief Ban Ki-moon, Geneva discussions on the issue and developments on the ground.
Japan's UN Ambassador Yukio Takasu, the 15-member council chair this month, told reporters that he was "very confident that adoption (of the draft) will be taking place before the end of the week" as it had been endorsed by major players, including veto-wielding member Russia.
The text does refer to Security Council Resolution 1808 passed last April that reaffirms the commitment of all UN member states to "the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders." Russia recognised the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states following a brief war with Georgia last August, but the move was met with international condemnation.