Norwegian royal visit to UNHCR headquarters on Tuesday

Briefing Notes, 31 March 2006

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Ron Redmond to whom quoted text may be attributed at the press briefing, on 31 March 2006, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

The King and Queen of Norway are scheduled to make an official visit to UNHCR's headquarters in Geneva on Tuesday, 4 April, when they will be briefed on current humanitarian challenges by UNHCR, OCHA [UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs] and ICRC [International Committee of the Red Cross].

Norway and UNHCR have a longstanding relationship. Norway played a crucial role in the development of the international refugee system during the 20th century, providing the first-ever High Commissioner for Refugees, Fridtjof Nansen widely regarded as a founding figure for refugee protection.

Norway is a strong supporter of the UN refugee agency, both in terms of its consistently generous funding contributing US$62.78 million in 2005 making it the agency's sixth largest donor but also as a resettlement country accepting refugees. UNHCR also works closely with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), in many parts of the world and has signed a framework agreement for an operational partnership with them under which NRC provides UNHCR with staff for emergency deployment.

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