Afghanistan tripartite agreement with Pakistan

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.

Yesterday in Brussels, UNHCR and the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan signed a tripartite agreement that for the first time establishes a formal process for resolving the 23-year-old Afghan refugee problem in Pakistan. Under the agreement, UNHCR will continue to assist the voluntary repatriation of Afghan refugees from Pakistan for three more years. The agreement is designed to support a gradual organized return that is sustainable. At the end of this process, a screening will take place to determine who among the remaining Afghan population is still in need of protection and continued refugee status. The agreement with Pakistan is the fourth in a series of such agreements. The first three were signed by the government of Afghanistan, UNHCR and the governments of Iran, France and the United Kingdom. A fifth tripartite agreement is due to be signed later today between the government of Afghanistan, UNHCR and the government of the Netherlands.