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International Conference on the Plight of Refugees, Returnees and Displaced Persons in Southern Africa (SARRED): Report of the Secretary-General

Publisher UN General Assembly
Author UN General Assembly
Publication Date 19 October 1988
Citation / Document Symbol A/43/717
Cite as UN General Assembly, International Conference on the Plight of Refugees, Returnees and Displaced Persons in Southern Africa (SARRED): Report of the Secretary-General, 19 October 1988, A/43/717, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae68f410.html [accessed 31 July 2014]
Comments Meeting note: International conference on the plight of refugees, returnees and displaced persons in Southern Africa (19880822-19880824 : Oslo)

General Assembly

A/43/717

19 October 1988

Forty-third session
AGENDA ITEM 102 (a)

I. INTRODUCTION

1. At its forty-second session, on 7 December 1987, the General Assembly adopted resolution 42/106, the operative part of which reads as follows:

"The General Assembly

"1.

1. Welcomes the decision of the Organization of African Unity to convene in September 1988 an International Conference on the Plight of Refugees, Returnees and Displaced Persons in Southern Africa;

2. Reiterates its appreciation to the Secretary-General for his efforts, on behalf of the international community, to organize and mobilize special programmes of economic assistance for those African States facing grave economic difficulties, the front-line States and other independent States of southern Africa to help them to withstand the effects of the acts of aggression and destabilization committed by the apartheid regime of South Africa;

"3. Welcomes the decision by the Executive Committee of the Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on the convening of the Conference;

"4. Requests the Secretary-General of the United Nations, in close co-operation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, to give all possible assistance to the Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity in the preparation and organization of the Conference;

"5. Appeals to all Member States, the specialized agencies of the United Nations system and regional, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to provide all the necessary support and resources needed for the convening and success of the, Conference;

"6. Calls upon the international community to provide increased assistance to the countries of southern Africa to enable them to strengthen their capacity to provide the necessary facilities and services for the care and well-being of refugees, returnees and displaced persons in their countries;

"7. Requests the Secretary-General to apprise the Economic and Social Council at its second regular session of 1988 and to report to the General Assembly at its forty-third session on the implementation of the present resolution."

2. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, on behalf of the Secretary-General, made an oral report on the progress of the preparations for the Conference at the second regular session of the Economic and Social Council at Geneva on 7 July 1988, in accordance with paragraph 7 of the above-mentioned resolution.

3. The present report is also submitted in accordance with paragraph 7 of that resolution.

II. ASSISTANCE PROVIDED BY THE UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM IN THE PREPARATION AND ORGANIZATION OF THE CONFERENCE

4. Following the adoption of General Assembly resolution 42/106, a Steering Committee, based in New York, was set up as the main body responsible for formulating the policy guidelines for the Conference. It was composed of senior representatives of OAU, the Department for Special Political Questions, Regional' Co-operation, Decolonization and Trusteeship of the United Nations Secretariat, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

5. The Steering Committee was assisted by a Preparatory Committee, also based in New York and comprising representatives of OAU, the United Nations, UNHCR, UNDP and the Government of Norway. The Preparatory Committee was established to work out the technical and administrative arrangements of the Conference.

6. The United Nations Secretariat provided temporary office space and facilities at United Nations Headquarters for the Preparatory Committee and its secretariat. In addition, the Under-Secretary-General and the Director of the Department for Special Political Questions, Regional Co-operation, Decolonization and Trusteeship participated in sensitization missions to selected North and Latin American countries.

7. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, for its part, undertook the following:

(a) Staff members were assigned on a full-time basis to the secretariat of the Preparatory Committee and actively participated as members on both the Preparatory Committee and the Steering Committee.

(b) A departmental task force was constituted to co-ordinate both UNHCR's input into the preparations of the Conference, and all the other activities to be carried out in connection with the preparations at UNHCR headquarters at Geneva. Furthermore, a contact group for non-governmental organizations was formed in April 1988 to facilitate their input into the preparations.

(c) Staff members were made available to visit the nine countries of the southern African region in order to formulate country profiles. In addition to technical staff, UNHCR representatives to the Southern African Development Co-ordination Conference countries, to the Nordic countries, to OAU and the United Nations Headquarters and to the capitals of donor countries sensitized the press, governmental and non-governmental organizations to the objectives of the Conference and assisted high-level missions.

(d) UNHCR took financial responsibility for public information production of country profiles and provided staffing for the secretariat in New York, as well as the operations at Geneva, at a cost amounting to approximately $US 800,000. The public information campaign for the Conference was undertaken at Geneva by UNHCR. Activities began several months before the Conference and culminated in the Conference itself. The goal was to publicize the Conference and its aims and to enhance public knowledge of the situation of refugees, returnees and displaced persons in southern Africa.

(e) These public information activities can be summarized under the following headings: written material, photo exhibits and posters, film and radio, special events, co-operation with non-governmental organizations and United Nations information centres and press conferences. A pamphlet describing the Conference and its aims was produced in Arabic, English, French and Portuguese and was widely distributed. The main Conference poster was produced in Arabic, English, French, Norwegian and Portuguese. A poster map of southern Africa was also produced in the same languages.

8. The United Nations Development Programme, for its part, undertook the following:

(a) As a member of both the Steering Committee and the Preparatory Committee for the Conference, UNDP participated in all committee meetings, prepared conference documentation, analysed the need for rehabilitation and development assistance as a result of the presence of refugees, returnees and displaced persons and provided additional information on the data base of countries in southern Africa.

(b) To this end, UNDP provided consultancy services in the amount of $US 35,000. In addition, UNDP has indicated its readiness to provide assistance to the Steering Committee in the follow-up and implementation of the Conference.

III. PROCEEDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS OF THE CONFERENCE

9. The Organization of African Unity, as the initial sponsor of the Conference, has prepared a detailed report on the proceedings and conclusions of the Conference. This report, which is annexed hereto, has been submitted to the Secretary-General by the Permanent Representative of the United Republic of Tanzania in his capacity as Chairman of the African Group, with a request that it be brought to the attention of the General Assembly at its forty-third session.

10. The Secretary-General wishes to draw particular attention to the Oslo Declaration and Plan of Action on the Plight of Refugees, Returnees and Displaced Persons in Southern Africa, which was adopted by acclamation by the Conference. The full text of the Declaration and Plan of Action is contained in the appendix to the report of OAU.

ANNEX Report on the International Conference on the Plight of Refugees, Returnees and Displaced in South Africa

I. INTRODUCTION

1. The International Conference on the Plight of Refugees, Returnees and Displaced Persons in Southern Africa was held at Oslo, Norway, from 22 to 24 August 1988. The Conference was called for by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in resolutions CM/939 (XL) of 5 March 1984 and CM/1040 (XLIV) of 26 July 1986 adopted by the Council of Ministers, both of which were endorsed by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of OAU at its twenty-third ordinary session, held at Addis Ababa in July 1987. The operative part of resolution CM/1040 (XLIV) reads as follows:

"The Council of Ministers of the Organization of African Unity, meeting in its forty-fourth ordinary session in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 21 to 26 July 1986,

"1. Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General on the activities of the general secretariat on the situation of refugees in Africa;

"2. Adopts the report on the activities of the OAU Commission of Fifteen on Refugees (document CM/1391 (XLIV));

"3. Expresses its gratitude to member States for continuing to accept refugees and displaced persons in spite of the economic difficulties facing most African States;

"4. Appeals to the donor community and all the development aid-giving bodies to sustain and increase their contributions for the implementation of ICARA II projects;

"5. Commends the front-line States and other States bordering racist South Africa for the sacrifices they continue to make, in spite of the grave dangers to which they have been exposed, as a result of granting asylum and other forms of assistance to refugees;

"6. Expresses Its gratitude to OAU member States that have generously and spontaneously offered transit or resettlement facilities to South African refugees and appeals to all other member States urgently to consider receiving these refugees, either in transit or for resettlement in the spirit of "burden sharing", as enshrined in the 1979 Arusha Conference recommendations and in the OAU Convention;

"7. Calls upon OAU member States receiving refugees or returnees to integrate the formulation and implementation of refugee programmes into the national plans in order to ensure the continuous viability and funding of such programmes to the benefit of the refugees/returnees and surrounding local populations where feasible;

"8. Takes note with great satisfaction of the favourable developments in the Horn of Africa and in Uganda and expresses hope that such positive developments will promote further voluntary repatriation of refugees, and calls upon member States concerned to strengthen the measures already taken to accelerate new repatriation movements;

"9. Expresses further its gratitude to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the OAU secretariat, non-governmental organizations, voluntary agencies and donor countries for their various activities in favour of refugees and displaced persons and the measures they have taken to contain the refugee situation in Africa;

"10. Urges member States to co-operate with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the OAU secretariat in collecting accurate and reliable statistical data, with a view to achieving better planning of refugee/returnee programmes in order to enhance the humanitarian character and retain and foster the credibility of such programmes;

"11. Requests, once again, the international community, especially the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, seriously to consider contributing financially to the OAU Special Refugee Contingency Fund;

"12. Urges those Member States that have not yet done so to consider, as a matter of urgency, ratifying the 1951 United Nations Convention on Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, the 1969 OAU Convention and the 1981 African Charter on Human and People's Rights;

"13. Appeals to the international community and donor countries to strengthen the financial capacity of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and voluntary agencies to enable them to redouble their assistance to the front-line and other OAU member States receiving refugees/returnees in order to adequately meet relief/rehabilitation needs;

"14. Requests the Secretary-General to undertake consultations with member States to the SADCC and the SADCC secretariat, the United Nations Secretary-General, the High Commissioner for Refugees with a view to setting up an Ad Hoc Preparatory Committee comprising the representatives of the secretariats of the above institutions for the purpose of defining precise objectives and main themes, including the question of displaced persons proposing the agenda items as well as the dates and venue of the proposed international conference on the southern African refugee situation;

"15. Requests further the Secretary-General to follow up on the Conference preparations and report to the forty-fifth ordinary session of the Council of Ministers."

2. This resolution was welcomed by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution 42/106 of 7 December 1987.

II. OBJECTIVES OF THE CONFERENCE

3. The first objective of the Conference was to sensitize the international community at large on the plight of refugees, returnees and displaced persons in the nine countries which, for the purpose of the Conference, constituted the southern African region (Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe). In line with this objective, the Conference would point out the root causes for the displacement of populations in the region, as well as identify their economic, social and humanitarian needs, the problems and needs of the countries hosting them or to which they attempted to or, in fact, did return.

4. The second objective of the Conference was to secure greater adherence by the international community, particularly the States members of the Organization of African Unity outside the region, to the principles of international solidarity and burden sharing, as enshrined in the relevant regional and international instruments relating to refugees.

5. Thirdly, the Conference was to mobilize and channel increased material assistance to asylum countries within the region to enable them to cope better with the humanitarian challenges facing them.

6. The fourth and final objective of the Conference was the formulation and adoption of a declaration and plan of action for short and long-term humanitarian intervention in the region.

III. PROCEEDINGS OF THE CONFERENCE

A. Participants

7. The Conference met at Oslo from 22 to 24 August 1988. It was attended by representatives of 90 States Members of the United Nations and OAU or States members of specialized agencies and by observers from 25 intergovernmental organizations, 3 liberation movements and 68 non-governmental organizations.

B. Election of officers

8. On the proposal of His Excellency Mr. Idé Oumarou, Secretary-General of OAU, His Excellency Mr. Thorvald Stoltenberg, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Norway, was elected by acclamation as President of the Conference.

9. On the proposal of its President, the Conference elected by acclamation the following persons as Vice-Presidents:

His Excellency Mr. Anatoly ADAMISHIN, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics;

His Excellency Mr. Ràul ALCONADA SEMPE, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of Argentina;

His Excellency Mr. K. K. TEWARY, Minister of State for External Affairs of India;

His Excellency Mr. Pascoal Manuel MOCUMBI, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mozambique.

C. Agenda

10. The agenda, as adopted by the Conference at its 1st plenary meeting(SARRED/88/1), reads as follows:

"1. Opening of the Conference by the Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity.

2. Election of the President.

3. Organizational matters:

(a) Adoption of the agenda;

(b) Election of the Vice-Presidents;

(c) Organization of work.

4. Plight of refugees, returnees and displaced persons in southern Africa:

(a) Root causes of the displacement of peoples;

(b) Assistance to refugees, returnees and displaced persons;

(c) Relief, care, maintenance and other needs of refugees, returnees and displaced persons;

(d) Assistance to asylum countries and/or countries hosting displaced persons;

(e) Emergency relief and development assistance.

5. Adoption of a declaration and plan of action."

D. Documentation

11. The Conference had before it the following documents:

SARRED/88/1 Provisional agenda
SARRED/88/2 Victims of apartheid: refugees ,returnees and displaced persons in southern Africa
SARRED/88/3 Country profiles on refugees, returnees and displaced persons
SARRED/88/4 Analysis of the need for relief and development assistance as a result of the presence of refugees, returnees and displaced persons in southern Africa
SARRED/88/4/Add.1 Statistical annex to SARRED/88/4

12. In addition, a communication from the representative of Angola on the situation of refugees, returnees and displaced persons in Angola was circulated during the Conference (SARRED/88/COM/1).

E. Organization of work

13. In connection with the organization of its work, the Conference decided, inter alia:

(a) That participants should confine themselves to one intervention covering all the points they wished to make;

(b) That statements by States would be limited to 15 minutes and statements by organizations to 10 minutes;

(c) That, in accordance with the practice of similar international conferences, the Conference would be governed mutatis mutandis by the rules of procedure for United Nations pledging conferences;

(d) That, given the humanitarian character of the Conference and the limited time at its disposal, should any representative feel obliged to reply to the remarks of a speaker, the secretariat of the Conference would distribute such a reply in writing if a sufficient number of copies had been provided.

F. Drafting Group

14. At its 1st plenary meeting, the Conference decided to establish a Drafting Group consisting of the following 15 States:

Algeria China Mozambique
Angola German Democratic Republic Norway
Australia Greece Saudi Arabia
Brazil Kuwait United Republic of Tanzania
Bulgaria Mali United States of America

The Conference also decided that the Drafting Group would be open to other participating States.

15. His Excellency Mr. Tom Vraalsen, Permanent Representative of Norway to the United Nations, was elected Chairman of the Drafting Group.

G. Opening statements

1. Statements by the Prime Minister of Norway

16. In her opening statement, the Prime Minister of Norway, Her Excellency Mrs. Gro Harlem Brundtland, said that the causes of the tragic displacement of millions of people in southern Africa were the system of oppression under apartheid in South Africa and Pretoria's acts of aggression and destabilization within the region. Observing that the international community had to address effectively the root causes of these problems, she called for a stricter application of sanctions against South Africa in order to bring about a lasting and durable solution to the root causes of the refugee problem. She stressed that in 1987 Norway had adopted a comprehensive trade boycott against South Africa and had increased its co-operation with the front-line States.

17. The plight of refugees, returnees and displaced persons, she said, was not only a humanitarian and political problem but as well one of economic development. The Prime Minister therefore called for the adoption of measures for economic growth in the countries of the region that would produce the necessary resources to deal with the problems of refugees and displaced persons, for a lasting economic recovery, for concessional transfer support and burden relief and, in particular, for a commitment to the principle of multilateralism.

18. After reviewing the objectives of the Conference, the Prime Minister stated the actions her Government considered necessary to avert a tragedy in the southern African region. First of all, a commitment by the international community to developmental and relief assistance was necessary. Secondly, comprehensive regional and national disaster plans had to be developed to deal with emergencies in the region. Thirdly, it was essential that a mechanism be established to deal more effectively with the delivery of assistance, in particular to internally displaced persons. Such a mechanism could be established under the authority of the Secretary-General of the United Nations. In this context, the co-ordination of the activities of existing agencies had to be looked into so that internally displaced persons also became the responsibility of the world community. It would also be important that the appropriate agencies such as UNDP, UNHCR, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the Office of the United Nations Disaster Relief Co-ordinator (UNDRO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank be deeply involved.

2. Statement by the President of Mali and Chairman of the Organization of African Unity

19. His Excellency General Moussa Traorpé, President of the Republic of Mali and current Chairman of the Organization of African Unity, made a statement, in which he expressed the thanks and appreciation of OAU to the Government and people of Norway for accepting to host the Conference, an action that underscored the principle of international solidarity.

20. The President, while acknowledging that half of the refugees in the world were Africans, also singled out drought, famine, external debt and the global economic recession as factors which had compounded the plight of African refugees. On the situation in southern Africa, the current Chairman of OAU also singled out apartheid in South Africa, the illegal colonial occupation of Namibia and the suppression of human and other basic rights, as well as acts of aggression by the racist regime in Pretoria, as factors that accounted for the refugee problem in southern Africa. He paid tribute to the front-line and other neighbouring States which, out of the traditional African hospitality and their respect for the various international instruments, and despite their own problems, had offered asylum to millions of refugees from South Africa and Namibia.

21. On internally displaced persons, the current Chairman observed that the plight of these people had deteriorated dramatically. He further observed the absence of any international legal arrangement to cater for internally displaced persons and, therefore, appealed to the international community to consider the need for such a mechanism or arrangement to deal with those persons.

22. The current Chairman next drew the attention of the Conference to the case of members of the liberation movements who, in a sense, were refugees, but who, sometimes because of their very nature and the limitations of the statutes of some traditional humanitarian organizations, were unable to receive the necessary and required assistance. He, therefore, appealed again to the Conference to examine this problem and come out with ways and means of providing for the needs of the members of the liberation movements. In this connection, he disclosed that OAU had established a Special Contingency Fund for Refugees and the international community could consider making financial contributions to that fund for the benefit of the members of the liberation movements.

23. In conclusion, the current Chairman called on the Conference and the international community as a whole to intensify the struggle against Apartheid in order to remove the root cause of the problem in southern Africa and thus enable the peoples of the region to achieve human freedom and dignity.

3. Statement by the President of Zimbabwe and Chairman of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries

24. His Excellency Mr. Robert G. Mugabe, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and Chairman of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, said that there was no doubt that southern Africa was the most troubled region of Africa. Its troubles were caused by racist South Africa, whose policies of apartheid, the illegal occupation of Namibia and destabilization had unleashed war, instability and insecurity in the region. If no speedy concerted action was taken by both Africa and the rest of the international community to bring about a durable solution, the degradation and dehumanization of millions of people now going on in the region would continue, and indeed escalate. The President hoped that the Conference would go beyond the mere assistance of refugees, returnees and displaced persons and address itself to the root causes of the refugee problem in southern Africa.

25. Turning to the refugee situation in his country, the President said that, while his Government was ready to give sanctuary and protection to refugees, as it had already amply demonstrated, it was equally concerned about the security of its country and citizens. Bandit gangs had infiltrated the country, in most cases disguised as refugees, and, once in the country, murdered, terrorized and abducted innocent Zimbabwean citizens. These and other activities, which were instigated by South Africa, were aimed at destroying and crippling the transport networks and therefore the economies of the countries of the region. In these circumstances, it had become imperative for Zimbabwe and the other countries of the region to deploy troops and other resources towards the protection of the transport infrastructure.

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

26. His Excellency Mr. Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said that the Conference was a moving demonstration of solidarity in action. The situation in southern Africa called for immediate redress. The basic cause for so many refugees and displaced persons in southern Africa was apartheid. The Secretary-General called upon people everywhere to increase their efforts to persuade the Government of South Africa to abandon the system of apartheid and to implement Security Council resolution 435 (1978) on Namibia. These measures, he said, would not only stop the outpouring of refugees, but would also allow thousands to return home.

27. While these efforts were being pursued, it was important to ensure that the economic, social and humanitarian needs of refugees were met. These needs were so great that the host countries could not by themselves meet them. In the case of Angola, Malawi and Mozambique, the responses to the appeals he had launched earlier in the year were good, but needs continued to grow and more assistance was required for these countries and all the others in the region. Referring to the principles and responsibilities of the international community to care for refugees and displaced persons in southern Africa, which had been endorsed by the Second International Conference on Assistance to Refugees in Africa, he pledged his commitment as Secretary-General of the United Nations to do everything in his power to help in discharging those responsibilities.

H. General debate

1. Statement by the Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity

28. Addressing the Conference, His Excellency Mr. Idé Oumarou, Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity, made an analysis of the historical background of the problems of refugees, returnees and displaced persons in southern Africa that compelled OAU to take the initiative at convening the Conference. In doing so, he outlined the root causes of the tragedy in southern Africa as the policy of apartheid practised by South Africa, its acts of aggression and destabilization against the independent States in the region and its illegal colonial occupation of the territory of Namibia. The Secretary-General emphasized that the continuous application of these policies, which had long been condemned by the international community, contributed greatly to the sufferings of the oppressed peoples of South Africa and Namibia, forced millions of people in Angola and Mozambique to become displaced persons in their own countries and disrupted the economic development plans of the States members of the Southern Africa Co-ordination Conference.

29. The Secretary-General further stated that the Conference was expected to serve as a forum of sensitization to the plight of millions of refugees, returnees and displaced persons in southern Africa as well as to the burden that was being shouldered by the countries of the region hosting these unfortunate peoples. The Conference should also serve as a platform from which to launch a fervent appeal. He stressed that the Conference was indeed expected to sensitize the international community to the daily sufferings of the majority of the people of South Africa who continued to languish under the odious policy of go, oppression and racial subjugation, as well as the people of Namibia whose quest for freedom and independence so far had remained unheeded. The Secretary-General went on to state that the Conference was also expected to launch an appeal for international solidarity translated into concrete action to resolve the problems of the people of the region in general and those of the refugees, returnees and displaced persons in particular.

2. Statement by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

30. Mr. Jean-Pierre Hocké, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, emphasized the four concerns of importance to his Office at the Conference. The first was the root causes of the crisis in the southern African region. While the work of UNHCR was strictly humanitarian, it was nevertheless necessary to address the particularly inhumane causes which had resulted in the flight of more than1 million refugees in the region and 5 million internally displaced persons. Secondly, he was concerned about the scale and nature of the human tragedy which was affecting countries that were themselves struggling with overwhelming problems of underdevelopment. His third concern flowed from the second one, namely the need for the international community to recognize the contribution made by the front- line States in both protection and assistance terms to the cause of refugees. He, however, expressed the hope that the heightened sense of pervasive insecurity in the region resulting from violent attacks, abductions and assassinations, of which both nationals and refugees had been victims, would not affect the liberal asylum policies traditionally pursued there.

31. The most important concern was the action-oriented nature of the Conference. The High Commissioner revealed the extent of and commitment to continued UNHCR's responsiveness to the region's needs in assistance. He welcomed the intention of the Conference to issue a declaration and plan of action which would address the need to remove the root causes of refugee flows. He also hoped that the Conference would seize the opportunity to bring back on its track the process initiated at the Second International Conference on Assistance to Refugees in Africa.

3. Statement by the Assistant Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme

32. Mr. Pierre-Claver Damiba, Assistant Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, outlined his organization's commitment at resolving the problems of refugees, returnees and displaced persons in general and those in southern Africa in particular. He stated that this commitment consisted in the promotion and implementation of development projects in favour of those people and the countries hosting them. He also underscored that their mere presence in given countries should not be allowed to impede the economic development of the very countries hosting them. The Assistant Administrator further referred to UNDP's participation in the formulation of projects within the framework established by the Second International Conference on Assistance to Refugees in Africa for development-oriented refugee-related assistance. He also stressed the responsibility entrusted to UNDP with regard to the administration of the Trust Fund that had been subsequently created. He indicated, in this connection, the assistance that UNDP provided or continued to provide to Angola, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia and the liberation movements in southern Africa.

33. The Assistant Administrator made a detailed analysis of the magnitude, causes and socioeconomic impact of the problem of destabilization in southern Africa. He said, in this connection, that the economic cost in southern Africa resulting from the acts of destabilization had to be considered in terms of billions of dollars. He also indicated that the effect of destabilization had dramatically reduced production in the rural subsistence economies of the region and had created an environment where humanitarian emergency response was needed for people to survive.

4. Statements by representatives of States and organizations

34. In the course of the general debate, the representatives of the following 46 States took the floor: Afghanistan, Angola, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Barbados, Botswana, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, China, Democratic Kampuchea, Denmark, Ethiopia, Finland, France, German Democratic Republic, Germany, Federal Republic of, Ghana, Greece, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America, Yugoslavia, Zaire, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

35. Owing to the limited time available, the following States did not take the floor, but had their statements circulated to the Conference: Burkina Faso, Hungary, Netherlands, Niger and Uganda.

36. The United Nations Disaster Relief Co-ordinator and the representatives of the following entities of the United Nations system also addressed the Conference: Special Committee against Apartheid, Special Committee on Decolonization, United Nations Commissioner for Namibia and United Nations Council for Namibia.

37. The Conference heard statements from representatives of the following intergovernmental organizations: ACP-EEC, Africa Fund and European Economic Community.

38. The representative of the South West Africa People's Organization spoke on behalf of the liberation movements.

39. The representative of the All Africa Conference of Churches spoke on behalf of all the non-governmental organizations.

40. Although the Conference was not intended to be a pledging conference, the following announcements of support in cash were made during the general debate:

Australia $A 6 400 000
Canada $CAN 4 200 000
Gabon $US 25 000
Ghana $US 100 000
Mauritius $US 5000
Niger $US 10 000
United Kingdom £3 000 000
United States of America $US 10 500 000
Zaire $US 10 000
Africa Fund $US 50 000

I. Adoption of the Declaration and Plan Action

41. At the 6th plenary meeting, on 24 August, the Chairman of the Drafting Group (see para. 17) introduced the draft Oslo Declaration and Plan of Action on the Plight of Refugees, Returnees and Displaced Persons in Southern Africa (SARRED/88/L.l/Rev.2), which had been approved by consensus by the Group after extensive consultations.

42. The Conference adopted the Declaration and Plan of Action by acclamation (see appendix).

J. Concluding statement by the President of the Conference

43. At the 6th plenary meeting, the President of the Conference made the following concluding statement:

"We have come to the end of our deliberations on the plight of refugees, returnees and displaced persons in southern Africa. In the course of our deliberations, we have agreed on a number of important issues. Let me summarize the main points:

(a) The human tragedy of uprootedness and displacement of persons in southern Africa has reached unprecedented proportions;

(b) The primary causes of this tragedy are South Africa's apartheid policy, its illegal colonial occupation of Namibia as well as its destabilization activities carried out against the neighbouring States;

(c) While legal institutions have been established to cater for the needs of refugees, displaced persons, on the other hand, do not have such institutions;

(d) States within southern Africa have generously accepted refugees.

The presence of large numbers of refugees and displaced persons has stretched the economies of these States almost to a breaking point.

The Conference has thus agreed that, while concerned host Governments, in collaboration with various intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, have extended services to refugees, returnees and displaced persons in southern Africa, there are needs that remain unmet. At the same time, others may arise if the situation continues to deteriorate. For these reasons, additional material assistance will be essential for the survival of these victims of apartheid.

The Conference has also endorsed the linkage between relief, recovery and development assistance as well as the need to encourage self-sufficiency among the refugees. This linkage would reduce the burden imposed on host countries and/or countries of origin as recognized by the Second International Conference on Assistance to Refugees in Africa and reiterated at the present Conference.

Furthermore, the principle of solidarity and burden sharing, as enshrined in the 1969 OAU Convention on refugees and further developed in the 1979 Arusha Pan-African Conference has been re-emphasized. The Conference has called upon OAU member States and other members of the international community to redouble their efforts and implement the principle of burden sharing by admitting refugees from southern Africa as appropriate.

Finally, the Conference has reiterated that the granting of asylum should not be seen as unfriendly or hostile, but rather as the carrying out by asylum countries of their obligation under international humanitarian law. In this regard, the Conference has strongly condemned the systematic and continued wanton military or armed attacks on refugees and innocent civilians in southern Africa.

As a result of its deliberations, the Conference has agreed on means and strategies aimed at finding lasting and dignified solutions to the problems currently prevailing in southern Africa. This agreement is reflected in the adoption by consensus of the Declaration and Plan of Action which have been designed to promote activities and programmes relating to:

(a) Emergency preparedness;

(b) Needs assessment and delivery of assistance;

(c) Recovery and development;

(d) Mobilization of resources.

On emergency preparedness, countries within southern Africa, with the assistance of the international community, are encouraged to establish early-warning systems and to formulate contingency plans and emergency programmes on the movement of and assistance to refugees, returnees and displaced persons.

In the area of needs assessment and delivery of assistance, the Conference has called upon host countries and countries of origin, and upon United Nations specialized agencies and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, to co-ordinate their activities in order to achieve the desired goals. Furthermore, considering the absence of a United Nations operational agency or any other arrangement to cater for displaced persons, the Conference has called upon the Secretary-General of the United Nations to hold consultations within the United Nations system with a view to ensuring assistance to displaced persons.

On recovery and development, complementarily between refugee aid and development assistance, as laid down in the Plan of Action adopted at the Second International Conference on Assistance to Refugees in Africa, has been found absolutely relevant, even in the case of southern Africa.

On the mobilization of resources, the Conference has commended the domestic efforts deployed by the countries in the region to cater for refugees, returnees and displaced persons and has called on the international community to complement these efforts.

The effective implementation of the Plan of Action adopted at the present Conference will be based on the full utilization of the existing machinery and bodies mandated to handle the problems of refugees and returnees. In this regard, the Conference has invited the Secretary-General of the United Nations to consider ways and means of strengthening or expanding these existing arrangements to cater for the problems and needs of refugees and returnees. Major breakthroughs have been made in sensitizing the international community to the plight of refugees, returnees and displaced persons in southern Africa. It is important now to ensure the implementation of the measures and strategies agreed upon at this Conference.

Distinguished participants, permit me to convey my sincere thanks and appreciation to those countries that have made financial and material pledges at this Conference.

Before concluding, I should like to offer my very special thanks to the secretariat and all others who have worked behind the scene and contributed to the success of this Conference.

May I finally thank all of you for having come to Oslo and participated so constructively in this historic Conference convened by the Organization of African Unity."

K. Motion of thanks

44. After the President's concluding statement, a motion of thanks on behalf of the Conference as a whole was read by His Excellency Mr. Luke John Mwananshiku, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Zambia, and adopted by acclamation. In the motion, the Conference expressed deep appreciation to the Government and people of Norway for hosting the Conference and for the hospitality extended to the participants during the Conference. Gratitude was also expressed to all the dignitaries who had delivered opening statements, to all the participants and to the secretariat of the Conference and the staff who had worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the Conference.

45. Speaking on behalf of the secretariat of OAU, Mr. Yilma Tadesse, the Assistant Secretary-General in charge of Political Affairs, expressed the thanks and appreciation of OAU to all the countries, international organizations and non-governmental organizations for accepting OAU's invitation to participate in this historic Conference.

46. He disclosed that the Oslo Conference was the first of its kind convened by OAU at the international level. He noted with satisfaction the high-level attendance by representatives of the international community, international organizations and non-governmental organizations, remarking that this demonstrated the goodwill that Africa enjoyed from the rest of the world.

47. He expressed OAU's hope that the provisions of the Oslo Declaration and Plan of Action would receive a concerted, coordinated and sustained attention by all the countries and organizations represented at the Conference. He similarly expressed the hope that other countries would emulate the example of those that had during the Conference responded immediately and positively to OAU's appeal for concrete assistance through various financial and material pledges.

APPENDIX OSLO DECLARATION AND PLAN OF ACTION ON THE PLIGHT OF REFUGEES, RETURNEES AND DISPLACED PERSONS IN SOUTHERN AFRICA Resolution adopted by the Conference at its 6th plenary meeting, on 24 August 1988

The International Conference on the Plight of Refugees, Returnees and Displaced Persons in Southern Africa, meeting from 22 to 24 August 1988 at Oslo, Norway,

Having considered the seriously deteriorating situation of millions of refugees, returnees and displaced persons in southern Africa,

Commenting the initiative taken by the Organization of African Unity to convene the Conference in pursuance of resolutions CM/939 (XL) of 5 March 1984 and CM/1040 (XLIV) of 26 July 1986 of the Council of Ministers, subsequently endorsed by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity at its twenty-third ordinary session in July 1987,

Commending further the Secretary-General of the United Nations for the valuable assistance he has extended, in close co-operation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, to the Organization of African Unity in, the convening and preparation of the Conference,

Expressing its warm appreciation to the Government of Norway for hosting the Conference as well as for the steps it has taken to ensure its success,

Recalling the provisions of resolution 42/106 of the General Assembly of the United Nations of 7 December 1987, by which the Assembly appealed to all Member States, the specialized agencies of the United Nations system and regional, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to provide all the necessary support and resources needed for the convening and success of the Conference,

Recognizing and affirming the need to take necessary measures, individually or collectively, in order to find durable solutions to the problems of refugees, returnees and displaced persons in southern Africa,

1. Adopts the Oslo Declaration and Plan of Action on the Plight of Refugees, Returnees and Displaced Persons in Southern Africa, the text of which is annexed to the present resolution;

2. Requests the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity to take all appropriate measures, in particular those defined in the paragraphs of the Plan of Action relating to the follow-up process, to ensure the full implementation and realization of the objectives contained in the Declaration and the actions recommended in the Plan of Action.

ANNEX Oslo Declaration and of Action on the Plight of Refugees, Returnees and Displaced Persons in the South Africa

I. DECLARATION

A. Background

1. The human tragedy of uprootment and displacement of persons in the southern African region has reached unprecedented proportions. There are at present some 5.4 million persons in southern Africa who are identified as refugees, returnees or displaced persons.

2. The situation has thus become alarming, as the very survival of thousands of these persons becomes increasingly threatened. The adverse effects arising from the continued presence of refugees and persistent movements of displaced persons on the development process in the affected countries are equally alarming and a source of grave concern. The achievement of sustained economic and social development measures for the entire national populations concerned as a result of this crisis is seriously jeopardized in the entire region.

B. Root causes

3. South Africa's apartheid policy, its illegal occupation of Namibia, the policies it pursues in the region of direct and indirect acts of aggression, intimidation and destabilization are root causes of the tragic humanitarian crisis unfolding in the region. In addition, the acts of banditry perpetrated by externally supported surrogate movements contribute to the creation and perpetuation of large movements of refugees and displaced persons in the southern African region.

4. While the various assistance measures contemplated in the Plan of Action seek to alleviate the plight of the affected populations in the short and medium term, it is nevertheless underscored that the fundamental and lasting solutions to the problems of refugees, returnees and displaced persons in southern Africa lie in the adoption of political and other actions aimed at bringing about the total abolition of apartheid as well as racial equality, national independence and improved economic and social conditions.

5. The sustained promotion of these objectives in support of the just struggles of the peoples of South Africa and Namibia for freedom and equality remain the responsibility of the international community. The international community, while calling upon South Africa to end its policy of apartheid, should undertake such appropriate measures conducive to the speedy elimination of apartheid, the attainment of independence by Namibia and the prevention of acts of aggression and destabilization against the independent African countries in the region, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations.

C. Basic principles on humanitarian assistance

6. The Conference notes that there are humanitarian programmes financed and delivered by various United Nations, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and Governments for the benefit of refugees, returnees and displaced persons in southern Africa. Yet there are needs that remain unmet and more are bound to arise as the situation continues to deteriorate. Additional material resources are therefore now required to provide urgent relief assistance, in particular to a large number of displaced persons whose very survival is in danger. It is particularly important that, in addition to food aid, donors should respond to other basic needs, such as in the fields of health, education, water, sanitation, re-forestation and other logistic support, which have so far not attracted adequate attention.

7. A sustained flow of contributions to programmes of the United Nations on behalf of refugees, returnees and displaced persons and for projects for the reinforcement of socioeconomic structures of the asylum countries or countries of origin is also called for.

1. Linkage between relief, recovery and development assistance

8. It is now universally recognized that, in order to minimize the risk of creating dependency on food and other emergency aid, it is necessary to link the provision of such assistance to rehabilitation and recovery activities as early as possible in order to promote self-reliance and eventually self-sufficiency.

9. The linking of humanitarian assistance for refugees and returnees with development assistance with a view to reducing the burden imposed on host countries or countries of origin, as endorsed by the Second International Conference on Assistance to Refugees in Africa, held at Geneva from 9 to 11 July 1984, is thus further reiterated.

10. The implementation of the Declaration and Plan of Action of the Second International Conference on Assistance to Refugees in Africa must be reactivated and intensified.

11. The Action for Resisting Invasion, Colonialism and Apartheid Fund, established at the Eighth Conference of the Heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned Countries, held at Harare from 1 to 6 September 1986, and supported by contributions from the international community, is a significant step for strengthening the economic and financial capabilities of the front-line States and the national liberation movements of South Africa and Namibia. One of the objectives of the Fund is the rehabilitation of migrant labourers who have returned from South Africa. The Conference therefore recommends further support to this cause by the international community and non-governmental organizations.

12. In addition, it is recommended that, in countries where the magnitude of the problems caused by refugees, returnees or displaced persons has severely impaired the performance of the economy, additional financial resources should be channelled in order to support ongoing adjustment measures taken within the framework of the United Nations Programme of Action for African Economic Recovery and Development 1986-1990 and the African Priority Programme for its Economic Recovery or other contexts.

2. Burden sharing

13. The principle of solidarity and burden sharing has been given formal expression in the Declaration and Plan of Action of the Second International Conference on Assistance to Refugees in Africa and also in the 1969 Convention of the Organization of African Unity Relating to the Specific Aspects of the Refugee Problems in Africa, as further developed in the recommendations of the Pan-African Conference on the Situation of Refugees in Africa, held at Arusha in 1979. The Conference recognizes that the conditions of refugees, returnees and displaced persons is a global responsibility of the international community and it emphasizes the need for equitable burden sharing by all its members, taking into consideration particularly the case of the least developed countries. The implementation of the principle of burden sharing at the regional level requires all African States to contribute generously through the adoption of concrete measures aimed at alleviating the plight of countries hosting refugees in southern Africa.

14. States members of the Organization of African Unity are called upon to expand the scope of implementation of the principle of burden sharing by admitting refugees from southern Africa into their countries and into national educational and employment systems, enabling them to have access, wherever feasible, to financial and land resources. Strategies to this effect should be developed within the parameters of the durable solutions referred to in the Plan of Action.

D. Specific refugee-related issues

1. Asylum

15. The humanitarian character of granting refuge is reaffirmed. The relevant countries in southern Africa generously hosting refugee populations are encouraged to continue to grant asylum to assist refugees, in line with the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol to that Convention, the 1969 Convention of the Organization of African Unity Relating to the Specific Aspects of the Refugee Problems in Africa and the recommendations of the Arusha Pan-African Conference on the Situation of Refugees in Africa, held at Arusha in 1979. Furthermore, attention is drawn to the fact that the granting of asylum should not be seen as an unfriendly or hostile act, but rather as the carrying out by asylum countries of their obligations under international humanitarian law.

2. Military or armed attacks

16. The Conference strongly condemns the systematic and continued wanton military or armed attacks on refugees and innocent civilians in southern Africa.

II. PLAN OF ACTION

A. Humanitarian and rehabilitation assistance

17. The States participating in the present Conference do solemnly commit themselves to undertake, in accordance with their capabilities at the bilateral, sub-regional, regional and international levels, the necessary activities in the following areas, which are identified as best suited to deal positively with the problems of refugees, returnees and displaced persons in southern Africa:

(a) Emergency preparedness;

(b) Needs assessment and delivery of assistance;

(c) Recovery and development;

(d) Mobilization of resources.

The participating States also request all the organizations and programmes of the United Nations system and all intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to intensify their respective activities in the fields indicated above. Particular attention should be accorded to the needs of displaced and refugee women and children, since they constitute the majority and the most vulnerable group.

1. Emergency preparedness

18. The countries of southern Africa are encouraged, with the necessary assistance of the international community, to prepare and/or adopt early-warning systems and formulate contingency plans and emergency programmes on the movement of and assistance to refugees, returnees and displaced persons. The Governments should, in the formulation of these plans, avail themselves whenever necessary of the sectoral expertise of relevant sub-regional, regional and international organizations.

19. The development of human resources in the asylum countries is of crucial and indisputable importance. To begin with, the training of the managers of relief assistance programmes also appears to be urgent and should be given priority attention to enable better use of financial and material resources provided by the international community. The Conference therefore calls upon the United Nations system, the Organization of African Unity, intergovernmental and non- governmental organizations to make the necessary efforts and to take appropriate measures to implement, as soon as possible, concrete training programmes intended for relief assistance officials in the asylum countries.

2. Needs assessment and delivery of assistance

Refugees and returnees

20. It is recognized that the responsibility for assessing the needs of refugees and returnees as well as for the delivery of assistance to them is vested in the Governments of the host countries or countries of origin, as the case may be. In view of the immensity and complexity of performing these tasks, collecting and extrapolating the necessary data as well as providing assistance for the immediate and long-term needs of the affected populations, the assistance and co-operation of organizations such as the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Food Programme, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Children's Fund and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations involved in humanitarian work should be continued and intensified.

Internally displaced persons

21. In view of the absence of a United Nations operational body specifically charged to deal with the problems of and assistance to internally displaced persons, the Secretary-General of the United Nations is requested to undertake studies and consultations in order to ensure tile timely implementation and overall co-ordination of relief programmes for these people.

22. To ensure the effective implementation of relief programmes for internally displaced persons, the international community is called upon to co-operate in efforts designed to ensure the safe transport of relief and emergency goods.

3. Recovery and development

Secondary International Conference on Assistance to Refugees in Africa

23. The Conference recommends that the process set up by the Second International Conference on Assistance to Refugees in Africa be given new impetus and be reinforced and that the possibility and feasibility of new projects adapted to the developing situation be examined. In this regard, the efforts of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the United Nations Development Programme should be encouraged and supported to ensure constant co-operation with the development institutions and organizations, so that the latter may undertake development projects for the benefit of refugees or refugee settlement areas.

United Nations Programme of Action for African Economic Recovery and Development 1986-1990

24. In the framework of the United Nations Programme of Action for African Economic Recovery and Development 1986-1990, the host countries and countries of origin should reaffirm their commitment to adopt development policies in their respective economic and social sectors that will benefit, on a long-term basis, nationals, internally displaced persons, refugees and returnees. These measures should especially be geared to facilitate the rehabilitation of the persons concerned in the fields of agriculture, food production, employment, access to credit facilities, marketing systems, health, shelter and education.

25. The Conference urges full co-operation and assistance to the Governments concerned by the existing sub-regional, regional and international bodies, such as the Southern African Development Co-ordination Conference, the Organization of African Unity, the United Nations Development Programme and the World Bank, and by non-governmental organizations in the articulation of the above strategies and the necessary recovery and development programmes benefiting refugees, returnees and displaced persons.

4. Mobilization of resources

26. While commending the resolve and efforts of countries in southern Africa in embarking upon a coherent set of measures to respond to both the immediate and long-term needs of refugees, returnees and displaced persons in the region, the successful implementation of those domestic actions will require the mobilization of additional external resources. In this respect, the Conference urges all States to make every effort to provide sufficient resources to support not only emergency but also recovery and development programmes on behalf of the above-mentioned groups of persons.

B. Durable solution

1. Voluntary repatriation of refugees and return of displaced persons

27. The relevant host countries and the countries of origin should, in close co-operation with the Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, endeavour to promote and to expedite voluntary repatriation of refugees and the return of displaced persons wherever circumstances are conducive to permit such a return. The safe and successful reintegration of returnees into their society should be supported by the mobilization and flow of the necessary resources as provided for in the above paragraphs.

2. Local integration

28. It is recognized that the situation prevailing at the present time inside South Africa and Namibia is not favourable for effectively promoting or facilitating voluntary repatriation. Under these circumstances, programmes for the local integration of refugees in the respective host countries should be established and pursued. The Conference urges all States to do their utmost to secure the required resources within the framework of refugee-related development assistance.

3. Resettlement in third countries

29. As a result of the sensitivity of the southern African region, situations often occur where refugees cannot, for security reasons, enjoy, or continue to enjoy, asylum in the country where they first sought or obtained asylum. In line with the principle of burden sharing, a number of countries in southern Africa and elsewhere on the African continent have offered resettlement opportunities to South African and Namibian refugees who have found themselves in such situations. The Conference urges the States members of the Organization of African Unity and other members of the international community to pursue further this course of action and to do their utmost to increase, at the request of the host countries, the Organization of African Unity or the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the rate of admission of refugees from southern Africa.

C. Public information and dissemination

30. It is recognized that the mobilization of public opinion at the national, regional and international levels is of paramount importance to the successful implementation of the present Declaration and Plan of Action. To this end, the public information networks of host Governments, the Southern Africa Development Co-ordination Conference, the Organization of African Unity, the United Nations system and relevant non-governmental organizations are urged to take concrete steps in obtaining and disseminating accurate data and information on the prevailing situation of refugees, returnees and displaced persons in southern Africa. The co-operation and support of religious organizations and non-governmental organizations, writers, intellectuals, artists and other persons or agencies committed to human dignity and freedom is appealed for in this effort.

D. Follow-up and evaluation machinery

31. The effective implementation of the present Plan of Action should be based on the full utilization of existing machinery and bodies. Furthermore, in light of the development of new approaches and strategies which might be required by specific situations, it is imperative that evaluation of progress be made pursuant to the implementation of the Plan of Action. To this end, the follow-up process is articulated as set forth below.

1. At the national and subregional levels

32. Governments in southern Africa are urged to direct their respective national refugee mechanisms as well as those handling the problems of displaced persons to implement fully the provisions of the present Declaration and Plan of Action.

2. At the regional level

33. The Organization of African Unity is requested to take appropriate measures within the framework of its relevant organs, including the Commission of Fifteen on Refugees, for a sustained monitoring process of the Plan of Action.

3. At the international level

34. For a continuous and coherent review of the progress made pursuant to the adoption of the present Declaration and Plan of Action, the Secretary-General of the United Nations is requested to consider ways and means of strengthening or expanding existing mechanisms within the Secretariat, including the follow-up machinery set up pursuant to the Plan of Action of the Second International Conference on Assistance to Refugees in Africa, in order to secure the inclusion of the present follow-up measures among areas of priority within the United Nations system.

35. Close co-ordination of relevant organizations and programmes of the United Nations system, in particular the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Food Programme, the United Nations Children's Fund the United Nations Development Programme, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization, is also a vital element for the achievement of the multisectoral actions envisaged by the Conference. The Secretary-general of the United Nations is thus called upon to consider, in close co-operation with the Executive Heads of the above-mentioned organizations and programmes, appropriate measures within co-ordination mechanism in the United Nations system for a regular appraisal of the present Declaration and Plan of Action. Appropriate steps should also be taken to involve the non-governmental organizations in this process.

36. The Conference requests the Secretary-General of the United Nations to submit the Present Declaration and Plan of Action to the General Assembly of the United Nations at its forty-third session. It also requests the Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity to submit the Declaration and Plan of Action to the Council of Ministers of the Organization of African Unity at its forty-ninth ordinary session.

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