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Functioning of the Sub-Committee and General Conclusion on International Protection

Executive Committee Meetings

Functioning of the Sub-Committee and General Conclusion on International Protection
No. 2 (XXVII) - 1976

12 October 1976
Executive Committee 27th session. Contained in United Nations General Assembly Document No. 12A (A/31/12/Add.1).

The Executive Committee,

(a) Was gravely preoccupied by the serious recurring violations of human rights of refugees and of their rights under legal instruments concerning them and was particularly concerned by the situation of several groups of refugees whose safety was in danger;

(b) Welcomed new accessions to the 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol and urged all Governments to accede to these instruments and scrupulously to observe their provisions;

(c) Recommended that the High Commission should continue to follow up on the application and implementation of the 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol in various member States, including national practice and procedures for the recognition of refugee status, and to submit a report to the Executive Committee on the subject in due course;

(d) Noted with satisfaction the decision of the General Assembly to convene a Conference of Plenipotentiaries to consider and adopt a Convention on Territorial Asylum;

(e) Recommended that non-governmental organizations concerned with problems relating to the protection of refugees be invited to attend the forthcoming Conference of Plenipotentiaries in observer capacity;

(f) Was deeply concerned at the fate of asylum-seekers who had left their country in small boats and were in need of rescue or admission to a country of first asylum and eventually of final settlement;

(g) Appealed to States scrupulously to observe the legal provisions relating to the rescue of persons at sea, as contained in the Brussels Convention of 1910 and the United Nations Convention on the High Seas of 1958, and urged States to make every possible effort to ensure that the provisions of these legal instruments be respected by ship masters under all circumstances;

(h) Further appealed to States:

(i) To grant first asylum to refugees and displaced persons rescued at sea or who had come directly by sea; and

(ii) To offer resettlement opportunities to those who had been unable to obtain permanent residence in the State of first asylum;

(i) Reaffirmed the need to intensify its role in the field of protection and welcomed the establishment of a Sub-Committee of the Whole on protection, designed to focus attention on protection issues with a view to determining existing shortcomings in this field and to proposing appropriate remedies;

(j) Decided that the Sub-Committee of the whole would meet for one day before the twenty-eighth session of the executive committee.