United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
Haut commissariat des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés (HCR)
Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados (ACNUR)
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Established initially for a 3-year period, by General Assembly Resolutions: 319 (IV) of 3 Dec 1949; 428 (V) of 14 Dec 1950. Subsequently, the mandate of the High Commissioner's Office was renewed at 5-year intervals until 2003 when the time limitation was removed and the mandate extended until the refugee problem is solved, by General Assembly Resolution 58/153 of 22 Dec 2003. Previous organizations from which UNHCR developed were: H-XU7164 - League of Nations High Commission for Refugees, set up in 1921, within the framework of H-XH2906 - League of Nations; H-XH2968 - Nansen International Office for Refugees, set up 30 Sep 1930, Geneva (Switzerland), replacing the High Commission as an autonomous body under the authority of the League; 'High Commission for Refugees coming from Germany', set up in 1933; H-XH0223 - Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees under the Protection of the League, established 1 Jan 1939, London (UK), superseding these two latter bodies. UNHCR is not a specialized agency but a programme within the F-XF1000 - United Nations System, forming an integral part of A-XA3375 - United Nations (UN) linked to the General Assembly and to E-XE3377 - ECOSOC. Based in Geneva (Switzerland).
Provide international protection to refugees and seek durable solutions to their plight; extend assistance to other groups, notably returnees, internally displaced, stateless persons and others in need of international protection.
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High Commissioner, elected by UN General Assembly on nomination of the UN Secretary-General, reports directly to the General Assembly, and to ECOSOC on coordination aspects. Present High Commissioner is Filippo Grandi (Italy); his term in office began 1 Jan 2016 and currently extends to 2020. Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme (ExCom), meets annually in October in Geneva (Switzerland) and currently comprises 102 members. ExCom was established in 1958 under the terms of General Assembly Resolution 1166 (XII) and ECOSOC Resolution 672 (XXV). It authorizes the Office's annual programme of material assistance and provides advice to the High Commissioner, at his/her request, in the exercise of his/her mandated functions.
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