Refugees and Stateless Persons Note by the Secretary-General
1. On 6 August 1949, at its ninth session, the Economic and Social Council adopted resolution 248 (IX)A, reading as follows:
"The Economic and Social Council,
"Recalling the resolution of 12 February 1946 in which the General Assembly proclaimed that the problem of refugees and displaced persons was international in scope and nature,
"Considering that the question of the protection of refugees who are the concern of the IRO is an urgent one owing to the fact that the IRO expects to terminate its services about 30 June 1950,
"Considering that at that time there will still be a considerable number of refugees many of whom will not be capable of being rapidly absorbed into the national community of the countries where they are living, and that this number may possibly be increased by other refugees in a similar position,
"Noting the conclusions submitted by the General Council of the IRO in section 5 of its aforementioned communication,
"Requests the Governments which are Members of the United Nations, and all the other States, to provide, after the termination of the IRO, the necessary legal protection for refugees who have been the concern of the IRO under its mandate;
"Requests the Secretary-General, in consultation with the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, to prepare for the consideration of the fourth session of the General Assembly a plan for such organization within the framework of the United Nations as may be required to enable the United Nations to discharge the function of international protection of refugees, and related functions, taking into account the following alternatives:
"(a) The establishment of a High Commissioner's Office under the control of the United Nations;
"(b) The establishment of a service within the United Nations Secretariat;
"Further requests the Secretary-General, in consultation with the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, to transmit with such plan of organization a proposal with respect to the nature and extent of the legal protection functions to be performed, taking into consideration the experience of the League of Nations, the Inter-Governmental Committee on Refugees and the IRO, the various provisions of national legislation relating to refugees, the special problems in occupied areas and the observations made by Governments during the current session of the Council. This proposal might also include the following:
"(a) The methods by which States not members of United Nations may be brought into association with the work of the United Nations for refugees and stateless persons;
"(b) The administration of any assistance funds which the General Assembly might put at the disposal of the United Nations for the benefit of certain classes of refugees;
"(c) Reporting at stated intervals to the Council and the General Assembly concerning the effectiveness of existing international measures for the legal protection of refugees and such further international action as may be necessary;
"Recommends that the General Assembly at its fourth session;
"(a) Decide the functions and organizational arrangements within the framework of the United Nations necessary for the international protection of refugees after the IRO terminates its activities;
"(b) Make the budgetary provision for the financial year 1950 necessary for the assumption of such functions".
2. As requested by the above resolution the Secretary-General has been preparing a plan for such organization within the framework of the United Nations as may be required to enable the United Nations to discharge the function of international protection of refugees, and related function. In preparing this plan, he has taken into account the two alternatives outlined in the resolution of the Economic and Social Council.
3. The Secretary-General will present the plan to the General Assembly as soon as his consultations with the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions have been concluded.
1 E 1112 E/1112/Add.1