Zamjenik stalnog predstavnika Republike Hrvatske pri Ujedinjenim narodima, g. Neven Mikec, održao je govor tijekom rasprave na 3. Odboru UN-a o Izvješcu visokog povjerenika za izbjeglice
Mr. Chairman, Mr. High Commissioner, Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, allow me to say that my Delegation has aligned itself to the statement made by the European Union. Here I would like to make some additional remarks in my national capacity.
It is my pleasure to address you today and to provide our contribution to this important debate. Allow me to express my gratitude to the distinguished High Commissioner for Refugees for his inspired introductory remarks and for the comprehensive Report he has provided. Having in mind, that in the last two years, humanitarian emergencies perpetuate and are on the increase, we are fully appreciative of all the challenges that UNHCR was confronted with. Indeed, Croatia, as a member of the Executive Committee, fully endorses UNHCR’s operational and policy choices and noble efforts made to identify the most effective responses to these important challenges.
During the last two years UNHCR has faced an unexpected number of refugee emergencies in particular in Middle East and Africa. Crises that emerged in Syria, Sudan, South Sudan, DRC and Mali have put on test every aspect of UNHCR’s resources, including human and budgetary. We greatly appreciate the extraordinary efforts of the UNHCR staff in responding to these emergencies and thank them for their devotion as well as professional and personal commitment.
Croatia is deeply concerned by the escalation of violence and continued violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, particularly in Syria and Sudan, which result in aggravation of the refugee and displacement crises and increased demands for international protection. With regard to the plight of the Syrian population, Croatia has contributed to the UNHCR’s activities in various ways, including the provision of financial assistance to activities related to providing humanitarian assistance to the Syrian refugees. We stand ready to continue our support in that regard according to the humanitarian needs.
As a fairly recent party to the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, Croatia is fully aware of the pledges given at the last year’s December Ministerial Meeting in Geneva, and we remain fully committed to their implementation. Taking into account fundamental human rights obligations and relevant international instruments on statelessness, we are continuously working on both prevention and reduction of cases of statelessness, in particular among the Roma population. We remain convinced that only our joint and concerted efforts can lead us to the achievement of the common goal of bringing an end to statelessness within the next decade.
With a view of ensuring sustainable return of refugees and displaced persons, we are pleased to be in a position to inform you that the preparations for implementation of the Joint Regional Programme on Durable Solutions for Refugees and Displaced Persons are progressing as planned. Joint efforts of four countries in South East Europe - Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia and Croatia - together with international partners, continue to be an outstanding example of regional cooperation. We believe that the effective implementation of the Programme represents the best guarantee for our continued efforts towards the final closure of the displacement chapter in our region. UNHCR’s continued involvement in this process, as one of the international partners, is greatly appreciated. In that regard and having in mind the obligation to assure durable solutions - as one of the main international principles related to the protection of refugees - Croatia stands ready to share the best practices identified in this context.
Working side by side with relevant UNHCR partners in Croatia and in the region, we can guarantee that UNHCRs standards, professionalism, integrity, and respect for diversity, are fully implemented. Joint Regional Program was an excellent opportunity to grasp how these standards are used in UNHCRs’ interaction with persons of concern, government authorities, partners, and colleagues.
As the world is confronted with a steady increase in disasters, in times of serious financial crisis and budgetary constraints, Croatia welcomes UNHCR"s continued efforts to uphold and improve the efficiency of its operations. We have supported the planned savings and allocations as well as the UNHCR’s proactive approach regarding the expansion of its donor base, particularly in the private sector. Croatia also recognizes the UNHCR’s work on strategic partnership - such as with the UN sister agencies as well as with governmental and non-governmental actors - as essential to deliver effective protection and assistance to refugees and internally displaced persons.
As a member of the Executive Committee, Croatia is fully aware of the responsibilities and commitments this membership entails and it is our firm intention to pursue our efforts and contribution in that regard at all levels - national, regional and global.