Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, G.A. res. 51/75, 51 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 49) at 208, U.N. Doc. A/51/49 (Vol. I) (1996).

      The General Assembly,
      Having considered the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees on the activities of her Office and the report of the Executive
Committee of the Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees on the work of its forty-seventh session,
      Recalling its resolution 50/152 of 21 December 1995,
      Reaffirming the fundamental importance of the 1951 Convention and the
1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees, in particular their
implementation in a manner fully compatible with the object and purpose of
those instruments, and noting with satisfaction that one hundred and
thirty-two States are now parties to one or both instruments,
      Commending the High Commissioner and her staff for the competent,
courageous and dedicated manner in which they discharge their
      Paying tribute to those staff members who have endangered or lost their
lives in the course of their duties, and emphasizing the urgent need for
effective measures to ensure the security of staff engaged in humanitarian
      Distressed at the widespread violations of the principle of non-
refoulement and of the rights of refugees, in some cases resulting in the loss
of their lives, and seriously disturbed at reports indicating that large
numbers of refugees and asylum-seekers have been subjected to refoulement and
expulsion in highly dangerous situations,
      1.    Strongly reaffirms the fundamental importance and the purely
humanitarian and non-political character of the function of the Office of the
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees of providing international
protection to refugees and seeking permanent solutions to the problem of
refugees and the need for States to cooperate fully with the Office in order
to facilitate the effective exercise of that function;
      2.   Calls upon all States that have not yet done so to accede or
succeed to and to implement fully the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol
relating to the Status of Refugees and relevant regional refugee instruments,
as applicable, for the protection of refugees;
      3.   Reiterates that everyone, without distinction of any kind, has the
right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution, and
calls upon all States to uphold asylum as an indispensable instrument for the
international protection of refugees and to respect scrupulously the
fundamental principle of non-refoulement, which is not subject to derogation;
      4.    Urges States to ensure access, consistent with relevant
international and regional instruments, for all asylum-seekers to fair and
efficient procedures for the determination of refugee status and the granting
of asylum to eligible persons;
      5.    Deplores the fact that in certain situations refugees, returnees
and displaced persons of concern to the Office of the High Commissioner have
been subjected to armed attack, murder, rape and other violations of or
threats to their personal security and other fundamental rights, and calls
upon States to take all measures necessary to ensure respect for the
principles of refugee protection and the humane treatment of asylum-seekers in
accordance with internationally recognized human rights and humanitarian
      6.    Emphasizes the importance of ensuring access by the Office of the
High Commissioner to asylum-seekers, refugees and other persons of concern in
order to enable it to carry out its protection functions in an effective
manner, expresses deep concern at conditions in a number of countries or
regions that seriously impede the delivery of humanitarian assistance and
protection, and calls upon States to take all necessary measures to ensure
such access and to ensure the security of staff engaged in humanitarian
      7.    Reiterates its support for the role of the Office of the High
Commissioner in exploring further measures to ensure international protection
to all who need it, consistent with fundamental protection principles
reflected in international instruments, and supports the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees in continuing further consultations and discussions
in this regard;
      8.    Encourages the Office of the High Commissioner to continue and
strengthen its efforts for the protection of women having a well-founded fear
of persecution, and calls upon States to adopt an approach that is sensitive
to gender-related concerns and ensures that women whose claims to refugee
status are based upon a well-founded fear of persecution, including
persecution through sexual violence or other gender-related persecution, are
recognized as refugees for reasons enumerated in the 1951 Convention and its
1967 Protocol;
      9.    Urges all States and relevant United Nations, intergovernmental
and non-governmental organizations to support the High Commissioner's search
for durable solutions to refugee problems, including voluntary repatriation,
integration in the country of asylum and resettlement in a third country, as
appropriate, and welcomes in particular the ongoing efforts of the Office of
the High Commissioner to pursue, whenever possible, opportunities to promote
conditions conducive to the preferred solution of voluntary repatriation;
      10.   Underlines the interrelationship between protection and solutions,
as well as the desirability of prevention, including through respect for human
rights and the implementation of relevant instruments and standards, and
emphasizes the responsibility of States to resolve refugee situations and to
ensure conditions that do not compel people to flee in fear, to uphold the
institution of asylum, to create conditions conducive to voluntary
repatriation, to take steps to meet essential humanitarian needs and to
cooperate with countries on whom the large-scale presence of refugees weighs
most heavily;
      11.   Acknowledges the desirability of comprehensive approaches by the
international community to the problems of refugees and displaced persons,
including addressing root causes, strengthening emergency preparedness and
response, providing effective protection and achieving durable solutions;
      12.   Emphasizes the value of comprehensive, regional approaches in
which the High Commissioner has played a significant part in both countries of
origin and countries of asylum, encourages States, in coordination and
cooperation with each other and with international organizations, if
applicable, to consider adopting protection-based comprehensive approaches to
particular problems of displacement, and endorses, in this connection, the
conclusion on comprehensive and regional approaches within a protection
framework adopted by the Executive Committee of the Programme of the United
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees at its forty-seventh session;
      13.   Recalls that the Office of the High Commissioner may be called
upon by the appropriate organs of the United Nations and with the consent of
the State concerned to extend its assistance to other groups, such as
internally displaced persons, recognizing that such involvement may contribute
to the prevention or mitigation of refugee situations, yet emphasizing that
activities on behalf of internally displaced persons must not undermine the
institution of asylum, including the right to seek and to enjoy in other
countries asylum from persecution;
      14.   Reiterates the relationship between safeguarding human rights and
preventing refugee situations, recognizes that the effective promotion and
protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including through
institutions that sustain the rule of law, justice and accountability, are
essential for States to fulfil their humanitarian responsibilities in
reintegrating returning refugees, and, in this connection, calls upon the
Office of the High Commissioner, within its mandate and at the request of the
Government concerned, to strengthen its support of national efforts at legal
and judicial capacity-building, where necessary, in cooperation with the
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights;
      15.   Also reiterates that development and rehabilitation assistance is
essential in addressing some of the causes of refugee situations and in the
context of the development of prevention strategies;
      16.   Reaffirms that voluntary repatriation is the ideal solution to
refugee problems, and calls upon countries of origin, countries of asylum, the
Office of the High Commissioner and the international community as a whole to
do everything possible to enable refugees to exercise their right to return
home in safety and dignity;
      17.   Reiterates the right of all persons to return to their country,
and emphasizes in this regard the prime responsibility of countries of origin
for establishing conditions that allow voluntary repatriation of refugees in
safety and with dignity, and, in recognition of the obligation of all States
to accept the return of their nationals, calls upon all States to facilitate
the return of their nationals who have sought asylum but have been determined
not to be refugees;
      18.   Encourages the High Commissioner to continue her activities on
behalf of stateless persons, as part of her statutory function of providing
international protection and of seeking preventive action, as well as her
responsibilities under General Assembly resolutions 3274 (XXIV) of 10 December
1974 and 31/36 of 30 November 1976, and calls upon States to assist the High
Commissioner in fulfilling her responsibilities and to consider acceding to
the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961
Convention on the reduction of statelessness;
      19.   Reaffirms that the Inter-Agency Standing Committee is the primary
mechanism for inter-agency decisions on system-wide policy issues relating to
humanitarian assistance, for formulating a coherent and timely response to
major disasters and complex emergencies and for inter-agency decisions of an
operational nature, and calls upon members of the Standing Committee to
continue to examine, as a matter of priority, options and proposals to improve
its functioning;
      20.   Calls upon all Governments and other donors to demonstrate their
international solidarity and burden-sharing with countries of asylum through
efforts aimed at continuing to alleviate the burden borne by States that have
received large numbers of refugees, in particular developing countries and
those with limited resources, to contribute to the programmes of the Office of
the High Commissioner and, taking into account the effects on countries of
asylum of the increasing requirements of large refugee populations and the
need to widen the donor base and to achieve greater burden-sharing among
donors, to assist the High Commissioner in securing additional and timely
income from traditional governmental sources, other Governments and the
private sector in order to ensure that the needs of refugees, returnees and
other displaced persons of concern to the Office of the High Commissioner are



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