Multistakeholder Pledge: 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol (Law and Policy Reform Initiative)
To commit and renew the commitment by States to comply with international legal principles and standards on the protection of refugees.
UNHCR encourages States to pledge at the GRF 2023 to:
- Accede to the 1951 Convention and/or its 1967 Protocol.
- Withdraw reservations and/or declarations to the 1951 Convention and/or its 1967 Protocol.
The 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol provide a solid foundation for international protection and durable solutions. At the end of 2022, 149 States were party to the 1951 Convention, its 1967 Protocol or both. Non-refoulement is recognized as customary international law and the right to asylum is widely reflected in national and regional law and practice.
44 per cent of Contracting States maintain reservations or declarations to important provisions of the 1951 Convention and its 1967 Protocol. Most limit the rights of refugees – including the right to work, freedom of movement and access to basic services.
New and renewed commitment to comply with international legal principles and standards is crucial to ensure effective access to protection to those seeking safety from conflict or persecution. It is also the cornerstone for refugees to effectively access their rights and to participate in societies and economies of their host countries. This pledge will therefore be closely linked and matched with other pledges.
UNHCR will provide on its website updated guidance to States on the procedures to accede to the 1951 Convention and its 1967 Protocol, as well as to withdraw reservations and the benefits thereof. The GRF will be the ideal forum for States to showcase their commitment to the protection of refugees. UNHCR in collaboration with the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs (OLA) will explore the possibility of holding a joint ceremony for deposit of instruments of accession at the GRF for States who wish to accede to the 1951 Convention and/or its 1967 Protocol, as well as the 1954 and/or 1961 Statelessness Conventions.
Denise Baruch-Kotulla - [email protected]
- May–July: Stocktaking
- September: Publication of guidance material on the UNHCR website
- October–November: Outreach and pledge identification
- December: Possible ceremony for deposit of instruments of accession at the GRF and launch of Refugee Treaty and Legislation Dashboard