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Durable Solutions and Refugee Protection

Executive Committee Meetings

Durable Solutions and Refugee Protection
No. 56 (XL) - 1989

13 October 1989
Executive Committee 40th session. Contained in United Nations General Assembly Document No. 12A (A/44/12/Add.1). Conclusion endorsed by the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme upon the recommendation of the Sub-Committee of the Whole on International Protection of Refugees.

The Executive Committee,

Recalling that the protection of refugees and seeking solutions to refugee problems are mandatory functions of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees;

Reaffirming that the process of achieving solutions must respect the fundamental protection principles and concerns;

Convinced that the contemporary problem of refugees and asylum seekers, because of its dimensions and complexity, requires coherent and comprehensive approaches to meet the current reality;

a) Took note, with appreciation, of the background study for and the subsequent report (reproduced in Document (EC/SCP/55) of the informal Round Table of a group of experts on Solutions to the Problem of Refugees and the Protection of Refugees which was held in San Remo, Italy from 12 to 14 July 1989;

b) Welcomed the importance given in the report, in particular, to:

i) the inter-relationship between protection and solutions, as well as the desirability of prevention, including through the observance of human rights, as the best solution;

ii) the strengthening of joint international efforts to deal with causes of flows of asylum-seekers and refugees in order to avert new flows and to facilitate the voluntary repatriation of refugees where this is the most appropriate solution to their problem;

iii) the active promotion of solutions by countries of origin, asylum and resettlement, as well as by the international community at large, in accordance with their respective obligations and responsibilities;

iv) the promotion of solutions by international initiatives aimed at encouraging and facilitating, directly or through intermediaries, contacts between the parties concerned;

v) development co-operation in both its curative and preventative aspects;

vi) the examination, where required, of existing law and doctrine in the light of the real situations being faced by refugees, taking into account the relevance of human rights principles in this context;

vii) the promotion and strengthening of the traditional principles and safeguards, which remain fundamental to the protection of refugees in countries of asylum or refuge as well as, on return, in countries of origin;

c) Decided, given the importance, scope and complexity of the issues involved and the need for their further in-depth study, as a first step, to call on the High Commissioner, in consultation with the Chairman of the Executive Committee, to convene an open-ended working group of members of the Executive Committee to examine protection and solutions in a coherent and comprehensive manner, bearing in mind the mandate of the High Commissioner, with a view to reporting to the Executive Committee at its forty-first session.