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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

16 December 1983
3 p.


Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

The General Assembly,

Having considered the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on the activities of his Office, as well as the report of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the High Commissioner on its thirty-fourth session, and having heard the statement made by the High Commissioner before the Third Committee on 14 November 1983,

Recalling its resolution 37/195 of 18 December 1982,

Reaffirming the eminently humanitarian and non-political character of the activities of the Office of the High Commissioner,

Noting with deep concern that problems of refugees and displaced persons of concern to the High Commissioner remain acute in all parts of the world, notably in Africa, Asia and Latin America,

Stressing the fundamental importance of the High Commissioner's international protection function and the need for States to co-operate with the High Commissioner in the exercise of this essential function,

Expressing serious concern over the difficulties encountered by the High Commissioner in the exercise of his international protection function in the face of continued violations of the basic rights of persons of concern to his Office,

Deeply concerned that in various regions the safety and welfare of refugees and asylum-seekers have been seriously jeopardized on account of military or armed attacks, acts of piracy and other forms of brutality,

Acknowledging with appreciation the note of the Executive Committee on the strengthening of the management policy of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, submitted by the High Commissioner, and the High Commissioner's efforts to strengthen the management of his Office,

Noting that the Executive Committee has requested the High Commissioner to undertake a comprehensive study of the full financial and practical implications of the inclusion of Arabic, Chinese and Spanish among the official and working languages of the Executive Committee,

Noting with deep appreciation the valuable support extended by many Governments to the High Commissioner in carrying out his duties,

Welcoming the increasing number of accessions by States to the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees,

Emphasizing that voluntary repatriation is the most desirable and durable solution to problems of refugees and displaced persons of concern to the High Commissioner,

1. Commends the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and his staff for the valuable work they perform on behalf of refugees, returnees and displaced persons of concern to the Office of the High Commissioner;

2. Reaffirms the fundamental nature of the High Commissioner's function to provide international protection and the need for Governments to co-operate fully with him to facilitate the effective exercise of this essential function, in particular by acceding to and fully implementing the relevant international and regional instruments and by scrupulously observing the principles of asylum and non-refoulement;

3. Deplores all violations of the rights and safety of refugees and asylum-seekers, in particular through military or armed attacks against refugee camps and settlements, other forms of brutality and failure to rescue asylum-seekers in distress at sea;

4. Urges States, in co-operation with the Office of the High Commissioner and other competent international bodies, to take all measures necessary to ensure the safety of refugees and asylum-seekers;

5. Reaffirms the principle of international solidarity and burden-sharing in responding to the refugee problem, particularly in view of the heavy burden borne by receiving countries on account of the presence of large numbers of refugees and asylum-seekers;

6. Expresses its deep appreciation for the valuable material and humanitarian response of receiving countries, in particular of many developing countries that give asylum to or accept on a temporary basis large numbers of refugees;

7. Commends all States that facilitate the attainment of durable solutions, accept refugees for resettlement and contribute generously to the High Commissioner's programmes;

8. Urges all States to support the High Commissioner in his efforts to find durable solutions to refugee problems, primarily through voluntary repatriation, including assistance to returnees, as appropriate, or, wherever appropriate, through integration in countries of asylum or resettlement in third countries;

9. Notes with appreciation the continuing support given to the High Commissioner by agencies of the United Nations system, as well as intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, in carrying out his humanitarian task and requests the High Commissioner to continue to co-ordinate his efforts with those agencies and organizations;

10. Calls upon all States to promote durable solutions and to contribute generously to the High Commissioner's humanitarian programmes in order to assist refugees, displaced persons and returnees in a spirit of international solidarity and burden-sharing.