Addendum to the Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
United Nations General Assembly Official Records: Twenty-first Session
Addendum to the Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Supplement No. 11A (A/6311/Rev.1/Add.1)
PART ONE Question of the extension of the scope of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees1
1. In paragraph 40 of his annual report,2 the High Commissioner referred to the question of the extension of the personal scope of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. Following consultation with Governments of States parties to the Convention and of States members of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme, the High Commissioner submitted this question, together with the text of a draft Protocol, to the Executive Committee, at its sixteenth session. The Committee adopted the following conclusions in the report on its
"The committee took note of the text of the draft Protocol contained in annex II to document A/AC.96/346
"It expressed the desire that article VII of the draft Protocol should not permit reservations to article II concerning co-operation of the national authorities with the United Nation.
"It further expressed the wish that the High Commissioner submit the draft Protocol as modified in the light of the discussions in the Committee to the General Assembly of the United Nations, through the Economic and Social Council, in order that the Secretary-General might be authorized to open the Protocol for accession by Governments within the shortest possible time."
2. The draft Protocol is accordingly annexed to this addendum to the High commissioner's report. The relevant background information is contained in documents A/AC.96/346 and Add.1-3 and Corr.1 and 2, A/AC.96/INF.40 and A/AC.96/INF.59.
DRAFT PROTOCOL RELATING TO THE STATUS OF REFUGEES
The States Parties to the present Protocol,
Considering that the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees done at Geneva on 28 July 1951 (hereinafter referred to as the Convention) covers only those persons who have become refugees as a result of events occurring before 1 January 1951,
Considering that new refugee situations have arisen since the Convention was adopted and that the refugees concerned may therefore not fall within the scope of the Convention,
Considering that it is desirable that equal status should be enjoyed by all refugees covered by the definition in the convention irrespective of the dateline 1 January 1951,
Have agreed as follows:
Article I. GENERAL PROVISION
1. The States Parties to the present Protocol undertake to apply articles 2 to 34 inclusive of the Convention to refugees as hereinafter defined.
2. For the purpose of the present Protocol, the term "refugee" shall, except as regards the application of paragraph 3 of this article, mean any person within the definition of article 1 of the Convention as if the words "As a result of events occurring before 1 January 1951 and ..." and the words "...as a result of such events", in article 1 A (2) were omitted.
3. The present Protocol shall be applied by the States Parties hereto without any geographic limitation, save that existing declarations made by States already Parties to the Convention in accordance with article 1 B (l) (a) of the Convention, shall, unless extended under article 1 B (2) thereof, apply also under the present Protocol.
Article II. CO-OPERATION OF THE NATIONAL AUTHORITIES WITH THE UNITED NATIONS
1. The States Parties to the present Protocol undertake to co-operate with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, or any other agency of the United Nations which may succeed it, in the exercise of its functions, and shall in particular facilitate its duty of supervising the application of the provisions of the present Protocol.
2. In order to enable the Office of the High Commissioner or any other agency of the United Nations which may succeed it, to make reports to the competent organs of the United Nations, the States Parties to this Protocol undertake to provide them, in the appropriate form, with the information and statistical data requested concerning:
(a) The condition of refugees;
(b) The implementation of the present Protocol;
(c) Laws, regulations and decrees which are, or may hereafter be, in force relating to refugees.
Article III. INFORMATION ON NATIONAL LEGISLATION
The States Parties to the present Protocol shall communicate to the Secretary-General of the United Nations the laws and regulations which they may adopt to ensure the application of the present Protocol.
Article IV. SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES
Any dispute between States Parties to the present Protocol which relates to its interpretation or application and which cannot be settled by other means shall be referred to the International Court of Justice at the request of any one of the parties to the dispute.
Article V. ACCESSION
The present Protocol shall be open for accession on behalf of all States Parties to the Convention and of any other State Member of the United Nations or member of any of the specialized agencies or to which an invitation to accede may have been addressed by the General Assembly of the United Nations. Accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of accession with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Article VI. FEDERAL CLAUSE
In the case of a Federal or non-unitary State, the following provisions shall apply:
(a) With respect to those articles of the Convention to be applied in accordance with article I, paragraph l, of the present Protocol that come within the legislative jurisdiction of the federal legislative authority, the obligations of the Federal Government shall to this extent be the same as those of States Parties which are not Federal States;
(b) With respect to those articles of the Convention to be applied in accordance with article I, paragraph 1, of the present protocol that come within the legislative jurisdiction of constituent States, provinces or cantons which are not, under the constitutional system of the federation, bound to take legislative action, the Federal Government shall bring such articles with a favourable recommendation to the notice of the appropriate authorities of States, provinces or cantons at the earliest possible moment;
(c) A Federal State Party to the present Protocol shall, at the request of any other State Party hereto transmitted through the Secretary-General of the United Nations, supply a statement of the law and practice of the Federation and its constituent units in regard to any particular provision of the Convention to be applied in accordance with article I, paragraph l, of the present Protocol, showing the extent to which effect has been given to that provision by legislative or other action.
Article VII. RESERVATIONS AND DECLARATIONS
1. At the time of accession, any State may make reservations in respect of article IV of the present Protocol and in respect of the application in accordance with article I of the present Protocol of any provisions of the Convention other than those contained in articles 1, 3, 4, 16 (1) and 33 whereof, provided that in the case of a State Party to the Convention reservations made under this article shall not extend to refugees in respect of whom the Convention applies.
2. Reservations made by States Parties to the Convention in accordance with article 42 thereof shall, unless withdrawn, be applicable in relation to their obligations under the present Protocol.
3. Any State making a reservation in accordance with paragraph 1 of this article may at any time withdraw such reservation by a communication to that effect addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
4. Declaration made under article 40, paragraphs 1 and 2, of the Convention by a State Party thereto which accedes to the present Protocol shall be deemed to apply in respect of the present Protocol, unless upon accession a notification to the contrary is addressed by the State Party concerned to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The provisions of article 40, paragraphs 2 and 3, and of article 44, paragraph 3, of the Convention shall be deemed to apply mutatis mutandis to the present Protocol.
Article VIII. ENTRY INTO FORCE
1. The present Protocol shall come into force on the day of deposit of the sixth instrument of accession.
2. For each State acceding to the Protocol after the deposit of the sixth instrument of accession, the Protocol shall come into force on the date of deposit by such State of its instrument of accession.
Article IX. DENUNCIATION
1. Any State Party hereto may denounce this Protocol at any time by a notification addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
2. Such denunciation shall take effect for the State Party concerned one year from the date on which it is received by the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Article X. NOTIFICATIONS BY THE SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS
The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform the States referred to in article V above of the date of entry into force, accession, reservations and withdrawals of reservations to and denunciations of the present Protocol, and of declarations and notifications relating hereto.
Article XI. DEPOSIT IN THE ARCHIVES OF THE SECRETARIAT OF THE UNITED NATIONS
A copy of the present Protocol, of which the Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, signed by the President of the General Assembly and by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, shall be deposited in the archives of the Secretariat of the United Nations. The Secretary-General will transmit certified copies thereof to all States Members of the United Nations and to the other States referred to in article V above.
PART TWO REPORT ON THE SIXTEENTH SESSION OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER'S PROGRAMME (Geneva, 31 October-8 November 1966)3
|Administrative Committee on Co-ordination
|European Economic Community
|Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
|Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration
|International Labour Organisation
|United Nations Development Programme
|United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
|United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
|World Health Organization
Opening of the session and election of officers
1. The Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme held its sixteenth session from 31 October to 8 November 1966, at the Palais des Nations, Geneva.
2. Under Rule 10 of the rules of procedure, which provides that the officers shall be elected for the whole year, Mr. s. Azimi (Iran), H. E. Dr. F. Alvarez-Chacin (Venezuela) and Mr. W. R. Clark (Australia) continued to serve as Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Rapporteur respectively.
3. All the members of the Committee were represented at the Committee as follows:
|Federal Republic of Germany
|United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
|United Republic of Tanzania
|United States of America
4. The Governments of Burundi, Congo (Democratic Republic of), Ecuador, New Zealand, Senegal, Spain, Sudan, Uganda, United Arab Republic and Zambia were represented by an observer, as was the Sovereign Order of Malta.
5. The International Labour Office (ILO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Council of Europe, the European Economic Community (EEC), the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (ICEM) and the League of Arab States were also represented.
Introductory remarks by the Chairman
6. Opening the session the Chairman welcomed members of the Committee and Observers and Representatives of other organizations. He also welcomed the new Deputy High Commissioner, Mr. Albert F. Bender, Jr., who was present for the first time at a session of the Executive Committee.
7. Before summing up the tasks facing the Committee the Chairman recalled that United Nations Day, which had just been celebrated, had been dedicated this year to the cause of refugees. He drew special attention to the 1967 programme, to the considerable deficit in meeting the financial target for 1966, and to the questions of inter-agency co-operation and educational assistance to refugees. Referring to the large increase in the numbers of refugees in Africa he expressed the hope that the High Commissioner would be provided with the funds necessary to enable him to complete the 1966 programme which was so important for thousands of refugees in need. The Chairman finally drew attention to the draft Protocol to the 1951 Convention which, if adopted by the General Assembly, would enable many of the new groups of refugees to benefit fully from the Convention.
Adoption of the agenda
Decision of the Committee
8. The Executive Committee decided to adopt the following agenda:
1. Adoption of the agenda (A/AC.96/337/Rev.2).
2. Introductory statement by the High Commissioner.
3. International protection - Proposed measures to extend the personal scope of the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees of 28 July 1951 (A/AC.96/346 and Add.1).
4. Resettlement of refugees (A/AC.96/341 and Add.1).
5. Note on the use of the Emergency Fund (A/AC.96/347, A/AC.96/INF.60, 61, 61/Add.1, 62, 66 and 67).
6. Financial statements and report of the Board of Auditors on the audit of the accounts for 1965 (A/AC.96/329 and 338).
7. Status of contributions (A/AC.96/340 and Add.1 and A/AC.96/ INF.68).
8. Financial status of UNHCR programmes (A/AC.96/348).
9. Inter-agency co-operation (A/AC.96/343).
10 UNHCR programme for 1966 - new projects (A/AC.96/345 and A/AC.96/INF.64 and 69).
11. UNHCR programme for 1967 (A/AC.96/342 and Add.1 and A/AC.96/INF.63, 64 and 65).
12. Educational assistance to refugees (A/AC.96/344).
13. Administrative expenditure for 1967 (A/AC.96/339).
14. Any other business.
15. Adoption of the report on the session.
Introductory statement by the High Commissioner and general debate (agenda item 2)
9. In presenting his introductory statement,4 the High Commissioner highlighted developments which had recently taken place in the work of his Office. He emphasized that in the course of visits to a number of Governments he had encountered a true understanding of the humanitarian and non-political role of his Office. This was particularly reflected in the most co-operative attitude of the Government of one of the countries of origin of refugees which he had been invited to visit and which had fully accepted the all-important principle of voluntary repatriation.
10. He outlined the progress made in the field of international protection in Europe, which included agreement in principle by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany of the establishment of a new indemnification fund. He drew attention to the helpful role played by the Council of Europe in assisting the Office to consolidate the legal position of refugees in its member countries. Protection was also assuming increasing importance in various African countries. Favourable principles concerning refugees adopted by the Afro-Asian Consultative Committee, a generous asylum policy, observance of the principles of the 1951 Convention and consideration of a complementary legal instrument by the Organization of African Unity, were significant indications of the attachment of the countries concerned to the cause of refugees. The High Commissioner added that the draft Protocol to the 1951 Convention was a cornerstone in the protection of refugees, since when adopted it would give to the Convention a truly universal character.
11. Progress continued to be made in the field of material assistance in Europe, where responsibility for the administration of assistance projects including counselling was gradually being transferred to local bodies. In Latin America, there was still a considerable number of handicapped refugees, as reflected in the report on the mental health of refugees (A/AC.96/INF.63). In Asia, good progress had been made, particularly in Nepal; furthermore, the proceeds of the European Refugee Campaign had been earmarked to a large extent to assist refugees on that continent. In Africa, there had been an increase of over 80,000 refugees in need of assistance during the past year; rapid progress was being made in the settlement of the existing groups of refugees but the influx of newcomers was making the settlement of the others more difficult, while certain decisions by governmental authorities such as that to remove a group of refugees from one area to another required considerable readjustments in the UNHCR programme.
12. The High Commissioner particularly emphasized the beneficial effects of increased co-operation between UNHCR and other member of the United Nations family, in particular with regard to the consolidation of the settlement of refugees and their education, to which he attached the greatest importance since it had a decisive impact on the refugees' chances of real and lasting integration.
13. In conclusion, the High Commissioner raised the crucial financial problem confronting his Office as evidenced by a shortfall of over $1 million in the financial target of the 1966 programme. The use of funds set aside and the partial use of the proceeds of fund-raising campaigns could only be regarded as palliatives.
14. He stressed in particular that the voluntary agencies which had organized the European Refugee Campaign had earmarked most of the funds for essential additional projects outside the programme and that they expected that far from relieving Governments of the obligation to ensure financing of the assistance programmes, the results of the campaign would be an encouragement to them to increase their contribution. He emphasized that the programme of his Office, which was confined to bare essentials, was not only intended to alleviate human misery, but was also an important element of social and political stability in helping Governments to avert the upheavals - political, social and financial - that might result from an uncontrolled accumulation of new problems of refugees.
15. The representatives who took part in the general debate paid tribute to the High Commissioner for the manner in which he was discharging his challenging task and for the results achieved in the field of international protection and material assistance. Many speakers stressed the importance they attached to the close relations that had been developed by the High Commissioner with a considerable number of Governments in various parts of the world for the benefit of the refugees.
16. Several representatives and government observers stressed the favourable effects of the humanitarian and non-political character of the High Commissioner's action which had certainly contributed to the appeasement of tensions and to the solution of new refugee problems in the interest of the Governments concerned and of the refugees themselves. A tribute was paid to the fruitful co-operation which had developed between the Government of one of the countries of origin in Africa, the High Commissioner and several Governments of asylum countries, which was designed to facilitate the voluntary repatriation and re-establishment of a number of refugees living in those countries.
17. With regard to the basic functions of UNHCR, the international protection of refugees, members of the Committee noted with interest the increasing importance attached to the status of refugees in various countries in Africa and expressed their appreciation for the measures taken in this connexion by the Governments of the countries concerned, with the support of regional groups and organizations. Members of the Committee commended in particular the generous asylum policy which had been adopted in spite of the economic problems which many of those Governments had to face. Several speakers stated their awareness of the emergence of problems of individual African refugees living in towns and engaged in a variety of occupations, who, as stated by the High Commissioner, required the same legal protection as refugees in other parts of the world (i.e. travel documents, residence permits, work permits, etc.).
18. The Committee expressed its appreciation for the proposed establishment of a new indemnification fund by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany. Many members of the Committee re-emphasized the importance they attached to the speedy adoption of the Protocol to the 1951 Convention which would enhance the universal character of this basic legal instrument. The Committee noted from a statement made at a later stage by the Observer for the Democratic Republic of the Congo that his Government had taken the necessary steps to withdraw the expulsion and sequestration decrees affecting certain categories of persons.
19. Most speakers placed emphasis on the major problem arising from the growing influx of refugees in Africa. The representative of Tanzania made a statement in which he interpreted the feelings of several other African countries of first asylum, he expressed his Government's concern about the new influx of refugees which placed a heavy economic burden on the country and voiced the hope that further, much needed assistance would be forthcoming from the international community. There was general recognition and appreciation in the Committee of the major effort required of the Governments and local authorities in the countries of asylum in Africa to cope with the burning needs of new refugees.
20. With regard to the outstanding problems of European refugees, the Committee received further information from representatives of countries of residence in respect of the proposed measures for the transfer of some of the High Commissioner's responsibilities to local authorities or experienced private organizations and institutions in these countries. The Committee also noted that some of the problems of European refugees still remained to be solved, and several representatives, one of whom had recently visited assistance projects in several countries warned against the risk of these problems being underestimated. The representatives of Greece and Yugoslavia also gave an account of the considerable refugee problems which their countries were facing. The representative of Greece drew the Committee's particular attention to the influx of refugees of Greek origin from various countries for whom he requested the High Commissioner's good offices and/or the establishment of a supplementary programme. From statements made by the representatives of Australia and Canada, the Committee noted with interest that continuing attention was being paid in these countries to the resettlement of European refugees through migration, thereby alleviating the burden of the countries of first asylum.
21. In referring to the proposed current programme for 1967, some representatives laid stress on the essentially catalytic character of the High Commissioner's programme and on the need for speed which was so important in seeking to solve new problems as and when they arose. They furthermore considered that, as had been the case heretofore, the role of the material assistance programme in Africa was, in the first instance, to help refugees through the emergency phase and then assist them to become self-supporting; further assistance to improve their general situation should be rendered in the framework of development projects put into effect by other members of the United Nations family for the benefit of those developing areas where the refugees were located. One representative wondered if it was possible to ascertain the deeper causes of the new influx of refugees. He considered, as did a few other speakers, that the usual prudent approach of UNHCR should be maintained.
22. Members of the Committee expressed their particular satisfaction with the policy followed by the high Commissioner in respect of inter-agency co-operation. They paid tribute to the other members of the United Nations family which had co-operated in varying degrees with UNHCR in the implementation of material assistance projects and especially thanked the World Food Programme for its generous contribution which had meant the difference between life and death for many thousands of refugees. Most speakers strongly supported the proposed arrangements for the education of refugees.
23. Several speakers expressed their deep concern at the serious financial problems facing UNHCR and reflected in the shortfall of over $1 million in the 1966 programme. They appealed for a continuing, increased and concerted effort of all members of the international community, including Governments which had hitherto been unable to participate in the financing of UNHCR programmes. In the course of the discussion financial contributions were announced by the representatives of China, Lebanon, Norway and Venezuela, the details of which may be found in section VII below.
24. The Committee also noted with deep satisfaction the preliminary results of the European Refugee Campaign which had been launched in a number of European countries, on United Nations Day, by a group of voluntary agencies chaired by His Royal Highness, Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands. The Committee heard with particular interest information on the Campaign in Denmark where a special matching contribution had been made by the Danish Government, it the Federal Republic of Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom. The Committee was aware, however, that the great majority of the funds raised would be earmarked by the organising agencies for essential additional assistance projects outside the programme of UNHCR, and that the successful results of this one-time campaign in no way relieved the Governments from ensuring the financing of UNHCR programmes. Members of the Committee paid a high tribute to the spirit of international solidarity in which the Campaign had been conducted and considered that, in addition to its promising financial results, it had aroused new awareness of the problems of refugees and made a decisive impact on public opinion, which gave cause for optimism and new hope.
25. In the course of the session, the Committee heard a general statement by the representative of the International Council of Voluntary Agencies, the text of which may be found in document A/AC.96/351. The Committee paid a warm tribute to the manifold contribution which was being made in a truly ecumenical spirit by the non-governmental organizations and agencies working for refugees in many countries throughout the world, and to the individual voluntary workers.
Decision of the Committee
26. The Executive Committee:
Having heard the High Commissioner's introductory statement and subsequent statements made in the course of the general debate,
(a) Commended the High Commissioner for the manner in which he was discharging his challenging task and for the results he had achieved by maintaining the humanitarian and non-political character of his role;
(b) Noted that the problems facing UNHCR, particularly in Africa, had rapidly increased in scope and complexity in the course of 1966;
(c) Recognized with concern the widening gap between the needs of the refugees and the means available to UNHCR to ensure that those needs were met;
(d) Expressed the hope that further increased concerted efforts of members of the international community, including Governments, United Nations organizations and programmes, and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, would enable the High Commissioner and Governments of countries of asylum of refugees to achieve a solution to their problems as and when they arose.
II. INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION (Agenda item 3)
27. The Director of the Legal Division introduced this item with a general statement5 in which he described some recent trends in the field of protection. He mentioned in particular the increasingly world-wide character of the protection activities of the High Commissioner's Office, the growing recognition of the special position of refugees in national legislation and international instruments and the co-operation between the Office and regional organizations in matters of international protection. He also referred to the increasing importance of protection activities in Africa and recent developments in the fundamental question of asylum on the regional level and within the framework of the United Nations.
28. In the course of the discussion the various speakers emphasized the importance of international protection as the basic task of the high Commissioner's Office. The representative of Canada mentioned the recently published White Paper on Immigration in which the Canadian Government announced its intention of acceding to the 1941 Convention and the 1956 Agreement relating to Refugee Seamen and of establishing a Refugee Eligibility Commission which would function in close co-operation with the High Commissioner's Office. The representative of the United States, while appreciating the effort to curtail expenditure, expressed concern lest the reduction of the of the legal staff of UNHCR in Europe and the reduction in the 1967 programme of the amounts allocated for legal assistance in Germany, Greece, Italy, Latin America Austria, should prevent the needs of refugees from being adequately met. The Director of the Legal Division gave information regarding the arrangements for legal assistance in the countries mentioned and the reasons why reduced allocations had been proposed. In proposing these allocations the need for effective legal counselling facilities in various countries had been taken into account.
29. The observer for the Council of Europe recalled that in addition to the question of the right of asylum, which was being closely followed, recommendation 434 concerning improvement of the status of refugees in the framework of European integration had recently received favourable consideration by the Committee of Ministers. It was accordingly hoped that it would be possible to progress along the lines of this recommendation with the continued close co-operation of the Office of the High Commissioner.
Draft Protocol to the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees
30. The Director of the Legal Division, introducing the question of proposed measures to extended the personal scope of the 1951 Convention,6 described the various developments since the Colloquium of Legal Aspects of Refuge Problems took place in Bellagio in April 1965. Following the Colloquium's recommendations, the High Commissioner's office had consulted the Governments of States parties to the 1951 Convention and of States members of the Executive Committee as to the proposed measures. Of the fifty-eight Governments consulted, thirty-five had replied to date and these replies indicated agreement with the proposal that the personal scope of the 1951 Convention should be extended by means of a Protocol which would make the Convention fully applicable to new refugee situations. The revised text of the draft Protocol in annex II to document A/AC.96/346, together with documents A/AC.96/346, Corr.1 and 2, originally based on the text prepared by the Colloquium, had been established in the light of comments by Governments and in consultation with the Secretariat of the United Nations. The method of a Protocol had been considered appropriate in view of the urgent need for a simple and rapid solution which was also relevant as regards the procedure for the Protocol's adoption. The procedure envisaged was outlined in paragraphs 26 and 27 of the above-mentioned document.
31. The members of the Committee welcomed the proposal to extend the personal scope of the 1951 Convention by means of a Protocol which would make the Convention universally applicable to refugees and would secure for new groups of refugees the same status as that enjoyed by those already covered by the Convention.
32. The representative of France proposed a specific amendment to article I (3) with a view to placing more emphasis on the possibility of withdrawal by States of the geographic limitation introduced in accordance with article I B (1) (a) of the Convention. He also considered that article VII of the draft Protocol which reproduced article 35 of the Convention, should not permit reservations to article II concerning co-operation of the national authorities with the United Nations.
33. Some representatives stated that they agreed that the Protocol should contain a provision permitting reservations in respect of the application under the Protocol of article 38 of the Convention concerning the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice in the case of disputes. Other representatives felt that while there were various disadvantages in such a provision, it could nevertheless be accepted in the interest of the widest possible adherence.
34. The representative of Switzerland recalled that his Government had previously proposed the inclusion of a provision enabling States to suspend certain of their obligations under the Protocol in exceptional circumstances. After further examination, however, it seemed preferable not to include a provision of this type in the Protocol.
35. The simplified procedure envisaged for the adoption of the draft Protocol was agreed. Various representatives indicated that their Governments might wish to make further comments or submit amendments when the draft Protocol was examined by the Economic and Social Council and by the General Assembly.
36. The Committee took note of the text of the draft Protocol contained in annex II to document A/AC.96/246.
37. It expressed the desire that article VII of the draft Protocol should not permit reservations to article II concerning co-operation of the national authorities with the United Nations.
38. It further expressed the wish that the High Commissioner submit the draft Protocol, as modified in the light of the discussions in the Committee, to the General Assembly of the United Nations, through the Economic and Social Council, in order that the Secretary-General might be authorized to open the Protocol for accession by Governments within the shortest possible time.
III. RESETTLEMENT (Agenda item 4)
39. The Committee considered the report on the resettlement of refugees (A/AC.96/341 and Add.1), which showed that the rate of resettlement during the first six months of 1966 had remained substantially unchanged and was approximately equivalent to the number of new arrivals in the main countries of asylum in Europe.
40. The representative of the High Commissioner, introducing the report, said that steady progress had been made in the first half of 1966 and that notwithstanding the continuing influx of new asylum seekers there had been no accumulation of refugees in countries of first asylum in Europe. Certain important developments had taken place in 1966 such as the measures introduced by the Australian Government to facilitate the migration of certain categories of migrants, including refugees; the steps taken by the United States authorities to speed up the movement of Cuban refugees from Spain and the departure of a further group of "old believers" from Hong Kong to Argentina which had brought the number of refugees still remaining in the Colony to the lowest figure yet achieved. Referring to the difficult problem of resettling the severely handicapped refugees the representative of the High Commissioner gave details of the work of the selection missions from Canada, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland which were generously accepting refugees for resettlement from Italy, Lebanon and Morocco under current schemes for handicapped refugees.
41. The Deputy Director of the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (ICEM), Mr. Walter M. Besterman, addressing the Committee, said that one of the most important elements in the success achieved in resettling refugees had undoubtedly been the "open door" policy of many of the countries of immigration. He paid a tribute to those countries which had generously admitted handicapped refugees and informed the Committee that the Council of ICEM would be given special consideration to this question at its forthcoming session. Referring to the resettlement statistics he stated that the difference in the figures published by ICEM and UNHCR could be explained by the different terms of reference of the two organizations. During the first six months of 1966, ICEM had moved 15,652 refugees including 10,214 coming within the mandate of UNHCR, at a total cost of over $4 million. It was anticipated that a total of 32,000 refugees including those of concern to UNHCR would be moved by ICEM during 1966. In 1967 ICEM expected to receive requests for the movement of 35,000 refugees at a cost of some $7.6 million. He pointed out in this connexion that estimated income fell short of that amount by some $236,000 and efforts were being made to obtain the additional funds. He expressed the gratitude of his Organization for the financial support UNHCR was giving to ICEM's language-training programmes for refugees. In conclusion he paid a tribute to the many anonymous workers who were labouring unceasingly, on behalf of the voluntary agencies, to assist in resettling refugees.
42. The representative of the High Commissioner confirmed that of the total of 15,652 refugees moved by ICEM during the period under review, 10,509 were within the mandate of UNHCR. In this connexion the representative of the United States renewed his request that future UNHCR reports on resettlement should contain an explanation of the difference in the resettlement statistics published by the two organizations.
43. The High Commissioner, referring to a statement made in the course of the discussion, recalled that, unlike the 1951 Convention, the Statute of his Office was of universal scope, unlimited in time and space.
44. Several representatives gave information on the number of refugees admitted to their countries, including handicapped refugees, and on their current resettlement schemes, details of which may be found in the summary record of the 144th meeting. Enquiries into certain technical aspects of resettlement and the replies given by the representative of the High Commissioner may also be found in the summary record of the 144th meeting.
45. The Committee noted in particular that measures had recently been taken by Australia, Canada and Switzerland in connexion with the admission of refugees. It learned that the Government of Australia had recently adopted provisions which would reduce the amount to be reimbursed by refugees in respect of their passage fare to Australia and that arrangements had also been made to facilitate family reunion of refugees. It noted from a statement by the representative of Switzerland that his Government would continue to admit fifty sick and aged refugees each year in addition to approving a new scheme for the admission of the handicapped.
46. The representative of Tanzania said that a number of relatives of refugees living in Tanzania had been reunited with their relatives there. He hoped that Governments of other countries would likewise make it possible for refugees living in Tanzania to rejoin their relatives in those countries. He also expressed the hope that the High Commissioner would be able to assist in the resettlement of refugee white-collar workers from Tanzania where employment opportunities outside agriculture were very limited.
47. Appreciation was expressed to the Iranian Government for agreeing to accept a number of Tibetan refugees for training in Iran.
48. One representative underlined the importance of counselling with regard to resettlement and expressed his Government's support for the measures taken by the high Commissioner in this field.
49. Several representatives expressed appreciation for the action of those countries which in a true spirit of international solidarity had generously continued to accept large numbers of handicapped refugees, often without any financial assistance towards their care. A number of representatives expressed their concern regarding the difficult problem of severely handicapped refugees referred to in paragraph 36 of the report. They wished to know whether these difficulties arose because of the specialized care needed by these persons, facilities for which might not always be available in countries of resettlement. With regard to the suggestion made in paragraph 41 of the report that member Governments should accept a proportion of these cases, they wondered whether it might not be preferable in the case of some of these persons (e.g. mental cases with language difficulties) to assist countries to present asylum to continue to care for them rather than to attempt to move them to other countries. The representatives who spoke agreed on the importance of providing solutions which would be in the best interests of these persons. It was recognized that the effort of international solidarity had enabled substantial numbers of handicapped refugees to be resettled out that special measures were necessary to solve the problems of this small group of more seriously handicapped persons. It was suggested that a special study of this particular caseload should be made and that the High Commissioner should submit to a future session of the Committee a report on the question, including proposals for its solution.
50. The High Commissioner agreed that one of the difficulties facing many countries in accepting the more seriously handicapped refugees was one of infrastructure. In the case of some of these refugees resettlement appeared to be the best solution but for others it would undoubtedly be better for them to continue to be cared for in the present country of asylum. However, whichever solution was adopted the problem of making provision for their permanent specialized care and maintenance would still have to be faced. He agreed that a special report on the subject including proposals for their settlement should be submitted to a future session of the Committee.
51. The Committee learned from an eyewitness account given by the representative of the United Kingdom and form a statement made by the observer for Spain, of the considerable work which was being done to assist the large number of Cubans arriving in Spain, most of whom wished to join friends or relatives in the United States. The observer for Spain further stated that the rate of arrival, i.e., some 500 per month, considerably exceeded the number of those resettled from Spain in other countries, i.e., some 200 per month. He stated that the further measures taken by the United States Government to facilitate their admission would help considerably to speed up the resettlement of these persons.
Decision of the Committee
52. The Executive Committee,
Having considered the report of the High Commissioner on the resettlement of refugees (A/AC.96/341 and Add.1)
(a) Considered that the present international mechanism for the resettlement of refugees should be continued with a view to speeding up the emigration of new arrivals from countries of first asylum;
(b) Urged Governments to continue to assist the High Commissioner in solving the problems of the remaining severely handicapped refugees, either by each accepting a quote of these refugees into their country, or by facilitating the establishment of protected communities for the refugees and, to this end, invited the High Commissioner to prepare a study on the practical medical and financial implications of a comprehensive programme of lasting solutions along these lines;
(c) Recommended that Governments of immigration countries make every effort to render possible the resettlement of refugees from the new centre at Banja Koviljaca, Yugoslavia;
(d) Appealed to governments of African countries to consider the possibility of admitting for settlement on their territory individual African refugees within the mandate of UNHCR who were seeking new homes.
IV UNHCR PROGRAMMES
A. UNHCR current programme for 1967 (Agenda item 11)
53. The Executive Committee considered the UNHCR current programme for 1967 submitted by the High Commissioner (A/AC.96/342 and Add.1 and 2), in a total amount of $US 4,584,130. The Committee also had before it in this connexion a report on the progress achieved in the implementation of the 1966 programme during the first six months of the year (A/AC.96/INF.64), a report on the mental health of refugees in Latin America (A/AC.96/INF.63) a report on Tibetan refugees (A/AC.96/INF.65) and a progress report by the International Labour Office on the integration an zonal development project on Burundi (A/AC.96/INF.69).
54. In presenting the programme, the Director of Operations stated that the major portion of the programme was intended for the settlement of refugees on the land in Africa, which, short of voluntary repatriation, was the most suitable solution to their problems. The programme submitted to the Committee was the minimum one required to carry out the tasks facing UNHCR and encourage other members of the international community to participate as generously as possible.
55. He explained the high cost in the transportation of food for Sudanese refugees in the Central African Republic, which might possibly be reduced in the event that refugees became partly self-supporting at an earlier date than anticipated. He drew special attention to the recent influx of refugees into Zambia.
56. Referring to the additional projects contained in document A/AC.96/342/Add.2 the Director of Operations explained that in view of the urgency of the situation it had proved necessary to submit them to the Executive Committee much sooner than had been anticipated at the time when the major part of the programme was submitted to Governments in document A/AC.96/342. Commenting on these additional projects he pointed out that the Government of Tanzania had appealed to UNHCR for assistance in dealing with some 6,000 refugees from Mozambique who had arrived in the south west corner of Tanzania and who could not be absorbed locally without outside assistance. An additional allocation of $65,400 was submitted for this purpose. In addition the High Commissioner proposed to allocate $25,000 from his Emergency Fund to allow the problem to be dealt with until the end of the current year.
57. The additional allocation of $343,930 for Uganda included $195,000 for assistance in the settlement of some 4,500 Sudanese refugees, part of whom had been moved inland from the border areas by the authorities and who were in need of further assistance in their final settlement at Onigo. The additional allocation also included $92,980 to facilitate the settlement of Rwandese refugees who had to leave the over-crowded Oruchinga Valley to settle in Kyangwali, $23,500 for the settlement of Rwandese refugees at Kahunge, and an additional allocation of $32,450 for completing the settlement of some 3,000 Congolese at Acolpi. Finally there was a further allocation of $86,600 to assist the Zambian authorities in dealing with the new influx of refugees from Angola. In this particular case the High Commissioner also proposed to make an allocation of $18,750 from his Emergency Fund to cover the remaining period of the current year. In addition a donation of $10,000 had been made by Norway for assistance to these refugees.
58. Referring to some of the other projects before the Committee the Director of Operations stated that tentative arrangements were being made with local voluntary agencies with a view to assisting the increasing number of individual refugees in African cities. Educational and vocational training would need to be provided for some of these refugees.
59. With regard to European refugees, it was difficult to make a forecast of the date at which the remaining caseload of nearly 1,000 persons on the mainland of China would be settled. They were the last group out of a total of 20,000 refugees who had been moved via Hong Kong. An important allocation had again been earmarked for the promotion of resettlement which continued to prove an essential solution to the problems of European refugees.
60. In the course of the general discussion, concern was expressed at the widening gap between the needs to be met and the amount of funds likely to be made available to the High Commissioner. Attention was again drawn to the large number of refugees requiring assistance in Africa where their number now exceeded 700,000. One representative suggested that UNHCR expenditure for these refugees should be proportionate to their number.
61. Reference was made to a number of factors which rendered the work of assistance particularly difficult in certain parts of Africa, such as climatic conditions, communications, long distances and lack of food stocks; a tribute was paid to the governmental and local authorities of the countries of first asylum in Africa for the generosity with which they were playing their part. The Committee also highly commended the Governments which, through programmes of bilateral aid, supporting contributions to UNHCR projects or through programmes complementary to those of UNHCR, were making a major contribution to UNHCR's work.
62. Upon the suggestion of one of the representatives, it was agreed that the progress report to be submitted to the Committee's next session should contain an indication of the total resources available in various areas for assistance to refugees and of the extent to which the problems of earlier groups had been solved.
63. A number of representatives emphasized the importance they attached to the catalytic role of the UNHCR programme and expressed the hope that, taking into account the financial problem confronting the Office, it would be possible to keep the programme within certain limits. Emphasis was placed in this connexion on the role of host Governments which had a primary responsibility in providing assistance for refugees.
64. The question also arose as to the period of time required by Governments to study the projects to be included in UNHCR programmes prior to consideration by the Committee. Some representatives suggested that in order to facilitate a thorough study of important proposals by the Committee requests for new projects should be submitted to the High Commissioner earlier than had been done in the past. They noted from a statement by the Director of Operations that if approval of the new projects just presented to the Committee was deferred until the next session, the refugees would miss the planting season with all the consequences which this would entail from a financial, social and humanitarian point of view. It was therefore agreed that if it proved impossible for new emergencies to be brought to the attention of members of the Committee sufficiently in advance of the session the High Commissioner might draw on his Emergency Fund pending consideration of the matter by the Committee at a subsequent session. The Committee further agreed that, as suggested by the Director of Operations, any new UNHCR current programme should be submitted to members of the Committee six weeks in advance of its session.
Country by country consideration of the 1967 programme
65. In considering the allocation of $700,000 for assistance to refugees in the Central African Republic, the Committee noted every effort was being made by the High Commissioner to reduce the high cost involved in transporting food supplies needed during the emergency phase of the operation. One representative considered that, while arrangements for primary schools presumably had to be made by UNHCR, it would be useful to explore the possibility of fellowships and teacher training being provided from other national or international sources.
66. In considering the allocation for assistance in the Congo, the Committee heard from a statement by the observer for the Democratic Republic of the Congo that considerable progress had been made in the settlement of Angolan and Rwandese refugees in his country, and that great benefit had been derived from the educational facilities which had been made available.
67. An exchange of views took place on the extent to which allocations should be included in the UNHCR programme for assistance to refugees in France and Germany where considerable facilities were available for their local settlement. It was stated that in these two countries, which had received a large number of refugees, the limited allocations provided under the UNHCR programme would meet the essential purpose of eliciting greater financial participation from other sources inside the country, thereby ensuring the satisfactory settlement of the refugees.
68. Consideration of the allocation for Greece gave the committee an opportunity to hear an eyewitness statement by the representative of the United Kingdom, who have a vivid account of the progress accomplished under the major aid programmes and also of the problems which were still to be found among some of the 2,800 non-settled refugees. The Committee noted with satisfaction, from his statement and from an earlier statement made by the representative of Greece, that building on the outstanding housing projects had been resumed and that the related bonds were also being issued.
69. The Committee also noted that there was a considerable problem of newcomers involving some 4,000 persons of Greek ethnic origin, and that 12,000 more were expected to arrive. They did not fall within the sphere of competence of UNHCR, although they had benefited from a $25,000 special grant made under the good offices function of the High Commissioner.
70. When considering the allocation proposed for assistance to refugees in Italy, the Committee noted form the eyewitness account by the representative of the United Kingdom and from explanations given by the Director of Operations that the annual rate of rejection of those presented to selection missions was between 2 and 4 per cent. In view of the accumulation of these refugees, their number had considerably increased. Appreciation was expressed for the excellent arrangements made for those who were settling in the protected community at Capua, and for the decision of the Italian authorities to assume responsibility for integration counselling in the future.
71. In connexion with the proposed projects for assistance in Latin America, the Committee heard a statement by Dr. Peter Berner, former mental health adviser to UNHCR, who introduced the report on the mental health of refugees in certain Latin American countries (A/AC.96/INF.63). He stated in particular that the reason for the difficulty in ensuring proper treatment for these persons resulted from the rapid population growth in the countries concerned and that increased facilities for psychotherapeutic treatment were also required for the local population. He considered, however, that the adoption of the recommendations in his report would go a long way to meet the needs of some 590 known cases, and would also make it possible to assess the needs of a number of others who had not yet come to the attention of the social services concerned. The Committee expressed agreement with the recommendations of the former mental health adviser to UNHCR and commended him for his work.
72. Several representatives, including those of the Latin American Governments on the Executive Committee, gave their full support to the proposed allocations for assistance to refugees, both Europeans and others, in Latin America. The Committee further noted that in several countries in Latin America, an increasing share was being taken by local authorities and organizations in the work of assistance to refugees. The representative of the United States recall that some 4,000 Cubans per month were being admitted into his country where they were considered a definite asset.
73. When considering the proposals for Tibetan refugees in Nepal, the Committee noted the progress made in the implementation of approved projects and expressed the hope that the problems of these refugees would be solved in the near future. Appreciation was expressed for the emphasis which had been placed in the assistance projects on helping refugees to become self-supporting and attention was drawn to the need for medical facilities as indicated in paragraph 15 of document A/AC.96/INF.65.
74. In connexion with the question of refugees in Senegal, the Committee noted with great satisfaction that a major proportion of the assistance required for refugees in 1967 would be made available by the Government of Senegal in addition to the UNHCR contribution.
75. The observer for Senegal gave the Committee a full account of the situation of refugees in his country and of the progress achieved in settling them, details of which may be found in the summary record of the 146th meeting. He stated in particular that out of 57,000 who had come into the country, 30,000 had been able to establish themselves since 1964 and most of the others were likely to become self-supporting by the end of 1967, with the possible exception of those who had recently arrived. He emphasized in particular the importance of medical assistance and education, referred to in paragraphs 100 and 101 of the programme. He also stressed the increasing problems of individual refugees in urban areas, most of which involved action in the field of international protection.
76. The Committee also heard a statement by the observer for Zambia in which information was given in respect of the recent influx of new refugees into the country. The observer stressed in particular the problem resulting from the arrival of individual cases from various countries in the southern part of Africa and stated that in view of the strained resources of his country and of its limited absorption capacity international assistance for the refugees in Zambia continued to be indispensable.
77. The observer for Burundi gave an account of the considerable progress achieved in the settlement of Rwandese refugees in his country. In the older settlement areas where the ILO/FAO integration and zonal development project had been put into effect, the refugees could now be regarded as settled, and good progress to this end was being made in the Mugera settlement.
78. The representative of the United Kingdom subsequently vividly portrayed the position of refugees in Turkey. He explained that while the total number probably did not exceed 1,200 to 1,500 there was a limited new influx each year and among those already in the country some were living in difficult circumstances. Whereas excellent housing facilities and good medical care had been provided to a number of physically, economically or socially handicapped refugees, they were having great difficulties in achieving self-sufficiency and needed additional help.
79. While considering the new projects for refugees in Uganda, the Committee heard a statement by the observer for that country in which he explained the circumstances in which it had been necessary to remove a number of Sudanese refugees from their present area of location inland, in consultation with the Governments of neighbouring countries. He also explained that a number of Rwandese refugees had been moved from the overcrowded Oruchinga Valley because their settlement in other areas could be carried out more effectively. He recalled that Uganda had received 150,000 refugees and that his country's expenditure for the period 1962-1965 for these refugees had amounted to over one million pounds.
80. The observer for the Sudan made a statement in which he wished to express his Government's appreciation to the Executive Committee and to the High Commissioner for their humanitarian work.
81. After specific approval of the revised project allocations listed at the beginning of document A/AC.96/342/Add.2 and of the projects contained in the programme submitted by the High Commissioner, the Committee adopted the following decision.
Decision of the Committee
82. The Executive Committee,
Having considered the UNHCR programme for 1967 submitted to it by the High Commissioner (A/AC.96/342 and Add.1 and 2),
(a) Approved the financial target for the UNHCR programme for 1967 in an amount of $4,584,130 to meet the requirements of the High Commissioner in the field of material assistance in 1967;
(b) Approved the specific allocations in a total amount of $4,584,130 as listed in document A/AC.96/342/Add.2 and in annex II to this report;
(c) Noted that the allocation in an amount of $210,000 towards the grant-in-aid would be adjusted in the light of the final amount committed under the 1967 programme;
(d) Agreed in principle to the proposals referred to in paragraphs 83 (b), 125 (a) and 159 (a) and 170 (a) of document A/AC.96/342 concerning respectively refugees in Macao, Tanzania and Zambia and the proposals contained in paragraph 57 of document A/AC.96/342/Add.2 concerning the settlement of refugees in Zambia;
(e) Agreed on the proposals put forward in paragraph 137(a) of document A/AC.96/342 concerning a group of 150 refugees in Tanzania, and in paragraph 13 of document A/AC.96/342/Add.1 concerning refugees in Burundi;
(f) Authorized the High Commissioner to transfer funds between projects approved under the 1967 programme subject to their being reported to the Committee as soon as possible thereafter;
(g) Noted that the specific budgetary tables included in the programme for certain countries were based on estimates expressed in local currency and that agreements between UNHCR and its operational partners would, as a rule, be conclude d on the basis of local currency;
(h) Requested that UNHCR programmes and new projects for inclusion in those programmes should in the future be submitted to the Members of the Committee at least six weeks before the beginning of the session at which they were to be considered.
B. UNHCR current programme for 1966 - new project (Agenda item 10)
83. The Committee considered document A/AC.96/345 in which the High Commissioner proposed a project for the local settlement of Zanzibar refugees in Dubai in an amount of $10,000. In introducing the item, the representative of the High Commissioner explained that the project under consideration would be financed within the present financial target of the 1966 programme.
Decision of the Committee
84. The Executive Committee,
Having considered the new project submitted by the High Commissioner in document A/AC.96/345 for inclusion in the UNHCR programme for 1966,
Approved this project in an amount of $10,000 and noted that its inclusion in the 1966 programme would not imply any increase in the financial target of that programme.
V. INTER-AGENCY CO-OPERATION
85. The Committee considered the report presented by the High Commissioner on exploratory contacts concerning intensification of inter-agency co-operation (A/AC.96/343) in conjunction with the report on the subject submitted to the Committee at its twelfth session (A/AC.96/259).
86. Introducing this question, the High Commissioner stated that the mechanism which had been established in accordance with the guiding lines adopted at the twelfth session had already proved its value as evidenced by the results of the ILO-FAO programme for regional integration of refugees in certain areas in Africa. The main difficulty preventing the fullest use being made of inter-agency co-operation resulted from the considerable time-lag required for the planning and budgetary approval of agency programmes, and from the fact that Governments of asylum countries could not always be expected to agree that priority be given to projects for the benefit of refugees over and above those intended for their country as a whole.
87. The High Commissioner stated that the specialized agencies and the United Nations Development Programme had made experts available in the field whose co-operation was highly appreciated. However, in the case of more costly development projects, under regulations in force, requests had to be submitted to the specialized agencies by the government concerned. The World Food Programme had of course been able to make large quantities of food available for the refugees.
88. The High Commissioner stressed that while, in a number of countries, refugees could achieve integration by virtue of the existing infrastructure, in Africa the situation was different. After the emergency phase of assistance to new groups of refugees, measures had to be taken to achieve permanent solutions for them. Whenever voluntary repatriation did not prove possible, rural settlement was the main solution. In order to consolidate the settlement of refugees on the land zonal integration projects were necessary. He wished to stress the increased role of the other members of the United Nations family in this particular field, and hoped that with the support of the support of Governments which were members of the Committee and of the Boards of the specialized agencies, their programmes would take fully into account the development of areas where there was a substantial refugee population. He hoped that this would also be the case in bilateral assistance programmes.
89. The High Commissioner also emphasized that after they had become economically integrated, refugees, wherever they were, would continue to qualify for international protection by his Office until such time as they had acquired a new nationality. For the same reasons his Office would continue to follow up on the situation of refugees after other United Nations organizations had taken over responsibility for the consolidation of their settlement within the framework of development programmes.
90. The Committee heard statements by the representatives of ILO, FAO, WHO and, at a later stage, UNESCO, in which they indicated the interest of their agencies in the work of assistance to refugees, and their desire to co-operate with the High Commissioner to the fullest extent of their possibilities.7
91. The representative of the ILO expressed his organization's general agreement with the principles put forward in the High Commissioner's report. He drew attention to the need to arrange for consultations between the High Commissioner and the other agencies concerned at the earliest possible stage in the planning of new projects in order to ensure a maximum of success for the latter. He also emphasized the need for careful co-ordination of the activities of the different agencies in their various fields of competence at the planning and implementation stages. Lastly, drawing on the past experience of the ILO in fields related to refugee integration and settlement, he stressed the importance of the sociological and psychological aspects of the integration pursued in any project designed to provide assistance of a co-ordinated and comprehensive character to refugees.
92. The representative of FAO recalled the role which his organization was in a position to play and had already played in advising on the land settlement of refugees. With the support of UNDP, FAO had provided experts in Burundi and the Central African Republic. Several FAO experts, including one on land settlement, were also active in Tanzania and could, if requested to do so by the Tanzanian Government, also provide assistance in connexion with the settlement of refugees. With regard to educational assistance his organization would be able to assist in the training of farmers and agricultural workers.
93. The representative of UNDP explained that, upon the request of Governments transmitted to the UNDP Resident Representatives, assistance could be provided by UNDP in financing programmes connected with economic assistance for the settlement, retraining and rehabilitation of refugees. Sympathetic consideration would be given to requests for experts to assist in the planning of projects, and to requests for assistance on a larger scale, falling within the Special Fund sector, in which case one of the specialized agencies would be designated as the executing agency.
94. It became clear from the debate that the main difficulty facing the High Commissioner and other members of the United Nations family was not a matter of co-ordination and co-operation but of financing. A number of representatives stressed that there were insufficient funds to finance the programme of UNDP and the Special Fund in developing areas, and they recognized that it was difficult therefore for a proportion of these funds to be diverted from over-all development programmes to specific area programmes which would also include refugees. They considered, on the other hand, as did the High Commissioner, that while his Office was fully responsible for the protection and promotion of assistance to refugees, the limited means available for his current programme should be reserved for the emergency phase of any refugee problem. Inter-agency consultations should, in the light of circumstances, take place at an early stage. However, once the refugees had become self-supporting, projects for the further development of the settlement area should be the entire responsibility of other members of the United Nations family, and wherever possible, form part of over-all projects for the development of the areas concerned. The High Commissioner confirmed that this was the more important since his Office must be able to reserve its limited funds to deal with the problems of new refugees as and when they arose, and unless they opted for voluntary repatriation, which appeared to be the ideal solution, to help them to become self-supporting as soon as possible.
95. An exchange of views took place on the extent to which co-ordination between UNHCR and other agencies should be effected at the operational level or at the policymaking level. One representative emphasized the need for co-operation at the operational level, between the resident representative of UNDP, the UNHCR representative and those of the specilized agencies, as well as the Government concerned, in preparing requests for submission to the United Nations Development Programme. The representative of Tanzania made a statement on this question and on various other aspects of inter-agency co-operation (the full details of which may be found in the summary record of the 149th meeting). He stressed in particular that, in his Government's opinion UNHCR was the sole organization competent to assume responsibility for assistance to refugees from the moment they became refugees until such time as they returned to their country of origin or acquired a new nationality. He considered that, whereas the other members of the united nations family could render valuable assistance to Governments the field of development aid, their activities, which were more of an advisory character, were not adapted to the dynamic character of the problems of refugees which required rapid action. He further questioned the wisdom of launching projects for the benefit of refugees and nationals alike. In the particular case of his country, it was intended that refugees be grouped as far as possible in settlements in certain areas designated by the government and such projects would therefore serve no useful purpose. He also felt that a procedure whereby his Government would have to deal with a number of different agencies on one particular project would not be advisable.
96. The High Commissioner pointed out that in his opinion it was desirable for refugees settling in a country to become integrated into the local population rather than to remain an entirely separate group.
97. The Committee also noted from an exchange of views on the extent to which refugees could contribute to the economy of their country of admission that, while initial expenditure naturally had to be incurred with a view to their settlement, in the long-run the refugees constituted a considerable asset to the economic and social life of the country. The High Commissioner in this connexion quoted examples of new groups of refugees who, after having become self-supporting, had engaged in additional activities such as the planting of cash crops and were contributing to the economic development of the surrounding areas.
98. Members of the Committee paid tribute to the degree of co-operation which had already been achieved between UNHCR and other members of the United Nations family and encouraged the High Commissioner to pursue his efforts with a view to the intensification of inter-agency co-operation. The consensus of opinion was that these efforts should be directed at ensuring that developing areas with a refugee population should be included whenever possible, in development aid projects drawn up by other remembers of the United Nations family. One representative felt that the Committee should consider whether the High Commissioner should not be a member of the Inter-Agency Consultative Board of UNDP. This would be essential in order to enable him to watch over the interests of refugees when projects in developing areas were being discussed by the Board. He hoped that the Committee would consider the possibility of making a formal statement on this subject at its next session.
99. The representative of Norway, speaking on behalf of the delegations of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, stated that the Committee should pronounce itself clearly on the subject and invite Governments to support UNHCR within the context of UNDP and the specialized agencies of which they were members and within their national context, when preparing their bilateral and multilateral national programmes for development aid, so that the particular needs of refugees in developing countries would be taken into account. With this purpose in view, he made a proposal which contained the following points:
(a) That the Administrator of UNDP be invited, in consultation with Governments, to make provision for the resettlement, re-training and readjustment of refugees in developing countries;
(b) That the Committee should invite member Governments of the specialized agencies to take note of the need for assistance to refugees in these countries;
(c) That the Committee should invite Governments to take into account the needs of these refugees when drawing up their own plans for development assistance.
100. The Committee approved the proposal, as amended in the light of suggestions made in the course of the meeting and reproduced in the following decision:
Decision of the Committee
101. The Executive Committee,
Having considered the report of the High Commissioner on exploratory contacts concerning intensification of inter-agency co-operation (A/AC.96/343),
(a) Expressed the wish that the Administrator of the United Nations development Programme be invited, upon the request of governments, to include in UNDP projects, wherever possible, provision for the settlement, retraining and readjustment of refugees in developing countries;
(b) Invited Governments members of various specialized agencies of the United Nations to take due note of the particular needs for assistance to refugees in developing countries;
(c) Invited Governments contributing to development assistance programmes, in working out their bilateral and multilateral co-operation programmes, to take into account whenever possible the needs of refugees in developing countries;
(d) Requested the High Commissioner to keep the Committee informed of developments in this important field.
VI. EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE TO REFUGEES (Agenda item 12)
102. The Committee had before it a note on education for refugees, submitted by the High Commissioner in document A/AC.96/344.
103. The High Commissioner, introducing the document, said that he had been prompted to request the Executive Committee to authorize him to establish a refugee education fund because of the urgent need for education among the refugees, particularly in Africa, which could not be met from existing resources. Sizeable groups of refugees in Africa were not covered by the existing United Nations training and education programmes. The proposed Fund was of course not intended for anyone qualifying for these programmes. There were two reasons why the High Commissioner had not proposed that a substantial allocation for educational assistance be included in the UNHCR current programme: in the first instance, this would have entailed a considerable increase in the financial target and consequently in the financial difficulties confronting his Office, and secondly, and this was a more fundamental reason, it would have seemed to imply that primary responsibility for education lay with UNHCR when it in fact belonged with Governments, and, as far as the United Nations was concerned, with UNESCO. The establishment of a fund outside the current programme would reflect the legitimate interest of UNHCR in refugee education, without imposing additional financial responsibilities on his Office.
104. The High Commissioner added that the fund was envisaged as a focal point for voluntary contributions for refugee education and in particular funds which were not available for other UNHCR activities such as, for instance, contributions from foundations and other agencies especially concerned with education. There was already considerable interest in the education of refugees on the part of a number of Governments and voluntary agencies, and a contribution of $120,156 had just been received for this purpose from the Government of Sweden. There was also evidence that further substantial voluntary contributions would be forthcoming and the establishment of the fund would amount to the recognition of an existing practice. While it would seem natural that contributions for this purpose be placed in a fund, some other suitable arrangement to attain the proposed objectives could no doubt be made if desired by the Committee.
105. The representative of UNESCO, gave an account of the measures taken by his organization to assist in providing educational facilities for refugees. Further to its co-operation with UNHCR in pursuance of the resolution adopted by its General Conference at its thirteenth session, UNESCO would broaden the basis of its activities in the field of education for refugees. At the General Conference, which was then taking place, a proposal would be submitted for UNESCO's participation in the activities that might be carried out under the proposed education fund. This participation might include a general programme of educational assistance to be covered from extra budgetary sources in 1967-1968. Activities under this programme would be concentrated mainly on primary and secondary education. UNESCO experts would advise the Office of the High Commissioner on matters concerning the siting of new schools, school building programmes, the elaboration of general and technical teaching programmes, teacher-training, the recruitment of teachers and the administration of fellowships. Within its normal programme of activities UNESCO would be prepared to recruit, at the request of the governments of the countries of asylum, personnel with experience in special fields related to the educational needs of refugees. Further details of the assistance to be provided by UNESCO may be found in the summary record of the 150th meeting.
106. Members of the Committee agreed on the need for education for refugees and commended the High Commissioner and other organizations concerned for what had already been achieved in this field. They considered that the proposal submitted by the High Commissioner was a positive one which deserved the fullest consideration. Both in the course of the discussion and in the preceding general debate the representatives of, and observers for a number of countries of asylum of refugees stressed the great importance which educational assistance represented for refugees in those countries and the difficulties their Governments were facing in providing basic education for their own nationals. One of these representatives stated that in his delegation's view, basic responsibility for the education for refugees in those countries and the difficulties their Governments were facing in providing basic education for their own nationals. One of these representatives stated that in his delegation's view, basic responsibility for the education of refugees lay with the High Commissioner.
107. Several representatives stressed the desire of their Governments to ensure fullest co-ordination of activities undertaken under existing United Nations programmes for educational assistance and considered that UNHCR should be closely associated with any such activities in view of its over-all responsibility for refugees. One of these representatives informed the Committee that his Government would bring this question of co-ordination to the attention of the General Assembly.
108. The Committee heard with gratitude from the representatives concerned that the Danish Government was likely to contribute substantially to the proposed fund, that subject to final approval the Norwegian Government envisaged a contribution of $15,000 and that the Swedish Government had decided to contribute the sum of about $140,000.
109. In the course of the discussion, the question arose as to the extent to which UNHCR activities should be pursued in this field for which the primary responsibility lay with Governments. Most speakers agreed on the co-ordination and promotional role of UNHCR with regard to this and various other aspects of the work of assistance for refugees.
110. A number of representatives emphasized that the High Commissioner's activities should be in keeping with his catalytic role, that they should be directed towards refugees coming within his sphere of competence and that any of the High Commissioner's activities in providing certain basic educational facilities should be taken over as soon as possible by the host Government, with the assistance of other United Nations organizations such as UNESCO.
111. They recognized that a practical approach was necessary to help meet the immediate pressing needs in the field of education for refugees, and agreed that the High Commissioner should proceed with his usual caution.
112. With regard to the procedure suggested in document A/AC.96/343, most speakers were aware of the usefulness of establishing a focal point for the channelling of contributions by Governments, voluntary agencies, foundations and other organizations which had evidenced strong interest in the education of refugees.
113. Some representatives stated that the establishment of a special fund would not gain favour with their Governments, which considered that too many funds had already been set up in the framework of the United Nations. The reason for their reluctance was that the establishment of such a fund might lead to a diversion of indispensable contributions from the UNHCR current programme to the proposed education fund. They could, however, accept a proposal that such contributions be placed in a special account with the Trust Funds of the High Commissioner's Office. Such a special account would be particularly useful as it would serve as a focal point for contributions for education of refugees.
114. The High Commissioner confirmed that it was his intention that no funds should be transferred for education from the regular programme.
115. Some representatives also suggested that the problem be further studied in close co-operation with the United Nations and UNESCO and that, pending this study, the High Commissioner should continue to receive contributions designated for refugee education and promote further such contributions. The suggestion was also made that Governments members of the Executive Committee take appropriate action with UNESCO and other United Nations bodies concerned, with a view to the possible inclusion of refugees in the educational programmes of these organizations.
116. Taking into account all the above considerations, the Executive Committee decided as follows.
Decision of the Committee
117. The Executive Committee,
Considering the need of education for refugees as outlined by the High Commissioner in document A/AC.96/344 and the statements made by the High Commissioner and the representative of UNESCO on this subject,
Recognizing, (a) that education is an essential element in the complete integration of refugees in their new community; and (b) that, since some countries of asylum and resettlement do not have the resources to carry out the basic responsibility of providing education for refugees, assistance from international community may be necessary for some time,
Noting further that a number of United Nations agencies, and particularly UNESCO, as well as non-governmental organizations and private agencies have existing responsibilities in certain aspects of the problem of education for refugees, and that further consultations are required to determine the most appropriate and effective solutions to this problem,
Noting that at the present stage only limited refugee groups can benefit from existing programmes for training and education,
Welcoming the tangible interest shown by Governments and non-governmental agencies in educational assistance to refugees,
(a) Agreed as a measure pending further study of this problem, that the High Commissioner, should bring together, outside the current programme of this Office, existing contributions designated for refugee education in a refugee education account and should promote further contributions earmarked by the donors for educational assistance to refugees;
(b) Requested the High Commissioner to report to the Executive Committee on the use of contributions received in the refugee education account;
(c) Requested the High Commissioner:
(i) In accordance with his catalytic role in respect of refugee problems, to study further in close consultation with United Nations and other interested offices and specialized agencies, and particularly UNESCO, the appropriate means of action to improve national and international efforts in the field of refugee education;
(ii) To initiate and prepare for not later than at the nineteenth session as comprehensive and detailed a report as possible of the public and private sources from which the refugee education account might be expected to draw its future support, in the context of available resources for assistance in the field of refugee education.
(d) Urged member States represented on the Executive Committee to take appropriate action within the framework of UNESCO and other appropriate United Nations organizations with a view to studying the possibility of including refugees in the educational programmes of those organizations.
(e) Decided to review not later than at its nineteenth session the arrangements relating to UNHCR's role in educational assistance to refugees.
VII. ADMINISTRATIVE AND FINANCIAL QUESTIONS (Agenda item 5)
Note on the use of the Emergency Fund
118. The Executive Committee considered the note on the use of the Emergency Fund and the documents submitted by the High Commissioner to the Committee for information in respect of payments made from the Fund during the period 1 may to 10 October 1966.
119. The representative of Australia recalled the following basic principles, which in the view of his Government should govern the use of the Emergency Fund:
(a) The Fund should continue to be used to provide financial assistance in the case of emergency situations relating to refugees who were the direct concern of the UNHCR;
(b) It should also be used at the request of the Government concerned to stimulate assistance for refugees outside the mandate of UNHCR;
(c) In keeping with the catalytic nature of the functions of UNHCR, allocations from the Fund should be confined to single grants, and further allocations for refugees outside the mandate should only be made with the prior approval of the Committee.
Furthermore, the amounts allocated from the Fund should be related to the size of subsequent assistance projects for the refugees concerned and the Emergency Fund should not be used as a substitute for the UNHCR programme.
120. Further to this statement and to additional questions by the Australian delegation, the Director of Operations pointed out that the Emergency Fund had been used entirely in accordance with the principles evoked by the Australian delegation and that the reported allocations from the Fund has been confined to refugees who were prima facie within the mandate of UNHCR.
121. He recalled that the object of the Emergency Fund was to enable the High Commissioner to meet emergencies in between sessions of the Executive Committee, in those cases where the time required to submit a project to the Committee for approval at its next session would cause undue hardship to the refugees and might increase the cost of subsequent assistance. This would be the case if, for instance, they were to miss the planting season. In many cases projects first financed under the Emergency Fund were subsequently included in the UNHCR current programme. There were other cases as, for instance, the new $10,000 project for assistance to refugees in Dubai which had been submitted to the Committee for inclusion in the 1966 programme because it was not an emergency but a current project.
122. In the course of a subsequent exchange of views, the details of which may be found in the summary records of the 143rd meeting, the Committee was given information on the rules governing the use of the Emergency Fund adopted under resolution 1166 (XII) of the General Assembly and on the purpose and use of the "set-aside" funds.
123. Particular attention was focused on the increased use made of the Emergency fund during the period under review.
Decision of the Committee
124. The Executive Committee
(a) Took note of the increased use which had to be made of the Emergency Fund;
(b) Approved the report on the use of the Emergency Fund submitted by the High Commissioner in document A/AC.96/347 and took note of the information contained in documents A/AC.96 INF/60, 61, 62 and 66.
Financial statements and report of the Board of Auditors (Agenda item 6)
125. The Committee considered the report of the Board of Auditors contained in document A/AC.96/33. In introducing the item, the Director of Administration gave additional information on the financing of the UNHCR major aid programmes. Whereas the 1963 major aid programme was intended to be financed from governmental and private contributions, the programme for the completion of major aid projects which had been subsequently adopted was to be financed out of savings from earlier projects. In order to simplify the financing of these two programmes and to enable the Office to use the funds available for either programme as and when the projects were ready for implementation, it was suggested that the two programmes should be merged into a single programme.
126. In reply to a question, the Director of Administration informed the Committee that the loss factor in respect of the loans granted to refugees was particularly low in the case of housing loans, rather high in the case of student loans, and average in the case of loans for establishment assistance.
Decision of the Committee
127. The Executive Committee
(a) Took note of the report of the board of Auditors submitted in respect of the financial year 1964 (A/AC.96/338) and of the financial statements contained in document A/AC.96/329;
(b) Also noted that all outstanding major aid projects were now administered as a single programme financed from financial contributions or adjustments in earlier projects.
Status of contributions (Agenda item 8)
128. The Executive Committee considered the report on the status of contributions presented by the High Commissioner (A/AC.96/340 and Add.1) and a report on income and allocations from the proceeds of the UNHCR long-playing records (A/AC.96/INF/68).
129. In presenting the item the Deputy High Commissioner drew attention to the gap of more than $1 million between the $4.2 million target of the 1966 programme and the amount of governmental contributions thus far announced. He pointed out that available set-aside funds were not sufficient to bridge this gap. He recognized that the 1966 European refugee campaign had been successful and that it was likely that a significant - but as yet undetermined - amount of the funds raised would be made available to help finance both this year's programme and that for 1967. Assuming there would be no significant increase in the level of governmental contributions, however, it seemed certain that, despite the availability of funds from the campaign, the programmes for 1966 and 1967 could not be completely financed without exhausting all set-aside funds before the end of 1967. Even if the 1966 and 1967 programmes could be entirely financed, it appeared impossible, without substantial increases in governmental contributions, to finance fully in 1968 a programme like that for 1967, which was considered a minimum programme consistent with the needs of refugees and the responsibilities of the High Commissioner.
130. The representatives of the Committee who took part in the discussion shared the deep concern of the Administration in respect of the financing of the current and subsequent UNHCR programmes for material assistance. The Committee was heartened, however, by a number of new contributions announced in the course of the session as follows:
(a) The representative of France indicated that his government would increase its contribution to the 1967 programme by $100,000; it would also allocate a substantial amount to be channelled through UNHCR to ICEM for the transportation, particularly, of handicapped refugees and those seeking family reunion and coming within the mandate of UNHCR;
(b) The representative of the United States announced a special contribution of $50,000 to the 1966 programme;
(c) The representative of Denmark informed the Committee that his Government intended to increase by 50,000 Danish kroner its contribution to the UNHCR programme in 1967 and that the approximate total proceeds of the European Refugee Campaign in Denmark were estimated at some $2 million, including a matching contribution of some $430,000 by the Danish Government;
(d) The representative of China announced that a contribution of $5,000 would be made by the Free China Relief Association to the High Commissioner's Programme;
(e) The representative of Venezuela announced that his Government would contribute $4,000 to the 1966 programme;
(f) The representative of Norway announced that his government would contribute 1,000,000 Norwegian kronor to the 1967 programme subject to parliamentary approval, which represented an increase of more than 10 per cent for 1966 and it hoped to be able to further increase its contribution in the future;
(g) The representative of Switzerland announced that her Government was considering, subject to parliamentary approval, an increase in its contribution in 1967 from 500,000 to 600,000 Swiss francs;
(h) The representative of Lebanon announced that his Government would make a regular annual contribution of $2,000.
131. In the course of further discussion, the question arose of the extent to which the work of UNHCR should be financed from governmental contributions and the private sector respectively. One representative stressed that while an initiative such as the European Refugee Campaign could not be repeated at very frequent intervals, it was clearly making a decisive impact on public opinion and creating a reservoir of goodwill which, he felt, would be of considerable value for the future work of UNHCR.
132. Another representative emphasized that there had been a tendency to attribute an increasing degree of responsibility to Governments for the financing of UNHCR activities. Evoking the remarkable contribution made from the private sector during the World Refugee Year Campaign, he was wondering whether more could not be done to enlist further support from non-governmental sources, and in particular to make the best use of the goodwill that had been created by the European Refugee Campaign. He further suggested that every effort should be made by the office of the High Commissioner to present the fullest possible information on its efforts in the field of fund-raising, and whenever possible, explain the reasons for success or failure in various sectors.
133. The High Commissioner explained to the Committee that the objectives of the voluntary agencies and any other non-governmental contributors were to bring necessary help to refugees over and above the bare essentials which were expected to be covered through governmental contributions. The High Commissioner stressed past achievements such as the closure of camps which had been substantially financed from the non-governmental sector, but which could not have been brought to a successful conclusion without the indispensable moral support of Governments. He felt that the most tangible expression of this support lay in adequate financial participation in the programme.
134. Before the conclusion of the debate it was agreed that a similarly realistic appraisal of the financial problems facing UNHCR should be presented to the General Assembly at its forthcoming session.
Decision of the Committee
135. The Executive Committee,
Having considered the report on the status of contributions (A/AC.96/340 and Add.1), submitted by the High Commissioner, and the report on income and allocations from the proceeds of the long-playing records, "All-Star Festival" and "International Piano Festival" (A/AC.96/INF.68) and having heard statements by the High Commissioner and the Deputy High Commissioner:
(a) Expressed deep concern about the persistent shortfall in the financial target of the UNHCR programmes;
(b) Expressed great satisfaction at the increased governmental contributions announced in the course of the session and voiced the hope that governmental financial participation in the UNHCR programmes would continue to increase with a view to enabling UNHCR to reach the financial target of its programmes;
(c) Took note of the report on income and allocations from the proceeds of the long-playing records "All-Star Festival" and "International Piano Festival".
Financial status of UNHCR programmes (Agenda item 8)
136. The Committee considered document A/AC.96/348 in which the High Commissioner submitted information on the financial status of UNHCR programmes.
137. In presenting the document, the Director of Administration recalled that if the target for 1966 was fully attained the amount of funds set aside by the end of 1966 was expected to be $816,000 instead of the $1 million originally anticipated.
138. In reply to questions by one representative on the rate of disbursement of funds under the major aid programmes, the Director of Administration explained that final payments for outstanding projects were being made as and when these projects were completed, and that the rate of completion had not been as rapid as had been expected.
Decision of the Committee
139. The Executive Committee
(a) Took note of the financial status of UNHCR programmes submitted by the High Commissioner in document A/AC.96/348;
(b) Noted that the amount of funds set aside was expected to be considerably lower at the end of 1966 than originally estimated;
(c) Further noted that the High Commissioner, pending the completion of his negotiations with the Greek Government in respect of the housing projects referred to in paragraphs 12 and 13 of document A/AC.96/348, would keep the balance in the amount of $566,140 as a reserve which might be used for the provision of housing to needy refugees qualifying for the programme in Greece.
Administrative expenditure for 1967
140. The Committee considered the notes submitted by the High Commissioner in respect of administrative expenditure for 1967. In introducing the item the Director of Administration reported on the action which had been taken by the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions in recommending a reduction by $55,400 in the gross provision resulting in an amount of $3,225,000 in respect of the budget of the Office. The High Commissioner had indicated that he would endeavour to maintain expenditure within the reduced figure on the understanding that he had discretion as to how the proposed savings should be achieved The Director of Administration also gave the Committee more details in respect of the question of the grant-in-aid.
141. One representative stated that his Government was ready to support the proposed reduction.
142. In conclusion the Committee paid a warm tribute to the Director of Administration, Mr. F. P. E. Green, who was shortly retiring.
Decision of the Committee
143. The Executive Committee
(a) Took note of document A/AC.96/339 submitted by the high Commissioner in respect of the administrative expenditure for 1967;
(b) Authorized the High Commissioner to pay a grant-in-aid in a provisional amount of $390,000 to the United Nations budget for the financial year 1967, this amount being subject to adjustment with a view to reaching 10 per cent of the amount actually committed under the UNHCR current programme for 1967 and qualifying for the grant-in-aid;
(c) Agreed that this grant-in-aid should be financed, in the first instance, from interests on invested funds expected to amount to $180,000, and that the balance should be financed from income to the UNHCR programme for 1967.
VIII. ANY OTHER QUESTIONS
Form to be given to the decisions of the Committee
144. The representative of Australia conveyed to the Committee his Government's proposal that consideration be given by the Committee to wording some of its decisions in the form of resolutions. The reasons for this were:
(a) That the Committee's decisions could then be more easily identified and transmitted to other bodies;
(b) That they would give a clearer picture of the Committee's attitude to action by UNHCR;
(c) That this procedure would be in conformity with the practice of other organizations and in keeping with article 23 of the rules of procedure.
145. His Government considered that decisions on the following questions should be framed in the form of resolutions: policy determination, endorsement of action by UNHCR, financial decisions and establishment of ad hoc committees.
Decision of the Committee
146. The Executive Committee
Decided that the question of the form of its decisions be put on the agenda of its seventeenth session.
Annex I. Opening statement by the High Commissioner
Mr. Chairman, distinguished delegates, may I say how very happy I am to be here in the presence of my Executive Committee once more and to be able to review with you all the developments that have taken place since our last session. Before I describe the refugee situation as I see it, and the developments that have occurred, I would like to extend a very warm welcome to all the distinguished delegates and observers who are here today, and particularly to those who have not until now been with us in Geneva during these meetings. I would like to extend a particular welcome to the Hon. James Wine, the Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for Refugee and Migration Affairs, who is the leader of the United States delegation to this sixteenth session of our Committee. I would also like to welcome His Excellency Minister Galinos, the Minister of Social Welfare of Greece, who is with us today at the head of the Greek delegation. Finally, I would like to extend a very warm welcome to His Excellency Minister Katiti, the Minister of Culture and Community Development of Uganda, who is with us for the first time, leading the delegation of observers from Uganda. Last but not least, with your permission, Mr. Chairman, I would like to say how very happy I am to have the Deputy High Commission for Refugees, Mr. Bender, sitting next to me for the first time here in this Committee. This is a great addition to the team, and I am sure that all of you here will be able to appreciate, as I have, the value of Mr. Bender's presence in the office.
Mr. Chairman, many developments have occurred since the last session of the Executive Committee, the details of which are contained in the documents before you; I will therefore limit myself to the main points, and try to be as brief and precise as possible. Since the last meeting I have been privileged to visit a number of countries interested in the refugee problem and which have given us their help in attempting to solve it. In this connexion I would like to mention the very useful personal contacts I was able to make in countries such as Yugoslavia, the United States, the United Kingdom, and more recently, the Federal Republic of Germany. I would also like to mention the contacts I made during my brief visit to Africa last summer, to which I would like to refer again, and to my visits to Latin America, when I had the pleasure of visiting Brazil and Uruguay; also to my recent visit to Strasbourg to present our fourteenth report to the Council of Europe, and more recently still to my visits to the Scandinavian countries and to the United Kingdom in connexion with this very remarkable campaign to which you referred, Mr. Chairman, and to which I would also like to refer again later. In all these countries I found tremendous understanding for the refugee problem and a great desire on the part of all the officials with whom I was in contact to try and solve the plight of the refugees in the spirit of international understanding and international co-operation. I was greatly encouraged by the appreciation of these countries for the humanitarian and non-political role which UNHCR is playing today, and by the strong moral and political support which these countries reaffirmed on the occasion of my visits.
When I was in Africa, in August, I was able to benefit from long meetings with the three Heads of State of the East African countries: Presidents Kenyatta, Nyerere and Obote who, as you know, are all greatly concerned with the difficulties of the refugees in that part of the African continent. I was much encouraged to note how the strong and generous policy of asylum, which has been repeatedly practised by countries such as Tanzania and Uganda (Kenya having fortunately less of a refugee problem than these two other east African countries) was reiterated during my visits. The Heads of State of these countries repeated their desire to welcome refugees, to welcome uprooted peoples, victims of man's inhumanity to man, as my distinguished predecessor used to say, and expressed appreciation for the type of assistance which UNHCR was able to grant them as a corollary to this generous asylum policy which they intend to continue. There is no doubt that personal contacts with these countries of first asylum in Africa are essential, and that, in the light of the evolution of the historical problems of decolonization which we are facing in Africa today, we shall have to be ready to face new problems in that area. This, added to the fact that since the last session of our Committee some countries in that part of Africa have acceded to independence, means that, in the future, contact will have to be maintained with that part of the continent of Africa.
With your permission, Mr. Chairman, distinguished delegates, I would like to refer to a visit to which I attach very great importance, and that is my visit to Khartoum. The members of the Committee will be interested to know that I went to Khartoum, capital of the Sudan, upon the invitation extended to me by the Sudanese Government to discuss, inter alia, the situation of the Sudanese refugees from the southern part of that country in neighbouring areas. This indeed is a very promising development for UNHCR. It shows, I think, that our non-political, humanitarian approach has been appreciated once again, not only by the countries of asylum but also by the countries from where the refugees come. I was most encouraged by the exchanges that took place in Khartoum; by the understanding of the Government for the problems that this Office faces in trying to bring assistance to Sudanese refugees outside the country; by the fact that the Government wholly subscribed to the all-important principle of voluntary repatriation; the fact that refugees should not be returned against their will; the fact also that the Government is trying at the present time to establish conditions in the country which would lead to the voluntary repatriation of those Sudanese nationals at present living in other countries; and the fact that all this is being done in close co-ordination with UNHCR, which is a member of the United Nations family, and, through UNHCR, with other related United Nations agencies that are dealing more specifically with the problems of development and with the problems of social and economic growth.
And now, Mr. Chairman, to turn what remains the most important preoccupation of UNHCR, that of international protection. In Europe we have been witnessing a further normalization of refugee movement which improvement has, I think, followed the liberalization of travel arrangements based on bilateral agreements. This development is very much in line with what we all hope will be a deeper understanding between neighbours in Europe and which, of course, has a very definite bearing on the refugee situation as we see it in the Western European countries of first asylum. I would like to stress the fact that here protection problems remain for old refugees, as well as for new refugees if they should come, and that the Office of the High Commissioner remains in very close touch with regional organizations in general, and with the council of Europe in particular, which as I have said is helping us a great deal in the field of European integration and in other ways, as well as with individual Governments of countries of first asylum where protection problems may arise.
With regard to the all-important question of indemnification of victims of national socialist persecution, in which this Committee and so many delegations have taken so great an interest, I am very glad to inform you that my negotiations with the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany on the establishment of an additional fund for persons persecuted for reasons of nationality have led to an agreement in principle and arrangements will be concluded in the immediate future. There are other problems remaining in connexion with the implementation of the 1960 Agreement on which negotiations between my Office and the German Federal Government will continue with a view to obtaining a speedy settlement of the outstanding claims. But here, Mr. Chairman, I would like to say that I was particularly glad to obtain the assurance on the part of the German federal Government that the establishment of an additional fund would in no way impair the solution of these problems.
I turn now to Africa. It is quite clear that African countries attach increasingly greater importance to the question of refugee status. Until now we have always felt that the problems in Africa were essentially those of material assistance. This is true, but, again during my visits to Africa in August, I was able to see that the problems of status, of protection and of legal assistance are becoming more and more important, and increasingly giving rise to much concern on the part of the host countries. Apart from the Refugee Convention, being drawn up by the Organization of African Unity, which has been discussed already in this Committee and which is still under consideration, there was a meeting of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Committee in Bangkok last August where my Office was represented and which clearly illustrated the growing awareness of legal problems in countries of the Asian/African group. It is clear that these countries are anxious to achieve solutions to the problems of refugees in keeping with their respective positions and with their national interests. This part of the legal framework is a part which is being built up in line with their own concept and spirit after having been dependent for many years on legislation often resulting from the days of colonial administration. Here I am very happy to be able to report to the Committee that these countries remain conscious of and very much attached to the universal character of the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees, which remains the basic refugee charter, and which my Office always promotes. These countries are trying to supplement provisions of the 1951 Convention through regional agreements, particularly with a view to obtaining arrangements and agreements between African States to define their relations generally in respect of problems arising form the presence of refugees. These agreements, of course, should not in any way supplant the 1951 Convention. However, the corollary to this is clearly to make the 1951 Convention applicable to new groups of refugees and I will return to this in a moment when I refer to the Protocol, which is well known to the Committee.
I was particularly happy to note that the Asian-African Legal Consultative Committee adopted a number of principles which are very much in line with the international protection role entrusted to UNHCR. These include the principle of the right of asylum, whether temporary or final, the principle of non-expulsion and non-refoulement to countries where refugees might be persecuted, and the principle that the granting of asylum should not be considered an unfriendly act by the country of admission towards the country of origin, and, finally, the principle that activities contrary to principles of the United Nations should be prohibited. This, as you are well aware, is completely in accordance with, and indeed sometimes even stronger than the principles set forth in the 1951 Refugee Convention.
Mr. Chairman, we now come to a new feature in terms of international protection in Africa, and that is the diversification in the categories of refugees, and consequently in the type of assistance to be provided. Indeed, Mr. Chairman, we are faced more and more in Africa with cases of individual or small groups, comprising students, intellectuals and manual workers, living in towns, concentrating, as indeed is the tendency everywhere, in urban areas, whose problems call for the same type of solution as those which have been applied to European refugees for so long. These groups are to be found in particular in Ethiopia, in Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, the United Arab Republic, and Zambia. These refugees on whom we are constantly attempting to get additional data, are in general coming from neighbouring countries except for those coming from the southern part of Africa. Their problems are practically identical with those which affect European refugees. They need residence permits and labour permits, grants and fellowships if they are students, travel documents if they should wish to go abroad, etc. Here I would like to emphasize that in Africa, as indeed in Europe, the return clause of the travel documents are of crucial importance to the refugee, and for the use that he can make of his travel document. Indeed this has raised a number of problems and will continue to raise problems in Africa in the future.
And so, finally, with respect to international protection, Mr. Chairman, we come to the all-important point of the draft Protocol to the 1951 Convention which is now before you, and which has been adjusted to take into account the comments so far received from thirty-three Governments of the fifty-eight Governments members of the Executive Committee or parties to the 1951 Convention. I would like to stress that I very much hope the text of the draft Protocol may be acceptable to all members of the Executive Committee and of the General Assembly of the United Nations so that it might accordingly be opened for signature by the Secretary-General before the end of the year. This is a very important cornerstone in the development of UNHCR's activities, especially in the field of international protection. It would indeed bring the status of refugees in Asia and Africa into line with the treatment of refugees at present covered by the 1951 Convention. All my colleagues and I attach great importance to this in view of the present challenge that we face in Africa and in Asia today, as indeed it could be the only way to make the 1951 Convention a truly universal document.
And so, Mr. Chairman, we turn to material assistance. In Europe the transfer of responsibility to Governments of countries of residence and to national organizations, as outlined to you in the meetings of the fifteenth session of the Executive Committee, is progressing satisfactorily. As you know I felt, and I think my views were shared by a great many members of the Executive Committee, that in the present situation in Western Europe, and because of the increasing challenge that we face outside Europe, it would be necessary to try and seek ways to streamline our operations, and as far as possible to hand over to national bodies the responsibility for the implementation of material assistance. I would like to stress here that this does not mean in any way a reduction of the responsibility of UNHCR, either in the implementation of material assistance, and certainly above all in the field of legal protection which, on the contrary, is being intensified in a great many Western European countries. Within the framework of these planned arrangements for the gradual transfer of responsibility, a number of ad hoc committees working under the aegis of the Governments concerned, and including the UNHCR representative, will administer, among other resources, the UNHCR financial contribution towards the local settlement of refugees. They will receive requests for assistance and decide on the advisability, the nature and importance of the assistance to be provided. Thus, apart from our continuing an intensified action in the field of international protection, we will continue to be in a position to follow very closely the evolution of the problems of assistance in Europe, making our own experience in this field available to the competent authorities. This will be achieved through and extension of the activities of a number of national bodies who in the past have been our long-standing partners and will continue to be so in the future. I would also like to refer here to the very promising results which have been obtained already, and which I was able to see for myself when I was recently in Vienna, through the activities of the Kaier Ebersdorf Fund in Austria, a foundation already engaged in assistance to refugees under the aegis of the Ministry of the Interior. Very positive results have also been achieved in France with the Association pour l'établissement des réfugiés étrangers, and in countries such as Italy with the Administrazione per le Attività Assistenziali Italiane ed Internazionali which has been dealing for a long time and still deals with integration and assistance programmes for refugees in Italy. In Germany we have had a few problems attributable to the federal form of government and institutions. Although it is perhaps more difficult in that country, for reasons of the autonomy of the various governments in the Federal Republic, to achieve a centralized arrangement we have nevertheless been able to conduct negotiations with the main voluntary agencies which, thanks to the very strong and well-established network that exists in Germany, are in a good position to set up machinery to assist refugees. I should like to emphasize again, Mr. Chairman, that the growing transfer does not mean a lack or decrease of UNHCR's concern - on the contrary UNHCR will continue to supervise assistance activities in close contact with governments and voluntary agencies. In the field of counselling, which is a matter also of great interest to the Committee, one of the main functions has been to try and transfer the financial responsibility to some national bodies. Here we have had some very encouraging negotiations and these are being perused.
As far as the current programme is concerned, the concept which was established by my distinguished predecessor is proving effective. The programme has shown its ability to solve problems as and when they arise by providing immediate and adequate assistance which is exactly adapted to the needs of the refugees in the countries where the current programme in being administered.
As far as the major aid programme is concerned, the carry-over with which we are still faced from former years, has caused certain difficulties, and some delays have occurred. However, on the whole, the major aid programme, as you will see from the documents before you, is being implemented according to plan, and we expect by and large to meet our deadlines in the various countries where it remains to be implemented. In Greece, in particular, the housing projects have been reshaped so that the housing programme may be resumed, and we sincerely hope that it will be carried to a successful conclusion.
In Latin America I had the opportunity, during my visits to Brazil and to Uruguay, of seeing that what we have done there in the field of material assistance has met a very great need, namely that of the aged and the mentally and physically handicapped. The implementation of our programmes there is in line with the recommendations that were previously made to the Committee, and you have before you the report of Dr. Berner dealing with the mental cases in Latin America, which I believe will be a new basis for another approach to that very difficult problem with which UNHCR is so much concerned. In Asia the problems, as you know, have received a great deal of attention and interest during the European Campaign - this campaign which so many countries of Europe have been actively carrying out in the last few weeks - the proceeds of which will usefully supplement the efforts of the Governments and UNHCR in countries like Nepal and India, and in Macao where we have our programme for Chinese refugees. I would like to say here that the construction of housing in places like Katmandu and Pokhara Lake in Nepal, will be completed by the end of the year, giving new homes to some 800 Tibetan refugees.
And so, Mr. Chairman, and distinguished delegates, we turn once again to Africa. Since this time last year we have noted in Africa the presence of 80,000 new refugees, bringing the total, as you yourself said, Mr. Chairman, to approximately 700,000 people. This is indeed giving rise to tremendous concern in my Office, and I would like to give you some of the details of this new influx. In Zambia, we note approximately 4,000 new refugees from Angola, In the Congo, Kinshasa, there is also an increase of refugees from Mozambique and I am sure that the distinguished leader of the Tanzanian delegation will refer to these problems when we deal with Tanzania in the programme. In Senegal, we also note an increase of refugees from Portuguese Guinea. On the other hand, and this is I think worth mentioning in line with what I have said about my recent visit to Khartoum, we note that the influx of Sudanese refugees has practically ended during the second half of the year.
Now, Mr. Chairman, apart from the difficulties resulting local conditions, from the climate, from the political instability which still prevails in many areas of that great continent of Africa, the constant flow of newcomers, with all the consequences that this entails, appears to be one of the main reasons for the delay and/or the adjustments which are to be made in the implementation of programmes for settlement on the land. The example of Uganda here, I think, is a good one where the government for security reasons was forced in July 1966 to remove an important number of Sudanese refugees from the border areas, with the consequence that they had to start resettling in another part of the country. This is the kind of thing which takes the Office of the High Commissioner rather by surprise and to which we have to adapt ourselves when it occurs. What I think has helped us a great deal in the consolidation of settlement in Africa has been the inter-agency co-operation that exists today between the members of the United Nations family, and which would be the subject of a separate document called for by the distinguished delegate for France at the last session and which is before you now. In this field of inter-agency co-operation there are many important developments to report which have arisen through close contact between UNHCR and other United Nations agencies with a view to concerted action towards reaching a common objective. The main organizations with which we co-operate are, as before, UNDP, the World Food programme, FAO, ILO, UNESCO in the field of education, and WHO in the field of health. The co-operation in the field with ILO and FAO in connexion with settlement in agriculture has been very successful. With WHO in connexion with medical problems, and with UNESCO in the field of education, this co-operation has also provided us with very concrete results.
I would like to say here that we have increased our contacts with UNDP resident representatives in the field, who, particularly in areas where my Office is not represented, play a vital role in keeping us fully informed, and their field offices are really considered UNHCR outpost. Here I would like to pay a very special tribute to the World Food Programme which, by the rapid and generous provision of food supplies since the last meeting of the Executive Committee, has again been instrumental in saving thousands of men, women and children from what would have been certain starvation. The co-operation here existed at all levels - in the field, at the technical level when new programmes are planned, and at the policy level through meetings between top-ranking officials of my Office and of the organizations concerned, and, to a greater extent, through much closer participation of UNHCR in the Administrative Committee on Co-ordination (ACC), and at its meetings both in New York and in Geneva. We have also taken full part in the preparatory committee of the ACC and a number of other sub-committees which deal with problems akin to those of the refugees. One example which I should like to mention specifically is the consolidation of the rural settlement in Burundi which continues to take increasingly important proportions and which in a way has been the pilot project for the testing and adjustment of this whole new approach of inter-agency co-operation. I have found out during these recent visits to Africa that this inter-agency co-operation meets completely with the wishes of the countries of asylum in Africa. I think this is a very important thing to note because, obviously, if we are going to solve problems in Africa, we must solve them in a way which meets with the wishes and with the acceptance of the Governments of asylum, and these Governments like this inter-agency co-operation. They like the partnerships which we have established with the United Nations agencies and which of course provide them with the possibility of long-term zonal development which they feel is as important for the refugees as it is for the areas where the refugees are settled. This does not mean, of course, that our flexibility in all these approaches should be impaired. On the contrary, I think UNHCR must remain flexible. We must continue to rely on all sorts of different forms of partnerships, and we should not be limited in any way to one given line of partnership. This is again why I should like to pay a special tribute to the voluntary agencies, the non-governmental organizations that have been and still are our partners today in the field in Africa, as indeed they were in the past in Europe. We must be able to call on all partners and I think this is true of all fields, not only the field of rural settlement or refugee integration, but also indeed of the all important field of education, which is a subject that we shall be coming back to later during these meetings.
Mr. Chairman, there is one further question which hinges on protection and assistance which has very far-reaching consequences and is precisely the problem of education to which I have just referred. The education of refugees, which I think everyone agrees has a determining impact on the refugees' chances of integration, is a matter which will be considered during this meeting and which I feel is extremely important. The intention of my Office here is obviously not to give the refugee a privileged status as compared with the local population, and here I recall the very interesting remarks of the distinguished delegate of the United Kingdom, Mr. Randall, who, when he came back from Africa, referred specifically to this problem of the education of local children in Africa. We do not wish to create a privileged class amongst the refugee children in terms of their educational opportunities. This is indeed a vast enterprise and in view of the number of refugees who are of primary school age this problem would be enormous if we wanted to ensure that every refugee child was given a chance to be educated. If we want to ensure that every refugee child was given a chance to be educated. What we want to do is to cover the immediate objectives, however limited, to give refugees a basis of primary education so that they will not be totally illiterate. Furthermore, our aim is that the refugees should not be systematically excluded from the possibility of social promotion in keeping with their natural gifts and ability. We will have an opportunity to discuss this in detail, and with your permission Mr. Chairman and distinguished delegates, I might come back to it when we study the paper on education, but I wanted to make these preliminary remarks vital aspect of UNHCR activities in developing countries.
And so, Mr. Chairman, we now come to possibly the most important problem of all, which is our financial situation. The status of contributions Sir, reflects the position as at 30 September, which is characterized by a deficit of over $1 million. This is the more regrettable since the Committee, and the general Assembly, have ceaselessly urged Governments to participate more fully in the financing of UNHCR programmes. I myself, Mr. Chairman, have not neglected any opportunity to raise this matter with the Governments of the countries which I have visited, and I am sure that the Committee will agree that the moment has come when some new approach to this very essential aspect of the work of assistance to refugees will have to be worked out. At the present stage, Mr. Chairman, what are the remedies or the palliatives that could be envisaged in the immediate future? In the first instance, the set-aside funds. We already have to borrow form them in order to finance urgent projects. These funds, however, were not intended, as the Committee well knows, for this purpose. There is a limit to them and it is essential that they should be maintained for their original objective which, members of the Committee will recall, was to ensure the immediate availability of funds in cash so as to void any interruption in the programme pending the receipt of contributions. Secondly, there is the European Refugee Campaign. Here I would like to say that the preliminary results indicate that it has been extremely successful so far, and I would like to take this opportunity once again to address my warmest congratulations for the results which they have achieved, not only to those countries which I had the privilege to visit during the beginning of the campaign, but also to all those countries that are joining in the campaign and that I have not had a chance to visit. I would also like to express my deep gratitude and respect for the particularly important role which His Royal Highness Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands has played in promoting this campaign and thus assuring it of the success with which we believe it will be crowned.
However, we must remember that although the results of the campaign may be good, only a relatively limited part of the proceeds of this European campaign will go to UNHCR. I stressed this already at the last meeting and I feel I must again warn the Committee that we cannot afford to look exclusively to the European Campaign to fill the shortfall which exists and should be otherwise covered. I have the impression, generally, that all the people who have been working for this campaign, all the voluntary agencies that have been doing such a remarkable job, and all the national committees that I came into contact with and who are doing the fund-raising for refugees in Asia and Africa, would be very reluctant indeed to see the success of the private initiative of this campaign become a reason for Governments not to contribute their share. Indeed, I have noted that in many cases, on the contrary, the voluntary agencies involved in the campaign feel that there should be an additional matching contribution from the government sector, which has been done, as the Committee may know, in some countries.
And so, Mr. Chairman, to sum up what I consider are the fundamentals of the crucial financial problem which is now facing the Committee: on the one side we have the needs which are ceaselessly increasing owing to developments of which this Committee is fully aware and which cause the uprooting of thousands of men, women and children. These needs furthermore, and this I believe we must be ready to face, are unfortunately likely to increase rather than diminish in years to come. One he other hand there are the governmental financial contributions which, apart from the exceptions, seems to be generally "frozen" at a level as practically established a few years ago, but which no longer corresponds to the present-day situation. And here I would like to say that the exceptions - those Governments which have adjusted their contributions to the increasing needs - should be warmly commended and taken as an example by other Governments which have not yet seen their way to doing the same. In this respect I think it is necessary to recall that our programme is not only intended to alleviate human misery, but also to reduce tensions and instability in Africa and to act, in a way, as an element of insurance a kind of insurance premium against situations that could become much more difficult, much more costly, and indeed much more politically dangerous to solve if we were not able to face them promptly at the present time. It constitutes an essential element of social and political stability and so, if we look at this more closely, it soon becomes clear that a crisis resulting from the unexpected influx of thousands of refugees in these new countries, which by force of circumstance these countries could not meet alone, would irremediably jeopardize any efforts made in the field of development generally whether financed on a bilateral level or through multilateral channels. It was our conviction, and it has now been proved, that such crises unavoidably would occur sooner or later if the problems of refugees which provoke them are not adequately solved as and when they emerge. And so the only remedy I feel is to be able to solve the present financial difficulties and try to adapt the contributions to the financial target of the material assistance programme which, as the Committee well knows, is confined, and will still remain confined in the future, to bare essentials. I want to assure the Committee that I have personally left no stone unturned to encourage more Governments to participate in the financing of my programme and that I have also seized every available opportunity to enlist any bilateral or multilateral aid which I am able to obtain with the support of Governments or other interested authorities generally.
And so, Mr. Chairman, to conclude this brief assessment, the situation shows a very wide range and a very complex and large number of problems, but, looking towards the positive side of things, and to what has been achieved, I think we can say, after seeing the situation in Africa, that the positive results we have obtained in the continent of Africa have been achieved in far less time than it has taken us to do in Europe. I think this is a heartening encouragement and that it can be substantiated by facts, because if you look at the problems that we faced in Africa, and what we have done about them, it shows, I think, that in a short space of time, a great deal has been done, and this should not, I think, be interrupted in any way by new arrivals or by the problems that we face in countries where refugees have already been settled. I think a separation should be created between what has been achieved and the new problems that we have to face, and we should not be depressed or disappointed by the arrival of new refugees in areas where refugees, for which programmes were implemented, are on the point of becoming self-supporting. And here I would like to give you the following example: in Senegal, for instance, despite the new arrivals from Portuguese Guinea to which I have referred, the great majority of the refugees form that country are already integrated, and self-supporting. In the Congo (Kinshasa) the settlements in the Kivu Province, which have been the subject of so many discussions in this Committee, are working satisfactorily and the people have become self-supporting. In fact, they are selling their cash crops today on the markets of the Congo (Kinshasa). The Angolans have also been fully integrated in that country. In Uganda and in Tanzania, several Rwandese settlements are already self-supporting, and the investments that the international community have made to assist these refugees to become self supporting have paid off. Further consolidation will be needed, but for the old groups of refugees in Africa this can be done through the inter-agency co-operation that I have already mentioned. We must continue to deal with the new groups with speed, which I think remains the key to the success of all our approaches, as has indeed been shown in the past.
And so, Mr. Chairman, distinguished delegates, what I ask of you is both simple, and extremely challenging - I ask for your political and moral support in the difficult task of providing international protection to refugees and at the same time I ask for your material support so that I can assist refugees and help them cease to be refugees wherever they are.
(Note: Financial and statistical data tables not included in this online version. See your nearest UN Depository Library.)
1 Previously issued under the symbol A/6311/Add.1 and Add.1/Corr.1.
2 Official Records of the General Assembly, Twenty-first Session, Supplement No. 11 (A/6311/Rev.1).
3 Previously issued under the symbol A/C.96/352.
4 The full text of the statement is attached as annex I to this report.
5 The full text of this statement is contained in document A/AC.96/349.
6 The full text of the statement is contained in document A/AC.96/350.
7 Details of these statements may be found in the summary records of the 148th, 149th and 150th meetings.