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Refugees and Stateless Persons: France Draft Resolution

Refugees and Stateless Persons: France Draft Resolution

11 November 1949


RECALLING its resolution of 12 February 1946, in which it proclaimed that the problem of refugees and displaced persons was international in scope and nature,

HAVING EXAMINED resolution No.248 (IX) A of the Economic and Social Council, dated 6 August 1949, the Secretary-General's report (A/C.3/527) of 26 October 1949, and the communications dated 11 July and 20 October 1949 from the General Council of the International Refugee Organization,

CONSIDERING that in its aforesaid resolution the Economic and Social Council requested the Governments of States Members of the United Nations, and of other States, to provide necessary legal protection for refugees, and recommended the General Assembly at its fourth session to decide the functions and organizational arrangements within the framework of the United Nations necessary for the international protection of refugees after the IRO terminates its activities, and to make the necessary budgetary provisions for the financial year 1950,

CONSIDERING, with regard to the form of the organization to be set up, that the Secretary-General has stated in his report that the most suitable solution would be the establishment of a High Commissioner's Office having special status within the United Nations and possessing the degree of independence and prestige required for the exercise of its function,

DECIDES to establish as of 1 January 1951 a High Commissioner's Office for Refugees in accordance with the principles and procedures defined in the document annexed to the present resolution,

REQUESTS the Secretary-General to undertake the study of a complete plan of administrative and budgetary arrangements, including the budgetary supervision of any assistance funds for submission to the Economic and Social Council at its eleventh session, so that the General Assembly at its fifth session can take steps to establish the High Commissioner's Office not later than 1 January 1951,

REQUESTS the Economic and Social Council to examine, at its eleventh session, in what way States not Members of the United Nations may be brought into association with the work of the High Commissioner's Office.


Chapter I - General principles

(a) The final solution of the problem of refugees is to be sought in their voluntary repatriation and, failing that, in their assimilation into national communities.

(b) The improvement of the condition of refugees calls for collaboration between the High Commissioner and the Governments concerned; who are invited to grant the High Commissioner's the necessary facilities for the discharge of his duties.

(c) The High Commissioner's functions shall consist in essence of general direction, liaison and supervision. They shall as a rule concern groups and categories of refugees.

(d) In order to fulfil the tasks assigned to him, the High Commissioner shall co-operate with the various specialized agencies, which shall be called upon to lend him assistance within their competence.

(e) The High Commissioner's work shall be of an entirely non-political character and shall involve no encroachment whatsoever on the duties incumbent on the authorities of the countries of residence.

Chapter II - Organization

(a) The High Commissioner's Office for Refugees established under the United Nations shall have its headquarters at Geneva.

(b) The Office shall be directed by a High Commissioner elected for a term of five years by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Economic and Social Council, who shall be assisted by a Deputy Commissioner appointed by him.

(c) The High Commissioner shall be responsible to the United Nations through the General Assembly and shall report to the General Assembly through the Economic and Social Council. Between sessions of the General Assembly he shall be required to report to the Economic and Social Council at its request, and shall comply with the directives of the Council. He shall maintain contact with the Secretary-General, keep him informed of his activities and consult him when necessary.

(d) He shall appoint and dismiss his own staff, which shall be subject to the Staff Regulations of the United Nations.

(e) Pursuant to the foregoing he shall appoint in every country where such liaison appears to him necessary, with the agreement of its Government, a representative responsible for maintaining liaison with such Government.

(f) The administrative expenses of the High Commissioner's Office shall be borne on the regular budget of the United Nations.

Chapter III - Terms of reference of the High Commissioner

(a) The High Commissioner shall be competent to deal as a provisional measure, with refugees as defined in the constitution of the IRO. He shall also be competent to deal with categories of refugees covered by the international convention referred to in the resolution of the Economic and Social Council of 8 August 1949 (248(IX)B). He will further deal with such other categories of refugees as may be defined by the General Assembly or the Economic and Social Council.

(b) The High Commissioner shall seek, stimulate and facilitate the execution of the most suitable solutions to the problems with which he is entrusted. In addition, the United Nations may refer to him any other refugee problem.

(c) To this end the High Commissioner shall promote the drawing up and ratification of international conventions providing for the protection and assistance of refugees and laying down conditions of repatriation, emigration and resettlement, and shall supervise the application of such conventions and propose any necessary amendments thereto. He shall satisfy himself that refugees are granted legal protection.

(d) Within the limits of his budgetary resources, the High Commissioner shall promote, through special agreements with Governments, the execution of any measures calculated to facilitate the solution of the problems within his mandate and to improve the condition of refugees.

(e) The High Commissioner shall administer any assistance funds which may be placed at his disposal, and shall distribute them among Governments, groups, associations and charitable institutions, supervise their use, and co-ordinate assistance work to refugees.