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General Conclusion on International Protection

Executive Committee Meetings

General Conclusion on International Protection
No. 25 (XXXIII) - 1982

20 October 1982
Executive Committee 33rd session. Contained in United Nations General Assembly Document No. 12A (A/37/12/Add.1).

The Executive Committee,

(a) Reiterated the fundamental importance of international protection as a primary task entrusted to the High Commissioner under the Statute of his Office;

(b) Reaffirmed the importance of the basic principles of international protection and in particular the principle of non-refoulement which was progressively acquiring the character of a peremptory rule of international law;

(c) Expressed concern that the problems arising in the field of international protection bad increased in seriousness since the Committee's thirty-second session and that the basic rights of refugees and asylum seekers had been violated in different areas of the world, inter alia, through military attacks on refugee camps and settlements, acts of piracy and forcible return of refugees and asylum-seekers to their countries of origin;

(d) Recognized the concern of Governments resulting from large scale flows of persons and current recessionary trends in different areas of the world; expressed the hope, however, that these various developments would not lead to restrictive practices in the granting of asylum or in the application of the refugee concept, nor to an undermining of the essential principles of international protection;

(e) Noted with satisfaction the efforts being undertaken in other fora to examine the causes of large scale movements of asylum-seekers and expressed the hope that these efforts would lead to a substantial reduction in their volume; stressed, however, that such efforts should not in any way weaken the basic principles of international protection;

(f) Noted with satisfaction the continuing progress made since the Committee's thirty-second session as regards further accessions to the 1951 United Nations Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees and welcomed accession to these basic international refugee instruments by Japan, Bolivia and the People's Republic of China;

(g) Expressed the hope that further States will accede to the Convention and Protocol and to other international instruments defining the basic rights of refugees at the universal and the regional levels;

(h) Noted with satisfaction the measures taken or currently envisaged by various States to ensure the effective implementation of their obligations under the Convention and the Protocol in particular as regards procedures for determining refugee status;

(i) Welcomed the increasingly broad acceptance of the principles of international protection on the part of Governments and the efforts undertaken by the High Commissioner to promote a wider understanding of international refugee law; urged the continued development and elaboration of refugee law in response to the new and changing humanitarian and other problems of refugees and asylum-seekers;

(j) Welcomed the High Commissioner's initiative to organize courses of lectures on refugee law in co-operation with the International Institute of Humanitarian Law (San Remo);

(k) Noted with renewed appreciation the work of the Sub-Committee on International Protection which has continued to support the High Commissioner's efforts to extend international protection, in particular by confirming and more clearly defining and developing the basic standards for the treatment of refugees and asylum-seekers;

(l) Expressed the hope that an informal meeting of the Sub-Committee would be held as early as possible in 1983 to consider further the question of military attacks on refugee camps and settlements of concern to the High Commissioner, or other questions relating to the physical safety of refugees and asylum-seekers.