UNHCR hails Mexico's accession to International Refugee Instruments
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Thursday welcomed Mexico's accession to the 1951 refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol - the two cornerstones of international refugee protection. It also acceded to the 1954 Convention on Statelessness.
With Tuesday's Senate ratification, by a vote of 76 in favour and one abstention, Mexico will become the 138th signatory to the 49-year-old Convention.
"Mexico has had a long tradition of asylum," said High Commissioner Sadako Ogata. "Its accession to these universal instruments reflects this generous tradition and further strengthens the international refugee protection regime."
The assistance provided by Mexico for the local integration of Guatemalan refugees, with the cooperation of the international community, has become an example to the rest of the world.
The cooperation between the Mexican government, UNHCR and non-governmental organisations has demonstrated that creative solutions for refugees can be found. This was acknowledged last year by the High Commissioner when she met in Campeche with Presidents Alvaro Arzú of Guatemala and Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico to mark the end of the successful repatriation of Guatemalan refugees from Mexico.
"As the Convention approaches its 50th year, this is the best way to celebrate refugees and the international system that protects them," Mrs. Ogata said. "It is a commitment by states in sharing this international responsibility with a humanitarian spirit", she added.
Mexico also amended its Population Law to conform with these international instruments.