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General Conclusion on International Protection

Executive Committee Meetings

General Conclusion on International Protection
No. 33 (XXXV) - 1984

18 October 1984
Executive Committee 35th session. Contained in United Nations General Assembly Document No. 12A (A/39/12/Add.1).

The Executive Committee,

(a) Noted that while progress had been achieved in the field of international protection since the Committee's thirty-fourth session, the exercise of the High Commissioner's international protection function had become increasingly complex and difficult due to changes in the nature and scope of refugee problems and the emergence of restrictive trends in different areas of the world;

(b) Noted that special international protection problems have arisen due to the changing character of refugee movements, expressed satisfaction at the steps taken by the High Commissioner to address these problems, and looked forward to any further initiatives which the High Commissioner might find it appropriate to take in this regard;

(c) Noted with concern that in different parts of the world the fundamental principle of non-refoulement had been violated;

(d) Noted with deep regret that restrictive practices were being followed with respect to the granting of asylum, the determination of refugee status and the treatment of asylum-seekers and refugees;

(e) Noted with particularly grave concern the continuing serious violations or disregard of the physical safety of refugees and asylum seekers in various regions of the world, including military or armed attacks, acts of piracy and the failure to rescue asylum-seekers in distress at sea;

(f) Expressed satisfaction that despite these disquieting trends, States continue to grant asylum to large numbers of refugees and ensure that they are treated in accordance with recognized international humanitarian standards;

(g) Took note of the discussions in the Sub-Committee of the Whole on International Protection concerning military and armed attacks on refugee camps and settlements and of the addendum to the report of the Sub-Committee's ninth meeting (A/AC.96/649/Add.1), and requested the Chairman to take appropriate action for the continuation of consultations regarding the prohibition of military or armed attacks on refugee camps and settlements and to report on the results of these consultations to the Executive Committee at its thirty-sixth Session;

(h) Stressed the importance of UNHCR's being granted access to asylum applicants and refugees in order to enable the Office to carry out its protection functions in an effective manner;

(i) Welcomed the additional accessions to the 1951 United Nations Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees which had taken place since the Committees thirty-fourth session and expressed the hope that further States - and in particular States confronted with large-scale refugee problems - would accede to these basic international refugee instruments in the near future, thereby strengthening the framework of international solidarity and burden-sharing of which these instruments are an essential part;

(j) Expressed satisfaction at the continuing efforts of the High Commissioner to promote a greater knowledge and understanding of international refugee law, and recognized the positive contribution made by the International Institute for Humanitarian Law in San Remo in this important area of the High Commissioner's activities;

(k) Reiterated the need for Governments to support the exercise of the High Commissioner's international protection function by granting asylum, by providing durable solutions and by fostering in the public opinion a deeper understanding of the special situation and needs of refugees and asylum-seekers.