UNHCR: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, English United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [ju ː nait ɪ d ne ɪ ʃ nz ha ɪ kə m ɪ ʃ nə f ɔ refjə d ʒ i ː z], acronym UNHCR see AbbreviationFinder], UN established in 1951-Special body for the protection of refugees and stateless persons. The office is subordinate to the UN General Assembly, which also renews its mandate every five years; Headquarters: Geneva; In addition, there are (2015) 450 regional offices or branch offices in 123 countries. The broad area of responsibility relates to the support of refugees in a variety of ways – through material as well as legal aid.
The basis and framework of the work of the UNHCR is in particular the Geneva Convention on the Legal Status of Refugees of July 28, 1951 as well as the additional protocol of 1967: Protection against discrimination, e.g. B. in questions of property and employment; Expulsion only for reasons of public safety; Prohibition of expulsion of a refugee to a country where his life and freedom are at risk for racial, religious, national or political reasons (Article 33 of the Geneva Convention).
In 1954 and 1981 the UNHCR received the Nobel Peace Prize.
The forerunners of the UNHCR were the Office of a High Commissioner for Refugees (headed by F. Nansen) established by the League of Nations on June 21, 1921, and the International Refugee Organization from 1946–51. (Refugees)
If the UN is to be associated with a single person, it is, of course, the Secretary-General. He – so far only men have been Secretary-General of the United Nations – is the highest-ranking official who represents the organization externally and has the task of leading the secretariat and serving the Member States.
The Secretary-General has also been given a very important political role in the UN Charter, as he has the right to draw the attention of the Security Council to issues that he considers to threaten international peace and security. The Secretary-General is often asked by the Security Council to try to mediate in conflicts or to appoint an independent mediator. In 2001, the then Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the UN shared the Nobel Peace Prize.
The Secretary General is elected by the General Assembly for a period of five years but is proposed by the Security Council. Every year he publishes a report on UN activities. In this, suggestions are often made about the future work. The Secretary-General usually attends meetings of the General Assembly, the Security Council and Ecosoc in person.
In January 2007, former South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon took over the post of UN Secretary-General after Kofi Annan’s two terms. In June 2011, he was unanimously re-elected by the General Assembly, despite criticism from some quarters for being too invisible and compliant with the great powers.
The assisting bodies
As the UN’s economic and social activities have expanded, more and more so-called support bodies have been set up to deal with specific issues, such as refugees, children, economic development, disaster relief and so on. (This text describes only a fraction of the support bodies and their activities). The largest and most well-known of the support bodies are the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Like the specialist bodies (see below), the larger assistant bodies function independently; they have their own boards and managers and are financed mainly through voluntary grants. In most cases, only a few Member States account for the majority of voluntary funding.
The advisory bodies are responsible to the General Assembly or Ecosoc, which has established them and also appoints the members of their boards. Several support bodies have implemented reforms to make the work more efficient and many, including the UNHCR, have introduced changes to the budget work, in order to improve the overview of the activities.
Coordination with other bodies within the UN system has also increased.