Yearbook of the United Nations, 2003. Part 3, Economic and social questions. Chapter 12, Refugees and displaced persons
In 2003, the total number of persons of concern to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) dropped to approximately 17 million, from20.8 million in 2002, due largely to the return home of millions of refugees following the end of prolonged crises, mainly in Africa and Afghanistan. Almost 5 million people who had fled their homes found a solution through resettlement or local integration. UNHCR achieved success in addressing the refugee situation in some regions, while problems in other areas undermined progress. Positive developments included the repatriation of over half a million Afghan refugees in the largest return movement of the year. Despite persisting insecurity in parts of Afghanistan, UNHCR maintained the momentum of returns and made considerable progress in ensuring that returnees were included in national development programmes. In other large-scale repatriations, thousands were assisted to return to their places of origin in Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Côte d'Ivoire, Eritrea, Iraq, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Somalia. On the negative side, persons of concern in some 38 protracted refugee crises worldwide still awaited durable solutions. Notable situations of concern in that regard included millions of Afghans and half a million Angolans remaining in neighbouring countries, and 700,000 Burundian refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) whose hope of return faded as the country's peace process faltered. Others included some 165,000 refugees from Western Sahara living in camps in south-western Algeria for over 25 years and an increasing number of IDPs, estimated at 2 million, uprooted by the conflict in Colombia, of whom 290,000 were displaced during the year. In other fresh outflows, over 300,000 refugees fled several African countries, creating large-scale emergencies in some cases. During the year, UNHCR finalized the report on the “UNHCR 2004” process, designed to strengthen the Office and better position it to carry out its mandate. In December, the General Assembly removed the time limitation on the continuation of UNHCR and decided to continue the Office until the refugee problem was solved. It also enlarged the UNHCR Executive Committee membership from64 to 66 States. In October, the Assembly extended the term of office of Ruud Lubbers as UN High Commissioner for Refugees for a period of two years beginning on 1 January 2004.
Yearbook of the United Nations, 2003. v. 57; Vol. 57
This item appears in the following Collection(s)