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General Conclusion on International Protection

Executive Committee Meetings

General Conclusion on International Protection
No. 36 (XXXVI) - 1985

18 October 1985
Executive Committee 36th session. Contained in United Nations General Assembly Document No. 12A (A/40/12/Add.1).

The Executive Committee,

(a) Recognized the crucial importance of the High Commissioner's international protection function, the exercise of which had become increasingly difficult due to the growing complexity of present-day refugee problems;

(b) Reiterated that the High Commissioner's international protection function can only be effectively carried out with the full support of Governments; of particular importance is the provision of durable solutions by Governments in co-operation with the High Commissioner;

(c) Noted with satisfaction the progress achieved in the further development of international refugee law and the strengthening of internationally recognized standards for the treatment of refugees;

(d) Welcomed the fact that a large number of States had now acceded to the 1951 United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol and expressed the hope that further States would accede to these instruments in the near future, thereby strengthening the framework of international solidarity and burden-sharing of which these instruments are an integral part;

(e) Welcomed the fact that one country has recently withdrawn the geographical limitation in respect of its obligations under the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention and that the question of such withdrawal is being given favourable consideration by another country; recommended consideration of the withdrawal of the geographical limitation by those States which still maintain it;

(f) Noted with serious concern that despite the development and further strengthening of established standards for the treatment of refugees, the basic rights of refugees in different areas of the world had continued to be disregarded and that in particular refugees are being exposed to pirate attacks, other acts of violence, military and armed attacks, arbitrary detention and refoulement;

(g) Noted that the General Assembly has adopted by consensus resolution 39/140 of which paragraph 3, inter alia, relates to military and armed attacks on refugee camps and settlements;

(h) Stressed the importance of the question of military and armed attacks on refugee camps and settlements being kept under constant review by the Executive Committee and requested the Chairman to continue consultations on this matter;

(i) Welcomed the fact that States in many parts of the world, including States confronted with economic and developmental difficulties, continue to grant asylum to large numbers of refugees;

(j) Noted with concern the growing phenomenon of refugees and asylum-seekers who, having found protection in one country, move in an irregular manner to another country and expressed the hope that the problem this represents can be mitigated through the adoption of global solutions in a spirit of international co-operation and burden-sharing, and requested the High Commissioner to continue consultations with a view to reaching agreement on this matter;

(k) Welcomed the convening by the High Commissioner in May 1985 of the Consultations on the Arrivals of Asylum-Seekers and Refugees in Europe;

(l) Reaffirmed the importance of creating a deeper understanding in the public mind of the special plight of refugees in order to facilitate the exercise of the High Commissioner's international protection function;

(m) Reiterated the importance of the Office's continued efforts to promote the development and strengthening of international refugee law, in particular through its co-operation with the International Institute of Humanitarian Law in San Remo.