United Nations

A/51/341


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

10 September 1996

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


                                                        A/51/341
                                                              

General Assembly
Fifty-first session
Item 107 of the provisional agenda*

*   A/51/150.


              REPORT OF THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR 
              REFUGEES, QUESTIONS RELATING TO REFUGEES, RETURNEES
               AND DISPLACED PERSONS AND HUMANITARIAN QUESTIONS

              Comprehensive consideration and review of the problems
              of refugees, returnees, displaced persons and related 
                              migratory movements

                        Report of the Secretary-General


1.   The present report and its annex are submitted pursuant to General
Assembly resolution 50/151 of 21 December 1995, in which the Office of
the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, in close
cooperation with States and intergovernmental organizations concerned,
was requested to convene, in 1996, a regional conference to address
the problems of refugees, displaced persons, other forms of
involuntary displacement and returnees in the countries of the
Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and relevant neighbouring
States.  In the same resolution, the Assembly requested me to report
to it, at its fifty-first session, on the implementation of the
resolution.   

2.   Pursuant to that request, I opened the Conference, which was
convened by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees at
Geneva on 30 and 31 May 1996.  The Conference was the culmination of
an ongoing process that had begun in 1994.  It was held under the
joint auspices of UNHCR, the International Organization for Migration
(IOM) and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
(OSCE)(through its Office for Democratic Institutions and Human
Rights).  It was attended by representatives of 87 States (including
all 12 CIS countries), 27 international organizations (in addition to
UNHCR, IOM and OSCE), 2 other governmental organizations and 77
non-governmental organizations.  The Conference adopted a Programme of
Action, which had been endorsed by a Preparatory Conference held at
Minsk on 8 May 1996.

3.   The three main objectives of the Conference, cited below, are
considered to have been met.

     (1) Providing a reliable forum for the countries of the region to
         discuss problems of population displacement in a humanitarian
         and non-political manner.  This was achieved through a series
         of subregional meetings and expert meetings to discuss such
         problems and identify solutions, and the establishment of a
         Drafting Committee tasked with the formulation of a wide plan
         for action to address those problems, based on a declaration
         of  principles. 

     (2) Reviewing population movements in the region, and clarifying
         categories of concern.  The discussions held among CIS
         countries and between them and other countries, as well as
         with international and non-governmental organizations, were
         based on an analysis of the different movements of
         population, and led eventually to the identification of the
         various categories of populations displaced in the CIS
         countries.  Definitions were developed, and were included in
         the Programme of Action adopted by the Conference.

     (3) Devising an integrated strategy which would enable the CIS
         countries to cope better with and prevent population
         displacement, as well as manage and regulate other types of
         migratory movements in the region.  The Programme of Action,
         which was adopted by consensus by the Conference, is a
         framework for action by the CIS countries, in addressing
         displacement problems, on the basis of internationally
         recognized principles, in a spirit of international
         cooperation, solidarity and burden-sharing.  The Programme of
         Action consists essentially of two parts:  a chapter on
         principles and a sequence of chapters on action
         (institutional framework, operational framework, prevention,
         cooperation and implementation/follow-up).  It will provide
         guidance for the CIS countries in their handling of the
         complex migratory movements in the region.  The Programme of
         Action also provides a basis for UNHCR work in the CIS
         countries for the next few years.  During the preparatory
         process, UNHCR and IOM developed a joint operational strategy
         that envisages both organizations collaborating closely in
         all their activities in the region, either by working
         together or through sharing information and complementing
         each other.  The joint approach should allow for more
         effective distribution of tasks in the countries of the
         region and more efficient use of limited resources. 

4.   Shortly after the Conference, UNHCR and IOM submitted to the
international community, for financial support, a package of projects
in three of the CIS countries, where some programming activity had
taken place just before the Conference was held.  This was a first,
limited step in the implementation of the Programme of Action.  A
wider review of priorities in all 12 CIS countries is to take place
from July to September, and will be the basis for the formulation of
UNHCR and IOM programmes for 1997-1998.  To that effect, consultations
are planned with relevant departments of the CIS country Governments,
and with other international and non-governmental organizations. 
A broad presentation of all UNHCR activities in the CIS countries in
1997-1998 will be made in October 1996, jointly with IOM.  This will
include activities foreseen, and already approved, in the 1997 General
Programmes and Special Programmes, as well as new activities designed
through the Conference follow-up consultative process.  In this
manner, UNHCR and IOM will present to the international community a
coherent overview of their plans for 1997 and 1998.  Efforts will be
made to associate as many relevant partners as possible in presenting
this broad picture of priorities in addressing displacement in the
region.

5.   The Programme of Action foresees the establishment of a Steering
Group, composed of representatives of participating States, to monitor
the follow-up process.  This Group should be convened at least once a
year for the next four years, and will include NGO representatives. 
As part of the follow-up mechanism being set up by UNHCR, IOM and
OSCE, UNHCR has created a small unit at headquarters, whose main task
is to ensure that the Programme of Action is being implemented.  The
unit will also provide support and guidance to field offices and
relevant headquarters units and will collate information on progress
in implementation, to submit to the Steering Group.  Two Professional
staff members, including one officer specifically dedicated to
follow-up with NGOs, and one General Service staff member comprise the
unit.  A first meeting of the Steering Group will take place in the
last part of 1996.  UNHCR is cooperating with IOM and OSCE in the
setting up of their own follow-up arrangements, which will form part
of one mechanism. 

6.   The report of the Conference is annexed to the present document.


                                     Annex

                                              [Original:  English and Russian]

             REPORT OF THE REGIONAL CONFERENCE TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEMS
             OF REFUGEES, DISPLACED PERSONS, OTHER FORMS OF INVOLUNTARY
                 DISPLACEMENT AND RETURNEES IN THE COUNTRIES OF THE
            COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES AND RELEVANT NEIGHBOURING
                    STATES, HELD AT GENEVA ON 30 AND 31 MAY 1996


                                   CONTENTS

                                                              Paragraphs Page

 I.   INTRODUCTION ..........................................      1       6

II.   OBJECTIVES OF THE CONFERENCE ..........................      2       6

III.  PREPARATION AND ORGANIZATION OF THE CONFERENCE ........    3 - 4     6

IV.   PROCEEDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS OF THE CONFERENCE .........    5 - 23    7

      A. Participation .....................................     5 - 7     7

      B. Election of officers ..............................       8       8

      C. Agenda ............................................       9       8

      D. Documentation .....................................      10       8

      E. Organization of work ..............................      11       9

      F. Opening statements ................................    12 - 15    9

         1.   Statement by the Secretary-General of the
              United Nations ................................      12      9

         2.   Statement by the United Nations High 
              Commissioner for Refugees .....................      13      9

         3.   Statement by the Director-General of the
              International Organization for Migration ......      14     10

         4.   Statement by the Secretary-General of the
              Organization for Security and Cooperation in
              Europe ........................................      15     10

      G. General debate ....................................    16 - 17   11

         1.   Statements by representatives of States .......      16     11

         2.   Statements by representatives of organizations       17     11

      H. Adoption of the Programme of Action ...............    18 - 19   11

      I. Interpretative statements and reservations ........    20 - 21   11

      J. Summing up by the Co-Chairperson ..................       22     12

      K. Closing remarks by the United Nations High
         Commissioner for Refugees .........................       23     13

Annex.  Programme of Action ...........................................   14


I.  INTRODUCTION


1.   In its resolution 50/151 of 21 December 1995, the General Assembly
requested the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, in
close cooperation with States and intergovernmental organizations concerned,
to convene, in 1996, a regional conference to address the problems of
refugees, displaced persons, other forms of involuntary displacement and
returnees in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and
relevant neighbouring States.  In the same resolution, the Assembly requested
the Secretary-General to report to it, at its fifty-first session, on the
implementation of the resolution.


II.  OBJECTIVES OF THE CONFERENCE

2.   The objectives of the Regional Conference to Address the Problems of
Refugees, Displaced Persons, Other Forms of Involuntary Displacement and
Returnees in the Countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States and
Relevant Neighbouring States were to provide a reliable forum for the
countries of the region to discuss population displacement problems in a
humanitarian and non-political manner; to review the population movements
taking place in the region, clarifying the categories of concern; and to
devise an integrated strategy which would enable the countries of CIS better
to cope with and prevent population displacement, as well as to manage and
regulate other types of migratory movements taking place on their territories.


III.  PREPARATION AND ORGANIZATION OF THE CONFERENCE

3.   In December 1994, a Steering Group, composed of interested States and
organizations, was formed in Geneva to oversee the preparations for the
Conference.  Following discussions between UNHCR, the International
Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)/Office for Democratic Institutions and Human
Rights, a joint secretariat was established in Geneva in spring 1995.  The
first meeting of experts, held at Geneva in May 1995, formally launched the
Conference process by identifying issues of concern and the methodology to
address them.  Two rounds of subregional meetings were held, at which existing
problems and possible solutions were identified and discussed, primarily among
the countries of CIS and with the active participation of other interested
countries.  On the basis of these discussions, a draft declaration of
principles and a draft programme of action were prepared by the Conference
secretariat.  At the second meeting of experts, held at Geneva in
January 1996, the drafting process was formally launched through the
establishment of a Drafting Committee.  The Committee met four times, from
January to May 1996, to draft a consolidated programme of action.

4.   At the Preparatory Conference held at Minsk on 8 May 1996, participants
approved the draft Programme of Action by consensus and requested the
Conference secretariat to submit it to the Conference for adoption.  This
gathering was attended by delegations representing 37 States, as well as by a
number of concerned international organizations.


IV.  PROCEEDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS OF THE CONFERENCE

A.  Participation

5.   The Conference was held at Geneva on 30 and 31 May 1996.  It was
attended by delegations from the following 87 States:  Afghanistan, Algeria,
Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh,
Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica,
Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France,
Georgia, Germany, Greece, Haiti, Holy See, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia,
Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakstan,
Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malta,
Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman,
Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea,
Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal,
Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland,
Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom
of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Uzbekistan,
Viet Nam and Zambia.

6.   In addition to UNHCR, IOM and OSCE, the following were represented:

United Nations

United Nations Headquarters, United Nations Office at Geneva, Department of
Humanitarian Affairs, Economic Commission for Europe, United Nations
Children's Fund, United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Centre
for Human Rights, United Nations Population Fund, World Food Programme, United
Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat), United Nations University,
United Nations Volunteers, United Nations Research Institute for Social
Development;

Specialized agencies

International Labour Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization of the
United Nations, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization, World Health Organization, World Bank, International Monetary
Fund, United Nations Industrial Development Organization;

Other international organizations

Council of Europe, Executive Secretariat of the Commonwealth of Independent
States, European Community, International Committee of the Red Cross,
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, League of
Arab States, Organization of the Islamic Conference.

7.   In addition, the Intergovernmental Consultations and the International
Centre for Migration Policy Development were represented, as were
77 non-governmental organizations.


B.  Election of officers

8.   Ms. Rosa Otunbaeva, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kyrgyzstan, and
Mr. Jakob Kellenberger, Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland,
were elected Co-Chairpersons of the Conference by acclamation.


C.  Agenda

9.   At its first plenary meeting, the Conference adopted its agenda
(CISCONF/1996/1) as follows:

     1.  Opening address by the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

     2.  Statements by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the
         Director-General of the International Organization for Migration and
         the Secretary-General of the Organization for Security and
         Cooperation in Europe.

     3.  Election of the Bureau.

     4.  Adoption of the agenda.

     5.  Adoption of the rules of procedure and other organizational matters.

     6.  Presentation of the draft programme of action.

     7.  Presentation of the priorities of the CIS countries.

     8.  Presentation of the UNHCR/IOM joint operational strategy in the 
         countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (1996-2000).

     9.  General debate.

     10. Adoption of the Programme of Action.


D.  Documentation

10.  The Conference had before it the following documents:

     CISCONF/1996/1                 Provisional agenda

     CISCONF/1996/2                 Provisional list of documents

     CISCONF/1996/3                 Provisional list of participants

     CISCONF/1996/4/Rev.            Draft rules of procedure

     CISCONF/1996/5                 Draft Programme of Action

     CISCONF/1996/CRP/1/Rev.        Priorities of the CIS countries

     CISCONF/1996/CRP/2/Rev.        UNHCR/IOM joint operational strategy in
                                    the countries of the Commonwealth of
                                    Independent States - Years 1996 to 2000

     CISCONF/1996/INF/1             List of accredited NGOs

     CISCONF/1996/DC/19             Report of the Fourth Drafting Committee

     CISCONF/1996/PC/5              Report of the Preparatory Conference

     CISCONF/1996/SG/2              Report of the Tenth Steering Group Meeting


E.  Organization of work

11.  In connection with the organization of its work, the Conference adopted
its rules of procedure (CISCONF/1996/4/Rev.).


F.  Opening statements

1.  Statement by the Secretary-General of the United Nations

12.  The Secretary-General of the United Nations stated that the Conference
was an event of critical importance, insofar as it demonstrated clearly the
will of the international community to mobilize its energies for contributing
to the solution of the population displacement problems of the CIS countries. 
The Programme of Action constituted a major step towards the application of
international law to all contemporary forms of involuntary and forced
migratory movements.  As far as the implementation of the Programme of Action
was concerned, humanitarian and political action needed to be closely and
constantly linked, so as to achieve lasting solutions.  In that respect, joint
action by the three organizations composing the secretariat would demonstrate
innovative international solidarity and commitment, which could serve as a
model for the future.  The Secretary-General praised the CIS countries for
their initiative and commitment to political, social and economic advancement
and urged the international community to extend full support for the Programme
of Action.


2.  Statement by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

13.  The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees praised the dedication
of the CIS countries, the interest shown by other participating States and
international organizations and the efforts by non-governmental organizations,
all of which had contributed to the success of the preparations for the
Conference.  Concerted action was needed, not only for humanitarian reasons
but also because of the potential for spill-over of the population movements. 
The nature and scale of existing displacement problems were such that they had
far-reaching implications, not only for the CIS countries but also for the
European and Central Asian regions.  In order to forestall additional similar
problems, a combination of political, economic and humanitarian measures
should be taken, to form the basis of an effective preventive strategy.  The
High Commissioner noted that while the implementation of the Programme of
Action was primarily the responsibility of the CIS countries, its success also
depended on the sustained interest and support of the international community.

Her Office was fully determined to translate the Programme of Action into
tangible action, by inter alia fully cooperating with IOM and OSCE in the
follow-up process.


           3.  Statement by the Director-General of the International
               Organization for Migration

14.  The Director-General of the International Organization for Migration
welcomed the comprehensive approach adopted in the preparatory process leading
to the Conference.  A wide range of issues had been addressed, reflecting the
concerns of the vast majority of the participants.  A broad spectrum of actors
had been involved, and their inputs duly reflected in the Programme of Action.

In addition, during the preparations for the Conference, a habit of
consultations on population displacement problems had been established among
CIS countries, as well as with other concerned countries and international
organizations.  The success of the preparatory process lay in the original
approach adopted by the secretariat, which combined transparency, flexibility,
openness and simplicity with ownership and due representation.  As far as
follow-up was concerned, the UNHCR/IOM joint operational strategy was
instrumental in ensuring proper implementation of the Programme of Action. 
The substantive success of the Conference would be measured by its long-term
achievements.  The Conference could be instrumental in catalysing regional
cooperation on population displacement matters, lead to a shared understanding
of migration and refugee issues, and result in a shared commitment on the
roles and responsibilities of each of the concerned parties in addressing
those issues.


           4.  Statement by the Secretary-General of the Organization
               for Security and Cooperation in Europe

15.  The Secretary-General of the Organization for Security and Cooperation
in Europe noted that migration was a serious human dimension problem and a
comprehensive security challenge.  As an element of its comprehensive approach
to security, OSCE was committed to contributing to the efforts aimed at
addressing migration-related problems in the CIS countries.  The most
effective strategy for dealing with such problems was preventing situations
that might result in mass flows of refugees and displaced persons, by
identifying and addressing their root causes.  Hence, in the OSCE context, the
issue of mass migration was addressed in the framework of conflict prevention
and crisis management.  The Conference process had been a capacity-building
exercise in intergovernmental as well as inter-agency cooperation.  The
combined and complementary approaches taken by the three organizations
composing the Conference secretariat in contributing their respective
resources and strengths had instilled confidence among prospective partners
and interested States in their potential to meet the challenges ahead.  The
Secretary-General expressed his organization's readiness to make its
contribution to the follow-up process.


G.  General debate

1.  Statements by representatives of States

16.  In the course of the general debate, statements were made by the
representatives of the following States:  Afghanistan, Austria, Armenia,
Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia,
Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Holy See, Hungary, Iran (Islamic
Republic of), Italy, Japan, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway,
Pakistan, Poland, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Sweden,
Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom and
United States of America.


2.  Statements by representatives of organizations

17.  In addition, statements were made by representatives of the following
organizations:  Department of Humanitarian Affairs, Centre for Human Rights,
Economic Commission for Europe, United Nations Children's Fund, United Nations
Development Programme, United Nations Population Fund, United Nations
Volunteers, World Food Programme, International Labour Organization, Food and
Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, World Health Organization,
World Bank, Council of Europe, European Commission, International Committee of
the Red Cross and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent
Societies, as well as 14 non-governmental organizations.


H.  Adoption of the Programme of Action

18.  At its fourth plenary meeting, on 31 May 1996, the Conference adopted
the Programme of Action by acclamation (see annex).

19.  Following adoption of the Programme of Action, the Co-Chairperson
reminded delegations that paragraph 147 of the Programme of Action provided
that the Steering Group established in Geneva during the preparatory process
would be reconvened after the Conference to monitor the follow-up process. 
Non-governmental organizations would be invited to participate as observers. 
The Co-Chairperson requested interested States and organizations to
communicate in writing to the Conference Secretariat, by 15 June 1996, their
desire to participate in the Steering Group during the follow-up process.


I.  Interpretative statements and reservations

20.  The delegation of Estonia made the following statement:

     Estonia is joining in a consensus in the adoption of the Programme of
     Action, but would like to make an explanatory statement, containing our
     reservations on some of the working definitions and paragraphs 16
     and 17.  We would like this explanatory statement to be part of the
     official record.  For universal acceptance, working definitions should
     be neutral, descriptive and non-political.  Estonia does not associate
     itself with the usage of the working definitions, which apply only to
     the CIS countries and do not carry universal or binding character
     outside the designated area.  Similarly, paragraph 17 of the Principles,
     which contains a working definition not universally accepted, should be
     interpreted to apply to the region where the definition is valid.  It
     should be noted that paragraph 17 is a limited duplication of a more
     general obligation of human rights expressed in paragraph 10, which
     Estonia fully accepts.  Finally, we would like to clarify our position
     in regard to paragraph 16.  According to the International Covenant on
     Civil and Political Rights, paragraph 25, certain civil and political
     rights apply only to citizens of the State.

21.  The delegation of Latvia made the following statement:

     Latvia wishes to make a reservation with respect to the article 8 of
     section B of Annex 2 - Working Definitions, regarding the term
     "involuntarily relocating persons" throughout the whole text of the
     Programme of Action.  Since there already exist universally accepted
     definitions covering the said category of persons, such as internally
     displaced persons, refugees, asylum-seekers as well as deported persons,
     it should be emphasized that the special definitions created for the
     purpose of this Conference do not carry universal or binding character.


J.  Summing up by the Co-Chairperson

22.  In summing up the general debate, the Co-Chairperson noted that the
Conference represented a pioneering attempt to address the unprecedented
population displacement faced by the CIS countries by identifying innovative
solutions at the national, regional and global levels, in the light of
established international standards and in a humanitarian and non-political
context.  The integrated approach adopted stemmed from the consideration that
those problems cut across borders and hence required comprehensive solutions
that went beyond the capabilities of individual States or organizations.  She
highlighted the complementarity between national measures and the collective
effort of the international community, as well as the uniqueness of the
cooperation established among the three organizations composing the
secretariat.  The preparatory process was deemed to have been extremely
fruitful, thanks to the positive and constructive spirit of cooperation that
developed among participants.  The Co-Chairperson commended the active
participation of CIS countries, and other interested countries and
organizations, in the process, and expressed the hope that such a spirit would
be maintained in the Conference follow-up process.  Finally, she expressed the
wish that the Conference process could serve to strengthen human rights,
democratic institutions and civil society in the CIS countries, and contribute
to the economic, social and political progress of the region and of the world
at large.


            K.  Closing remarks by the United Nations High Commissioner
                for Refugees

23.  In closing the Conference, the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees noted that the Conference process had proved to be extremely
challenging, but also highly useful.  During the preparatory process, a new
level of understanding had been reached among both the CIS countries and all
other participants.  Drafting the Programme of Action, achieving broad
consensus for it, and establishing the will and the momentum to implement it
had required considerable efforts, but had ultimately been instrumental in
bringing the Conference to a successful close.  The Programme of Action
provided a solid basis for future work and now needed to be implemented.  In
that respect, the High Commissioner welcomed the high level of commitment to
the follow-up process expressed by all delegations.  On behalf of the agencies
composing the Conference secretariat, she confirmed their collective
dedication to the implementation of the Programme of Action and expressed the
hope that all participants would help ensure that the Programme did not remain
only on paper.


                              PROGRAMME OF ACTION

                                  DECLARATION

1.   The break-up of the Soviet Union has altered the political geography of
the world, exacerbated existing inter-ethnic conflicts and led to acute
political, economic and social problems.  The social and economic instability
of the transition period that the CIS countries  are experiencing and the
manifestation, in some of these countries, of violence, of disregard for human
rights and humanitarian law, of ecological disasters, as well as of
difficulties for certain groups to integrate, have become the main causes of
unregulated migration and involuntary population movements, affecting millions
of people.  Such massive and unmanaged population movements may undermine
political and economic transformation in the CIS countries and could have far-
reaching implications for international security and stability.

2.   Acknowledging the pervasiveness and acuteness of these problems and
recognizing that, while the primary responsibility for tackling those problems
lies with the affected countries themselves, the serious challenges cannot be
met by the limited resources and experience of these new States individually,
the CIS countries called for concerted action and international cooperation. 
The international community expressed the wish to support the efforts of the
CIS countries to address these problems in that spirit, bearing in mind both
the scale of the humanitarian need and the wider security implications
involved.

3.   Fully conscious of the magnitude and complexity of the population
displacement problems faced by the CIS countries, the General Assembly, in
1995 (resolution 50/151), called on the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees, on the basis of two earlier General Assembly resolutions, 48/113 of
20 December 1993 and 49/173 of 13 December 1994, to convene a regional
conference to address the problems of refugees, displaced persons, other forms
of involuntary displacement and returnees in the countries of the Commonwealth
of Independent States and relevant neighbouring States (hereafter referred to
as the Conference).  In 1994, UNHCR had initiated the process which was to
lead to that Conference, in close association with the International
Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and its Office for Democratic Institutions and
Human Rights (ODIHR).

4.   The objectives of the Conference process are threefold:  to provide a
reliable forum for the countries of the region to discuss population
displacement and refugee problems in a humanitarian and non-political way; to
review the population movements taking place in the CIS countries, clarifying
the categories of concern;  and to elaborate a non-binding Programme of
Action for the CIS countries.

5.   The Programme of Action includes measures aimed to establish national
migration systems and to develop appropriate policies and operational
activities.  Preventive measures have been devised to address the causes of
possible displacement.  Strengthening international cooperation and
cooperation with the relevant international organizations and non-governmental
organizations is a necessary complement to measures taken by the CIS
countries.  The strategy also includes implementation and follow-up activities
so as to ensure the sustainability of the Conference process.

6.   States participating in the Conference process recognize that the
concept of regional and international security is based upon the strengthening
of democratic institutions and the protection of human rights and fundamental
freedoms.  They have developed a remedial and preventive approach based on
these concepts and have worked together, on the basis of mutual respect and
equality, to devise a comprehensive strategy to manage migration flows and
address the problems of coerced and massive population displacement in the CIS
countries.

7.   This strategy is grounded in universal human rights and internationally
accepted principles relevant to the management of population movements and to
the prevention of situations leading to further massive, involuntary
displacement, taking into account the specific situation in each country and
the peculiarity of the migratory flows among them.  It provides a practical
framework for action to address existing problems and prevent potential ones. 
It will constitute an important step in meeting the long-term challenges of
managing migration flows and preventing population displacement in this huge
and diverse area where the CIS countries are located.  While this strategy has
been formulated specifically to apply to the CIS countries themselves, the
participating States are committed to supporting the vital process of
implementing the measures contained in the Programme of Action.  All States
and the international organizations concerned express their readiness to
provide appropriate forms and levels of support for this implementation.


                                I.  PRINCIPLES

8.   The States participating in the Conference recognize that the magnitude
of population displacement problems in the CIS countries is such that they
deserve concerted efforts to be resolved.

9.   (a) The States affirm that the following principles, which are
acceptable to all participating States insofar as they stem from international
instruments and commitments as accepted by and applicable to them, provide
guidance for action in dealing with population movements addressed by the
Conference.

     (b) The promotion of universal respect for, observance and protection of
human rights and fundamental freedoms by States, and international cooperation
in this regard, are important factors in the management of  migration flows
and in the achievement of durable solutions to the problems of internal and
transboundary population displacements.

     (c) The exercise by everyone of the rights, protection and freedoms
reflected in these principles is of essential importance to democracy, the
rule of law and stability, in particular for social harmony, promotion of
tolerance and mutual respect among all parts of the population.

     (d) For this purpose, it was recognized as crucial to sustain effective
implementation of and compliance with the principles contained in the
following paragraphs.

10.  (a) States fulfil their obligations to promote universal respect,
observance and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, in
accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights and other international or applicable regional instruments and
commitments relating to human rights, refugee and international humanitarian
law, as well as with customary international law.  All States are encouraged
to accede to these instruments and, as far as possible, to avoid reservations.

Promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms are first
and foremost the responsibility of States.  The implementation of commitments
related to the rule of law, democracy and human rights are of legitimate and
common concern to all States.

     (b) Enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human
rights is essential to the achievement of the purposes of the United Nations.

11.  (a) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his/her own,
and the right to return to his/her own country, as well as the right of
liberty of movement and the right freely to choose his/her place of residence
within his/her own country.  States have the obligation to accept the return
of their nationals, including those who are illegally present in other
countries.

     (b) Any restriction that may be deemed necessary to the freedom of
movement and to the choice of residence within one's own country shall be
established through national legislation in accordance with international and
applicable regional human rights instruments as well as OSCE commitments.

12.  States have the obligation to cooperate in combating international
criminal activities in the field of illegal migration, in order to encourage
security and social stability on their territory.

13.  (a) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries
asylum from persecution.  In implementing this right, States will endeavour to
bring their practice into conformity with recognized international
instruments.

     (b) States not yet having acceded to the Convention relating to the
Status of Refugees (1951) and its Protocol (1967) are encouraged to do so and
to implement these instruments effectively.

     (c) States shall not expel or return (refouler) a refugee, in any manner
whatsoever, to the frontiers of territories where his/her life or freedom
would be threatened on account of his/her race, religion, nationality,
membership of a particular social group, or political opinion. 

     (d) The granting of asylum is a peaceful and humanitarian act which
shall not be regarded as an unfriendly act by any other State.

14.  Internally displaced persons are entitled to enjoy in full equality the
same rights, protection and freedoms under internal and international law as
other citizens, permanent residents or persons lawfully present in the
country, as the case may be.  States on whose territory internal displacement
occurs are primarily responsible for finding solutions to the plight of
internally displaced persons.  They make all efforts not to restrict or
derogate from the human rights of internally displaced persons and undertake
to apply international human rights and humanitarian law.

15.  (a) Everyone has the right to a nationality.  No one shall be
arbitrarily deprived of his/her nationality, nor denied the right to change
it.

     (b) States fully ensure that, through the operation of national laws,
all persons who were citizens of a predecessor State and who are permanently
residing on the territory of a successor State, enjoy or be granted
citizenship.

     (c) States adopt appropriate measures at the national and international
levels to prevent and to reduce statelessness, particularly concerning persons
residing permanently on their territory.  States having not yet acceded to
relevant international instruments relating to statelessness are encouraged to
do so.

16.  (a) Persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic
minorities (hereafter referred to as "persons belonging to minorities") have
the right, in addition to their civil and political rights, individually or in
community with the other members of their group, to enjoy their own culture,
to profess and practise their own religion, and to use their own language
freely, without any form of discrimination, in accordance with the legislation
of the country of residence.

     (b) On the basis of national legislation, States promote policies and
adopt measures to preserve and develop the ethnic, linguistic, cultural and
religious identity of persons belonging to minorities, in conformity with
international law.  The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Persons
Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities provides
important guidelines in this regard.

     (c) States welcome international efforts to improve the protection of
the rights of persons belonging to minorities, in particular by the CIS
countries.  In this context, States take note of the adoption, by the Council
of Europe, of the framework Convention for the Protection of National
Minorities, which is open (by invitation) to signature by non-member States.

     (d) State policies aimed at ensuring rights of persons belonging to
minorities and bilateral and multilateral cooperation on these issues, on the
basis of international law, are major elements in strengthening inter-ethnic
peace and stability.

17.  The protection of human rights of and the promotion of equal
opportunities for involuntarily relocating persons should be guaranteed and be
a part of the promotion values of civil society.

18.  To ensure protection of the rights of migrants and to promote mutual
respect, understanding and cooperation between them and the populations of
host countries, the elimination of all forms of racism and racial
discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance is a priority task for all States
and a concern for the international community.  Effective measures will be
taken to prevent and combat such phenomena.

19.  In order to strengthen the development of civil society, States fully
recognize the rights of individuals to freedom of assembly and freedom of
association.  They provide access, within the framework of existing
legislation, to all relevant information and aim at developing comprehensive
cooperation with non-governmental organizations.

20.  (a) Natural disasters, man-made catastrophes and ecological degradation
are also causes of population displacement.  States bear responsibility for
the elimination of consequences of these phenomena and should, through
emergency preparedness, take steps to reduce the incidence and scope of
disasters.

     (b) In this context, States acknowledge the increasing significance of
ecological issues and the interdependence of disaster reduction, protection of
national resources, environmental management and sustainable development. 
They reaffirm their will to intensify their international cooperation and
efforts to protect and improve the environment.

21.  Persons belonging to formerly deported peoples have the right to
voluntary return, including ensuring transit travel, uninhibited
transportation of property which belongs to them and assistance in integrating
in their historical homeland.

22.  Each State bears primary responsibility in dealing with population
displacement on its territory.  International cooperation and solidarity may
be needed to reinforce national efforts.

23.  Implementation of these principles by States should not prejudice the
provisions of domestic law or any international instrument which are already
in force or may come into force, under which more favourable treatment would
be accorded.


                         II.  INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK

Basis for action

24.  The development of the institutional capacity of the Governments of the
CIS countries is a priority to achieve durable solutions for population
displacement problems.  This long-term process is already under way in most of
these countries, and is often integrated into and supportive of existing
efforts for wider public-service reform. 

25.  The building and strengthening of national capacities for migration
management benefit from high-level political commitment by the Governments
concerned.  At the same time, international assistance is needed to ensure
that this process takes place at an adequate pace and in a reasonable time-
frame.  Technical cooperation programmes and financial assistance, provided by
relevant international organizations, interested countries, non-governmental
organizations and other independent actors can, in particular, take the form
of expert advice, sharing of experience, research, seminars, workshops,
training programmes, support to local non-governmental organizations and
provision of equipment.  The international community, non-governmental
organizations and other independent actors may play a role in monitoring the
implementation of measures undertaken in this field.

Objective

26.  The objective is to establish national migration systems consistent with
the principles stated in chapter I.  The formulation of policies with respect
to population displacement constitutes the first step of this endeavour.  Such
policies provide the foundation of and the framework for the establishment or
development of appropriate legislative bases and administrative structures.


                                  A.  Policy

Actions

27.  National policies should be adopted or revised to manage migratory
movements, to address displacement and prevent situations leading thereto, to
combat illegal migration, including illegal transit migration and trafficking
of migrants, as well as to protect the rights of persons affected by
displacement.

28.  Cooperation between States, non-governmental and other organizations at
the local, national and international levels, including the private sector, is
essential for the formulation, implementation and evaluation of national
migration policies, including the establishment of mechanisms for monitoring
implementation and for periodic policy review.

29.  To the extent possible, migration policies should incorporate
coordination and cooperation mechanisms with neighbouring and other interested
countries, as well as with relevant international organizations.  National
policies ought to be flexible and allow for review and development, so as to
adapt to changing circumstances.  Particular attention needs to be paid to
their implementation.

30.  National migration policies ought to take into consideration the
specific features and needs of the beneficiary groups of migrants and of the
territories receiving them.  Repatriants, involuntarily relocating persons and
persons belonging to formerly deported peoples need assistance to resettle
in/return to their countries of citizenship or origin, as well as to integrate
into their societies.  Involuntarily relocating persons may also require
emergency assistance.  Because of their situation as minorities, persons
belonging to formerly deported peoples require guarantees for their human
rights.  Policies should therefore aim to provide emergency assistance when
needed, facilitate resettlement/return and promote integration, giving
particular attention to the protection of the rights of persons belonging to
formerly deported peoples.

31.  Since the return of ecological migrants to the places of their previous
residence would, in most cases, pose a threat to their physical safety and
health, assistance should be provided to them to facilitate their integration
into other places.  Should ecological disasters occur, ecological migrants may
require emergency assistance.

32.  National policies should incorporate principles of international
protection of refugees.  States should take necessary steps to adhere to the
principle of non-refoulement, to secure access for, grant asylum to and
respect the human rights of refugees.  International protection ends only with
the attainment of a durable solution, ideally through the restoration of
protection by the refugee's own State.  Refugee status must be adequately
established and refugees accorded an appropriate standard of treatment to
guarantee their safety and well-being in the country of asylum.  Since the
ultimate goal of international protection is to achieve a durable solution for
the refugee, the protection function also includes the promotion, with States
and international organizations, of measures to remove or attenuate the causes
of refugee movements, so as to establish conditions that would permit refugees
to repatriate safely and voluntarily to their homes and, when feasible,
facilitating, assisting and monitoring the safety of such repatriation.  If
voluntary repatriation is not possible, the protection function involves
promoting and implementing another durable solution, that is, local
integration or resettlement in a third country.

33.  Persons in refugee-like situations also need international protection. 
States are called upon to provide them with an adequate status.

34.  International concern for the plight of internally displaced persons
stems from the recognition that involuntary displacement increases the
vulnerability of affected populations to abuses of human rights.  The human
rights and fundamental freedoms of internally displaced persons, as contained
in international human rights and humanitarian law instruments, should
therefore be fully guaranteed.  In situations of displacement, the CIS
countries may be required to take additional measures to safeguard human
rights and fundamental freedoms, particularly during periods of public
emergency, when the need for protection of internally displaced persons is
greatest.  The prohibition of forcible relocation or return to unsafe areas
should be clearly spelled out in national policies.  Policies should also take
into account the need for effective implementation of principles and rules of
humanitarian law, as applicable.  Particularly relevant is the observance of
humanitarian standards and of the provisions of human rights law that are
applicable in all situations, as well as article 3, common to all four Geneva
Conventions, which prohibits, inter alia, violence to life and/or the person,
the taking of hostages and outrages against the dignity of persons.  Of
relevance also is Protocol II additional to the Geneva Conventions (1977), in
particular article 17, which deals with displacement of civilian populations
in internal armed conflicts and sets out restrictions to such movements.  It
provides guarantees to civilian populations when these movements take place
for imperative military reasons, and prohibits their being compelled to leave
their own territories for reasons related to the conflict.

35.  The family is the basic unit of society and as such deserves special
attention.  In the context of population displacement, States undertake, to
the extent possible, to prevent family separation, to consider favourably
applications for family reunification from recognized refugees and other legal
migrants having the right to long-term residence, as well as to facilitate,
through appropriate mechanisms, family contacts and visits involving nationals
from other States lawfully resident on their territory.

36.  Return of illegal migrants is an integral part of an effective migration
policy.  Illegal migrants, when returned, should be speedily taken back. 
States undertake to pay particular attention to illegal migration, including
trafficking of aliens, to adopt measures to curb it and to ensure increased
international cooperation to combat trafficking.  In taking measures to
safeguard their borders and to define conditions for the control of access to
their territory, States will implement appropriate legislation and establish
proper administrative structures in conformity with international law, in
particular human rights law and humanitarian principles.  Such policies shall
not prejudice the access of asylum-seekers to appropriate protection.

37.  States should cooperate, bilaterally and multilaterally, to combat
illegal migration and criminal activities often related to illegal migration,
such as illegal drugs and arms trafficking.

38.  Vulnerable groups of persons affected by displacement, such as single
heads of household, unaccompanied minors, victims of torture, trauma, sexual
abuse or mistreatment, the elderly and the disabled have specific needs which
the CIS countries are urged to address through humanitarian, legal and
financial assistance.


                                B.  Legislation

39.  National legislation on migration and related matters should be adopted
or revised, as appropriate.  By-laws and regulations need to be fully in line
with relevant legislation and should specify mechanisms for the implementation
of legislation.  When necessary, mechanisms for the implementation of by-laws
and regulations should be developed in conformity with existing legislation. 
Priority ought to be given to legislative acts over executive orders.

40.  National immigration legislation should stipulate conditions of entry,
stay and exit of foreigners, as well as the rights and obligations applicable
to them.  Legislation should also determine conditions for obtaining entry
visas and residence permits, as well as for their renewal.  Legislation needs
to specify the range of civil, social, economic and cultural rights granted to
migrants lawfully residing in the country.  To the extent possible, long-term
residents should be ensured the same access to public services as nationals,
in particular as concerns access to education, housing, basic social and
health services and cultural life, as well as the right to form associations
of a non-political or non-military character.  Legislation ought to specify
the conditions of access for long-term residents to the labour market and the
eventual restrictions thereto.  The link between the right to residence and
the right to employment needs to be clearly spelled out, as well as the
conditions applicable in case of unemployment.

41.  The same national legislation should clearly specify the grounds on
which the host State is entitled to remove a migrant lawfully residing on its
territory; these grounds must directly relate to considerations of public
order or national security.  National legislation should also specify the
extent of the restrictions to freedom of movement that can be imposed pending
expulsion.  Procedural guarantees, such as the possibility of remaining in the
country until a final decision has been reached, should be determined.  All
migrants should be protected against arbitrary expulsion.  Collective
expulsions are prohibited under international law.

42.  National legislation on illegal migration should be adopted or
developed, as appropriate.  Trafficking of migrants and conspiracy to traffic
in migrants should be criminal offences.  This should include instigating as
well as aiding and abetting the offence.  Offences carried out for profit or
reward and/or in an organized network should be given particular attention. 
It should become possible to confiscate direct or indirect proceeds obtained
as a result of trafficking in migrants, and to confiscate means of transport
and other instrumentalities.  Measures should be taken to prohibit the
employment of those who have entered or remained illegally on the territory of
a State.  The situation of victims of trafficking deserves special attention
and their needs should be duly taken into account.

43.  In States Party to the Convention relating to the Status of
Refugees (1951) and/or its Protocol (1967), refugee legislation should be in
accordance with these instruments and other protection standards.  States not
Party to the Convention and/or Protocol should adopt or revise their refugee
legislation in accordance with universally accepted principles and standards
of protection.  Expulsion and return of refugees, in any manner whatsoever, to
the frontiers of territories where their life or freedom would be threatened
are prohibited, in accordance with the principle of non-refoulement, as
spelled out in article 33 of the 1951 Convention.  The principle of
non-refoulement applies to persons meeting the requirements of the 1951
Convention, even if they have not been formally granted refugee status. 
Legislation needs to provide for refugee status determination procedures, as
well as for criteria for the granting of asylum.  States are encouraged to
bestow asylum-seekers temporary residence, access to social welfare and access
to medical care during the processing of their claim.  The benefits to be
enjoyed by asylum-seekers should be clearly defined, as should rights bestowed
to refugees after the granting of refugee status, which include the right to a
residence permit or other appropriate document for as long as protection is
needed, access to the labour market or to self-employment, as well as civil,
social and cultural rights.  Legislation ought to stipulate the right of
asylum-seekers, whose claims have been rejected, to have the decisions
reconsidered.  Asylum-seekers should be able to remain in the territory of the
host country while the denial of their claims is being reconsidered by a
higher administrative or judicial authority, whenever the national legislation
so provides, and except when the claims are manifestly unfounded or clearly
outside the Convention.

44.  In order to prevent and reduce situations of statelessness, existing
legislation on citizenship should be amended where necessary, to be brought
into conformity with international standards.  In addition, the following
criteria ought to be taken into account.  States should grant their
citizenship to any child born or foundling found on their territory who would
otherwise be stateless, in accordance with national legislation and with the
provisions of the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness (1961). 
Legislation should provide for simplified procedures for granting citizenship
to persons who otherwise would be stateless.  Every person should be able to
change his/her citizenship, in conformity with applicable legislation.  States
should protect women from becoming stateless as a result of marriage or its
dissolution, or as a result of a change of citizenship by the husband during
the marriage.  Arbitrary deprivation of citizenship, for example on grounds of
race, ethnicity, gender, religion or political opinion, is prohibited.  Cases
of deprivation of citizenship must be expressly prescribed by law, and can
only take place after full and proper legal proceedings in which the citizen
should be offered the usual safeguards, including a system of appeal or
review.  No deprivation of citizenship should take place if it will result in
statelessness, except as permitted under the relevant international law.

45.  When necessary, existing legislation needs to be brought into line with
respective constitutions.  Appropriate measures should be taken to eliminate
contradictions between legislative acts, as well as between legislative acts
and administrative practices, ensuring full respect for appropriate
international instruments.

46.  National legislation should be brought into conformity with
international norms and standards in the field of human rights, as well as
with respective international obligations in the field of migration and
protection of refugees.

47.  States that have not done so are urged to sign and ratify relevant
international instruments relating to refugees, stateless persons and
migrants, with particular regard to the Convention relating to the Status of
Refugees (1951) and its Protocol (1967), the Convention relating to the Status
of Stateless Persons (1954) and the Convention on the Reduction of
Statelessness (1961).

48.  States that have not done so are urged to sign and ratify relevant
international human rights instruments, including the International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social
and Cultural Rights and, where applicable, the European Convention for the
Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

49.  National legislation, as well as regional and international instruments,
need to be implemented effectively, consistently and in a uniform manner
throughout the country.


                              C.  Administration

50.  Appropriate administrative structures for migration management should be
established or strengthened.  A high-level governmental migration agency could
be established at the national level.  In addition to operational
responsibilities, such an agency would develop policy and coordinate all
relevant governmental bodies involved in migration matters.  A network of
branch offices could be developed at the local level and at borders.

51.  National migration structures should implement migration legislation and
programmes in full equity and without discrimination, in accordance with
international law.

52.  The functions and operational links of all entities involved in the
implementation of migration policies and programmes need to be clearly
defined, to ensure coordination at the national level of all relevant
governmental bodies involved in migration matters.  Such mechanisms for
coordination can be of great help in targeting humanitarian assistance and
would facilitate the work of international and non-governmental organizations.

53.  Appropriate administrative structures are necessary to implement refugee
legislation and to handle individual asylum applications through national
refugee status determination procedures.  In the interest of both the asylum
applicant and the State, such procedures should be fair and expeditious.  Fair
procedures call for careful examination of the claim by a clearly identified,
qualified, knowledgeable and impartial governmental decision-making body. 
Every asylum-seeker should have access to assistance in presenting his/her
claim.  The difficulties that genuine refugees often have in providing
documentary or other evidence to support their claims ought to be borne in
mind.  In the case of a negative decision, an opportunity should exist for an
independent review or appeal.  In case of mass inflows, prima facie
determination should be envisaged.  Refugees and asylum-seekers should be
provided with appropriate documentation certifying their status.

54.  Appropriate structures and mechanisms are needed for the control of
borders and to ensure well-functioning border-crossing procedures.  Such
mechanisms should guarantee migrants and refugees due process and
non-discriminatory treatment.  A sufficient number of border officials is
necessary to conduct checks and maintain surveillance at borders.  Staff at
border-crossing points need to receive up-to-date information on forgeries,
high-risk groups, travel documents and visa regulations, as well as possess
appropriate technical devices for examining travel documents.  It is important
that they be trained to treat asylum-seekers without discrimination and to
refer them to the competent refugee authorities.  Cooperation among staff at
borders at all levels is to be encouraged and promoted.  Appropriate
procedures for detention and expulsion at borders ought to be elaborated and
an appropriate jurisdiction entrusted with controlling the legality of
executive decisions on detention and removal at borders.  The development of
effective procedures is recommended for the discovery and prevention of
illegal entry, including illegal stay on the pretext of tourism, studies or
business visits.  Border-control procedures could be harmonized between CIS
countries, as appropriate.  Travel documents should be introduced in line with
relevant international standards, incorporating safeguards against forgery. 
Cooperation agreements concluded among neighbouring countries would increase
the efficiency of controls and thereby prevent illegal migration and alien
trafficking.

55.  The introduction of clear and efficient procedures for the registration
of population movements is recommended.  Reliable information systems would
facilitate the gathering of data for statistical purposes, as well as the
planning and management of migratory flows.  All relevant governmental bodies,
at both the central and local levels, need to be connected to the network, to
improve coordination and decision-making.  The exchange of information is
encouraged between national information systems.  The relevant authorities may
need equipment (hardware and software) to perform their tasks.

56.  Emergency preparedness structures and mechanisms should be established
or developed at the governmental level to handle sudden and massive population
displacement.  In addition, the capacity of non-governmental organizations
needs to be strengthened and supported to address emergency situations and to
work with Governments in implementing emergency programmes.  The emergency
preparedness capabilities of international organizations should also be taken
into account.  Early warning is a crucial element of preparedness (see
chap. IV A).  States are encouraged to cooperate with relevant international
mechanisms in this regard.

57.  Contingency planning aims to identify possible scenarios for population
displacement and to establish appropriate response mechanisms.  Ultimately,
the process leads to the identification of sectoral requirements for
protection and assistance, of management entities and structures required for
coordination and implementation, and of likely sources of inputs.  In
conjunction with early warning mechanisms, contingency plans need to be
updated regularly, to improve preparedness and ensure effective responses to
emergencies.  Relevant national authorities, international organizations,
local and international non-governmental organizations can be involved in such
a process. 

58.  Training programmes in migration management could be developed and
implemented at local, national and international levels.  Such programmes
would target migration officials to ensure that they have the skills and
expertise needed for implementing legislative acts and administrative
regulations in a professional and effective manner.  Short- and long-term
programmes could focus particularly on the training of appropriate
specialists, including personnel from non-governmental organizations. 
Training programmes would promote international human rights, humanitarian and
refugee law, as well as refugee status determination procedures, emergency
preparedness and contingency planning.  The expertise of international and
non-governmental organizations can be useful in this context. 
Training-of-trainers schemes, study visits for various authorities and the
exchange of national cadres, including trainers and representatives of
non-governmental organizations, would encourage sharing experiences.  Existing
national institutions for the training of civil servants could be adapted to
meet such needs.  Subregional training centres could be established and a
network of subregional educational institutions developed.


III.  OPERATIONAL FRAMEWORK

Basis for action

59.  Assistance programmes are essential to sustain durable solutions for
groups affected by population displacement.  It is within the competence of
the CIS countries to design and implement such programmes; indeed, they are
already doing so, in cooperation with the international community.  Existing
needs, however, far exceed the human, technical and financial resources
available within the CIS countries.  International support and assistance,
based on existing programme frameworks and provided by relevant international
organizations, interested countries, non-governmental organizations and other
independent actors, are thus called for.  Assistance would need to be provided
to the groups concerned, in particular the most vulnerable, as well as to
relevant governmental and non-governmental bodies.  Direct assistance can be
complemented by technical cooperation to strengthen the capacity of
governmental and non-governmental bodies in planning and implementing
assistance programmes.  The practical implementation of programmes can be
monitored by the local Governments, the international community,
non-governmental organizations and other independent actors.

Objective

60.  The objective is that programmes addressing the short- and long-term
assistance and protection needs of the beneficiary groups are developed and
implemented in accordance with the principles stated in chapter I.  These
programmes should be elaborated with the active participation of all groups
likely to be affected by them (including the local population) and should take
fully into account the interests of these groups.  The crucial role of
non-governmental organizations in articulating and voicing such interests is
recognized.  These programmes would provide refugees, persons in refugee-like
situations and internally displaced persons with emergency assistance as
required, and assistance when repatriating/returning to and reintegrating into
the country or region of their previous residence, or in integrating locally. 
Involuntarily relocating persons may need emergency assistance, and their
resettlement and local integration ought to be facilitated.  Assistance should
be provided to repatriants and persons belonging to formerly deported peoples
for their return and integration.  Ecological migrants may need emergency
assistance, as well as assistance for local integration.  Illegal migrants
should be returned and readmitted, with due respect for their human rights.


                           A.  Emergency assistance

Actions

61.  Emergency assistance should be provided in a timely and comprehensive
manner and as necessary to refugees, persons in refugee-like situations,
internally displaced persons, involuntarily relocating persons and ecological
migrants, as well as to host communities.  These persons should, inter alia
and as a minimum, be able to enjoy internationally recognized human rights and
receive all necessary assistance, in particular life-sustaining assistance
(for example, food, water, shelter, basic sanitary and health facilities). 
They must be free from discrimination based on race, colour, sex, language,
religion, political or other opinion, nationality or social origin, property,
birth or other status.  They should be considered as persons before the law,
enjoying free access to the courts and other competent administrative
authorities.  They should be accommodated in areas where their safety and
well-being are guaranteed and where the security concerns of the host country
are met.  All possible assistance ought to be given to trace relatives and to
respect family unity.  The special needs of women, children, the elderly and
the disabled require particular attention, as do those of vulnerable groups,
such as single heads of household, unaccompanied minors, victims of torture,
trauma, sexual abuse or mistreatment.  The nature and scope of assistance
needs to take account of local conditions, customs, habits, religion and other
characteristics of the beneficiary groups.  Whenever possible, emergency
assistance should be provided in a way that takes into account the long-term
development needs of the beneficiary groups.

62.  Without prejudice to or neglect of individual needs, whenever possible,
assistance needs to be community-based, in order to alleviate the pressure on
existing resources and structures, and to maintain good relations between the
local population and the displaced.  From the onset, a proper balance between
services and material assistance delivered to displaced persons and the local
population needs to be maintained.  Non-governmental, community-based
self-support networks ought to be encouraged.

63.  Internally displaced persons, involuntarily relocating persons and some
ecological migrants enjoy the protection of their national authorities as
nationals of the State in which they are located.  Nonetheless, they have
special protection needs.  Specifically, these groups need guaranteed safe
access to essential facilities and commodities.  To be able to exercise their
legal rights, they must be provided with personal documentation.  In addition,
they should be protected against arbitrary or mass transfers.  Forced return
to conditions of danger is prohibited.  International and non-governmental
organizations must have unimpeded access to such groups.

64.  Emergency situations often coincide with large-scale influxes of
asylum-seekers.  These persons should be admitted to the State in which they
first have a reasonable opportunity to seek refuge; if that State is unable to
admit them on a durable basis, it should admit them at least on a temporary
basis and provide them with protection.  Asylum-seekers should be admitted
without discrimination.

65.  If no durable solution can be envisaged in the foreseeable future,
consideration should be given to shifting assistance from relief to
rehabilitation and development, to help beneficiaries achieve self-sufficiency
and allow them to lead a dignified and productive life.  Temporary integration
would be facilitated by the improvement of shelter conditions, the development
of income-generating activities and the provision of basic social services,
such as education and medical assistance.


B.  Repatriation/return/resettlement

                1.  Voluntary repatriation of refugees and persons
                    in refugee-like situations

66.  Voluntary repatriation remains the most desirable solution for refugees
and persons in refugee-like situations.  The principle of voluntariness is the
cornerstone of international protection and follows directly from the
principle of non-refoulement.  States should respect the individual right and
freely expressed wish of the persons concerned.  Refugees and persons in
refugee-like situations should be able to leave the host country safely and
repatriate in conditions of safety and dignity to their places of origin or
previous residence, or to any other location within their country.  Organized
repatriation ought to take place in an orderly and gradual manner, based on
the absorption capacity of the country of origin.  Spontaneous repatriation
should not be hindered.  States are encouraged to allow international and
non-governmental organizations to have unimpeded access to persons
repatriating before, during and after repatriation.

67.  Before and during repatriation, appropriate conditions of safety and
security should be ensured along repatriation routes and in areas where
refugees and persons in refugee-like situations repatriate.  International
protection standards should be respected.  Physical security, including
protection from armed conflict and elimination of conflict-related risks,
should be guaranteed.  Material security, such as access to plots of land and
means of livelihood, also has to be ensured.  In situations of armed conflict,
a political settlement needs to be reached and implemented.  Relevant
international and non-governmental organizations could monitor the personal
security of persons repatriating.

68.  Throughout the process of repatriation and reintegration, refugees and
persons in refugee-like situations should continue to benefit fully from
international protection.  In addition, in order for such persons to benefit
effectively from the protection of national authorities, specific legislative
and administrative measures may be necessary, such as guarantees for personal
safety and integrity, amnesty laws for political acts, the issuance of
identity and travel documents, the registration of births and marriages having
taken place abroad and the granting of citizenship.

69.  To the extent possible, refugees and persons in refugee-like situations
should receive full and objective information on the situation prevailing in
their country of origin, so as to be able to take a decision in an informed
manner.  This information could include a description of the general
conditions in the country or region of origin, as well as details on the
situation in specific areas of repatriation, such as the level of security and
the availability of plots of land, information on the availability of
international assistance and protection, the text of the formal guarantees or
assurances provided by the Government of the country of origin and relevant
explanations.  Mass information campaigns could prove useful in this respect. 
International and non-governmental organizations could be active partners in
the collection and dissemination of accurate information.

70.  Relevant international organizations, in particular UNHCR and IOM, can
promote and facilitate voluntary repatriation.  The planning of repatriation
programmes needs to be initiated well in advance and involve all affected
groups.  Such programmes could include the provision of transport for persons
and their belongings, of material and legal assistance in the country of
origin, and of other measures to meet the assistance and protection needs of
the beneficiary groups.  The rehabilitation of housing, basic infrastructure
and administrative structures is to be undertaken by the concerned CIS
countries.  Specific programmes need to target vulnerable groups, including
single heads of household, unaccompanied minors, victims of torture, trauma,
sexual abuse or mistreatment, the elderly and the disabled.  It is necessary
to establish mechanisms for monitoring the implementation of the programmes
from the very outset.

71.  Voluntary repatriation could be encouraged and facilitated through the
establishment of tripartite commissions responsible for planning and
implementing repatriation programmes.  These commissions would be composed of
representatives of the country of origin, the country of asylum and UNHCR.

72.  The rebuilding of civil society is of primary importance to facilitate
repatriation.  Confidence-building measures, such as the promotion of
dialogue, public reassurances, voluntary repatriation agreements and human
rights monitoring by international and non-governmental organizations, would
contribute in that respect.  Reconciliation programmes could be developed. 
Inter-ethnic relations in repatriation areas and the rights of persons
belonging to minorities deserve special attention.  Persons repatriating must
be guaranteed non-discrimination and full respect for their human rights under
the same conditions as nationals.  Stateless persons must be guaranteed the
same rights as foreigners permanently residing in the country.  Persons
repatriating should not be prosecuted or punished for having left their former
places of residence.  Full use should be made of the experience and
instruments of international and non-governmental organizations in the area of
post-conflict rehabilitation.


2.  Return of internally displaced persons

73.  Return remains the most desirable solution for internally displaced
persons.  States should respect the individual right and freely expressed wish
of the persons concerned.  Internally displaced persons should be able to
leave the host region safely and return in conditions of safety and dignity to
their places of previous residence, or to any other location within the
country.  Organized return ought to take place in an orderly and gradual
manner, based on the absorption capacity of the region of origin.  The
spontaneous return of internally displaced persons should not be hindered. 
States are encouraged to allow international and non-governmental
organizations to have unimpeded access to the persons returning before, during
and after return.

74.  Before and during return, appropriate conditions of safety and security
should be ensured along return routes and in return areas.  International
protection standards should be respected.  Physical security, including
protection from armed conflict and elimination of conflict-related risks,
should be guaranteed.  Material security, such as access to plots of land and
means of livelihood, also has to be ensured.  In situations of armed conflict,
a political settlement needs to be reached and implemented.  Relevant
international and non-governmental organizations are called upon to monitor
the personal security of internally displaced persons.

75.  To the extent possible, internally displaced persons should receive full
and objective information on the situation prevailing in their region of
origin, so as to be able to take a decision in an informed manner.  This
information could include a description of the general conditions in the
region of origin, as well as details on the situation in specific areas of
return, such as the level of security and the availability of plots of land,
information on the availability of international assistance and protection,
the text of the formal guarantees or assurances provided by the Government and
relevant explanations.  Mass information campaigns could prove useful in this
respect.  International and non-governmental organizations could be active
partners in the collection and dissemination of accurate information.

76.  Relevant international organizations, in particular UNHCR and IOM, if so
requested, can promote and facilitate the return of internally displaced
persons.  The planning of return programmes needs to be initiated well in
advance and involve all affected groups.  Such programmes could include the
provision of transport for persons and their belongings, of material and legal
assistance in the region of return, and of other measures to meet the
assistance and protection needs of the beneficiary groups, as necessary.  The
rehabilitation of housing, basic infrastructure and administrative structures
is to be undertaken by the concerned CIS countries.  Specific programmes need
to target vulnerable groups of migrants, including single heads of household,
unaccompanied minors, victims of torture, trauma, sexual abuse or
mistreatment, the elderly and the disabled.  It is necessary to establish
mechanisms for monitoring the implementation of the programmes from the very
outset.

77.  The voluntary return of internally displaced persons could be encouraged
and facilitated through the establishment of tripartite commissions
responsible for planning and implementing return programmes.  These
commissions would gather representatives of the central authorities, the local
authorities of the return area and relevant international organizations.

78.  The rebuilding of civil society is of primary importance to facilitate
return.  Confidence-building measures, such as the promotion of dialogue,
public reassurances, voluntary return agreements and human rights monitoring
by international and non-governmental organizations, would contribute in that
respect.  Reconciliation programmes could be developed.  Inter-ethnic
relations in return areas and the rights of persons belonging to minorities
deserve special attention.  Returning internally displaced persons must be
guaranteed non-discrimination and full respect for their human rights under
the same conditions as other nationals.  Stateless persons must be guaranteed
the same rights as foreigners permanently residing in the country.  Returning
internally displaced persons should not be prosecuted or punished for having
left their former places of residence.  Full use should be made of the
experience and instruments of international and non-governmental organizations
in the area of post-conflict rehabilitation.


       3.  Return of repatriants and persons belonging to formerly deported
           peoples and resettlement of involuntarily relocating persons

79.  The orderly return of repatriants and persons belonging to formerly
deported peoples and the resettlement of involuntarily relocating persons to
the country of their citizenship or origin should be facilitated.  Countries
of permanent residence and of return/resettlement, as well as relevant
international organizations, need to be actively involved in the development
of return/resettlement programmes.  Planning must also involve all affected
communities (including the returning and the local population), inter alia
through non-governmental organizations, and fully take their needs into
account.

80.  To the extent possible, persons wishing to return/resettle should be
granted access to full and objective information on the situation prevailing
in the country of their citizenship or origin, so as to take an informed
decision.  International and non-governmental organizations could be active
partners in the collection and dissemination of accurate information.

81.  Persons wishing to return/resettle should have access to transportation
and other forms of assistance, including legal counselling.  Before leaving,
they should be allowed to sell their property according to national
legislation.  They should also be able to transfer property across borders,
which can be facilitated through customs agreements.  Citizenship, residence
permits and other relevant documentation may need to be provided.


4.  Return of illegal migrants

82.  The efficient return and readmission of illegal migrants is key to the
prevention of illegal migration and trafficking of migrants.  The return of
illegal migrants from the CIS countries directly to their countries of
citizenship is recommended, provided that it does not violate the
1951 Convention.  Illegal migrants should be returned in an orderly manner and
in conditions of safety and dignity.  States should readmit their nationals or
persons who were permanently residing on their territory, who are illegally
present in or entering a foreign country.  Readmission should take place in a
humane, swift and flexible manner.  The human rights of illegal migrants must
be respected before, during and after their return.  Relevant international
organizations, non-governmental organizations and other independent actors
ought to be able to monitor return conditions.

83.  National, bilateral and multilateral mechanisms to facilitate the return
of illegal migrants would provide a means to exchange information, to
cooperate in organizing transport and to solve problems related to transit. 
IOM and other relevant international organizations can be helpful in this
context.

84.  The CIS countries need to strengthen bilateral and multilateral
cooperation to ensure efficient return and readmission practices.  This
cooperation can include readmission arrangements and agreements on illegal
migrants and illegal transit migration.  Bilateral and multilateral agreements
could be concluded with neighbouring and other interested States.

85.  Assisted return programmes, in particular those aimed at illegal
migrants stranded in transit and at stranded students, as developed and
implemented by IOM and other relevant partners, can be useful in preventing
irregular migration and providing humanitarian relief.  These programmes are
based on the principle of voluntariness and presume close cooperation between
the host country, the country of return, concerned non-governmental
organizations and the implementing organization.  The CIS countries are
encouraged to develop such programmes, in cooperation with IOM.  Flexible
incentives could be provided for a limited period of time to encourage return
and prevent further migration.  A reintegration component which combines
individual assistance with local development would encourage others to return.

Discrimination between the beneficiary groups and nationals should, however,
be avoided.


C.  Integration

86.  Integration ought to be seen as an immediate goal for repatriants,
involuntarily relocating persons and persons belonging to formerly deported
peoples having returned to/resettled in their country of citizenship or
origin, as well as for ecological migrants, who probably cannot return to
their former places of residence.  For refugees, persons in refugee-like
situations and internally displaced persons, integration may be seen as a
durable solution in cases when it becomes clear that neither voluntary
repatriation/return to their previous places of residence nor resettlement is
an option in the foreseeable future.  The best interests of the concerned
populations are to be taken into account.  Integration should not be seen as a
substitute for the return of persons displaced as a result of armed conflict.

87.  The human rights of persons integrating are to be respected, in
accordance with international instruments.  Integration programmes should
avoid discriminating between beneficiary groups, as well as between them and
the local population.  The national, ethnic, cultural, linguistic and
religious identity of the persons integrating would need safeguarding, in
accordance with international standards.  Integration should not lead to
forced assimilation.

88.  It is desirable that housing programmes be launched that would provide
for, inter alia, the provision of plots of land, assistance and subsidies. 
Preferential taxation and credit schemes could be developed for certain
beneficiary groups.

89.  The concentration of persons integrating in densely populated,
economically depressed or ecologically unsafe areas may hamper their full
integration into the local society and create tensions with the local
population.  To avoid such problems, the need for an appropriate distribution
of persons integrating throughout the territory should be taken into account
when developing integration programmes.  Such considerations should not in any
way hinder a citizen's freedom to choose his/her place of residence within
his/her own country.

90.  Mechanisms and procedures for registering citizens should not in any way
hinder their freedom of movement, nor should they be used to restrict their
right to choose freely their places of residence within their own countries.

91.  Measures are necessary to assist integrating persons in finding
employment, such as through job-placement services, vocational training and
re-training schemes.  Income-generating and small-business development
programmes will stimulate integration.

92.  Structures conducive to the self-sufficiency and self-reliance of
persons integrating need to be established or strengthened.  Self-help
arrangements to support enterprises initiated by migrants ought to be
encouraged.  Migrant communities can be assisted through reception centres,
direct assistance (provision of machinery, tools and other small-scale
equipment), business management training and financial or other credits to
start small-scale enterprises.  Such programmes would benefit from linkage
with wider economic development programmes.  Non-governmental organizations,
particularly those organized by integrating persons, can play an important
role in this respect.

93.  The direct access of integrating persons to basic social services,
including counselling, education and medical assistance, as well as to
appropriate legal assistance, should not be hindered.  The provision of
pensions needs special attention.

94.  Integration programmes should take into account the specific needs of
the different categories of integrating persons.  For persons belonging to
formerly deported peoples, the acquisition of citizenship is of primary
importance and would allow them to enjoy fully the rights and freedoms granted
to citizens.  Since they generally find themselves as a minority in their new
places of residence, such persons should be able to enjoy fully the rights
applicable to persons belonging to minorities.  They also need to be fully
associated with the economic progress and development of their countries.  In
implementing the rights of persons belonging to formerly deported peoples,
States should not overlook the rights and legitimate interests of the
permanent residents of the return areas.

95.  Some refugees, persons in refugee-like situations, repatriants and
persons belonging to formerly deported peoples may be stateless.  Acquisition
of citizenship should therefore be facilitated, in accordance with national
legislation.  Free access to information on requirements and procedures for
acquisition of citizenship is necessary.

96.  In fleeing their places of permanent residence, refugees, persons in
refugee-like situations, internally displaced persons, involuntarily
relocating persons and ecological migrants may have lost property. 
Compensation should be envisaged through bilateral and multilateral
mechanisms, with the cooperation of relevant international organizations.

97.  The development of targeted programmes is encouraged for the most
vulnerable migrants, such as single heads of household, unaccompanied minors,
victims of torture, trauma, sexual abuse or mistreatment, the elderly and the
disabled.  Assistance would address their immediate needs and enable them to
make a living and integrate into society.  Women are to be ensured
opportunities to earn an income, through the right to use the land, to own
property, to obtain credit and, in some instances, through training in
specific skills.

98.  Appropriate measures need to be taken by all concerned actors to
increase the local population's level of acceptance and understanding of
integrating persons.  All available means should be used, including mass media
campaigns and the education system.  International and non-governmental
organizations have an important role to play in reducing tensions and building
confidence within communities.  Persons affected by displacement could be
encouraged to form associations, to increase their involvement and
participation in the decisions affecting them.


IV.  PREVENTION

Basis for action

99.  The prevention of situations whereby population displacement might occur
cannot take place without the identification of actual and possible causes of
such displacement.  Situations range from violations of human rights
(including the rights of persons belonging to minorities) and humanitarian
law, communal tensions and internal strife, to social and economic
deterioration, environmental degradation, natural, technological and
environmental disasters, internal and international conflicts.

100. Since respect for human rights and humanitarian law is a matter of
concern to the international community at large, and since population
displacement has an impact on stability in the CIS countries, and hence on
peace and security, the prevention of such situations cannot be seen only as a
matter of internal concern, but also of direct and legitimate concern to the
international community as a whole.  The active involvement of the
international community, as well as of non-governmental organizations and
other independent actors in the implementation of activities envisaged in this
chapter, is therefore warranted.  Technical assistance from the international
community to governmental and non-governmental bodies in the CIS countries
remains essential for local capacity-building.  Furthermore, international
organizations, non-governmental organizations and other independent actors
have a responsibility to promote activities in the field of prevention.

Objective

101. The objective is to prevent situations leading to population
displacement, particularly of a sudden and massive nature.  The monitoring of
causes of potential displacement is essential for acquiring relevant
information on potential crises; monitoring mechanisms and structures thus
need to be established or strengthened.  Early warning is necessary if the
situation is likely to deteriorate, so that concerned actors can prepare for
an emergency and undertake appropriate measures to address its causes.  In the
event of a conflict, appropriate steps should be taken to attempt to resolve
it by peaceful means.  Finally, long-term measures to create conditions in
which population displacement is unlikely to take place need to be
implemented.  It is desirable that preventive measures and mechanisms be
coordinated at the national and international levels.


A.  Monitoring and early warning

Actions

102. Appropriate measures (such as establishing or developing national
networks) should be taken to collect, analyse and disseminate information on
situations in which sudden and massive population displacement might occur. 
National migration services or other relevant agencies could be entrusted with
such tasks, perhaps through the use of their branch offices at the local level
or in embassies.  Non-governmental organizations and other independent actors
constitute independent and reliable sources of information.  They may also
play an important role in the field of early warning.

103.  Cooperation among migration and other governmental services of the CIS
countries is encouraged, with a view to exchanging relevant information on
potential sources of displacement.  Subregional migration centres might carry
out monitoring and early warning functions.  Close cooperation with existing
early-warning mechanisms and procedures relating, inter alia, to natural,
environmental and technological hazards and other humanitarian emergencies
should be encouraged.

104. On the international level, CIS countries will fully use the early
warning instruments of the United Nations, including inter-agency and
interdepartmental consultations, as well as the relevant OSCE instruments and
mechanisms, in particular the regular political consultations taking place in
the framework of the Permanent Council, the High Commissioner on National
Minorities, the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the
Chairman-in-Office and the Long-term Missions, according to their mandates.


B.  Preventive measures

105. Appropriate measures should be taken to ensure the protection of human
rights and the respect for international humanitarian law.  The CIS countries
are encouraged to ratify and implement relevant international instruments
relating to human rights, refugee and humanitarian law and to bring national
legislation into conformity with such instruments.  National institutions
responsible for monitoring and promoting the protection of human rights
require support.  The establishment of a national post of ombudsman for human
rights, whose responsibilities would follow, inter alia, the recommendations
of the 1991 CSCE Oslo Meeting of Experts on Democratic Institutions, merits
consideration.  The crucial role of international and non-governmental
organizations in the protection and promotion of human rights, refugee and
humanitarian law should be acknowledged and supported.

106. Appropriate legislation and regulations should be adopted to ensure the
implementation of international humanitarian law.  States Party to Additional
Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions should recognize the role of the
International Fact-finding Commission.  The rules and principles of
international humanitarian law should be widely disseminated and made known
among the authorities and the general public.

107. Measures should be taken to prevent and reduce statelessness in
accordance with international conventions.  Free access to information on
requirements and procedures for the acquisition of citizenship should be
guaranteed.

108. The protection of the rights of persons belonging to minorities requires
particular attention.  In the CIS countries, policies, legislation and
mechanisms need to be developed in accordance with international and regional
instruments and commitments, including the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights, the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or
Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, the CSCE Copenhagen Document and
other relevant CSCE/OSCE documents, as well as the Council of Europe Framework
Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (1995).  When
appropriate, full use should be made of existing procedures or mechanisms
established by international bodies, such as the Commission on Human Rights
and the Subcommission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of
Minorities, within the United Nations system.  The CIS countries are also
encouraged to make full use of the relevant OSCE instruments and mechanisms in
this field, as well as of the expertise of other relevant international
organizations.  The CIS countries should cooperate with the OSCE High
Commissioner on National Minorities and support the follow-up and
implementation of his recommendations.  In this respect, cooperation among CIS
countries should be encouraged, including, as applicable, within the framework
of the CIS Convention on the Protection of the Rights of Persons belonging to
National Minorities.

109. Guaranteeing such rights may call for State action.  Appropriate
measures may be required to promote the use of minority languages in the areas
of education and culture, in legal procedures before courts and in relations
with administrative authorities, by the media, as well as in the economic and
social fields, as indicated in relevant CSCE/OSCE documents and in the Council
of Europe Framework Convention for the Protection of National
Minorities (1995).

110. As concluded by the CSCE Meeting of Experts on National Minorities, held
at Geneva in 1991, and stated in other relevant OSCE documents, the
establishment and maintenance of unimpeded contacts among persons belonging to
a national minority, as well as contacts across frontiers by persons belonging
to a national minority with persons with whom they share a common ethnic or
national origin, cultural heritage or religious belief, contributes to mutual
understanding and promotes good neighbourly relations.  The importance of the
role of non-governmental organizations and other elements of civil society in
cross-border confidence-building is recognized.

111. Strengthened bilateral cooperation between countries of origin and host
countries will also help to avoid involuntary movements.  In particular,
trans-border cooperation should be enhanced.  Reliable information should be
disseminated on resettlement opportunities in the country of origin, and
integration into the host country should be encouraged.

112. The CIS countries should promote the social acceptance of all persons of
concern to this Conference and prohibit discrimination based on race, colour,
sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, nationality or social
origin, property, birth or other status.  Non-governmental organizations can
help create a hospitable and tolerant climate for such persons.  Human rights
education, promoting tolerance and democratic values, needs to be developed to
combat racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia.  The education system and
mass media can be useful in this regard.  Extensive public information work
should be conducted for the general audience, whereas more focused training
could target non-governmental organizations, including migrant associations.

113. Measures should be taken to prevent communal tension and internal
disorder from escalating and resulting in human rights abuses, violent crimes
and population displacement.  Such measures include preventive diplomacy,
early warning, the building of democratic institutions and conflict
resolution.  Preventive diplomacy, which includes the provision of good
offices, negotiations, inquiry, mediation and conciliation, should be based on
impartiality, confidentiality and cooperation.  Full use should be made of
OSCE instruments and mechanisms for conflict prevention.  In this context, the
efforts of the CIS countries aimed at developing mutually accepted approaches
should be welcomed, with particular regard to the development of strategies
for the prevention and solution of conflicts in the CIS countries.

114. The direct or indirect implications of national social and economic
policies for potential population displacement need careful consideration. 
Poverty is of particular concern, whether it is an unintentional effect of
economic reform (including structural adjustment) or a result of pre-existing
trends.  There is a link between the poverty of vulnerable groups, social
stability and population movements.  Thus, the CIS countries should give
priority to developing an effective social safety net at the national level.

115. In order to prevent environmental degradation and ecological disasters,
environmental norms should be brought into accord with international
standards, and the safety of all nuclear and chemical installations should be
effectively ensured.  Policies to increase environmental awareness and to
educate citizens, in order to reduce the risks of natural and technological
disasters and minimize the consequences of such disasters, are important. 
Appropriate legislative and administrative steps are needed to enhance public
participation in environmental planning and decision-making.  All efforts
should be undertaken to apply existing scientific and technological potential
in order to prevent severe disaster situations which would lead to
displacement.  The CIS countries are encouraged to make use of mechanisms put
in place jointly by the United Nations Environment Programme and the United
Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs to facilitate emergency assistance
in case of environmental disasters.


C.  Conflict resolution

116. The CIS countries shall adhere to the principle of peaceful settlement
of disputes in accordance with international law, the provisions of the
Charter of the United Nations and other international commitments.  To that
end, they shall engage in intensive diplomatic consultations and make full use
of all available international instruments such as existing OSCE instruments
and mechanisms in the field of the peaceful settlement of disputes.  Every
effort should be made to include humanitarian issues in overall political
settlements.

117. Third-party mediation and negotiation services based on impartiality,
confidentiality and cooperation should be made available to all concerned
parties.  Full use should be made of OSCE crisis management mechanisms and
instruments.


V.  COOPERATION

Basis for action

118. While the main burden of implementing the Programme of Action rests with
the CIS countries, international support may be required to facilitate this
process.  In addition, the international dimension of population movements
calls for international cooperation.  The international community could
encourage and promote such cooperation.

Objective

119. The objective is to strengthen cooperation in the field of migration and
related matters at the bilateral and multilateral levels among the CIS
countries, and between these countries and other interested countries,
relevant international organizations, non-governmental organizations and other
independent actors.


                       A.  Intergovernmental cooperation

1.  Cooperation between CIS countries

Actions

120. Intergovernmental cooperation (bilateral or multilateral) in the field
of migration and related matters should be developed and strengthened between
CIS countries.  Bilateral cooperation will be particularly useful in resolving
the problems of persons belonging to formerly deported peoples wishing to
return to their homelands, and for the exchange of information on countries of
origin of asylum-seekers and on their place of registration.

121. Intergovernmental cooperation will enhance the regulation and management
of migratory flows; the voluntary repatriation of refugees and persons in
refugee-like situations; the return of persons belonging to formerly deported
peoples; the reintegration of internally displaced persons and involuntarily
relocating persons; the solution of the problem of ecological migrants; the
protection of the rights of migrants and particularly of their property
rights; the exchange of information on countries of origin of asylum-seekers
and on their place of registration; and the development of early-warning
mechanisms and emergency-preparedness structures.

122. Bilateral and multilateral cooperation is also desirable to prevent
illegal migration and illegal transit migration, in particular as concerns
visa policies, return and readmission policies and the exchange of
information.

123. Cooperation can include subregional approaches on migration matters,
particularly as concerns measures for the regulation of migratory flows and
the elaboration of national legislation, structures and programmes. 
Subregional migration centres could be instrumental in catalysing such
cooperation.


2.  Cooperation between CIS countries and other interested countries

124. Cooperation in the field of migration and related matters between the
CIS countries and other interested countries, at the bilateral and
multilateral levels, should be developed and strengthened.  Possible areas of
cooperation include the following:  refugee matters, where, among others,
information can be exchanged on countries of origin; the return of persons
belonging to formerly deported peoples; internally displaced persons;
ecological migrants and issues relating to environmental protection; illegal
migration, including illegal transit migration; and the rights of persons
belonging to minorities.  Such cooperation includes bilateral or multilateral
agreements, as well as technical assistance, to be provided either directly or
through international and non-governmental organizations.  Technical
assistance encompasses the provision of expert advice, the sharing of relevant
experience, the exchange of personnel and other training activities, as well
as support for national migration programmes.  Participation in common
processes and forums can be instrumental, inter alia, in developing effective
administrative structures, in stimulating ongoing discussion of
migration-related issues and in fostering greater coordination of policies and
legislation.  Finally, the development of cultural, economic and political
exchanges at all levels of society can effectively contribute to a greater
understanding among peoples.

125. Combating illegal migration and trafficking of migrants requires a high
level of cooperation among all interested countries.  States should render one
another assistance in criminal matters for the prosecution of traffickers, and
consider concluding bilateral agreements, including on readmission, or
adopting national measures to provide this assistance.  Exchange of
information on trafficking and on illegal migration should be promoted. 
Necessary information includes the following:  the situation in countries of
origin, routes and methods of illegal entry and exit; transit stations,
border-crossing points and types of transport used; the nationality of the
traffickers and illegal migrants involved and the emerging trends; and
finally, the methods of forgery or falsification of travel, identity or other
documents.  In addition, interested countries should cooperate bilaterally and
in competent international forums on other criminal activities often related
to illegal migration, such as illegal drugs and arms trafficking.


B.  Cooperation with international organizations

126. International organizations are invited to cooperate with the CIS
countries in the field of migration and related matters to address the issues
highlighted in this document.  Technical cooperation programmes include
capacity-building activities, aimed to assist the CIS Governments in
strengthening their organizational structures and management capacity and in
developing their information systems; information activities, to provide
Governments with relevant information for planning and decision-making
purposes; public information activities, to sensitize the general public to
migration and refugee issues; and forum activities, to provide the CIS and
other interested Governments with opportunities to discuss migration and
refugee matters.  In addition, relevant international organizations are
invited to continue providing assistance to the CIS countries in the areas of
emergency assistance, repatriation/return/resettlement and integration, as
appropriate.

127. Relevant international organizations are called upon to continue to
elaborate and implement programmes addressing the issues highlighted in this
document in a concerted and coordinated fashion, consistent with their
mandates and fields of competence.  Special emphasis should be placed on the
complementarity of the mandates of relevant organizations.  Concerned
international organizations should seek to coordinate their efforts, fully
utilizing existing mechanisms, and avoid initiating an activity which is
already being implemented by another organization.

128. International instruments relating to human rights, humanitarian and
refugee law have established treaty bodies or have given a supervisory role to
United Nations organs, regional or other organizations and international
agencies.  The CIS countries should cooperate with such treaty bodies, United
Nations organs, regional or other organizations and international agencies. 
They should apply the recommendations they make and, where applicable, comply
with their decisions in respect of the non-observance of international
obligations.


      C.  Cooperation with non-governmental organizations, the International
          Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and other independent actors

129. Non-governmental organizations provide humanitarian, legal and other
assistance to refugees and migrants in need, advocate the interests and defend
the human rights of such persons, mobilize public opinion to promote
tolerance, particularly towards refugees and migrants, and actively contribute
to the national and international debate on migration and refugee matters. 
Hence, the CIS Governments and the international community should encourage,
enhance and facilitate the contributions that non-governmental organizations
and other independent actors make at the local, national and international
levels towards finding common solutions to problems related to population
displacements and other migratory movements and, in particular, towards
achieving the specific objectives of this Programme of Action.

130. Cooperation between all levels of government and non-governmental
organizations should be enhanced and non-governmental organizations involved
in the discussion, design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of
migration policies and programmes.  Access to relevant information on policy
developments should be facilitated for non-governmental organizations.

131. The CIS countries are invited to facilitate the work of non-governmental
organizations by adopting legislation providing, inter alia, for simple
registration procedures.  Specific administrative regulations, including
taxation schemes, are important for the self-sufficiency and sustainability of
humanitarian non-governmental organizations.  These non-governmental
organizations should be subjected only to such formalities and regulations as
are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society.

132. It is recommended that the CIS countries provide, to the extent
possible, financial resources to non-governmental organizations for the
implementation of assistance programmes.  Adequate financial and technical
support could be made available to non-governmental organizations by
international organizations, international non-governmental organizations and
interested countries.

133. Given the nascent character of non-governmental organizations in the CIS
countries, cooperation between non-governmental organizations at the national,
subregional and international levels should be encouraged and promoted. 
Exchange of information and coordination of activities are important elements
of such cooperation and can contribute to cross-fertilization.  Technical
cooperation programmes, to be implemented by international and
non-governmental organizations, should be developed to facilitate the creation
or strengthening of an efficient network of local non-governmental
organizations within the framework of national legislation.

134. Governments are encouraged to support and facilitate the efforts of the
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and are invited to cooperate
actively with its components according to their respective mandates, taking
into account the relevant resolutions of the 26th International Conference of
the Red Cross and Red Crescent.


VI.  IMPLEMENTATION AND FOLLOW-UP

Basis for action

135. This Programme of Action has been adopted by the participants in the
Conference, in recognition of the magnitude of population movements taking
place in the CIS countries, and as a basis for seeking solutions for existing
problems and for the prevention of situations leading to involuntary
population displacement.

Objective

136. The objective is to design and adopt mechanisms for the effective
implementation of the Programme of Action in a spirit of international
cooperation and solidarity, and collectively to review and adjust
implementation activities, as appropriate and on a regular basis.

Actions

137. Taking into account their responsibility for the implementation of the
Programme of Action, the CIS countries are undertaking a number of concrete
measures to translate into action the recommendations of the Programme, in
cooperation with non-governmental organizations.

138. International support is required to implement the Programme of Action. 
Participants in the Conference should provide such support through bilateral
and multilateral efforts, in a spirit of solidarity and international
cooperation.  They should take into account the key elements of the Programme
in their ongoing and future activities.

139. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International
Organization for Migration and the Organization for Security and Cooperation
in Europe and its institutions undertake to cooperate fully with the CIS
countries in the implementation of the Programme of Action through their
activities in those countries and in accordance with their respective
mandates.  OSCE will give appropriate consideration to the application of the
parts of the Programme of Action referring to the implementation of OSCE
principles and commitments.

140. As the main operational agencies active in the Conference process, UNHCR
and IOM will develop a joint strategy for their activities in the years 1996
to 2000, focusing on the key elements of the Programme of Action.  The
strategy will guide UNHCR and IOM activities in the countries of CIS for the
three to four years following the Conference, in all areas of the respective
activities of the two organizations.  Cooperation with other organizations and
institutions (including international financial institutions) will be sought
in appropriate areas and ways.

141. In the implementation of their operational plan, UNHCR and IOM will work
closely with the CIS countries and maintain continued cooperation with other
organizations (international and national, governmental and non-governmental),
to engage all interested parties in the implementation of the Programme of
Action.

142. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights should integrate
the key elements of the Programme of Action into ongoing and future projects
carried out by the Centre for Human Rights in the CIS countries.  Activities
will be closely coordinated with ongoing and future activities carried out by
OSCE in the field of human rights, as well as with UNHCR and IOM, and will
complement the strategy which is being developed by these two organizations.

143. The United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs should take into
account the key elements of the Programme of Action in its work by
facilitating emergency humanitarian assistance to the CIS countries.  This
will be done in close coordination with relief organizations participating in
humanitarian emergency assistance programmes.

144. Non-governmental organizations are invited to consider independently the
implementation of the Programme of Action and assess possible activities
within its framework.  They are also encouraged to develop interaction at the
national and international levels to define priorities and possible further
contributions to the Conference process.

145. A joint Conference Follow-up Unit, comprising UNHCR, IOM and OSCE and
its Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, will be established
within the existing structure of the organizations (that is, not requiring the
creation of new staffing complements), to monitor progress in implementation. 
A list of main issues and recommendations will be drawn from the Programme of
Action, as the basis for evaluation of progress, in parallel to monitoring the
implementation of the UNHCR/IOM joint strategy.

146. The Follow-Up Unit will work through the local representations of UNHCR
and IOM and in close coordination with national Governments, international and
non-governmental organizations and, as appropriate, in close cooperation with
OSCE missions and institutions.  The proposed sub-regional migration centres
could play a role in this respect.  Reports will be drafted at the country
level, in this spirit and manner, and will be gathered at headquarters level
for compilation and presentation to the participants.

147. The Steering Group, established in Geneva during the Conference process
and composed of representatives of participating States and international
organizations, will be reconvened after the Conference to monitor the
follow-up process.  It will meet regularly, once a year from 1996 to 2000, to
review progress reports submitted by the Follow-up Unit.  Non-governmental
organizations will be invited to participate as observers in such meetings and
to submit independent reports.  Meetings at the national and subregional
levels can also take place, according to need.  Meetings of the Steering Group
will be called by the Follow-up Unit, after consultation with the
participants.  A first meeting will be called in the second half of 1996.

148. The Steering Group will be able to express its views on reports and
recommendations presented to it by the Follow-Up Unit and may make proposals
to participating States, IOM, UNHCR and OSCE and other international and
national organizations (governmental and non-governmental) regarding the
further implementation of the Programme of Action.

149.  The meeting of the year 2000 should conclude the process, and the
Steering Group would decide then on any further appropriate follow-up.


                                    Annex I

                LIST OF PARTICIPANTS IN THE PREPARATORY PROCESS


                                    States

Armenia
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Belarus
Belgium
Bulgaria
Canada
China
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia     
Finland
France
Georgia
Germany
Greece
Holy See
Hungary
Iceland
Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Ireland
Italy
Japan
Kazakstan
Kyrgyzstan
Latvia
Lithuania
Mongolia
Netherlands
Norway
Pakistan
Poland
Portugal
Republic of Moldova
Romania
Russian Federation
Spain
Slovakia
Sweden
Switzerland
Tajikistan
Turkey
Turkmenistan
Ukraine
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
United States of America
Uzbekistan


                          INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

United Nations

Department of Political Affairs

Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Internally Displaced
Persons

United Nations Office at Geneva

High Commissioner for Human Rights/Centre for Human Rights

Department of Humanitarian Affairs

Economic Commission for Europe

United Nations Children's Fund

United Nations Development Programme

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees


Specialized agencies

International Labour Organization

World Health Organization

World Bank

Other international organizations

Executive Secretariat of the Commonwealth of Independent States

Council of Europe

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

European Community

International Committee of the Red Cross

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

International Organization for Migration

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe/Office for Democratic
Institutions and Human Rights

OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities


                                OTHER ENTITIES

Intergovernmental Consultations

International Center for Migration Policy Development


                                   Annex II

                              WORKING DEFINITIONS


1.   The complexity of the population movements in the CIS countries stems
from the combination of pre-existing flows (which have acquired a new
dimension owing to their transformation from internal to international
patterns), with new flows.  The form of these new flows is in some cases
already known to the international community.  In other cases, however, the
international community has little previous experience.  This Conference
process has had to address the types of movements found in the CIS countries
and formulate working definitions for the sake of mutual understanding.

2.   Eight categories of movements are addressed in the CIS Conference
process:   refugees, internally displaced persons, illegal migrants, persons
in refugee-like situations, repatriants, involuntarily relocating persons,
formerly deported peoples and ecological migrants.  Other categories of
movements, such as labour migrants, deported persons and returning military
personnel, although they exist in the CIS countries, are not part of the scope
of the Conference. 

A.   For the following categories of persons, reference is made to a universal
     definition and widely accepted concepts:

3.   Refugees  are persons who, owing to a well-founded fear of
persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a
particular social group or political opinion, are outside the country of their
nationality and are unable or, owing to such fear, unwilling to avail
themselves of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality
and being outside the country of their former habitual residence as a result
of such events, are unable or, owing to such fear, unwilling to return to it.

4.   Internally displaced persons  are persons or groups of persons who
have been forced to flee their homes or places of habitual residence suddenly
or unexpectedly as a result of armed conflict, internal strife, systematic
violations of human rights or natural or man-made disasters and who have not
crossed an internationally recognized State border.

5.   Illegal migrants  are persons who are in an irregular situation, not
fulfilling the requirements concerning entry, stay and exercise of an economic
activity established by the State where they are present.  The term "illegal
migrants" is used without prejudice to refugee status determination.
B.   For the specific purposes of this Conference process, a number of working
     definitions  applying to situations in CIS countries have been developed
     by these countries.  These definitions do not carry a universal or
     binding character.

6.   Persons in refugee-like situations  are persons who fled their
country of citizenship or, if they are stateless, the country of their
permanent residence, as a consequence of armed conflicts because their lives,
safety or freedom were threatened.  These persons are in need of an
international protection but may not all be covered by the 1951 Convention and
its 1967 Protocol.

7.   Repatriants are persons, who for economic, social or personal reasons,
have voluntarily resettled in the country of their citizenship or origin for
the purpose of permanent residence.

8.   Involuntarily relocating persons  are persons who are forced to
relocate to the country of their citizenship as a result of circumstances
endangering their lives, such as armed conflict, internal disorder,
inter-ethnic conflict or systematic violations of human rights and who are in
need of assistance to resettle in their countries of citizenship.

9.   Formerly deported peoples are peoples who were deported from their
historic homeland during the Soviet period.  Some of the persons belonging to
this category may be stateless.

10.  Ecological migrants are persons who are obliged to leave their place of
permanent residence and who move within their country, or across its borders,
due to severe environmental degradation or ecological disasters.


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