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International Solidarity and Refugee Protection

Executive Committee Meetings

International Solidarity and Refugee Protection
No. 52 (XXXIX) - 1988

10 October 1988
Executive Committee 39th session. Contained in United Nations General Assembly Document No. 12A (A/43/12/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,

Remaining deeply concerned about the gravity and complexity of refugee problems throughout the world, the serious violations of human rights which accompany them and the dislocation and distress they cause for the millions of individuals involved;

Reaffirming that refugee problems are the concern of the international community and their resolution is dependent on the will and capacity of States to respond in concert and wholeheartedly, in a spirit of true humanitarianism and international solidarity;

Noting that States have obligations or responsibilities to accord protection and a basic standard of treatment to refugees and that these must be performed in good faith;

Noting also that the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was created in the context of an urgent need to provide protection to refugees and that it is this protection function which uniquely characterizes the Office;

1. Underlined that States, which have defined the protection role of the Office, have a responsibility to co-operate with it in the fulfilment of its mandate on the basis of the fundamental humanitarian principles which motivate its work;

2. Noted that States and UNHCR are joined in the common pursuit of solutions for refugee problems and the international protection of the fundamental rights of refugees;

3. Stressed that the principle of international solidarity has a fundamental role to play in encouraging a humanitarian approach to the grant of asylum and in the effective implementation of international protection in general;

4. Recalled that, in all circumstances, the respect for fundamental humanitarian principles is an obligation for all members of the international community, it being understood that the principle of international solidarity is of utmost importance to the satisfactory implementation of these principles;

5. Invited all States to continue actively to support the protection functions of the High Commissioner through all appropriate means, both bilateral and multilateral, as well as to abide by their own humanitarian responsibilities towards refugees, including, particularly, to safeguard the right to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution and to ensure full respect for the principle of non-refoulement.