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responses to these latter two organizations from both the regular Migration and Refugee Assistance (MRA) appropriation

and the Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance (ERMA) fund

have been instrumental in ameliorating their fiscal crises.

In each of these cases, the United States has vigorously pressed other donors to carry their share of these needs. New

demands on scarce resources, coupled with budgetary constraints

in all donor nations, will continue to require careful planning and the setting of priorities by both international

organizations and the governments which support their


We shall continue to build on the close working

relationships we have established with other donors and each of

the international organizations that work with refugees and conflict victims. In Fiscal Year 1991, the President's budget

request includes a greatly needed increase in regional refugee

assistance of some $46 million as well as

a $25 million

replenishment of the ERMA Eund, which will help all of these

refugee organizations.

In short, the refugee world

an extremely dynamic one,

with a continuous series of new challenges. We cannot always anticipate needs or predict how particular programs will develop. But the United States can and does provide

strong and constructive leadership.

Leadership comes not only

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from the total amount of funds we provide annually, but as well

from the numbers of refugees we resettle.

We demonstrate

leadership in the policy and program proposals we make to the refugee community, to refugee-hosting governments, and to other donor and resettlement nations. No other nation monitors world situations with the expertise and steadfastness that we bring

to refugee and conflict victim issues.

I would like now to turn to four regional situations which

are currently receiving priority attention.


Regional Developments


Soviet Refugee Admissions

Mr. Chairman, rarely does the State Department have an

opportunity to announce a plan of action to resolve a major

problem and return only twelve months later able to report a

resounding success.

I am proud to say that this is the case

with regard to Soviet refugees.

For many years, the United States and other nations have

advocated greater freedom of emigration for Soviet citizens.

We have devoted considerable effort and resources to support

the resettlement of persecuted religious and ethnic minorities

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allowed to leave that country.

The 50,800 Soviet refugees we

will resettle this year in the United States sets a new record,

and parallels unmatched levels of Soviet Jewish emigration to


Last year I described our plans to close the Rome-Vienna

pipeline for Soviet refugee applicants and to transfer all

processing to Moscow.

We discussed a nascent Washington

Processing Center, and a new system in which most of the

paperwork for refugee applications would be handled in this

country, with files shuttled back and forth to our Embassy in


We have now completed these changes, with the result

that we can handle the same number of refugees at a

substantially lower cost to the Migration and Refugee

Assistance budget.

This new system has proven so successful

that we are now considering it as a model for other types of

[blocks in formation]

Plan of Action (CPA) that resulted from the 1989 International

Conference on Indochinese Refugees represents the best mechanism


for addressing humanely the concerns of all involved nations. Implementation of the CPA is a difficult task, but we have been

steadfast in our commitment to the practice of first asylum and

[blocks in formation]

provision that all arriving Vietnamese boat people are to be

offered first asylum. Other items of concern with regard to

the CPA include:

conditions in camps in Hong Kong, the

relatively slow pace of screening; and the need for the quick and effective operation of committees in each first asylum

country to provide special attention to unaccompanied minors.

At the same time, however, there has been progress in

several key areas of the CPA.

For example, resettlement of the

longstayers has been a success, and we are ahead of the schedule

agreed to at the conference.

The Orderly Departure Program also

has been vastly expanded with good cooperation from Vietnam, in

particular in the implementation of last summer's agreement for

the resettlement of former reeducation center detainees.

Refugee screening programs are underway in each first asylum

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nation, too, representing a major new activity on behalf of

Indochinese asylum seekers.

And, voluntary repatriation

programs under the CPA have enabled over 4,000 Vietnamese and

nearly 2,000 Lao to return to their homes.

The major unresolved issue concerns the return of

non-refugees to Vietnam.

The U.N. High Commissioner for

Refugees, Thorvald Stoltenberg, has held extensive negotiations

with all concerned governments on this subject and has proposed

an expansion of the existing UNHCR voluntary repatriation program to include those "who do not object" to returning home. At the ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conference in late July,

Secretary Baker announced U.S. support for the High
Commissioner's efforts and raised U.S. concerns with the

Foreign Ministers of each of the first asylum countries.

Moreover, the Secretary stated the willingness of the United

States to join in a multilateral pledge to undertake "best

efforts" to accomplish the return or resettlement of all

Vietnamese asylum seekers by the end of 1992.

At the conclusion

of the Conference, the ASEAN nations confirmed their willingness

to continue to support the CPA.

Recently, on September 22, the British and Vietnamese

Governments, along with the UNHCR, announced an agreement on

the return to Vietnam of Vietnamese in Hong Kong who have been

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