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Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Executive Committee Meetings

Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

1 January 1973

United Nations General Assembly Official Records: Twenty-seventh Session

Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Supplement No.12 (A/8712)


1. A major feature of the twelve-month period1 covered by this report was the exceptionally serious problem of the exodus of millions of Bengali refugees. The High Commissioner was called upon by a decision of the Secretary-General, confirmed by General Assembly resolution 2790 (XXVI), to assume the role of focal point in co-ordinating United Nations assistance to the refugees in question. The High Commissioner has given an account of his activities in that capacity in a detailed report which was submitted to the Economic and Social Council and will be before the General Assembly and the Security Council (A/8662/Add.3-S/10539/Add.3). The problem has ended with the return of the refugees to their country upon the cessation of hostilities in the area.

2. The second major event of the past year, as far as refugees are concerned, was the ratification in March 1972 of the Addis Ababa Agreement which cleared the way for the voluntary repatriation of some 180,000 Sudanese refugees who had taken refuge in neighbouring countries. Coinciding as it does with a trend towards an appreciable increase in repatriation in Africa, the Agreement, and the prospects it opens up for a happy and final solution to the many problems raised by the existence of such a large group of refugees, will undoubtedly constitute an important date in the history of international assistance to refugees in Africa and throughout the world.

3. The wave of international solidarity manifested in favour of the Bengali refugees fortunately did not affect efforts to help other groups of refugees, and UNHCR has been able, despite the very heavy additional duties temporarily imposed upon it, to discharge its normal responsibilities.

4. The exodus of new refugees, particularly from countries in Africa, has unfortunately not ceased during the period in question. Even so, however, steady progress, which varied according to region, was made in the search for permanent solutions other than voluntary repatriation, more especially with respect to local integration.

5. While there has been a certain decline in emigration from the European countries, rural resettlement has continued without major problems or difficulties in Africa, where the vast majority of refugees are able to provide for their essential needs. Beyond the minimum conditions for existence which, in any case, have to be provided for them, on the whole their economic and social situation is improving slowly but steadily. It is only political events which have on occasion disturbed - temporarily, it is to be hoped - this normal process of integration and assimilation. Despite a still inadequate number of schools, school attendance is increasing from year to year and more and more refugees are receiving scholarships enabling them to take up secondary studies or attend vocational training courses which will later assist them to take part in economic and social life.

6. Lastly, in the field of international protection, there is reason to hope that a new and decisive step will soon be taken with regard to the right of asylum and the application of the principle of non-refoulement which is its essential corollary. The High Commissioner has already had occasion to emphasize the vital importance for refugees of the strict application of this principle. Although generally recognized and applied in present international practice, it will not become mandatory until it is incorporated in an international legal instrument. The preparation of such an instrument has already been thoroughly examined by a meeting of experts, and the High Commissioner hopes very shortly to be able to bring the results to the attention of the members of the Assembly.

7. In the course of the past year an exceptional effort was required of the international community, which responded in record time to the appeals of the Secretary-General and the High Commissioner in favour of the Bengali refugees. This effort made it possible for the members of the United Nations system concerned to carry through with the necessary speed a large-scale combined operation reflecting the will of Governments and of the United Nations as a whole to come to the help of the victims of events beyond the control of the United Nations and the Governments alike. The results obtained are in part the fruit of an unprecedented co-ordination effort. Furthermore, it was only through the broad and flexible use of the concept of good offices that the High Commissioner was able to play the part assigned to him in that connexion.



8. In resolution 2789 (XXVI) adopted on 6 December 1971, the General Assembly, inter alia, requested the High Commissioner to continue to provide international protection to refugees who are his concern and urged Governments to facilitate the accomplishment of his task in the field of international protection. The experience gained in this field during the reporting period has shown once again that the international protection function of the High Commissioner's Office is essentially dynamic, calling constantly for new efforts and initiatives and the exploration of fresh avenues of approach.

9. International protection, which is one of the pillars of the High Commissioner's humanitarian responsibilities towards refugees, constitutes one of the main purposes of the existing intergovernmental instruments relating to refugees. The High Commissioner must ensure their implementation. This can be done only if States parties to the instruments enact the necessary laws and administrative regulations.

10. The questionnaire which the High Commissioner addressed in 1970 to the Governments of States parties to the 1951 Convention relating to the status of refugees2 and the 1967 Protocol3 may provide those Governments with a useful opportunity to reassess the present situation of their national legislation in so far as it concerns refugees and to determine whether any improvements are called for. It is the hope of the High Commissioner that Governments will devote special attention to this matter. He also hopes that States which are now considering the adoption of specific legislative and administrative measures pursuant to their obligations under the Convention and the Protocol will ensure that those measures are shortly finalized and brought into force.

11. The fact that legal and administrative measures have not yet been brought fully into line with international standards continues to create problems for individual refugees. Some of the problems facing them, relating to such basic matters as obtaining asylum, regularization of status, withdrawal of the right of residence and expulsion, have been of a particularly serious nature. They show a clear and urgent need for the establishment of appropriate procedures and the working out of positive and humane solutions within the framework of international co-operation. The High Commissioner wishes to stress that the effectiveness of international protection depends in the last resort on its impact on the problems of individual refugees. He appeals to Governments to devote special attention to this matter and to do their utmost to ensure that such problems are reduced to an absolute minimum.

12. The greater the number of parties to the instruments, the greater the effectiveness of the protection afforded to refugees. It is, therefore, gratifying to note that there were further accessions to the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol during the reporting period. However, in certain areas the number of acceding States is still very limited. The High Commissioner proposes to bring the matter to the attention of the Governments concerned and trusts that this initiative will meet with a positive response.

13. There can be no protection for the refugee unless he is recognized as such. He arrives at the frontier not only in fear of persecution, but also of the reception awaiting him on the other side. Among the questions in his mind are whether he will be turned back or whether the authorities, suspicious of his intentions, will deprive him of his liberty. In view of the need to relieve the refugee of such apprehensions, the High Commissioner particularly welcomes the special interest which has been focused, during the reporting period, on the law relating to asylum.

14. The High Commissioner regards the developments concerning the law of asylum as of great significance. He hopes that this interest will be maintained and that the trend will culminate in a further development of the law by the adoption of a legally binding international instrument on asylum.

15. The past few years have witnessed the emergence of new refugee situations that call for a corresponding expansion of the legal framework of international protection. The scope of the 1951 Convention has been widened by the 1967 Protocol and the Convention has been supplemented at the regional level by the OAU Convention governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa.

16. The application of basic international standards for the treatment of refugees in new areas demands a study in depth of each new refugee situation in relation to the social and ethnic background of the group of refugees concerned, and an evaluation of its specific protection needs in the country of residence. Such an evaluation, taking into account the degree of development of the country, will give a clearer picture of the extent to which recognized international standards for the treatment of refugees can have an impact on national laws, administrative regulations and practices.

17. The High Commissioner would like to stress once again the purely humanitarian nature of his functions with reference to international protection. In this context, the fact that only small progress has so far been achieved with respect to the reunion of separated members of refugee families is a source of preoccupation. The High Commissioner therefore expresses the earnest hope that the Governments concerned will devote special attention to the particularly acute and tragic problem to which the separation of close family members necessarily gives rise.

B. Intergovernmental instruments concerning refugees

18. Intergovernmental legal instruments constitute an essential basis for the international protection of refugees. They embody provisions for the granting to refugees of a favourable standard of treatment, often approximating that enjoyed by nationals of their country of residence. The instruments dealing specifically with refugees are the 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees, the Hague Agreement relating to Refugee Seamen of November 1957,4 the European Agreement on the Abolition of Visas for Refugees of April 1959,5 and the OAU Convention of 1969 Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa. Positive developments have taken place during the period under review, as will be seen below and in annex I, which gives the status of accessions to legal instruments of benefit to refugees.

19. By the end of March 1972, 62 States had become parties to the 1951 Convention and 51 had acceded to the 1967 Protocol. During the period under review, Chile and Malta acceded to both instruments, and Italy, Luxembourg and Morocco, already parties to the Convention, acceded to the Protocol. The Government of Luxembourg has withdrawn the geographical limitation6 which it had adopted upon accession to the Convention, thus giving full scope to the application of the Protocol.

20. The States that are now parties to the Convention and the Protocol include many which have welcomed substantial numbers of refugees. There are several States, however, where refugees have been admitted for asylum or for resettlement which are not parties to these instruments. Furthermore, as mentioned in section A above, certain areas are inadequately represented among the States parties to the instruments.

21. While it is essential that the Convention and Protocol be ratified by the largest possible number of States, it is equally important that the provisions of the instruments be fully applied in practice through appropriate legislative or administrative measures. In his report to the General Assembly at its twenty-sixth session,7 the High Commissioner informed the Assembly of the questionnaire he had sent to Governments requesting information on the implementation of the Convention and Protocol. This questionnaire, modelled on those used by the International Labour Organisation, concerns the main subjects embodied in the 1951 Convention.8 In addition, it requests general information on the relevant legislative and administrative measures adopted by States and on the procedures established in order to determine refugee status. As of 31 March, replies had been received from 26 States parties to the Convention and Protocol.9 It is hoped that the remaining 37 States parties to these instruments will communicate their replies in the near future and thus enable the High Commissioner to draw up a comprehensive report on the subject.

22. It is gratifying to note that only in a few instances do the reports disclose a lack of conformity between measures at the national level and the requirements of the Convention. In regard to economic and social rights, documentation for refugees, and expulsion and non-refoulement, there appears to be general conformity with the Convention and Protocol. Moreover, in many cases where States have introduced reservations, the provisions of the Convention and Protocol are nevertheless applied in practice. In certain cases conformity exists in so far as the general legislation of the country permits the application of the Convention, though no specific measures have been adopted to give effect to its provisions. Such measures may be necessary in order to improve the position of refugees.

23. The OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa,10 adopted by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity in September 1969, is particularly significant since it concerns the region where the vast majority of refugees assisted by UNHCR are located. The Convention is the first legally binding instrument incorporating the various principles relating to asylum. It has been ratified to date by five African countries (the Central African Republic, the Congo, the Niger, Senegal and Togo). It is necessary, however, for one third of the total of 41 States members of OAU to have ratified the Convention before it comes into force. It is hoped, therefore, that further accessions will be forthcoming.

24. In the report to the General Assembly at its twenty-fifth session,11 it was mentioned that the Government of the Netherlands, acting in its capacity as depository of the Hague Agreement relating to Refugee Seamen, had drawn up a protocol extending the benefits of that Agreement to refugees covered by the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees. The principle of such a Protocol has now received the approval of the majority of States parties to the Hague Agreement and is expected to be open for acceptance in the near future.

25. One of the most important intergovernmental instruments concerning refugees is the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness,12 which provides that persons born within the territory of a Contracting State and who otherwise would be stateless will acquire the citizenship of the State. It is of particular significance for stateless refugees and helps to avoid perpetuation of refugee status. This Convention has so far received only three (Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom) out of the six accessions required for its entry into force. A number of other States are considering accession and the High Commissioner hopes that the necessary additional accessions will be forthcoming in the near future.

26. There have been further accessions to the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons13 and to the 1956 Convention on the Recovery Abroad of Maintenance.14 The Office also continued its efforts to promote accessions to the European Agreement of 1959 on the Abolition of Visas for Refugees.15 As explained in more detail below, in March 1972, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted a European Social Security Convention to replace the European Interim Agreement on Social Security other than Schemes for Old Age, Invalidity and Survivors of 1953, whose provisions are also applicable to refugees who are the concern of UNHCR. A bilateral social security convention, concluded between the Federal Republic of Germany and Canada in March 1972, also contains a clause making it specifically applicable to refugees. The practice of extending the provisions of bilateral social security conventions to refugees is in accordance with article 24, paragraph 3, of the 1951 Convention and has been regularly followed by a number of States. The convention between Canada and the Federal Republic of Germany is, however, of special importance in that it is the first of its kind between a European Country and an overseas country of resettlement which applies to refugees.

C. Determination of refugee status

27. UNHCR has continued to co-operate with Governments in determining refugee status under the 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol. The Office has particularly welcomed such co-operation in countries which have more recently acceded to these instruments. It has participated in the work of the Interministerial Eligibility Committee in Zambia and has been represented by an observer to the sessions of the Refugee Advisory Committees established in Botswana under the Refugee (Recognition and Control) Act. The High Commissioner continues to encourage the establishment of appropriate procedures whereby applications for refugee status are considered in accordance with the criteria laid down in the 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol and in the Statute of UNHCR.16 He is pleased to report that in Ethiopia such a procedure is under active consideration in close consultation with UNHCR, and that in Senegal measures for the establishment of a procedure are due to be taken in the near future.

D. Admission to residence and regularization of status

28. Cases have again arisen in certain countries in which persons covered by the definition of the term "refugee" in the 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol have been declared prohibited immigrants or subjected to similar measures involving a risk of expulsion. In some cases they have been placed in detention for a considerable period of time. Having regard to humanitarian considerations, the High Commissioner considers that recourse to such measures should be avoided and that in normal circumstances the persons concerned should be permitted to remain in the territory on a regular basis at least until appropriate resettlement possibilities are found. The High Commissioner is gratified to note that the Zambian authorities, acting in conformity with article 31 of the 1951 Convention, have issued a circular to prevent prosecution for illegal entry of persons claiming refugee status.

E. Asylum

29. Important developments have taken place in respect of the question of asylum, which is a vital element in the protection of refugees. The High Commissioner is pleased to be able to report that the practice followed by States in regard to asylum has generally accorded with recognized international standards. The authorities in a number of countries have taken practical measures to this effect. The High Commissioner was, however, called upon to intervene in a situation involving the refoulement of a group of several hundred persons, including a substantial number of refugees. It is hoped that such instances will not recur.

30. Further positive steps have been taken with regard to long-term legislative action in respect of asylum. Since the establishment of the Office, there has been growing recognition and acceptance of the basic principles relating to asylum and, in particular, the principle of non-refoulement, according to which no person may be returned to a country where he fears persecution. This trend has been marked by the unanimous adoption by the General Assembly in 1967 of the Declaration on Territorial Asylums;17 the adoption in June 1967 by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe of a resolution (67 (14) ) on asylum to Persons in Danger of Persecution; the reaffirmation of the importance of the principle of non-refoulement in a resolution adopted by the International Conference on Human Rights held in Teheran in April-May 1968;18 and the inclusion of binding legal provisions on asylum in the OAU Refugee Convention of 1969 and in the Inter-American Human Rights Convention of the same year.19 Provisions relating to asylum have been included in the constitutions of a number of States or in their legislation relating to aliens.

31. In the light of these positive trends, increasing attention has been given to the possibility of strengthening the application of the principle of asylum by the adoption of a binding legal instrument on the subject. In 1965, the consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe, in its recommendation 434, drew attention to the desirability of elaborating an international instrument giving full legal recognition to the practice of granting asylum in member States. A similar approach has been adopted by non-governmental organizations such as the International Law Association and the World Federation of United Nations Associations. The Asylum Committee of the International Law Association has approved the text of a draft convention on diplomatic and territorial asylum which recommends the enforcement of the principle of asylum. A similar recommendation was adopted by the Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations held on the occasion of the International Year for Human Rights in 1968.

32. The Colloquium on the Law of Territorial Asylum, mentioned in the High Commissioner's report to the General Assembly, at its twenty-sixth session,20 was held in Bellagio, Italy, in April 1971. Organized by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in consultation with UNHCR, the Colloquium was attended by legal experts from 14 countries. It reviewed the question of asylum in relation to international law and drew up a number of articles for inclusion in an intergovernmental instrument on the subject. A further meeting of experts, held in Geneva at the beginning of 1972, elaborated the text of a draft convention which gives expression to the principle of non-refoulement in broad and comprehensive terms in the form of a binding legal obligation. It also includes provisions concerning the granting of asylum, non-extradition, the right of provisional stay pending consideration of asylum requests and the right of States to qualify the grounds for granting asylum. In addition, it incorporates the principle of international solidarity in alleviating the burden falling on countries which grant asylum. It further provides that the grant of asylum constitutes a peaceful and humanitarian act and not an unfriendly measure vis-à-vis any other State.

F. Economic and social rights of refugees

33. The granting of adequate economic and social rights to refugees is important, firstly, for humanitarian reasons, since in many cases the refugees have no alternative but to remain in their country of residence, and, secondly, because the granting of such rights is a step towards integration and naturalization. Specific legislative action has been taken in respect of education and social security. The Government of the Central African Republic has announced that refugees will be placed on the same footing as nationals with regard to access to secondary education. Under a law adopted in the Federal Republic of Germany in August 1971, higher education and vocational training in educational establishments are made available to refugees who have received asylum. The European Social Security Convention of March 1972, which provides for the cumulation of pension periods and transfers of acquired pension rights, is made specifically applicable to refugees within the mandate of UNHCR. A bilateral convention concluded between the Federal Republic of Germany and Canada contains a similar provision.

34. In addition, mention should be made of the often discreet progression of administrative practice of benefit to refugees brought about through day-to-day contact between UNHCR representatives and the national authorities. It is through the combined effect of legal developments and favourable current practice that refugees may be helped to acquire the economic and social rights which are indispensable to enable them to become useful members of the community which has welcomed them.

G. Acquisition by refugees of the nationality of their country of residence

35. As the High Commissioner has had occasion to state on many previous occasions, the ultimate objective of his Office is to help refugees to cease to be refugees, either through voluntary repatriation or, where this solution is not practicable, through the acquisition of the nationality of their country of residence. The Office has accordingly promoted, wherever possible, the adoption of legal and administrative practices facilitating the naturalization of refugees. As noted above, it is also pressing for accessions to the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, whose application will facilitate the acquisition of nationality by refugee children at birth. The granting of naturalization is dependent in most countries on a number of conditions which a refugee alien may require some time to meet. The number of beneficiaries of naturalization among refugees remains very small, therefore, in relation to the total number of refugees who are the concern of the Office. It is encouraging, however, that in an increasing number of countries a liberal attitude has been adopted in respect of naturalization. Some African countries have begun to devote considerable attention to this matter, and in some cases practical results have already been achieved. Thus, in the United Republic of Tanzania, more than 450 refugees were able to acquired Tanzanian nationality in the period under review. In Burundi, the Nationality Law adopted in August 1971 contains a provision whereby the residence qualification for naturalization is reduced from 12 to 8 years in the case of refugees.

36. One of the problems which has emerged is that refugees often are not acquainted with the regulations in force or with the possibilities that are open to them with regard to the acquisition of nationality. It is hoped that through the concerted efforts of Governments, this Office and the voluntary agencies concerned, a larger number of persons who have had refugee status for many years will be able to become naturalized.

H. Issue of travel documents to refugees

37. While, on the one hand, more countries have taken measures to facilitate refugee travel, on the other hand an increasing number of individual refugees, mostly Africans, continue to face difficulties with regard to travel abroad, as was mentioned in the High Commissioner's report to the General Assembly at its twenty-sixth session.21 The Republic of Nigeria has decided to issue the travel document provided for under article 28 of the 1951 Convention and such action is also envisaged by Argentina, Australia, Ethiopia and Uruguay. In Greece, the authorities have decided to extend the geographical validity of the Convention Travel Document. UNHCR is providing the usual technical assistance to the countries concerned upon their request.

38. The High Commissioner is also pleased to report that some countries which are not parties to the 1951 Convention have decided to provide refugees with an appropriate travel document enabling them to go abroad. Thus, in Spain a new measure has been adopted whereby aliens who are unable to obtain national passports may be issued aliens' travel documents valid for one year and three journeys. This measure will also benefit refugees residing in Spain and wishing to travel abroad.

39. The Office of the High Commissioner continues to be confronted with individual cases of refugees from Africa who have come to Europe to study, usually on the basis of a travel document issued by a country which, although granting them asylum, has not fully regularized their status. Subsequently, difficulties frequently arise regarding the renewal of their travel documents by the country of asylum. Moreover, at the conclusion of their studies, these refugees are faced with the urgent problem of finding a country where they can settle permanently. It is very much hoped that the countries in which they first received asylum in Africa and also the countries in which they presently reside will extend all possible assistance until a solution has been found to their problems. The High Commissioner would also like to stress again the importance for those refugees who have not yet taken up permanent residence in another country of having their travel document renewed by the original issuing authorities, or having another document issued to them, a solution which has been adopted by the Government of Czechoslovakia.

I. Indemnification

40. Within the framework of its protection function, UNHCR continued the important task of allocating payments from the Residual Indemnification Fund to refugees who had suffered persecution by reason of their nationality. By the end of February 1972, payments totalling $1,748,870 had been approved to persons who were refugees in the sense of the 1951 Convention at any time between 8 May 1945 and 31 December 1965. The funds available for these payments accrue from reimbursements from the authorities of the Federal Republic of Germany in respect of persons who first received payments under either of two earlier UNHCR funds and who were subsequently found to qualify for much larger settlements under the indemnification legislation of the Federal Republic of Germany. In such cases, the payments previously made by UNHCR revert to the Office and are used to help refugees who have not received indemnification from any source. With regard to the indemnification of refugees under the legislation, payments totalling DM 191,213,098 had been awarded to 432 claimants as of the end of February 1972. It is anticipated that of the 5,242 cases pending, at least 4,000, including the most serious cases of persecution, will be settled by the end of 1972.


A. Introductory Remarks

41. The number of refugees in need of UNHCR assistance did not change substantially during 1971. The number of beneficiaries from material assistance during the year was of the same order of magnitude as in 1970, i.e. 250,000. The majority were refugees living in rural settlements in Africa, as indicated in more detail in annex II, table 1.

42. Assistance was given through projects outstanding from previous programmes, projects in the 1971 Programme, the Emergency Fund and complementary projects financed from trust funds. As shown in annex II, table 3, the total amount of finds committed and spent under the 1971 Programme and the Emergency Fund amounted to $7,084,730, as against $6,408,604 in 1970. Trust funds were contributed in an amount of $1,216,353, most of which were earmarked by donors for complementary assistance projects, including educational assistance. In accordance with the principle whereby Governments of host countries have a primary responsibility to assist refugees, a number of Governments again carried a considerable part of the burden of assistance. The figure of some $2,204,000, indicated in respect of supporting contributions in 1971, relates only to a few identified items. Services of various kinds provided by Governments, local authorities and other organizations, in particular the World Food Programme, have added considerably to the total support provided within host countries.

43. A substantially larger number of refugees than in 1970 opted for voluntary repatriation. The great majority of the estimated 20,000 refugees who availed themselves of this solution were African, 3,512 of whom were assisted through a financial contribution from the UNHCR Programme. As explained in section B below, the implementation of the agreement recently concluded between the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Sudan and the South Sudan Liberation Movement may result in the return of a large number of Sudanese to their homes. Their repatriation will no doubt be facilitated through measures taken or to be taken by members of the United Nations system for immediate relief and longer-term development aid in the Sudan, in accordance with the terms of Economic and Social Council resolution 1655 (LII), of 8 June 1972, on assistance in the Relief, Rehabilitation and resettlement of Sudanese refugees.

44. Resettlement through migration remained the most desired solution for new refugees in Europe. The migratory flow, however, was somewhat reduced because of less favourable conditions in traditional immigration countries. It is gratifying that a number of countries continued to accept handicapped refugees for permanent settlement. During the period under review, 7,506 refugees were resettled with UNHCR assistance in the from of counselling, language training, resettlement grants or contributions towards resettlement processing. An amount of $287,068 was committed under the 1971 Programme for that purpose. A number of refugees were able to migrate without international assistance. The Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration and non-governmental organizations continued to co-operate closely with UNHCR in the field of resettlement.

45. As in 1970, local settlement provided a solution for more than 95 per cent of the total number of beneficiaries. The main expenditures under the 1971 programme were required for the settlement of refugees on the land, mostly in the main countries of reception in Africa (the Sudan, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, and Zaire).

46. UNHCR projects were focused on helping the refugees to become self-supporting as rapidly as possible, and consolidating their economic and social position so as to permit the phasing out of international assistance. The nature of projects necessarily varied in accordance with the area of location and the background of the refugees. Efforts continued to be made by host countries with a view to giving refugees and their children the benefit of facilities available to their own nationals. When such facilities were insufficient, UNHCR contributed financially to their establishment, in particular as regards medical installations and primary schools in developing countries. The fact that in some cases the local population also benefited from these facilities has had a beneficial effect on refugee integration.

47. Assistance towards education and training constituted an essential element of the Programme, particularly in Africa. In addition to the many thousands of refugee children who benefited from UNHCR primary education projects, 5,243 refugees were assisted under the UNHCR Education Account, more than twice as many as in 1970, and $625,854 were made available from the Account, as against $349,000 in the previous year.

48. Since the solution of individual legal problems is especially important to enable refugees to become integrated, individual legal aid has proved to be of great value; 4,248 refugees benefited from this form of assistance at a cost of $63,267 to the 1971 Programme.

49. Supplementary aid was again required in an amount of $187,962 to help 17,812 refugees, mostly new arrivals, to meet their day-to-day needs, while a permanent solution was being worked out for them.

50. The Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme, at its twenty-second session held in October 1971, adopted a financial target for the 1972 Programme in an amount of $7,968,900, an increase of some $900,000 over the revised target for 1971. The additional funds were required mainly to meet higher costs of construction and services and the expected increased expenditure for consolidation of major rural settlement schemes in Africa. Since the adoption of the financial target, certain important developments have had to be taken into account. On the one hand, there are the prospects of voluntary repatriation of Sudanese, which has meant holding in abeyance a number of new projects, involving sizable capital investments, for the permanent settlement of these refugees. On the other hand, an important new problem has recently arisen in Africa - that of refugees from Burundi in neighbouring countries. There are also indications of emerging problems in other areas, i.e. Asia and Latin America.

B. Assistance to refugees in Africa

1. General developments

The caseload

51. The number of refugees who are the concern of UNHCR in more than 25 African countries was placed at the end of 1971 at around 1,000,000, virtually the same figure as in 1970. There were some 18,500 new arrivals in 1971, the great majority from territories under foreign administration. The influx of refugees from Guinea (Bissau) into Senegal reached a high point during the summer of 1971 and increased the number of refugees in that country from 67,000 to 80,000. In contrast, there were reductions through the voluntary repatriation of some 9,000 Zambians from Zaire, some 8,000 Zairians, the great majority from Burundi, and a number of Sudanese.

52. As shown in annex II, table 2, refugees from territories under foreign administration continued to constitute an important proportion of the refugees in several African countries. By the end of 1971, there were an estimated 415,000 Angolans, 80,000 refugees from Guinea (Bissau), 66,600 Mozambicans and a few thousand others, including refugees from Namibia and South Africa whose needs had been brought to the attention of UNHCR.

53. As further numbers of refugees were moved from reception areas near the border, the number of those established in UNHCR-assisted rural communities rose from some 200,000 at the end of 1970 to over 235,000 at the end of 1971. The great majority of the other refugees are settling among the local population with only limited assistance from the international community, mainly in the form of medical and educational aid. There are among them several thousand individual refugees, mostly town-dwellers in some of the capital cities, in search of employment or educational opportunities. The number of refugees requiring food rations increased to over 83,000, as against 77,000 at the end of 1971, mainly because of the considerable proportion of refugees who arrived during the past two years and had either not yet been moved to a rural settlement area or had not yet harvested their crops. Most of the food required was supplied by the World Food Programme.

Financial data

54. Of the amount of $4,080,657 committed under the 1971 Programme for assistance to refugees in Africa, $3,966,984 was used for their settlement on the land. Programme funds were supplemented by $131,820 from the Emergency Fund and $945,056 from trust funds, earmarked mainly for the financing of post-primary educational assistance. In addition, important supporting contributions, valued at about $1,700,000, were provided from within the countries of residence of refugees, mainly in the form of arable land and services. A number of refugees benefited from projects outstanding from previous years' programmes.

Voluntary repatriation

55. The main repatriation movement in 1971 comprised some 9,000 Zambians of the Lumpa sect who had formerly taken refuge in Zaire and 8,000 Zairians who chose to return to their homes following an amnesty promulgated by the Government. Some 7,000 of the latter recrossed the border from Burundi, and 1,000 are believed to have returned from the Sudan. A limited number of refugees returned from the United Republic of Tanzania and Uganda.

56. A financial contribution to the cost of repatriation in Africa was provided under the 1971 Programme for some 3,500 refugees. The largest group so aided was composed of some 2,400 of the Zairians who left Burundi. More than 600 Zairian, Sudanese and Rwandese refugees were helped to return to their countries from Uganda, and close to 300 Zairians were aided to return from Tanzania. Smaller numbers were assisted to repatriate from the Central African Republic, Kenya, Senegal, the Sudan, Zaire, Ethiopia and Zambia.

57. An important development with regard to the voluntary repatriation of refugees was the ratification of an agreement in Addis Ababa on 27 March 1972, between the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Sudan and the South Sudan Liberation Movement. The Addis Ababa Agreement provides for regional autonomy in the Southern Region within a united Sudan. Its implementation should enable many thousands of Sudanese refugees and displaced persons to return to their homes. A number of Sudanese refugees have already returned. In order, however, to facilitate large-scale voluntary repatriation, the economic and social conditions in the area concerned will have to be improved. With this object in view, a conference on rehabilitation and resettlement in the Southern Region was convened in Khartoum early in 1972, attended by representatives of Governments of neighbouring countries, the High commissioner, the executive heads of other United Nations agencies concerned, and some of the non-governmental organizations. Following a request for relief and development aid addressed by the Sudanese Government to the United Nations, the Secretary-General asked the High Commissioner to assume responsibility for co-ordinating the initial phase of an immediate and co-ordinated United Nations relief programmed for the area, and requested the Administrator of UNDP to serve as central point for the longer-term reconstruction stage.

Resettlement through migration

58. Sustained efforts continued to be made to promote migration for resettlement as a permanent solution in the case of individual African refugees, particularly those living in urban localities. This is the more important in view of their increasing number. Because of the limited absorption capacity of most African countries, resettlement as a solution is difficult to apply and the number of refugees for whom migration opportunities could be found amounted to only some 300 in 1971. With a view to widening the migration opportunities for African refugees, UNHCR assisted the OAU Bureau for the Placement and Education of African Refugees (BPEAR) in preparing lists of qualified refugees for consideration by Governments. Following various missions by the director of BPEAR to African countries, a number of Governments offered scholarships and employment opportunities for refugees possessing the necessary skills. An amount of $30,249 was committed under the 1971 Programme in Africa to promote the resettlement of refugees.

Local settlement

59. As in previous years, the majority of beneficiaries under the UNHCR Programmes in Africa were assisted to settle on the land. In accordance with usual practice, the Programmes were implemented either by the voluntary agencies, as in the case of most settlements in the United Republic of Tanzania, Zaire and Zambia; by another member of the United Nations system, as in the Central African Republic, or by the governmental authorities, in some cases in co-operation with a national refugee committee.

60. UNHCR assistance in the settlement areas took a variety of forms designed in general to supplement the contribution of the Government in arable land, roads, bridges, water supplies, electric power and community installations. The type and extent of assistance provided by UNHCR was necessarily adjusted so as to match the facilities provided from governmental and other sources. Thus, for example, in some countries or areas, immediate relief had to be provided from UNHCR sources because of a delay in the arrival of World Food Programme supplies. In other cases, the major part of the UNHCR allocation had to be used to finance an essential water supply without which the refugees could not irrigate their fields.

61. Two vital elements of the rural settlement of refugees - primary education and medical assistance - form an integral part of the rural settlement projects. Of some $4,000,000 committed under the 1971 Programme and the Emergency Fund for local settlement, about $900,000 was devoted to assisting agricultural development, an equal amount to facilities for primary education, some $575,000 for direct relief activities, $440,000 for health services and the remainder, amounting to about $1,340,000, for various types of assistance.

62. The development of the settlements during the reporting period was necessarily uneven. In some areas exceptional climatic conditions delayed progress. In some countries provision had to be made to accommodate an unexpected inflow of refugees, and in others plans had to be kept under scrutiny to take account of the possibility of repatriation movements. This was the case in the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Uganda and Zaire where the development of further projects for Sudanese refugees will depend on the extent of voluntary repatriation following the implementation of the Addis Ababa Agreement of 1972.

63. In most of the organized settlements good progress was made with agriculture, the infrastructure was expanded with the assistance of UNHCR and an increasing number of refugees were able to become self-supporting. In several cases the phasing out of at least some of the UNHCR assistance projects is taking place or under consideration, and the authorities are considering the take-over of responsibility for schools or medical installations established with UNHCR assistance; in some cases the take-over has already occurred.

Education and training

64. UNHCR continued to help refugees in Africa acquire the education needed to enable them to become productive members of their new communities, or to equip them with the skills required to obtain employment on return to their homes or in a new country of residence. In planning educational assistance, special account was taken of the policies of the host Governments and of the skills needed in the local economy.

65. A substantial proportion of the resources available to finance the material assistance programme was devoted to the establishment and maintenance of primary school units in rural refugee settlements operating with UNHCR aid.

66. Special donations earmarked for education were channelled through the UNHCR Education Account. About one half of the $599,000 spent in Africa from the Education Account was used to provide scholarships and educational grants, often including the cost of tuition and board. The other half was contributed towards the building or expanding of secondary schools and teachers' quarters and for running costs during an initial period.

67. In 1971, an estimated 30,000 children were able to attend schools built by UNHCR in Africa.

68. UNHCR's programme of educational assistance was carried out with the technical advice of a few specialists seconded to the office by UNESCO.

69. In conformity with the agreement concluded between UNHCR and the United Nations Educational and Training Programme for Southern Africa (UNETPSA), UNHCR provided educational assistance up to and including the first level of secondary education to refugees from countries within UNETPSA's area of competence, and UNETPSA provided assistance to refugee students at higher levels.

Assistance to individual cases

70. Refugees who had gravitated to the cities in search of employment or education opportunities remained a difficult problem. Special efforts were made to assist individual refugees in finding employment. Some were encouraged to join rural settlements, others were given opportunities to acquire skills or continue their education, and some were aided by the OAU Bureau for the Placement and Education of African Refugees in migrating for employment.

71. Arrangements for the counselling of these refugees in the larger cities were further developed. In Dakar, the existing UNHCR-assisted counselling service continued to seek employment opportunities for individual refugees. An effective refugee counselling service was established in Nairobi through the joint effort of UNHCR, the United Nations Educational and Training Programme for Southern Africa and voluntary agencies. In Addis Ababa, UNHCR joined with non-governmental organizations in the establishment of a counselling service whose main functions included the administration of a scholarship programme.

72. In addition, the President of the Association of African Psychiatrists established counselling guidelines in consultation with UNHCR, WHO, and other interested agencies with a view to facilitating the treatment and, wherever possible, the integration of a few mentally handicapped refugees in urban areas.

Assistance to specific groups of refugees

73. An amount of $70,000 made available to UNHCR by the United Nations Trust Fund for South Africa was transmitted to voluntary agencies for assistance to refugees from that country, mainly to meet the basic needs of individual cases in eastern and southern Africa and to provide for primary education for some of them.

74. Namibian refugees in Zambia and Botswana have continued to benefit from UNHCR assistance along with other refugees in those countries. In Zambia about 300 Namibians were accommodated in two rural settlements largely populated by Angolans. In agreement with the Department of Trusteeship and Non-Self-Governing Territories, an amount of $15,000 made available by the United Nations was utilized for assistance to needy Namibian refugees. Assistance continued to be given to individual Namibian refugees in other countries. UNHCR also extended assistance to a limited number of Southern Rhodesians in consultation with the United Kingdom authorities.

2. Main developments in various countries


75. At the end of 1971 there were 4,500 refugees living in Botswana, of whom 4,300 were Angolans and the remainder, refugees of various origins.

76. Some 3,800 Angolans are living in a rural settlement which is making good progress. Food rations were discontinued in June 1971 and the refugees are expected to become self-supporting during 1972. The settlement clinic is due for completion shortly and the settlement school, which was destroyed by floods, has been rebuilt.

77. An amount of $17,500 was committed under the 1971 Programme for assistance to refugees in Botswana, mainly for the development of the settlement.


78. Following the arrival of some 1,000 Rwandese refugees from other asylum countries, the number of these refugees in Burundi had increased by the end of 1971 to approximately 33,000, some 20,000 of whom were living in four organized settlements. Following the amnesty decree in Zaire, most of the Zairians, i.e., some 7,000, returned to their homeland.

79. There was a general improvement in living conditions in the settlements during the year. A community assistance project, operated by the Young Men's Christian Association, to which UNHCR contributed, was brought to a successful conclusion. A tentative regional development plan was drawn up under the first phase of the UNDP/FAO integrated rural development project in the settlement area which was completed in 1971. This plan will help the Burundi Government to decide on the further measures to be taken in the area.

80. UNHCR assistance was limited to aid in the educational field. Thus, the cost of maintaining 12 primary schools was covered from the UNHCR Education Account. Some 800 secondary school and university students benefited form a scholarship programme administered by the World University Service and financed from a 1970 allocation from the Education Account.

Central African Republic

81. Following an influx at the beginning of 1971 of approximately 1,000 refugees, mostly Sudanese, the total number of refugees in the Central African Republic had risen by end of the year to some 28,000, including 21,000 Sudanese at the M'Boki settlement in the Haut M'Bomou, 3,300 Zairians and 1,400 Chadians.

82. UNHCR assistance was again focused on the M'boki area where good progress was made. The UNDP/FAO project for the development of the Haut M'Bomou, which was started in 1970, was continued. A considerable part of the $181,000 allocation for the initial land-settlement of newcomers was needed to meet a critical food shortage pending the delivery of World Food Programme supplies. Only 4,450 refugees were receiving rations at the end of 1971. Most of the balance of the allocation was used for such matters as transportation of refugees to the settlement area, provision of seeds and agricultural implements, and operational costs of primary schools.

83. The 11 primary schools in the settlement were fully attended and the gradual take-over by the Government of the financing of their running costs has been under consideration. The construction of a secondary school under an earlier project was completed. Some 60 students benefited from scholarships awarded under the Education Account, which also defrayed the cost of building a library reading room.

84. The 1,400 refugees from Chad were assisted to settle on the land through a 1970 Emergency Fund allocation with the assistance of the Central African Red Cross Society.


85. The number of refugees at the end of 1971 was estimated at 5,000, including majority of stateless Armenians, over 1,000 Africans and several hundred refugees of European origin. The economic and social situation continued to affect the position of the refugees. Assistance was required especially to ensure permanent care for a number of aged and handicapped refugees, to promote the resettlement of refugees to other countries and to provide counselling. An amount of $48,165 was committed under the 1971 Programme for this purpose. An allocation was also made from the Education Account to provide post-primary education for refugee students, mostly of African origin, whose number is on the increase.


86. Taking into account the arrival of 1,500 new refugees, the total number of refugees in Ethiopia at the end of 1971 amounted to some 22,500, including 21,000 Sudanese in the Gambela area. Of the remainder, mostly Sudanese, some 300 were living in Addis Ababa.

87. UNHCR assistance continued to be centred on the rural settlement of refugees in Gambela through the improvement of the economic and social infrastructure, including in particular the development of agriculture. The greater part of the local settlement allocation of $243,000 under the 1971 Programme was committed for this purpose. It included a contribution to the FAO-assisted Institute of Agricultural Research in Gambela whose findings formed the basis for an agricultural extention programme largely benefiting the refugees.

88. A hospital was completed and the health programme continued to be implemented in the settlement area by the joint services of the Ethiopian and Swedish Red Cross. The taking over of health services by the Government is under consideration. UNHCR contributed to the establishment of a community centre.

89. A considerable effort was made to promote further educational assistance. Of the $253,100 provided from the UNHCR Education Account in 1971, $186,000 were committed for the construction of a secondary school in Gambela. A conurbation was also made to a scholarship programme established jointly by UNHCR, the World Council of Churches and the International University Exchange Fund, which is scheduled to benefit up to 355 refugees.

90. In order to deal more effectively with the problems of individual cases in Addis Ababa, a refugee counselling service has been established. UNHCR, as well as some of the non-governmental organizations, participated in the financing of the service. Its main functions include the administration of the above-mentioned scholarship programme. The activities of the service are expected to contribute to solving the problems of many individual refugees who, at present, receive supplementary aid under the UNHCR Programme. A proportion of the individual cases who are at secondary school in Addis Ababa are likely to be admitted to the new secondary school in Gambela.


91. An influx of up to 13,000 new refugees in 1971 increased the total number of refugees in Senegal to some 80,000, practically all from Guinea (Bissau). By the end of 1971, those who had arrived before that year had settled on the land among the local population in southern Senegal. Some 5,000 were still in receipt of rations.

92. The transfer of the Manodji ethnic group (estimated at 5,000) from the border area inland was nearly completed. They are also settling on the land.

93. The integration of the earlier settlers was especially facilitated by their own determination and the attitude of the local inhabitants. An amount of $73,000 was committed under the 1971 Programme, mainly for medical assistance and counselling. UNHCR funds were used to finance the running cost of a health project for two mobile medical units to service the densely populated settlement areas. The project has been taken over by the Ministry of Public Health and Social Affairs. Fifteen school units, financed from a former UNHCR project, were completed and handed over to the ministry of National Education. A contribution was made from the Education Account, mainly for the extension of primary schools, the construction of a rural health and literacy centre and the granting of scholarships for a small number of university students.

94. The Counselling Service made further progress in seeking solutions to the problems of some of the 4,000 refugees in the Dakar area. A number of these were assisted in becoming fishermen or in establishing themselves on the land. In addition, with the help of the Senegalese authorities, over 500 qualified refugees among them were assisted in acquiring gainful occupations in Dakar.


95. Following the voluntary repatriation of an estimated 1,000 Zairians, the number of refugee in the Sudan decreased to some 59,500, including 54,500 Ethiopians and 5,000 Zairians. At the end of the year, over one half (35,550) were still in receipt of food rations.

96. Another 8,000 Ethiopians were moved from the border area near Kassala to Qala-en-Nahal where these refugees numbered 17,500 by the end of 1971. The settlement at Qala-en-Nahal was continued under a project financed from previous programmes. The move was made possible through the progress achieved in installing the water supply system in the settlement. In addition, tractors were used to assist the refugees in bringing additional land under cultivation. The construction of the main dispensary was completed. Primary education was at first provided in temporary schools. Agreement has since been reached with the Sudanese Government on the construction of primary school units for which an amount of $287,000 was committed under the 1971 Programme.

97. The Ethiopian refugees in Tokar - some 22,000 by the end of 1971 - were assisted through a former Emergency Fund grant of $150,000, supplemented by aid from the World Food Programme and several non-governmental organizations. They are being settled in animal husbandry.

98. Limited progress was made in the initial land settlement of Zairian refugees at Rajaf-East, for which an amount of $330,000 was committed under the 1971 Programme, supplemented by assistance from other sources, including medical equipment made available by UNICEF.

99. A number of Ethiopians and Zairians benefited from post-primary and technical education under projects financed from the education Account.


100. Following an influx of some 1,000 refugees, the number of refugees in Uganda at the end of 1971 was estimated at 181,000, including over 75,500 Sudanese, some 72,000 Rwandese and some 33,500 Zairians. At the end of 1971,63,000 refugees were living in rural communities, 13,500 of whom were still in receipt of rations.

101. In the six settlements for Rwandese refugees agricultural activities were intensified. There was an increased production of cash crops and marketing was facilitated through improved access roads. The number of cattle owned by refugees increased considerably. One settlement benefited from a World Bank Loan to the Ugandan Government for the eradication of the tse-tse fly and the improvement of cattle ranching. Further progress was made in installing the water supply at Nakivale. An amount of $347,036 was committed under the 1971 Programme for the local settlement of Rwandese refugees.

102. A further amount of $529,005 was provided under 1971 programme to facilitate the establishment of Sudanese refugees in four settlements. Following a request by the Ugandan Government, a survey was made by a UNDP/FAO/WHO team to ascertain the future prospects of the settlements. The team came to the conclusion that the refugee population in Nakapiripirit should be transferred elsewhere and that the number of refugees exceeding the maximum absorption capacity of Agago/Acolpi and Onigo should also be transferred. Progress was hampered by a second successive drought and the arrival of newcomers in these three settlements. An amount of $99,279 was accordingly allocated from the Emergency Fund to provide the refugees with the necessary food.

103. Several health centres are in the course of completion or are being improved.

104. Primary school facilities were increased through the establishment of additional classrooms in eight rural settlements for Rwandese, Sudanese and Zairian refugees. An amount of $164,850 was included in the local settlement allocation for this purpose. A considerable number of refugee children attended these schools, and some who had completed their primary education entered Ugandan secondary schools. Assistance for secondary education was provided for 146 refugee students.

105. Over 400 refugees of various origins, mainly town-dwellers, were assisted in finding employment. Another 85 refugees received educational assistance, mostly at secondary school, through an allocation from the Education Account, and a few refugees were enabled to benefit from courses at the FAO/UNDP Animal Health and Industry Training Institute in Kenya.

United Republic of Tanzania

106. Taking into account an influx of 700 Mozambiquans and the repatriation of 300 Zairians, the refugee population in Tanzania amounted, at the end of 1971, to 71,000, including a majority of Mozambiquans (56,000), over 13,000 Rwandese, 1,550 Zairians and 550 others. Of the total, nearly 57,000 refugees were living in rural communities, and food rations were being issued to some 4,000 of them.

107. At mid-year, the Tanzanian government took over full responsibility for the Mwesi settlement for Rwandese refugees. An amount of $89,800 was committed under the 1971 Programme, mainly to enable the government to improve the rural health centre and primary school at the settlement.

108. The transfer of Mozambiquans from the border area inland continued; by the end of 1971 nearly 43,000 of them were accommodated in five settlements. As heretofore, the settlement projects for Mozambiquans were implemented by the Lutheran World Federation/Tanganyika Christian Refugee Service.

109. An amount of $546, 700 was committed under the 1971 Programme for the rural settlement of Mozambiquans. The assistance comprised mainly the development of the infrastructure, including access roads, bridges and water supply, and the expansion of areas under cultivation. The growth of cash crops was further developed and, in order to facilitate their marketing, multi-purpose co-operative societies were set up.

110. Medical facilities have been considerably developed, and in some of the settlements thousands of attendances at the health centre were recorded. Further facilities were provided for primary education and a good deal of the community development work was focused on adult education. Some 70 scholarships were defrayed through the Education Account. In addition, some $83,700 was channelled through UNHCR to the Mozambique Institute for educational assistance and for the provision of medical facilities.

111. On the whole, good progress was made so that a gradual phasing out of international assistance in respect of Mozambiquans has been started. This process will, of course, need to be carried out in accordance with the financial resources available to the Tanzanian Government.

112. Refugees of various origins, mainly Zairians, are accommodated in a small settlement administered by the government. A number of individual cases of various origins, including South Africans and Namibians, received various forms of assistance under the UNHCR Programme or through contributions from other sources.


113. Following the return to Zambia of practically all members of the Lumpa sect (over 9,000) and taking into account revised estimates of the number of Sudanese, the total number of refugees in Zaire was estimated at the end of 1971 at some 474,000, the great majority of whom were Angolans (400,000), who live among the local population. The remainder comprised 50,000 Sudanese, 23,500 Rwandese and several hundred Zambians. Some 20,700 refugees live in organized settlements, of whom some 8,750 were in receipt of rations at the end of 1971.

114. Assistance to the Angolan refugees was again focused on educational and medical aid. A number of primary schools were constructed with funds provided under a previous UNHCR Programme. The take-over of running costs by the Zairian authorities is under consideration. In addition, the Zairian authorities are undertaking, in consultation with UNESCO, the construction of eight classrooms financed under the 1971 Programme. In the Province du Bas Zaire, the increase in the number of Angolans in recent years began to cause a serious economic and social problem. In 1971 they received a certain amount of assistance under the UNHCR Programme, including the provision of tools and seeds. Further measures with a view to their rural settlement are, however, likely to be required.

115. As reported to the General Assembly at its twenty-sixth session,22 a first group from among some 60,000 Sudanese in the border area was transferred further inland, in the Province du Haut-Zaire, in 1970, to settle on the land. By the end of 1971, over 12,000 refugees had arrived at their new location.

116. The greater part of the allocation of $995,000 for local settlement was committed for the transfer of the Sudanese refugees further inland and for their establishment in agriculture, with all that this entailed in terms of transportation, care and maintenance, and initial land settlement. The transfer was somewhat hampered initially, partly because the refugees had started to cultivate crops in the border area and partly because of difficult road conditions. As World Food Programme supplies could not reach the area in time, the refugees received food aid provided by the Catholic Relief Services and UNHCR. The development of agriculture in the new settlement area proved satisfactory on the whole, in particular as far as cash crops were concerned. Agricultural training was encouraged, especially with a view to enabling the refugees to carry on independently. Primary school facilities were made available in the settlements. Medical assistance also has been further improved through the establishment of dispensaries.

117. The co-operatives established for Rwandese refugees with the technical assistance of the International Labour Office have been consolidated. The position of the refugees was adversely affected, however, by the prevailing employment policy in the Kivy Province.

118. The rural settlement of 750 Zambian refugees who remained in Zaire has progressed satisfactorily, the more so since they have been well received by the local population.

119. Through an allocation from the UNHCR Education Account, scholarships for secondary education and vocational training were provided for a few hundred Rwandese refugees. A further allocation from the Education Account was made for the benefit of a secondary school attended by Sudanese.


120. The total number of refugees in Zambia by the end of 1971 had increased from 16,000 to 17,000, comprising a majority of Angolans (11,000), Mozambiquans (4,600), and others (1,400, including 900 Namibians and 300 South Africans).

121. Some 10,200 of the refugees were living in three settlements at the end of 1971. The majority (7,200, nearly all Angolans) were still receiving rations. The Lutheran World Federation/Zambia Christian Refugee Service acted as implementing agency for two of the rural settlement projects.

122. The Mozambiquan refugees at the Nyimba settlement, where 3,000 of them are living, cultivated some 500 acres of land and benefited from assistance under a UNHCR project of 1970. However, the settlement area appears to be too small for the present refugee population and new solutions are being explored.

123. The major part of the amount of $318,791 committed under the 1971 Programme for local settlement was used for the rural settlement of Angolans.

124. Following the decision by the Zambian Government to change from communal farming to farming on individual holdings, the refugee population of the Lwatembo settlement and a number of refugees from the Mayukwayukwa settlement were moved to a new settlement at Meheba. A number of refugees were also moved from the border area to Meheba, where some 4,000 refugees were in the process of settling at the end of 1971. In Mayukwayukwa, a water supply was installed and cash crops were grown. Educational facilities, including a primary school and adult literacy classes, were improved. The medical facilities were also expanded. Further measures are required, however, to consolidate that settlement. In Meheba a good start was made in the establishment of the necessary infrastructure, including a primary school and rural health centre, and the refugees themselves made a positive contribution towards creating a viable community.

125. There remains a considerable problem, however, in respect of individual refugees living mainly in Lusaka. The existing counselling services will need to be strengthened.

Other countries in Africa

126. There are 12,000 refugees who are the concern of UNHCR in other countries in Africa, the majority in West Africa (6,000) and in Kenya (1,500) and smaller numbers in Algeria, Lesotho, Morocco, Swaziland and Tunisia. In Cameroon, Dahomey, Gabon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Togo, multi-purpose projects continued to be put into effect to assist the neediest refugees. In Liberia a contribution was made from the Education Account to provide scholarships for secondary school and university students of Sudanese origin.

127. In Kenya the number of refugees increased from 1,000 to some 1,500, most of them individual cases of various origins in Nairobi, who are in search of employment opportunities or educational assistance. The Joint Refugee Services of Kenya co-ordinated assistance measures sponsored by UNHCR and voluntary agencies. A contribution was made from the Education Account for the financing of secondary school scholarships and assistance in respect of primary education and language courses.

128. In the North African countries, assistance, mainly towards resettlement through migration, was given to a small number or refugees of European origin.

C. Assistance to refugees in Asia

129. The major relief and repatriation operation conducted for the benefit of Bengali refugees in India, with UNHCR acting as focal point for the United Nations system, falls outside the current activities or UNHCR and is the subject of a separate report (A.8662/Add. 3-S/10539/Add.3). An amount of $400,000 was allocated from the UNHCR Emergency Fund as a contribution towards assistance for these refugees, together with proceeds of the sale of a UNHCR long-playing record in an amount of $100,000.

130. Current problems of refugees (other than Bengalis) in Asia continued to claim the attention of UNHCR, especially in the Far East, India, Nepal and certain countries of the Middle East. In addition, assistance was required in an amount of $160,000 under the 1971 Programme and UNHCR Emergency fund towards the rural settlement of over 3,000 refugee families in the republic of Viet-Nam, under a project to be administered by the Viet-Namese Red Cross. Limited assistance was also required to aid in the improvement of facilities at a refugee reception centre in the Khmer Republic.


131. The Government of India continues to bear the main financial responsibility for the settlement and rehabilitation of refugees in India, in co-operation with the Board of Trustees for the Common Project of the European Refugee Campaign. UNHCR committed an amount of $201,667 under its 1971 Programme to assist these refugees, and a number of projects started under earlier programmes were continued.

132. As in 1970, UNHCR-sponsored projects were concentrated mainly on consolidating existing settlements and providing vocational training, medical facilities and assistance to handicraft centres. The projects carried out or continued in 1971 were aimed at the further consolidation and development of the land settlement in Mainpat (Madhya Pradesh), towards which the Indian Government is contributing more than two thirds of the total cost; $250,000 to continue the settlement of the 900 lamas transferred from Buxa, Bengal, to Mysore State, mainly for the construction of housing and the provision of farm machinery and implements; and the balance for the agricultural development of the Mahendragarh (Orissa) settlement and for vocational training. A start was also made on a project for the reorganization of several handicraft centres operated by refugees.

133. Implementation of the first stage of a comprehensive scheme, to be carried out over a three-year period, for the prevention and control of tuberculosis among the refugees, who suffer from a high incidence of the disease, was begun in 1971 with the co-operation of the Government of India, the World health Organization, and the Central Relief Committee (India), the implementing agency. UNHCR committed $21,000 for the scheme in 1971. A further $22,400 were also committed under the 1971 Programme to meet the costs of treating in sanatoria refugees suffering from tuberculosis and to continue the medical programme for refugees employed on road construction.


134. The general economic and social position of refugees in Macao has improved recently, partly as a result of an increased demand for labour. The numerous educational and vocational training projects which have been a characteristic feature of UNHCR's programmes in Macao have enabled the refugee population to play a constructive role in the economic development of the area.

135. Housing remains a major problem for refugees in Macao because of the scarcity of suitable building sites and spiralling labour and construction costs. An amount of $150,000 was committed under the 1971 Programme towards the financing of a large housing scheme to be undertaken by the government. The flats, when completed, will provide accommodation for 376 refugee families. A further amount of $88,000 was committed towards the implementation of projects to meet certain specific needs of the refugee population, such as a home for delinquent girls, the reconditioning of a home for the mentally ill, provision of ophthalmological equipment, the construction of an auto-mechanics workshop and the extension of a vocational training school.

136. Assistance to refugees in Macao under the 1972 Programme will be of a marginal nature.

Middle East

137. The number of refugees in the Middle East increased considerably during 1971 owing to a relatively large influx of new refugees into Lebanon. However, most of these refugees were able to emigrate with assistance from UNHCR, and at the end of 1971 the total number in the area remained approximately the same as in 1970, i. e. some 5,00023 most of whom were living in Lebanon. Small groups are also located in Cyprus, Iran, Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic. An amount of $89,669 was committed in 1971 for assistance to refugees in the area, which included the promotion of resettlement, local settlement, counselling services provided by voluntary agencies, and supplementary aid to refugees facing special difficulties.

138. Assistance for local settlement was concentrated on new arrivals, young people in need of vocational training and sick and aged refugees. Some 70 persons benefited from these types of assistance. A total of 832 refugees emigrated from the area during 1971 with UNHCR assistance.


139. There was no change during 1971 in the number of refugees in Nepal, i.e., approximately 8,000 for whose assistance $54,790 were committed under the 1971 Programme. UNHCR's efforts continued to be concentrated mainly on assisting scattered groups of refugees in remote areas of Nepal. Only marginal assistance was required for the 2,600 refugees living in organized settlements, who are now on the way to achieving self-sufficiency.

140. Assistance measures for refugees in remote areas included establishment in agriculture, provision of housing, educational and health facilities, and promotion of crafts and trades. Satisfactory progress was made with the project for the settlement of 550 refugees in the Rasua area, which is being carried out with the co-operation of the Nepalese Government's Remote Areas Development Board, under a project within the 1969 Programme.

141. A revolving loan fund, administered by the Nepalese Red Cross and to which UNHCR contributed, was set-up in 1971 to provide interest-free loans to refugee enterprises in and outside settlements. A UNHCR contribution was also provided to assist the Nepalese Red Cross in continuing a medical programme for 2,000 refugees and various projects in the remote areas.

Far East

142. A total of 73 refugees of European origin received exit permits from the People's Republic of China and arrived in Hong Kong during 1971; most of them later emigrated to Australia. An amount of $20,000 was committed under the 1971 Programme for the care and maintenance and medical expenses of European refugees in transit in Hong Kong.

D. Assistance to refugees in Europe

143. The decrease of refugees in Europe through voluntary repatriation, migration or naturalization was offset by the number of newly recognized refugees and new arrivals, mainly from the Caribbean area into Spain. However, taking into account a revision in the estimated number of the refugees in several countries, there were some 615,000 refugees within the mandate of UNHCR in Europe at the end of 1971.

144. A limited amount of international assistance was provided to promote the resettlement of refugees through migration, to assist new arrivals and to supplement the considerable efforts which continue to be made by governmental authorities and private agencies, especially in respect of aged or handicapped refugees. Of the amount of $667,000 committed under the 1971 Programme, a little over half was applied towards local settlement projects. Most of the balance was used to facilitate resettlement and provide essential aid to help individual refugees meet their needs.

145. The largest group of beneficiaries was composed of over 5,000 Caribbean refugees in Spain who were aided in resettling elsewhere. The number of new arrivals far exceeded the number of those migrating and the total at the end of the year was placed at about 21,000, some 8,000 more than at the end of 1970. Some 4,550 found new homes in the United States, and small numbers were admitted by Australia, Canada and a few countries in Latin America. Some 9,500 refugees, mostly new arrivals, benefited from UNHCR aid towards their care and maintenance.

146. In general, greater difficulty was encountered in finding opportunities for refugees to emigrate. An important part of the allocation was required for the resettlement of severely handicapped refugees. Of the total of 219 such cases, more than half were welcomed to Switzerland and most of the others to Belgium, France, Norway and Sweden. UNHCR efforts to facilitate the resettlement of refugees included counselling and assistance to refugees in processing their applications. The Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration and the voluntary agencies continued to co-operate closely in this field.

147. Limited assistance was also provided under the 1971 Programme to help some 2,200 refugees with a view to their permanent settlement, mainly in Austria, Greece and Spain. An amount of about $83,000 was required to provide temporary assistance, chiefly for refugees from the Caribbean area.

148. Approximately $50,000 were committed during the year for the provision of individual legal aid. Some 2,800 refugees were thus assisted in accomplishing legal and administrative formalities required for important matters such as the regularization of status and the acquisition of nationality.

149. It is gratifying to note that in most European countries good progress has been made by the local authorities and organizations in taking over responsibility for assistance to refugees.

E. Assistance to refugees in Latin America

150. The number of refugees who are the High Commissioner's concern in Latin America was estimated at about 105,000 at the end of 1971. Of these, some 38,000 were residing in Brazil and 34,000 in Argentina. A growing proportion of the total some 7,000 persons - were refugees from countries in Latin America.

151. Of the amount of $245,000 committed under the 1971 Programme, nearly half was allocated for assistance to refugees in Argentina, and smaller amounts for those in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guyana, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela. An additional amount of $20,000 was allocated from the Emergency Fund to meet the essential needs of Latin American refugees in Chile.

152. Most of the 1971 Programme funds were used to assist 384 refugees, including a high proportion of handicapped persons, to settle permanently in their countries of residence. Of these, 194 were aided in Argentina and smaller numbers in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela. Beneficiaries were helped to establish themselves in crafts, trades and professions. In other cases, refugees benefited from rehabilitation measures, medical treatment, and care in institutions, or were granted annuities.

153. UNHCR-assisted projects were of benefit principally to the aged and physically or socially handicapped members of the refugee population of European origin. The number of places created or reserved in institutions during 1971 was increased to 831, including 647 for the aged and 184 for the mentally ill. During the year 183 aged and mentally ill refugees entered institutions with assistance financed from UNHCR projects from previous years. The Santa Rita Home in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the Santa Luisa Home, in São Paulo, Brazil, accommodating 205 and 96 refugees, respectively, were thus filled to capacity. Fifteen places for mentally ill refugees were also provided in a special wing of the Villa Israel in Santiago de Chile. In addition, a project providing for the medical care of a further 50 refugees as out-patients was on the verge of completion at the end of 1971.

154. Legal aid was provided in 463 cases through UNHCR facilities, and other forms of counselling were given in another 437 cases comprising 1,245 persons. A number of refugees received assistance to meet emergencies or while awaiting longer-term solutions. Funds from the Education Account were allocated to assist some 70 students in pursuing secondary and university education, and for vocational training.

155. The number of refugees from the Caribbean area in need of assistance while in transit in Curaçao, Jamaica and Mexico fell to 280 from the total of 2,729 recorded in 1970.


156. As mentioned above, the period covered by this report was marked by an outstanding international effort to mobilize aid to East Bengali refugees in India. As of mid-June 1972, assistance in cash and kind amounting to about $182 million had been received by UNHCR as focal point for assistance to these refugees, by and through the United Nations.

157. However, notwithstanding the exceptional demands on international resources arising from the situation in the subcontinent, it was possible, thanks to the sense of solidarity of contributors, for the UNHCR Programme for 1971 to be fully financed. Additional funds for projects outside the Programme were also made available in approximately the same amount as in 1970. The High Commissioner wishes to pay a warm tribute to the Governments, non-governmental organizations and individuals who made this achievement possible.

158. The number of Governments contributing to the UNHCR Programme increased from 81 in 1970 to 83 in '1971. Two further contributions are expected which will bring the number to 85. There were also notable increases in the size of contributions from some Governments. Steady progress has thus been maintained towards attaining the High Commissioner's objectives of financing his annual programme entirely from governmental sources. As may be seen from annex II, table 6, all major countries of asylum and resettlement are now supporting the Programme, as indeed are most of the countries in the world whose economic situation permits them to do so.

159. A growing tendency on the part of Governments to make available to the High Commissioner unearmarked contributions for activities outside the annual programme is encouraging. Such unearmarked contributions provide the flexibility which is essential if refugee problems, which are often of an emergency or rapidly changing nature, are to be dealt with in a timely manner.

Financing of UNHCR material assistance in 1971

160. A total of $242,651 was contributed by 83 Governments to the revised financial target of $7,052,000 for the UNHCR Programme for 1971, as approved by the Executive Committee at its twenty-first and twenty-second sessions, while $601,906 were donated from non-governmental sources (see annex II, table 6). These funds, together with miscellaneous income, such as proceeds from investments and the transfer of balances from earlier programmes, enabled the 1971 Programme to be fully financed.

161. Special trust funds amounting to $1,616,196 were received for complementary assistance projects outside the 1971 Programme, of which $1,418,223 were contributed by Governments and $197,973 from non-governmental sources. Of the total amount, $486,193 were contributed for assistance under the UNHCR Education Account to provide scholarships, post-primary education, construction and extension of school buildings, and scholastic equipment.

162. The special trust funds made available outside the Education Account were used, inter alia, for assistance to newly arrived refugees, various settlement needs in Africa, assistance to aged and handicapped refugees, in particular those in the Middle East, and establishment assistance in various parts of the world. A contribution was also channelled through UNHCR towards the costs of the OAU Bureau for the Placement and Education of African Refugees.

163. During 1971 an amount of $631,820 was expended from the Emergency Fund to assist refugees in need in Chile, Ethiopia, the Republic of Viet-Nam, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia. An amount of $400,000, of which $205,789 were later reimbursed through a contribution from a voluntary agency, was also allocated from the Emergency Fund to provide initial assistance to East Bengali refugees in India. In accordance with the provisions of General Assembly resolution 1166 (XII), the Emergency Fund was restored to its ceiling of $500,000 from reimbursements of loans granted to refugees under various earlier projects (see also paragraphs 167-170 below).

Financing of UNHCR material assistance in 1972

164. As shown in annex II, table 7, by 31 March 1972, 54 Governments had announced contributions totalling $4,809,240 towards the financing of the 1972 Programme, for which a target of $7,968,900 was approved by the Executive Committee at its twenty-second session. Of these, 19 Governments announced a substantial increase in their 1972 contributions over those for 1971. Together, these increases amount to 630,437.

Long-playing records

165. During 1971 the general sale of "World Star Festival" records and musicassettes was terminated. The very small unsold stock was added to that of the previous records for special sale through United Nations channels.

166. Progress was made in the preparation of the fourth long-playing record "Top Star Festival", which was launched in London on 16 February 1972 and went on sale at the end of the month. To satisfy public demand, "Top Star Festival" was produced in five versions, with 11 artists common to all. Five additional artists were added for the English, French, German and Spanish versions. The version for the United States and Canada was issued in two parts, with a total 34 artists. Thus, 45 artists, their record companies and the composers, lyric writers and music publishers concerned generously contributed to the "Top Star Festival" album, compared with 20 for "World Star Festival". A large number of governments have already agreed to waive or refund import duties and to exempt the album from sales tax, or refund those taxes if levied. Resident representatives of UNDP and directors of United Nations information centres are proving very co-operative in assisting in local promotion campaigns.

Emergency Fund and Funds Set Aside

167. The High Commissioner brought to the attention of the Executive Committee at its twenty-second session a problem that had arisen in connexion with the UNHCR Emergency Fund established by the General Assembly in 1957 under resolution 1166 (XII). The resolution set a ceiling of $500,000 for the Fund to be maintained from the repayments of principal and interest on loans made by UNHCR to or on behalf of refugees, and from contributions made for that purpose. During the past few years it became clear that these sources of income were no longer sufficient to maintain the Emergency Fund at its ceiling of $500,000. In 1970 and 1971 the shortfall was met from the repayments of loans which had accumulated in what are known as the Funds Set Aside. These Funds, which were established in agreement with the Executive committee in 1964, with a ceiling of $1,500,000, constitute UNHCR's working capital, and guarantee fund. The Funds Set Aside are financed from that portion of income from the repayment of loans not needed to replenish the Emergency Fund, from savings on prior years programmes and from interest on invested funds. The balance of the accumulated loan repayments now remaining in these Funds is likely soon to be exhausted, so that another source of income is to be sought to maintain the Emergency Fund.

168. The Board of Auditors,24 in its report to the General Assembly on the accounts of UNHCR Voluntary Funds for 1970, recommended a clarification of various aspects of the High Commissioner's Emergency Fund and the Funds Set Aside. This action appeared necessary to the Auditors in view of the fact that resolution 1166 (XII) did not specify the maximum amount to be expended annually from the Emergency Fund. The Financial Rules for UNHCR Voluntary Funds are likewise insufficiently specific concerning the Emergency Fund and do not cover in any way the Funds Set Aside.

169. In view of these considerations and taking into account that the Board of Auditors in its report has advocated a review of the Financial Rules for UNHCR Voluntary Funds, the High Commissioner informed the Executive Committee that he proposed to undertake a complete revision of the Financial Rules for Voluntary Funds with a view, inter alia, to clarifying the purposes and utilization of the Funds Set Aside and their relationship with the Emergency Fund. The Executive Committee, having considered this question at its twenty-second session, decided to recommend that the General Assembly authorize the High Commissioner to: (a) allocate from the Emergency Fund, under the general directives of the Executive Committee, up to $1,000,000 annually for emergency situations, it being understood that the maximum amount made available for one single emergency should not exceed $500,000 in any one year; (b) maintain the Emergency Fund at its ceiling of $500,000 by replenishments from the Funds Set Aside and by voluntary contributions made for that purpose.

170. This recommendation, if adopted, would make no substantive change in the provisions of resolution 1166 (XII). It would, however, meet the wish of the Auditors that a limit be established for the amount of funds allocated annually from the Emergency Fund; it would simplify the replenishment of the Fund and would enable the High Commissioner to go ahead with the revision of the Financial Rules for Voluntary Funds as suggested by the Board of Auditors.

Administrative Management Survey

171. At the invitation of the High Commissioner and pursuant to a decision by the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly, the United Nations Administrative Management Service (AMS) conducted a management and manpower utilization survey of the Office of the High Commissioner. The review was undertaken over the four-month period December 1971-March 1972. The AMS team was led by a senior staff member of AMS and included a classification specialist, loaned by the secretariat of the Consultative Committee on Administrative Questions and two senior consultants. The AMS team visited 18 offices and sub-offices of UNHCR-nine in Africa, six in Europe, and one each in the Americas, Asia and the Middle East.

172. The report of the AMS team is to cover a number of points which the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) and UNHCR had specifically asked to be studied. These include the establishment of a planning and evaluation unit and the streamlining of field offices in Europe (at ACABQ's request), the organizational structure of UNHCR headquarters, classification of posts at headquarters and in the field, relations between the field and headquarters and conditions of service in the field, work measurement techniques, programme budgeting, project planning and administration (at UNHCR's request). The final report of the team is expected at the beginning of June 1972.


Relations between UNHCR, the United Nations and other members of the United Nations system

173. The Office of the High Commissioner has continued to enjoy the support of other United Nations agencies which can usefully, each in its own sphere, participate in the work for refugees. Their co-operation has again been extremely valuable, especially in the rural settlement and the education and training of refugees in developing areas. It has in particular benefited an increased number of refugees from the territories referred to in the resolutions of the General Assembly on the implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples. The High Commissioner was represented at meetings of the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples and provided information as required on the assistance provided by UNHCR to the refugees coming from the Territories in question. UNHCR representatives co-operated, as requested, with members of the ad hoc group of the special committee which visited countries in Africa in May 1971.

174. As far as general co-ordination is concerned, UNHCR continued to participate in interagency meetings whose proceedings relate to work for refugees. In addition, pursuant to Economic and Social Council resolution 1549 (XLIX), concerning prior consultations, the proposed UNHCR Annual Assistance Programme is sent to all United Nations agencies before being considered by the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme.

175. With the approval of the Governments of countries of asylum of refugees, UNICEF equipment and supplies continued to be provided for health centres and primary schools. The World Food Programme committed an amount of over $1.5 million for food, mainly for newly arrived refugees and for those in the course of settlement in rural areas.

176. The United Nations specialized agencies, in particular the ILO, FAO, WHO and UNESCO, gave expert advice to UNHCR, both at headquarters level and through their representatives in the field. Their expertise proved of great value, particularly with regard to the choice of new settlements for refugees, the development of health facilities and the question of education and vocational training. Possibilities of co-operation between UNHCR and the World Bank Group have been further explored and arrangements have been made to enable UNHCR to benefit from the Group's knowledge of some of the areas where refugees are being settled.

177. The Social Development division of the United Nations Secretariat has continued to advise UNHCR. The participation of one of its experts in the appraisal of the economic and social viability of a number of refugee settlements in the United Republic of Tanzania has been particularly valuable. This kind of support is likely to be needed on an increasing scale.

178. An arrangement has been concluded between UNHCR and the United Nations Fund for Namibia whereby an amount of $15,000 is channelled to UNHCR for assistance to refugees from Namibia. An amount of $70,000 was also made available to UNHCR by the United Nations Trust Fund for South Africa for assistance to refugees from that country.

179. When the concept of country programming was introduced under the terms of General Assembly resolution 2688 (XXV), on the capacity of the United Nations development system, it was agreed that UNHCR would be associated with the new country programming procedure adopted by UNDP. UNHCR is thus able to contribute to the planning and execution of UNDP-assisted development projects from which refugee communities may benefit, with a view to their economic and social integration. The close co-operation established between UNHCR and UNDP representatives in the field has thus been reinforced.

180. In order for refugee settlements to benefit from UNDP aid with a view to their consolidation, it is necessary for the Governments concerned to include in the UNDP country programme the development of areas where refugee settlements are located. The ideal solution would be for new refugee settlements to be established in regions intended for development. The High Commissioner has spared no effort towards achieving this objective. With regard to existing settlements, UNHCR continues to encourage Governments to develop areas where rural communities of refugees have been created.

181. The country programming of UNDP assistance has already been introduced in three countries where large groups of refugees are settling: the Central African Republic, the United Republic of Tanzania, and Zaire. Uganda is among the countries for which a country programme will be submitted to the June 1972 session of the UNDP Governing Council.

182. There are several sources from which education and raining for refugees, particularly from the colonial territories, can be financed. Co-ordination is particularly important, therefore, both at headquarters level and in the field. UNHCR maintains close contacts, both bilateral and through the machinery of the Administrative Committee on Co-ordination, with the United Nations Educational and Training Programme for Southern Africa and the United Nations Fund for Namibia.

183. Under the memorandum of understanding concluded between UNESCO and UNHCR, a Senior Education Officer has been seconded to UNHCR by UNESCO, in addition to two associate expert. UNESCO also gives advice to UNHCR in the drawing up of various education and training schemes for refugees.

184. The agreement concluded between UNHCR and the United Nations Educational and Training Programme for Southern Africa, referred to in the High Commissioner's report to the General Assembly last year has been put into effect. A division of competence has also been agreed with the United Nations Fund for Namibia, whereby part of the grant of $15,000 to UNHCR may be used for educational assistance to Namibians to the extent that requests for such assistance do not come within the purview of the United Nations Educational and Training Programme for Southern Africa. As far as the other agencies are concerned, it is gratifying to note that UPU and WMO are prepared not only to administer scholarships for refugees, but also to finance a certain number for refugees from Territories under colonial administration.

Relations with other intergovernmental organizations

185. Intergovernmental organizations outside the United Nations system have also continued to show their attachment to the cause of refugees and a number of them actively supported the task of UNHCR in one or more specific fields.

186. In Africa, UNHCR kept close contact with the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on all matters relating to refugees in Africa, and in particular with the OAU Bureau for the Placement and Education of African refugees.

187. In Europe, the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration has again made an important contribution to the resettlement of refugees through migration. The usual contacts have been maintained with the Council of Europe, the Commission of the European Communities and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development through mutual representation at meetings and exchanges of information. The Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe has continued to evidence interest in the problems of refugees, both in Europe and in other parts of the world and is thus contributing to making these problems more widely known. As indicated in more detail in the chapter I, the Council of Europe promotes the inclusion of refugees in inter-European agreements.

188. In the Americas liaison has been maintained with the Organization of American States, which has a special interest in the question of asylum and also assists in the resettlement of Caribbean refugees.

Relations with non-governmental organizations

189. The international voluntary agencies and their national counterparts have continued to play vital role in the task of assisting refugees in many parts of the world, not only by participating financially and administratively in the implementation of specific projects, but also by making available the knowledge gained from their vast experience in refugee problems. They have in particular played an increasingly active role in assistance to refugees in developing countries through their participation in certain rural settlement projects, the administration of health and scholarship programmes, refugee counselling services, and assistance to individual refugees in urban centres.

190. A notable instance of the action of non-governmental organizations during the past year concerned a rural development project in Burundi in which, for the first time, certain agencies participated with UNHCR in the common funding of a project. UNHCR has maintained close contacts with individual agencies concerning the implementation of certain projects, while the International Council of Voluntary Agencies has continued its role of co-ordinator between its member organizations and UNHCR on questions of general interest.

191. The recent emergency of the Bengali refugees in India gave an outstanding example of the part played by the League of Red Cross Societies and many other voluntary agencies in relief work for refugees. The constituents of the agencies responded to this daunting challenge in a remarkable way and were instrumental in bringing much-needed assistance.

Award of the Nansen Medal

192. The Nansen Medal was awarded in 1971 to Miss Svana Fridriksdóttir, a young Icelandic voluntary worker in recognition of her active participation in a vast fund-raising campaign which took place in the Nordic countries in 1971 in favour of refugees. In selecting Miss Fridriksdóttir to receive the award, the Nansen Medal Award Committee wished at the same time to pay tribute to the great service rendered by young volunteers throughout the world in the cause of refugees.


193. The public information activities of UNHCR in 1971 were of necessity focused on the unprecedented challenge with which the United Nations was confronted in assisting Bengali refugees in India. In giving wide coverage to their tragic situation, the world press, radio and television networks helped to stimulate international solidarity and increase public awareness of the plight of refugees. They thus provided vital support to UNHCR, acting as focal point of the United Nations system, in raising the huge sums needed at short notice for relief and repatriation.

194. The fiftieth anniversary of the inception by Fridtjof Nansen of international assistance to refugees and the twentieth anniversary of UNHCR were commemorated in 1971 with the restraint naturally imposed by the events on the Asian subcontinent.

195. The 20 years of UNHCR's existence were retraced in a book on the activities of the Office since 1951 entitled A mandate to Protect and Assist Refugees, which was given world-wide distribution, notably to heads of State, government officials, permanent missions to the United Nations in New York and Geneva, and voluntary agencies.

196. A pocket-size illustrated documentary on refugees in Africa, entitled As They Came in Africa, intended to highlight the current problems and the continuing efforts of UNHCR to solve them, was published and widely distributed in English and French.

197. The efforts of the Office in the field of public information were, to a large extent, devoted to making information material as universal as possible by producing versions in a wide variety of languages. Thus, a series of posters in colour, illustrating the activities of the Office during the past 20 years, was issued in English, French, Spanish, Danish, Farsi, German, Greek, five local languages in India, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Sinhalese, Swahili, Swedish and Turkish. These were distributed with the help of the United Nations Office of Public Information through the information centres and were extensively used on various occasions, such as exhibitions, classroom displays and commemorative events. The pamphlet Refugees: 20 Questions and Answers was printed in three language editions during the year: 50,000 copies in Norwegian, 10,000 in Finnish and 2,000 in German. The information leaflet UNHCR - What It Is, What It Does, How It Helps Refugees was issued in Norwegian, Arabic, Farsi, German, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish. A background paper on the work of the Office was produced in English, French and Spanish, and a German version is in preparation. In addition to the posters referred to above, a series of 10 slogan-type posters were printed in Danish, English and Finnish and were extensively used in fund-raising campaigns.

198. One of the aims of UNHCR public information is to assist local refugee organizations and other voluntary agencies in such campaigns, designed either to raise funds or to take any other action in favour of refugees, by supplying information material and arranging facilities for the groups supporting these actions. In 1971 the Office gave its support to a major fund-raising campaign which took place in the Nordic countries by providing facilities to photographers and journalists visiting refugee settlements and supplying a wide variety of information material in the appropriate languages.

199. The HCR Bulletin, the main information vehicle issued by the Office, was published every three months in English and French and carried regular reports on the focal point activities, as well as on the continuing work of UNHCR in its traditional capacity.

200. The audio-visual material produced by the Office continued to be one of the most effective information tools, particularly the films "Today Africa" and "The Promise of M'boki", and the slide sets which serve a variety of purposes in connexion with lectures, fund-raising drives, schoolroom presentations and the like. A special 1971 production was the twentieth-anniversary slide set, composed of 36 views illustrating the work of the Office since its creation, which was in great demand. During 1971 over five million television viewers in the United States have seen the UNHCR film "Today Africa".

201. A reassessment of the presentation of UNHCR's public information material, by a well-known advertising firm, following a survey undertaken at UNHCR's initiative, led to a series of recommendations on making this material more effective. Taking into account the firm's suggestions, the public information programme for 1972 and subsequent years will include the issuance twice a year of an illustrated magazine reporting on specific aspects of the work, the publication of an annual review of UNHCR activities, expanded use of slides and resumption of film making by UNHCR. The layout of publications will be modified in order to achieve a unified style that will characterize all UNHCR's information output.

(Note: Statistical and financial tables not included in this online version. See your nearest UN Depository Library.)

APPENDIX Question of asylum

1. The vital importance of the question of asylum has been brought to the attention of the Assembly since the inception of United Nations activities on behalf of refugees. Its key role in respect of the fate of refugees has been stressed many times and the Assembly itself showed its deep awareness of the significance of this subject when it adopted article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights25 and subsequently the Declaration of Territorial Asylum.26

2. As indicated in the High Commissioner's report to the Assembly (see paras. 29-31 above), a number of positive trends have taken place in respect of asylum during recent years. In particular, several conferences and several regional organizations have recognized the importance of binding legal provisions on asylum and some of those bodies have already taken concrete action to this effect.

3. The High Commissioner, as mentioned in paragraph 32 of his report to the General Assembly, is pleased to report that, in taking the above trends into account, the Colloquium on the Law of Territorial Asylum organized by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in consultation with UNHCR, and a subsequent meeting of experts held in Geneva at the beginning of this year, drew up the test of a draft convention on territorial asylum, which is contained in annex I below.

4. The High Commissioner believes that this text constitutes an appropriate basis for discussion with a view to the drawing up of a convention on territorial asylum within the framework of the United Nations and he hopes that the General Assembly will see its way to convene a conference of plenipotentiaries to consider the matter.

ANNEX I Draft Convention on Territorial Asylum


The Contracting States,

Considering the obligation of States under the Charter of the United Nations to promote universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and freedom,

Recalling that the General Assembly of the United Nations has solemnly declared that nations, irrespective of their political, economic, and social systems or the levels of their development should base their co-operation, inter alia, on respect for fundamental human rights,

Mindful of Articles 13 and 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

Recalling the Declaration on Territorial Asylum adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 14 December 1967, and recognizing the important advance made by this Declaration in formulating principles upon which States should base themselves in their practices relating to territorial asylum,

Noting the present practice of States in granting asylum and the general acceptance of the principles of non-refoulement and the voluntary nature of repatriation, expressed in various instruments adopted on the universal and regional levels,

Believing that the conclusion of a convention based on these principles will assist States to achieve those humanitarian objectives which are the common concern of the international community and will also thereby strengthen friendly relations between States,

Have agreed upon the following articles:


Article 1. Grant of Asylum

1. A Contracting State, acting in an international and humanitarian spirit, shall use its best endeavours to grant asylum in its territory, which for the purpose of the present article includes permission to remain in that territory, to any person who, owing to well-founded fear of:

(a) Persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, or for reasons of struggle against apartheid or colonialism; or

(b) Prosecution or severe punishment for acts arising out of any of the circumstances listed under (a) is unable or unwilling to return to the country of his nationality or, if he has no nationality, the country of his former habitual residence.

2. The provision of paragraph 1 of this article shall not apply to:

(a) Any person with respect to whom there are serious reasons for considering that he is still liable to punishment for

(i) A crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity as defined in the international instruments drawn up to make provision in respect of such crimes;

(ii) A serious common crime, or

(iii) Acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations;

(b) Any person who seeks asylum for reasons of a purely economic character.

3. Asylum shall not be refused by a Contracting State solely on the ground that it could be sought from another State.

Article 2. Non-refoulement

No person shall be subjected by a Contracting State to measures such as rejection at the frontier, return, or expulsion, which would compel him to return directly or indirectly to, or remain in a territory with respect to which he has well-founded fear of persecution, prosecution or punishment for any of the reasons stated in paragraph 1 of article 1.

Article 3. Non-extradition

No person shall be extradited to a State to the territory of which he may not be returned by virtue of article 2.

Article 4. Provisional stay pending consideration of request

A person requesting the benefits of this convention at the frontier or in the territory of a Contracting State shall be admitted to or permitted to remain in the territory of the State pending a determination of his request, which shall be considered by a specially competent authority and shall, if necessary, be reviewed by higher authority.


Article 5. International solidarity

Where, in the case of a sudden or mass influx, or for other compelling reasons, a State experiences difficulties in granting or continuing to grant the benefits of this Convention, other Contracting States, in a spirit of international solidarity, shall take appropriate measures individually, jointly, or through the United Nations or other international bodies, to share equitably the burden of that State.

Article 6. Voluntary repatriation

If an asylee should voluntarily and in full freedom express his desire to return to the territory of the State of his nationality or former habitual residence, the State granting asylum and the State of the asylee's nationality or former habitual residence, as well as all other States concerned, shall facilitate his repatriation.

Article 7. Co-operation with the United Nations

The Contracting States shall co-operate with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, or any other agency of the United Nations which may be created for the purpose, as regards the application of the provisions of this Convention. They shall in particular keep the Office, or agency, informed of all general implementing measures adopted by them and shall consult with the Office, or agency, regarding questions arising out of applications for asylum.


Article 8. Peaceful character of asylum

The grant of asylum in accordance with article 1, or the application of other articles of this Convention, is a peaceful and humanitarian act. As such it does not constitute an act unfriendly to any other State and shall be respected by all States.

Article 9. Right of qualification

Qualification of the grounds for granting asylum or applying the provisions of articles 2 or 3, appertains to the Contracting State whose territory the person concerned has entered or seeks to enter.

Article 10. Régime of asylees

1. States granting asylum shall not permit asylees to engage in activities contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

2. Without prejudice to the provisions of regional conventions, a State incurs international responsibility for the actions of asylees to the same extent that it would be responsible for the actions of any other person living in its territory.

Article 11. Good faith

All determinations and decisions called for in the application of this Convention shall be made in good faith and with due regard to all ascertainable facts.

Geneva, 15 January 1972'

ANNEX II Colloquium on Territorial Asylum Bellagio, 13-19 April 1971 and Geneva, 12-15 January 1972


Mr. John GOORMAGHTIGH (Chairman)Director, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace - European Centre Geneva
Mr. Alfred M. KAMANDA (Rapporteur)Former acting High Commissioner for Sierra Leone, London
Prince Sadruddin AGA KHAN27United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Mr. Milan BARTOSSerbian Academy of Sciences and Arts Belgrade
Mr. Mohammed BEDJAOUIAmbassador of Algeria Paris
Mr. Emmanuel K. DADZIE28Ministry of Foreign Affairs Accra
Mr. Isi FOIGHELInstitute of Legal science University of Copenhagen Copenhagen
Mr. Manoucher GANJIDean of the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences University of Teheran Teheran
Mr. Ousmane GOUNDIAMAttorney General supreme Court Dakar
Mr. Atle GRAHL-MADSENNorwegian School of Economics and Business Administration Bergen Norway
Sir Samuel HOAREFormer Assistant Under-Secretary of State, Home Office, London
Mr. Pierre HUVIGNYConseiller d'Etat Place du Palais Royal Paris
Mr. Shigeru ODAFaculty of Law Tohoku University Sendai, Japan
Mr. Covey T. OLIVERFaculty of Law University of Pennsylvania Law School Philadelphia, United states of America
Mr. Arthur H. ROBERTSONChief of the Directorate of Human Rights council of Europe Strasbourg, France
Mr. Oscar SCHURCHDirector Division of Police Federal Department of Justice and Police Berne
Mr. Jean SIOTISConsultant Carnegie Endowment for International Peace European Centre Geneva
Mr. Arnold J. P. TAMMESFaculty of Law University of Amsterdam Amsterdam, Netherlands
Mr. Francisco URRUTIAUNHCR Consultant for Latin America Bogota
Mr. Endre USTORLegal Advisor Ministry of Foreign affairs Budapest
Mr. Stephen VEROSTAFaculty of Law University of Vienna Vienna
Mr. Paul WEISFormer Director of the Legal Division of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Geneva
Mr. Ralph ZACKLINDirector International Law Programme Carnegie Endowment for International Peace New York

1 From 1 April 1971 to 31 March 1972, except for financial and statistical and statistical data which relate mainly to the calendar year 1971.

2 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 189 (1954), No. 2545.

3 Official Records of the General Assembly, Twenty-first Session, Supplement No. 11A (A/6311/Rev.1/Add.1), part one, para.2.

4 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 505 (1964), No. 7384.

5 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 376 (1960). No. 5375.

6 See article 1, section B, para. 2, of the Convention.

7 Official Records of the General Assembly, Twenty-sixth Session, Supplement No. 1 (A/8412), para. 20.

8 Access to employment and liberal professions (articles 17, 18 and 19), public education (article 22), public relief, labour legislation and social security (articles 23 and 24(, administrative assistance (article 25(, freedom of movement (article 26), identity papers and travel documents (articles 27 and 28), punishment for illegal entry (article 31), expulsion and non-refoulement (articles 32 and 33) and naturalization (article 34).

9 Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Burundi, Cyprus, Denmark, Ethiopia, Ecuador, Finland, Greece, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Senegal, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United States of America, Zaire and Zambia.

10 Organization of African Unity document ch/267/Rev.1.

11 Official records of the General Assembly, Twenty-fifth Session, Supplement No. 12 (A/8012), para.28.

12 A/Conf. 9/15.

13 United Nations, Treaty-Series, vol. 360 (1960), No. 5158.

14 United Nations, Treaty-Series, vol. 268 (1957), No. 3850.

15 Council of Europe, European Treaty Series, No. 13.

16 General Assembly resolution 428 (v).

17 General Assembly resolution 2312(XXII).

18 United Nations publication, Sales No.: E.68. XIV. 2, CHAP. iii, resolution XIII.

19 Adopted by the Inter-American Specialized Conference on Human Rights, held in San José, Costa Rica, from 7 to 22 November 1969.

20 Official Records of the General Assembly, Twenty-sixth Session, Supplement No. 12 (A/8412), para. 34.

21 Ibid., para. 53.

22 Official Records of the Twenty-sixth Session, Supplement No. 12 (A/8412), para. 104.

23 This figure does not include some 4,000 refugees living in Egypt, dealt with in section b above, para. 85.

24 Official Records of the General Assembly, Twenty-sixth Session, Supplement no. 7E (A/8407/Add.5), para. 7.

25 Resolution 217 A (III).

26 Resolution 2312 (XXII).

27 Assisted by Mr. Ivor C. Jackson, member of the Legal Division of UNHCR.

28 Director of the Legal Division of UNHCR as from 5 December 1971