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Robson to attend UNHCR Ministerial meeting

7 December 2001 Media Advisory

Robson to attend UNHCR Ministerial meeting


Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Matt Robson will travel to Geneva to attend the UNHCR Ministerial meeting on the 1951 Refugee Convention.

The meeting on 12 and 13 December 2001, which brings together the 141 nations which have ratified the Convention and marks the Convention’s 50th anniversary, aims to reaffirm the collective commitment of States to the full and effective implementation of the Convention.

“Strengthening the international refugee protection system by preserving the integrity of the 1951 Convention, preventing its abuse and identifying gaps in the protection it offers modern day refugees is an important element of a solution to the global refugee problem, says Matt Robson.

“New Zealand will be working to find solutions to the growing problems of people smuggling for profit and abuse of asylum systems which are putting pressure on the international refugee protection system. We will also be discussing how we can address the reasons why people flee their homelands.

Matt Robson will also attend part of a conference to strengthen the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the use of Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW).

“New Zealand will be strongly supporting a proposal for dealing with explosive remnants of war. Cluster bombs, anti-vehicle mines and unexploded ammunition left behind after conflict are one of the major impediments to people trying to rebuild their lives, says Matt Robson.

Matt Robson will also discuss with UN agencies New Zealand’s contributions to rebuilding Afghanistan and East Timor, and explore with the WTO development issues arising from the Doha Development Agenda.

Matt Robson leaves New Zealand on Monday 10 December and returns on Saturday 15 December 2001.

ENDS

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