The 65th Annual Executive Committee (ExCom) Meeting of UNHCR

The 65th Annual Executive Committee (ExCom) Meeting of UNHCR in which delegates from more than a hundred countries participated, took place between 29 September and 3 October 2014. The delegation of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan was led by H. E. Dr. Jamaher Anwary, Minister of Refugee and Repatriations (MoRR).

On the agenda of the ExCom Meeting were various international humanitarian issues related to refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced (IDPs), and stateless persons. Discussions were also held on the protection of the people concerned and UNHCR’s internal audit, accounting and budgetary issues.

The Meeting commenced with a high-level segment on ‘‘Enhancing International Cooperation, Solidarity, Local Capacities and Humanitarian Action for Refugees in Africa.’’ The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Mr. António Guterres then presented his statement, in which he expressed concerns on the protracted crisis in different regions.

Also present in the Meeting was UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki Moon, who expressed his concerns on the ongoing humanitarian crises in the world and commended the work of UNHCR and other UN agencies in helping people in need. In concluding his remarks, Mr. Ban Ki Moon shared his personal experience as an IDP during the Korean War and said that he saw the UN as a beacon of hope during those difficult periods.

H.E. Dr. Anwary discussed the situation of Afghan refugees in the Islamic Republics of Iran and Pakistan and expressed gratitude to their Governments for their continuous support in hosting Afghan refugees. He recognized the establishment of national unity government as a historical day for Afghans and emphasized that the new Afghan Government is committed to placing the issue of Afghan refugees high on the national priority agenda. He reaffirmed that the Afghan Government will take concrete measures to reassure donors and international community of its commitments for returns and sustainable reintegration of Afghan refugees and IDPs.

On 30 September 2014, on the sidelines of ExCom, a consultative session on the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR) to support voluntary repatriation, sustainable reintegration and assistance to host countries: ‘‘A glass half full.’’ was held where in addition to the achievements, challenges and opportunities of SSAR implementation, country specific portfolios of projects were discussed with international partners.

The delegation of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan also held bilateral meetings with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the delegation of Australia, Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in which issues related to Afghan refugees and returnees were discussed.