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Council of Delegates 2001: Resolution 4

14-11-2001 Resolution

Movement Action in Favour of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons

Council of Delegates of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, Geneva, Switzerland, 11 - 14 November 2001

The Council of Delegates,

expressing its deep concern about the need to improve protection and assistance to the tens of millions of persons who have been forcibly uprooted and displaced by armed conflict, violations of international humanitarian law and human rights and natural or other human-induced disasters,

welcoming the document prepared by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (International Federation) entitled Movement Action in Favour of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (Document CD2001/6/1),

recalling and reaffirming the resolutions adopted by the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (Resolution XXI, Manila 1981; Resolution XVII, Geneva 1986, Resolution 4A, Geneva 1995 and Goal 2.3 of the Plan of Action of the 27th International Conference, Geneva 1999) as well as the Resolutions adopted by the Council of Delegates (Resolution 9, Budapest 1991 and Resolution 7, Birmingham 1993),

recalling that in situations of armed conflict refugees and internally displaced persons are protected by international humanitarian law, recalling also the protection afforded by refugee law, human rights law and national law and encouraging all components of the Movement, in accordance with their mandates, to take appropriate measures to ensure that States are aware of their responsibilities under international humanitarian law, refugee law, human rights law as well as national law applicable to refugees and internally displaced persons,

emphasising the importance of respect for international humanitarian law for the prevention of displacement,

noting the need for the components of the Movement to agree upon and implement a coherent strategy for ensuring a predictable response to the needs of refugees and internally displaced persons, while retaining a global approach based on a response to needs rather than on categories of persons,

noting further the requirements that all activities carried out by the components of the Movement in favour of refugees and internally displaced persons be in accordance with their respective mandates as outlined in the Statutes of the Movement and the Seville Agreement and in respect of the Fundamental Principles of the Movement,

 

Movement response to the needs of refugees and internally displaced persons

1. calls upon the ICRC, the International Federation and National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (National Societies), in accordance with their respective mandates, to seek to ensure at all times that the Movement’s response adopts a global approach, addressing both the needs of refugees and internally displaced persons — whenever possible, by appropriately addressing all stages of displacement, from prevention to return — and also the needs of the resident population in order to ensure respect for the Principle of Impartiality at all times. In particular, such a response should take into account:

  • the need for protection, assistance, tracing, family reunification and durable solutions such as return, local settlement, or resettlement in a third country;
  • the specific needs of different groups within populations of refugees and internally displaced persons, as well as their different needs at different stages of displacement;
  • the need for short-term interventions and long-term solutions;
  • the need to involve refugees and internally displaced persons in planning and implementing programmes for their own benefit;
  • the needs of host and local communities;
  • the need for burden sharing within the Movement to assist National Societies where responding to displacement is beyond their individual capacities;
  • the need to develop a strong advocacy platform with common Movement positions;

Coordination and cooperation within the Movement

2. requests the ICRC and the International Federation to develop a strategy to address the issues and challenges identified in Section VI of the above-mentioned document (CD 2001/6/1) by means of a regular and efficient exchange of information between the various components of the Movement as well as between the headquarters and the field;

3. recognises that there may be circumstances in which the ICRC, as the Lead Agency in situations of armed conflict must focus on the priority needs of refugees and internally displaced persons who find themselves closest to areas of conflict, while there may be displaced persons located at a distance from the theatre of hostilities who may also be in dire need of assistance, and urges the ICRC, in consultation with the International Federation and National Societies, to develop, within the framework of the Seville Agreement, operational solutions to such situations;

4. calls on National Societies to support ICRC and/or International Federation programmes in favour of refugees and internally displaced persons mobilising public as well as government support and coordinating their action with the Lead Agency to ensure the most effective Movement response;

Coordination and cooperation with other humanitarian actors

5. requests the ICRC, the International Federation and National Societies jointly and individually, in accordance with their respective mandates, to continue to closely co-ordinate their activities in this area and promote real coordination with other humanitarian actors, aiming to achieve a coherent approach by the components of the Movement  in their relations with other humanitarian actors to achieve greater complementarity in their activities;

6. urges National Societies to ensure that their activities in favour of refugees and internally displaced persons are carried out in respect of the Fundamental Principles of the Movement and existing policy at all times, and particularly when they are acting as implementing partners for other humanitarian actors;

7. reminds National Societies of their obligation to inform the International Federation and/or the ICRC of any negotiations likely to lead to a formal agreement between them and any agency of the United Nations or any other international organisation. The International Federation and/or the ICRC will assist National Societies in negotiations likely to lead to an agreement with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and must concur with the terms of any such agreement in order to ensure coherence and complementarity;

8. requests that the ICRC and the International Federation jointly initiate a process of consultation with the UNHCR with a view to clarifying the terms upon which the components of the Movement engage in cooperation with UNHCR, and to report thereon to the next Council of Delegates;

Development of Movement Strategy

9. calls upon the ICRC and the International Federation to further develop proposals for Movement strategy on refugees and internally displaced persons, in consultation with National Societies, and to report to the next Council of Delegates;

10. further calls upon the International Federation, in consultation with National Societies to develop proposals for a plan of action on other aspects of population movement. This plan of action will address, inter alia, migration and resultant vulnerability, migrants in irregular situations, and action to address discrimination and xenophobia. The International Federation will report thereon to the next session of its General Assembly.