Assistance to refugees, returnees and displaced persons of Central America

The General Assembly,

Bearing in mind its resolution 42/1 of 7 October 1987 on the current peace initiatives undertaken in connection with the agreement on the "Procedure for the establishment of a firm and lasting peace in Central America", signed at Guatemala City on 7 August 1987 by the Central American Presidents, at the Esquipulas II summit meeting, and in particular point 8 thereof concerning refugees and displaced persons in the region,

Taking note of the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the decision taken by the Executive Committee of the Programme of the High Commissioner at its thirty-eighth session concerning refugees in Central America, in which the Executive Committee, inter alia, reaff irmed the importance of continuing to apply regional approaches for the consideration of this problem and the initiative to organize a conference on this question in 1988,

Bearing in mind further the principles contained in the 1984 Cartagena Declaration on refugees and the conclusions and recommendations of the colloquium held in Mexico in 1981 on asylum and international protection of refugees in Latin America,

Recognizing the generous efforts made by the countries receiving Central American refugees despite the enormous difficulties facing them, especially the present economic crisis,

Aware of the complexity and seriousness of the situation of the refugees and displaced persons in the Central American region and its effects on the social and economic development of the area,

Considering that voluntary repatriation constitutes the most appropriate solution to the problem of refugees, provided that it is on the basis of individual volition and with the collaboration of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and that it is carried out under conditions of complete safety, preferably to the country of origin,

Bearing in mind the means of co-operation established in the region through the setting up of tripartite commissions, composed of representatives of the country of origin, the country of asylum and the Office of the High Commissioner, to facilitate and co-ordinate activities relating to the repatriation of refugees,

Recognizing the urgent need to co-operate with the countries of Central America and with Mexico in the various phases involved in the repatriation, relocation, local integration and resettlement of refugees within the framework of lasting solutions,

Aware of the adverse situation of persons displaced within their own country and of their need for assistance in order to reintegrate them in their places of origin,

Underlining the paramount importance of the humanitarian and apolitical aspect of the treatment of the problem of refugees and displaced persons, and the need to ensure that that aspect is strictly observed by the authorities of the countries of origin and of asylum, and of all participating agencies,

Noting that the Executive Commission established pursuant to the agreement concluded at the Esquipulas II summit meeting decided to establish a sub-commission on refugees and displaced persons, composed of representatives of the Central American countries, in order to study and propose formulas for promoting and facilitating voluntary repatriation and to propose machinery for regional co-operation as well as joint activities with the international community,

1.         Expresses its satisfaction at the commitments made by the Presidents of the Central American countries to protect and aid refugees and displaced persons, as stated in point 8 of the agreement concluded at the Esquipulas II summit meeting;

2.         Commends the valuable humanitarian work carried out by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, governmental and non-governmental organizations and countries of asylum as well as the important contribution of the donor countries in solving the most critical problems involved in rendering assistance to Central American refugees and displaced persons;

3.         Also commends the important initiative taken by the Central American countries, the Contadora Group and the Support Group on the refugee question as part of the efforts made to restore peace in the region;

4.         Appeals to the international community and governmental and non-governmental organizations, drawing upon their humanitarian and apolitical character, to provide and increase co-operation and assistance to Central American refugees, returnees and displaced persons;

5.         Invites Member States to co-operate with the countries of the region in solving the social and economic problems arising from the streams of refugees and displaced persons;

6.         Appeals to the international community to intensify its co-operation in the process of voluntary repatriation and rehabilitation of returnees in their country of origin, and also urges it to facilitate the resettlement or transfer of refugees within the framework of lasting solutions and, while that process is taking place, to continue international humanitarian co-operation for the benefit of the refugees;

7.         Stresses the need to co-ordinate humanitarian assistance projects with the national development plans of the countries of the region and emphasizes that the assistance provided for projects related to refugees must be considered special in character and independent of co-operation for the development of the countries of the region;

8.         Requests the Secretary-General, in co-operation with the competent agencies of the United Nations system, to take the necessary measures for preparing programmes of assistance to persons displaced in their own country and for facilitating the reintegration and rehabilitation of returnees;

9.         Also requests the Secretary-General, in co-operation with the High Commissioner and competent bodies, to report to the General Assembly at its forty-third session on the implementation of the present resolution.


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