Briefing Notes, 28 September 2001
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 28 September 2001, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
Uruguay has acceded to the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, depositing the instruments of ratification with the UN Treaty Office in New York on September 21. This brings the total number of countries that have ratified the convention to 25. Guatemala is the only other country to ratify the 1961 statelessness convention so far this year, completing the necessary procedures on July 19. In addition to the 25 States parties to the 1961 statelessness convention, 53 States have ratified the other key convention on statelessness – the 1954 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia succeeded to the 1954 convention this year. Stateless people – people who are not considered a national of any state – can face a multitude of difficulties, including being unable to go to school, travel, work, or even to marry and register the birth of a child. A person may become stateless because of conflicting laws or changes in state sovereignty, for example, or can be born stateless. The 1961 and 1954 statelessness conventions are the primary international instruments aimed at avoiding statelessness and regulating and improving the status of stateless persons. As requested by the UN General Assembly, UNHCR assists individuals and States in resolving cases of statelessness and in signing up to the conventions.