Yearbook of the United Nations, 2002. Part 3, Economic and social questions. Chapter 12, Refugees and displaced persons
In 2002, the total number of persons of concern to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) stood at 20.8 million, an increase over the 2001 figure of 19.8 million. Of that number, some 11.5 million were refugees, 4.4 million were internally displaced persons, 3.5 million returned to their places of origin, 927,684 were asylum-seekers and the remaining 445,970 included forced migrants and stateless persons. During the year, UNHCR achieved successes in some areas but was thwarted by obstacles in others. On the positive side, the return home of some 2 million Afghans was the largest repatriation of refugees in over three decades. Other significant developments were new peace agreements in Angola (see p. 218), Sierra Leone (see p. 148) and Sri Lanka, where a ceasefire brought an end to 20 years of hostilities and resulted in the spontaneous return of about 260,000 internally displaced persons. The independence of Timor-Leste (see p. 315) encouraged the successful repatriation of 31,000 individuals. On the negative side, millions lingered in protracted refugee situations in southwest Algeria, Nepal and the United Republic of Tanzania, with no clear prospects of durable solutions. In Liberia, the ongoing conflict (see p. 165) led to thousands having to flee for their lives. Côte d'Ivoire was plunged into political conflict, resulting in disastrous repercussions for 35,000 nationals who fled into neighbouring countries, and for over 40,000 (mainly Liberian) refugees who had to be repatriated from the country. Similarly, in Burundi, the Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, refugees were on the move to escape conflict and general insecurity. In the Americas, hostilities continued with increased intensity in Colombia, causing thousands of civilians to cross borders in search of protection. The Global Consultations on International Protection, launched in 2000, concluded in 2002 with the adoption of the Agenda for Protection, a multi-year programme of action for States, UNHCR, non-governmental organizations and other partners to improve the protection of refugees and asylum-seekers. In continuing efforts to enhance its work in the field of protection and durable solutions, UNHCR established a new Code of Conduct to guide staff in dealing with difficult ethical and moral issues, and a new protection information unit. It also launched its Strategic Plan 2002-2004, drafted in 2001, to strengthen HIV/AIDS prevention and care in refugee situations. In December, the General Assembly extended UNHCR's mandate for a further period of five years, effective 1 January 2004.
Yearbook of the United Nations, 2002. v. 56; Vol. 56
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