United Nations

A/RES/51/71


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

10 February 1997

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



Fifty-first session
Agenda item 105


                  RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

               [on the report of the Third Committee (A/51/614)]


            51/71.      Assistance to refugees, returnees and
                        displaced persons in Africa


      The General Assembly,

      Recalling its resolution 50/149 of 21 December 1995,

      Having considered the report of the Secretary-General 1/ and
the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 2/

      Convinced of the necessity of strengthening the capacity within
the United Nations system for the implementation of relief programmes
for refugees, returnees and displaced persons,

      Welcoming the ongoing process of voluntary repatriation of
refugees in some parts of Africa,

      Taking note of resolution CM/Res.1653 (LXIV) on refugees,
returnees and displaced persons in Africa, adopted by the Council of
Ministers of the Organization of African Unity at its sixty-fourth
ordinary session, held at Yaounde' from 1 to 5 July 1996, 3/

      Recalling the provisions of General Assembly resolution
2312 (XXII) of 14 December 1967, by which it adopted the Declaration
on Territorial Asylum,

      Recognizing the need for States to create conditions conducive
both to the prevention of flows of refugees and displaced persons and
to solutions, especially voluntary repatriation,

      Bearing in mind that the majority of refugees and displaced
persons are women and children,

      Noting with great concern that despite all the efforts deployed
so far by the United Nations, the Organization of African Unity and
others, the situation of refugees and displaced persons in Africa,
especially in the West African and Great Lakes regions and in the Horn
of Africa, remains precarious,

      1.    Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General 1/ and the
report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; 2/

      2.    Notes with concern that the effects of political
instability, internal strife, human rights violations and natural
disasters such as drought have led to increased numbers of refugees
and displaced persons in some countries of Africa;

      3.    Expresses deep concern at the serious and far-reaching
consequences of large numbers of refugees and displaced persons in the
receiving countries and the implications for security, long-term
socio-economic development and the environment;

      4.    Expresses its appreciation and strong support for those
African Governments and local populations which, in spite of the
general deterioration of socio-economic and environmental conditions,
as well as over-stretched national resources, continue to accept the
additional burden imposed upon them by increasing numbers of refugees
and displaced persons in compliance with the relevant principles of
asylum;

      5.    Expresses concern at instances where the fundamental
principle of asylum is jeopardized by the unlawful expulsion or
refoulement, or the threat to life, physical security, integrity,
dignity and the well-being of refugees;

      6.    Commends the Governments concerned for their sacrifices in
providing assistance and protection to refugees, returnees and
internally displaced persons and for their efforts to promote
voluntary repatriation and other durable solutions;

      7.    Expresses its gratitude to the international community, and
to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in
particular, for the humanitarian assistance it has continued to render
to refugees and displaced persons as well as to the countries of
asylum;

      8.    Welcomes the strengthening of cooperation between the Office
of the High Commissioner and the Organization of African Unity at all
levels, and urges the two organizations, in conjunction with United
Nations agencies, intergovernmental and non-governmental
organizations, the international community and the Governments
concerned, to increase efforts aimed at facilitating voluntary
repatriation in a dignified and orderly manner, as well as addressing
the root causes of the refugee problem and working out modalities for
a lasting solution;

      9.    Reiterates that the Plan of Action adopted by the Regional
Conference on Assistance to Refugees, Returnees and Displaced Persons
in the Great Lakes Region, held at Bujumbura from 15 to 17 February
1995, as endorsed by the General Assembly in its resolution 50/149,
continues to be a viable framework for the resolution of the refugee
and humanitarian problems in that region;

      10.   Calls upon the Office of the High Commissioner and other
concerned entities to intensify protection activities by, inter alia,
supporting the efforts of African Governments through appropriate
capacity-building activities, including training of relevant officers,
disseminating information about refugee instruments and principles and
providing financial, technical and advisory services to accelerate the
enactment or amendment and implementation of legislation relating to
refugees;

      11.   Appeals to Governments, United Nations, intergovernmental
and non-governmental organizations and the international community to
create conditions that can facilitate the voluntary return and the
early rehabilitation and reintegration of refugees;

      12.   Appeals to the international community to respond positively
to the third-country resettlement requests of African refugees in the
spirit of solidarity and burden-sharing;

      13.   Commends the Governments of the Great Lakes and West African
regions and the Office of the High Commissioner for their initiatives
to promote repatriation within the framework of tripartite agreements
on voluntary repatriation of refugees in the region;

      14.   Encourages the Office of the High Commissioner to continue
to cooperate with the office of the United Nations High Commissioner
for Human Rights in the promotion and protection of human rights and
fundamental freedoms in emergency humanitarian situations in Africa;

      15.   Welcomes the ongoing efforts undertaken by the Office of the
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, with host Governments,
United Nations and non-governmental organizations and the
international community, in addressing the negative impact of large-
scale refugee influxes and concentrations on the environment and
ecosystems of countries of asylum;

      16.   Notes with satisfaction the voluntary return of millions of
refugees to their homelands following the successful repatriation and
reintegration operations carried out by the Office of the High
Commissioner, with the cooperation and collaboration of many countries
hosting refugees, and looks forward to other programmes to assist the
voluntary repatriation of all refugees in Africa;

      17.   Expresses its concern about the long stay of refugees in
certain African countries, and calls upon the Office of the High
Commissioner to keep its programmes under review in conformity with
its mandate in the host countries, taking into account the increasing
requirements there;

      18.   Urges the international community to continue to fund the
general refugee programmes of the Office of the High Commissioner,
taking into account the substantially increased needs of programmes in
Africa;

      19.   Calls upon Governments, United Nations agencies,
non-governmental organizations and the international community as a
whole to strengthen the emergency response capacity of the United
Nations system on the basis of the experience of the emergency in the
Great Lakes region and to continue to provide needed resources and
operational support to refugees and countries of asylum in Africa
until a permanent solution can be found;

      20.   Calls upon the international donor community to provide
material and financial assistance for the implementation of programmes
intended for the rehabilitation of the environment and infrastructure
in areas affected by refugees in countries of asylum;

      21.   Requests all Governments and intergovernmental and
non-governmental organizations to pay particular attention to meeting
the special needs of refugee women and children;

      22.   Calls upon the Secretary-General, the Office of the High
Commissioner and intergovernmental, regional and non-governmental
organizations to increase the capacity for coordination and delivery
of humanitarian emergency assistance and disaster relief in general
with States and others concerned in respect of asylum, relief,
repatriation, rehabilitation and resettlement of refugees, returnees
and displaced persons, including those refugees in urban areas;

      23.   Requests the Secretary-General to submit a comprehensive and
consolidated report on the situation of refugees, returnees and
displaced persons in Africa to the General Assembly at its fifty-
second session, under the item entitled "Report of the United Nations
High Commissioner for Refugees, questions relating to refugees,
returnees and displaced persons and humanitarian questions", and an
oral report to the Economic and Social Council at its substantive
session of 1997.


                                                          82nd plenary meeting
                                                              12 December 1996


                                     Notes

1/    A/51/367.

2/    Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-first Session,
Supplement No. 12 (A/51/12).

3/    See A/51/524, annex I.

 

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