Addendum to the Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
United Nations General Assembly Official Records: Twentieth Session
Addendum to the Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Supplement No. 11A (A/6011/Rev. 1/Add.1)
PART ONE REPORT ON THE THIRTEENTH SESSION OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER'S PROGRAMME (Geneva, 10-17 May 1965)
OPENING OF THE SESSION AND ELECTION OF OFFICERS
1. The Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme held its thirteenth session from 10 to 17 May 1965 at the Palais des Nations, Geneva.
The Committee elected the following officers by acclamation:
Chairman: H. E. Ambassador S. F. Rae (Canada);
Vice-Chairman: Dr. S. Azimi (Iran);
Rapporteur: Mr. J. D. Miller (United Kingdom).
2. All the Member Governments of the Committee were represented at the session as follows;
|Federal Republic of Germany||United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland|
|France||United Republic of Tanzania|
|Greece||United states of America|
3. The Governments of Burundi, the Republic of Ghana, Portugal, Senegal, Spain and Uganda were represented by an observer, as was the Sovereign Order of Malta. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Labour Office, the World Health Organization, the World Food Programme, the Council of Europe, the European Economic Community, the Inter-governmental Committee for European Migration, the League of Arab States and the Organization of African Unity were also represented.
ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
Decision of the Committee
4. The Executive Committee decided:
(1) The adopt the following agenda (A/AC.96/273/Rev. 2);
(2) To include in the agenda of its fourteenth session an item entitled "International protection".
1. Election of officers.
2. Adoption of the agenda (A/AC.96/273/Rev.2).
3. Statement by the High Commissioner.
4. Progress report on UNHCR major Aid Programs as at 31 December 1964 (A/AC.96/278).
5. Report on UNHCR current operations (A/AC.96/277 and Add.1 and A/C.96/INF.38 and 39).
6. Report on the resettlement of refugees (A/AC.96/275 and 283 and A/AC.96/INF.41).
7. Note on the use of the Emergency Fund (A/AC.96/274 and Add.l, A/AC.96/INF.34, 36 and 37).
8. Report of the Ad Hoc Sub-Committee on Auditing Questions (A/AC.96/284 and A/AC.96/289).
9. Financial status of UNHCR project funds:
(a) Financial status of UNHCR project funds - general (A/AC.96/276 and Add.1).
(b) Provisional financial statements for 1964 (A/AC.96/279).
(c) Adjustments and cancellations in UNHCR projects and commitments in respect of which payment has not yet been made (A/AC.96/278, chapter II).
(d) Report on investments for the year ended 31 December 1964 (A/AC.96/280).
10. Report on status of contributions (A/AC.96/281 and Add.1 and A/AC.96/INF.35 and Add.1).
11. Proposed budget for the liquidation of Major Aid Programmes (A/AC.96/282).
12. Current programmes:
(a) UNHCR Programme for 1964 - projects not financed as of 31 December 1964 (A/AC.96/288).
(b) UNHCR Programme for 1965 - new and revised projects (A/AC.96/286 and Add.1, 2 and 3).
13. Administrative expenditure (A/AC.96/287).
14. Relations with specialized agencies and inter-governmental organizations - proposed amendments to the rules of procedure (A/AC.96/285).
15. Other questions.
16. Consideration of the draft report.
REPRESENTATION OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AFRICAN UNITY
Decision of the Committee
5. The Executive Committee decided to invite the Organization of African Unity to be represented at its public meetings by an observer, in accordance with rule 38 of the Rules of Procedure.
STATEMENT BY THE HIGH COMMISSIONER (agenda item 3)
6. The High Commissioner made a statement1 in which he gave a brief account of the progress achieved during 1964 and of the present position concerning the problems facing his Office. He emphasized the increasing scope and magnitude of some of the problems with which his Office had been called upon to deal, in particular in Africa where the fluidity of refugee problems made long-term planning extremely difficult. The High Commissioner also drew attention to the amount that would still be required to enable him to meet the financial targets of the 1963 and 1965 Programmes, and expressed the hope that the financial support required to meet the demands of newly emerging refugee problems would be forthcoming.
7. In conclusion, the High Commissioner read to the Committee a statement in which Mr. Opperman, Australian Minister of Immigration, expressed his warm interest in the work of assistance to refugees.2
8. The representatives who took part in the debate expressed their appreciation for the statement made by the High Commissioner and paid a tribute to the manner in which his Office was fulfilling its humanitarian task. They recognized that the problems of refugees in Africa and Asia were calling for increasing attention on the part UNHCR. They noted with appreciation that the host countries were making available considerable resources to assist the refugees on their territory.
9. A number of speakers expressed their concern with the residual problems of European refugees, and pointed out that new refugees continued to arrive. The representatives of Germany and Yugoslavia gave and account of the problems of refugees in their respective countries, the details of which may be found in the summary record of the 112th meeting.
10. With regard to the financing of UNHCR programmes, the strong catalytic effect of the current programme and the considerable contributions made in terms of bilateral aid to some of the host countries were highlighted. Several representatives, however, expressed concern at the financial shortfall in the 1963 and 1965 Programmes and endorsed the High Commissioner's appeal for the additional financial support required to enable him to implement these programmes fully.
11. Several speakers emphasized their interest in the question of international protection, which was the basic function of the Office of the High Commissioner. They referred in particular to the limitations resulting from the dateline in the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees, and learned interest that this problem had been the subject of a colloquium which had recently taken place at Bellaggio, Italy, organized by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, to whom thanks were due for their initiative. They expressed the hope that Governments would give careful consideration to the results of the Colloquium in the coming months. A tribute was paid to the asylum policy of several countries in Africa which had generously admitted large groups of refugees to their territory.
12. The Chairman of the Commission on Refugees of the International Council of Voluntary Agencies made a statement in which he highlighted the problems of refugees with which the voluntary agencies were dealing in many parts of the world, and stressed the close co-operation which had been developed between the governmental authorities, the inter-governmental organization and the agencies themselves. In the course of its session the Committee had further occasion to note the important contribution made to the work of international assistance to refugees by the voluntary agencies, both national and international, the World Refugee Year committees and the refugee councils set up for this purpose in various countries. At the 113th meeting, the representative of the Lebanon questioned the reference made in the statement of the Chairman of the Refugee Commission of ICVA to the "open door" policy of one of the countries mentioned. A summary of the statement of the representative of the Lebanon and of a subsequent response by the representative of Israel may be found in the summary record of the meeting.
Decisions of the Committee
13. The Executive Committee:
(1) Took note with deep appreciation of the introductory statement by the High Commissioner;
(2) Expressed its satisfaction with the effective manner in which the High Commissioner was carrying out the many and varied tasks which his Office was facing in assisting in the solution of those refugee problems in various parts of the world for which he is responsible.
II. Reports on UNHCR activities
PROGRESS REOPORT ON UNHCR MAJOR AID PROGRAMMES (agenda item 4)
14. The Committee considered the progress report on UNHCR major aid programmes (A/AC.96/278), in which the High Commissioner gave the position as at 31 December 1964.
15. Introducing the report, the representative of the High Commissioner stated that the caseload had been reduced by nearly 10,000, leaving some 21,000 refugees for two-thirds of whom solutions had already been worked out. For reasons beyond the High Commissioner's control it would not be possible to complete the programmes in the Far East, Germany and Greece by the end of 1965 as had been anticipated. The High Commissioner hoped that with the full support of the Governments concerned it would be possible to bring this humanitarian task to a speedy and satisfactory conclusion. The representative of the High Commissioner added that since the report had been published the number of "old" refugees still in camps had fallen below 1,000 as compared with the 85,000 refugees living in camps when the UNREF programme was started in 1995.
16. The representatives who spoke expressed their satisfaction at the progress made in implementing the major aid programmes in 1964. Some speakers stated their concern at the delays incurred in the completion of some of these programmes, particularly with regard to the construction of housing in Greece. They expressed the hope that the fullest account would be taken of the need to bring them to an end at the earliest opportunity, preferably by the end of 1966. They also recommended that further problems which might arise in respect of the "old" European refugees be dealt with under the UNHCR current programme.
17. The representative of Greece replied that the authorities were facing a considerable problem in making available suitable land which was in short supply. Measures had been taken to speed up the construction of housing, including a home for aged refugees.
18. The High Commissioner stated that it was his wish and intention that the major aid programmes be completed at the earliest possible date and he proposed to reappraise the situation in consultation with Governments, and to report to the Committee at its next session as to when the programmes were likely to be completed. The two new projects presented to the Committee for the liquidation of the major aid programmes were submitted within the financial framework of those programmes, the financial target of which would not be altered. These last substantial projects entailed a limited participation by UNHCR which would enable the authorities of the countries where these projects were being put into effect to carry out programmes of a much more substantial size for the refugees concerned.
19. Several representatives enquired into the problems which might arise with regard to the counselling of refugees when the major aid programmes came to an end. The High Commissioner informed the Committee of a proposed plan. Details of this plan and an account of further discussion on the subject may be found in the section concerning the report on current operations, paragraphs 21 to 34 below.
Decision of the Committee
20. The Executive Committee:
Took note with appreciation of the progress report on the UNHCR major aid programme submitted by the High Commissioner in document A/AD.96/278.
REPORT ON UNHCR CURRENT OPERATIONS (agenda item 5)
21. The Committee considered the Report on UNHCR current operations in 1964 financed under the UNHCR current programmes, the Emergency Fund and Special Trust Funds for operations outside the programme, submitted by the High Commissioner in document A/AD.96/277 and ADD.1.
22. In introducing the report, the representative of the High Commissioner recalled that nearly 150,000 refugees had benefited from the High Commissioner's current operations in 1964, some 140,000 of them in Africa. He stressed that local settlement in Africa could not easily be achieved within one calendar year since most projects concerned land settlement, which could only be considered successful once the refugees were able to live off their own crops. A further difficulty facing UNHCR arose from the fact that new problems of refugees had emerged south of the Sahara, which were spread over a much larger geographical area than in previous years. The total number of refugees in Africa, including those settled under earlier UNHCR programmes, had been estimated at 400,000 at the end of 1964, as compared with 310,000 at the end of 1963. With regard to refugees in Asia, UNHCR was participating in participating in projects for local settlement carried out by the governmental authorities and some of the voluntary agencies.
23. In conclusion, the representative of the High Commissioner drew attention to the universal character of the present word of UNHCR.
24. A discussion took place on the delays incurred in the settlement of refugees on the land, referred to in paragraph 48 of the report. The representative of the High Commissioner explained that in the case of land settlement, rapid progress depended on three factors: climatic conditions, the ability of Governments to provide the necessary land and seeds and the willingness of the refugees to settle. There was also a timing difficulty; if the planting season was missed, a four-month delay could not be avoided. As for the willingness of the refugees themselves to settle on the land, there was uncertainty in respect of one group of refugees in Uganda who were at present considering the possibility of voluntary repatriation.
25. Several representatives raised the question of the extent to which counsellors could be made available for assistance to European refugees under the current programme. They stressed the considerable importance they attached to this form of activity which did so much to speed up and facilitate the solution of the problems of refugees both with regard to their local integration and resettlement. The representative of the High Commissioner pointed out that no provision for counselling was included in the current programme. Counsellors engaged on the major aid programme were however able to devote some of their time to the refugees coming within the purview of the current programme. Furthermore, funds for resettlement counselling might be made available within the allocation for the promotion of resettlement. The High Commissioner added that a plan was being envisaged whereby counsellors might be provided by the host countries whereas the assistance projects for the refugees concerned would be financed from the UNHCR programme.
26. The representative of the United Kingdom was concerned to know to what extent the counselling of refugees in Europe was being financed under the UNHCR programmes, or was being gradually taken over by national voluntary societies as a part of their current social work. It seemed to him that once the major aid programmes were wound up, the counselling of new refugees should normally become a charge on the countries of asylum, whether it was carried out through the local voluntary agencies or through the governmental authorities. A thorough study of the question would show whether there might be exceptions to this general principle. The representative of the United Kingdom, supported by several other delegations, proposed that a specific recommendation on the important question of counselling should be included in the decision of the Committee, the text of which is given in paragraph 34 below.
27. The representative of Germany gave the Committee additional information on the refugee camp population in his country and on the assistance provided from German sources, particularly with regard to the housing of refugees.
28. The representative of Sweden expressed his delegation's concern at the conspicuously slow rate of clearing the camps in Europe, with particular reference to the large camp population still remaining in Germany. The representative of the High Commissioner recalled that the number of camps had further decreased since the end of 1964 and that a project was ready to be put into effect to cover every refugee still in camp.
29. The representative of China drew attention to the needs of a large number of refugees in Macao, only 350 of whom had been assisted under the 1964 programme, He also stressed the importance his country attached to the assistance being given to other groups of refugees in Asia, where UNHCR now had several representatives.
30. The representative of Tanzania recalled that the settlement of some 10,000 refugees in the Mwesi highlands had been delayed because of their reluctance to be moved from Burundi. His country was still prepared to discuss the possibility of refugees being resettled from Burundi in Tanzania. In the meantime 1,300 Rwandese refugees in the Kivu provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo had benefited from the airlift which was about to be resumed.
31. The representative of Belgium announced that the Belgian Government had recently made a special contribution of $100,000 towards the UNHCR programme in Burundi.
32. The Committee also heard statements by the representatives of the ILO in respect of the progress achieved in the integration and zonal development projects in Burundi and the Kivu provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on which the ILO had submitted a report in document A/AD.96/INF.38. The ILO representative stated that good progress had been made in Burundi. He pointed out that a modification in the rate of exchange of the Burundi franc might call for some readjustments in the project. In the Kivu provinces it was hoped that conditions would sufficiently improve to make it possible for the project to be resumed. He further indicated that an offer of assistance had been received from a Belgian institution and that a matching contribution from U. S. aid counterpart funds would also be forthcoming towards the implementation of the project in that area. His statement was amplified by an eye-witness report of a senior representative of the High Commissioner who had recently visited Burundi and described the favourable impact of the development project on the local integration of the refugees and in particular on their co-operation with the local population.
33. The Committee heard the observer from Spain who recalled the efforts made by the Spanish Government and the voluntary agencies in providing assistance for Cuban refugees in Spain.
Decisions of the Committee
34. The Executive Committee:
(1) Took note with satisfaction of the report on UNHCR current operations in 1964 and of the progress achieved by the Office of the High Commissioner in implementing its current programme;
(2) Expressed its concern at the difficulties reported in paragraph 43 of the report in respect of the counselling of refugees with a view to their integration;
(3) Requested the High Commissioner to submit to the Committee at its next session a full study of counselling needs that might arise in countries of asylum in the foreseeable future;
(4) Requested the High Commissioner,
(a) To submit his recommendations as to the general principle which should govern the financing of counselling under the UNHCR current programme after 1 January 1966; and,
(b) If he recommended that counselling services should not be financed under his current programme, to indicate whether the situation of refugees in particular countries nevertheless justified an exception.
RESETTLEMENT (agenda item 6)
35. The Committee considered the report on the resettlement of refugees (A/AD.96/275, and the report on the Far Eastern operation (A/AD.96/283).
36. The representative of the High Commissioner, introducing the subject, recalled that during 1964 ICEM had transported 37,160 refugees of whom 27,967 came within the mandate of UNHCR Highlighting some of the more important recent developments in the field of resettlement, he said that the Swedish Government had recently approved a scheme for the admission, in 1965, of 1,000 refugees who would be selected in Greece, Italy and Turkey in the first instance; the Canadian Government had announced its willingness to consider the admission of certain refugees suffering from tuberculosis, and thirdly, in Australia, a second centre designed to facilitate the reception and assimilation of refugees had just been opened.
37. He recalled that a language training laboratory in Rome had been purchased with funds from UNHCR. The United States Government had recently announced its willingness to explore the possibility of making a further contribution of $10,000 designed to overcome certain financial difficulties in meeting the operating costs of this important experimental venture. With regard to the Jensen Survey for severely handicapped out of a total of 1,124 refugees covered by the Survey, 892 had been moved to new lands or otherwise settled, leaving 232 refugees still awaiting solutions. One more country, the Netherlands, had been added to the list of those accepting to admit fifteen cases from Germany.
38. The representative of the High Commissioner mentioned to the Committee the delay which had occurred in the resettlement of a group of Old Believers at present in Hong Kong. Twenty-five of the refugees had now left for Australia and it was hoped that further number would be resettled very shortly in Argentina, Brazil and New Zealand. Apart from the cost of care and maintenance for this group of refugees in Hong Kong, UNHCR would be called upon to provide some $200,000 to assist the World Council of Churches in resettling them in the four countries mentioned. In order to enable UNHCR to meet the immediate financial requirements of care and maintenance in Hong Kong, the High Commissioner submitted the proposal outlined in paragraphs 15 and 16 of document A/AD.96/283.
39. The Deputy Director of the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (ICEM), Mr. W. M. Besterman, addressing the Committee, stressed the close co-operation which had further developed between the Office of the High Commissioner and ICEM. At the end of 1964 for the first time, ICEM had had to defer certain refugee movements in view of its financial position. Thanks to a generous response to ICEM's appeal by several governments, in particular Australia, it had been possible to reduce the number of deferred movements. He was pleased to announce that since then the financial difficulties of ICEM had been largely overcome and all the deferred movements had now been carried out. During the first quarter of 1965, enough additional contributions had been received to enable ICEM to plan the resettlement of 39,000 refugees in 1965 instead of the 35,000 originally budgeted. Funds would still have to be found for the movement of an additional 1,300 refugees. He hoped that the further contributions required would be forthcoming in the course of 1965, so that ICEM would be able to keep pace with the demand for the resettlement of refugees.
40. The High Commissioner said that his Office co-operated with ICEM in a spirit of absolute confidence and he was most gratified that the means had been placed at ICEM's disposal to enable it to continue its task of moving refugees to new lands.
41. All the representatives who spoke agreed on the importance of the work of ICEM and of resettlement as a solution to the problems of refugees. The representatives of Australia and Canada stated that their governments continued to maintain their interest in the resettlement of refugees and would do everything possible to assist in this vital activity. The representative of Australia recalled that his Government had a traditional interest in the resettlement of European refugees from the Far East and was prepared to consider any further proposals the High Commissioner might make for the resettlement of this group. The representative of the United Kingdom stated that notwithstanding his Government's difficulties with regard to the admission of immigrants they were prepared to consider certain sponsored cases.
42. With regard to the group of Old Believers at present in Hong Kong, the representative of Brazil stated that his Government was prepared to give careful consideration to the resettlement in Brazil of some Old Believers at present in Hong Kong.
43. The representative of Italy stressed the particular importance of the mechanism of resettlement for countries of first asylum like Italy, where there was a continuing influx of new refugees and where the cost of care and maintenance and of medical assistance for these refugees was increasing. He pointed out that his country had allowed some 240 refugees to settle permanently in Italy in 1964. He urged that the present international co-operation in the field of resettlement should be further strengthened particularly in respect of handicapped refugees.
44. In reply to a question by the representative of Australia as to the extent to which community organizations in host countries could co-operate with UNHCR in its work of assistance for handicapped refugees, the representative of the High Commissioner gave examples of the work of UNHCR in the field of rehabilitation, the details of which may be found in the summary record of the 113th meeting.
45. In conclusion, the Chairman drew special attention to paragraph 71 concerning the resettlement of refugees in countries where no selection missions were being sent or maintained by immigration countries.
Decisions of the Committee
46. The Executive Committee:
(1) Took note with appreciation of the report on the resettlement of refugees submitted by the High Commissioner in document A/AD.96/275 and of the progress achieved in this field;
(2) Noted that, while generous resettlement opportunities had been offered to refugees in 1964, there was further need for such opportunities in order to avoid any accumulation of refugees in countries of first asylum;
(3) Also took note of the problem which the High Commissioner reported in respect of the Far Eastern operation in document A/AD.96/283;
(4) Expressed the hope that in countries where Governments of immigration countries do not send or maintain selection missions, these Governments consider the possibility of examining the cases of refugees in these countries on the basis of special dossiers - a procedure already successfully adopted by several countries;
(5) Authorized the High Commissioner, within the financial framework of the Far Eastern operation, to utilize whenever he deems it justified, unspent balances amounting to $409,175 at 31 December 1964, arising from adjustments in existing projects, for the financing of projects of an urgent nature in respect of refugees of European origin in the Far East.
(6) Noted that, should the funds thus made available within the present financial target of the Far Eastern operation prove insufficient for the completion of that operation as a whole, the High Commissioner would submit new projects to the Committee under the current programme of his Office.
III. Administrative and financial questions
USE OF THE EMERGENCY FUND (agenda item 7)
47. The Committee considered the note on the use of the Emergency Fund submitted by the High Commissioner in documents A/AD.96/274 and Add.1. The discussion centred on the extent to which the Emergency Fund should be used in the case of urgent needs of refugees.
48. The representative of the United States pointed out that in the particular case of the Rwandese refugees who were being established in a new centre at Mugera in Burundi, an amount of $40,000 had been allocated in an amount of $130,000, which had been submitted to members of the Committee by mail poll, had been made under the 1965 Programme. He considered that more use should be made of the Emergency Fund, the more so since it had proved possible for a financial reserve of $276,000 to be set aside at the end of 1964.
49. The High Commissioner explained that whereas the $40,000 allocation had been used to move a certain number of heads of families to Mugera, the subsequent allocation was intended to enable them to settle in Mugera with their families and did not have the same emergency character. Referring to the general question of the need for a financial reserve to be established inter alia from reimbursements of loans in excess of the $500,000 ceiling of the Emergency Fund, the High Commissioner recalled that the Executive Committee at its twelfth session in Rome had noted that he intended to set aside income from repaid loans which was not needed to replenish the Emergency Fund. This was becoming more and more necessary to give him the financial backing required to finance commitments under the current programmes pending the receipt of contributions, particularly in the near future when he would no longer be able to draw on funds from the major aid programmes.
50. The representative of the United States stated that he did not intend to open for discussion at this time the matter of the need for a financial reserve since this could be dealt with at a later session. In the view of his delegation the Emergency Fund was intended to be used to meet refugee emergencies as they developed. The $500,000 figure was a ceiling and it was not necessary that the Fund remain at that figure. If large-scale emergency situations developed, the High Commissioner could be assured that interested Governments would respond to any appeal which he might find it necessary to make.
Decision of the Committee
51. The Executive Committee:
Approved the note on the use of the Emergency Fund submitted by the High Commissioner in document A/AC.96/274 and ADD.1 and took note of the background information contained in documents A/AC.96/INF.35 and ADD.1, INF.36 and INF.37.
REPORT OF THE AD HOC SUB-COMMITTEE ON AUDITING QUESTIONS (agenda item 8)
52. Mr. C. P. Scott, representative of the United Kingdom and Chairman of the ad hoc Sub-committee on Auditing Questions, introduced the report of the sub-committee in document A/AD.96/284. He thought that the work of the sub-committee (Governor E. A. Westerlind, representative of Sweden, Dr. S. Azimi, representative of Iran, and himself) had proved particularly useful in promoting common understanding of various auditing problems between members of the United Nations Board of Auditors and the internal auditors, and the High Commissioner's Office. He expressed the hope that in the future audit objections could be resolved in the course of the audit.
53. The representatives who spoke commended the sub-committee on its report. The High Commissioner stated that his Office would pay due attention to the recommendation proposed by the Ad Hoc Sub-Committee.
54. The representative of the Netherlands expressed her satisfaction at the fact that the report of the Ad Hoc Sub-Committee had served a most useful purpose in that it had fully confirmed the propriety of the High Commissioner's financial management.
Decisions of the Committee
55. The Executive Committee:
(1) Took note of the general conclusions contained in paragraphs 39-40 of the report;
(2) Invited the attention of the High Commissioner to the individual conclusions recorded at the end of each section of the report for such action as he may consider appropriate.
REPAYMENT AND DISCOUNTING OF LOANS (agenda item 8)
56. In the framework of the discussion on auditing questions, the Committee considered a note submitted by the High Commissioner in respect of the transfer of UNHCR loans to the Government of Austria (A/AC.96/289).
57. The representative of the High Commissioner pointed out that a passing reference to this transfer had already been made in a report previously submitted to the Executive Committee and that its formal approval was now requested in view of the wishes expressed by the United Nations Board of Auditors.
58. One representative raised the general question of repayment and discounting of loans, and suggested that in the future similar transactions be submitted to the Committee for authorization and that a review of the present situation with regard to outstanding loans and the possibility of their early collection be submitted to the Committee at a future session.
Decisions of the Committee
59. The Executive Committee:
Having considered the Note on the transfer of UNHCR loans to the Government of Austria, submitted by the High Commissioner in document A/AC.96/289,
(1) approved the transaction reported in this document;
(2) requested that, if similar transactions were proposed in the future, they be submitted to the Committee for its authorization;
(3) further requested the High Commissioner to submit to a future session of the Committee:
(a) A review of the present situation in regard to outstanding loans, and
(b) His recommendations concerning the possibilities of early collection of outstanding amounts through appropriate lump sum settlements.
FINANCIAL STATUS OF UNHCR PROJECT FUNDS (agenda item 9)
60 The Executive Committee considered the financial status of UNHCR project funds (A/AC.96/276 and Add.1), the provisional financial statements for 1964 (A/AC.96/279), the question of adjustments and cancellations in UNHCR major aid programmes (A/AC.96/278-chapter II) and the report on investments for the year ended 31 December 1964 (A/AC.96/280).
61. The representative of the High Commissioner stated that the comprehensive information on the status of project funds included in document A/AC.96/276 had been submitted in accordance with the wish expressed by the Committee at its previous session. He pointed out that the bulk of the amount of over $10,000,000 available on 1 January 1965 was required to meet commitments entered into by UNHCR pursuant to decisions taken by the Committee, and relating to the current and the major aid programmes. The $1,394,987 pertaining to the current programmes for 1963 and 1964 had been reduced to $1,027,450 since the end of 1964. The representative of the High Commissioner reported the year by year breakdown of the amount of $5,885,762 to be spent on projects within the major aid programmes according to the year in which the projects were authorized. He stressed that in many cases the projects would be put into effect as soon as the Governments concerned were able to provide land or in some cases supporting contributions.
62. The representatives who spoke expressed their satisfaction with the new presentation of the financial situation. Members of the Committee also expressed appreciation for the data submitted in the provisional financial statements in chapter II of the progress report and in the report on investments.
Decisions of the Committee
63. The Executive Committee decided:
(1) To take note of the financial status of UNHCR project funds submitted by the High Commissioner in document A/AC.96/276;
(2) To take note of provisional financial statements for 1964 submitted by the High Commissioner in document A/AC.96/279;
(3) To approve the report on investments for the year ending 31 December 1964, submitted by the High Commissioner in document A/AC.96/280.
STATUS OF CONTRIBUTIONS (agenda item 10)
64. The Committee had before it the report on the status of contributions to UNHCR as at 31 December 1964, contained in document A/AC.96/281 and Add.1, as well as a report on income and allocations from the proceeds of the long-playing record "All-Star Festival" and information on the new record "International Piano Festival", submitted in documents A/AC.96/INF.35 and Add.1.
65. The Deputy High Commissioner, introducing the report on the status of contributions, said that fifty-two Governments had made financial contributions to the UNHCR programme for 1964, compared with 35 in 1963. The support of these Governments together with contributions from private sources had ensured the complete financing of the UNHCR programme for 1964.3
66. The situation with regard to the financing of the last major aid programmes at the end of 1964 was less encouraging, rather more than $400,000 being still required to enable the programme to be fully implemented. However a special contribution recently announced by the Government of Denmark would reduce this gap to some $350,000.
67. With regard to the 1965 Programme, a total of $2.6 million had been announced by the end of March 1965, leaving a gap of $600,000. The Deputy High Commissioner recalled that a special contribution of $100,000 had been made by the Government of Belgium for assistance to refugees from Rwanda in Burundi since the report on the status of contributions had been issued. Although further contributions were still expected, the total contributions towards the 1965 programme would probably not exceed $3 million as against the original target of $3.2 million. The fact that target had been raised to $3.5 million would further increase the financial difficulties and the High Commissioner would need generous financial support form governments and other sources in order to cover the needs of the Office in 1965.
68. Turning to the sale of records, the Deputy High Commissioner drew attention to the information submitted to the Committee in documents A/AC.96/INF.35 and Add.1 in respect of allocations made from the proceeds of the sale of "All Star Festival". The first results of the sale of the second record, "International Piano Festival", were most encouraging; some 120,000 copies had been sold in twelve countries so far. Special credit for this success should be given to organization such as the Danish Refugee Council, the Norwegian Refugee Council, and the Swedish United Nations Association. Thanks were also due to the radio, television and the press in countries like Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland, which had ensured remarkable sales in those countries. The Deputy High Commissioner also referred to the generous help which had been received from Mr. Ed Sullivan of American television.
69. The representative of Austria informed the Committee that in spite of the heavy burden borne by his country in caring for the refugees who had sought asylum in Austria, his Government had decided to double in 1965 the contribution made in 1964.
70. The representative for the United Kingdom recalled that his Government had increased their 1965 contribution by 25 per cent over the 1964 contribution. This did not include the sum of $30,800 which represented the purchase tax on the sale of the record "All star Festival" in the United Kingdom, and which was being transferred to UNHCR as a special contributing to UNHCR in 1965, the representative of the United Kingdom said that while it was encouraging to note that seven Governments were contributing for the first time in 1964, the total number of Governments contributing was still far too small in relation to the total membership of the United Nations.
71. The representative of Sweden informed the Committee that in order to help the High Commissioner to meet financial commitments, special arrangements had been made for Sweden's contribution to the 1965 Programme to be paid ahead of time.
72. The Committee also learned with interest from the representative of Denmark that 14,000 copies of the record "International Piano Festival" had so far been sold in his country.
73. In the course of the session the representative of Israel announced that the record "International Piano Festival" would be exempt from all import duties and purchase tax in Israel. He further enquired if it would be possible for the High Commissioner, when appealing for funds for urgent projects, to give an indication of the materials required to carry out the project. He felt that such information might enable some Governments to make a contribution in kind which might thus enlarge the number of donors.
74. The Deputy High Commissioner, thanking the representative of Israel for his valuable suggestion, said that the High Commissioner would certainly be able to provide such information. He felt that he should point out, however, that the cost of transporting contributions in kind to the area of operations concerned might in certain cases exceed the local cost of the materials themselves. There was also a risk that delays in delivery might hamper the implementation of urgent projects.
75. The official financial results of the sale of "International Piano Festival" were not yet known. It was likely, however, that after the launching costs had been met, net proceeds would exceed $100,000.
Decisions of the Committee
76. The Executive Committee:
Having considered the report submitted by the High Commissioner in documents A/AC.96/281 and ADD.1 and A/AC.96/INF/35 and ADD.1,
(1) Noted with satisfaction that an increasing number of Governments were contributing to the High Commissioner's current programmes;
(2). Welcomed the new contributions announced during the session;
(3) Took note of the reports submitted by the High Commissioner on income and allocations from the proceeds of the long playing record "All Star Festival" and on the launching of the new record "International Piano Festival";
(4) Expressed the hope that further and more widespread financial support would be forthcoming from as many members as possible of the international community so as to ensure that the present gaps in the financial targets of the 1963 and 1965 Programmes might be filled as soon as possible.
ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENDITURE FOR 1966 (agenda item 13)
77. The Executive Committee considered document A/AC.96/287 submitted by the High Commissioner in respect of the 1966 budget estimates of his Office. In introducing the document, the representative of the High Commissioner explained that the budget estimates which were intended for submission to the forthcoming session of the general Assembly would be circulated to members of the Committee as soon as they had been agreed with UN Headquarters. Action by the Committee was required, however, in respect of the grant-in-aid.
78. The representative of the United Kingdom stated that while he supported the proposal included in paragraph 6 of the document, to the effect that the grant-in-aid be an amount of $150,000, he had hoped that the recommendation included in paragraph 151 (a) of the report on the Committee's twelfth session would have been fully implemented.
79. The general question of whether administrative costs could be included in allocations for assistance projects was discussed in connexion with the new and revised projects submitted in the frame of the 1965 Programme. The representative of the High Commissioner explained in this connection that the High Commissioner was endeavouring to meet current requirements for the administration of his programmes from the resources within his administrative budget - i.e., section 20 of the United Nations Budget. The expansion of his activities however had recently required the adjustment or strengthening of a number of branch offices and sub-offices in Africa and Asia which could not be covered from existing resources. The Secretary-General had however made it clear that no requests for supplementary estimates for 1965 could be considered except in the case of "clearly statutory requirements". For this reason, the additional administrative expenditure had had to be included in the new project allocations submitted to the Committee. This was a reversal of the policy adopted in 1959 whereby all administrative costs were included in section 20 of the United Nations Budget.
80. The representative of the United States, while recognizing that the situation in 1965 was an unusual one, expressed the hope that as from 1966 all administrative expenditure would again be included in the administrative budget. He also hoped that every attention would be paid to the possibility of curtailments of staff in European countries so that some of the posts in other areas might be filled without additional cost.
Decision of the Committee
81. The Executive Committee:
Having considered the Note submitted by the High Commissioner in respect of administrative expenditure (A/AC.96/287); confirmed the authority which it had given to the High Commissioner in paragraph 151(c) of the report on its twelfth session to pay towards the United Nations administrative budget a grant-in-aid in an amount of $150,000 for 1965.
IV. Proposed budget for the liquidation of major aid programmes (agenda item 11)
82. The Committee considered two new projects submitted by the High Commissioner for assistance to refugees in France and Germany within the framework of the major aid programmes (A/AC.96/282).
83. In introducing the report, the representative of the High commissioner stressed that the size of the problem of the "old" refugees had proved much larger than had been anticipated in the two countries concerned. It was hoped that the necessary funds for the financing of the projects could be obtained from savings in the major aid programmes.
84. The catalytic effect of the projects was evidenced by the fact that the $250,000 allocation for establishment assistance to refugees in Germany would be matched by a $2 million contribution within that country for the housing of these refugees who would soon be able to leave their sub-standard dwellings. Similarly, in France, an important matching contribution would be forthcoming.
85. The representative of France gave an account of the needs of refugees in his country, the details of which may be found in the summary record of the 114th meeting. He stressed, in particular, the very high percentage of aged refugees and the high cost of meeting the needs of the handicapped. He pointed out that although prevailing legislation provided that aliens should not receive more favourable treatment than nationals, a matching contribution was being made towards the housing of handicapped refugees assisted under the UNHCR programmes.
Decisions of the Committee
86. The Executive Committee:
Considering that the two new allocations under consideration were the last substantial allocations to be submitted to the Committee within the financial framework of the major aid programmes,
(1) Approved the two allocations of $250,000 each submitted by the High Commissioner in document A/AC.96/282 for the completion of projects for assistance to "old" European refugees in France and the Federal Republic of Germany;
(2) Authorized the High Commissioner to continue implementing the major aid projects as a whole to the extent that his financial resources permit and to determine the order of priority of implementation, and;
(3) Requested the High Commissioner to report regularly to the Committee on the matter.
V. UNHCR current programmes
A. UNHCR PROGRAMME FOR 1965 - NEW AND REVISED PROJECTS (agenda item 12(b))
87. The Executive Committee considered the new and revised projects submitted to it by the High Commissioner in document A/AC.96/286 and ADD.1-3 in respect of Rwandese refugees in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Chinese refugees in Macao, Tibetan refugees in Nepal, Cuban refugees in Spain and refugees from Mozambique in Tanzania. The Committee also considered a revision of the approved allocations for refugees in Senegal and a new allocation for the repatriation of refugees in Africa.
88. The Chairman stressed the importance of the contents and size of the new projects before the Committee. As in the case of other UNHCR projects for assistance, these projects had been so conceived as to help the refugees to become self-supporting within the shortest possible time. On behalf of the Committee he paid tribute to the countries of reception for the generous manner in which they admitted refugees.
89. The representative of the High Commissioner pointed out that the new projects totalling over $1 million included two projects for groups of refugees who had not yet benefited from assistance under the UNHCR current programme; the Tibetan refugees in Nepal and those from Mozambique in Tanzania. He stressed that substantial support would again be forthcoming form the Government of the United States and from the World Food Programme through the provision of large quantities of food. Approval of the projects would entail an increase of $300,000 in the 3,200,000 target of the 1965 programme.
ASSISTANCE TO TIBETAN REFUGEES IN NEPAL
90. The Committee considered projects in and amount of $143,750 including projects for local settlement of refugees at Pokhara Lake, for the consolidation of the settlement of refugees in Kathmandu and for the care of tubercular refugees in Kathmandu. The representatives who spoke expressed their strong support for these projects which, they hoped, would lead to a comprehensive plan for assistance to the refugees concerned.
91. The representative of the High Commissioner explained in this connexion that assistance had been provided to the refugees from other sources including in particular the Nepalese and United States Governments, the Swiss Government Department for Technical Cooperation and the International Committee of the Red Cross. The main role of UNHCR was to promote such assistance.
92. The representative of China announced that the Free China relief Association would make a contribution of $5,000 towards the UNHCR programme for Tibetan refugees. The representative of the United States stated that his Government fully supported the UNHCR programme, the more so since United States assistance for the group of refugees concerned was at present not scheduled beyond 1967.
93. An exchange of views took place on certain technical aspects of the projects before the Committee, the details of which may be found in the summary records of the 115th, 116th, 117th, and 118th meetings.
94. In reply to a question by the representative of Iran concerning the rather high percentage of administrative expenditure involved in the projects, the representative of the High Commissioner gave further details about the arrangements which the UNHCR representative in Kathmandu had to make in order to promote the implementation of assistance programmes for the Tibetan refugees.
95. The Committee agreed on the proposed allocations.
CUBAN REFUGEES IN SPAIN
96. The Committee considered projects in an amount of $146,000 for assistance to the Cuban refugees in Spain. The representative of Venezuela expressed her Government's interest in this problem and informed the Committee that the possibility of financial support for the assistance programme for these refugees was being raised with the competent authorities.
97. The Committee agreed on the proposed allocation.
REPATRIATION OF REFUGEES IN AFRICA
98. The Committee agreed on the increase of $10,000 in the fund for repatriation.
RURAL SETTLEMENT OF RWANDESE REFUGEES AT MUGERA IN BURUNDI
99. The Committee considered the new allocation submitted by the High Commissioner in an amount of $450,000 towards the installation of some 25,000 Rwandese refugees in a new land settlement at Mugera.
100. The representative of the High Commissioner gave an eye-witness report on the situation of refugees in Burundi the details of which may be found in the summary record of the 115th meeting. At the end of 1963 the consolidation of the then existing three settlements was expected in the near future. Since then however there had been an influx of new Rwandese refugees into Burundi as a result of events in Rwanda and the democratic Republic of the Congo. There were, early in 1965, an estimated 30,000 to 35,000 non-settled Rwandese refugees in Burundi. The offer made by the Tanzanian Government for the resettlement of some 10,000 Rwandese refugees in the Mwesi highlands was still open. It was essential however that some 25,000 of the non-settled Rwandese refugees be settled as soon as possible in Burundi. The Technical difficulties involved in organizing their settlement on the land in Mugera could be largely overcome. In view of the size of the project considerable funds would be required. Of the total of $864,800 requested from UNHCR for 1965 an amount of $170,000 had already been made available (i.e., $40,000 from the Emergency Fund and $130,000 approved by mail-poll). Of the remaining amount of $694,800, the High Commissioner did not think that he could ask for more than $450,000 and he hoped that the remaining gap of approximately $245,000 might be bridged through special contributions or possibly bilateral aid. The very generous participation of the World Food Programme in the proposed project would be a great help.
101. The observer for Burundi gave an account of the situation of refugees in his country and of the measures of assistance taken or to be taken for them. He stated that his Government had now acceded to the 1951 Convention. To apply the Convention, in accordance with Recommendation E of its final act, to a large number of refugees who were not covered by this legal instrument on account of the 1951 dateline, would raise serious practical difficulties at the present time. His Government, however, would continue to apply the fundamental principles of the Convention relating to the right of asylum and to the non-return of refugees to their country of origin.
102. There were three categories of refugees in his country: the Rwandese refugees who had been there for some time; the new Rwandese refugees and the refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. With the assistance given through the international organizations and the voluntary agencies, some 26,000 refugees in the first group had been able to start a new life. They were benefiting to a large extent form the ILO Zonal Development Plan in which the local branch of a non-profit making organization, the Association internationale pour le développement rural outre-mer (AIDR), as well as the refugees themselves, were taking an active part. Most of the 35,000 new Rwandese refugees had arrived in 1963 and 1964 with some 3,700 head of cattle and had been assembled in provisional centres in the highly populated border area, form which they would have to be removed. The main solution which could be immediately put into effect was their settlement on the land in another part of Burundi. Notwithstanding the difficulty arising from the exceptional density of the Burundi population a settlement plan had been worked out to provide a lasting solution for some 25,000 refugees. The total cost of this long-term plan exceeded the financial resources of the Burundi Government which would, nevertheless, provide 4 million Burundi francs, as well as arable land, equipment and medical assistance. The implementation of the plan would be entrusted to a semi-governmental humanitarian organization, the Fonds Roi Mambutsa IV, which had already started its activities in the new settlement area.
103. The original number of 30,000 Congolese refugees had decreased to 20.000 as a result of voluntary repatriation towards which the Government of the democratic Republic of the Congo had contributed 3 million Congolese francs. Most of the remaining refugees were living in very precarious conditions and the main problem was to provide them with enough food. Assistance had been organized for them by the Reverend Father Ibarra with support form various voluntary agencies. The available resources were nearly exhausted and the Government of Burundi was appealing for further assistance to these refugees.
104. All told, the observer of Burundi concluded, his Government had to deal with the problem of some 75,000 to 80,000 refugees.
105. The committee then heard a statement by the observer of the World Food Programme who explained that the provision of $300,000 worth of food to meet immediate needs had already been approved by WDP. Under the agreement which was being concluded by the World Food Programme with the Burundi Government, food in a value of over $800,000 was to be provided by WFP. The speaker gave the Committee details the composition of the 2,300-calory rations that were to be issued for a period of twelve months in addition to the three months' emergency food. He stressed that in all development projects the WFP required an assurance that the necessary funds for all the "non-food" costs (including transportation, delivery, distribution, clearing of roads, vaccination, etc.), would be available from other sources since WFP could only pay for the cost of the food itself.
106. On the essential question of the provision of food, the representative of the United States recalled that his Government had been operating a food programme in Burundi in co-operation with the FAO for some time. It would do everything possible to provide whatever food might be available at short notice to meet the needs of the refugees, pending the delivery of food by WFP. Consequently he hoped that the amount of $328,120 included in the $1,426,000 programme, as the ceiling of the UNHCR contribution towards the purchase of food, would be substantially reduced. The representative of the High Commissioner explained that the extent to which food would have to be purchased locally, pending the delivery of WFP food supplies which were scheduled to arrive in September, would depend on the rate of transfer of refugees to Mugera, on the possibility of food being borrowed from supplies available locally and on the date of arrival of WFP shipments, UNHCR participation in the purchase of food would be as limited as would be practically possible. The High Commissioner proposed that if the project was approved his Office would defray the cost of internal transportation of food while the cost of local distribution would be assumed by the Burundi Government.
107. The representative of the United Kingdom stressed that careful planning would be required in view of the size of the problem. Since it might take up to three years to carry out the programme, much would depend on the willingness of the refugees to plan that far ahead. It would not be easy for them to settle, particularly in view of the risk inherent in the proximity of the tsetse fly belt. He pointed out that in view of the many imponderables a contingency reserve of 3 percent of the total cost seemed modest. No doubt consideration would be given to its adequacy for 1966. From his experience he thought that 5 percent would be a safer margin to allow. However, the Emergency Fund did provide a certain standing cover in case of need.
108. An exchange of views also took place on the technical aspects of the settlement programme and on the estimates submitted in respect of food rations, vehicles, roads, water distribution, medical assistance and education, the details of which may be found in the summary records of the 115th, 116th and 117th meetings.
109. The representative of the International Labour Organisation gave further information concerning the implementation of the ILO Plan for Zonal Development and Integration in Burundi. He noted, in particular, that the Burundi Government had decided to contribute 4 million Burundi francs for local administrative expenditure, transportation and other expenditure during 1965 and 1966.
110. In the course of the session, the representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization stated that his organization recognized that the settlement of refugees could become a basic factor of development in their country of refuge, provided that the settlement programmes were integrated in that country's economic and social development. The FAO's main concern was the Burundi project, but it would assist in Tanzania if requested to do so. The Burundi project was complex, and called for constant re-examination and adjustment. A meeting of officials working on the Burundi project would shortly be held. The FAO considered that a sociologist was needed for the Burundi development project already under implementation and for the Mugera project. A soil expert would be needed for at least one year.
111. During the first phase when food was provided under the World Food Programme the refugees should receive a sex to eight months' agricultural training course, and measures should be taken for the allocation of land and the classification and assignment of settlers. It would be necessary thereafter to help the refugees to become self-supporting and settled as soon as possible and for this purpose three experts would need to be appointed. Arrangements with the United Nations Technical Assistance Board as well as bilateral programmes would be most helpful in achieving this objective. World food Programme support would be required until the settlers became economically independent.
112. In the course of the discussion the representative of Sweden enquired into the plight of the refugees from the Democratic republic of the Congo. He considered that this was a case where assistance might be give from the Emergency Fund and asked to what extent assistance had been provided by UNHCR. The representative of the High Commissioner stated that, in 1964, $20,000 had been provided for assistance to these refugees in Uganda and in 1965, $21,715 including $16,000 for assistance to these refugees in central Africa, and $5,715 to those in Burundi. The High Commissioner would consider the possibility of providing further assistance.
113. The Committee agreed on the proposed allocation of $450,000.
ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENDITURE IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
114. The Committee considered the allocation submitted by the High Commissioner in an amount of $34,500 for administrative expenditure in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
115. The representative of the High Commissioner stated that, pending the envisaged cancellation of the expulsion and sequestration decrees by the Central Government, UNHCR was facing the tasks of keeping in close touch with the local authorities in the interests of the refugees, of arranging for the transfer by air of several hundred of these refugees to Tanzania, which might be resumed very shortly, and of following up on the ILO project.
116. The Committee noted from a statement by the representative of the ILO that there had been a gradual expansion of the holding operation carried out under the zonal development project in the Kivu provinces with a view to a full resumption of activities during the second half of 1965. He further indicated that this would depend on the decision that might be taken concerning the order of expulsion affecting Rwandese refugees and on security conditions in the areas concerned. He informed the Committee that the Central Government had stated that it was prepared in principle to allocate 15 million Congolese francs from counterpart funds for the Kivu Province, within the framework of a comprehensive ILO plan for rural development in the Congo.
117. The Committee agreed on the proposed allocation.
CHINESE REFUGEES IN MACAO
118. The representative of the High Commissioner stressed that a great deal of work was being done in Macao by the local authorities and voluntary agencies; the projects submitted to the Committee reflected the catalytic role of the UNHCR programme.
119. The Committee agreed on the proposed allocation.
RURAL SETTLEMENT OF REFUGEES IN CASAMANCE, SENEGAL
120. The Committee considered a proposal of the High Commissioner for the revision of the allocation within the 1964/65 UNHCR appropriation of $278,100 for assistance to refugees in Senegal which, however, would not affect the actual amount of the UNHCR contribution for 1965 ($111,100).
121. The representative of the High Commissioner stated that, in addition to the 35,000 refugees already in the country, 10,000 had arrived in Senegal since the beginning of March. UNHCR financial participation constituted only a portion of the over-all 1964/65 Programme which amounted to $1.5 million. Two-thirds was provided by the United States Government in the form of food.
122. The observer for Senegal outlined the difficulties his Government was facing in dealing with the increasing influx of refugees whom it was necessary to remove from the overcrowded frontier areas. If the influx continued and the Senegal Government was to deal effectively with the problem, further assistance would be required.
123. The representative of France also suggested that this was the kind of problem where the High Commissioner might have to draw on his Emergency Fund.
124. The Committee agreed on the revision of the allocations proposed by the High Commissioner.
RURAL SETTLEMENT OF REFUGEES FROM MOZAMBIQUE AT RUTAMBA IN TANZANIA
125. The Committee considered the proposals submitted by the High Commissioner for the rural settlement of refugees from Mozambique at Rutamba, which included an allocation of $250,000 under the 1965 programme and an allocation of $162,300 under the first phase of the 1966 Programme.
126. The representative of the High Commissioner outlined the measures already taken by the Tanzania Government in order to assist the refugees from Mozambique, whose influx into Southern Tanzania since October 1964 had brought their numbers to approximately 10,000. He also outlined the requirements of the proposed programme.
127. He stated that the High Commissioner welcomed the proposal made by the Tanzanian Government that the actual implementation of the Rutamba settlement project be entrusted to the Lutheran World Federation/Tanganyika Christian Refugee service which was already carrying out the Mwesi settlement project for Rwandese refugees.
128. The Chairman expressed the sympathy of the Committee to the next-of-kin of Mr. Norredam of Denmark, Project Supervisor of the Lutheran World Federation-TCRS at Mwesi, who had recently been killed in an aircraft accident.
129. The representative of Tanzania described the measures his Government had taken to deal with the problem of refugees form Mozambique, 10,000 of whom were now accommodated at Rutamba. These measures, as well as those taken by various voluntary agencies and by the world Food Programme and UNHCR, were of an emergency relief nature. The project submitted to the Committee was to provide for the permanent settlement of some 10,000 refugees on the land.
130. The refugees had been moved to Rutamba of their own free will and were being installed with the full co-operation of the local population. National servicemen, health staff and community development as well as agricultural experts, had gone there to help. Considerable funds and staff had thus had to be diverted from the Government's own Five-year-plan. Each family would at first be given one acre of land which could later be increased. If the project was approved the Tanzanian Government would make a further matching contribution of £15,000 to the UNHCR programme for 1965.
131. An exchange of views took place on the technical aspects of the projects, the details of which may be found in the summary records of the 116th and 117th meetings. Asked if the initial clearance of one acre of land would be sufficient, the representative of Tanzania said that this first acre would enable the refugees to grow their own food. Once they had become self-supporting a second and third acre could be cleared of thick bush as and when funds became available. With regard to the question of medical assistance he stated that his Government planned to take over the health services after three years. In reply to a question regarding the interruption of emergency food supplies the representative of the High Commissioner explained that it had been due to strikes in overseas ports. The gap however had been bridged with the help of voluntary agencies. With regard to the question of administrative costs he explained the difficulties of UNHCR in a country the size of Tanzania, and emphasized that these costs were related to three distinct programmes in different parts of the country.
132. The representative of Sweden recalled that pending the establishment of an effective United Nations programme for the education of refugees in Africa, Sweden had launched a special programme in the order of $200,000 for the education of refugees in the southern parts of Africa, including refugees from Mozambique. Funds for the current financial year had already been spent or committed. He understood that the High Commissioner did not consider the financing of education to be a prime responsibility of his Office. He thought however that education should form an essential part of the over-all project before the Committee and assured the Committee that careful consideration would be given by his Government to any request for educational aid to the refugees form Mozambique in Rutamba.
133. In expressing his appreciation to the representative of Sweden for the suggestion he had made, the High Commissioner stressed the importance he attached to the education of refugees, which was included in the over-all programme before the Committee in the expectation that special funds would be made available. Tanzania was aiming at the establishment of a system of universal education and he thought that any education assistance to the refugees should be so conceived that it would fit into the general plans of the Tanzanian Government.
134. The Committee agreed to the proposed 1965 allocation for the rural settlement of refugees from Mozambique at Rutamba and agreed in principle to the proposed allocation of $162,300 for the first phase of the 1966 programme.
135. The Chairman summed up the decisions adopted by the Committee and referred to in various parts of documents A/AC.96/286, and ADD.1-3.
Decisions of the Committee in respect of the proposals considered under section V. A
136. The Executive Committee:
Having considered the new and revised projects and the Allocations presented to it for approval in documents A/AC.96/286 and ADD.1-3:
(1) Took note of the information and proposals submitted to it by the High Commissioner in these documents;
(2) Noted the approval of an allocation of $130,000 towards the implementation of a project for the settlement of Rwandese refugees at Mugera in Burundi, referred to in paragraph 9 of document A/AC.96/286;
(3) Approved the new allocations proposed in a total amount of $1,065,250 as broken down in the annex to document A/AC.96/286/Add.3, subject to the availability of funds;
(4) Approved the revised projects for assistance to refugees in Senegal and authorized the High Commissioner to continue the implementation of the rural settlement programme in Senegal within the allocations already approved by the Executive Committee;
(5) Agreed in principle to the High Commissioner contributing in 1966 a further sum of $162,300 towards the second part of the 1965/66 phase of the rural settlement of refugees from Mozambique at Rutamba, in Tanzania, subject to the position in respect of the 1966 Programme being reviewed at its fourteenth session on the basis of a report to be submitted by the High Commissioner;
(6) Noted that the approved allocations under the 1965 Programme exceeded by $387.870 the financial target of $3,200,000 approved by the Committee at its twelfth session;
(7) Considering that the High Commissioner might be able to make some savings in these allocations;
(8) Approved a revised financial target for the 1965 Programme in an amount of $3,500,000;
(9) Authorized the High Commissioner to transfer funds between projects approved under the 1965 Programme, as far as necessary and within reasonable limits, subject to such transfers being reported as soon as possible thereafter to the Committee.
B. UNHCR PROGRAMME FOR 1964 - PROJECTS NOT FINANCED AS AT 31 DECEMBER 1964 (agenda item 12(a))
137. The Committee considered the note submitted by the High Commissioner in respect of projects amounting to $159,000 in the Central African Republic, in Macao and in Senegal which had not been financed as at 31 December 1964.
138. The representative of the High Commissioner stated that in the meantime the necessary funds had become available to put the projects into effect.
139. The representative of France asked what action had been taken by UNHCR in response to the appeal of the Central African Republic for assistance to refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo on its territory. The representative of the High Commissioner explained that the necessary funds were expected to be forthcoming from other sources.
140. In reply to a question by the representative of Iran as to whether the amount of $159,000 would suffice to complete the projects envisaged for the refugees concerned, the representative of the High Commissioner explained that in this case also UNHCR participation constituted only one element of the total effort that was being made to assist the refugees.
Decision of the Committee
141. The Executive Committee:
Took note of the fact that the projects in an amount of $159,000, submitted by the High Commissioner in document A/AC.96/288, and forming part of the 1964 Programme, were expected by the High Commissioner to be put into effect and financed in 1965 from further income adjustments under the 1964 Programme which were expected to cover this amount.
C. ASSISTANCE TO REFUGEES IN UGANDA
142. The observer for Uganda gave an account of the refugee problems which his Government had to face and referred in particular to that of the refugees from the Congo which had arisen in the second half of 1964. His Government firmly believed in the principle of voluntary repatriation but for the present the refugees seemed unlikely to return to their own country. As the presence of a large number of refugees in the border areas presented a serious security problem a group of 8,000 had had to be moved inland. Shelter had been found for some of them but assistance was urgently needed to provide them with basic necessities. He urged the Committee to give serious attention to the situation of over 2,500 Congolese refugees in Labwor camp in the county of Karamoja where they were living in most precarious conditions. As there were already some 30,000 Congolese refugees in the border area which was threatened by food shortage, his Government hoped to be able to move them to Labwor camp as soon as essential facilities could be made available. He added that Uganda had been compelled to spend over E. A. £300,000 in assistance to refugees in 1964.
143. With regard to the UNHCR programme for other refugees in Uganda, attention had been directed in the past year to the planting of food crops to make the refugees self-supporting. The next phase would be the consolidation of the refugee settlements, for which there were already detailed plans which included the settlement of 7,000 Sudanese in Ajago, the absorption of Sudanese students into Uganda schools and similar measures for Rwandese refugees.
144. His Government attached great importance to the visit to Uganda of the Refugee Commission of the OAU and to the consolidation of refugee settlements under integration and zonal development plans of the International Labour Organisation.
145. Thanking the observer for Uganda, the Chairman said he was glad to note the statement in which the observer had affirmed that the repatriation of refugees should be voluntary.
146. The representative of the ILO informed the Committee that the scope of the request to establish plans for zonal integration and development addressed to the ILO by the Uganda Government had been widened to include zonal development in the northern region where Sudanese refugees had been settled. The question would be considered shortly in the ACC working group on community and rural development and the High Commissioner would, of course, be consulted in the matter.
D. GENERAL STATEMENTS ON THE PRINCIPLES GOVERNING ASSISTANCE UNDER THE CURRENT PROGRAMME, WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO NEW PROJECTS IN AFRICA
147. In the course of the session and after consideration of the new and revised projects, general statements were made concerning the general principles which should underlie the work of assistance of UNHCR under its current programme, particularly in the case of the large-scale problems of refugees which had recently emerged in Africa. The common view was that the plight of the refugees concerned deserved every sympathy and all the help that could be enlisted. It had always been agreed that the primary responsibility for assistance to refugees lay with the Governments of the host country. The Governments concerned had fully assumed this responsibility and had acted in a true spirit of international solidarity. Some of the problems facing UNHCR were of considerable magnitude and so also were the programmes which had been drawn up with a view to their solution. They had been approached with practical sense, boldness and yet prudence by the High Commissioner, in his role of catalyst and co-ordinator in accordance with his good offices' function. The proposals for 1965 were fully supported. They entailed an increase in the financial target for 1965 which the High Commissioner considered to be realistic. The over-all programmes described in documents before the Committee would extend beyond the current year ad two of them covered a period of at least three years. It was clear however that the Committee could not commit itself beyond the current year and that it would consider the allocations proposed in respect of subsequent years in due course. It was essential for the High Commissioner to be assured for these subsequent years of the valuable support which he was already receiving from members of the UN family, including in particular ILO, FAO, TAB and the World Food Programme, and also of the invaluable co-operation of the voluntary agencies which act as the operating arm of UNHCR and ensure day-to-day contact with individual refugees.
148. The representative of Australia said that at its autumn session, when the results of the progress achieved under the 1965 Programme would be known, the Committee would be in a better position to appreciate the situation likely to face UNHCR in the following year.
149. With regard to the information provided to the Committee, his delegation particularly appreciated the eye-witness reports which had been presented in the course of the session and which included precisely the type of facts and information of which the Committee should be aware before reaching a decision.
150. The representative of France said that the refugee problems in Africa concerned entire groups. Their problems needed not only emergency relief but comprehensive economic assistance, including the establishment of an infrastructure in the areas concerned. Responsibility for this clearly lay with the host countries. While the High Commissioner should lend his good offices to assist the refugees, the Government of the host countries should be responsible for ensuring the implementation of the master plan.
151. As was apparent from the programme before the Committee, the High Commissioner had only limited resources at his disposal in relation to the size of the problems. Specialized agencies had been established on the other hand to deal with world problems in the field of health, food and agriculture. The French delegation felt that it was for the Government of the country of reception to request the agencies to put programmes into effect in the area of settlement of the refugees so that the latter could benefit from them. He understood that the role of the High Commissioner was to act as a catalyst and to co-ordinate the activities carried out in favour of the refugees. After one year's experience this might be the moment for the High Commissioner to speak about the criteria which were determining his participation in the assistance programmes concerned. The French delegation wished to pay a tribute to the humanitarian and non-political approach which the High Commissioner was successfully following in carrying out his task.
152. The High Commissioner4 endorsed the principles enunciated in the course of the discussion. He emphasized in particular the principle of primary responsibility of the host country and that of national sovereignty whereby action should be taken in agreement with the Government concerned.
153. He also pointed out that the UNHCR current programme constituted only a fraction of the over-all measures of assistance to refugees, and that the role of his Office was to co-ordinate these measures and to act as an intermediary of good-will, enlisting the necessary support from other sources. His Office had only moral authority and its stimulating action depended on the complex mechanism of assistance in which Governments, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations played an increasingly effective role. His pragmatic approach was illustrated by the current programme carried out in 1964.
154. The action of his Office was limited both in scope and time. Measures of assistance had to be so conceived as to lead to a lasting solution of the problems. In practical terms, this meant that refugees should be assisted to become self-supporting as rapidly as possible. One of the main operational partners of UNHCR, the League of Red Cross Societies, now also tended to adopt this approach more and more.
155. In carrying out this policy, it was important that initial action by UNHCR should be conceived in the framework of a long-term programme at a certain stage of which UNHCR should cease to take part. This was the reason why the first year programmes in respect of assistance to Rwandese refugees in Burundi and the refugees from Mozambique in Tanzania had been submitted in the framework of programmes for the subsequent years, at the end of which the problems should be regarded as solved, as far as UNHCR was concerned. Regional development was not the responsibility of UNHCR and its limited participation in the present ILO projects in this field were intended as a last step towards the integration of the refugees within the local community. In conclusion he stated that his Office was acting in accordance with the guidance given to him by the Executive Committee and within the framework of the support he was able to receive.
156. In endorsing the general principles outlined by previous speakers, the representative of the United Kingdom expressed the satisfaction of his delegation at the fact that the support of a considerable number of other organizations, both intergovernmental and private, had been enlisted by the High Commissioner to assist him in his task and emphasized the need for their continued support until the successful completion of the programmes before the Committee.
157. The observer of the Organization of African Unity5 described the refugee problems which had emerged in Africa. He also referred to the establishment of a refugee commission within the framework of the OAU, and described the action taken by this commission up to the present time. A refugee bureau had been created within the Secretariat in order to maintain close relations with UNHCR; it had also been decided to establish an African refugee fund and to draw up an African refugee convention based on the principles of the Refugee Convention of 1951. He also mentioned various guiding principles in the field of refugees accepted by the Council of Ministers of the OAU in 1964 and the resolution adopted by the Council in March 1965 inviting the Secretariat, inter alia, to follow the development of the refugee situation in close co-operation with the competent commissions of the OAU and the United Nations. The observer also stressed the importance of close co-operation between the OAR and UNHCR.
158. The High Commissioner emphasized the importance of contacts between his Office and the OAU as well as other regional organizations such as the Council of Europe. Co-operation with the OAU would further increase the understanding of the refugee problem in Africa, and would facilitate the co-ordination of assistance to refugee by UNHCR and by the host countries. This co-ordination was particularly important in legal matters, and the High Commissioner welcomed the statement by the OAU observer that action in this field would be based on the principles of the 1951 Convention. This approach was also in keeping with the views expressed at the recent Colloquium on legal aspects of refugee problems to the effect that regional measures in favour of refugees should be in harmony with, and supplement, assistance measures of a more universal character. The humanitarian work of UNHCR in Africa would also be strengthened through the furthering of two important aspects of the principle of asylum: that, as mentioned by the observer for Uganda, the grant of asylum should not be considered as an unfriendly act by other States, and that the country giving asylum to refugees should seek to ensure that they settle down peacefully.
159. The representatives of Algeria and Yugoslavia expressed the satisfaction of their delegations at representation of OAU in the session of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's programme. The representative of Yugoslavia emphasized the importance of close co-operation between the High Commissioner's office and OAU and expressed the conviction of his delegation that the executive committee would consider the proposals made by the representative of the OAR.
160. The representative of the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs expressed appreciation for the work being done by the High Commissioner to help refugees in Africa. The World Council of Churches had already sent two missions to Africa, and in consultation with local churches had worked out an emergency programme with a target, over a period of five years, of $10 million, 25 per cent of which was to be set aside for refugees. The World Council of Churches shared the view that the new dynamics of the refugee problem was in Africa, but help should not be given at the expense of commitments in Europe where the problem was increasing in tragedy as it diminished in size.
VI. Relations with specialized agencies and other intergovernmental organizations - amendments to the rules of procedure (agenda item 14)
Decision of the Committee
161. The Committee decided to defer consideration of this item until the fourteenth session.
VII. Other questions (agenda item 15)
SUBMISSION OF DOCUMENTS TO THE COMMITTEE
162. In the course of the session, the representative of Australia stated that the task of his delegation would be facilitated if documents could be sent to his Government as early as possible before the Committee's sessions.
163. An exchange of views also took place between the representative of Australia and the High Commissioner, on the possible expansion of the information included in document A/AC.96/276 and on summarized data being presented to the Committee, the details of which may be found in the summary record of the 114th meeting.
164. In reply to a question of the representative of Australia concerning the issue of a compendium of decisions of the Executive Committee, together, with other basic documents pertaining to the work of UNHCR, the Secretary of the Committee said that the compendium would be published if possible, together with the other basic documents of UNHCR, as suggested.
APPROVAL OF PROJECTS BY MAIL-POLL
165. The representative of Iran explained the reasons why his delegation preferred to consider projects for approval during a session of the Committee rather than by mail-poll in between sessions, as had been the case with the $130,000 allocation for the settlement of refugees at Mugera. He asked the High Commissioner to avoid this method as far as possible in the future. The High Commissioner explained the Exceptional circumstances which had made this procedure necessary. He added that he would only resort to this procedure in urgent cases.
LANGUAGE TRAINING FOR REFUGEES
166. In reply to a question by the representative of the United States, the High Commissioner stated that the question of language training for refugees had received particular attention from his Office, together with ICEM and USEP. UNHCR had contributed $20,000 towards this type of assistance to refugees in Italy. Once the needs in this field and the possibility of financing had been assessed, he would explore how the various organizations dealing with refugees could contribute towards a comprehensive programme of language training of refugees.
APPENDIX I Opening statement by the High Commissioner
At the opening of this thirteenth session of the Executive Committee, I should like as usual, Mr. Chairman, to give a brief account of the present position with special reference to the sector of UNHCR's activities which arises out of its social function this being viewed as a separate function, though one closely associated with protection, its other essential function.
I shall begin by saying a few words about an activity which is now only a steadily diminishing adjunct to assistance activities as a whole, namely, the residue of the last major aid programmes for "old" refugees. The progress report, prepared this year as usual, shows the advances made in this sector and also the difficulties facing us. In Greece and at Hong Kong, for example, the solution of the problems which we are tackling will be considerably delayed. We have encountered legal and practical difficulties in Greece, which have already been partially overcome and which we are attempting to dispose of one after another. At Hong Kong, the rate at which refugees arrive from mainland China is, as you know, not under our control. The resettlement of those who have succeeded in leaving China and are now at Hong Kong has slowed down sharply in recent months for a variety of reasons. Thus we have had to bear, for an abnormally long period, the cost of maintaining at Hong Kong a group of some 300 refugees belonging to the set known as "Old Believers". The steps taken, in liaison with ICEM and the voluntary agencies, to overcome the obstacles holding up resettlement will, I hope, shortly result in a rapid improvement in this situation. Before passing on to current assistance activities, I feel I should point out that a sum of $350,000 is still needed to cover all the projects approved by the Executive Committee under its old programmes. I continue to hope that specific contributions will be forthcoming to meet the residual deficit, so that we can finally close a chapter in our work which should shortly become past history.
It will be remembered that financial target for the 1964 current programme was approximately $3 million. As will be seen from document A/AC.96/277/Add.1, almost the whole of that sum had been disbursed or committed, in so far as it was actually available, by the end of the year. The part which had not been disbursed related to a number of projects whose implementation has been postponed or which have been the subject of readjustments. These are primarily projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and projects for Cuban refugees in Spain the implementation of which was in any case to be spread over a period ending in mid-1963. With these few exceptions, by 31 March of this year, all allocations had been disbursed or cancelled. Thus a practice has been established which is in all respects in keeping with the aims and character of the current assistance programme.
Over and above this programme, funds amounting to $1.2 million were committed for operations outside the programme in order to increase its effectiveness in various ways. If we add to this the sum of more than $5.5 million representing the supporting contributions which could be evaluated and which do not include the sometimes substantial bilateral and obtained from certain countries like the United State, it will be seen how far our constant references to the essentially complementary nature of the current assistance programme are borne out by the facts.
So much for the past. What is the position with respect to the assistance programme for the current year? Though their importance should not be exaggerated, some reference must nevertheless be made to the difficulties inherent in the extreme fluidity of the main problems confronting us, more particularly in Africa. The diversity of these problems and their tendency to spread is already putting the services of the Office to a severe test, since it is being called upon more and more frequently to assist Governments in dealing urgently with situations which cannot but cause them serious concern and which they are anxious to bring to an end before they get more or less out of control. But when each problem is considered individually, it also becomes clear that the basic facts sometimes change in such a way as to call for the revision of all or part of the plans already drawn up or for the alteration of at least some of the projects previously worked out or contemplated. There are many examples of this. I will mention in particular the refugees from Rwanda in the Congo and Burundi and some groups of refugees in Uganda. It is not, therefore, surprising that the office has some difficulty in making forecasts on which firm programmes, requiring only occasional minor adjustments, can be based, as was usually the case with the "old" refugee problems in Europe.
Quite apart from the changes occurring in the situation of existing groups of refugees, change which frequently merely mirror surrounding political developments and which affect the nature and choice of the solutions to be adopted in resolving the problems which arise, We are now often faced with a perceptible worsening of these problems, which are unquestionably tending to increase in magnitude. These are the background facts which should be borne in mind in considering the projects which are now being submitted to the Executive Committee, and which, we regret, do not always meet the time limits we are normally allowed.
It is this development, too, which forces us to request the Committee to raise the target for the 1965 Programme, which we propose should be increased from $3.2 to $3.5 million. It is, of course, only after deep reflection and a careful study of the new situations that we have decided to make this request to the Committee. A senior member of my staff recently visited the areas concerned in order to review once again, together with the Governments and all the authorities concerned, all the facts relating to these problems and the possible practical solutions. It is the result of this review, which was carried out only a few weeks ago, which is now being submitted to the Committee.
In the proposals we have made to the Committee, we have taken into account, after consultation with my local representatives, both existing needs and the prospects for the effective implementation during this year, by the Governments concerned, of a certain proportion of the over-all programmes submitted. As the final factor, we have also considered the financial resources on which we felt we ourselves could reasonably count. I do not think that it is realistic, Mr. Chairman, to commit ourselves vis-à-vis these Governments to carrying out a programme which is too ambitious for the resources we believe we can normally command. Although we recognize that the effort thus called for from Governments prepared to support. UNHCR's humanitarian work covers only a part of the known and assessed needs, it seemed to us preferable to confine ourselves for the time being to the indispensable minimum which, in our view, is represented by the projects submitted to the Committee, relying on complementary action, particularly bilateral action, to fill any gaps, which we will, of course, attempt to cover ourselves, if the need should arise.
At this time, Mr. Chairman, when I am compelled to appeal to the generosity of Governments to provide the Office with the additional $300,000 needed to deal with the extension of certain refugee problems in Africa, and to cover the existing deficit of $600,000 in the budget of the 1965 Programme, it is comforting to note that the number of Governments contributing to our assistance programme has shown a spectacular increase during the past twelve months or so. Nineteen Governments, twelve in 1964 and seven in 1965, have now for the first time expressed their willingness to participate in this work of international solidarity. I need hardly say that we find this a great encouragement to continue our efforts to persuade other Governments to become participants. Although this progress is undoubtedly largely due to the geographical extension of the refugee problem, and consequently, of the work of the High Commissioner's Office, it also reflects, I hope, a wider understanding of these problems on the part of the international community, and a recognition, which might now be described as unanimous, of the purely humanitarian aspects of our work. The fact cannot, however, be overlooked that these new contributions, being in many cases necessarily of a token character, are unfortunately not enough to relieve the High Commissioner's Office of all concern regarding the financing of the programme. That will obviously require a further effort on the part of those countries which are in a position to make a substantial contribution, and I cannot too strongly urge the Governments concerned to give immediate consideration to this problem, upon whose solution depends the ability of this Office to meet its most pressing commitments.
It is hardly necessary to remind the Committee that the sole purpose of the work of the Office is to give refugees an opportunity of regaining living conditions adapted to their needs and to the circumstances, while encouraging the Governments of countries of reception to maintain a liberal attitude towards those seeking asylum. I must at this point draw attention to the generous and understanding attitude shown by the African countries as a whole, despite difficulties of all kinds. I have no doubt that they are firmly resolved to continue honouring the sacred principle of asylum. It is nonetheless certain that by helping them to deal with problems which are often out of all proportion to their resources and means of action, the international community will spare them from the tragic decisions which might be forced upon them by certain situations resulting from the large-scale influx of refugees, situations which might well become desperate if remedial action were too long delayed.
And it is here, Mr. Chairman, that assistance once again is merged with protection, and these two functions of the High Commissioner's Office complement and support each other, as a pillar supports an arch. For if, in brief statements of this kind, protection does not always receive such full attention as assistance programmes, that is certainly not because it is less important or in any sense less topical. The fact that the needs are often less obvious and palpable, and the results in that field less tangible than in the field of assistance, of course, in no way detracts from the importance of the High Commissioner's constant efforts to improve the statute, to consolidate advantages already won and to combat all infringements of the rights of refugees as recognized by the Convention. In that connexion, I am happy to be able to inform the Committee that two more countries, Liberia and Peru, have recently acceded to the convention of 28 July 1951, thereby bringing up to forty-seven the number of States which have acceded to it.
With reference to that Convention, I should also like to refer briefly to the hope expressed here by some delegations which, anxious to see its benefits extended to new refugees meeting the general requirements, raised the question of the date-line of 1 January 1951. At our suggestion, and thanks to the financial assistance generously provided by the Swiss Governments, the Carnegie Endowment arranged a colloquium at Bellagio last month, attended by a group of experts and jurists of wide experience and international reputation. After giving particular consideration to this question of the date-line, the colloquium submitted a report, the text of which will be circulated to members of the committee at this session. There can be no doubt that this was an event of great significance and one which is likely to lead to valuable developments in the future. I hope to have an opportunity to return to the question at the Committee's next session, and possibly to make some suggestions with a view to taking full advantage of the thorough study made in this connexion.
I cannot leave this matter of protection without saying a word about the approaches which we made last summer to the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with a view to persuading it to repeal the measures for expulsion and sequestration taken in respect of the refugees from Rwanda who had been given asylum in that country. We obtained first assurances that those measures would not be put into effect, and the Central Government has now in principle acceded to our request and we hope that a decree rescinding both these measures will shortly be signed.
I think, Mr. Chairman, that the Committee will also be interested to hear that, at the request of the Governments of several Central African countries, we have taken up the question of the future of the Congolese who took refuge in those countries after the events which occurred in certain regions of the Congo. At my request, the International Committee of the Red Cross asked one of its representatives in that area to make an inquiry on the spot, and his conclusions are now being studied. The purpose of all our efforts is, of course, to make it possible for all those wishing to return to their country to do so as soon as circumstances permit. With regard to those refugees who are unable or unwilling, for reasons other than personal convenience, to be repatriated, the time will certainly come when we shall have to concern ourselves with their establishment or resettlement. The important thing, for the moment, if to ensure that both categories of refugees can survive and obtain appropriate assistance if necessary. Limited amounts have already been drawn for this purpose from the Emergency Fund, when urgent needs arose.
These, Mr. Chairman, in brief, are the principal points concerning the work of the High Commissioner's Office which I thought should be brought to the attention of the Committee before it takes up the various documents before it. I am sure the Committee will understand our reasons for postponing the submission of some of those documents, and also the absolute necessity for us to take immediate action, as soon as we have all the facts of any problem, within the financial limits which the Committee itself has imposed on us, to provide the refugees and their countries of reception with the assistance they need and which is the only means of preventing these problems from developing into social scourges, acting as an additional source of unrest and unsettlement in the countries concerned.
APPENDIX II Message from Mr. H. Opperman, Australian Minister for Immigration, to the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme 10 May 1965
I should be glad if you would convey to the High Commissioner for Refugees, Mr. Schnyder, and to members of the Executive Committee my best wishes for a successful meeting.
Whilst in Geneva a few days ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Schnyder and a number of the representatives gathered here today. I was then able to assure Mr. Schnyder of Australia's continuing sympathy and support for the efforts of his Office in alleviating the plight of refugees both in Europe and areas outside Europe.
We in Australia are mindful that whilst the major aid programmes for refugees in Europe are nearing their completion, there still remain, particularly in Africa, substantial refugee problems the solution of which will demand the best endeavours of the High Commissioner and the support and understanding of Governments and voluntary agencies.
Australia will continue, by financial contributions to the High Commissioner's programme, by vigorous participation in the meetings of the Executive Committee and in other appropriate tangible forms, to play a constructive role in this work.
I regret that time does not permit of my being in Geneva during the Executive Committee meeting. However, my sincere good wishes go to all concerned in their deliberations.
(Signed) Hubert OPPERMAN
APPENDIX III General policy statement made by the High Commissioner during the thirteenth session of the Executive Committee
If we consider the questions which have been discussed during this 1965 spring session, we find that the main emphasis in our deliberations has been on the specific measures taken in the field of assistance to refugees, while the major questions of principle have remained in the background. One of the Committee's main tasks was to consider how far the new methods of work followed by Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the general principles which guide it have proved their worth in terms of practical achievements. It is, nevertheless, useful and indeed necessary to maintain a relationship between specific action and the general principles on which our action should be based, and I am particularly grateful to the representative of France for having given us an opportunity to discuss the matter. That representative, who is attending a session of the Committee for the first time, has shown a deep understanding of the main aspects of our work; the views which he has expressed fully coincide with the general ideas which have emerged in the course of our work and with the directives which the High Commissioner has received from his Executive Committee. I should, however, like to comment on some of the points which he raised in his statement.
I think that the fundamental principle underlying action by the Office, as well as by the countries of asylum, a principle which also underlines all the Committee's decisions, is that of the primary responsibility of the host country for the refugees to whom it grants asylum. That first principle is derived in turn from the even more important principle of national sovereignty. It is indeed quite obvious that each country must retain control of action taken within its own territory and that it rests with it to decide the nature of activities, which, in the long run, are of no less concern to its own nationals than to the refugees whom it receives on its soil. Action by the international community, particularly in the matter of assistance, the needs of the host countries, and must take account of the conditions prevailing in each of those countries.
The second point concerns the role of the High Commissioner and the limits imposed on his action. As I have often said, the UNHCR programme is not an end in itself, but a necessary means to the attainment of an end in the context of a much wider effort calling for assistance from many sources. The role of the High Commissioner is to stimulate international action and, by modest financial contributions, to set such action in motion, to guide it and to supplement it where necessary. The High Commissioner's Office, which is at once a catalyst and an intermediary, stimulates goodwill, and mobilizes all the assistance which can be supplied by Governments and various organizations for the execution of the plan of action drawn up for refugees in a given country. One of the first difficulties which it encounters lies in the fact that, in the intricate system of international co-operation and in its efforts at co-ordination, any authority which it wields is purely moral. The course of its action is accordingly dependent not only on the directives which it receives from the Executive Committee, but also on the operation of the complicated machinery of co-operation between the authorities of the host countries, the countries which are providing such countries with bilateral aid, the various international agencies and the voluntary organizations. Although this machinery has reached a fairly satisfactory degree of efficiency, this does not mean that no further action if required. Whenever the Office has to grapple with a new problem, action must again be taken to ensure that the machinery of co-ordination is functioning efficiently in the country concerned.
With regard to the criteria governing the High Commissioner's participation in assistance - and this, as I understand it, is one of the main points raised by the representative of France - it must be realized that, in the circumstances, there can only be general criteria, sufficiently flexible for application and adaptation to situations and needs as varied as those with which the Office is in fact confronted. A form of action which, in a developed country, would plainly lie outside the proper function of the Office, may, in certain parts of Africa, for instance, be indispensable to the execution of a plan as a whole. But, while it is necessary to ensure that the assistance activities of the Office are not crippled by criteria which are too rigid and specific and are ill-adapted to the situations which have to be met, it is none the less obvious that such activities must be subject to limits resulting from the nature of the institution and its recognized sphere of competence as well as from the purpose which its work is intended to achieve. Hence the need for a very clear definition of this purpose itself, since, in the last resort, it plays at least as important part as a priori considerations in determining the type of activity in which the Office may consider it desirable to co-operate, in the light of the circumstances and the overriding principles of its mission. This purpose, as we know, is to make refugees self-supporting as soon as possible and to enable them to dispense with help. Every programme of assistance must be drawn up with a view to helping the refugees to become integrated as rapidly as possible in their new community, in conditions approximating as closely as possible to those of the nationals of the host country.
In seeking to achieve this delicate balance between considerations which are often contradictory, this endless compromise between abstract principles and concrete facts, the Office naturally relies on the advice, support and directives provided by the Executive Committee, which is called upon at each session to determine the scope which action by the Office can and should take in any given case.
In addition to these considerations of principle, another important factor determining the limits of the High Commissioner's actions is that of the resources which are placed at his disposal or on which he can reasonably rely for the financing of his programme. In fact, the High Commissioner must adopt a realistic approach and a similar approach must, of course, be adopted by the Executive Committee in reviewing with him the feasibility and necessity of any given project. In short, I think that our discussions here should enable us, on the basis of the projects laid before the Committee, to form an opinion of both the value and the desirability of each individual project as well as of the resources on which the High Commissioner can draw to put them into effect, with particular reference to the support of the Governments chiefly concerned and represented on the Committee. I think that the 1964 current programme is a good illustration of this point. Although we had to meet certain financial difficulties in 1964, I am now happy to be able to say that, even though some of the projects could not be put into effect or financed until early in 1965, we have almost achieved the objective of the 1964 Programme. The measures taken to ensure that we remain within the practical possibilities open to us have, therefore, I believe, proved very effective.
The work of the High Commissioner, it must be repeated, is limited both in scope and in time. Whenever we approach a refugee problem, we must visualize a solution and then devote all our efforts to achieving that solution. Although the refugee problem as such, in other words, the historical phenomenon which constitutes the refugee problem, is apparently becoming permanent, for each separate manifestation of that phenomenon we are required to work out plans of action which will enable us to find a solution as soon as possible, the long-term objective being to help the refugees to cease to be refugees. Every aid programme must accordingly be regarded both from the immediate and from the long-term angle. The immediate purpose of our action is to help refugees to overcome the difficulties arising from the fact of their being refugees. Of course, other difficulties, particularly those of a legal nature, may arise and will require action by the High Commissioner in the field of protection. But where social action is concerned, our first concern is to draw up a constructive programme. It is not only a matter of promoting relief work on behalf of human beings in distress, but, as I have said, of helping refugees to meet their own needs. This overriding consideration which governs our action has inevitably also influenced the action of an organization like the League of Red Cross Societies when it has co-operated with the High Commissioner's Office in the instances of which you are aware. Its activities have then taken a new line and, generally speaking, have mainly consisted of providing emergency aid, during the first phase of a crisis, to peoples in distress.
The projects submitted to the Committee seem to me to illustrate what we are trying to do. I also think that it is important for the committee, and for the Office, whenever a specific but limited programme is put forward, to look ahead, where appropriate, at the future development of that programme. The latter is then seen as a first step in an undertaking which may extend over a period of as long as, say, three years but which the Committee and the Office have stated their firm intention from the outset of bringing to a successful conclusion. The project for aid to the refugees in Burundi is an example of what I have in mind. In that case, we have tries as far as possible to submit specific proposals covering a period of one year. At the same time, we wished to give the Committee an idea of the kind of action which would have to follow the measures proposed for the first year, on the understanding, of course, that all elements of the problem would have to be reviewed before any definitive proposals were submitted for 1966. Some of the information given in the documents before the Committee may also have to be carefully re-examined in the light of developments occurring in the meantime; if, for instance, as we hope, a considerable number of the Rwandese refugees now in Burundi can be transferred to Tanzania and settled on the Mwesi plateau, this should make it possible to relieve some of the strain on the Mugera settlement area and would cause us to review this project.
Part of the information submitted to the Committee accordingly constitutes a working hypothesis for the consideration of new projects. This applies in particular to the project for refugees from Mozambique in Tanzania. The exchange of views which has taken place in the Committee and in which the delegation of Tanzania took part seems to confirm the soundness of our assumptions. If the efforts being made to help these refugees to overcome the difficulties they are encountering as refugees prove successful, it should be possible for the Government of Tanzania, in three years' time, to take the view that the work of international co-operation has been brought to a satisfactory conclusion and that the refugees are bearing their share of responsibility on the same footing as Tanzanian citizens, and to grant them the same rights and privileges as the other inhabitants of the country. This seems to me to be the context in which the Office's plan of action for these refugees should be considered. I shall touch only one individual aspect of that plan, namely, education. The latter forms part of the general plan of action, but is not included in the programme of the Office, as we regard it as a special form of assistance which we hope to promote by obtaining outside aid for the purpose. In this connexion, I would like to take this opportunity of expressing my appreciation for the generous way in which Sweden is showing its interest in this matter, particularly with regard to aid to refugees in Africa and more especially in Tanzania. The goal which Tanzania has set itself is the institution of a system of general education. This goal has not yet been attained. But it is clear that if Tanzania is to assume responsibility for the education of refugees, international assistance must be planned in the light of its education programme and must be designed to form part of the actual social institutions existing in the country. In short, the education system set up for the refugees must be capable, after three years, of being incorporated in the general system in force in the country.
While I am on the subject of the limitations to action by the Office, I think it might be useful to mention one very important form of action which we have undertaken in co-operation with the International Labour Organisation. Although the activities of the Office on behalf of refugees must take a constructive form, we do not use the actual term "development". The development of Africa is, of course, not the concern of the Office. We referred to it in connexion with the situation of the refugees in, Burundi because these refugees form a group to be settled permanently where they are. The same is true of some of the Kivu Province refugees. Although we have tried to establish a joint plan of action with the ILO, there is no suggestion of our assuming new responsibilities in addition to those incumbent upon us; our purpose is, on the contrary, to wind up the work we have been doing for these refugees by enabling them to integrate themselves more fully and permanently in the community into which they have been received. It is simply a question of bridging the gap between the action of the Office and activities on a much wider scale relating to the development of the country of asylum. Such activities should, of course, be undertaken by the specialized agencies of the United Nations as part of the assistance which they are providing so liberally to the countries concerned. Their objective in this case, and this is what justifies the participation of the Office in the first phase of such action, is to assist host countries which are also developing countries to establish conditions such that the refugees, instead of becoming an intolerable burden which could only discourage these countries from continuing to pursue a generous asylum policy, are associated with the population as a whole in efforts to promote economic and social development in the interests of a fitter future.
To sum up, I believe that the general ideas which emerge, not only from the daily experience and practice of the High Commissioner's Office, but also form the debates in the Committee, should constitute the basis of our future action. These ideas arise in fact from constant discussion of our problems with the countries concerned, and more especially with the Stated which are members of the Executive Committee and with the Committee itself. I think that these debates have proved that a realistic approach to these problems is feasible and that this approach makes for a high degree of mutual understanding and efficiency in the work of the Office.
The specific facts we have to face vary widely from one problem to another and form one country to another. This emerges particularly clearly form a comparison between the problems of refugees in Europe such as, for instance, those of the Cuban refugees in Spain and of the new European refugees, and the new refugee problems in Africa. But so far as the underlying principles are concerned, the projects designed to deal with those problems are absolutely identical. In particular, they have in common the fact that they are necessarily limited in time and constitute, like all action by the Office, no more than the "drop of oil" needed to start and maintain in operation machinery on a scale infinitely larger than that of our own action. In that whole operation, the essential role of the High Commissioner, as I have said, is still primarily to provide a stimulus and to act as an intermediary of good will.
PART TWO REPORT ON THE FOURTEENTH SESSION OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER'S PROGRAMME (Geneva, 25 October-2 November 1965)
OPENING OF THE SESSION AND ELECTION OF OFFICERS
1. The Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme held its fourteenth session from 25 October to 2 November 1965 at the Palais des Nations, Geneva.
2. Under rule 10 which provides that the officers shall be elected for the whole year, His Excellency Mr. S. F. Rae (Canada), Mr. S. Azimi (Iran) and Mr. J. D. Miller (United Kingdom) continued to serve as Chairman, Vice-chairman and Rapporteur respectively.
3. The members of the Committee represented at the session were as follows:
|China (Republic of)||Sweden|
|Germany (Federal Republic of)||Turkey|
|Holy See||United States|
4. The Governments of Argentina, Burundi, Cuba, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, New Zealand, Portugal, Senegal, Spain, the United Arab Republic and Yemen were represented by an observer, as was the Sovereign Order of Malta.
5. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Labour Office, the World Health Organization, the World Food Programme, the Council of Europe, the European Economic Community, the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration, the League of Arab States, the Organization of African Unity and the Organization of American States were also represented.
INTRODUCTORY REMARKS BY THE CHAIRMAN
6. In summing up the tasks before the Committee, the Chairman drew special attention to the 1966 Programme and to the problems of refugees throughout various parts of the world. He felt that it would be necessary to look with realism at the financial difficulties that would have to be overcome in order to help the Office of the High Commissioner to meet the financial target approved in respect of the 1965 Programme and to finance the programme submitted for 1966. The main object of the Committee would be, as always, to assist the High Commissioner in effectively pursuing his humanitarian task.
GRANTING OF OBSERVER STATUS TO THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES
Decision of the Committee
7. The Executive Committee:
Decided to invite the Organization of American States to be represented at its public meetings by an observer, in accordance with rule 38 of the Rules of Procedure.
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.96/294/Rev.2).
2. Introductory statement by the High Commissioner.
3. Relations with specialized agencies and intergovernmental organizations - proposed amendments to the Rules of Procedure (A/AC.96/285).
4. International protection (A/AC.96/295 and A/AC.96/INF.45).
5. Note on the use of the Emergency Fund (A/AC.96/306, A/AC.96/INF.42, 43, 43/Add.1 and A/AC.96/INF.48).
6. Report of the Board of Auditors on the audit of the accounts for 1964 (A/AC.96/296).
7. Proposed amendments to Financial Rules for Voluntary Funds (A/AC.96/304 and 305).
8. Reappraisal of completion dates of the UNHCR major aid programmes (A/AC.96/298, A/AC.96/INF.44 and A/AC.96/INF.50).
9. Financial status of UNHCR projects (A/AC.96/297 and Add.1).
10. Status of contributions A/AC.96/299 and Add.1 and A/AC.96/INF.49 and INF.51).
11. Counselling activities for refugees (A/AC.96/303).
12. Resettlement of refugees (A/AC.96/300).
13. UNHCR programmes for 1964 and 1965 (A/AC.96/307, A/AC.96/INF.44, INF.46 and INF.47).
14. UNHCR programme for 1966 (A/AC.96/301 and Add.1, 2, 3, and 4 and AAC.96/INF.44).
15. Administrative expenditure for 1966 (A/AC.96/302).
16. Any other business.
17. Adoption of the report on the session.
9. It subsequently decided to defer consideration of item 3 until a later session.
INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT BY THE HIGH COMMISSIONER AND GENERAL DEBATE
10. In his introductory statement to the Committee,6 the High Commissioner emphasized that the 1966 Programme, which had been submitted to the Committee in a somewhat higher amount than the 1965 Programme, reflected the growing number of new problems of refugees with which his Office was confronted, particularly in Africa. He gave an outline of various problems in that area and stated that the mechanism of international solidarity which had now been in motion for some time, was making an increasing impact on the solution of these problems. He added that, as a result of the increased influx of European refugees, new problems had also emerged. The High Commissioner also recalled some of the main principles underlying his humanitarian work and some of the basic methods which his Office was applying to it.
11. The High Commissioner expressed his serious concern for the financing of the 1965 and 1966 Programmes and urged the need for additional financial support from countries interested in the work of assistance to refugees.
12. In conclusion, he spoke of important developments in the field of the international protection, the basic function of his Office, and drew attention in particular to the report on the colloquium which had been held in April on the subject of various protection problems, including the 1951 dateline referred to in the 1951 Convention. The High Commissioner also drew attention to extracts from the course of lectures which he had recently given and where he had made an analysis of the development of the "good offices" functions, which had acquired new significance in view of the terms of resolution 1673 (XVI) of the General Assembly.
13. The members of the Committee who took part in the general debate expressed their countries' profound concern with the cause of refugees and their close interest in the work of the High Commissioner. They were appreciative of the statement made by the High commissioner and of the results which he had achieved with the funds at his disposal while remaining within the constitutional limits of his responsibilities.
14. Many representatives stated their interest in the development of the good offices function as outlined by the High Commissioner in the course of lectures he had recently given at The Hague Academy of International Law and commended the policy and procedures he was following in dealing with the problems of refugees.
15. Several speakers highlighted the importance of the humanitarian and non-political character of the work of assistance to refugees which the High Commissioner had so steadfastly maintained in the interest of good relations between Governments and for the benefit of the refugees themselves.
16. Members of the Committee recognized that the problems of refugees confronting the High Commissioner were increasing in number, scope and complexity. They were aware that the Office was simultaneously facing the constantly fluctuating problems of refugees in Africa, in Europe (in particular the handicapped and the newcomers of which there had been a recent influx), in Asia, the Far East and Latin America. Members of the committee considered that the 1966 Programme submitted to it by the High commissioner in a somewhat higher amount than the 1965 current programme was taking the new developments as far as possible into account. The Committee also realized that in view of emerging new refugee problems the current programme submitted to it in respect of 1966 was bound to need re-adjustments.
17. The important developments in respect of the problems facing the High Commissioner in Africa were highlighted in the course of the debate by the leader of the United Kingdom delegation who gave an eye witness account (document A/AC.96/308) of his recent three weeks' visit to Burundi, Tanzania and Uganda and emphasized the extreme difficulties which had to be overcome in carrying out assistance programmes for refugees in Africa. He stressed in particular that in these developing countries action aimed at making the refugees self-supporting necessarily had to be matched by general development measures for the benefit of the community as a whole, particularly in such fields as communications, transport, road building, bush clearance, eradication of the tsetse fly and the draining of swamps and marshes.
18. Many of the speakers expressed their satisfaction with the concept which the High Commissioner gave of the role of his office. They agreed that while the primary responsibility for assistance to refugees necessarily lay with the countries of asylum, these countries could legitimately count on the support of the international community in those cases where they could not assume the full burden resulting from the arrival and establishment of refugees on their territory. There was also agreement on the essentially catalytic role of the High Commissioner's current programme which had now proved its value in promoting good will and in attracting contributions in cash and kind form many other sources including governmental bilateral aid, supporting contributions within countries of residence of refugees and, to an increasing degree, co-operation and financial support from other intergovernmental organizations, including the World food Programme, the Technical Assistance Board and some of the specialized agencies, such as the ILO and the FAO. With regard to the special problem involved in the long-term settlement and integration of refugees in Africa, it was understood that once the refugees had become self-supporting responsibility for long-term action which concerned the refugees and the local population alike, and involved a considerable amount of development aid, could not be considered as falling within the competence of UNHCR, particularly when the specialized agencies of the United Nations were engaged in technical assistance activities in the countries concerned. It was suggested that a modest contribution might be made by UNHCR to such plans at their early stage of implementation, after which they would need to be taken over completely by the Governments and specialized agencies concerned.
19. The Committee noted, however, from statements by the representatives of the ILO and the FAO that there was no financial provision in their budgets for this kind of aid, which required long-term investment.7 The ILO representative also indicated that preliminary consultations concerning the financing of development stages of operational projects relating to refugees had already taken place in the ACC Working Group on Rural and Community Development and would be continued at the earliest opportunity.
20. The Committee was aware that the tasks facing the Office of the High Commissioner in 1966 would call for further increased financial support. It noted with appreciation that new financial contributions would be forthcoming but at the present stage these would neither be sufficient to enable the High commissioner to met his 1965 target nor did it seem likely that the target of $3.9 million for the 1966 programme could be reached. Several members of the Committee urged that an appeal be addressed to the General Assembly that more States, members of the United Nations and the specialized agencies, should make financial contributions to the UNHCR programmes and that the example already given by some of the regular contributors who had increased their contributions by a considerable percentage be followed by others. The Committee learned with great interest of the plans for seeking additional financial contributions from private sources and in particular for a refugee campaign in Europe in 1966 and agreed that, with a view to furthering these efforts, the General Assembly should be requested to consider the possibility of designating United Nations Day in 1966 as a day dedicated to the cause of refugees.
21. On the important question of international protection, the basic function of the Office of the High Commissioner, several members of the Committee stressed the importance of the right of asylum on which a positive recommendation had recently been adopted by the Council of Europe. They also paid tribute to the governments of asylum countries in Africa which had generously granted hospitality to large numbers of refugees crossing their borders. The Committee expressed appreciation to the Organization of African Unity whose political committee, recently attended by the Deputy High Commissioner, had adopted a basic resolution concerning the status of refugees in Africa. Several representatives also emphasized the importance of the conclusions of the Colloquium held in Bellagio on the question of the scope ratione personae of the 1951 Convention. Some representatives expressed their strong interest in the question of indemnification and stated that they hoped that new measures of assistance would be adopted for the benefit of those victims of persecution who were not covered by recent legislation enacted in the Federal Republic of Germany.
22. In the course of the session the Committee heard with interest statements by the representatives of the Federal Republic of Germany, Greece, Italy and Yugoslavia in respect of the problems of refugees in their countries and of measures taken to assist them. The details of these statements may be found in the Summary Records of the 121st, 122nd, 124th and 126th meetings.
23. The observer for the Yemen stressed the importance his Government attached to repatriation as a solution to the problems of refugees.
24. The Committee also heard statements by the observer of the International Council of Voluntary Agencies who spoke in particular of the extension of the dateline in the 1951 Convention, the right of asylum, the new United Stated Immigration Law, the problems of handicapped refugees and the fund raising problems that were being encountered by the voluntary agencies. A statement was also made by the observer of the International Conference of Catholic Charities reaffirming the deep concern of his Organization for refugees and its determination to continue to render assistance to them.
Decision of the Committee
25. The Executive Committee:
(1) Aware of the increasing scope of the refugee problems which are facing UNHCR in various parts of the world;
(2) Noting with appreciation the role played by the mechanism of international solidarity as initiated by UNHCR for the solution of problems of new groups of refugees which have emerged in various areas, especially in Africa;
(3) Considering the increasing part which UNHCR is therefore bound to take within the general framework of the humanitarian action which is designed to meet the most essential needs of these new groups of refugees;
(4) Recording its gratitude to the leader of the United Kingdom delegation for the remarkable eyewitness report of his three-weeks' mission to countries of asylum of refugees in Africa;
(5) Expressing its serious concern for the difficulties with which UNHCR is confronted in meeting the financial target of its current programmes;
(a) Warmly supported all efforts which the High Commissioner may make to overcome these difficulties;
(b) Paid tribute to the work accomplished by his Office and to the contribution which it makes to alleviate the suffering of refugees and at the same time to maintain peaceful and harmonious relations between States;
(c) Endorsed the principles and methods enunciated in the High Commissioner's statement, and stressed in particular the importance it attaches to his humanitarian and non-political approach and to the catalytic role of his current programme;
(d) Recommended that in 1966, United Nations Day, 24 October, be designated as a day dedicated to the cause of refugees;
(e) Requested the High Commissioner to bring this recommendation to the attention of the General Assembly;
(f) Reaffirmed its full support of the work of the Office of the High Commissioner for the benefit of refugees in need of international protection or material assistance;
(g) Recognized that in a number of areas the refugee problems confronting the High Commissioner are increasing in number, scope and complexity, and, in this light, considered that the High Commissioner should renew his appeal to the General Assembly to support further the humanitarian work of his Office in the field of protection and assistance to refugees.
1966 FUND-RAISING CAMPAIGN IN EUROPE
Decision of the Committee
26. The Executive Committee:
Having been informed in the course of its session of the plans for the fund-raising campaign in Europe, which is to be held from 24 to 31 October 1966 for the benefit of refugees,
Decided to request the Netherlands delegation to convey its most respectful gratitude to His Royal Highness Bernhard, Prince of the Netherlands, for having accepted to sponsor this campaign.
II. International protection (agenda item 4)
27. The committee considered the item International Protection on which the High Commissioner submitted a note (A/AC.96/INF.45).
28. The representative of the High Commissioner, in his introductory statement,8 indicated some of the latest developments in the field of international protection. He mentioned the steps taken by the Governments of Kenya and Zambia as regards accession to the 1951 Convention; inclusion in the new Immigration and Nationality Act of the United States; of a favourable provision concerning the non-expulsion of refugees, the new nationality legislation and the recent establishment of an advisory council on asylum in Austria. He also explained the continuing character of the protection function which UNHCR was called upon to exercise throughout the world.
29. In the course of the discussion the Committee was informed by the representative of Italy that his country had acceded to the European Agreement on the Abolition of Visas for refugees. It was also informed by the representative of Switzerland that the Federal Council had decided in principle to accede to that Agreement.
30. The speakers who took part in the discussion stressed the utmost importance they attached to this function which constituted the basis of the humanitarian tasks of the Office of the High Commissioner. This was particularly emphasized by the representative of the United States. Representatives also commended the results recently achieved in this field.
31. In the course of the general discussion, particular emphasis was placed on the essential need for Governments to pursue a liberal asylum policy and to ensure that asylum seekers were given an opportunity to have their applications examined.
32. The observer for the Council of Europe informed the Committee that the Consultative Assembly had recently adopted a recommendation to the effect that a binding legal instrument be dram up by the Council of Europe in respect of the right of asylum, and had further recommended that, pending the conclusion of this instrument various steps be taken by Member Governments of the Council of Europe to ensure that refugees be granted temporary asylum with a view to their resettlement in another country in those cases where permanent asylum could not be given to them. The Consultative Assembly had also adopted a recommendation on the improvement of the status of refugees within the framework of European integration.
33. The Committee considered the problem of the extension of the personal scope of the 1951 Convention which had been examined by the Bellagio Colloquium on "Legal Aspects of Refugee Problems" whose report had been submitted to the Committee (A/AC.96/INF.40). Most of the representatives who took part in the debate recognized the need to extend the personal scope of the Convention so that this basic legal instrument would become fully applicable to new groups of refugees pursuant to the "Colloquium's recommendations.
34. The representative of France expressed the view that in the interests of wide accession to the proposed Protocol, the latter should leave open the possibility for certain States to maintain a geographic limitation, at least for a certain time. It should not contain a suspensive provision. It might, however, permit reservations as regards the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice provided for by Article 38 of the Convention.
35. In reply to a question by the representative of France, the High Commissioner stated that the simplest procedure for the adoption of such a protocol might be for him to submit it for signature to governments with of course the concurrence of the General Assembly. This would be possible if a consensus of opinion could be achieved through prior consultations with Governments. This had already been started and the results were awaited.
36. The Deputy High Commissioner made a statement to the Committee9 on recent developments regarding the adoption of a legal instrument relating to refugees in Africa and, in particular, the examination of this question at the recent conference in Accra of the Organization of African Unity which he had attended as an observer. He referred to the declaration and resolution adopted by the Heads of States and Governments in Accra on 24 October. These contained a pledge to observe strictly the principles of international law with regard to refugees, and a request to Member States not yet parties to the 1951 Convention to accede to it and meanwhile to apply the provisions of the Convention to refugees in Africa. UNHCR was satisfied to note that the 1951 Convention had thus become more universally recognized.
37. In a statement to the Committee,10 the observer of the Organization of African Unity also referred to the recent Conference of the OAU in Accra and to efforts to draft an OAU convention for African refugees. Such an initiative should not only contribute to greater unity and harmony among African States but should also be aimed at improving conditions and treatment of the refugees themselves in accordance with the universal principles observed in this humanitarian field.
38. Several representatives emphasized the importance of the problems of international protection in Africa. The representative of Algeria stressed the need for ensuring the protection of African refugees who might not be covered by the 1951 Convention and the importance attached by Algeria to the basic requirement that the general principles of international law, of which the Convention was an expression, should be applicable to all refugees. Algeria had supported this principle in the OAU in connection with the proposed African convention which should deal with specific problems and should be of a supplementary character.
39. The representative of Nigeria, in emphasizing the need to give the 1951 Convention a more universal character, referred to the difficulty of applying the Convention in Africa which, in his view, had made it necessary to resort to regional arrangements. He expressed the hope that the High commissioner would take appropriate action which would either make it unnecessary to adopt a separate convention for Africa or would ensure that such a convention, if adopted, would possess a truly subordinate character.
40. The question of indemnification by the Federal republic of Germany of refugees who had suffered persecution for reason of their nationality was raised by several delegations and by the observer of the International Council of Voluntary Agencies. While it was noted with satisfaction that the recent German Indemnification Law provided for the grant of indemnification to new categories, concern was expressed that certain groups of persons who had been persecuted on grounds of nationality did not receive indemnification under present practice and that negotiations between the High Commissioner and the Federal German authorities regarding measures of assistance to persons not covered by the recent Indemnification Law had not yet led to any positive result.
41. In referring to the specific protection problems of refugees in Europe mentioned in document A/AC.96/INF.45, the representative of Italy stated that the implementation of the provisions laid down in the 1951 Convention should take into account the historical and social context of the problems of the refugees concerned. It was for this reason that his delegation had proposed that a detailed study be made with a view to ensuring that these refugees should enjoy as sound and uniform a legal status as possible. The procedure to be followed in this matter could, of course, be left to the Office of the High Commissioner.
42. The Committee recognized the utmost importance of international protection as the fundamental task of UNHCR. It welcomed the progress achieved, particularly with regard to accessions to the 1951 Convention. It was generally in agreement with the steps taken by the High Commissioner with a view to extending its personal scope by removing the limitations resulting form the 1951 dateline and considered that this would be in accordance with the High Commissioner's universal tasks and constitute a realistic approach to the problems of new groups of refugees.
43. It also felt that the High Commissioner should continue his efforts in the all-important field of the right of asylum and expressed appreciation for the interest shown by other organizations in this field.
44. As to the problems raised in respect of the status of refugees in document A/AC.96/INF.45 the Committee considered that it would be appropriate to leave it to the High Commissioner to take appropriate action in consultation with the concerned, and to report to the Committee on this question at a future session.
45. The Committee welcomed the co-operation established between the High Commissioner and the Organization of African Unity (OAU) with regard to the legal status of refugees. It noted the efforts made within the framework of the OAU with a view to the adoption of an instrument dealing with the legal aspects of the problems of refugees in Africa and expressed the hope that the provisions of such an instrument, if adopted, would be fully in accordance with and supplementary to those of the 1951 Convention.
46. With regard to the question of indemnification, the Committee agreed that every effort should continue to be made by the High Commissioner, in co-operation with the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, in order to ensure the indemnification of those victims of persecution who do not benefit under existing legislation and practice and in particular the establishment of the fund referred to in document A/AC.96/295.
III. Administrative and financial questions
NOTE ON THE USE OF THE EMERGENCY FUND (agenda item 5)
47. The Committee considered a note on the use of the Emergency Fund (document A/AC.96/306) together with substantiating data submitted by the High Commissioner in documents A/AC.96/INF.34, 36, 37, 42,43, and 48.
Decision of the Committee
48. The Executive Committee:
Approved the note on the use of the Emergency Fund submitted by the High commissioner in document A/AC.96/306 and took note of the background information supplied in documents A/AC.96/INF.34, 36, 37, 42, 43 and 48.
REPORT OF THE BOARD OF AUDITORS ON THE AUDIT OF THE ACCOUNTS FOR 1964 (agenda item 6)
49. The Executive Committee considered document A/AC.96/296 in which the High Commissioner submitted the report of the Board of Auditors on the audit of the accounts for 1964.
50. In introducing the report, the representative of the High Commissioner drew attention to the comments of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions contained in annex 1 to the document.
51. The representative of the United Kingdom stated that the Committee would no doubt wish to endorse the hope of the Advisory Committee that renewed efforts would be made to ensure the conclusion of satisfactory arrangements in the matter of the repayment of loans, and in the solution of various financial issues which had been raised in previous reports.
Decision of the Committee
52. The Executive Committee:
Took note of the report of the Board of Auditors submitted in respect of the financial year 1964 contained in document A/AC.96/296, and registered with satisfaction the progress reported by the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions in paragraph 2 of annex I to the document.
PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE FINANCIAL RULES (agenda item 7)
53. In introducing this item, the representative of the High Commissioner pointed out that the object of the proposed amendments was merely to adapt the rules to the necessities of current practice and to conform with the requirements of the Office of the Controller at United Nations Headquarters and of the Board of Auditors. The Executive committee adopted the proposed amendments and decided to formulate them as follows in accordance with rule 13 of the financial rules for Voluntary Funds.
Decision of the committee
54. The Executive Committee:
Having been consulted by the High commissioner on the amendments submitted in document A/AC.96/304 and on the ex-gratia payment referred to in document A/AC.96/305,
(1) Requested the High commissioner to promulgate the following addition to rule 8.1:
"For the purpose of this rule, conditional governmental pledges are defined as those pledges which are subject to completion of the necessary legislative and administrative processes of contributing governments".
(2) Invited the High Commissioner to request the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions to review:
(i) The proposed new rule 9.3 reading as follows:
"The High Commissioner is authorized to effect ex-gratia payments which, in the opinion of the High Commissioner,
(a) Do not benefit directly, or indirectly through measures of assistance provided by implementing agencies, refugees qualifying for the High Commissioner's assistance;
(b) Are made, not pursuant to a legal liability, but where the moral obligation is such as to make payment desirable in the best interest of UNHCR.
A statement of any ex-gratia payments made shall be submitted yearly to the Executive committee and to the United Nations board of Auditors with the annual accounts".
(ii) The revision of rule 11.1 as quoted in paragraph 7 of document A/AC.96/304.
(iii) The revision of rule 12.1 as quoted in paragraph 11 of document A/AC.96/304;
and, subject to the outcome of that review, to promulgate the new rule and the revised rules.
(3) Approved the ex-gratia payment in an amount of $218.15 referred to in document A/AC.96/305.
FINANCIAL STATUS OF UNHCR PROGRAMMES (agenda item 9)
55. The Committee considered the financial status of the UNHCR programmes submitted by the High Commissioner in document A/AC.96/297 and Add.1.
56. In introducing the item the representative of the High Commissioner recalled that a further $417,957 was required as at 30 June 1965, in order to reach the financial target of the major aid programme for 1963. Contributions in an amount of $320,000 were still expected from governmental and non-governmental sources and it was suggested that the remaining gap be covered by transferring an amount of $97,957 derived from interest on investments. So far as the 1965 current programme was concerned, there was a shortfall of over $600,000 in the $3.5 million target. It was expected, however, that by the end of 1965 the funds set aside pursuant to the decision taken by the committee at its twelfth session would amount to some $669,000. These funds had proved essential to ensure the continuity and reliability of UNHCR action. Their value had been demonstrated in the early months of 1965 when, with cash expenditures exceeding cash income, they had enabled the High Commissioner to make commitments slightly ahead of income.
57. The suggestion that the funds set aside be designated as a "Revolving Programme Guarantee Account" was based on the purpose of the funds, which was to ensure that the approved programmes be carried out without delay. It was intended that funds advanced from this account should subsequently be returned to it.
58. The speakers who took part in the discussion agreed to the High Commissioner's proposal that the amount of 97,957 from interest on investments be used towards the financial target of the major aid programme for 1963. They stated that while they shared the High Commissioner's desire to maintain a reserve of "funds set aside" to enable him to meet financial requirements as and when they emerged, the Committee's original hope was that a sufficient reserve would have been accumulated by 1 January 1967 and it seemed unnecessary to take new decisions, even as to the name of the "funds set aside" prior to that time. They recognized that in view of the serious financial difficulties facing the Office it might be necessary to commit a substantial part of the "funds set aside". They also considered that the total amount of the "funds set aside" should not be set so high as to give the operational partners of UNHCR an assurance of continuity of projects until their full implementation. This was more than was required and would amount to financing projects more than a year ahead; they thought it would be difficult for Governments' treasuries to endorse this course and they felt that it would be preferable if the system of annual financing were increasingly applied by the High Commissioner. In view of the important cash requirements at the beginning of the year, they thought that it would be helpful if Governments, where possible, could pay all or part of their contribution at the beginning of the calendar year.
59. The Committee agreed that the best course to follow for the time being would be to continue the experiment in respect of "funds set aside" until the original target date of 1 January 1967, and to defer further action, apart from the transfer of $97,957 to the 1963 major aid programme, until the Committee's sixteenth session.
Decision of the Committee
60. The Executive Committee decided:
(1) To take note of the financial status of UNHCR programmes submitted to it by the High Commissioner in documents A/AC.96/297 and A/AC.96/297/Add.1;
(2). To authorize the High Commissioner to use the proceeds of interest on investments amounting to $97,957 towards the financing of the major aid programmes for 1963;
(3) To authorized the High Commissioner to continue the action he has taken in respect of funds set aside pursuant to the decision adopted by the committee at its twelfth session; and,
(4) To review the question at its sixteenth session.
STATUS OF CONTRIBUTIONS TO UNHCR PROGRAMMES (agenda item 10)
61. The Executive Committee considered the report on the status on contributions to UNHCR submitted to it by the High Commissioner in document A/AC.96/299 and Add.1 as well as the report on income and allocations from the proceeds of the long-playing record "All-Star Festival". In introducing the item the representative of the High Commissioner drew attention to the shortfall of some $600,000 in the $3.5 million target for the 1965 Programme.
62. In the course of the session the Committee was also informed of a plan for a European fund-raising campaign (outlined in document A/AC.96/INF.51). The decision to undertake this campaign had been taken by private organizations in a number of countries; its main purpose would be to give a fresh impulse to the work of assistance for refugees and to raise substantial amounts of money to finance permanent solutions for refugees outside Europe, while special residual refugee problems in Europe could also be considered. His Royal Bernhard, Prince of the Netherlands, had accepted the chairmanship of the working group which had been established to put the plan into effect.
63. On several occasions during the session members of the Committee stressed the need for wider financial participation and wherever possible special contributions to the UNHCR programmes. The Committee heard with appreciation the following announcements in respect of governmental contributions;
(a) The representative of Algeria announced that his country would contribute $6,000 to the UNHCR programme for 1965, an increase of $1,000 over the normal Algerian contribution;
(b) The representative of Canada stated that his Government had decided, subject to parliamentary approval, to contribute an amount of $350,000 to the 1966 Programme. This represented an increase of $60,000 over its previous year's contribution;
(c) The representative of the Holy See informed the Committee that a special contribution of $3,000 would be made by the Holy See to the UNHCR programme for 1965 which would be earmarked for assistance to refugees in Central Africa, and $10,000 to the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration for the transport of refugees;
(d) The representative of Norway indicated that subject to parliamentary approval the Norwegian Government would increase its regular contribution by 100,000 kroner in 1966;
(e) The representative of Tanzania stated that the $2,800 contribution of his Government shown as an additional pledge in document A/AC.96/299/Add.1 had now been approved by Parliament and would be paid before the end of 1965;
(f) The representative of Switzerland announced that as a general principle special contributions could only be pledged when there was a risk that lack of funds would impair the implementation of vital projects. In the circumstances a shortfall would seriously affect the situation of certain groups of refugees in Africa and his Government and accordingly decided to make an additional contribution of between 90,000 and 150,000 Swiss francs, earmarked for assistance to these refugees;
(g) The representative of Belgium indicated that the $150,000 pledged by his Government would be paid within a fortnight. He further stated that the special Belgian contribution of $100,000 could be used for the settlement programme in Mugera, with the possible exception of 5 per cent of that amount which might be required to finance certain other projects.
64. The representative of the High commissioner also outlined the plans which had been made for a European refugee campaign, in 1966. Its object would be simultaneously to collect funds in various European countries primarily for assistance to refugees in Africa and Asia.
65. The Committee heard with deep appreciation that His Royal Highness Bernhard, Prince of the Netherlands, was sponsoring this plan and would personally participate in the working group which had been established for this purpose, as indicated in the special decision of the Committee set forth in paragraph 26 of the introductory part of this report.
66. The High Commissioner pointed out that the European refugee campaign, which would be a milestone amongst successive efforts made to arouse international interest in the needs of refugees, should be regarded not as a substitute for the financial participation of Governments but as a contribution to essential supplementary projects and programmes for refugees.
67. In the course of the meeting Mr. Yul Brynner, Special Consultant of the High Commissioner on public relations and fund-raising activities, outlined a new plan designated as "Greetings from the Skies" which aimed at promoting the sale of the record "International Piano Festival". Mr. Brynner stated that while the liberalization of immigration legislation had opened the doors to many refugees, including the handicapped, it was essential to ensure that funds were available to maintain the outflow of refugees from the transit camps to the countries where they wished to settle. Under this scheme, airlines would allow orders for the record "International Piano Festival" to be placed by passengers during the busy months of November and December 1965. In this way travellers would be able to send the record as a gift to their friends. The plan, which eighteen airlines had already accepted, would be put into effect with the gracious co-operation of the administrative staff and cabin personnel of the airlines and of the record clubs which had volunteered to undertake the packing and distributing of the record. Two-thirds of the proceeds would be made available to the Inter-governmental Committee for European Migration for the financing and transportation of refugees.
68. In further statements made by the Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Brynner, the High Commissioner, and the Deputy Director of ICEM, tribute was paid to the representatives of the airlines which had already played a very significant role in the resettlement of refugees.
Decision of the Committee
69. The Executive Committee,
(1) Took note of the status of contributions submitted to it by the High Commissioner in documents A/AC.96/299 and A/AC.96/299/Add.1 and the allocations referred to in document A/AC.96/INF.49, as well as the plans for a fund-raising campaign outlined in document A/AC.96/INF.51;
(2) Noted with satisfaction that the number of Governments contributing to the High commissioner's programmes had further increased;
(3) Welcomed the announcement of new contributions made by several Governments in the course of the session;
(4) Paid tribute to the imaginative initiatives which had been or were being promoted in the field of private fund-raising;
(5) Welcomed and supported the fund-raising plan "Greetings form the skies" initiated for the benefit of refugee transportation and paid a warm tribute to the airlines and their staff and to the record manufacturing companies which were lending their support to the plan;
(6) Invited the High Commissioner to appeal to Governments with a view to obtaining the financial participation required to enable him to meet the increasing needs of his current programme.
ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENDITURE FOR 1966 (agenda item 15)
70. The Committee considered a report submitted by the High Commissioner in document A/AC.96/302 on the above subject and heard an explanatory statement by the director of Administration.
71. He stated that it was regretted that the report referred to in the document under consideration had not yet been received. It was expected within the next few days and the High Commissioner hoped that reconsideration by the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, based upon this report, would enable that Committee to approve his estimates in respect of administrative expenditure in 1966 as submitted - a matter which the High Commissioner considered essential.
72. So far as the grant-in-aid was concerned, it was understood that the report would make a new suggestion for consideration by the Executive Committee, the Advisory Committee and the High Commissioner. This would involve transferring to the administrative budget thirty-nine staff members at present being paid from voluntary funds and adjusting the grant-in-aid to 10 percent of the amount of the programme. It included provision for urgently needed new staff for new refugee situations to be paid from voluntary funds initially, but envisaged a procedure where by such staff, if continuing, were transferred to the administrative budget.
73. The High commissioner believing, in accordance with article 20 of his statute, that the administrative costs of his Office should be provided for in full by the United Nations, nevertheless recognized that there were certain advantages in the new proposal; he was therefore prepared to accept the new suggestion if it proved to be a basis upon which the Advisory Committee and the Executive Committee could find agreement.
74. The High commissioner expected shortly to give the Committee details of the report in documentary form and to advise it of the response of the Advisory Committee and the General Assembly. He would therefore at the next session ask the executive Committee for whatever grant-in-aid then appeared appropriate, either as the new report indicated, or perhaps in the sum of $150,000 as in 1965, plus $220,000 representing the costs of the thirty-nine staff members.
75. The representative of the United Kingdom made a statement, the details of which may be found in the summary record of the 129th meetings. His delegation recommended that the Executive Committee should approve payment by the High Commissioner of the grant in aid of $150,000 under the 1966 Programme. Secondly that the High Commissioner should in due course ask the Fifth Committee to authorize an increase in his permanent establishment to absorb those former UNREF posts which he considered he should retain. If the fifth Committee could not agree to this request, it should be re-submitted each year until it was accepted or so long as it was justified. The grant-in-aid for any year should amount to the actual costs of such posts not included in the High Commissioner permanent establishment in that year, for it was the United Kingdom's view that the grant-in-aid should be a transitory and temporary charge until such time as these posts were either absorbed or became redundant.
76. Two representatives stated that it would only be possible for the Committee to pronounce on the matter once the survey under reference had been considered by Member Governments.
77. The representative of Belgium stressed the great importance his government attached to the fact that the work of UNHCR in Europe, particularly in the field of international protection, should not in any way be affected by the administrative decisions that might be taken on the basis of the aforementioned survey. One representative expressed the hope that the requirements of UNHCR and the views of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions would be reconciled, so that UNHCR would be able to continue to carry out its work effectively.
Decision of the Committee
78. The Executive Committee decided:
(1) To take note of the information submitted by the High Commissioner in document A/AC.96/302 in respect of administrative expenditure under the current programme for 1966;
(2) To defer its decision in this matter until it had considered the survey referred to in paragraph 3 of document A/AC.96/302.
IV. UNHCR programmes
RESETTLEMENT (agenda item 12)
79. The Committee considered the report on the resettlement of refugees (A/AC.96/300) which indicated that a total of 20,012 refugees, of whom 15,015 were within the mandate of UNHCR, had been moved to countries of permanent settlement by the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (ICEM) during the period 1 January to 31 July 1965.
80. The representative of the High Commissioner, introducing the report, said that in co-operation with ICEM, USEP and the voluntary agencies continuing progress had been achieved in the resettlement of refugees. Recent developments in this field included the selection by Sweden of 519 in Greece, Italy and Turkey. Two hundred and thirty-five Turkmenian refugees who had been given temporary asylum in Afghanistan had now been moved to Turkey with UNHCR'S assistance. Another important development was the adoption by the United States Congress of a new immigration law (Public Law 89,236) which amended the previous quota system by national origin and gave special priority to the principle of family reunion. It contained many other important features such as the admission of physically handicapped persons. This law would continue the important tradition of the admission of refugees who would benefit from a special quota of up to 10,200 each year.
81. The representative of the High Commissioner drew attention to the sudden increase in the last three months in the number of persons seeking asylum in Italy. This situation had been brought to the attention of the main Governments of immigration and every effort was being made to adjust the machinery for the resettlement of the refugees in Italy to the new situation.
82. In conclusion the representative of the High Commissioner referred to the valuable work of Dr. Frederick Jensen, Medical Director of the Australian Mission in Rome, which had enabled many hundreds of handicapped refugees to start a new life in another country. Dr. Jensen would shortly be taking up a new post and the work which he had so successfully launched would be continued under the general supervision of Dr. Cleve Schou, Senior Medical Officer of ICEM.
83. The Deputy Director of the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration, Mr. W. M. Besterman, addressing the Committee, said that 37,000 refugees had been moved by ICEM in 1964 and it was expected that a slightly higher number would be moved in 1965. ICEM's expenditure for the transport of refugees had become stabilized at between $7 million to $8 million annually. The new immigration legislation recently adopted by the United States Government and the generous admission policy of many other countries supported the belief that resettlement opportunities would remain available to refugees for as long as they were needed. This situation, combined with the efficient functioning of the international mechanism for resettlement through the co-operation of UNHCR, the voluntary agencies, USEP and ICEM, provided a reliable guarantee that countries of first asylum would not have to face the possibility of an accumulation of refugees on their territory. ICEM's main preoccupation at the present time was to ensure that movements of refugees from countries of first asylum kept pace with the influx of asylum seekers.
84. All the representatives who spoke expressed their appreciation of the work carried out by the High Commissioner and ICEM in the resettlement of refugees, in particular of the handicapped. The highly satisfactory results achieved demonstrated the value of full co-operation between Governments, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental agencies.
85. The representatives of Australia and Canada said that their Governments would continue to give full support to the work of resettlement. The representative of Australia said that since the Second World War his Government had endeavoured to play its part in alleviating refugee problems throughout the world. During the period 1945 to 1965 12.7 percent of the immigrants admitted to Australia had been refugees. Australia would continue to give sympathetic consideration to the settlement of Old Believers in Australia and to the admission of refugees from isolated groups. The representative of Canada said that in recent years his Government had continued the special resettlement measures initiated during World Refugee Year. These measures would be continued in 1966. In the first nine months of 1965 nearly 1,500 unsponsored refugees had arrived in Canada under these special, liberalized criteria.
86. The representatives of Switzerland, Sweden and Norway said that their countries would continue to receive aged and handicapped refugees.
87. The Committee was interested to learn from the High Commissioner that the difficult problem of the small group of 120 "Old believers" in Hong Kong had now virtually been solved, thanks to the generous decision of the Government of Brazil to grant visas to 40 of the refugees. Resettlement offers for about one-third of the group had also been received and there would remain in Hong Kong only a small number who continued to decline all offers of resettlement.
88. In reply to a question the High Commissioner said that he had decided that he would have to terminate UNHCR assistance to refugees who persistently declined to accept realistic offers of resettlement after every effort had been made to help them.
89. The representative of Italy, referring to the increased influx of refugees into his country, expressed his government's warm appreciation for the work of all the governments and organizations which were helping in dealing with that situation. He pointed out, however, that in spite of generous offers of resettlement there still remained in Italy a high proportion of handicapped refugees. He appealed to Governments to liberalize immigration criteria still further.
90. The representative of Sweden made a statement on the policy of his Government with regard to the admission of refugees, the details of which may be found in the summary record of the 128th meeting. He stated in particular that Sweden selected refugees who expressed a wish to settle in Sweden. These included a large number of handicapped refugees along with able-bodied persons. In addition a number of severely and incurably handicapped refugees were admitted. With regard to the point raised by the representative of Italy, he pointed out that in some instances the Swedish missions had been authorized to select more handicapped refugees in Italy than had proved to be available. He emphasized that in the interest of the refugees themselves it was important to admit only those who wished to settle in Sweden and were likely to be able to do so.
91. The Committee was interested to learn from the representative of Tanzania that his Government was ready to accept a further number of Rwandese refugees from Burundi.
92. In the course of the debate Dr. Frederick Jensen, Medical Director of the Australian Mission in Rome, gave a comprehensive account of his work on behalf of handicapped refugees.11 Dr. Jensen highlighted a few of the general principles which had emerged in the course of his work. He referred in particular to the need to provide prospective countries of resettlement with the fullest possible information on individual handicapped cases in order to enable them to be successfully settled in the right place. He also referred to the importance of refugees being settled as speedily as possible.
93. The members of the Committee expressed their warm appreciation of the invaluable pioneering work of Dr. Jensen. They were deeply indebted to him for the energy and devotion he had applied to the task of promoting the settlement of these particularly difficult cases, and expressed the hope that his services might be available to the Committee in the future.
94. In the course of the discussion the representative of the High commissioner replied to questions put by a number of representatives, the details of which may be found in the summary records of the 123rd and 124th meetings.
95. The Committee also heard a statement by Mr. Yul Brynner, special consultant to the High Commissioner, concerning the details of a new fund-raising scheme entitled "Greetings from the Skies", the proceeds of which were to be used for the resettlement of refugees. An account of his statement is given under the item "Status of contributions".
Decision of the Committee
96. The Executive Committee:
(1) Took note with appreciation of the effective action taken by the High Commissioner in promoting resettlement opportunities for refugees;
(2) Noted with interest that resettlement was being applied increasingly as a solution to the problems of some of the new groups of refugees;
(3) Urged Governments to continue to pursue a generous policy in respect of the admission of refugees including the handicapped for permanent settlement on their territories, thus contributing to alleviating the burden of countries of first asylum;
(4) Paid a warm tribute to Dr. F. Jensen for his major contribution to the resettlement of severely handicapped refugees, and recognized the essential need for his work to be continued.
COUNSELLING ACTIVITIES FOR REFUGEES (agenda item 11)
97. The Committee considered the study of counselling needs and services in various countries and areas, including proposed allocations under the High Commissioner's programme for 1966, contained in document A/AC.96/303, which had been requested by the Committee at its thirteenth session.
98. The representative of the High Commissioner said that the study of counselling activities had been prepared with a view to assisting the Executive Committee to define the role of counselling within the framework of what had been accomplished under the major aid programmes during the last years. There was a need at the present stage of development of the UNHCR programmes to define a pattern for the High Commissioner to follow which would take into account the extent to which counselling could be integrated into existing social services in the various countries. It was the policy of the High Commissioner to allocate funds to assist Governments and voluntary agencies in carrying out counselling activities only where those Governments or agencies were unable to provide such services from their own resources. This policy had also been followed in drawing up the 1966 allocations.
99. The representatives who participated in the discussion expressed their appreciation of the report on counselling activities and of the remarkable achievements of the international voluntary agencies and governmental and inter-governmental bodies in this field. They considered that the report before them was of considerable practical importance and would provide useful guidelines for future action by the Committee. The representatives who spoke shared the view that counselling, one of the most important tasks of the High Commissioner, provided an essential service to refugees which was vital to the success of integration and resettlement. The Committee agreed that such services should, as for as possible, be integrated into the social services of the countries of asylum. They recognized, however, that this could only be achieved gradually and that international assistance on a modest scale would be necessary for a considerable time to come.
100. One representative suggested that the study of counselling activities should be pursued and reported on to the Committee at subsequent sessions. He felt that the value of the study would be further increased if it could also include information on counselling activities relating to legal assistance.
101. The representatives of Germany, Greece and Italy said that their Governments were particularly grateful for the valuable work carried out by UNHCR and the international voluntary agencies in the counselling of refugees. This work had made and was still making an essential contribution to solving the problems of refugees. The representative of Italy pointed out that as the countries of first asylum could not know when an influx of refugees would begin and when it would end, it was not possible for them to gear their counselling services to such influxes although solutions to the problems thus raised had nevertheless to be found. The representative of Greece expressed concern at the suggestion made in paragraph 60 of document A/AC.96/303 that the strength and composition of the UNHCR counselling service in Greece might have to be reviewed. He voiced the hope that this vital activity would be continued as at present.
102. The representative of the International Rescue Committee, Mr. G. Ackerson, in a statement to the committee, said that the five international voluntary agencies which he represented were ready to continue their work for the refugees in Germany. These agencies had provided, and continued to provide, important services on behalf of UNHCR and USEP and had contributed heavily from their own funds for counselling and other programmes on behalf of refugees. He pointed out that the difficulty experienced by UNHCR in financing its programme was a difficulty which was also faced by the voluntary agencies and it was not always possible for them to take over full financial responsibility for programmes in Europe when international funds had to be directed elsewhere.
Decision of the Committee
103. The Executive Committee:
(1) Recommended that counselling services for refugees should be integrated as far as possible in the framework of the social welfare services and benefits which each country concerned was able to provide for its own nationals;
(2) Requested the High Commissioner to encourage the countries concerned to pursue this objective as far as possible; to maintain a flexible approach in order that the pursuit of this objective should not cause delays in bringing assistance to refugees; and, accordingly, to ensure that sufficient funds were allocated within the programme to provide benefits and services for those refugees who did not receive the necessary counselling services from the local authorities; and, in general to follow the guide lines set forth in paragraph 20 of the document and to report to the Committee on the matter once a year; and;
(3) Expressed appreciation to the voluntary agencies for the valuable work they were performing in the field of counselling.
REAPPRAISAL OF COMPLETION DATES OF THE MAJOR AID PROGRAMMES (agenda item 8)
104. In accordance with the request it had made at its thirteenth session the Executive Committee had before it a reappraisal of completion dates of the UNHCR major aid programmes, document A/AC96/298, in which the High Commissioner also gave information on the rate at which projects in these programmes were being put into effect. The Committee also had before it a summary of information on UNHCR current operations during the period 1 January to 31 July 1965, document A/AC96/INF.44.
105. The Director of Operations, introducing the document, said that at the beginning of 1960 projects totalling nearly $7 million still remained to be completed. More than half of this amount would have been disbursed by the end of that year through the completion of the major aid programmes in Austria, Latin America, the Middle East, Morocco and Turkey. Projects in an amount of $3.5 million would still have to be completed after 1965. There still remained, however, a shortage of some $418,000 in the major aid programme, although it was hoped that this gap could be bridged. The Director of Operations explained that the larger part of the projects still to be implemented were in France, Germany and Greece. In France the projects outstanding were those approved by the Committee in 1964 and 1965 for which funds were only just becoming available. In Germany, the projects still to be completed concerned mainly the provision by UNHCR of furniture which would enable refugees to move into the new housing built by the Government. With regard to the programme in Greece, discussions had recently been held with the Greek authorities, at which it had been understood that UNHCR would not make further contributions towards completing the programme in Greece. The problem in Greece was aggravated by the fact that building costs had risen by 30 per cent. As the contributions from the Greek Government could not be increased it might be necessary somewhat to reduce housing standards in order to provide the same number of dwellings. Such standards would, however, provide adequate accommodation and would in no case be lower than those for national refugees in Greece.
106. The High Commissioner appealed to the Governments concerned to make every effort to complete the outstanding major aid projects as rapidly as possible so that these "old" refugees who had waited patiently for many years could at last have the housing necessary to enable them to resume a normal life.
107. The representatives who spoke expressed their appreciation of the information contained in document A/AC.96/298 which gave a clear picture of the situation. It was suggested that similar document be submitted to the Committee at future sessions.
108. One representative expressed his disappointment at the slowness in carrying out the projects for the "old" refugees, and wondered if greater efforts could not be made by the governments concerned to complete them.
109. The representative of Greece explained that his government had recently been faced with the burden of providing housing for large numbers of displaced persons following two earthquakes in Greece. Furthermore, many refugees were entering the country who did not come within the mandate of UNHCR. Renewed efforts were nevertheless being made to complete the major aid projects and it was expected that the programme would shortly take on a new momentum. It was anticipated that projects to a value of $1 million would be under way by the next session of the Executive Committee and that by the end of 1966 projects being implemented would amount to $1,074,000.
110. The representative of Greece also drew attention to the large increase of newly arrived refugees, referred to in paragraph 31 of A/AC.96/INF.44. The Greek Government would be unable to meet the burden imposed by these refugees form its own resources, and might find it necessary to turn to the High commissioner for assistance. His Government would be most grateful if the voluntary agencies could assist these persons.
111. The representative of Italy stated that his government had decided to increase by 30 million lire its supporting contribution to the UNHCR major aid projects still under implementation.
Decision of the committee
112. The Executive committee decided:
(1) To take note of the reappraisal of completion dates of the major aid programmes submitted by the High Commissioner in document A/AC.298, and of the High commissioner's intention to provide, if necessary, for adjustments within the financial resources of the major aid programme as a whole, to cover any deficits in the implementation of those programmes in Italy as described in paragraphs 33 and 34 of the above document;
(2) To urge the governments and other parties concerned to make every effort to speed up the implementation of outstanding projects in the framework of these programmes;
(3) To authorize the High commissioner to receive further contributions towards the final major aid programme after 31 December 1965 and to commit funds under this programme beyond that date, it being understood that the matter will be reviewed by the Executive committee at its sixteenth session;
(4) To request the High Commissioner to prepare similar reports in future indicating the rate of progress achieved in the completion of these programmes.
UNHCR PROGRAMMES FOR 1964 AND 1965 (agenda item 13)
113. The Committee considered the progress achieved in the implementation of the 1965 Programme as outlined in the report submitted by the High Commissioner in document A/AC.96/INF.44, and the developments that had taken place in the implementation of the Armand Kuijpers projects during the years 1964 and 1965 (A/AC.96/307). With regard to the problems of refugees in Africa, the Committee also took into account the eye-witness report given by the leader of the United Kingdom delegation (A/AC.96/308).
114. In introducing the item the Director of Operations stressed that in spite of the difficulties that were being encountered in carrying out some of the projects in the 1965 Programme, every effort was being made to implement them as rapidly as possible in accordance with the established concept of a current, continuing programme. He recalled that a main feature of the seven months' period under review was the growing influx of refugees. He highlighted the final closure of refugee camps in Austria and the fact that the Turkish government had agreed to provide free medical care to refugees within the competence of UNHCR in Turkey.
115. In the course of the session the representative of Germany gave an account of the progress made in implementing the programme for the settlement of refugees inadequately accommodated outside camps in Germany. In 1964 the Federal Government had set aside 4 million D. M. for that programme and the Länder governments were contributing and equivalent amount. Most of these refugees would have been satisfactorily housed by 1967.
116. The representative of China expressed his government's satisfaction at the progress achieved in the implementation of projects for assistance to refugees in Asia and in particular the refugees in Nepal and in Macao.
117. In the course of the general discussion on the progress achieved in 1965, the representative of the United Kingdom observed that the increase of refugees in need of assistance affected both Africa and Europe. He pointed out that the integration projects initiated in Burundi and the Kivu provinces of the Congo involved co-operation between UNHCR and two of the most important specialized agencies of the United Nations, the ILO and the FAO. His delegation understood that once the projects were under way the financial responsibility for continuing their implementation would rest with the specialized agencies concerned.
118. In referring to the ILO integration and zonal development project put into effect for the Rwandese refugees in Burundi, the representative of the United Kingdom enquired why further financial participation was now being requested by the ILO from the High Commissioner; he wondered whether support had been requested from UNICEF and the World Food Programme as mentioned in paragraph 6 of the report submitted by the ILO in document A/AC.96/INF.47.
119. In reply, the representative of the ILO stated that additional funds were required for the zonal development project in Burundi mainly in view of the considerable rise in prices in Burundi due to the recent monetary reform which was affecting the cost of transportation and of local goods and services, and which had not yet come to a halt. It was for that reason that the High Commissioner had not wished to rule out the possibility of assisting the ILO in finding additional resources for the project. If these additional funds could not be obtained, some reduction in activities would probably become inevitable. As for the difficulties encountered in implementing the project, the Government of Burundi had submitted a request for emergency food to the World Food Programme, mainly intended to feed young children, expectant and nursing mothers and old people, pending the next harvest. The cause of the famine being climatic, it affected both refugees and the local population. Emergency help from the World Food Programme was therefore being sought for the whole area.
120. The representative of the food and Agriculture Organization said that FAO was prepared, within budgetary limitations, to give increased support to the zonal development plan in Burundi. FAO hoped to be able to send an experienced settlement expert to Burundi as soon as funds were made available by the UNITED nations Technical assistance Board.12
121. With regard to development in the Kivu Province of the Congo, the representative of the United Kingdom asked whether since the ILO zonal integration project could not be fully resumed until such time as the expulsion order had been rescinded, it might be possible for an amount of $100,000 to be temporarily with drawn from the UNHCR allocation for this project. The Committee learned from statements made by the deputy High Commissioner that President Kasavubu had indicated that the possibility of rescinding the expulsion decree affecting Rwandese refugees was being considered. In a statement made later in the session, the observer for the Democratic Republic of the Congo announced that the expulsion decree would be abrogated within the next few weeks. He added that the decree had never been intended against the refugees as such but only against those persons who had fomented trouble.
122. The representative of the ILO stressed the importance of the abrogation of the expulsion decree on which depended the resumption of full-scale activities under the integration and zonal development project. He recalled that the ILO had recently been requested by the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to resume the project and that following the memorandum of understanding agreed between the ILO and UNHCR the ILO had assumed certain contractual obligations in respect of experts assigned to the project. He also drew attention to the fact that the Central Government had allocated a total of 40 million Congolese francs from counterpart aid funds to support activities in the field of rural development in the Kivu Province as a whole, including areas inhabited by the refugees.
123. The representative of the High Commissioner made an introductory statement on the proposals submitted by the High Commissioner in respect of the Armand Kuijpers projects, the details of which may be found in the summary record of the 127th meeting. He explained in particular the various developments which had led to the settlement of a number of Rwandese refugees in the Mwesi Highlands in Tanzania.
124. The representative of Tanzania made a statement in which he described the progress made in the settlement of refugees in his country. The first group to be settle in the Mwesi Highlands had now moved into family huts and would be self-supporting in the near future in so far as they would be able to provide their own food. There was still a problem as regards education by this was also on its way to a solution. He pointed out that the Lutheran world federation/Tanganyikan Christian refugee Service was still providing the necessary social services for the refugees, while the Government provided administrative and other services. As for the group of Mozambique refugees being settle in Rutamba, they would soon be able to leave the camps and to move into self-built accommodation.
125. The representative of Tanzania stated that it was his Government's policy to admit further numbers of refugees provided that they were able to fit in to the economic and social pattern of the country.
126. With regard to the problems of refugees in Uganda, the representative of the ILO informed the Committee that the request of the Government of Uganda an ILO mission to that country was contemplated for the purpose of drawing up an integration and zonal development plan for the benefit of various groups of refugees. A preliminary survey of the situation would be made in the near future, in close co-operation with the Office of the High Commissioner.
127. On the question of Congolese refugees, the Committee noted from a statement made by the Deputy High Commissioner that arrangements for the voluntary repatriation of those located in various countries neighbouring on the Democratic Republic of the Congo were being organized through the good offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross. The observer for the Democratic Republic of the Congo said at a later stage of the debate that the Congolese authorities were anxious that the refugees should return to their country to live in peace in their former homes.
Decision of the Committee
128. The Executive Committee":
(1) Noted the progress achieved under the 1964 and 1965 Programmes;
(2) Took note of the action taken by the High commissioner in respect of the Armand Kuijpers projects, as reported in document A/AC.96/307, and of the information documents and statements submitted by the ILO and FAO;
(3) Took note that, as a result of the proposed revision of estimates the total value of the Armand Kuijpers projects is now reduced from $31,219 may still be available for re-allocation to one of the component parts of the Armand Kuijpers projects;
(4) Noted that the High Commissioner will submit a final report on this project at the Committee's fifteenth session.
UNHCR PROGRAMME FOR 1966 (agenda item 14)
129. The Committee considered the UNHCR programme for 1966 submitted by the High Commissioner in a total amount of $3,900,000, which included the projects for assistance to refugees throughout countries in various parts of the world, as indicated in appendix II to this report.
130. In introducing the item, the director of Operations pointed out that the $3.9 million financial target was the minimum amount required to enable the High Commissioner to maintain, through the UNHCR Commissioner to maintain, through the UNHCR current programme, the mechanism of international solidarity without which the growing problems of refugees could not be solved. As pointed out by the representative of France in the course of the session, the programme could only take care of a small fraction of the problems of refugees which the international community had to face. In the 1966 Programme only the most urgent needs of refugees had been taken into account. The committee would be pleased to note that the Governments themselves had agreed to make substantial supporting contributions to programmes put into effect on their territory, and that very considerable help would again be forthcoming from the World food Programme and from the United States Government under bilateral arrangements which would provide food to various groups of refugees in Africa until such time as they could depend on their own crops. As for the increased influx of refugees in Europe, many would be resettled in immigration countries but for those who would be unable to do so, supplementary assistance would be required in varying degrees towards their local integration. He added that while the fluctuating nature of the new problems of refugees made it difficult to present all projects in final form, the proposals before the Committee were the result of a thorough and careful study and it was hoped that most of them could be put into effect without change.
131. The Committee noted from the summary of proposals submitted to it in document A/AC.96/301/Add.4, as revised in the course of the meeting, that projects submitted to it amounted to a total of $3,393,200, whereas allocations in further amount of $506,800 would be submitted to it at a later stage. In the course of the session several representatives felt that the proposed programme reflected the desire of the Committee to sustain the spirit of international solidarity in which the High Commissioner and the Governments and other organizations concerned should seek to bring relief to the refugees.
132. In commenting on the allocation of $93,000 put forward in respect of Cuban refugees in Spain, the representative of the High Commissioner pointed out that the amount of $85,000 which had been earmarked for permanent solutions might not be sufficient to cover all urgent needs in 1966 so that a further allocation might be required in the framework of the over-all 1966 budget.
133. In a statement, details of which may be found in the summary record of the 128th meeting, the observer for Spain gave an over - all account of the problem of Cuban refugees in Spain. He recalled that these refugees were being received in Spain by the Servicio Social al Refugiado, a Spanish governmental Agency, and that assistance amounting to some $170,000 had been provided for them since 1961. In addition they had received assistance valued at some $70,000 from Caritas Española. He also gave details of the arrangements made in co-operation with UNHCR and other organizations for the resettlement of refugees wishing to migrate to other countries and for emergency aid and other forms of assistance to the refugees remaining in Spain.
134. The Committee noted with appreciation the efforts made by the Spanish Government, the Government of the United States and several other Governments mainly in Latin America for assistance to Cuban refugees.
135. In the course of the session the observer for the Organization of American States expressed the appreciation of his Organization for the assistance that was being rendered by UNHCR to various groups of refugees in the countries members of his organization.
136. The Committee noted from the statements made in respect of the Rwandese refugees in Burundi, in particular from the eye-witness report of the leader of the United Kingdom delegation, that a great deal still remained to be done for these refugees. The representative of the High Commissioner pointed out that in view of the number of refugees involved the project for rural settlement at Mugera, for which an allocation of $570,000 had been proposed for 1966, was one of the most important projects in the 1965 and 1966 Programmes. One of the difficulties which had arisen was that a number of refugees attracted by the distribution of food supplies, had arrived in Mugera from other areas. A total of some 27,000 refugees would benefit from the project. The 1966 allocation would provide only a strict minimum; it had been possible to limit the UNHCR allocation to the aforementioned amount in view of the considerable contribution of the World Food Programme which represented more than half the total cost of the project. Provision for education and vocational training had been included in the 1966 plan to assist the Burundi authorities in this important field. For these and other items contributions outside the UNHCR programme had still to be found. It was hoped that the ILO and FAO would be able to carry on the project at Mugera once it had reached the development phase.
137. The observer for Burundi made a statement at the 128th meeting in which he summed up the progress achieved in the work of assistance for refugees in Burundi. He pointed out that the success of the operation depended to a large extent on the availability of experts, supplies and equipment. He stated that his Government attached the greatest importance to the implementation of the various programmes of assistance and development which contributed to the stability of the country.
138. The Committee noted from statements made by the representatives of the ILO and FAO that a request for development aid had been made by the Burundi Government, but that further information and consultations would be necessary. The representative of the FAO said that FAO participation would have to be based on an integrated plan of development which would involve a larger provision for agriculture than the 7 percent included in the 1966 Mugera project.13
139. In further statements the representative of the ILO and the observer for the World Food Programme gave the Committee information in respect of the problems of emergency feeding, the delays involved in carrying food to land-locked countries such as Burundi, further plans with a view to placing the supply of food on a regular basis. The observer of the world food Programme also informed the Committee that his Organization had already made commodities available for refugees in an amount of over $200,000 for emergency feeding, and that a further project involving a total cost to the World Food Programme of over $1,200,000 would be carried out in Burundi in 1966.
140. There was full agreement on the essential need of the allocations proposed in respect of Burundi.
141. At its 124th and 128th meetings the Committee also heard statements by the observer for Senegal in respect of the problems of refugees facing his country and of the effort made by his government with a view to the settlement of refugees. The observer stressed in particular that some 30,000 refugees would be finally settled towards the end of 1965 and would be placed on the same footing as Senegalese nationals. There was, however, a further problem resulting from the influx of an additional 20,000 refugees since May 1965. It was expected that this influx would continue once the present rainy season was over. Development projects for the Casamance area were at present under study and his Government hoped that the High Commissioner would recommend that the projects concerned receive favourable consideration on the part of the international community.
142. In commenting on the proposed allocation of $232,550 in respect of the refugees in Tanzania, the representative of the High Commissioner stated that the amount of $162,300 which had already been approved in principle by the Committee for the settlement of refugees in Rutamba would be necessary to meet essential needs of the refugees during the first half of 1966. A further $30,250 was needed for the second half of 1966. These amounts constituted only a part of the total contribution needed the most substantial part being again provided by the World Food Programme. There were no problems in the delivery of food supplies to Rutamba.
143. He further pointed out that considerable difficulties had been encountered in the Muyenzi settlement and that it was now envisaged to move some 2,000 refugees from Muyenzi to the Mwesi Highlands. Because of this recent development, the 1966 Mwesi project could not yet be submitted in writing. The High Commissioner was accordingly proposing that an initial amount of $120,000 be allocated for the settlement in Mwesi, pending the submission of a comprehensive project for 1966. The total allocation for Tanzania indicated in document A/AC.96/301/Add.4 would thus be increased to $352,550. The Committee was informed by the representative of the High Commissioner that it had not been possible to include education projects in the proposed allocation.
144. The observer for the World Food Programme stated that a request from the Government of Tanzania for further food assistance in a value of over $600,000 was being considered by his Organization and was expected to be approved shortly.
145. The committee agreed on the allocation of $352,500 for assistance to refugees in Tanzania.
146. The consideration of the programme in Tanzania gave the Committee an opportunity to examine the question of education for refugees which had been touched on in the eye-witness report of the United Kingdom representative and in a statement made by the representative of Tanzania.
147. In a statement, the details of which may be found in the summary record of the 128th meeting, the representative of Sweden stated that his Government considered that educational assistance should not be left to the good will of the Governments or voluntary agencies concerned but should be the concern of the United Nations and its specialized agencies. He considered that an international co-ordinated effort should be made to give the benefit of the basic human right of education to young people who had been deprived of it through no fault of their own. In 1964 the Swedish government had launched an education programme which was focused on young refugees mainly from the southern parts of Africa. It had so far spent $220,000 and committed a further $350,000 for that purpose. Some $20,000 had been earmarked as a special UNHCR trust fund for educational assistance to Rwandese and Sudanese refugees. The Swedish government had also agreed to finance educational assistance for refugees in Rutamba. In conclusion he expressed the hope that UNHCR would play an important role in the establishment of a single programme for education in Africa.
148. The Committee also noted from the representative of Norway that his Government would, subject to parliamentary approval, contribute $70,000 for educational assistance in newly independent states.
149. The High commissioner informed the Committee that while he could not include large-scale educational projects in his programmes he hoped to be able to stimulate and co-ordinate education programmes within the framework of the local integration of refugees.
150. With regard to the allocation of $60,000 for assistance to Congolese refugees in Uganda, the question arose as to whether the majority of these refugees would not wish to return to their country of origin. The High Commissioner explained that this possibility was being taken into account and that the limited allocation submitted to the committee was based on very practical and realistic needs. The Committee accordingly approved the allocation of $60,000 for rural settlement in Uganda.
151. In the course of the session the observer from the Democratic Republic of the Congo outlined the problems that his government was facing in dealing with three major problems of refugees in his country: Angolan refugees, Rwandese refugees and Sudanese refugees. There were some 600,000 Angolans in his country. They continued to present a heavy financial burden on the government which had provided them with land, tools and seeds to enable them to become self-supporting. More of these refugees were arriving and the problem was a source of grave concern for the Congolese Government. With regard to the Rwandese refugees, the observer stated that there was some difficulty in distinguishing between those who had come to the country as genuine refugees and the others, who constituted a minority. This was of course a general problem. As far as the settlement of the Rwandese refugees in the Kivu Province was concerned he recalled that his Government had requested the ILO fully to resume the Integration a Zonal Development Plan in the area concerned. He pointed out that the Sudanese refugees were spread over various countries neighbouring on the Congo. They constituted, therefore, an international problem which exceeded the possibilities of the Congolese Government, which hoped that the High Commissioner and other international organizations would assist it in facing this problem.
152. The observer for the Congo also made suggestions in respect of the procedures that might be followed for the voluntary repatriation of Congolese from Burundi and Uganda.
153. In the course of the session the representative of the OAR stressed the importance his Organization attached to the problems of refugees. In Africa these problems were rather different from what they were in other areas, since both the countries of origin and those of asylum were still at a developing stage and therefore lacked the necessary resources. In addition to this material problem there was the need to move the refugees inland in order to avoid having large groups of them near border areas. There was, however, also a positive factor in the presence of refugees since they might well be able to make a contribution to the economic and social development of their country of adoption and provide an opportunity for the development of closer co-operation among the various social groups involved.
154. Having approved the specific allocations listed in document A/AC.96/301/Add.4/Rev.1, the Committee considered the action that would be required in connexion with the other allocations which were to be submitted at a later date in an amount of $506,800. In reply to a question by the representative of the United Kingdom, the Director of Operations explained that most of the amount involved would be needed for further assistance to problems of refugees which were mentioned in document A/AC.96/301, paragraphs 109 to 113 and in particular Tibetans in Nepal, Chinese in Macao an certain groups of refugees in Africa.
Decision of the Committee
155. The Executive Committee:
Having considered the 1966 programme submitted to it by the High commissioner in document A/AC.96/301 and Add.1-4 of that document;
(1) Approved the financial target of the UNHCR programme for 1966 in an amount of $3,900,000 to meet the requirements of the High Commissioner in the field of material assistance in 1966;
(2) Approved the specific allocations in a total amount of $3,393,200 referred to in the above-mentioned documents, as revised, and summed up in document A/AC.96/301 Add.4/Rev/1 to be included as an annex to the final report on the session;
(3) Took note of the High Commissioner's statement that existing refugee problems were likely to require expenditure of a further $506,800 within the financial target of $3,900,000 and that new projects will be submitted in due course to the Committee for approval in respect of this amount;
(4) Authorized the High Commissioner to transfer funds between projects approved under the 1966 Programme, subject to their being reported as soon as possible thereafter to the Committee.
APPENDIX I Opening statement by the High Commissioner
During the past five years I have come to realize the vital role played by the Executive Committee in enabling UNHCR to carry out its tasks. The Executive Committee not only supervises the implementation of the aid programme and takes decisions on it. It also acts as a guide and counsellor of whom the High Commissioner has constant need, since it is the link between UNHCR and those Governments that participate most directly in its work. The opinions reflected here are therefore of the utmost importance to UNHCR; they enable it to direct its operations effectively, so as to meet the needs that arise but at the same time bearing in mind all the encouragement it receives, any criticisms which may be made and the material support on which it must be sure that it can rely.
Probably at no time has it been more necessary for UNHCR to give the dynamism necessary to a promoter a role which it is called upon to play by virtue of its statutory and humanitarian vocation - to the uncompromising realism imposed upon it by its limited resources and powers. Thus the programme for 1966 submitted today to the Committee for its approval reflects this perpetual search for a proper balance between what one would like to be able to do when faced with needs and distress which are only too real and too glaring, and what is reasonably possible an expedient within the general framework of the activities entrusted to UNHCR. If the scope of this programme is, as the Committee will have noted, considerably larger than that of last year, this is not of course the result of a change in the general policy or basic principles to which it is customary for us to refer; it is because of the situation itself and the fresh needs it has created. After all, it is the very essence of an aid programme like UNHCR's to cut down or expand according to the circumstances governing its action, however prudent and limited. Now Africa, as everyone is aware, is today, particularly in certain areas, the scene of events and changes one of the immediate consequences of which is the appearance of new and sometimes very large groups of refugees. The machinery for international co-operation which has been created there out of nothing and in the midst of countless difficulties has gradually developed; it has been strengthened and improved and is today better able to render the services expected of it, and in particular to encourage a liberal policy of asylum and assist Governments to give the refugees a real chance to resettle. All the same, UNHCR must continue to play to the full its catalytic and co-ordinating role and be in a position to assume its due share of the ever-increasing task devolving upon the international community.
Africa moreover is not the only part of the world where UNHCR has to be on the alert. Europe too has come to the fore with increased needs. We are in fact witnessing a substantial increase in the number of arrivals of new refugees in certain countries and must redouble our efforts there to prevent a fresh accumulation of non-settled refugees in and outside camps from becoming once again a source of serious concern to the international community.
Hence, in view of the present proliferation of refugee problems, the acuteness and growing magnitude of some of them, and the need to strengthen the co-operation machinery which has been gradually evolved, there is nothing surprising in the fact that the financial target of the aid programme has also had to be raised, although the size of the increase is, I think, reasonable and not excessive.
This, then, is the general background of the UNHCR programme for 1966. I should now like to review very briefly the main problems which are causing my Office particular concern. As certain African countries are today unfortunately, as I said just now, the main areas in which the tragic events which breed refugees are occurring, and it is there also that the resultant problems are most complicated, where the situation changes most quickly and is also most alarming, I shall restrict to those countries the rapid survey of the situation which I should like to make, without trespassing unduly on the Committee's time.
Generally speaking, I think that encouraging progress has been made towards a satisfactory solution of these problems. Where the situation was most unfavourable, one emergency following so closely upon another that the measures taken had to be constantly re-adjusted, their effects have at least been moderated, thus preventing them from taking a dramatic turn. Even in these extreme cases, in certain sectors of the Congo and Burundi for instance, the prospect of a permanent, constructive solution, which is still our ultimate aim, has at no time been lost sight of, despite the delays and postponements imposed by circumstances on joint action by Governments, UNHCR and the participating agencies.
It is true that in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the situation has changed comparatively little since the month of May last, the expulsion order made against the refugees from Rwanda not having yet been revoked, despite the promises made in this connexion. Now it is quite clear that the annulment of this measure is the necessary prerequisite to any attempt by UNHCR to facilitate the settlement of these refugees in the Kivu areas allotted to them. Hence the plans worked out in co-operation with ILO for the inclusion of these refugees in the zonal development programme for those areas are practically held up. I can only hope that this problem will soon be solved so that we can forge ahead and put an end to the prevailing uncertainty as to the fate of some 20,000 refugees and the often wretched situation which is their present lot.
In Burundi, despite the measures which the Government has, for security reasons, felt it necessary to take and which have a bearing in particular on the plans for the settlement of the Rwandese refugees, considerable progress has been made. Apart from the 5,300 refugees who are already settled and have been allowed to remain where they are, 21,500 Rwandese refugees out of the 25,000 for whom provision was made, are now together again in the Mugera area, where they are settling in. They include in particular those refugees who were previously assembled in the Murore centre, the clearance of which has now fortunately been completed. After a period of flux, the situation is steadily improving in the Mugera zone to which, in the rainy season, a further 4,000 refugees with their herds, will be sent. Equally encouraging reports are reaching us about the return to the localities in which they were initially settled of some 2,500 Rwandese refugees who, tempted by the distributions of provisions being made temporarily at Mugera, had gone to that area without permission. It is therefore to be hoped that the implementation of the ILO plans for the consolidation of the settlement of refugees in the former settlement zones can now be expedited.
In Tanzania, as in Uganda and Senegal, the implementation of the projects already approved by the Committee and the accompanying settlement of the refugees to whom they relate is proceeding fairly smoothly and without major difficulties. These three countries are, however, having to cope with further arrivals of refugees, sometimes in large numbers, as is the case particularly in Uganda with respect to refugees from the Sudan and in Senegal with respect to refugees from Portuguese Guinea. It has therefore been necessary to prepare further projects which are now before the committee or will be submitted later, under the programme for 1966. But if in these various countries as well as in the Central African Republic the influx of refugees, both old and new, has serious repercussions, compelling the Governments concerned to make constant financial or organizational efforts, it is encouraging to note that everywhere these Governments are most anxious to fulfil their obligations and that their liberal policy of asylum does not seem likely to be changed. That is a point on the importance of which I cannot insist too much and which will not, I am sure, escape the Committee's notice.
Along with the above-mentioned problems which come directly within the province of UNHCR, there is another question which also affects some of the countries already referred to and is and is deserving of special mention. I refer to the Congolese who have sought refuge in those countries on what appears in many cases to be a temporary basis. In Burundi, Uganda and Tanzania alike, the presence of these refugees, whose numbers range from a few thousands to several tens of thousands, is causing the Governments concerned great anxiety. They have several times approached UNHCR with a view to obtaining financial assistance in particular. But UNHCR's intervention was out of the question, in view of the special aspects of the problem, unless the basic facts from both a legal and a practical standpoint, could first be clarified. A good many of these Congolese apparently wish to be repatriated as soon as order has been fully restored in the parts of the Congo where their homes are situated. To enable us to obtain as accurate an idea as possible of the situation as well as to facilitate the search for a solution through the establishment of contacts between the countries of reception and of origin, the International Committee of the Red Cross has kindly, at my request, sent one of its most highly qualified representatives to the area. Moreover, I have recently learnt with satisfaction of the decision taken by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to send a mission in the near future to Burundi to organize the repatriation of all its fellow-countrymen who wish to return home. Nevertheless, until such time as these measures begin to bear fruit, and having in mind what is at least the potential existence among these Congolese of a number who are likely to claim refugee status forthwith, I have, in accordance with the decision already taken in October last year with the Committee's approval, decided to make available from the Emergency Fund a further sum of 15,000 dollars for Uganda and 20,000 dollars for Burundi, leaving it to my local representative to see that it is used to the best advantage, mainly for the benefit of women and children. However, as the position of the persons concerned with respect to the mandate becomes clearer and if some of them are found to meet the requirements to which UNHCR action is subject, UNHCR will no doubt feel that it should consider the possibility of assisting in the implementation of constructive projects to facilitate the peaceful settlement of those refugees whose repatriation cannot be envisaged.
Before concluding this very rapid survey of our work in Africa I should like to say a few words about the principles and considerations governing UNHCR activities in those countries where problems of under-development outweigh the much more modest ones coming within our province and as it were constitute the background against which particular aspects of a rapidly evolving historical situation stand out clearly. These principles, needless to say, have remained unchanged, because they stem from the very concept of the task entrusted to this Office under its mandate and the resolutions authorizing it to undertake assistance, as well as protection activities, directed towards the search for permanent solutions to refugee problems. In short, these principles establish the primary responsibility of the host countries, implying substantial participation of their part in the financing of programmes; and the complementary nature of the assistance furnished by UNHCR, whose task in this respect is more to promote co-ordinated action and to combine all the efforts available rather than to act as the main supplier of funds. In any given situation, therefore, the criteria determining the action taken by UNHCR must be based on these principles. Such action varies of course, both in degree and in scope, according to circumstances and needs; in some cases it is the Government itself which devises the plan of action and assumes responsibility for its implementation; in others it is UNHCR which suggests and participates in the preparation of the plan, its implementation being entrusted to an intermediate agency, public or private. In any event, however, the Government remains in charge and nothing useful can be accomplished without its consent or co-operation. If I may say so, the golden rule followed by UNHCR in any given situation is first and foremost to ascertain whether any other agency, governmental or otherwise, is in a position to defray the cost of a project or a certain proportion of a project; as to the project itself, it must, if it is to receive UNHCR support, be strictly confined to the limited objective in view, namely, the immediate solution of a refugee problem; there must be no simultaneous attempt to resolve problems of a different kind which may be of general concern to the local population or economy. This incidentally, is why a very sharp dividing line to our activities has been drawn from the outset, and why the co-operation of other specialized bodies, such as the ILO, FAO, etc., is requested as soon as it becomes necessary to finish off the work, in many respects of an improvised nature, which we endeavour to promote.
No matter how modest and cautious we are in our approach, there is a certain minimum below which we dare not go without failing in our duty. The programme submitted to you reflects, in broad out line, that absolute minimum. It is therefore not surprising that today I should appeal to Governments, urging them, with an earnestness and conviction born of a desire to accomplish a task whose magnitude and difficulties will certainly be appreciated, to ensure that full financial provision is made for this programme. In this respect our Office is at present passing through a particularly critical period. We are faced with a considerable deficit for 1965 and do not yet know whether, or how, we can make ends meet without effecting substantial reductions in projects at the cost of their efficiency. Moreover, it is already apparent that, in order to meet our obligations, we can hardly hope to avoid the withdrawal, at the end of the year, of a substantial amount from the fund that we are trying to build up so laboriously as "reserve fund" or "revolving and guarantee fund". The fact that we shall, at the present time, have to draw on this fund, which should if possible have amounted to $1 million by 1 January 1967, is clearly a very bad omen. This withdrawal would take place at the very time when with limited financial resources we have to face a programme for 1966 which, despite a keen eye to economy, we are obliged to propose should be fixed at $3.9 million - an amount which is $400,000 greater than that fixed for 1965. We are, moreover, fully aware that, even with this increased amount, we shall find it very difficult to cover all the essential needs for which we must be prepared to assume responsibility in 1966. No matter what steps we take to increase the number of contributing countries, it is quite clear therefore that, without an additional effort on the part of the major countries associated with this humanitarian task of international solidarity, the minimum targets we have set ourselves cannot be obtained.
Does this mean, Mr. Chairman that we are not seeking sources of financing other than the Governments themselves? As you know this is not the case. On the contrary, we are trying to encourage all those who, on a private basis, are concerned with the fate of refugees to initiate action likely to help meet their most basic and pressing needs. At this very moment, some promising plans are taking shape at the European level. These efforts, however, should be directed primarily towards supporting and rounding off international co-operative action as a whole, by strengthening the activities of the voluntary agencies that are called upon to assume increasingly heavy burdens. They should, for the same reasons, enable UNHCR, apart from the amount earmarked for the regular programme, to finance certain projects which, although of obvious importance, could not be included in the programme. In other words, what we can expect from any outside action will not be enough to set our minds at rest in this connexion. This is because the problem posed today which will become even more acute tomorrow concerns the normal and regular financing of our assistance activities.
I have only a short time left to deal with one aspect of our activities which, despite its basic character, does not at the moment make it necessary for me to consult the Committee specifically. Protection, that routine activity of UNHCR which is discussed daily and occupies such an important place both in our internal work and in our outside activities is, by definition, a continuing and long-term task, whose objectives are clearly stated in the mandate, and in respect of which the High Commissioner does not, in principle, have to rely on the Committee's decisions. However, we are highly gratified by the keen interest shown by the Committee on several occasions in these maters whose apparently abstract nature makes a tangible and profound reality. We have accordingly endeavoured to see that the progress made, the difficulties encountered or the hopes glimpsed in this vital field are reported regularly to the Committee.
Without recapitulating the information furnished in document A/AC.96/295, I should like to mention two points to which it would, I think, be useful for representatives to draw the attention of their respective governments. The first point concerned the letter I recently sent to all Governments signatories of the Convention as well as to Governments members of this Committee in connection with the Colloquium held in April 1965 at Bellagio on various problems relating to the protection of refugees and in particular the dateline stipulated in the Convention. As you will remember, the report on this Colloquium was circulated at the spring session. A method, the simplest possible, of closing the gaps or removing the discrepancies between the existing texts was suggested, and my Office would be glad to have the views and advice of the Governments concerned, directly and as soon as possible, on the proposed procedure. Indeed, we attach the greatest importance to the continuation of this task in accordance with the views and wishes of the Governments concerned in this field where, more than in any other, their co-operation is necessary.
I personally had occasion, during a series of lectures given in July 1965 at the Hague Academy of International Law on the current legal aspects of the refugee problem, to review the situation as regards the development of legal status of refugee law during the past decade. I was led to clarify the meaning of certain concept, such as the idea of good offices, as applied in this connection. An analysis of the relevant texts clearly showed that development mainly of a pragmatic nature had taken place which had enabled UNHCR to adapt its activities to fit the needs of the moment. Yet at no time has there ever been any question of a revolution in its functions which, in essence, are still defined by the original mandate. Initially conceived for specific groups of refugees on the fringes or outside the scope of the mandate, the good offices procedure has, since the adoption of General Assembly resolution 1673 (XVI), acquired a new meaning. It enables UNHCR to extend the benefits of its protection and assistance activities as a whole to groups of refugees which, in point of fact, satisfy the basic requirements to be met by refugees under the mandate. In accordance with the line of reasoning developed in my lectures at The Hague, the use of the "good offices" procedure is therefore, in this context, tantamount to a prima facie decision of eligibility under the mandate applied collectively to the refugees comprising such groups. Furthermore, this point of view is, it seems, fully in keeping with the practice followed in countries where new refugee problems arise. As it is impossible, for practical reasons, to examine the eligibility of each of these refugees in turn - an eligibility which, so to speak, remains in abeyance - the Governments concerned are nevertheless prepared to consider them collectively as refugees within the meaning of the mandate or the Convention.
In any case, I thought it useful, with the kind consent of The Hague Academy, and in order to clarify for Governments members of the Executive Committee the precise meaning of a concept which, owing to the way it was normally used, might here give rise to some confusion, to send them copies of that part of these lectures dealing with good offices and the social function of UNHCR as it emerges from existing texts. It is, of course, only a personal analysis of a legal and rather involved situation, and the passages in question reflect only the opinions of their author.
My survey is thus complete; I should have liked to make it even shorter, but I have tried as usual to present a concise picture of the most urgent aspects of the problems of these refugees for whom UNHCR is responsible. I have told you what I am mainly concerned about in this autumn of 1965, when the world is unfortunately still confronted with a surging tide of refugees. Although our programme has, I think, become stabilized in the new context imposed by conditions in the developing countries, and although it has, on that whole, already given proof of its effectiveness, we are still gravely concerned about the future. And this anxiety will continue until the international community, on which we depend, shows a willingness to take resolute action to cope with requirements which, for the time being, are going to keep on increasing. I do not doubt that this willingness exists, at least under the surface, but I think that during the months to come it will have to be shown more clearly, in a more concrete form and above all on a broader basis than that to which we have become accustomed. Similarly, it will be necessary to improve still further, and at the local level in particular, that co-operation which had already given such good results. This is true, of course, of Governments as well as of the various specialized agencies of the United Nations which have shown that they were prepared to assist the High Commissioner's Office in its task, so far as their powers and resources enabled them to do so, and then possibly to take over that task themselves when UNHCR had reached the limit which could not be exceeded by it without betraying its mandate. It is also true of the voluntary agencies whose role in carrying out the humanitarian activities for which they are so well fitted has already proved to be of vital importance. When I think of the task which the Lutheran World Federation, for example, is already about to undertake in Tanzania for the resettlement, in what has hitherto been an uncultivated area, of several thousand refugees, or the action which the National Catholic Welfare Conference has agreed to take in connexion with the programme in Central African Republic or some other African country, I cannot help but think that this represents the start of an undertaking of much wider scope which the voluntary agencies, in general, are better able than anyone else to carry out successfully. In any case, I should like to express to them once again my esteem and appreciation. I should also like to pay a special tribute to those agencies which up to now have been most closely involved in our assistance activities in Africa: the ILO, FAO and the World Food Programme, whose extensive and daily assistance is one of the basic elements on which we have now become accustomed to rely.
To revert to Europe, which although it has not occupied a large space in this account of what we are mainly concerned about at the moment, has nonetheless not been forgotten in our daily activities, or in the programme itself; I should like to say a few words about a trend which has had some impact on the refugee problem in various countries where for some time there has been an appreciable increase in the number of newcomers. This unexpected influx has not failed to give rise to some perplexity, not to mention certain difficulties which have to be overcome. The main concern of UNHCR - a concern which unfortunately in certain countries is of a very concrete nature - is obviously to make sure that refugees who have legitimate reasons for seeking the asylum under the mandate are not improperly expelled. Needless to say we shall continue to devote to this question all the attention it deserves. In this connexion, I am very glad to note the recommendation recently adopted by the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe, dealing more especially with the right of asylum. As the representative of the council of Europe will no doubt inform you, that assembly also adopted another recommendation for granting to refugees the benefits resulting from certain intra-European agreements. The aims of such a recommendation and the solicitude it reveals are, I need hardly say, fully in accord with the constant efforts being made by this Office to improve the status of refugees, thus facilitating their full and rapid integration into the community receiving them.
I should also like to assure the Committee that this Office has not lost sight of the important question of the indemnification of those refugees who were found eligible after the dateline of 1 October 1953 and were persecuted because of their nationality. Although up to now we have been unable to obtain the consent of the authorities of the Federal Republic of Germany to the establishment of a new fund which would make it possible to indemnify those refugees who have sustained damages other than those provided for in the law recently adopted by the Federal Parliament, we are still actively pursuing the negotiations and strongly hope that a satisfactory solution will be found for this problem.
Before closing I should like once again to refer to the important part which is still going played by the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration in connexion with the resettlement of refugees and more particularly of those who wish to emigrate overseas. In this field, ICEM is one of the essential cogs in this machinery of international co-operation to which I have so often had occasion to refer when addressing you, and on which, in the last analysis, the actual work of the High Commissioner's Office is dependent. I should also like to express my very great satisfaction at the recent announcement by the President of the United States of America of the new and more liberal immigration act, which will undoubtedly make it easier for the numerous refugees who are hoping to make a new life for themselves in that country to gain admission.
(Note: Statistical and financial tables not included in this online version. See your nearest UN Depository Library.)
1 The full text of the statement is attached as appendix I to this report.
2 The full text of the statement is attached as appendix II to this report.
3 The trend towards an increase in the number of contributing Governments had continued during the first quarter of 1965 when seven more Governments had announced their contributions for the first time.
4 The full text of the statement is attached as appendix III to this report.
5 The full text of this statement has been circulated as document A/AC.96/290.
6 The full text of this statement is attached as appendix I to this report.
7 For details of these statements see Summary Records of the 122nd and 127th meetings.
8 The full text of the statement is contained in document A/AC.96/309.
9 The full text of the statement is contained in document A/AC.96/310.
10 The full text of the statement is contained in document A/AC.96/311.
11 The full text of the statement appears in document A/AC.96/312.
12 As stated in detail in the summary record of the 127th meeting.
13 See also the summary record of the 127th meeting.