Yearbook of the United Nations, 2005. Part 3, Economic and social questions. Chapter 12, Refugees and displaced persons
In 2005, although the total number of persons of concern to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) rose by 8 per cent to 20.8 million, from 19.2 million in 2004, the refugee population worldwide fell to its lowest level in almost a quarter century and mass refugee outflows into neighbouring countries were also the lowest in 29 years. Refugees accounted for 40 per cent of the 2005 population of concern, followed by internally displaced persons (IDPs), 32 per cent and stateless persons, 11 per cent. UNHCR maintained efforts to find durable solutions for those groups, encouraging voluntary repatriation or return as the preferred solution. In that regard, an estimated 1.1 million refugees returned to their countries of origin during the year. With UNHCR's assistance, thousands other refugees found solutions through resettlement elsewhere, or were integrated locally. To facilitate that process, the UNHCR Executive Committee had adopted a Conclusion on Local Integration, setting out a framework for related activities. New refugee outflows totalled some 136,000 recorded arrivals in 19 asylum countries, most notably in Chad (32,400), Benin (25,500), Ghana (13,600), Uganda (24,000) and Yemen (13,200). Those outflows resulted mainly from the ongoing conflict in Sudan's Darfur region and the consequent decline in the security situation in the Chad/Darfur area, instability in parts of the Central African Republic and violence in regions of Côte d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Somalia, among other places. Overall, up to 5 million of the world's refugee population remained in protracted situations, including Afghans (1.7 million), Burundians (394,000),Congolese from the DRC (308,000), Somalis (229,000) and Sudanese (364,000). Others affected were Saharawi refugees in the Tindouf camps in Algeria, Bhutanese in Nepal and the Rohingyas in Bangladesh. UNHCR maintained efforts to find durable solutions for those caught in protracted situations, including through the restructuring of its Department of International Protection and the creation of a Solutions and operations support section, charged with reviewing such situations and enhancing resettlement services. Despite improvements in many aspects of the protection environment during the year, UNHCR continued to face significant challenges in addressing protection gaps relating to sexual and gender-based violence and restrictive practices regarding reception and access to asylum procedures. Other difficulties included security-related concerns, as well as the major challenge of working with States to identify comprehensive approaches to using all durable solutions for persons of concern. Ongoing efforts to implement the “Convention Plus” initiative, launched in 2003 to help strengthen the commitment of States and UNHCR partners to resolving refugee situations through multilateral action plans, focused on concluding negotiations to better address secondary movements and target development assistance for durable solutions. During the year, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Conference process, launched in 1996 to address the unique and complex mix of problems facing refugees and other displaced people in those States, concluded with the adoption of a final statement and the examination of a successor framework for considering Euro-Asian cooperation on migration. Appointment. On 27 May, the General Assembly, by decision 59/420, appointed Mr. Antônio Manuel de Oliveira Guterres as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for a period of five years.
Yearbook of the United Nations, 2005 v. 59; Vol. 59
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