United Nations

A/50/12/Add.1


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

1 November 1995

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


Fiftieth session
REPORT OF THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES

Addendum

REPORT OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE PROGRAMME OF THE
UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES ON THE WORK
OF ITS FORTY-SIXTH SESSION*















                       

  *  The present document  is a mimeographed version of the addendum to  the
report  of the  United Nations  High Commissioner  for Refugees.   The final
report will be issued as  Official Records of the General Assembly, Fiftieth
Session, Supplement No. 12 A (A/50/12/Add.1).


95-32812 (E)   071195/...
*9532812*
CONTENTS

  Paragraphs  Page

I.  INTRODUCTION .........................................1 - 174

  A.  Opening of the session ...........................  1 - 44

  B.  Election of officers .............................   54

  C.  Representation on the Committee ..................  6 - 114

  D.  Adoption of the agenda and other organizational
    matters ..........................................      125

  E.  Opening statement by the Chairman of the Executive
    Committee ........................................  13 - 176

II.  WORK OF THE FORTY-SIXTH SESSION ......................     188

III.  DECISIONS AND CONCLUSIONS OF THE COMMITTEE ...........19 - 359

  A.  Conclusions on international protection ..........  19 - 209

    1.  General conclusion on international protection     199

    2.  Conclusion on the prevention and reduction of
      statelessness and the protection of stateless
      persons ......................................     2011

  B.  Decisions on programme, administrative and
    financial matters ................................  21 - 2212

    1.  General decision on programme, administrative
      and financial matters ........................     2112

    2.  Decision on budget structure and governance ..     2214

  C.  Decision on the strengthening of the coordination
    of emergency humanitarian assistance .............     2317

  D.  Conclusion on refugee women ......................      2417

  E.  Conclusion on refugees and the environment .......     2518

  F.  Conclusion on the UNHCR-NGO Partnership in Action
    process ..........................................     2619

  G.  Regional conclusions .............................  27 - 3119

    1.  Conclusion on the situation of refugees,
      returnees and displaced persons in Africa ....     2719

    2.  Conclusion on the Comprehensive Plan of
      Action for Indo-Chinese Refugees .............     2821


 CONTENTS (continued)

  Paragraphs  Page

    3.Conclusion on voluntary repatriation to
      Afghanistan ..................................     2922

    4.  Conclusion on the CIS Conference Process .....     3023

    5.  Conclusion on humanitarian issues in the
      territory of the former Yugoslavia ...........     3123

  H.  Decisions on Executive Committee working methods  32 - 3424

    1.  Decision on Executive Committee working
      methods ......................................     3224

    2.  Decision on the introduction of Russian as an
      official language of the Executive Committee .     3327

    3.  Decision on the programme of work of the
      Standing Committee in 1996 ...................     3428

  I.  Government observer participation in 1995-1996 ...      3529  

IV.  PROVISIONAL AGENDA OF THE FORTY-SEVENTH SESSION ......     3630

Annex.  Opening statement by the United Nations High Commissioner for
        Refugees to the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's
        Programme at its forty-sixth session ...........................32
I.  INTRODUCTION


A.  Opening of the session

1.   The Executive  Committee of  the programme  of the United  Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees  held its forty-sixth session at Geneva from 16 to
20 October  1995.   The session  was opened  by the  outgoing Chairman,  Mr.
Ahmad  Kamal (Pakistan), who  began by  welcoming Bangladesh,  India and the
Russian Federation, the three new members of the Executive Committee.

2.    Mr.  Kamal   noted  that,  while  there  were  a  number  of  positive
developments,  particularly  regarding solutions  to  certain  long-standing
refugee problems,  various crises, such as  those in the  Great Lakes region
and  former Yugoslavia, persisted.   He  emphasized UNHCR's fundamental role
in helping refugees  achieve sustainable reintegration  in their  country of
origin, particularly through  the provision of protection and assistance  in
post-conflict situations.

3.  Alluding  to the current financial  difficulties of the  United Nations,
the outgoing Chairman suggested that UNHCR pre-empt  criticism by increasing
efficiency, adhering to  good management practices and exploiting  computer-
based  information technologies  to  improve the  information  flow  between
headquarters, field  operations and Governments.   The results,  in terms of
speedier decisionmaking and  decreased field-operation costs, could be  far-
reaching.

4.   Refugee  crises  were bound  to increase;  the  solution to  them,  the
outgoing  Chairman said,  lay in  resolving  the factors,  notably disputes,
that lead  to  such crises.    While  UNHCR cannot  take  a direct  role  in
resolving disputes, it could continue to prompt the international  community
to take action.  Mr. Kamal concluded by  noting that progress in  addressing
the  root causes of  refugee movements  would ensure  that the international
community would  not be  faced repeatedly with  the sight of  mass movements
across borders, an endless reproach to those who  could have done more,  but
did not. 


B.  Election of officers

5.   Under rule 10  of the  rules of  procedure, the  Committee elected  the
following officers by acclamation:


  Chairman:  Mr. Jakob Esper Larsen (Denmark)

  Vice-Chairman:  Mr. Ali Said Mchumo (United Republic of Tanzania)

  Rapporteur:  Mr. Apichart Chinwanno (Thailand)


C.  Representation on the Committee

6.  The following members of the Committee were represented at the session:

Algeria,  Argentina,   Australia,  Austria,   Bangladesh,  Belgium,  Brazil,

Canada,  China,  Colombia,  Denmark,  Ethiopia,  Finland,  France,  Germany,
Greece,  Holy  See,  Hungary,  India, Iran  (Islamic  Republic  of), Israel,
Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Lesotho,  Madagascar, Morocco, Namibia,  Netherlands,
Nicaragua,  Nigeria,  Norway,  Pakistan,  Philippines,  Russian  Federation,
Spain,  Sudan,  Sweden,  Switzerland,  Thailand,  Tunisia,  Turkey,  Uganda,
United  Kingdom,  United  Republic of  Tanzania, United  States  of America,
Venezuela, Zaire.

7.  The Governments of the following States were present as observers:

Afghanistan,   Albania,   Angola,  Armenia,   Belarus,  Benin,   Bosnia  and
Herzegovina,  Botswana, Bulgaria,  Burkina Faso,  Burundi,  Cameroon, Chile,
Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus,  Czech Republic, Djibouti,
Ecuador,  Egypt, El  Salvador, Equatorial  Guinea, Eritrea,  Gambia,  Ghana,
Guatemala,  Honduras, Iceland,  Indonesia,  Iraq, Ireland,  Jamaica, Jordan,
Kazakstan,  Kenya,   Kuwait,  Kyrgyzstan,  Latvia,   Liberia,  Libyan   Arab
Jamahiriya,  Luxembourg,   Malawi,  Malaysia,  Malta,  Mauritania,   Mexico,
Mozambique,  Myanmar,  Nepal,  New  Zealand,  Oman,  Panama,  Peru,  Poland,
Portugal,  Republic of Korea, Romania, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra
Leone, Singapore,  Slovakia, Slovenia, South  Africa, Sri Lanka,  Swaziland,
Syrian   Arab   Republic,   Tajikistan,   Turkmenistan,  Ukraine,   Uruguay,
Uzbekistan, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

8.   The European Commission, the  International Committee of  the Red Cross
(ICRC),  the Sovereign Order  of Malta  and the  International Federation of
Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies were also represented as observers.

9.  The United Nations system was represented as follows:

United Nations  Office at  Geneva, Centre  for Human  Rights, Department  of
Humanitarian  Affairs,  United  Nations  Children's  Fund  (UNICEF),  United
Nations  Development  Programme  (UNDP), United  Nations  Volunteers  (UNV),
United Nations  Population Fund (UNFPA),  World Food Programme (WFP), United
Nations Centre  for Human  Settlements (Habitat),  United Nations  Institute
for Training and  Research (UNITAR), United  Nations Research  Institute for
Social Development (UNRISD),  International Labour Organization  (ILO), Food
and  Agriculture Organization  of the  United Nations (FAO),  United Nations
Educational, Scientific  and Cultural  Organization  (UNESCO), World  Health
Organization  (WHO) and  United Nations Industrial  Development Organization
(UNIDO).

10.   The  following  intergovernmental organizations  were  represented  by
observers:

The League  of Arab  States, the  Organization of  African Unity (OAU),  the
Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC),  the Council of Europe and the
International Organization for Migration (IOM).

11.   A  total of  90  non-governmental  organizations were  represented  by
observers.


D.  Adoption of the agenda and other organizational matters

12.  The Executive Committee adopted by consensus the following agenda:

  1.  Opening of the session;

  2.  Election of officers;

  3.  Adoption of the agenda and other organizational matters;

   4.  General debate;

  5.  Programme, administrative and financial matters:

    (a)Review  of UNHCR programmes  financed by voluntary funds in 1994-1995
and of proposed programmes and budget for 1996;

    (b)Status of contributions  and overall financial requirements for  1994
and 1995;

    (c)  Administration and management;

    (d)  Adoption of 1996 General Programmes;

  6.  Participation of Government Observer delegations;

  7.Consideration of the provisional agenda of the  forty-seventh session of
the Executive Committee;

  8.  Any other business;

  9.  Adoption of the draft report of the forty-sixth session;

  10.  Closing of the session.


E.  Opening statement by the Chairman of the Executive Committee

13.  The incoming  Chairman, Mr. J. Esper  Larsen (Denmark), paid tribute to
the High Commissioner for her skill,  perseverance and courage and commended
the  dedicated  work  of  the  staff   of  UNHCR  and  of   non-governmental
organizations, particularly those working in the field.

14.  The  Chairman drew attention to  the ever-growing numbers  of refugees,
displaced persons and  others of concern to UNHCR  who, at the end of  1994,
amounted to some  27.4 million persons.   He stressed the responsibility  of
the  international community  at large  and  of  the Executive  Committee in
particular, in  the face of crises in  the Great Lakes region and the former
Yugoslavia and in the many other situations of conflict around the world.

15.   In responding  to protection  needs, most  countries had  demonstrated
their  readiness  to  adopt  pragmatic and  flexible  approaches  to provide
temporary protection to persons fleeing  conflict.  The  Executive Committee
would  need, however, to give  consideration to how  far Member States would
be  prepared   to  go  beyond  the   existing  international  and   regional
instruments in order to ensure international protection to all who need it.

16.  The Chairman also highlighted  the burden shouldered by refugee-hosting
countries, particularly the most impoverished among them, and expressed  the
view that international solidarity with and  support for those countries had
been insufficient.   In the search  for durable  solutions through voluntary
repatriation, reintegration  and reconstruction,  he stressed  the need  for
development  agencies to dovetail  their efforts with those  of UNHCR in the
reintegration process.  In this context,  he recalled the resolution adopted
by the Economic and  Social Council at its  1995 substantive session  on the
strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance  (see
para. 23).
  17.   Mr. Larsen concluded  by referring to  the process  of reforming the
working   methods  of  the  Executive  Committee,  which  would  extend  the
possibilities  for  the  Committee  to  exercise  effective  governance   in
response  to  the  desire  of   Member  States  for   greater  transparency,
accountability and oversight.

II.  WORK OF THE FORTY-SIXTH SESSION


18.  The High Commissioner delivered an  opening statement to the  Executive
Committee, the text of  which is reproduced  in the annex.  Following  this,
Mr.  Salim Ahmed  Salim,  Secretary-General of  the Organization  of African
Unity, addressed  the Committee.   The full account of  the deliberations of

the  Committee,  including the  statements or  other  interventions made  by
delegations on all  the agenda items, as well  as the closing statements  by
the  Chairman  and the  High  Commissioner,  are  contained  in the  summary
records of the session.


III.  DECISIONS AND CONCLUSIONS OF THE COMMITTEE


A.  Conclusions on international protection

1.  General conclusion on international protection

19.  The Executive Committee,

  (a)    Distressed  at the  continued  suffering  of refugees  for  whom  a
solution  has  yet to  be  found,  reaffirms  that  respect for  fundamental
humanitarian principles, including safeguarding the right to seek and  enjoy
in  other  countries  asylum  from  persecution,  and  full  regard  for the
principle  of  non-refoulement,   are  incumbent  on   all  members  of  the
international community, and  urges the  continued commitment  of States  to
receive  and host refugees  and ensure  their protection  in accordance with
accepted legal principles;

  (b)   Notes  that  the  search for  solutions  to refugee  problems is  an
integral  part  of   the  High  Commissioner's  mandate  for   international
protection, and that identifying and implementing solutions to the  problems
of refugees requires the constant support  of the international community so
that  the will  and capacity  of  individual States  are reinforced  in this
common pursuit;

  (c)  Emphasizes the primacy of the 1951 Convention relating to the  Status
of Refugees  and its 1967 Protocol  as forming the international legal basis
for  the  protection of  refugees,  and  underlines  the  value of  regional
instruments, as applicable,  notably the 1969  OAU Convention  Governing the
Specific Aspect  of  Refugee  Problems  in  Africa,  as  well  as  the  1984
Cartagena  Declaration on  Refugees and  the  1994  San Jose  Declaration on
Refugees and Displaced Persons;

  (d)   Welcomes the accession  of Namibia, the  Solomon Islands, Samoa, and
Antigua  and  Barbuda to  the  1951  Convention  and/or  the 1967  Protocol,
bringing to  130 the number  of States parties  to one  or both instruments,
and  urges States which  are not  yet party to accede  to those instruments,
and all States to implement them fully;

  (e)  Reaffirms the competence of  the High Commissioner in supervising the
application of  international instruments  for the  protection of  refugees;
stresses the  importance of their  interpretation and  application by States
in  a manner consistent with  their spirit and purpose; reminds States party
to the  1951 Convention  relating to the  Status of Refugees  1/ and/or  the
1967  Protocol 2/  of  the  undertaking  in article  35  of the  Convention,
reiterated  in  Conclusion 57  of  the  fortieth  session  of the  Executive
Committee,  in  1989,  to  provide  the   High  Commissioner  with  detailed
information on  the implementation  of the  Convention, 3/  and urges  those
States parties which have not yet complied with that undertaking to do so;

  (f)  Recalls conclusion 74 (XLV),  on international protection, adopted at
its  forty-fifth  session,  4/ which  encouraged  the  High  Commissioner to
engage  in  consultations and  discussions  concerning  measures  to  ensure
international protection  to all  who need  it; reiterates  its support  for
UNHCR's role  in exploring  the development  of guiding  principles to  this
end,  consistent   with  fundamental  protection   principles  reflected  in
international  instruments,  and   calls  on  UNHCR  to  organize   informal
consultations on this subject;

  (g)  Calls upon  the High Commissioner to  support and promote  efforts by

States  towards   the  development  and   implementation  of  criteria   and
guidelines on  responses  to  persecution specifically  aimed at  women,  by
sharing information  on initiatives by States  to develop  such criteria and
guidelines,   and  by  monitoring  to  ensure  their   fair  and  consistent
application.   In  accordance with  the  principle  that women's  rights are
human rights,  those  guidelines should  recognize as  refugees women  whose
claim to refugee status is  based upon well-founded fear  of persecution for
reasons enumerated  in  the 1951  Convention  and  1967 Protocol,  including
persecution through sexual violence or other gender-related persecution;

  (h)   Condemns all  forms of  ethnic violence and  intolerance, which  are
among the major causes of forced displacements as  well as an impediment  to
durable  solutions to  refugee problems,  and  appeals  to States  to combat
intolerance, racism and  xenophobia and to foster empathy and  understanding
through public  statements,  appropriate  legislation and  social  policies,
especially with  regard to  the special  situation of  refugees and  asylum-
seekers;

  (i)      Recognizes  that   for  States   to  fulfil   their  humanitarian
responsibilities  in receiving  refugees, reintegrating  returning  refugees
and addressing some of  the causes of refugee movements, an effective  human
rights regime is essential,  including institutions which  sustain the  rule
of  law, justice and  accountability, and  calls on UNHCR  to strengthen its
activities  in support  of national  legal and  judicial  capacity-building,
where  necessary, in cooperation  with the  United Nations High Commissioner
for Human Rights;

  (j)  Calls on all States to promote conditions conducive to  the return of
refugees  and  to  support  their  sustainable  reintegration  by  providing
countries   of  origin   with  necessary   rehabilitation  and   development
assistance  in  conjunction,   as  appropriate,  with  UNHCR  and   relevant
development agencies;

  (k)   Reiterates the right of all  persons to return to their country, and
emphasizes the prime responsibility of countries  of origin for establishing
conditions  which allow  voluntary repatriation  of refugees  in safety  and
with dignity, and, in  recognition of the obligation of all States to accept
the return of their nationals, calls on all States to facilitate the  return
of their nationals who are not refugees;

  (l)  Emphasizes the  need to address problems pertaining to the return  of
persons  not in need  of international  protection, and  encourages UNHCR to
cooperate with  other international  organizations in  looking into  ways in
which the  return process  can be  facilitated, and to  inform the  Standing
Committee;

  (m)    Calls  upon  the  High  Commissioner  to  continue  to  expand  and
strengthen  the  Office's  activities  with  regard  to  the  promotion  and
dissemination  of refugee  law  and protection  principles  with  the active
support of  States and through  increased cooperation with  non-governmental
organizations,  academic  institutions  and  other  relevant  organizations;
further calls upon  the High Commissioner to  explore ways to  integrate its
activities  in  the  areas  of  documentation,  research,  publications  and
electronic dissemination;

  (n)  Recognizes the  role refugee community education can play in national
reconciliation,   and   encourages   UNHCR,   in   cooperation  with   other
organizations,  to  strengthen   its  efforts  in  assisting  host   country
Governments  to ensure the  access of  refugees to  education, including the
introduction  into such programmes  of elements  of education  for peace and
human rights;

  (o)  Calls  on all States to  manifest their international  solidarity and
burden-sharing  with countries  of asylum, in particular  those with limited
resources, both  politically  and  in other  tangible ways  which  reinforce
their capacity to maintain generous  asylum policies, through cooperation in

conjunction  with UNHCR to  support the  maintenance of  agreed standards in
respect  of the rights  of refugees;  reiterates the  critical importance of
development and rehabilitation assistance in  addressing some of  the causes
of  refugee situations,  as  well as  their  solutions,  including voluntary
repatriation  when  deemed appropriate,  and  also  in  the  context of  the
development of prevention strategies;

  (p)  Reiterates the continued importance  of resettlement as an instrument
of protection  and its  use as  a durable  solution to  refugee problems  in
specific  circumstances;  welcomes  the   initiative  in  commissioning   an
evaluation study and  the UNHCR-sponsored consultation on resettlement;  and
encourages  UNHCR  to  continue  the  process  of  dialogue  with interested
Governments and  non-governmental organizations to strengthen its activities
in  this  connection,  and  to  provide  regular  reports  to  the Executive
Committee;

  (q)  Reaffirms  its Conclusion 48 (XXXVIII),  on military or armed attacks
on refugee camps and settlements, adopted  at its thirty-eighth session,  5/
and reiterates  that, the  grant of  asylum or  refuge being a  peaceful and
humanitarian  act,  refugee  camps  and  settlements  must  maintain   their
exclusively  civilian  and  humanitarian  character,  and  all  parties  are
obliged to  abstain from any activity likely to undermine this; condemns all
acts which pose  a threat to the personal  security of refugees and  asylum-
seekers, and  also those  which may  endanger  the safety  and stability  of
States; calls on States  of refuge to take  all necessary measures to ensure
that  the  civilian  and  humanitarian  character   of  refugee  camps   and
settlements is maintained and calls on all other  States to assist them; and
further calls on States  of refuge to take effective measures to prevent the
infiltration of armed  elements, to provide effective physical protection to
refugees  and  asylum-seekers, and  to  afford  UNHCR and  other appropriate
organizations prompt and unhindered access to them.


         2.  Conclusion on the prevention and reduction of statelessness
             and the protection of stateless persons

20.  The Executive Committee,

  Recognizing the right of  everyone to a nationality  and the right  not to
be arbitrarily deprived of one's nationality,

  Concerned that statelessness,  including the inability to establish  one's
nationality, may result in displacement,

  Stressing  that the  prevention and  reduction  of statelessness  and  the
protection   of  stateless  persons  are  important  in  the  prevention  of
potential refugee situations,

  (a)   Acknowledges  the  responsibilities already  entrusted  to  the High
Commissioner  for stateless refugees  and with  respect to  the reduction of
statelessness, and encourages UNHCR to continue  its activities on behalf of
stateless  persons,  as  part   of  its  statutory   function  of  providing
international protection  and of seeking preventive  action, as  well as its
responsibility, entrusted  to it by the  General Assembly,  to undertake the
functions foreseen  under article 11  of the Convention on  the Reduction of
Statelessness; 6/

   (b)  Calls upon  States to adopt  nationality legislation with a view  to
reducing   statelessness,   consistent  with   fundamental   principles   of
international  law, in  particular by  preventing arbitrary  deprivation  of
nationality and by eliminating  provisions which permit  the renunciation of
a nationality  without  the  prior  possession  or  acquisition  of  another
nationality;

  (c)  Requests UNHCR  actively to promote accession to the 1954  Convention
relating to the Status  of Stateless Persons 7/  and the 1961  Convention on

the Reduction  of Statelessness,  in view  of the  limited number of  States
parties to those  instruments, as well  as to  provide to interested  States
technical  and   advisory  services  pertaining   to  the  preparation   and
implementation of nationality legislation;

  (d)    Further requests  UNHCR  actively  to  promote  the prevention  and
reduction of  statelessness through  the dissemination  of information,  and
the training of staff and government  officials; and to enhance  cooperation
with other interested organizations;

  (e)   Invites  UNHCR to  provide it  biennially, beginning  at the  forty-
seventh session of the Executive  Committee, with information  on activities
undertaken on behalf of stateless persons,  particularly with regard to  the
implementation  of  international instruments  and  principles  relating  to
statelessness, and including the magnitude of the problem of statelessness.


B.  Decisions on programme, administrative and financial matters

1.  General decision on programme, administrative and
    financial matters                               

21.  The Executive Committee,

  (a)   Confirms  that the  activities  proposed  under General  and Special
Programmes as  set out in  the overview of  UNHCR activities, 1994-1996,  8/
have been found, on review, to  be consistent with the Statute of the Office
of the High  Commissioner, annexed to General Assembly resolution 428 (V) of
14 December  1950;  the  High Commissioner's  "Good Offices"  functions,  as
recognized,  promoted or  requested by  the  General Assembly,  the Security
Council  or the  Secretary-General;  and  the  relevant  provisions  of  the
financial rules  for voluntary funds administered  by the High  Commissioner
for Refugees; 9/

  (b)   Requests the High Commissioner,  within the  resources available, to
respond  flexibly and  efficiently to  the needs  currently indicated  under
1996 General and Special Programmes which  are tentatively estimated at $1.1
billion, and to any  other new needs that might  arise, bearing in  mind the
Statute of the  Office, the priority to  be accorded to statutory activities
and the relevant provisions of the financial rules for voluntary funds;

  (c)   Approves the  revised 1995  General Programmes  budget amounting  to
$428,732,500, 10/ and notes that the present estimates for 1995 General  and
Special Programmes amount to some $1.3 billion;

  (d)  Also approves the country/area  programmes, Other Programmes and  the
headquarters  budgets  under  the  1996  General  Programmes,  amounting  to
$357,434,900, as  well as $25  million for the  Emergency Fund, $20  million
for the Voluntary Repatriation Fund and  a Programme Reserve of $42,892,100,
10/ representing  12 per  cent of  programme activities  and constituting  a
1996 total  General Programmes  budget of  $445,327,000, and authorizes  the
High Commissioner,  within this  approved  level, to  effect adjustments  in
project,  country/area  programmes, Other  Programmes  and the  headquarters
budgets,  as may  be  required  by changes  affecting  the  refugee/returnee
programmes for which they were planned;

  (e)    Requests  UNHCR  to  allocate  the  financial  and  human resources
required for the implementation of the  recommendations of the Working Group
on Refugee  Women and  Children adopted by  the Executive  Committee at  its
forty-fifth session; 11/

  (f)   Requests  the High  Commissioner  to  keep the  Executive  Committee
regularly  informed   of  developments  under   both  General  and   Special
Programmes,  including  the uses  made,  in  accord with  their  established
criteria,  of  the  Emergency  Fund, the  General  Allocation  for Voluntary
Repatriation (henceforth to  be known  as the  Voluntary Repatriation  Fund)

and the  Programme Reserve, and on  progress in  implementing UNHCR policies
under General and Special Programmes;

  (g)  Notes the report of the Board  of Auditors to the General Assembly on
the  accounts of the voluntary funds administered by the United Nations High
Commissioner  for Refugees  for  the year  ended 31  December 1994,  12/ the
report of the Advisory  Committee on Administrative  and Budgetary Questions
(ACABQ) on UNHCR activities financed by voluntary  funds:  report for  1994-
1995 and proposed  programmes and budget  for 1996,  13/ the  report of  the
High  Commissioner on UNHCR's  inspection and evaluation activities, 14/ and
requests to be kept regularly informed on the measures taken to address  the
recommendations  and the  observations  raised in  these  various  oversight
documents;

  (h)   Expresses serious  concern about the  observations of  the Board  of
Auditors  in its report,  12/ especially those on  management issues and, in
particular, those relating  to continuing problems in  regard to the lack of
adequate  managerial control  by  UNHCR  of programmes  implemented  by  its
partners, and asks that the  matters raised in  the report be reviewed in  a
systematic fashion by the Standing Committee;

  (i)   Requests the  High Commissioner  to initiate a  process of  informal
technical  consultations  on  the  question  of  overhead  costs  for   non-
governmental implementing partners, particularly  headquarters costs, with a
view  to having an initial progress review at the  time of the first session
of the  Standing Committee in 1996,  and authorizes  the Standing Committee,
if it  sees fit, to decide on  this issue in the course of its deliberations
during 1996;

  (j)  Urges  Member States  and concerned  Governments and  bodies, in  the
light of  the extensive  needs to  be addressed by  the Office  of the  High
Commissioner,  to  respond  generously and  in  a  spirit  of  international
solidarity and  burdensharing, and  in a timely  manner, to her  appeals for
resources;

  (k)   Notes the  intention of  the High  Commissioner, in  her efforts  to
improve   conditions  of  service   in  the  most  difficult  duty  stations
(categories   D  and  E),   to  extend  the  provisions   of  the  Fund  for
International  Staff Housing  and  Basic Amenities  as of  1996 to  any duty
station within those categories, including capital cities,  and approves the
use  of Special  Programme funds  to  replenish  the Fund  for International
Staff Housing  and Basic Amenities, to  the extent  that international staff
benefiting from  the provisions  of the  fund are  a charge to  a particular
Special Programme;

   (l)  Approves the  transfer of an additional  amount of $150,000 from the
1995  Programme Reserve,  and  an amount  up  to  $1,200,000  from the  1996
Programme  Reserve, to the  Fund for  International Staff  Housing and Basic
Amenities;

  (m)   Approves  the creation  of the  post of  Assistant High Commissioner
(Policy, Planning and Operations) at the Assistant Secretary-General  level,
to  be  funded  from  voluntary  funds,   and  related  staffing  (Executive
Assistant at the P-4 level and a Secretary at the G-5 level);

  (n)   Approves  the  proposal  15/ under  which  the Office  of  the  High
Commissioner  would  be   allowed,  exceptionally,  to  charge  to   General
Programmes  the expenditure still  to be  incurred in  relation to remaining
tertiary  level students,  and which  cannot  be  met through  the Education
Account.


2.  Decision on budget structure and governance

22.  The Executive Committee,

  Having  reviewed  the report  of the  informal consultations  on budgetary
questions, 16/ adopted  by the Subcommittee  on Administrative and Financial
Matters at its inter-sessional meeting on 20 June 1995, decides that:

  (a)    Any  UNHCR budget  structure  should  have as  its  objectives  the
following:

  (i)  Transparency, accountability and managerial control;

    (ii)The  necessary  flexibility  to  address  emergency  situations  and
unexpected changes to programmes;

   (iii)Assured funding of statutory activities;

  (b)     Further  streamlining  of   UNHCR's  budget  structure  should  be
undertaken bearing in mind  the objectives set out  in Conclusion 1, so that
in a  single,  coherent  budget structure  there is  a  clear indication  of
overall needs,  as well  as of  needs at the  country level,  and for  Other
Programmes and headquarters;

  (c)    The  criteria  for  the   inclusion  of  activities  under  General
Programmes is  that they qualify  as statutory; in addition,  they should be
activities related to situations which have stabilized;

  (d)   The group of stabilized,  statutory activities  which constitute the
General Programmes shall be a funding priority.  A commitment to their  full
funding would be  facilitated by a  process of  dialogue in  which the  High
Commissioner explains  the rationale used for  the inclusion  of the various
activities within the Annual Programme component of the General Programmes;

  (e)  If, for  a given year, all  stabilized, statutory activities were not
able,  in the High  Commissioner's judgement,  to be  included under General
Programmes, the  first priority  for inclusion should be  refugee situations
which  have  stabilized;  in  giving  effect  to  this  decision,  the  High
Commissioner  shall,  inter alia,  bear  in  mind  the  relative chances  of
funding for  different activities,  depending on the  programme category  in
which  they would  be placed.  The  High Commissioner  would report  to  the
Executive Committee the considerations which determined a particular  course
of action;

   (f)   The  Executive Committee  should  keep  under review  the  criteria
governing  the  Emergency  Fund, the  Programme Reserve,  and  the Voluntary
Repatriation Fund to ensure that those contribute to the flexibility of  the
Office's operations; their levels should also be regularly reviewed;

  (g)   In recognition  of the  statutory nature of activities  on behalf of
refugees  and,  therefore,  their  potential  for  inclusion  under  General
Programmes, the Programme Reserve may be  used for refugee situations  being
funded, for various reasons,  under Special Programmes.   Such a use of  the
Programme Reserve,  would,  nevertheless, be  limited;  it  may be  used  to
complement Special Programme  funding for refugee situations, provided  that
the  total  of  all  such  allocations  does not  exceed  one  third  of the
Programme Reserve in a given year;

  (h)   In recognition of  the importance of voluntary  repatriation, and to
support  repatriation activities  which could  not be  included, for various
reasons, under General  Programmes, the  use of  the Voluntary  Repatriation
Fund  should  be  enhanced  by  its  extension   to  voluntary  repatriation
operations for  refugees included under Special  Programmes; it is  proposed
that, in a given year, an allocation of up to $10  million could be made for
any such voluntary repatriation operation;

  (i)  The proposed expanded use of the  Programme Reserve and the Voluntary
Repatriation Fund  could  require  that their  levels  be  raised.    It  is
proposed that, as of 1997:

  (i)The Programme  Reserve be  constituted between  10 and  15 per cent  of
programmed activities under the Annual Programme for a given year;

    (ii)The level  of the Voluntary  Repatriation Fund for  a given year  be
set between  $20 million  and 10  per cent  of the  budgetary estimates  for
voluntary repatriation for the previous year;

   (iii)Within the  limits  set  out  above,  the  High  Commissioner  would
propose  the  actual levels  of  the  Programme  Reserve  and the  Voluntary
Repatriation Fund for approval by the  Executive Committee, bearing in  mind
that the  overall level of the  proposed General Programmes target should be
such as to justify a reasonable expectation of its full funding;

  (j)   With a view to  maximizing the use  of the Programme Reserve and the
Voluntary  Repatriation Fund in  any given  year, any  allocations made from
them could be cancelled if sufficient  contributions were later received for
the relevant activities;

  (k)   It  is  proposed  to  extend the  use  of  the Working  Capital  and
Guarantee  Fund  to  guarantee  budgetary  increases  in  the   headquarters
component of General  Programmes, not exceeding 2  per cent of the  approved
General   Programmes  total   target,  that   may  result   from   increased
headquarters  costs  directly  due  to  exchange-rate  fluctuations.     The
Executive  Committee  would  thus  allow  the  General  Programmes  approved
budgetary  target to  rise by up  to 2  per cent,  if this  was necessary to
accommodate such increased costs.  The  adjustment of the General Programmes
budget target  in accord with the  above provisions,  and related accounting
adjustments, would take place at the  end of a calendar year.  If such a use
had  to be  made  of the  Working Capital  and Guarantee  Fund, it  would be
replenished in the subsequent year in accordance  with the provisions of the
Financial Rules;

   (l)  In addition  to the broad review  of General and  Special Programmes
at  the time  of  the  Executive Committee,  inter-sessional meetings  shall
consider  updates  on  programme  needs  and  funding;  at   inter-sessional
meetings, there shall also  be a review of  all country programmes  (General
and Special) in a particular region  or regions (e.g. Asia/South-West  Asia,
North  Africa and  the Middle  East;  Europe/Americas;  Africa), and  of any
Special Programmes covering a number of countries in the region(s);

  (m)   The regular,  systematic review of  UNHCR programmes  at the country
level by the Executive Committee at  inter-sessional meetings shall be based
on agreed documentation (see below), and  will include presentations by  the
senior staff of the Bureau concerned;

  (n)  The uses made  of the Emergency Fund, the  Programme Reserve and  the
Voluntary Repatriation Fund shall be reviewed  by the Executive Committee at
its  annual  and  inter-sessional meetings  at  the  time  of  each  of  the
programme  reviews mentioned in  (m) above,  to ensure that their  use is in
accord with the governing criteria;

  (o)    The  wording  of  the  decision  related  to  General  and  Special
Programmes needs and resources adopted at the annual (or  any other) session
of  the Executive  Committee shall  better reflect  the enhanced  governance
exercised by the Executive Committee over those Programmes;

  (p)   Within the broad framework  of oversight of the  work of UNHCR,  the
Executive Committee,  in the  course of  its annual  session  and at  inter-
sessional meetings,  shall consider, according to  an agreed timetable,  the
various  reports on  audits, programmes and  evaluations and on  the work of
the UNHCR inspection  and evaluation service, as well as UNHCR's response to
those reports;

  (q)   Programme documentation should  be so  presented that  the focus  is
principally  on countries/areas with  a clear  picture of  programmes at the
country level;

  (r)     Programme  documentation  (covering   both  General  and   Special
Programmes) for given  countries/areas should be  concise (not exceeding six
pages)  and should be  primarily focused  on and  offering justification for
programmes  in a  planning year;  the  current  and prior  years' activities
shall  be  addressed  only  to  explain  any  significant  variations   from
estimates and  planned activities.   Special  Programmes covering more  than
one  country   will  also  be   presented  separately,  with   corresponding
consolidated tables showing estimates and expenditure;

  (s)   The  presentation of  the  annual accounts  should be  improved;  in
particular, the number  of Special Programmes  accounted for individually in
the annex to financial  statement 2, which  sets out income and  expenditure
for Special Programmes, shall be expanded  to include the most  important of
those which are currently reported under "Other Trust  Funds"; to the extent
possible, "Other Trust Funds" should be identified by region;

  (t)   Among the  steps to be  taken to further  enhance UNHCR's  budgetary
structure  and related  matters, study  and informal  consultations will  be
undertaken in relation to the following:

  (i)The  further adaptation  and improvement  of  the budget  structure, as
provided for in (b) above;

     (ii)The  categories/sectors   for  reporting   on  UNHCR's  activities,
including  the possibility  of  quantifying aspects  of  UNHCR's  protection
activities;

   (iii)The presentation of  budgets and reporting on programme  activities,
bearing in mind the need  for conciseness and clarity,  and the observations
of the ACABQ in this regard;

    (iv)Review of UNHCR's current computer systems and databases and  action
to ensure that they are adapted to UNHCR's budgeting and reporting needs;

  (v)Ways to  ensure better  linkages between  the  presentation of  UNHCR's
budgets in the United Nations biennium budget in  support of the medium-term
plan  and  the current  UNHCR  annual  budgets  presented  to the  Executive
Committee;

    (vi)Ways to ensure a better funding base for UNHCR activities;

   (vii)Review  of  UNHCR's   Financial  Rules,  including  the   provisions
governing General and Special Programmes.


C.  Decision on the strengthening of the coordination of
    emergency humanitarian assistance                  

23.  The Executive Committee

  (a)   Welcomes  resolution 1995/56,  adopted  by  the Economic  and Social
Council  at  its 1995  substantive  session,  on  the  strengthening of  the
coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance;

  (b)   Decides  that the  first  inter-sessional  meeting of  the  Standing
Committee in 1996 should give specific  consideration to the resolution  and
its significance for the work of UNHCR;

  (c)  Requests the  High Commissioner to submit to that Standing  Committee
meeting a proposal as to how the various  aspects of the resolution relevant
to the work of  UNHCR might most  effectively be  reviewed in the course  of
the inter-sessional meetings in 1996;

  (d)  Calls on  UNHCR to pursue in  the inter-agency Standing Committee the
issues raised in the resolution;

  (e)   Urges  Governments  to  ensure that  the relevant  issues  are given
priority  consideration  in  the  governing  bodies  of the  other  agencies
concerned.


D.  Conclusion on refugee women

24.  The Executive Committee,

  Having considered the report  on refugee women:  the achievements and  the
challenges, 17/ presented  to the  thirty-fifth meeting of the  Subcommittee
on Administrative and Financial Matters,

   (a)   Commends  the  Office of  the High  Commissioner  for its  role  in
ensuring a comprehensive presentation of the  situation of refugee women  in
the Beijing Platform for Action;

  (b)  Notes the guidelines  on preventing and responding to sexual violence
against refugees;

  (c)   Reaffirms previous  conclusions dealing  with the  protection of and
assistance to  refugee women, and in  particular the  recommendations of the
Working Group; 18/

  (d)   Notes  with concern  that field  implementation  of  the policy  and
guidelines continues to be unsystematic;

  (e)    Requests  the  High  Commissioner   to  prepare  a  framework   for
implementation of the Beijing Platform  for Action which will form the basis
of future  UNHCR planning on  refugee women's issues  as well  as reports to
the Executive Committee and the Commission on the Status of Women;

  (f)  Calls on the High Commissioner to  report to the Executive  Committee
at  its  forty-seventh  session   on  the  delivery  of  the  implementation
framework, with particular  emphasis on field  implementation of  the policy
and  guidelines and on  UNHCR implementation  of the  recommendations of the
Working Group referred to above.


E.  Conclusion on refugees and the environment

25.  The Executive Committee,

  Noting  with  appreciation  the  progress  report  on  the  guidelines  on
refugees and the environment, 19/ presented  to the thirty-fifth meeting  of
the Subcommittee on Administrative and Financial Matters,

  (a)    Approves  the  reformulated  environmental  policy  and  notes  the
proposed  operational  outcomes which  will  enable  UNHCR  to  make a  more
focused contribution to resolving refugee-related environmental problems;

  (b)  Requests  the High Commissioner to  revise the interim  guidelines to
give effect to the reformulated policy;

  (c)    Also  requests  the  High   Commissioner  to  promote  and  enhance
coordination  and  collaboration with  host  Governments,  donors,  relevant
United   Nations   organizations,  intergovernmental   organizations,   non-
governmental organizations  and other actors  concerned to address  refugee-
related environmental problems in a more integrated and effective manner;

  (d)   Calls  on  the High  Commissioner to  keep  the Executive  Committee
informed  through  its Standing  Committee  on  the  implementation of  this
policy, in  particular of  the financial implications  and of  environmental
actions initiated  in the  field, and  to present  a progress report  on the
results achieved to the Executive Committee at its forty-eighth session.

 F.  Conclusion on the UNHCR-NGO Partnership in Action process

26.  The Executive Committee,

  Recalling the  conclusion on the Partnership  in Action (PARINAC)  process
adopted by the Executive Committee at its forty-fifth session, 20/

  Noting with  appreciation  the report  on  PARINAC  21/ presented  to  the
thirty-fourth meeting  of the Subcommittee  on Administrative and  Financial
Matters,

  (a)  Reaffirms the importance of the Oslo  Declaration and Plan of Action,
adopted  at the  Global  Conference  in June  1994,  as a  joint agenda  for
humanitarian action;

  (b)     Welcomes   the  establishment   of  UNHCR   and   non-governmental
organization focal points to facilitate communication and coordination;

  (c)   Encourages  UNHCR and non-governmental organizations  to continue to
pursue  activities  in the  field  and  at  Headquarters,  to enhance  their
partnership in protection and assistance;

  (d)  Encourages  non-governmental organizations, Governments and UNHCR  to
continue  to  identify  areas in  the  Plan  of  Action  in  which they  can
cooperate further to implement particular recommendations;

  (e)   Requests the High  Commissioner to report to the Executive Committee
at its forty-seventh session  on the progress  made on the follow-up to  the
PARINAC process.


G.  Regional conclusions

1.  Conclusion on the situation of refugees, returnees and
    displaced persons in Africa                          

27.  The Executive Committee,

  Having  considered the  situation  of refugees,  returnees  and  displaced
persons in Africa,

  (a)  Recalls the conclusion of the Executive Committee  at its forty-fifth
session  on the situation  of refugees,  returnees and  displaced persons in
Africa  22/  and  acknowledges  with  appreciation   the  statement  of  the
SecretaryGeneral of the Organization of African  Unity (OAU) at the  opening
of the forty-sixth session of the Executive Committee;

  (b)   Notes with  concern the  effects of  political instability, internal
strife,  human  rights violations,  foreign  interventions  and  poverty  in
increasing the number  of refugees  and displaced persons  in some areas  of
Africa;

  (c)   Expresses  its appreciation  and  strong  support for  those African
Governments and local  populations which, in spite of general  deterioration
of socio-economic  conditions and overstretched national resources, continue
to accept the additional burdens imposed  by increasing numbers of  refugees
and displaced persons, in compliance with relevant asylum principles;

   (d)  Expresses  its concern regarding instances  in some parts of  Africa
where  the fundamental  principle of  asylum is jeopardized  as a  result of
unlawful  expulsion,  refoulement   or  other  threats  to  life,   physical
security, dignity and well-being;

  (e)  Welcomes the  strengthening of UNHCR cooperation  with the OAU at all
levels, and urges  the two organizations,  with relevant subregional bodies,
United Nations  agencies, non-governmental  organizations, the international

community  and  the concerned  Governments,  to  increase their  efforts  in
working out  strategies and implementation of  solutions to  the root causes
of the problems of displacement in Africa;

  (f)   Further recalls General Assembly resolution 49/7 of 25 October 1994,
which called for  the convening of  a regional conference for  assistance to
refugees,  returnees  and  displaced  persons  in  the  Great Lakes  region,
welcomes  the  initiatives  of  the  High  Commissioner  to  implement  that
resolution, and  endorses the Bujumbura Plan  of Action  adopted in February
1995,  as a  framework for solution-oriented approaches  to the humanitarian
problems in the Great Lakes region;

  (g)   Calls on  UNHCR to  intensify  its protection  activities by,  inter
alia,  supporting  African  Governments  through  appropriate  training   of
relevant  officers  and  other  capacity-building activities,  disseminating
information  about  refugee   instruments  and  principles,  and   providing
financial,   technical   and   advisory    services   to   accelerate    the
enactment/amendment and implementation of legislation relating to refugees;

  (h)  Expresses  appreciation for the  efforts of Governments  and for  the
important work being done  by UNHCR, United Nations agencies, the IOM,  non-
governmental   organizations   and   other   cooperating   bodies   on   the
implementation of  voluntary repatriation of refugees  in Africa; and  calls
on UNHCR,  in conjunction  with OAU  and concerned Governments,  subregional
groupings  and  other  interested  parties,  actively  to  continue to  seek
sustainable  solutions  to the  refugee  problem  in  Africa, in  particular
through facilitating voluntary return in a dignified and orderly manner;

  (i)   Encourages UNHCR  to continue to  cooperate with the  Office of  the
High Commissioner for Human Rights in the  promotion and protection of human
rights  and fundamental  freedoms in  emergency humanitarian  situations  in
Africa;

  (j)   Appeals to  Governments, United  Nations agencies,  non-governmental
organizations  and the  international community  to create  conditions  that
facilitate  return  and  the  early  rehabilitation  and  reintegration   of
refugees;

  (k)   Commends the  Governments of  the Great  Lakes region  and the  High
Commissioner for Refugees on  their initiatives to  promote repatriation  in
the  framework  of  tripartite  agreements  on  voluntary  repatriation   of
refugees in the region;

  (l)   Calls on UNHCR, in conjunction with host Governments, United Nations
agencies, non-governmental  organizations and  the international  community,
to   undertake  early  assessment  of  negative  impacts  of  large  refugee
concentrations on the hosting communities with  a view to initiating  timely
and  concrete measures  to  prevent damage  and  to assist  in  its  repair,
especially  damage  to  the environment  and  ecosystems  in  host countries
caused by mass refugee influxes;  
   (m)   Notes with satisfaction  the voluntary  return of some  1.7 million
Mozambicans  to their homeland  following near  completion of UNHCR's three-
year repatriation and reintegration operations, and  looks forward to  other
programmes  to  assist  the voluntary  repatriation  of  other  refugees  in
Africa;

  (n)  Expresses concern over the long stay  of refugees in certain  African
countries  and calls upon  the High  Commissioner to  keep under  review her
programmes  in   those  countries,  taking   into  account  the   increasing
requirements in that region.


      2.  Conclusion on the Comprehensive Plan of Action
          for Indo-Chinese Refugees

28.  The Executive Committee,

  Reaffirming the decisions of  the fifth and sixth meetings of the Steering
Committee  of  the   International  Conference  on  Indo-Chinese   Refugees,
particularly concerning the target  dates for the end  of activities of  the
Comprehensive Plan of Action for Indo-Chinese Refugees (CPA),

  Expressing  grave  concern  at the  decline in  voluntary  repatriation of
Indo-Chinese camp  populations in  1995 and  the large  number of  remaining
Indo-Chinese in camps in the region,

  (a)  Calls on  UNHCR to convene  in the region a meeting among  members of
the Steering Committee at the earliest  appropriate time, preferably by  the
end  of December  1995, in  order to  assess  the  current situation  and to
consider  necessary measures  and  durable solutions  to  ensure  successful
conclusion of the CPA;

  (b)  Strongly appeals to the  international community to provide necessary
support  for the repatriation  of Indo-Chinese  camp populations  under both
voluntary  repatriation   and  orderly   return  programmes,   as  well   as
developmental  assistance   to  the  countries   of  origin  necessary   for
reintegration of all returnees;

  (c)   Notes with  appreciation that  the countries of  origin continue  to
facilitate the  work of  UNHCR and other  appropriate intergovernmental  and
non-governmental   organizations   engaged   in   providing  assistance   to
returnees,  and calls on  those countries  to continue  to ensure reasonable
access  to  returnees   by  such   intergovernmental  and   non-governmental
organizations;

  (d)  Supports  UNHCR in its active role  in the promotion of  repatriation
programmes and in its continued monitoring of  the safety of all  returnees,
consistent with  the decisions  of the  fifth and  sixth Steering  Committee
meetings;

  (e)  Requests all  parties concerned to continue to cooperate fully in the
implementation of  the relevant  memoranda of  understanding and  agreements
relating to the repatriation of Indo-Chinese camp populations.


 3.  Conclusion on voluntary repatriation to Afghanistan

29.  The Executive Committee,

  Recalling the conclusion on voluntary repatriation to Afghanistan  adopted
by the Executive Committee at its forty-fifth session, 23/

  (a)   Recognizes the  grave burden  imposed  on Pakistan  and the  Islamic
Republic of  Iran by  the continuing  presence of  large  numbers of  Afghan
refugees, especially with  the decline in the  level of support extended  by
the international community,  and calls for continued international  support
for the  Afghan refugees in Pakistan  and the Islamic  Republic of Iran  and
for their early repatriation to their homes in safety and dignity;

  (b)  Notes with satisfaction the increase in UNHCR activities in the  safe
areas of Afghanistan  that refugees are returning  to and the importance  of
those  activities in  creating conditions conducive to  the continued return
of refugees;

  (c)   Calls upon  the international  community to  support a comprehensive
approach to  the return  of the Afghan  refugees and  the rehabilitation  of
affected areas;

  (d)  Urges the international  community and the Governments  of the region
to increase their  support for  the efforts  of the  United Nations  Special
Mission  for  Afghanistan and  the  OIC aimed  at  working  out  a political
solution to the  Afghan crisis, thus allowing for  the return of the  Afghan
refugees and displaced persons to their homes in safety and dignity;

  (e)   Calls  upon the  international  community  to continue  its generous
support for  the  humanitarian  programmes in  Afghanistan outlined  in  the
consolidated   inter-agency    appeal   for   emergency   humanitarian   and
rehabilitation  assistance  to  Afghanistan  (1  October  1995-30  September
1996);

  (f)  Calls upon  the High Commissioner  to maintain the activities of  her
Office in Afghanistan and its neighbouring  countries still hosting a  large
number of refugees and to continue the collaboration  of her Office with the
Governments concerned,  other international  humanitarian agencies  and non-
governmental organizations for  the provision of assistance to refugee areas
in keeping  with needs in  those countries until  such time  as the refugees
are able to return to their homes in safety and dignity;

  (g)   Requests  the High  Commissioner  to work  closely with  the  Afghan
authorities so  as to  ensure that  the basic  rights of  the returnees  and
displaced persons  are  respected and  that  appropriate  measures aimed  at
redressing possible violations are carried out;

  (h)   Calls upon  the High Commissioner  to extend the  activities of  her
Office in Afghanistan to  other areas of potential return, working in  close
cooperation with the United Nations agencies through collaborative  ventures
which will maximize benefits to communities receiving returnees;

  (i)   Urges the  High Commissioner  to continue  to play a  supportive and
catalytic   role  to   mobilize  the   involvement  of   international   and
multilateral  organizations  as  part  of  the  rehabilitation  strategy  to
sustain repatriation.



 4.  Conclusion on the CIS Conference Process

30.  The Executive Committee,

  Recalling General Assembly resolution 49/173 of 23 December 1994,

  Reiterating its support  for the High Commissioner's consultations,  which
should lead to  a regional conference to promote and develop a comprehensive
strategy  to address problems of refugees, returnees,  displaced persons and
other forms of  involuntary displacement in the Commonwealth of  Independent
States (CIS) and other relevant neighbouring States,

  (a)   Notes with appreciation  the information note on  the CIS Conference
Process presented to the forty-sixth session  of the Executive Committee 24/
and the  progress achieved so far  through the preparatory  process in which
the scope  and objectives  of the  Conference and  definitions,  as well  as
causes  and  effects  of  population  movements  in  the  region,  have been
discussed  in the first  meeting of experts, the  steering group and various
subregional meetings;

  (b)   Supports the preparatory process,  to be  continued in transparency,
leading  to the elaboration of  a declaration of principles  and a programme
of action for submission to the regional conference to be convened in 1996;

  (c)    Welcomes  the  establishment  of   a  common  secretariat  for  the
preparation  of  the   conference  comprising   UNHCR,  the   IOM  and   the
Organization for  Security and Cooperation in  Europe (OSCE)  and its Office
for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights;

  (d)    Calls  on  all  States  concerned  and  relevant  intergovernmental
organizations to participate actively in the preparatory process;

  (e)   Urges Governments which have  not yet done  so to  contribute to the
secretariat  in  order to  assist  it  properly  to  support the  conference
process;

  (f)   Welcomes  consultations launched by the  conference secretariat with
non-governmental organizations and independent actors, and encourages  their
participation in the consultative process and its follow-up;

  (g)   Requests the High  Commissioner to report to the Executive Committee
at  its  forty-seventh  session  on  the   outcome  and  follow-up  of   the
conference.


5.  Conclusion on humanitarian issues in the territory
    of the former Yugoslavia                         

31.  The Executive Committee

  (a)  Expresses its utmost concern for the  fate of refugees and  displaced
and missing persons within and from the territory of the former Yugoslavia;

  (b)  Emphasizes  the importance of continued international protection  and
the ongoing need for humanitarian assistance;

  (c)  Welcomes the  ongoing peace efforts and notes with satisfaction  that
fundamental humanitarian and human rights principles  are to be included  in
the comprehensive  peace agreements as indispensable  elements to achieve  a
lasting peace;
    (d)   Recalls UNHCR's mandated role in the  protection of and assistance
to  returnees, and  supports  the retention  by  UNHCR of  its  lead  United
Nations humanitarian agency role in the post-settlement period;

  (e)  Recognizes that voluntary  repatriation, when it is  feasible, is the
ideal  solution to the  refugee problem, and  calls upon  Governments of the
countries of origin  to create conditions  for and to  ensure the  organized
return of refugees and  displaced persons in safety and dignity in a  phased
and  coordinated manner,  in cooperation  with  and  with the  assistance of
UNHCR, the host countries and the international community as a whole;

  (f)   Reiterates  the urgent  appeals  by  the international  community to
grant  relevant organizations  immediate access to all  detained persons and
to provide full information on the fate of those unaccounted for;

  (g)    Calls  upon  the  international  donor  community  to  continue  to
contribute generously to the ongoing humanitarian  efforts, as well as those
humanitarian  and rehabilitation  programmes  to be  undertaken  within  the
framework of a possible peace settlement.


H.  Decisions on Executive Committee working methods

1.  Decision on Executive Committee working methods

32.  The Executive Committee,

  Recalling  decisions taken at  its special meeting  held on  20 June 1995,
25/  and noting  the  report of  the Working  Group  on  Executive Committee
Working  Methods  26/  and  the  recommendations  of  the  Subcommittee   on
Administrative and Financial Matters thereon, 27/ decides that:

  (a)   The Committee  will reconstitute  its  annual cycle  of meetings  to
comprise  one  annual  plenary  session  and  a  number  of  inter-sessional
meetings of  a Standing  Committee of the  Whole.   This Standing  Committee
will  replace  the  current  Subcommittee  of  the  Whole  on  International
Protection, the  Subcommittee on Administrative  and Financial Matters,  and
the informal meetings of the Executive Committee;

  (b)   The work of the Standing Committee will be  structured in such a way
as to facilitate  discussion of protection,  programme and financial issues,
as well as complex questions that cut across those categories;

  (c)   The Standing Committee will  meet about four  times a year, with the
exact  number of  meetings to  be  determined  by the  requirements of  good
governance;

  (d)   The penultimate annual  meeting of the Standing Committee will focus
on questions of international protection and their programme implications;

  (e)   A meeting of  the Standing Committee will take  place at least three
weeks prior  to the annual plenary in  order to focus  on the preparation of
the draft decisions and  conclusions which will be presented to the  plenary
for adoption,  following  further  consultations, in  the framework  of  the
Standing Committee's report, the Note  on International Protection and other
relevant documentation;

   (f)  The annual plenary session of the  Executive Committee will be  held
in  mid-October  so  as  to  facilitate  the  preparation  of  draft plenary
decisions and conclusions by the Standing Committee;

  (g)  The agenda  of the annual plenary  session of the Executive Committee
will  be reformed to  ensure more  focused policy  discussion, clear linkage
with the work of the Standing Committee and more effective decision-making;

  (h)  The general debate  will be discontinued and be replaced by a  debate
on a  focused annual  theme to  be selected  in consultation  with the  High
Commissioner and  the Standing Committee  at a meeting  held at  least three
months before the annual plenary session;

  (i)    The  discontinuation  of  the  general  debate  should  not  hinder
Governments from bringing  pressing refugee concerns  in their own countries
to  the attention of  the Executive Committee,  and such  statements will be
accommodated on a flexible basis, within the agenda item most appropriate;

  (j)   Special consideration will be given to Ministers or other government
officials  of  similar  rank,  who  will,  upon  request,  be  accorded  the
opportunity to make a statement on their  concerns at an early stage  of the
meeting;

  (k)    The  Executive  Committee,  at  its  annual  plenary  session, will
formally  identify  issues  to  be  covered in  the  work  programme of  the
Standing  Committee  and  review  the  Standing  Committee's   work  at  its
following session;

  (l)    The  Standing  Committee  will  be  authorized  to  add  items,  as
appropriate, to  its agenda,  in addition  to those  referred to  it by  the
plenary;

  (m)   Executive Committee  members will meet  at an early  date after  the
annual  plenary  session to  establish  the  calendar of  Standing Committee
meetings;

  (n)   The reformed  agenda of  the annual  plenary will  be structured  as
follows:

  (i)Opening of the session;

    (ii)  Election of officers;

   (iii)  Adoption of the agenda and other organizational matters;

    (iv)  Annual theme;

  (v)Reports  on  the  work  of  the  Standing  Committee  on  international
protection and programme, administrative and financial matters;

    (vi)  Consideration and adoption of programme budgets;

   (vii)  Reports relating to programme oversight;

  (viii)Matters for  consideration by  the inter-sessional  meetings of  the
Standing Committee;

    (ix)  Any other business;

  (x)  Adoption of report;

   (o)   The annual  session of the  Executive Committee  will be  contained
within the current time-frame of one week;

  (p)  A ten-minute time-limit will  be strictly applied to  statements made
under   the  debate  on  the  annual  theme  and   a  five-minute  limit  to
interventions made under other items of the agenda;

  (q)    The  annual  plenary session  will  adopt the  general  decision on
programme, administrative and  financial matters, the general conclusion  on
international   protection  and  the  programme  of  work  of  the  Standing
Committee;

  (r)   The  Executive Committee  will  delegate  to the  Standing Committee
authority to  adopt decisions  and conclusions  on matters  included in  its
annual programme of work;

  (s)  Such delegation will include the authority to approve adjustments  of
up to  10 per cent  to the General  Programmes budget;  where adjustments in
excess of 10 per  cent are recommended by  the Standing Committee, a special
meeting of the Executive Committee will be called in accordance with rule  1
of the Rules of Procedure; 28/

  (t)  All decisions and conclusions adopted by the Standing Committee  will
be reported to the plenary and included in its annual  report to the General
Assembly;

  (u)   The  Standing  Committee will  prepare,  on  the  basis of  its  own
discussions,  draft decisions and  conclusions scheduled for adoption at the
annual plenary session;

  (v)   Drafts of decisions and  conclusions, including  those introduced by
member Governments, must  be made available by the secretariat  sufficiently
in advance of any Standing Committee meeting for consultation  to take place
with capitals;

  (w)    A  central  role  will  be  played  by  the  Executive  Committee's
Rapporteur in the preparation of decisions  and conclusions for adoption  by
the Executive Committee or its Standing Committee;

  (x)    The  Rapporteur  will  need  to  maintain  a  flexible consultative
arrangement to ensure consensus on decisions and conclusions;

  (y)   The  number of  decisions and  conclusions  will be  streamlined and
limited to  items which have been  the subject of  focused debate in  either
the plenary or the Standing Committee;

  (z)  In  the interest of brevity, the  number of preambular paragraphs  to
decisions and conclusions of the  Executive Committee and Standing Committee
will be reduced to the greatest possible extent;

  (aa) In order  to facilitate effective decision-making, all  documentation
prepared  for Standing Committee  meetings must  be available to delegations
at least three weeks prior to any meeting;

  (bb) Consideration  of  any agenda  item  on  which a  Standing  Committee
decision or conclusion is  required will be postponed to a later meeting  in
cases where  documentation is not made available at least three weeks before

the Standing Committee meeting at which it is scheduled for consideration;
    (cc) Where  exceptional  circumstances  justify the  late issue  of  any
document, the  above  requirements may  be waived  by  the  Chairman of  the
Standing Committee;

  (dd) A  clear distinction  will be  introduced between information  papers
and those requiring substantive  discussion and endorsement by the Executive
Committee or the Standing Committee;

  (ee)  Where  a  decision  or  conclusion  of  the  Executive  Committee or
Standing Committee  is sought, each document  will conclude  with a proposed
text for adoption by the Committee;

  (ff) Executive Committee and Standing Committee documents will be  limited
in  principle  to  six  single-spaced  pages,  including  the  text  of  any
accompanying decision or conclusion;

  (gg)  Any  policy  documents  which  exceed  the  six-page  limit  will be
accompanied by  a  one-page executive  summary  to  facilitate the  work  of
delegations;

  (hh) The  six-page limit for  Executive Committee  and Standing  Committee
documents will also be applied to country chapters;

  (ii) All  policy documents  and  other documentation  of general  interest
submitted to  the annual  plenary session  of the  Executive Committee  will
continue to be issued in the official languages;

  (jj) In order to  ensure that delegations receive in a timely fashion  the
translated  versions  of those  documents  to  which they  themselves accord
priority, as  well as to reduce costs, country chapters  relating to UNHCR's
programme  budgets  will  be  issued  automatically  only  in  the   working
languages of  the  Executive Committee,  while individual  chapters will  be
made  available in other  official languages  upon selective  request by any
member delegation;

  (kk)  The above  decisions for  the  reform  of the  Executive Committee's
working methods will  be implemented and  their full implications thoroughly
drawn before consideration is given  to increased participation by observers
in the work of the plenary or Standing Committee;

  (ll) The above decisions will be implemented on an  experimental basis for
one annual cycle of  meetings, and their application will be reviewed at the
end of the forty-seventh session in October 1996.


       2.  Decision on the introduction of Russian as an
           official language of the Executive Committee

33.  The Executive Committee,

  Having considered  the High  Commissioner's  note on  the introduction  of
Russian as an official language of the Executive Committee, 29/

  (a)  Welcomes  the election of  the Russian Federation as a  member of the
Executive Committee;

   (b)   Emphasizes the importance  of Russian in  facilitating the  work of
UNHCR and implementation of the provisions  of the 1951 Convention  relating
to the  Status  of Refugees,  notably  in  the Commonwealth  of  Independent
States;

  (c)  Decides,  subject to budgetary approval  by the General  Assembly, to
introduce Russian as an official language of the Executive Committee;

  (d)   Also  decides to  forward the  matter  to  the General  Assembly for

budgetary approval.


3.  Decision on the programme of work of the
    Standing Committee in 1996             

34.  The Executive Committee,

  Having  reviewed  the  issues  before  it  at  its  forty-sixth   session,
including  the report  of the  Subcommittee  of  the Whole  on International
Protection 30/  and  of  the Subcommittee  on Administrative  and  Financial
Matters,  31/ and  bearing  in mind  the  report  of  the Working  Group  on
Executive Committee Working Methods, 32/

  (a)  Decides  to include the following issues in the programme  of work of
its  Standing  Committee in  1996, and  requests that  UNHCR include  in its
documentation on each item the relevant  audit and ACABQ recommendations, as
well  as  steps  taken  to  implement  those  recommendations  and   related
Executive Committee decisions and conclusions:

  (i)  International protection:

    a.  Note on international protection;

    b.  Follow-up to the conclusions on international protection;

    c.  The return of persons not in need of international protection;

    (ii)  Programmes and funding matters:

    a.  Updates on programmes, funding and results, to include:

      -Region by region reviews of General and Special Programmes;

      -Reviews of the use of the  emergency fund, programme reserve  and the
voluntary repatriation fund;

    b.Implementation  and  results  of  UNHCR  policies  under  General  and
Special Programmes;

    c.Follow-up to the  conclusions of the informal consultations on  budget
structure;

   (iii)  Coordination questions:

    a.Economic and  Social Council resolution  1995/56 on the  strengthening
of the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance;


     (iv)  Management, financial and human resources matters:

    a.  Implementing partners:

      -  Managerial control and monitoring;

      -Overhead  costs,  including headquarters  costs  of  non-governmental
organizations;

    b.Reports relating to oversight and evaluation;

    c.  Human resources policies;

    d.Administrative matters,  including headquarters structure and staffing
levels;

    e.Other   resource   management,   including  capital   and  information

management;

  (v)  Work of the Executive Committee:

    a.Selection  of the annual  theme to  be considered  at the fortyseventh
session of the Executive Committee;

    b.Authorizes  the Standing Committee  to add  items, as  appropriate, to
its inter-sessional programme of work;

    c.Calls on the  Standing Committee to report on  its work to the  forty-
seventh session of the Executive Committee.


I.  Government observer participation in 1995-1996

35.   The Executive  Committee considered  and approved  applications by the
following  Government  observer  delegations  for  participation  in  inter-
sessional meetings of the Executive Committee  from October 1995 to  October
1996:

Afghanistan,  Angola,  Bulgaria,   Burkina  Faso,  Burundi,  Croatia,  Cuba,
Cyprus, Czech Republic, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Honduras,  Iceland,
Iraq,  Ireland,  Jordan, Kenya,  Mauritania,  Mexico,  Myanmar,  Nepal,  New
Zealand,  Panama,  Poland,  Portugal,  Republic  of  Korea,  Saudi   Arabia,
Senegal, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, South Africa,  Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Syrian
Arab Republic, Ukraine, Uruguay, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.
IV.  PROVISIONAL AGENDA OF THE FORTY-SEVENTH SESSION


36.   The provisional agenda  of the forty-seventh session  of the Executive
Committee is contained in subparagraph 32 (n) above.


Notes

  1/  United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 189, No. 2545.

  2/  Ibid., vol. 606, No. 8791.

  3/   See Official Records of  the General  Assembly, Forty-fourth Session,
Supplement No. 12A (A/44/12/Add.1), para. 24.

  4/  Ibid., Forty-fifth Session, Supplement  No. 12A (A/45/12/Add.1), para.
19.

  5/   Ibid.,  Forty-second  Session, Supplement  No.  12A  (A/42/12/Add.1),
para. 206.

  6/  See United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 989, p. 175.

  7/  Ibid., vol. 360, p. 117.

  8/  A/AC.96/846, parts I-VII.

  9/  A/AC.96/503/Rev.5.

  10/  See A/AC.96/845, table III.

  11/   See Official Records of  the General  Assembly, Forty-ninth Session,
Supplement No. 12A (A/49/12/Add.1), para. 22.

  12/  A/AC.96/853.

  13/  A/AC.96/854.

  14/  A/AC.96/852 and Add.1.

  15/  See EC/1995/SC.2/81.

  16/  EC/1995/SC.2/75.

  17/  EC/1995/SC.2/77.

  18/  EC/1994/SC.2/CRP.23/Rev.1.

  19/  EC/1995/SC.2/79.

  20/   See Official Records of  the General  Assembly, Forty-ninth Session,
Supplement No. 12A (A/49/12/Add.1), para. 35.

  21/  EC/1995/SC.2/CRP.20.

   22/  See Official Records of  the General Assembly, Forty-ninth  Session,
Supplement No. 12A (A/49/12/Add.1), para. 29.

  23/  Ibid., para. 32.

  24/  A/AC.96/855 and Corr.1.

  25/  A/AC.96/843.

  26/  EC/1995/SC.2/76.

  27/  EC/1995/SC.2/CRP.30.

  28/  A/AC.96/187/Rev.4.

  29/  EC/1995/SC.2/80.

  30/  A/AC.96/858.

  31/  A/AC.96/859.

  32/  EC/1995/SC.2/76.

ANNEX

           Opening statement by the United Nations High Commissioner for
           Refugees to the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's
Programme at its forty-sixth session

(Monday, 16 October 1995)


  I am pleased  to welcome you to the  forty-sixth session of the  Executive
Committee.    May  I  extend   a  special  welcome  to  the  delegations  of
Bangladesh,  India and  the Russian  Federation.    Their presence  here, at
their first  regular  session of  the  Executive  Committee, symbolizes  the
global nature of refugee concerns and the universal support for the  mandate
of my Office.

  I  should  like  to  thank  the  outgoing  Chairman,  Mr.  Ahmad Kamal  of
Pakistan,  who, despite the  competing claims  on his time in  New York, has
made  a special  effort  to  come to  Geneva to  open the  meeting.   Let me
congratulate you,  Mr. Chairman, and  the new Bureau  on your  election.  As
the  representative  of  a  country which  has  been a  strong  and constant
supporter  of UNHCR,  and  as a  treasured friend  of  the Office,  we  look
forward to continue working closely with you.

  I  would also  like to  welcome our  special guest,  Mr. Salim  A.  Salim,
Secretary-General of the Organization of African  Unity (OAU).  His presence

here  today is testimony  to the  close cooperation which the  OAU and UNHCR
have enjoyed for  more than a quarter of a  century.  It is also  indicative
of the importance of  Africa to  the work of my  Office.  Africa hosts  more
refugees and internally displaced persons than  any other continent.  Africa
is  also the  scene of  voluntary repatriation  today.   Of the  close to  2
million  refugees who  returned home  in 1994,  1.5 million were  in Africa.
Out of 18 planned repatriations in  1996, 9 are foreseen in Africa.  I count
on  the  OAU's conflict-resolution  mechanism  and  its  leadership to  help
create and maintain the momentum on the voluntary repatriation of refugees.

  UNHCR has  been confronted  with massive  emergencies every  year since  I
became High Commissioner in  1991.  In recent  weeks, almost half  a million
people  were displaced by  war and  violence in the former  Yugoslavia.  The
urgency of saving lives in the  course of the past year  has been matched by
the  pressures to find  solutions and  the dilemmas  of ensuring protection,
whether in  refugee camps  or returnee  communities, in  situations of  open
conflict or  fragile peace.  In  a world in  which war deliberately  targets
civilians  and  peace fails  to  bring  security,  UNHCR's  dual mandate  of
international  protection and  solutions has been severely  tested this past
year in almost every region.

  In the aftermath of the emergency in  the Great Lakes region, we sought to
respond to the strong  pressure for early  return, while continuing to  take
care  of  2  million  refugees  and  remaining  vigilant  to  new  risks  of
displacement.   In Angola,  thanks to  the implementation  of the  political
settlement, we have launched our operation  to assist some 311,000  refugees
to return  home by  mid-1997.   In  Sudan,  we  have embarked  on  voluntary
repatriation to  Eritrea and  Ethiopia.   In West  Africa, we have  tried to
nurture  solutions.    In  contrast, in  South-East  Asia,  Central America,
Tajikistan and Mozambique, where solutions  have taken root successfully, we
have  grappled with ways to phase  down or move out.  In the Middle East, we
have been encouraged by the  evolution of peace and remain ready to play our
role in  line with our mandate  and in cooperation with other organizations.
Elsewhere,  the picture has  been mixed.   In  Afghanistan, renewed violence
has set back  the flow of repatriation.   In former Yugoslavia, peace  talks
have offered the first glimmer  of hope in months, although I fear that,  in
the  short term, there  could be  more displacement as people  are forced to
move to accommodate territorial adjustments.

  The thrust  of these  various developments  has been  to put the  issue of
solutions, and more  precisely repatriation, even higher on UNHCR's  agenda.
One important  statistic shows the  extent to which  we have  shifted from a
bias  on exile  to a focus  on the country of  origin.  Of  the 27.4 million
persons of  concern to  UNHCR today, only  about 14.5 million  are refugees.
The  rest include  4 million  returnees,  5.4 million  internally  displaced
persons and 3.5 million  civilians affected by conflict.  Almost half of the
persons of concern to UNHCR are thus to be found within their own country.

  These  statistics  also reveal  that  while  the  number  of refugees  has
declined,  the numbers  and categories  of  those  in need  of international
protection and assistance are in  fact expanding.  They  illustrate that the
pursuit of solutions without  regard to protection will  not take us far and
that international  protection is a more  complex task  than merely assuring
asylum. The two arms of my mandate are  fundamentally linked.  The objective
of protection  must be, not to perpetuate exile, but to encourage solutions.
But if solutions are not approached from the perspective of protection -  in
other  words,  if  they fail  to  protect  the  basic  human  rights of  the
individuals - then they will be neither effective  nor permanent.  Extending
from  flight,  through  exile,  to  return  and  reintegration,   protection
principles  provide  the  overarching  framework  for  the  prevention   and
solution of refugee problems.

  In my statement today I should  like to focus on our  efforts to develop a
new paradigm of protection  oriented towards solutions.  How do we seize the
political impulse for solutions while retaining the humanitarian  imperative
for protection?   What are the prospects and the possibilities which inspire

us, the dilemmas and  difficulties which confront us?   Externally, what are
the  partnerships we must  cultivate?   Internally, what  are the management
priorities and structures we must establish?


Dilemmas of protection

  One of the most difficult problems confronting  my Office in recent  years
has been the decline of asylum, even  on a temporary basis.   Many countries
are openly  admitting their  weariness with  large numbers  of refugees  and
blatantly  closing borders.   Others  are more  insidiously introducing laws
and procedures  which effectively deny admission  to their  territory.  This
year was  particularly significant in that  developments in  the Great Lakes
region  demonstrated that  even the  proverbial African  generosity  towards
refugees has become strained.

  The threat to asylum  has taken on a global character, affecting both  the
developing and the industrialized world.   In major incidents  in Africa and
Europe in  recent  months, borders  have  been  closed to  refugees  fleeing
danger. Thousands of  refugees and  displaced persons have found  themselves
caught  in the  midst of  conflict and  violence.    Some have  been killed,
others have  been brutally  attacked and terrorized  or forced to  return to
danger.

  International  protection  reflects the  convergence  of humanitarian  and
political interests.   In many  circumstances, asylum is  not only the  most
powerful  tool of protection  but also  the most  pragmatic, especially when
provided on a temporary  basis.  This is  why UNHCR requested Governments to
provide  temporary  protection  to  those  fleeing  the conflict  in  former
Yugoslavia and  has urged  them to  continue it  for  the time  being.   The
possibility of temporary asylum encourages a  phased and orderly approach to
repatriation and  thereby assures greater stability  for peace and  progress
in  the country  of  origin.   I  call upon  the  members  of the  Executive
Committee to  support our endeavours to  ensure respect  for the institution
of asylum, at  least on a  temporary basis,  for those fleeing  persecution,
conflict and civil strife.

  I am fully conscious that the decline of asylum cannot be arrested  simply
by appealing to the generosity of States.   It must be addressed, on the one
hand, by action to  enable countries to receive  refugees and, on the other,
by initiatives to find solutions to refugee  problems and where possible  to
prevent the outbreak of new crises.

  Peoples and  Governments around the world  have shown and continue to show
remarkable  hospitality   to  millions  of   refugees,  despite  their   own
political,  social, economic  and environmental  constraints.  The  costs of
hosting large  numbers  of refugees  are  not  always measurable  in  dollar
terms.   UNHCR's refugee assistance does  not redress  the collateral impact
of refugees on the host countries.  If Governments are to continue to  grant
asylum, greater  attention must be given  by the  international community to
addressing  the concerns  of  affected host  communities  and  strengthening
their capacity and willingness to cope with population movements.

  One area which has attracted attention in the  aftermath of the Rio Summit
has  been  environmental damage  caused by  large concentrations  of refugee
population.    In  the  light  of  those  concerns,  UNHCR  is  proposing  a
reformulation of its  environmental policy.   The objective  is to make  the
environmental dimension an integral aspect of our operations.

  Nor can we ignore the security  implications of large-scale refugee flows.
Indeed, the security dimension  of today's refugee problems underscores both
the decline  of asylum and  the drive towards  solutions.  In  an effort  to
assist  Governments to  meet  their international  obligation  to  refugees,
UNHCR strengthened the  capacity to maintain  law and order  in the  refugee
camps in  the United  Republic of  Tanzania and  eastern Zaire.   During  my
visit to Kivu in early September, I saw  for myself the improved  situation,

thanks  to the  Zairian security personnel deployed  with UNHCR's assistance
and the international  security advisers  seconded to UNHCR by  Governments.
Insecurity in refugee camps  is not only a matter  of law and order but also
one  of  maintaining  the civilian  character  of  the  camps,  which  is  a
fundamental principle  of international  protection.   Although the  primary
obligation  lies  with  the  authorities  granting  asylum,  UNHCR  will  do
whatever it can within its  mandate and in line with  its expertise to  help
ensure respect for the principle, including  seeking the relocation of camps
if necessary.


The challenges of solutions

  Increased assistance to host countries alone,  however, will not meet  the
demands of  maintaining  asylum.   Whether  in  South-East Asia  or  Central
Africa,  the  Caribbean  or  the  Balkans,  the  universal  reality  is that
protection abroad  cannot  be assured  without  a  parallel effort  to  find
solutions at  home.   As refugees  grow more  impatient to  return home,  as
Governments  become more reluctant  to grant  asylum, and  donors find other
calls on  their purse, how long  can we wait  for solutions to  materialize?
What are the parameters of UNHCR's mandate to  promote solutions?  What  are
the challenges we face in pursuing them?
    In some  parts of the world,  political events may  be turning the  tide
away from  human suffering to  homecoming.  In  others, it  may take longer.
However, in  none of  these instances  is return  likely to  be under  ideal
conditions.  In many it will be dogged by political insecurity and  economic
uncertainty.  Anti-personnel mines  are a major  obstacle to returns.   I am
therefore  disappointed  the Vienna  conference failed  to make  progress on
this issue.

  For UNHCR, the challenge of solutions  lies in seizing the  opportunities,
while remaining alert to  the dangers.  It lies in ensuring that  protection
principles,  not political  expediency, guide  the pursuit  of  humanitarian
solutions.   Working closely  with political  and peace-keeping  operations,
for   instance  in  Rwanda,   Liberia,  Bosnia   and  Herzegovina   and  the
Commonwealth  of  Independent  States  (CIS),  we  have  sought  to   inject
humanitarian  concerns  into the  political discourse  and to  reinforce our
capacity  to  carry out  our  protection  and  assistance  activities.   The
partnership has been fruitful, but  obviously the humanitarian and strategic
objectives have  not always coincided.  The relationship, particularly  with
the military, has at times created pressures on our humanitarian mandate.

  In some cases, as  in Angola and  Tajikistan, we have reaped the  benefits
of our cooperation.  In a few, such as the Caucasus, humanitarian  solutions
have  become  hostage  to  the  lack   of  progress  on  parallel  political
negotiations, although  I believe we are  playing a meaningful  role in that
subregion by assisting displaced populations.   In other regions, for  other
reasons, the  situation of Bhutanese refugees  in Nepal  continues to suffer
from a stalemate, while repatriation to Afghanistan  has stalled, prolonging
the refugee burden of  the Islamic Republic  of Iran and Pakistan.   We need
to look at fresh strategies to break the impasse.

  Ultimately, the  challenge of solutions  is not  only to  ensure that  the
humanitarian issues are  on the political agenda  but that those who  return
feel secure in their own homes.


New dimensions of protection

  Protection  needs  do  not  disappear  when  people  repatriate.    On the
contrary,  they tend to  resurface in  more complex forms in  the country of
origin, as  the problem of  the internally  displaced has shown,  whether in
Rwanda  or the Russian  Federation.   This has given a  new dimension to our
protection responsibilities  and has  led us  to interpret  our mandate  for
solutions in  a protection-oriented  but proactive manner.   Just  as we  no
longer wait  for refugees to cross  the border but are increasingly involved

with the internally displaced  in order to  avert outflow, we can no  longer
passively wait  for conditions to change  so that refugees  can volunteer to
return.   Instead, we must work actively to  create the conditions conducive
to  their safe  return.   It is  important, therefore,  that the  protection
debate moves on from interpreting voluntary  repatriation solely in terms of
the expression of individual will to the creation  of conditions of safety -
in the refugee camps, in the reception centres and in the home areas.

  Rwanda shows the dilemmas of this approach,  but also the way in  which we
have  sought to overcome  them.   It is clear  that in the  longer term, the
answer  in  the  Great  Lakes  region  lies  in  a  comprehensive  political
solution.   In the  short  term, however,  I  do  believe that  progress  on
humanitarian issues through voluntary and safe  return can contribute to the
political  process,  while easing  the  humanitarian  crisis.    It is  this
conviction that  guided us  in organizing  the Bujumbura conference  jointly
with  the OAU  last  February.   The  Bujumbura  Plan of  Action provides  a
comprehensive  framework for  solutions involving  countries of  asylum  and
origin as well as other interested Governments.

  Although I was disappointed at the failure to implement  the Plan earlier,
I  believe  that  my recent  mission,  followed  by  the  convening  of  the
Tripartite Commission  in  Geneva at  the end  of September,  has helped  to
create a  momentum in  favour  of voluntary  repatriation.   Zaire has  made
clear its intention to deal with those who  block repatriation.  Rwanda  for
its part has unequivocally  recognized the right of  the refugees to  return
and expressed  its  commitment to  improve  the  reception and  security  of
returnees, including  full access  for international monitoring.   It  would
clearly reassure  the camp  population if  the Rwandese  Government were  to
define the  different levels of responsibility  in last  year's genocide and
examine specific measures in response to lower  levels of responsibility.  I
was  encouraged by  the  Government's declared  intention  to  proceed along
those lines.

  In the former Yugoslavia,  assisting the victims has  never been an end in
itself  for us.   Our goal  was and  remains to  help them return  safely to
their homes or to find new homes for those for  whom return is not feasible.
Last Tuesday at the  meeting of the working  group on humanitarian issues of
the   international  conference   on   Yugoslavia,   I  reiterated   UNHCR's
willingness  to promote  the  organized  return  of refugees  and  displaced
persons,  in keeping with its  role as the  United Nations humanitarian lead
agency and in cooperation with our sister organizations.  At the same  time,
I stressed  the importance  of including  humanitarian issues  in the  peace
negotiations.   People must  not be  used as  pawns to further  military and
political  interests.   All returns  must respect  internationally  accepted
principles.   The continued  gross violations  of human  rights, the  ethnic
cleansing  and  the  forcible  return  of  refugees  and  displaced  persons
underline the  importance  of a  firm commitment  by  all  parties to  human
rights  and humanitarian  principles,  and of  international  monitoring  to
ensure their compliance.   In many situations people want to return home but
are afraid to do  so.  Our negotiations to  obtain the guarantees on safety,
our presence in the camps to inform the refugees and in the areas of  origin
to reassure them are not only  the prerequisites for successful repatriation
but the predominant elements of our mandate for protection and solutions.

  International   presence  in  the   country  of  origin  is  an  important
confidencebuilding   measure,  both   for  returnees   and  the   internally
displaced.   It has been instrumental  in persuading the  refugees to return
from Bangladesh to Myanmar.   I am pleased to report  that more than 200,000
refugees  have returned  home  so far.  I  hope the  remaining  50,000  will
repatriate over the course of the coming months,  allowing us to phase  down
in  Bangladesh while  maintaining  our presence  in the  areas of  origin in
Myanmar until reintegration is completed.

  Another  example is  Tajikistan,  where UNHCR's  mobile  monitoring  teams
helped to stabilize the areas of origin and encouraged the vast majority  of
the refugees  and displaced persons  to return home  safely.   We closed the

operation  recently, successfully  handing over the human  rights aspects to
the Organization  for Security  and Cooperation  in Europe  (OSCE), and  the
rehabilitation issues to UNDP and other development actors.

  I welcome  the important operational role  of United  Nations human rights
monitors as part  of the collaborative  effort to create safe  conditions in
countries  such as Rwanda, El  Salvador and Guatemala.   However, the recent
killing  of  returnees in  Guatemala  has  underscored  the difficulties  of
ensuring safety  in the country of origin.   I have  noted the prompt action
by  the Government  to prevent  recurrences.   Obviously  the success  of  a
proactive  solution-oriented  approach  is  directly  proportionate  to  the
political commitment of the Governments concerned.


Reintegration and resources

  Viable  solutions  demand  that  efforts  to  safeguard  human  rights  be
paralleled by endeavours  to rehabilitate socio-economic conditions.   UNHCR
has relied on the model of small,  community-based quick impact projects  to
spark  rehabilitation, in  situations as  varied as  Mozambique and Myanmar,
Sri Lanka and Central America.  Just as  we have collaborated with political
actors to  ensure  that humanitarian  concerns  are  injected in  the  peace
process, we  have cooperated  with development organizations  like UNDP  and
financial institutions  like the World Bank to incorporate our reintegration
efforts into the larger rehabilitation and  development plans.  However,  as
we  try to phase down in  Mozambique, the challenge is to ensure that others
have a stake in the reintegration process and  will continue when we  leave.
To further this goal,  we are embarking  on a consultative process with  the
World Bank to identify concrete strategies for specific countries.

  At a time when development assistance  is shrinking and humanitarian needs
are  expanding,  a  third  window  for  financing  emergency  rehabilitation
activities is needed.  It would allow donors  to channel resources from both
humanitarian and  development funds and  would allow organizations,  whether
humanitarian or development, to utilize them.   In this way,  both immediate
rehabilitation and  longer-term reconstruction needs  could be addressed  in
the recovery process. 

  The  issue  of  resources  is  critical  when  it  comes  to post-conflict
rebuilding.   It is tragic,  therefore, that our  programme in Mozambique is
among those most  strapped for  cash.   Nothing is  more critical,  however,
than  the  funding shortfall  of  $50 million  for  the  Burundi  and Rwanda
emergency operation, which leaves us with  very little flexibility to  adapt
either to increased repatriation or potential exodus.

  However,  I am  pleased to  report  that  the overall  level of  financial
contributions  to  UNHCR  for  1995  has  been  impressive,  totalling  $757
million, of which $296 million is for General  Programmes.  This is  roughly
equivalent to the  pledges made at this point  last year.  As UNHCR's  total
budget reaches $1.3 billion for the second consecutive year, I am the  first
to appreciate  the enormousness of  the demands we  continue to  make on our
donors,  large  and small.  I  am  very  grateful  for  your generosity  and
understanding.


Imperative of prevention

  The  gap between  expanding  needs and  limited  resources  reinforces the
importance of  the search for an  effective strategy of  prevention.  In  an
effort  to promote  a preventive  approach  to  refugee problems,  UNHCR has
moved   towards   greater  involvement   with   the   internally  displaced,
particularly in  the CIS region.   Within  the framework of  an inter-agency
effort and  based on a clear  division of  responsibilities, we successfully
responded  to  the emergency  needs  of  those  displaced  from the  Chechen
Republic  of the  Russian Federation  this past  year.   Having boosted  the
local  response   capacity,  UNHCR  is   now  gradually   phasing  down  its

activities.

  True prevention means strengthening the  will and capacity of Governments,
individually and collectively, to  pre-empt the reasons  which force  people
to move.  This is the  underlying thrust of  our efforts in the CIS and  the
neighbouring countries,  where we have embarked  on an  ambitious project to
draw up  a regional  action  plan  to address  past, present  and  potential
displacement. Further to General Assembly resolution  49/173 of 23  December
1994, UNHCR,  together with IOM and  the Office  for Democratic Institutions
and Human Rights of the OSCE, has organized several subregional meetings  in
preparation  for  the  regional  conference,  hopefully  in mid-1996.    The
conference  will  adopt a  declaration  of  principles  and  a programme  of
action.  The process  is proving to  be invaluable in developing a  regional
strategy to avert population  displacement in a part of the world marked  by
ethnic tensions.

  The  challenge of prevention,  as of  solution, is  ultimately protection.
Early international presence can sometimes have  a preventive impact, as was
our experience in Tajikistan.   However, if we  are to break the pattern  of
coerced displacement, the  security of  States must presuppose the  security
of  people within those States.   A major test  for the coming decades, as I
see it, will be  to develop a  humanitarian perspective of security.   While
UNHCR,  with  its  limited  mandate  and   resources,  can  make  a   modest
contribution to  that process, the primary responsibility for prevention, as
for security, is clearly a political one.


Looking ahead:  management strategies

  Four years  ago, UNHCR launched  its strategy  of prevention, preparedness
and  solutions.   Today, the  review of  our challenges  shows  the dramatic
transformation in the approach  to refugee problems.  The second edition  of
the "State  of the World's Refugees", which comes out next month, highlights
this  solution-oriented approach.   In taking  the new  direction, my Office
has enjoyed the full  confidence of the Executive Committee, for which I  am
grateful.

  I have just returned  from New York where the United Nations is  preparing
to celebrate its fiftieth  anniversary.  It is  a sobering moment  as Member
States  evaluate the United  Nations performance  for the  past five decades
and  reassess  their own  expectations  for  the  future.    Spurred by  the
financial crisis, the issue of reform  is high on the agenda.  The future of
the United Nations will inevitably affect UNHCR.   We too must prepare for a
vigorous reappraisal of how we work.   If we are to  do our job properly, we
too  must use our  resources more  effectively.  Consolidating  what we have
achieved so  far, I  believe  that for  the coming  year,  we  must set  the
following four priorities:

  First, we  must revitalize our protection  policies and  strategies.  They
must both reflect the  dimension of solutions and respond  to the needs of a
growing range  of beneficiaries.   We are  being compelled often  to provide
refuge  in the midst  of conflict  and promote repatriation in  the midst of
insecurity. How can  protection strategies be  reformulated to  take account
of these realities?   How can we better  help States, whether  of asylum  or
origin, to meet  their obligations in the light  of these constraints?  As a
first step  we are  setting up  an internal  working  group to  look at  the
problems  in Africa.   We  hope to  undertake  a  similar exercise  also for
Europe.   Given the  dominance of  the domestic  agenda  in many  countries,
mobilizing  public opinion  as a  tool of  protection will  be an  important
element of the strategy.

  In  refining  our  approach  to  protection  and  solutions,  we  have not
overlooked resettlement.  Let me thank the Governments and  non-governmental
organizations  for  supporting the  consultations we  have launched  and for
their  positive  response   to  our   resettlement  appeal  on  the   former
Yugoslavia.

    Secondly,  we  must  rethink   the  way  we  plan.     The  dynamics  of
displacement today require  a planning  approach which is comprehensive  and
integrated: comprehensive in  covering the  sequence of  refugee flows  from
prevention to emergency response  to solutions, and  integrated in  bringing
together the entire spectrum of issues and actors.

  Planning  for   partnership  is   vital.     Given  the   multiplicity  of
organizations and agencies  on the humanitarian  scene today,  our objective
is to increase the predictability of action for mutual  support, and thereby
create  a  better  basis  for  cooperation   and  coordination.    We   have
strengthened our dialogue with the political  and peace-keeping arms of  the
United Nations.   We  have cooperated  with the  Department of  Humanitarian
Affairs of the Secretariat,  and with the  ICRC and IOM in their  respective
areas.  We have  refined the concept of  service packages with  Governments.
We have further  developed our operational agreement  with WFP and signed  a
memorandum  of understanding  with UNFPA.   I will  be signing  an agreement
also with  UNICEF when  I visit  New York  next month.   As for  our closest
partners,  the  non-governmental  organizations,  we  are  following  up  on
PARINAC  recommendations  at the  field level.   The  increasingly important
role of  regional organizations in peacemaking has added a  new dimension to
our partnership strategy, as has the  growing interest of institutions  such
as the World Bank in refugee and returnee issues. 

  Thirdly, we  must reinforce  the proper  implementation and monitoring  of
our  policies, guidelines  and programmes.    This  includes our  ability to
monitor and  control our implementing partners.   I see  it as an  important
priority for the coming year.

  One area where the gap between policy and action has constantly drawn  the
attention of the Executive Committee is that of  refugee women.  The Beijing
Conference  highlighted the considerable achievements we have  made but also
our  shortcomings.   We are  introducing a  number of  specific measures  to
increase action  and accountability, including  additional resources to  the
field and  stronger follow-up  mechanism  at headquarters.   Furthermore,  I
have decided to  reformulate UNHCR's recruitment  policies to  give priority
to women  Professional staff in  order to try  to reach parity  by the  year
2000.

  Fourthly,  we must restructure  the way in which we  work so as to improve
our  delivery, accountability  and  performance  and  build  a  capacity  to
contract and expand in response to operational demands.

  I  have  taken  a  number  of  steps  to  achieve  this  goal,   including
strengthening  the  top  management  in  UNHCR.     In  an  emergency-driven
organization such  as ours, innovation can  easily lapse into  improvisation
in the absence of a policy planning framework.   This is why you will recall
last  year  I  decided  to  appoint  a  Director  for  Policy  Planning  and
Operations.  Having assessed the value and  the need for the function,  I am
requesting  the creation  of a  post of Assistant  High Commissioner  at the
Assistant  Secretary-General  level,  to  which  I  hope  you  will  accede.
Overseeing the regional  bureaux, policy development and external  relations
and  supported by a  revamped research  and information  capacity drawn from
existing resources, the Assistant High Commissioner  will act as the fulcrum
for an integrated approach to policy, planning and operations in UNHCR.

  Like so many others, we must  also learn to do better  and more with less.
I have  requested the Deputy High  Commissioner to lead  a management review
of our  priorities, procedures and  personnel so that  we can  ascertain how
best to  improve delivery  and increase productivity  while reducing  costs.
Although  the   ratio  of   administrative  costs  between  the   field  and
headquarters  has actually  declined, our  expanding operations  world  wide
have pushed  our budget  and our  staff to levels  at which  they cannot  be
sustained for long.   Growth has a  high management price, and I  am acutely
conscious of my responsibility to assess those costs and  make the cuts.  In
the  course  of the  past year,  we have  taken a  number of  initiatives to
streamline  management, increase  delegation to  the  field and  utilize our

resources better.   One of the  most significant  steps we are taking  is to
prepare an  information and communications systems  plan which  will take us
into the twenty-first century.

  I hope  that one  important result of  all these initiatives  will be  the
down-sizing of  headquarters and the redeployment  or reduction  of staff in
the  field, based on improved  forward planning and  prioritization.  As new
operations open up, we must phase down elsewhere, as we  did a few years ago
in  Cambodia and  more  recently in  southern Africa.    We  expect dramatic
reductions in South-East Asia  in 1996.  The Comprehensive Plan of Action is
in its  final phase.   However, some transitional arrangements  may still be
necessary to ensure the  smooth conversion of the operation into a migration
programme.

  Obviously  the  key to  productivity  and  performance  lies  in a  highly
trained,  motivated and mobile staff.  The reform of UNHCR's human resources
management, particularly the implementation of the career management  system
and strengthening of staff  training, remains high on  my agenda.   I should
like  to  take this  opportunity  to  thank  Mr.  Dan  Conway, the  outgoing
Director of the  Human Resources Management  Division, for his  efforts.   I
know  that,  as always,  I  can  count on  the  commitment,  competence  and
creativity of UNHCR staff in making the adjustments.

  Let me  conclude by  saying that  the fiftieth  anniversary of  the United
Nations  is an opportune  moment for UNHCR  also to  reflect on  where it is
going and  how it will get  there.  The  United Nations is here  to stay but
the very nature of UNHCR's mandate ordains that  we must disappear when  our
task is  done. Yet,  every day  brings new  challenges for us,  ranging from
peace  in the  Balkans to  return in Rwanda  and retrenchment in  Asia.  The
imperative  for  action carries  within it  an  impetus  for change.   While
retaining the  core of  our principles  and the  thrust of our  strategy, we
must continuously revitalize  the way we think and  review the way we  work.
Our goal  is to be a  slimmer, trimmer organization, responsive to emergency
needs, aggressive in the search for  solutions and committed to  protection.
Our donors  expect it, the countries of  asylum and origin  need it, and the
refugees deserve it.   In that  process of  constant renewal  and change,  I
know I can count on your support.


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Date last posted: 18 December 1999 16:30:10
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