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General Assembly renews mandate for High Commissioner Guterres

Briefing notes

General Assembly renews mandate for High Commissioner Guterres

23 April 2010

High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres has welcomed yesterday's decision by the UN General Assembly to renew his mandate for a further five years.

In a statement Mr. Guterres said he was humbled by the decision describing it as "a privilege and an honour".

Since his initial appointment in June 2005 there have been significant changes in the refugee world. The number of people under UNHCR's care has grown to 35 million, some three million people have been helped to return home voluntarily, and there have been important breakthroughs in local integration, such as the recent naturalization by Tanzania of more than 160,000 Burundian refugees from the group that fled there in 1972.

In his statement Mr. Guterres focused on the challenges ahead including rising threats to humanitarian and asylum space, and the need to deepen reforms at UNHCR while strengthening our capacities in protection and emergency response.