Addendum to the Report of the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees
Official Records: Seventeenth Session
Supplement No.11A (A/5211/Rev.1/Add.1)
United Nations, New York, 1963
REPORT ON THE EIGHTH SESSION OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER'S PROGRAMME
(Geneva, 22-25 October 1962)
|Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
|Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration
|International Council of Voluntary Agencies
|International Labour Organisation
|Organization for Economic Co-operation and development
|United Nations in the Congo
|United Nations High Commissioner for refugees
|United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization
|United Nations Children's Fund
|United Nations Refugee Fund
|United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
|World Health Organization
PART I Introduction
Opening of the session
1. The Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme held its eighth session from 22 to 25 October 1962 at the Palais des Nations, Geneva. Lady Tweedsmuir (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), the Chairman in office, opened the session.
2. In accordance with rule 10 of the rules of procedure, which provides that the officers of the Committee shall be elected for the whole year, Lady Tweedsmuir (United Kingdom), Mr.H.E. Alaçam (Turkey) and Mr.J.Desy (Belgium) remained in office as Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Rapporteur, respectively.
3. The following members of the Executive Committee were represented at the
|Federal Republic of Germany
|United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
|United States of America
4. The Governments of New Zealand and Portugal and the Sovereign Order of Malta, were represented by observers.
5. The International Labour Organisation, the World Health Organization, the Council of Europe, the European Economic Community, the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and the League of Arab States were also represented by observers.
Adoption of the agenda
6. On the proposal of the Australian representative, seconded by the Swedish representative, the Committee decided to add the item "Resettlement" to its agenda. It then adopted the following agenda, leaving it to the Chairman to change the order of the items, if need arose during the Discussions:
1. Adoption of the agenda (A/AC.96/173/Rev.2.).
2. Introductory statement by the High Commissioner.
3. UNHCR Material Assistance Programme for 1962 (new and revised projects) (A/AC.96/184).
4. 1963 Programme:
(a) Programme for the Completion of Major Aid Projects (A/AC.96/176)
(b) Current Programme for Complementary Assistance in 1963 (A/AC.96/177)
(C) Priorities (A/AC.96/178).
5. Report on Housing for Refugees (A/AC.96/182).
6. Report on the use of the Emergency Fund (A/AC.96/181).
7. Report of the Board of Auditors on the financial statements for 1961 (A/AC.96/180).
8. Amendment to rule 41 of the rules of procedure (A/AC.96/174).
9. Status of Contributions (A/AC.96/175).
10. Assistance to Algerian refugees (A/AC.96/179).
11. Resettlement (A/AC.96/INF.9).
Amendment to rule 41 of the rules of procedure (agenda item 8)
7. In introducing document A/AC.96/174,the Chairman recalled that at the beginning of 1962 the Standing Conference of Voluntary Agencies Working for Refugees had been replaced by a new organization: the International Council of Voluntary Agencies Working for refugees (ICVA).Since the ICVA Commission on Refugees had, at its request, been entered in the register of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, it was entitled to benefit by the provisions of rule 40 of the rules of procedure. Moreover, if the Committee had no objection, the provisions of rule 41 might also be applied to the organizations members of the ICVA Commission on Refugees.
8. The Committee approved the suggestions in document A/AC.96/174 and decided that rule 41 of the rules of procedure should be amended to read:
"Representatives of voluntary agencies which are members of the Commission on Refugees of the International Council of Voluntary Agencies shall, for the purpose of consultation with the Committee, be granted the privileges accorded to representatives of non-governmental organizations in rule 40."
9. In welcoming the International Council of Voluntary Agencies, the Chairman paid tribute to the invaluable work accomplished by the voluntary agencies working for refugees.
10. The representative of the ICVA Commission on Refugees made a statement in which he said that his organization would continue the fruitful co-operation which had been established between UNHCR and the voluntary agencies.
PART II Statement by the High Commissioner and general discussion (agenda item 2)
11. In his introductory statement3, the High Commissioner noted the progress achieved in assistance both to "old" refugees and to new refugee groups outside Europe.
12. He pointed out, in particular, that the relief operation undertaken by the League of Red Cross Societies and the UNHCR for refugees from Algeria in Morocco and Tunisia had been completed by the return of those refugees to their country. The problem of the Angolan refugees in the Congo and the refugees in Togo had also been virtually solved, but aid was still needed for the 150,000 refugees from Rwanda.
13. With regard to the Chinese refugees, the High Commissioner expressed the hope that the work undertaken by the local Government would receive all the support it deserved from the international community.
14. Turning to the problems of the European refugees, the High Commissioner stressed the importance of the final major aid programme for "old" refugees, of whom there were 20,000,most of them handicapped, and expressed the hope that the necessary funds would be forthcoming as soon as possible, so that this work could be brought to a successful conclusion. The UNHCR would then be free to concentrate on its current tasks, i.e., international protection stimulated and supplemented by some measure of material assistance under the complementary assistance programme which would come into force in 1963.
15. The High Commissioner drew the Committee's attention to the movement towards European solidarity demonstrated by recommendation No.329 recently adopted by the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe concerning the final major aid programme for "old" refugees.
16. The members of the Committee expressed their appreciation of the results obtained and of the humanitarian spirit in which the High Commissioner was carrying out his work. They also approved the principles and methods he had adopted.
17. Several representatives stated that their Governments hoped that the Office of the High Commissioner would continue in being and would give expression to that view in the General Assembly.
18. With regard to refugees within the High Commissioner's mandate, several members of the Committee welcomed the close co-operation established between UNHCR and the European organizations such as the Council of Europe, the European Economic Community and OECD. The Committee listened with keen interest to the statement by the representative of the council of Europe on the European solidarity movement initiated by that organization to facilitate the solution of the problems of "old" refugees and to a statement by the representative of the European Economic Community on the role which the Community might play by facilitating the economic, social and legal integration of the refugees in member countries
19. The Netherlands representative pointed out that the terminology used in the various documents submitted to the Committee was not always clear and that several terms were sometimes employed to express similar ideas. If, as the term "regular UNHCR programmes for 1962 and 1963" seemed to imply, the current 1963 programme was to be regarded as a regular programme should it be inferred that amount of $700,000 allocated for assistance to new refugee groups was to be considered as part of the regular programme? Was this a new policy? The High Commissioner explained that assistance to new refugee groups formed an integral part of the current programme in the same way as assistance to "old" refugees and that he was providing such aid by virtue of the "good offices" resolutions adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. The basic principle governing those activities was first of all to provide emergency relief for refugees and then to help them to become self-supporting.
20. Several representatives paid tribute to the work accomplished by the High Commissioner and the League of Red Cross Societies in completing the repatriation of the Algerian refugees successfully in record time.
21. With regard to the new refugee groups in Africa and Asia, several representatives stressed the value of the good offices function. They endorsed the High Commissioner's view that he should act as a catalyst and take prompt action to prevent a new accumulation of human misery. Referring more particularly to Rwanda, the Belgian representative recalled that, in addition to the substantial aid already furnished to Burundi for the assistance of the refugees, the Belgian Government had contributed $50,000 as a gift and was contemplating further assistance. His Government hoped that the international community, too, would continue to further the solution of the problem. The High Commissioner added that provision for financial aid was made in the complementary assistance programme for assistance to these refugees for the beginning of 1963 and that under this programme it would also be possible to cover in part the needs which might subsequently arise.
22. The Committee noted with interest and deep satisfaction the statements by the Yugoslav representative and the High Commissioner about the evacuation of the Gerovo camp and the establishment of a new transit and immigration centre, for which further financial support was required.
23. During the debate, the Canadian representative made a statement on the admission and final settlement of refugees in Canada. The Chinese representative expressed his Government's interest in the problems of refugees of European origin in the Far East. The representative of Israel said that his country, which had acquired great experience in the settlement of refugees wished to support the High Commissioner's work in all its aspects and had also contributed, as far as its modest means allowed, to the assistance of the Algerian refugees.
24. In conclusion, the Committee noted the High Commissioner's statement with appreciation and approved the methods and procedures adopted by him in the pursuit of his humanitarian task. The Committee also paid tribute to the fruitful collaboration established between the UNHCR and other international organizations, as reflected in particular by the creation of a European solidarity movement which should make it possible to complete the major aid programmes for "old" refugees.
PART III Programmes of the Office of the High Commissioner
UNHCR Material Assistance Programme for 1962 (new and revised projects) (agenda item 3)
25. The Chairman reminded the Committee that the 1962 Programme was still in process of implementation and it was natural that modifications should have to be made in the light of the experience acquired.
26. The representative of the High Commissioner, in submitting amendments to the 1962 Programme (A/AC.96/184),pointed out that these took account of recent economic trends and particularly of the fact that the integration of the "old" refugees was becoming more and more difficult and that the only solution was for them to emigrate to countries where they could turn their skills to better account.
27. After considering the document, the Executive Committee approved the cancellation of the allocation of $435,000 for the financing of project ITA/F/62, an increase of $140,000 in the UNHCR allocation for project VAR/G/62 and a new allocation of $120,000 for the financing of project VAR/D/62/FRA concerning the resettlement of non-rehabilitable cases. The Committee also approved the suggestions with regard to the reserve contained in paragraph 7 of the document.
1963 Programme (agenda item 4)
28. The Chairman recalled that in conformity with the decision taken by the Committee at its seventh session, the 1963 regular programme, for which the total financial target was $6,800,000, was submitted in two parts:
(a) Programme for the Completion of Major Aid Projects for 1963 (A/AC.96/176), amounting to $5,400,000;
(b) Current programme for Complementary assistance (A/AC.96/177),amounting to $1,400,000. The Chairman also drew the Committee's attention to the note on priorities (A/AC.96/178) setting out the order of priority applicable to the financing of the above two programmes and of those 1962 projects for which no contributions were received during 1962.
Programme for the Completion of Major Aid Projects (agenda item 4 (a))
29. The Chairman pointed out that the programme in question was intended to solve the problems raised by the non-settled "old" refugees, i.e., those who had reached the country of asylum before 1 January 1961. In submitting this programme, the High Commissioner had proceeded on the assumption that it would be possible to ensure the financing of the Material Assistance Programme for 1962 which formed a whole with the Major Aid Programme, and that supporting contributions to the projects proposed for 1963 would be obtainable in more or less the same proportions as those envisaged for the 1962 programme.
30. Introducing the programme, the representative of the High Commissioner dwelt on its main features. In the first place, it was the final programme for aid intended for the assistance of the "old" refugees. Secondly, it must be added that, as in the case of the 1962 programme, stress had had to be laid on the resettlement of the refugees in other countries, with the result that a larger allocation had had to be provided for this form of assistance, although it did not necessarily go hand in hand with a reduction in the cost of integration projects. To enable the programme to be adopted to the rapidly changing circumstances, it had been made as flexible as possible and with the same consideration in mind, the High Commissioner proposed to extend to several countries the system of "Funds for permanent solutions" which made it possible for his representatives to choose the most suitable solution for each individual case.
31. During the general debate on the programme submitted to the Committee, some representatives stressed the considerable effort which have to be made to obtain the funds required for carrying out the programme. One representative asked whether it would be possible to obtain larger additional contributions from countries where the programme was to be implemented. Several representatives endorsed the general principles contained in the introduction, particularly those set forth in paragraphs 3 and 6 of the document.
32. The representative of Yugoslavia made a general statement on the aid which his Government was giving to refugees and on the financial burden it involved He expressed the wish that his country might be included in the assistance programme for 1964.
33. In reply to questions, the High Commissioner recapitulated the status of financial contributions, explaining that the situation in July was as follows: the 1962 programme showed a shortfall of $2 million and at that date, a total shortfall of $6 million in the financing of the two programmes taken together was to be anticipated. Since then, there was reason to believe that the shortfall might be reduced by as much as $1,500,000.
34. During its study of the programmes envisaged for the various countries the Committee concerned itself with the question of refugees of European origin in the Far East.
35. The representative of China asked whether the UNHCR forecasts of the number of refugees who were to leave the Far East under the 1963 programme and the allocation made for that purpose took into account the recent decision of the Australian Government to admit to Australia a group of 1,000 refugees from the Far East. He also asked what financial measures had been taken for the resettlement of those refugees in Australia.
36. In reply to the representative of China, the representative of Australia explained that the 1,000 refugees from the Three Rivers region would be initially accommodated at the expense of the Australian Government in an immigration centre at Bonegila in the State of Victoria. He added that their transportation would be arranged by ICEM, to whose Far Eastern Programme the Australian Government was making a contribution for that purpose. The Australian repesentative asked whether the admission of those 1,000 refugees would affect the 1962 estimates and the budgetary allocation of $300,000 provided for the Far East operation in 1963. He would like to know in general terms whether the allocations submitted under the 1963 programme for assistance in the resettlement of the "old" refugees in overseas countries would be adequate, particularly since, as a result of Dr. Jensen's inquiries, it might be necessary to put new rehabilitation projects into effect.
37. Referring to the questions and comments by the representatives of China and Australia, the Director explained that at the present time there were about 3,800 refugees of European origin in China.
38. Judging by the forecasts submitted to the Committee, the Office of the High Commissioner thought it be possible to resettle 2,000 refugees from the Far East during 1962. If the 1,000 refugees who were expected to arrive from North Manchuria could get to Hong Kong during 1962, the target figure of 2,000 envisaged for the year could be reached and the funds allocated for that purpose would be adequate.
39. Moreover, the refugees who were to be admitted to Australia, thanks to assurances given by a voluntary organization in what country, consisted mainly of families of seven to eight persons, whereas the sponsors expected to receive much smaller families. However, through the generosity of the Australian authorities, temporary accommodation would be made available for the refugees until their sponsors were able to receive them.
40. The representative of Canada stated that among the projects under consideration for 1963 approval had been given to the acceptance of a limited number of European refugees from the Far East provided certain technical immigration procedures could be worked out.
41. In reply to a question by the Netherlands representative about the allocation of $200,000 for refugees in the Federal Republic of Germany, the representative of the High Commissioner pointed out that the project in question provided mainly for counselling to facilitate the implementation of earlier programmes. The representative of the Federal Republic of Germany added that his Government was giving substantial aid to the non-settled refugees living outside camps by providing them with low-rental housing for which it made an initial contribution.
42. The representative of Italy recalled the considerable number of refugees to whom Italy had given asylum during the past decade and the financial burden which this involved for his Government. Moreover, in addition to the large number of Italians who had returned from other countries, a large influx of new refugees still continued and despite the effective work done by ICEM there were still a good number of refugees who had to be integrated in Italy. The Italian Government was, however, considering the waiver of certain reservations it had formulated on the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.
43. The representative of the Holy See expressed the hope that the Programme for the Completion of Major Aid Projects would be brought to a successful conclusion.
44. An exchange of views took place on the question whether it would be possible for the High Commissioner to collect and obligate funds under the 1962 programme in 1963. Some representatives thought that this was incompatible with general accountancy principles; however, in the interest of the programme they did not press their objection.
45. The Committee approved the over-all programme for the completion of the major aid projects in an amount of $5,400,000 as contained in document A/AC.96/176, together with the general principles set forth in the introduction. The Committee then approved the country allocations listed in paragraph 13 of that document and the detailed break down for each country or geographical area contained in chapters I to X. The Committee also approved the proposals concerning the resettlement activities described in chapter XI of document A/AC.96/176.
Current Programme for Complementary Assistance (agenda item 4 (b))
46. In submitting document A/AC.96/177,the representative of the High Commissioner emphasised that in 1963 the High Commissioner proposed, for the first time, to combine in a single programme current activities including those within the framework of the "good offices" function, which would continue to form part of his task at the same time as international protection, once the final major aid projects had been completed. That would be a new experiment, for it was in fact impossible to foresee from one year to the next where UNHCR assistance would be required and how many refugees would be in need. The extent of the assistance required for "old" refugees would depend mainly on the economic situation in the country of asylum and the opportunities for immigration and integration open to refugees. As for the new refugee groups, it would be necessary to ascertain to what extent the problems at present handled by the UNHCR could be solved, and the magnitude of the new problems which it would have to tackle. Meanwhile, the High Commissioner had submitted his programme, taking into account the problems with which he might expect to be confronted. If the tasks to be tackled in 1963 exceeded the proposed allocation for the complementary assistance programme, he would have to resort to special appeals or to his Emergency Fund.
47. Several members of the Committee expressed their support for the programme submitted by the High Commissioner, including the procedures which he intended to follow in implementing it. The United States representative expressed his appreciation of the work done for the refugees from Rwanda (see document A/AC.96/INF.10). He also approved of the proposals contained in section B of document A/AC.96/177 referring to refugees in Latin America.
48. In reply to a question by the United Kingdom representative on the procedure to be followed for informing members of the Committee of developments concerning the programme, the High Commissioner stressed the essentially dynamic aspect of the new refugee problems and said that the best means of keeping Governments informed was either to send them interim reports between two Committee sessions or to write to them each time he was obliged to intervene on behalf of a new refugee group.
49. The representative of Canada enquired whether the complementary assistance programme consisted of a single fund of $1,400,000 or of two separate funds of $700,000 each. The representative of the High Commissioner explained that it actually consisted of a single fund and that it must be possible to make adjustments between the two parts of the programme within the framework of the total amount of $1,400,000, if the need arose.
50. In conclusion, the Executive Committee approved the Current Programme for Complementary Assistance for 1963 totalling $1,400,000 and including $700,000 for assistance to refugees within the High Commissioner's mandate and $700,000 for new groups of refugees; the programme is only intended to deal with continuing problems and other problems which are expected to arise in 1963. The Committee further took note of the tentative breakdown of the allocations, submitted in paragraphs 13 to 27, for legal assistance, promotion of resettlement, individual permanent solutions and supplementary aid, as well as the amounts required during the early part of 1963 to assist refugees from Rwanda and newly arrived refugees in Latin America.
Priorities (agenda item 4 (c))
51. In introducing document A/AC.96/178, the representative of the High Commissioner said that, if, as in the past, many Governments announced or paid their contributions at the beginning of 1963, the urgent projects for 1963, as well as the projects in the 1962 programme for which funds were not yet available, could be started without delay.
52. In reply to a question by the United Kingdom representative, the representative of the High Commissioner confirmed that high priority would be given to the Far Eastern programme.
53. The Executive Committee approved the Note on Priorities submitted by the High commissioner and decided as follows:
(1) The first priority would be given to the following projects on an equal footing:
(a) 1962 projects required to achieve the objective of the Major Aid Programme and for which no contributions were received in 1962;
(b) The continuing projects included in the Major Aid Programme and the Complementary Assistance Programme for 1963;
(c) The allocations proposed for the refugees from Rwanda and the newly arrived refugees in Latin America;
(d) The grant-in-aid to the administrative budget of the United Nations. For this first priority, it was assumed that governmental contributions announced in late 1962 and paid in early 1963 would be sufficient.
(2) The second priority would be given to projects for the Far Eastern operation not included in the first group and to projects for dealing with new refugees requiring urgent assistance from the UNHCR.
(3) Funds for permanent solutions would be replenished only when the amounts made available under previous programmes had been exhausted. Projects for which specifically earmarked contributions are received would be implemented without delay.
Report on Housing for Refugees (agenda item 5)
54. The Chairman drew the Committee's special attention to paragraphs 16 to 26 of document A/AC.96/182 relating to the financing of the housing loan fund and containing the High Commissioner's replies to the questions raised during the previous session.
55. In introducing the report on promotion of refugee housing and its financing, the representative of the High Commissioner recalled that the object of the housing programme before the Committee was to make it possible to establish a housing loan fund for non-settled refugees in France to which the UNHCR would contribute $200,000. That amount would be drawn from loan repayments in excess of the $500,000 ceiling of the Emergency Fund. Moreover, not only could the $200,000 contribution be re-used more than once, but on each occasion, much larger amounts obtained from French sources would be allocated to refugee housing. A number of European refugees wishing to leave North Africa in order to settle in France could also benefit from the project. Voluntary agencies would be able to find work for them but might find the housing difficulties insuperable. If the resettlement of those refugees was financed under the regular programme, the resettlement allocation might be used up too quickly. The replies received by the High Commissioner from thirteen members of the Executive Committee on the draft report circulated beforehand showed that the proposal was supported by the majority.
56. The members of the Committee recognized the desirability of helping the non-settled refugees to find housing wherever possible. They also endorsed the suggestions for the establishment of a housing loan fund for refugees who needed special assistance with housing. Differences of view had, however, emerged with regard to the financing of the housing programme proposed by the High Commissioner.
57. The Netherlands representative supported the housing programme under review, stressing the importance of assisting the refugees in question before they came within the category of handicapped persons. With regard to the financing of the housing programme, her delegation thought the method proposed by the High Commissioner preferable to the others mentioned in paragraphs 16 to 25 of the document.
58. The representatives of several other Governments also supported the proposals set forth in the document, pointing out in particular that sums obtained from housing loan repayments should logically be reused for housing purposes. Other delegations, however, found it either difficult or impossible to approve the method of financing proposed in the report. In their view, the housing programme under review could not be financed by sums originally intended for the Emergency Fund; should loan repayments exceed the amount required to maintain the Emergency Fund at its ceiling of $500,000, they would prefer to consider the possibility of raising that ceiling.
59. The Swedish representative said that his delegation likewise took that view. In order to ease the task of the High Commissioner and the French Government and to enable the housing programme for refugees in France to be carried out without undue delay, he was, however, prepared to support the limited housing programme before the Committee. He therefore proposed that the Committee should authorize the High Commissioner to provide marginal financial assistance for the housing scheme in question, on the understanding that at its next session, the Executive Committee would review the method of financing refugee housing and the utilization and ceiling of the Emergency Fund.
60. In reply to a question as to the source of the funds required for the implementation of the housing programme, the Swedish representative recalled that the High Commissioner could draw on the funds credited to the suspense account, consisting of loan reimbursements in excess of the $500,000 ceiling, until the Committee took a decision on the ceiling of the Emergency Fund.
61. The Norwegian representative, supported by the United Kingdom representative, pointed out that loan repayments in excess of the $500,000 ceiling could not be regarded as forming part of the Emergency Fund. The United Kingdom representative added that the use of the excess amount for the housing programme before the Committee would mean giving priority, at least temporarily, to that scheme, over other projects included in the regular programme.
62. During the debate, the Australian representative said that, with regard to the housing programme for his own country, which required no outside aid from UNHCR funds, the High Commissioner's proposal was valuable and would be carefully studied to see whether a feasible scheme could be devised. The French representative said that funds derived from French sources and intended for the High Commissioner's plan were available and could not remain idle for too long. The Committee noted with interest the information supplied by the French representative and the representative of the High Commissioner regarding the cost and the considerable financial advantages of the programme under review.
63. In conclusion, by 19 votes to none, with 2 abstentions, the Committee decided, on the basis of the Swedish representatives proposal and of the compromise text proposed by the Turkish representative, to authorize the High Commissioner:
(a) To sign with the French Government an agreement of principle concerning the form which the scheme should take, its implementation being dependent on the availability of the necessary funds;
(b) To use, for the implementation of the said scheme, up to the amount of $100,000, the sum arising out of the repayment of loans made under UNREF projects and UNHCR regular programmes, in so far as the repayments in question were not required to maintain the Emergency Fund at its ceiling of $500,000, on the understanding that this decision would not prejudge the subsequent policy decisions which the Committee would be called upon to make.
Assistance to Algerian Refugees (agenda item 10)
64. The Deputy High Commissioner, introducing the final report on assistance to refugees from Algeria, (A/AC.96/179) said that the report contained on over-all survey of the measures taken by the international community on behalf of these refugees, together with a detailed description of the repatriation operation which had brought the problem to a successful issue.
65. With regard to the assistance provided for repatriated Algerian ex-refugees, the role of the UNHCR had been to ensure that they were not left without any means of support. The High Commissioner had, accordingly, decided to support the relief operation undertaken by the League of Red Cross, Red Crescent, Red Lion and Sun Societies on behalf of all distressed persons in the frontier areas from which most of the Algerian ex-refugees had come, since it was impossible to consider the problems of the ex-refugees in isolation from those of other sections of the civilian population which had also been forced to leave their normal place of residence. It had been the High Commissioner's intention, in launching his appeal on 18 June 1962, to bridge the gap between the programme undertaken jointly by the UNHCR and the League of Red Cross Societies and the larger-scale operation designed to relieve the poverty of a considerable part of the Algerian population. To this end, and in response to the wishes of the Algerian authorities, the High Commissioner had established a first contact between new Algerian State, on the one hand, and the United Nations and its specialized agencies, on the other. In so doing, the High Commissioner had endeavoured to carry out the wishes of the General Assembly, as expressed in resolution 1672 (XVI).
66. In the course of the session, the Secretary-General of the League of Red Cross Societies explained that the situation of the Algerian refugees, now that they had returned to Algeria, was in many cases even more difficult than the one they had had to face as refugees. The League of Red Cross Societies was working in two frontier zones to assist some 2 million persons, the majority of whom were children and who included the 180,000 repatriated refugees. He pointed out that the League was endeavouring to obtain the resources to cover the basic needs of these people during the coming winter and appealed to those Governments which had given their support during the early stages of the Joint Operation to continue to do so in the final phases of the work.
67. The representative of the League of Red Cross Societies expressed his appreciation of the fruitful co-operation established between his organization and the UNHCR, which had made it possible to complete the relief operation on behalf of Algerian refugees. Although the main function of the League was to provide assistance in emergency situations, it had been obliged in the circumstances to continue its work on behalf of the needy Algerian population; and, at the request of the Algerian authorities, it was helping more than 2 million distressed persons in eight departments near the Moroccan and Tunisian borders. The League was grateful for the appeal launched by the High Commissioner on 18 June, and hoped that the international community would be generous in its support of this work, which it was hoped to complete sometime during the summer of 1963.
68. The Tunisian representative gave a brief survey of the background of the international relief operation on behalf of refugees from Algeria. He was glad that the repatriation of these refugees had been successfully completed and hoped that other refugee problems could be solved with equal success. At the same time, he pointed out the need for a favourable response to the High Commissioner's appeal of 18 June 1962 and stressed that it was essential to go on providing a minimum of assistance to the ex-refugees to help them to resume normal lives. Finally, he expressed his gratitude to the voluntary agencies, the League of Red Cross, Red Crescent and Red Lion and Sun Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UNHCR, and to all Governments which had helped to solve the problem.
69. The representative of the League of Arab States, speaking on behalf of his organization and all its members, thanked the High Commissioner, the Deputy High Commissioner and the League of Red Cross, Red Crescent and Red Lion and Sun Societies for all they had done for the refugees from Algeria. He expressed the hope that this work would be continued for the benefit of refugees who had lost their possessions, and families that had lost their bread-winner, and were no longer able to provide for themselves. He was glad to hear that the League would carry on its work, and wished to assure the League of the continued support of Arab Governments and peoples.
70. In conclusion, the Committee took note with appreciation of the final report on assistance to refugees from Algeria. The committee expressed its satisfaction at the successful completion of the relief operation undertaken jointly by the UNHCR and the League of Red Cross, Red Crescent and Red Lion and Sun Societies, and at the repatriation of the Algerian refugees from Morocco and Tunisia. The Committee also paid tribute to the Governments of Tunisia and Morocco, which had offered asylum to the refugees, and to the United States, French and other Governments whose support and assistance had greatly simplified the task of the international community.
Resettlement (agenda item 11)
71. The representative of the High Commissioner, introducing the Report on the Resettlement of Refugees (A/AC.96/INF.9), said that the activities of the High Commissioner in this field were being concentrated on the needs of handicapped refugees. there was a caseload of 14,500 European refugees seeking resettlement of whom 6,500 were handicapped refugees in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and the Far East. In his survey Dr. Jensen was investigating the most severely handicapped in this group. So far he had studied the cases of 730 persons; various Governments were accepting these refugees and there were indications that the difficulties in integrating them were not as great as had been anticipated. He expressed appreciation of the assistance given by government officials and representatives of voluntary agencies in the resettlement of these refugees. The non-handicapped cases who formed the balance of the caseload were being presented to Governments on a continuing basis. He explained that as the caseload grew smaller it became necessary for Governments to introduce more liberal criteria so that the remaining refugees could be given the chance of a new life.
72. The Deputy Director of the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (ICEM) made a statement in which he drew attention to the active partnership of ICEM and UNHCR. That partnership was essential to the achievement of the humanitarian policies of governments in the field of refugee problems. One of the most satisfying examples of that co-operation was to be found in the survey carried out by Dr. Jensen. ICEM was spending each year approximately $6,500,000 on the transport of refugees for resettlement. At least $5 million of that sum was spent on refugees within the mandate of the High Commissioner. The refugee movements to be carried out by ICEM during 1962 would number over 30,000 and plans had been made for the transport of 32,000 refugees in 1963. In this connexion, he wished to explain that the apparent discrepancy in the refugee caseload statistics used by the High Commissioner and those published by ICEM arose because they referred to different kinds of movements. ICEM not only transported refugees who had resided in Western Europe over a period of time and were registered in the UNHCR caseload, but also those who had just arrived and had not yet applied to the UNHCR for assistance. No appreciable decrease in refugee movements in the next few years was expected. Experience had proved that the more rapid the resettlement of new refugees, the more successful was their integration and ICEM would continue to devote its energies to that end in co-operation with Governments, international organizations and the voluntary agencies
73. The representatives who spoke congratulated the High Commissioner on the considerable progress made in the resettlement of handicapped refugees and paid a tribute to the Governments which had made this achievement possible.
74. The representative of Australia stressed the importance his Government attached to the function of resettlement. He expressed his satisfaction that this question had been placed on the agenda of the present session in accordance with the wish expressed by the Committee at its sixth session. As stated in the report on resettlement, the Australian Government, in response to an appeal by the High Commissioner following on the new influx of refugees of European origin to Hong Kong, had decided to admit 1,000 of those refugees under relaxed immigration criteria. This was a classic example of the type of fruitful co-operation between the High Commissioner, Governments and voluntary organizations, which was possible in the field of resettlement. He was pleased to note the prospects of an early completion of the major aid programmes in Europe, but felt bound to point out that, in the view of his Government, the need for resettlement of refugees overseas would continue and that this aspect of the High Commissioner's activities should be given appropriate emphasis. That view was borne out by the information given to the Committee by the Deputy Director of ICEM, and also in the Current Programme of Complementary Assistance for 1963, where it was estimated that some 10,000 persons would be granted refugee status in 1962, significant numbers of whom would be likely to seek resettlement.
75. The representative of Canada said that his Government had continued during 1962 the special programmes which had been introduced to allow refugees from Europe to enter Canada under relaxed immigration criteria. In addition to those refugees admitted under normal programmes, 984 refugees had been admitted during 1962 under these special programmes. It was planned to admit in 1962, on an experimental basis, a small number of handicapped refugees who were capable of work or who had in the family at least one member capable of providing for their subsistence. These general policies in respect of refugees would be continued in 1963. No numerical limitation would be applied in the consideration of applications for admission of refugees which would depend on the available opportunities for employment and establishment. The representative of Canada also explained that under the new immigration regulations introduced in 1962 refugees anywhere in the world could apply for admission to Canada as ordinary immigrants, subject to the usual standards of selection.
76. The representative of Denmark said that 41 handicapped refugees from Italy and 19 from Turkey would shortly be admitted to Denmark.
77. The representative of Brazil informed the Committee that between 1952 and 1961 more than 14,000 refugees had been admitted to Brazil. Negotiations for the resettlement in Brazil of Chinese refugees from Hong Kong were taking place. His Government would continue to support the resettlement activities of the High Commissioner.
78. The representative of Greece stated that his delegation was most encouraged by the liberalization of the immigration criteria in many countries. This policy was of great assistance to countries of first asylum and he expressed the hope that it would be continued.
79. In the course of the discussion, the Committee noted with great interest that the Nansen Medal Award Committee had decided to award the medal for 1962 to Sir Tasman Heyes, former Secretary of the Australian Commonwealth Department of Immigration, in recognition of the major contribution which he and the Australian Government and people were making to the solution of refugee problems.
80. In conclusion the Executive Committee:
(1) Noted with interest the information contained in the Report on Resettlement (A/AC.96/INF.9);
(2) Paid a tribute to the countries which had generously liberalized their admission criteria and expressed the hope that they would continue to follow this course and thereby facilitate and speed up the solutions of refugee problems;
(3) Expressed its satisfaction at the effectiveness of the new approach initiated by Dr. Jensen;
(4) Expressed its appreciation of the co-operative efforts of the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration and UNHCR which were invaluable in the field of resettlement.
PART IV Financial matters
Report on the use of the Emergency Fund (agenda item 6)
81. The representative of the High Commissioner, introducing document A/AC.96/181,pointed out that never before had such extensive use been made of the Emergency Fund. During the first seven months of 1962, over $200,000 had been paid out for assistance to new refugee groups. A further $170,000 had been made available from the proceeds of UNHCR/UNRWA stamp plan, and $135,000 had been given by Governments and voluntary organizations for new groups of refugees, which had thus received assistance amounting to more than $500,000. It was likely that the $500,000 ceiling for the Emergency Fund would be exceeded during 1963.
82. The Turkish representative suggested that, at the next session, when the Committee would be called upon to decide how repayments in excess of the Emergency Fund ceiling should be used, the High Commissioner should present a report forecasting the amount of these repayments. The Committee agreed to this suggestion, and took note of the report of the High Commissioner on the use of the Emergency Fund.
Report of the Board of Auditors on the financial statements for 1961 (agenda item 7)
83. The representative of the High Commissioner observed that the report of the Board of Auditors (A/AC.96/180) reflected the improvements that had been introduced in the accounting and financial reporting of UNHCR activities.
84. The Canadian representative stressed the need for obtaining more detailed information as soon as possible on loan repayments and the grants mentioned in paragraph 7 of the report.
85. The Committee took note of the report of the Board of Auditors.
Status of Contributions (agenda item 9)
86. In presenting the report on the status of contributions and its addendum, bringing the report up to date (A/AC.96/175 and Add.1), the High Commissioner said that, with regard to finance, his chief concern was to raise the funds required for the execution of major assistance projects for "old" refugees, the object being to bring to a successful conclusion a humanitarian task on which hundreds of millions of dollars had been expended since the end of the Second World War and whose final success would be an impressive example of international co-operation through the United Nations. The financing of camp clearance was now assured. In Austria, Germany and Italy, the problems raised by refugees living outside camps were on the verge of being settled. The High Commissioner was convinced that the same would soon be true of other countries such as Greece, where the handicapped refugee stood most in need of international aid and had waited the longest for such aid.
87. As the documents before the Committee showed, the financial situation in July 1962 had suggested that there would be a deficit of $6 million (2 million in 1962 and 4 million in 1963) for the 1962 and 1963 programmes, having regard to the financial requirements for these two programmes and the resources on which UNHCR could normally rely. Since then, however, it had proved possible to reduce the deficit by about $1.5 million, mainly as a result of unexpected receipts. In any case, certain projects of the 1963 programme could not be put in hand until 1964 or even 1965. Governments wishing to support the last major aid projects for "old" refugees might therefore pay their contribution in 1964 provided that they announced it as soon as possible.
88. To obtain the necessary funds, UNHCR was also continuing its efforts in the private sector. It had prepared a new plan, particulars of which would be given by a member of its staff. In conclusion, the High Commissioner stressed that the relief action undertaken by the international community to assist the "old" European refugees would assume its full significance only if it were brought to a successful issue.
89. With regard to the new plan for raising funds, the representative of the High Commissioner explained that long-playing records were to be sold for the benefit of refugee aid schemes. Several singers of world repute had volunteered their services and the records would be sold to the general public throughout the world. Several manufacturers of long-playing records were taking part in the scheme. Thanks to the co-operation of artistes and professional, industrial and trade associations, the entire net profits would be turned over to the UNHCR programme. He appealed to Governments to waive import duties and other charges, in order to make the profits as large as possible.
90. Concerning the status of contributions, several delegations expressed the view that a major effort would be required of the international community, the High Commissioner and all countries concerned, if the funds needed to enable the High Commissioner to complete his task were to be raised. Several delegations welcomed the plan which the High Commissioner had initiated for the sale of records.
91. The Netherlands delegation pointed out that the international community should share the responsibility of the countries of asylum, in order to ensure the settlement of those refugee problems which it had not been possible to solve by means of the UNREF programme and World Refugee Year.
92. Several delegations expressed dissatisfaction at the amount of government contributions received to date for the regular 1962 programme. Some delegations also noted that the number of states Members of the United Nations contributing to the regular UNHCR programme had declined by 25 per cent since the previous year and represented less than a third of the total number of Member States.
93. One delegation observed that the number of Governments contributing to the regular programme was lower than in the previous year, and suggested that the Committee should issue an appeal to States which had not provided any financial support to UNHCR.
94. The representative of Norway expressed the hope that recommendation 329, whereby the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe had launched a movement of European solidarity for assistance to "old" refugees, would receive a favourable response.
95. During the discussion, the delegations of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Netherlands and Norway made statements about their countries' financial contributions
96. The representative of Italy stated that the question of a special contribution towards the last major aid projects for assistance to "old" refugees was being carefully considered by his Government; he was however already in a position to announce that an amount of 150 million lira ($240,000) had already been reserved for that purpose.
97. The Swiss representative said that his Government would consider the possibility of increasing its contribution, if similar initiatives were taken by other Governments. He also suggested that, should UNHCR launch a joint appeal with the League or any other organization, the financial information presented to the Committee should be supplemented with a separate statement of contributions made to UNHCR and to the other organization concerned.
98. The Yugoslav representative stated that, in spite of the heavy financial burdens which it had to bear, his Government was considering the possibility of making a financial contribution, and a favourable decision was expected shortly.
99. On the proposal of the Australian representative, supported by the Netherlands representative, it was agreed that the High Commissioner should supply the Committee once a year with a brief report showing the amount of funds received but not yet expended, and giving a list of projects for which funds were available but which it had not yet been possible to put in hand. The report should include any appropriate recommendations regarding the diversion of funds not needed at the time.
100. On the proposal of the Netherlands representative, it was also agreed that the Committee should receive a report recapitulating, for each country and for each programme, the amounts of government contributions received by UNHCR since the beginning of 1955.
101. Finally, the Executive Committee took note with concern of the report on the status of contributions which had been submitted to it, and noted with appreciation the steps taken by the High Commissioner to collect funds, from both governmental and non-governmental sources. The Committee wholeheartedly approved the efforts which the High Commissioner is making to arouse and stimulate public interest in refugee problems in his endeavours to collect the funds which will enable him to complete the major aid projects on behalf of the "old" refugees, and to find solutions to problems of a continuing nature and new problems which may arise.
Question of Chinese refugees
102. The representative of China expressed the hope that the General Assembly at its present session would devote some time to the discussions of the problem of Chinese refugees in Hong Kong and Macao and find some practical way effectively to help alleviate the sufferings of these refugees.
103. The representative of the United Kingdom drew attention, as far as Hong Kong is concerned, to the statement of policy contained in document A/AC.96/INF.11.
ANNEX I Introductory statement by the High Commissioner
1. Once again, the meeting of the Executive Committee provides me with a welcome opportunity of taking stock of the situation and recalling the most important events which have marked the activities of the High Commissioner's Office in recent months. Although, for a variety of reasons, the rate at which assistance operations of any size are normally carried out is still rather slow, events move fast, sometimes creating new situations that require immediate adaptation or radically changing the data of the problems that confront us.
2. This happened recently in the case of the Algerian refugees in Tunisia and Morocco. The agreements concluded at Evian and the subsequent accession of Algeria to independence, besides ending the exile of those refugees led UNHCR to take an active part in their repatriation, and then to support the efforts of the League of Red Cross Societies to facilitate their re-establishment in the frontier zones in which most of them had formerly resided. This is the conclusion of a great operation carried on jointly with the League for over three years, which is ending most happily with the return of the refugees to their country. In accordance with the wishes expressed last year by the General Assembly in resolution 1672 (XVI),the main concern of my Office, at the moment then repatriation proper came to an end, was to ensure that the former refugees whom we had so long assisted were not suddenly deprived of all support, at the very time when past or present events made it impossible for them to return at once to normal living conditions in the areas to which they were going. The UNHCR accordingly endeavoured to ease the transition by building some sort of bridge between the operation previously conducted with the League and the more extensive action which the League itself or some other agency may be called upon to undertake at the Algerian Government's request, to relieve the distress of large sections of the Algerian people. It was in that spirit that on 18 June I appealed to Governments to give financial support to the repatriation operation, which involved 180,000 people, and to the subsequent action undertaken by the League in the frontier areas. Perhaps because of the vicissitudes of the present time, that appeal has not so far yielded quite the results I had expected; but I am still convinced that the international community will wish to support this relief work, for which there is an urgent need.
3. The Committee will also, I think, wish to hear how the new refugee problems calling for the High Commissioner's good offices have evolved since we last met. To begin with, the Angolan refugees in the Congo, numbering about 150,000, have as you know, been enabled to provide for themselves within the time-limits set by agreement with the Congolese authorities, the League and our other voluntary partners. According to recent information, several thousand more refugees appear to have arrived in the Congo from Angola. My chargé de mission in the Congo is at present endeavouring to assess the situation in co-operation with the authorities and the local voluntary agencies. ONUC has already sent the necessary food supplies to meet the most pressing needs created by this new influx. Once again we are prepared to offer our assistance in making relief work possible and in guiding it in the most constructive direction-that which will lead to the immediate settlement of these refugees, who will thus be enabled to provide for themselves as soon as possible.
4. In Togo, the League distributed food for six months, with the help of the Togolese Red Cross, to the 3,500 refugees in need of it. This emergency aid was discontinued at the end of September; it is to be resumed, in the light of existing needs, by the Togolese Red Cross. While immediate assistance was being thus provided, a simplified programme for rapid settlement of the refugees in the various sectors of the economy capable of absorbing them was drawn up by agreement with the Togolese authorities and with the active help of representatives of Technical Assistance and specialized agencies such as FAO and the ILO. The way was thus prepared for the operation which the Togolese Government is now endeavouring to carry out, with the object of integrating some 900 refugees who are not yet settled and thus, as it were, helping them to help themselves; in this work it has the support of the National Committee for Aid to Refugees, which was set up at Lomé and consists mainly of representatives of the competent Togolese ministries. My Office remains in contact with the Togolese Government and is prepared to continue to help it if necessary.
5. With regard to the 150,000 refugees from Rwanda, the information document recently distributed gave the Executive Committee information to which I have little to add. I would merely point out that the situation in regard to these refugees appears to be stabilized and that, thanks to the concerted efforts of the Governments concerned, the League, the voluntary agencies and the religious missions, and also to the considerable assistance given by the United States Government, relief is being provided. Whereas the Governments of Uganda and Tanganyika, with a measure of outside assistance, have, on the whole been able to meet the immediate needs of these refugees and, with the help of our chargé de mission, to prepare plans for the local settlement of the 35,000 and 11,000 they have respectively taken in, the UNHCR has been called upon to play a more active part and to participate directly in drawing up such plans in Burundi and in the Congolese province of Kivu. But although, owing to circumstances, action in the two last-named areas was slower in starting and more difficult to organize, it is now going well. Generally speaking, it is estimated that the refugees who are still unable to provide for themselves at the end of this year will be doing so next spring, when they have harvested their first crop. In any event, in each of the four countries concerned, the activities of my Office were guided by the same imperative concern to enable the refugees to provide for themselves without delay, so that they would not have to depend indefinitely on more or less precarious outside assistance, which in the long run would be degrading. In thus again becoming masters of their own fate, the refugees will be all the freer to choose at any time the solution they prefer-permanent local settlement or repatriation.
6. Since this session's agenda does not include the progress report on UNHCR assistance activities as a whole-a report which is considered, as you know, at the spring session-I think the Committee would like me to give it some information now on developments and the most recent data relating to those activities.
7. As I have already had occasion to point out, the financing of the camp clearance programme is practically assured, thanks largely to the exceptional contribution of World Refugee Year. The execution of this programme has progressed sometimes even beyond our hopes. In Italy, for instance, the number of seriously handicapped refugees for whom emigration could be arranged exceeded the estimate, Dr. Jensen's systematic study having given this movement for resettlement outside the country of first asylum a decisive impetus to which I shall have occasion to revert presently. As a result, local settlement costs have been reduced, though this is offset at present by some increase in the contributions we have had to make towards the resettlement of these refugees elsewhere. The fact remains, however, that thanks to the generosity of countries-among which I should like to mention Belgium, the Scandinavian countries and the United States-it has been possible to adopt far the most satisfactory, the quickest and the least costly solution.
8. Europe's present economic prosperity is also an important factor which has very favourably affected and greatly speeded up the process of integration of refugees living outside camps, who had hitherto been unable to find suitable employment. In conjunction with increased emigration facilities, this factor has reduced the scope of some of the problems which arose previously. Thus we have been able, in full agreement with the Italian Government, to revise the plans drawn up for 1962 and practically cancel the whole appropriation for them.
9. The work of assistance to the "old" refugees, as it progresses and nears its end, gains in density what it loses in volume. For the problems to be solved are becoming more and more difficult, and we now have to tackle, on the one hand, the most destitute and heavily handicapped cases, and on the other hand, certain areas round the Mediterranean where these problems have only been approached more belatedly, or where their solution in any case meets with various obstacles arising out of local conditions. Although the number of non-settled refugees living in Middle Eastern countries-in particular, the Lebanon, the United Arab Republic, Syria and Jordan-is not very great, a solution for those who cannot emigrate, or do not wish to, is not easy to find and requires both time and sustained assistance from UNHCR and any voluntary agencies which may give their support. In Morocco, too, It has proved necessary to concentrate our efforts on resettlement in new countries for those of the 1,400 or so non-settled refugees who can find local opening in a trade which will earn them a living.
10. But, on the whole, those are limited problems which a coherent and persevering effort should make it possible to solve at the cost of a relatively small financial contribution from the international community.
11. The situation is different in Greece which, in this same geographical area, is still the main object of our concern because of the relatively large number of non-settled refugees who have found shelter there. A great deal of work remains to be done in that country, as will be seen from the size of the allocation made under the 1963 programme: $1.9 million out of a budget of $5.4 million.
12. In Italy, so far as the problem of the "old" refugees is concerned, we are now concentrating our work on a small residual core of some 117 seriously handicapped people. As I have already said, the systematic study carried out by Dr. Jensen, a medical officer of the Australian Immigration Department, on 200 cases representing over 300 people, has rendered invaluable service. Thanks to him, it is no longer summary files, more or less anonymous and impersonal, that we submit to prospective countries of reception, but precise case histories, carefully analysed from the medico-social viewpoint and placed in their proper human context. The results of this study so far justified our hopes that it was decided, with the agreement of the Australian Government-which I should now like to thank for its kind and valuable co-operation-to extend it to other countries where a problem of handicapped refugees still remains to be solved. Dr. Jensen accordingly visited Austria, Germany and Hong Kong, and subsequently Greece,Turkey and Morocco, where he examined a total of 180 cases representing over 400 people. I have no doubt that the results of this exhaustive work will be as satisfactory as those noted in Italy and that it will facilitate the task of my Office. In any event, I should like to emphasize how encouraging it is to note the great appreciation of this work of analysis and systematic documentation shown by the Governments of the principal countries of reception and the generous understanding with which they have already received our approaches with a view to finding the most suitable solution for each of the refugees in question.
13. To sum up, a solution is now in sight for the approximately 20,000 non-settled refugees for whom the final aid programme for "old" European refugees was drawn up. The most difficult cases have now been effectively taken in hand, and in principle, all the necessary conditions have been established for a successful conclusion of the final task to which my Office is still devoting the major part of its efforts.
14. I cannot close this brief review of the main events in the various fields in which assistance is given by the High Commissioner's Office without saying a work about the most recent developments regarding refugees of European origin admitted to Hong Kong. There was a sudden increase in the number of arrivals last July, and since then this movement has continued, most of the refugees coming from Northern Manchuria and the Three Rivers province-areas which they had hitherto been unable to leave. On the other hand, no refugees from the Sinkiang Province have arrived in Hong Kong for nearly two years. Although this new influx is fortunately contributing to the solution of a long-standing problem, it nevertheless gives rise to some concern regarding the possibilities of resettling handicapped persons, the proportion of whom increases as this group of European refugees from China is reduced in size. Only a generous effort by the countries of reception can make it possible to meet this situation, which moreover was foreseeable, and to which I have already had occasion to draw the Committee's attention. In this connexion, I must say how much I appreciate the decision recently taken by the Australian Government to accept, and itself provide for, 1,000 of these refugees. I am sure that this example will be followed by others and that, working in close co-operation with ICEM which, as you know, is arranging transport of these refugees, we shall be able to find openings for reception as and when needs arise.
15. While speaking of the situation in Hong Kong, I should like to say a work about the problem of the Chinese refugees on which an information paper was recently sent to Governments members of the Committee. As you will have noted, the local Government will be glad to receive any financial assistance which will help to lighten its task by enabling it to complete the vast building programmes for housing, hospitals, schools and other public works which it had undertaken in view of the extensive needs it has to meet. I can only draw the Committee's attention to the deep human significance of this courageous enterprise, and earnestly hope that it will receive all the support it deserves from the international community.
16. After giving these few particulars of some current aspects of the relief work being done by the UNHCR I should like to remind you, in a few words, of the general situation regarding this work at the present time.
17. The effort we have made to classify our problems and to distinguish between those which can be finally settled in the near future and those which, by their nature, call for continuing action by this Office-or which, arising subsequently by force of circumstance will call for its immediate intervention-now enables us to see the situation clearly. It is reflected in the two documents submitted for the Committee's consideration, one dealing with the completion of major aid projects, and the other with the current programme for complementary assistance for 1963.
18. Thus, we now have a clearly defined objective, at least for the year ahead: to put into effect, by means of one final effort, a programme designed to put an end to what is already a long-standing problem, and to deal properly with the current tasks of the Office and the new problems which call for immediate solution if they, too, are not to take root and grow more serious and far-reaching.
19. More detailed explanations of the contents of these programmes will be given when the documents in question are presented and discussed. I only wish to stress that, as regards both the sums involved and the concepts on which the programmes were based, the objectives selected with the Committee's agreement for action by the High Commissioner's Office in 1963 are both reasonable and in keeping with the traditional policy of this Office, which is characterized by economy of the means employed and the fullest possible participation by the countries receiving assistance.
20. As you know, the last major aid projects for "old" refugees were spread over two years, 1962 and 1963. These projects are complementary, and form a single whole. Thus, the programme for 1963 will not produce its full effect unless it has been possible fully to implement-and hence to finance-the programme for 1962. Moreover, as I told the Committee at its last session, it will obviously not be possible to carry out these final major projects in their entirety during 1962 and 1963. Our past experience shows that a further period of one or, at the most, two years will be necessary. This means that more time and effort will have to be devoted to these projects and that the administrative machinery of the High Commissioner's Office will not be relieved of this task from one day to the next. But it will then be easier for the Committee itself to concentrate its attention on problems of more immediate interest, without ceasing, on that account, to follow the execution of this final programme step by step, as it has done hitherto.
21. As for the High Commissioner's Office, it will be gradually relieved of a burden which, as new problems arise, weighs more and more heavily upon it and reduces that capacity for adaptation which is so essential because it is a pre-requisite for efficient operation. Freed from concern about what is still an important problem it will does be able to devote itself to its usual work and review its working methods and possibly its internal organization with that critical sense which should be kept constantly alive in any organization that wishes to avoid stagnation.
22. You know the usual work of the High Commissioner's Office. In a word, it is international protection, stimulated and supplemented by some measure of material assistance. It is the scope of this material assistance that we have tried to define for the first time in the 1963 programme. This will afford an opportunity for the committee and for ourselves to round off our experience and base our plans for future years upon it-assuming, of course, that the General Assembly decides to prolong the mandate of the UNHCR.
23. I believe, therefore, that our present and future activities are now on the right lines: it only remains to find the means to finance them!
24. As I shall have occasion to point out when the relevant document is discussed, the status of contributions does, unfortunately, cause us some concern. But it is clearly necessary to succeed and I have found the reactions of the various Governments I have approached on this matter most encouraging. I must say, too, that I have great hopes of the solidarity movement which is now taking shape in Europe and which was so well illustrated by the recent recommendation unanimously adopted by the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe not long ago. This recommendation, which, I am sure, will have the most favourable repercussions in the overseas countries which have so often shown their sympathy with the work of the High Commissioner's Office, undoubtedly reflects the present anxiety of the European countries to settle, without further delay, a problem which directly affects them and which is part of the harsh aftermath of the war. If, in one of the countries which suffered most from the war, such as Greece, it proved impossible to help a few refugees out of their misery that would assuredly be regarded as a failure-a defeat which could not be tolerated.
25. Thus I have confidence in our enterprises. We shall pursue our efforts unremittingly until we can put the finishing touch to this great work, of which the international community will then cease to bear the burden, and from which it will be able to derive all the material and moral benefits it has a right to expect.
26. You will understand the importance I attach to the discussions which are about to take place in this Committee and the decisions it will take concerning the programmes submitted to it, at a time when I have to leave for New York in a few days to submit my report to the General Assembly. Although it is certainly not for me to prejudge the Assembly's decision regarding renewal of the UNHCR mandate, it is my duty to explain to the Assembly, as clearly and objectively as possible, the services which this Office has so far been able to render to the refugees and to the countries which have sheltered them, and what may reasonably be expected of the UNHCR if the Assembly sees fit to prolong its existence. It would clearly be impossible for me to fulfil this obligation to the Assembly unless I assumed as a working hypothesis-as indeed I have done-that the mandate will be prolonged.
27. I think the Committee would like me to inform it, in conclusion, of the reactions-on the whole extremely favourable-of the Economic and Social Council when it considered this report to the General Assembly last July. Very many Governments expressed their satisfaction at the work done by the High Commissioner's Office during the past year. Whatever the future of the Office may be, that seems to prove that at present it is on the right road, and that its efforts to serve the best interests of the refugees and of the international community, whose agent it is, have not been altogether in vain.
28. I should be failing entirely in my duty if I did not remind you, in this connexion, of the invaluable assistance which my Office has received from the Technical Assistance services, UNICEF, the United Nations specialized agencies-among which I must mention particularly FAO, ILO, WHO and UNESCO-and also, of course, from our everyday partners, the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the League of Red Cross Societies, and, last but not least, the voluntary agencies concerned with refugees. In connexion with the European solidarity movement to which I referred earlier, I must not omit to mention the most effective support given to the work of the UNHCR by the Council of Europe, its Refugees and Population Committee and its Special Representative for National Refugees and, more recently, by the OECD and the European Economic Community.
ANNEX II Statement by Mr. J.B. McFadden, Deputy Director of the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration
1. Permit me to convey to you, Lady Tweedsmuir, and to this distinguished body the regret of Mr. Heveman, whose duties have taken him from Geneva at the very time of your session. On his behalf, I should like to extend to you the best wishes of our organization as you come to grips with the important tasks before you. At the same time, may I express my gratitude for the privilege of being here today and for the honour of addressing you.
2. For it is an honour. In my country the accomplishments of the High Commissioner are broadly known and command the most profound respect. And to be closely associated with him and you in this humanitarian cause is gratifying indeed. For me, nothing is more ennobling than to take part in the worthy enterprise which brings to thousands of human hearts the new life, the new hope that are the consequences of newfound freedom.
3. I have been in Geneva exactly two months .And in that short time I have been most favourably impressed by the remarkable degree of co-operation which exists among the various Governments, international organizations and voluntary agencies working with refugee problems. Surely, the progress made during the past decade in solving these problems must be attributed, in large part, to this willingness to work together toward a common goal. Not the least agreeable and fruitful aspect of this collaboration is my day-to-day contact with the various organizations. The sympathetic understanding I have received since my arrival here has been most reassuring. On my part, I wish to assure you that I shall spare no personal effort to maintain this spirit of partnership and goodwill.
4. Let me cite one small example to illustrate the co-operation among us and to emphasize that our work, after all, is concerned with the solution of individual human problems. On Friday I received a copy of a letter addressed to the Deputy High Commissioner from the Deputy Director for Europe of one of the voluntary agencies. The letter told the tragic story of a woman who had spent nine years in prison as a result of eight unsuccessful attempts to seek the protection of refugee status. Now, at last, she has succeeded. But the harrowing experience of these years has taken its toll. And while I have asked our staff to seek a resettlement opportunity for this unfortunate woman, I am fully aware that her only hope for a normal future may rest in the services of Dr. Jensen and his group.
5. I believe one of the most dramatic and satisfying examples of our co-operation is to be found in the Jensen survey which was jointly sponsored by the UNHCR, the United States Escapee Program and ICEM. We have always believed that every effort should be spent in providing assistance for the final resettlement of refugees who have been passed over by regular programmes because of personal handicaps. It is most gratifying to see that the results have justified the programme; a substantial number of handicapped refugees have already been resettled in several countries in Europe and overseas as a result of the Jensen survey.
6. The Jensen surveys and the special schemes for the handicapped have been of critical importance in providing relief for the residual groups of refugees. At the same time, and perhaps of even greater importance, they establish precedents for future refugee resettlement.
7. I would like at this point, Madam Chairman, to draw the attention of the Executive Committee once more to the active partnership of the United Nations High Commissioner and ICEM in solving refugee problems. I make no apology for doing so again as I am convinced-and I am sure the High Commissioner agrees with me-that this partnership is essential to the achievement of the humanitarian policies of governments in the refugee field.
8. Almost all of the resettlement movements reported in the High Commissioner's document which is before you were, in fact, physically carried out by ICEM and, for the majority, the transport costs represent a charge to the operational budget of ICEM.
9. ICEM spends each year approximately $6,500,000 on the transport of refugees for resettlement; of this amount, at least $5 million is spent on refugees within the mandate of the United Nations High Commissioner.
10. I am not stating these facts in order to emphasize the financial needs involved in the resettlement of refugees-there are, of course, problems in meeting these needs but that is perhaps a matter for discussion in the ICEM Council. My purpose is to emphasize in practical terms how closely the two organizations are bound together, and that the refugee programmes of one could scarcely succeed without the help and co-operation of the other.
11. The emphasis on resettlement in the document before you and in the admirable speech of the high Commissioner on Monday merely underline and make more essential the active interdependence of the two organizations.
12. In a certain sense, the very success of the refugee programmes has created new problems. There is a false belief in some quarters that the problem of refugees in Europe has been solved. It is interesting to note, however, that ICEM's refugee movements during 1962 will number over 30,000. This figure is comparable to the number of refugees assisted during the first years of the Committee's existence. Moreover, in 1963, our planning calls for the permanent resettlement of 32,000 refugees and we do not foresee any appreciable decrease in refugee movements within the next few years.
13. However, the difference between past and present programmes is the measure of our accomplishment in providing assistance to refugees. Where, some years ago, there was a large resident refugee population in Europe, our present programmes are established on the basis of influx of new refugees. It is common knowledge that the more rapid the resettlement of new refugees, the more successful their integration in their new countries. If we can continue to anticipate the influx and to provide the necessary financing and resettlement opportunities, we will be able to avoid the problems and expenses with which we are faced when dealing with residual refugees.
14. The continuation of these programmes, however, depends on the support we obtain from Member Governments. And I am confident that our programmes will receive the support they require for, in the long run, they are designed to prevent the much more costly problem of residual refugees, and because the solution of the continuing refugee problem is an international responsibility.
15. In this connexion, it has been a matter of concern for Governments, which have assumed the financial responsibility for solving the refugee problem, to be presented with what appeared to be two different sets of requirements. I refer to the seeming discrepancy between the refugee caseload statistics used by the High Commissioner and the numbers of refugee movements published by ICEM. But I can assure you that although our published figures are, for good reason, different, there is no discrepancy in fact because our figures refer to different kinds of movements. Accordingly, I am particularly grateful to the High Commissioner for his explanation in paragraph 23 of his Information Document (A/AC.96/INF.9), in which he sheds light into a previously dark corner of possible confusion. Our statistics differ because "UNHCR has always referred to the known caseload the refugees residing in the main countries of asylum and desiring resettlement. UNHCR statistics, however, do not include within this caseload those refugees who arrive in countries of asylum and remain for only a brief period before being transported by ICEM to countries of final resettlement, as these facts only become available after the refugees arrive and have been resettled".
16. Of course, those refugees do appear in the High Commissioner's total number of UNHCR mandate refugees who have been resettled by ICEM. However, their rapid resettlement by ICEM makes it unnecessary for the High Commissioner to include them within his planned budget or programme. Meanwhile ICEM is co-operating with UNHCR in seeking to obtain a permanently satisfactory solution of the problem.
17. Another impressive example of international co-operation in solving a refugee problem occurred recently in the Far East. I am sure you are all aware of the joint office of the UNHCR and ICEM in Hong Kong, where we administer a programme assisting European refugees from mainland China. In September, a sudden and unexpected influx of these refugees put a great burden on the local agencies in securing accommodation. Australia, one of the main receiving countries for these refugees, took prompt action through its Department of Immigration and has arranged for the reception of 1,000 Hong Kong refugees during the course of the next few months. These refugees will be received under the same conditions provided for migrants financially assisted by the Australian Government.
18. ICEM continues to be concerned with the total refugee problem, including integration in the country of permanent resettlement. Progress has been made on the question of providing opportunities for the rapid and effective assimilation of refugees in their own countries. I am sure that, with the team-work which has been so effectively demonstrated in the past, we will make even further progress.
19. Madam Chairman, in speaking to you today, I have tried simply to convey some of the impressions of a newcomer to a field in which most of you present are rich in experience. I hope I have been able to express my admiration for the many things you have accomplished through the spirit of co-operation. I am also most convinced of the necessity for continuing this work in the future.
20. ICEM's refugee movements are not declining. However, there may be changes in the political and geographical pattern of these movements, and it should also be remembered that new situations can arise so long as political tensions remain. It therefore remains necessary for us all to be prepared for whatever emergencies may present themselves while continuing to administer our regular programmes of assistance.
21. I believe without any doubts that rapid resettlement of new refugees remains the best solution of the problem. The savings in time, money and human resources have been dramatically demonstrated in the past and ICEM will continue to devote its energies toward further assistance to refugees. With the co-operation we have enjoyed with Governments, international organizations and voluntary agencies, I am sure we can look forward to continued success in the future.
22. Of necessity you and I think in terms of thousands of refugees and millions of dollars. For my part, duty becomes more meaningful when I think, as I am sure you do, of the effect of out work upon the life and happiness of the individual human in distress. For it seems to me that universal peace has its origin in individual contentment. When we provide to refugees opportunities to build new careers on new frontiers we deal in a small but certain way with the stuff of peace.
23. It has been a pleasure and an honour to be here with you today. And I thank you for the courtesy and attention with which you have received me.
1 Issued previously under the symbol A/AC.96/185. 2 Details of the statement may be found in the summary record of the 66th meeting. 3 The full text of the statement is reproduced in annex I. 4 For details of these 2 statements, see the summary record of the 64th meeting. 5 For details , see the summary record of the 65th meeting. 6 The full text of the state is reproduced in annex II. 8 For further details, see the summary record of the 67th meeting.
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