HC's visits to Germany, France:

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Ron Redmond to whom quoted text may be attributed at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

Mr. Lubbers returned last night from a four-day visit to Berlin and Paris. In Paris, he met Wednesday and Thursday with several ministers involved in asylum and refugee issues, as well as Prime Minister Jospin and President Chirac, who invited the High Commissioner. In his meetings, Mr. Lubbers urged generosity toward refugees and more financial support for UNHCR. He also helped launch, together with Mr. Forni, the president of the French National Assembly, a "Parliament of Refugees" that is scheduled to take place on June 16. The parliament will include 577 refugees - equal to the number of French parliamentarians - and will adopt a text supporting the 1951 Refugee Convention, which marks its 50th anniversary this year.