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Accession to International Instruments and Their Implementation

Executive Committee Meetings

Accession to International Instruments and Their Implementation
No. 42 (XXXVII) - 1986

13 October 1986
Executive Committee 37th session. Contained in United Nations General Assembly Document No. 12A (A/41/12/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,

(a) Recalled that in numerous earlier conclusions the Executive Committee had appealed to States to accede to the 1951 United Nations Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees and that similar appeals had also been addressed to Governments in various resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly;

(b) Noted with satisfaction that more than 100 States had now become parties to the 1951 Convention and/or the 1967 Protocol;

(c) Recognized that these instruments incorporate fundamental principles of refugee law including the principle of non-refoulement and lay down minimum standards for the treatment of refugees and thus constitute the cornerstone of international protection;

(d) Stressed that accession to the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol implies a commitment to and a reinforcement of the fundamental principles which these instruments embody, underlines the importance attached by each acceding State to international efforts to solve refugee problems and reflects the universal character that the refugee problem has now assumed;

(e) Recognized that widespread accession to these instruments reaffirms their universal applicability and serves to reinforce the international legal framework for the protection of refugees and thereby facilitates the exercise of the High Commissioner's international protection function;

(f) Called on States not having acceded to the 1951 United Nations Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees to accede to these instruments;

(g) Recommended consideration of the withdrawal of the geographical limitation and reservations to these instruments by those States which still maintain them;

(h) Recalled that the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol are complemented by various international instruments of relevance to refugees adopted at the universal level as well as by a number of standard setting instruments adopted at the regional level and called upon States to consider acceding to such additional universal instruments and to such other instruments as are applicable to their region;

(i) Noted that accession to the various international refugee instruments, whether of a universal or regional character, is now of utmost importance in view of the magnitude and the seriousness of the contemporary refugee problem and requested the High Commissioner to continue his efforts at the highest level to promote further accession to the international refugee instruments;

(j) Recommended to States which have not yet done so, to consider adopting appropriate legislative and/or administrative measures for the effective implementation of the international refugee instruments, making the necessary distinction between refugees and other aliens.