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Chairman of UNHCR Executive Committee visits Colombia

Briefing notes

Chairman of UNHCR Executive Committee visits Colombia

19 February 2002

The chairman of UNHCR's Executive Committee, Ambassador Johan Molander of Sweden, will lead a week-long UNHCR mission to Colombia and Venezuela starting tomorrow (Wednesday). Amb. Molander, who heads the Swedish mission to the United Nations in Geneva, will see first-hand the situation for displaced people and returnees in Colombia. He will also meet with UNHCR's government and non-governmental partners on the ground working to help and protect displaced people around the country. Mr. Molander will also visit communities of internally displaced people in Bogota and Barrancabermeja.

The nearly 40-year conflict has uprooted well over a million people within Colombia and forced many others to seek refuge in neighbouring countries or further abroad. Colombians made up the eighth largest nationality seeking asylum in industrialised countries in 2001. UNHCR's Executive Committee is made up of 57 member countries which review and approve UNHCR's budget and advise on protection and other policies.