(1)the Government of China has obligated itself to provide the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) with unimpeded access to North Koreans inside its borders to enable the UNHCR to determine whether they are refugees and whether they require assistance, pursuant to the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, and Article III, paragraph 5 of the 1995 Agreement on the Upgrading of the UNHCR Mission in the People’s Republic of China to UNHCR Branch Office in the People’s Republic of China (referred to in this section as the “UNHCR Mission Agreement”);
(2)the United States, other UNHCR donor governments, and UNHCR should persistently and at the highest levels continue to urge the Government of China to abide by its previous commitments to allow UNHCR unimpeded access to North Korean refugees inside China;
(3)the UNHCR, in order to effectively carry out its mandate to protect refugees, should liberally employ as professionals or Experts on Mission persons with significant experience in humanitarian assistance work among displaced North Koreans in China;
(4)the UNHCR, in order to effectively carry out its mandate to protect refugees, should liberally contract with appropriate nongovernmental organizations that have a proven record of providing humanitarian assistance to displaced North Koreans in China;
(5)the UNHCR should pursue a multilateral agreement to adopt an effective “first asylum” policy that guarantees safe haven and assistance to North Korean refugees; and
(6)should the Government of China begin actively fulfilling its obligations toward North Korean refugees, all countries, including the United States, and relevant international organizations should increase levels of humanitarian assistance provided inside China to help defray costs associated with the North Korean refugee presence.
(b) Arbitration proceedings
It is further the sense of Congress that—
(1)if the Government of China continues to refuse to provide the UNHCR with access to North Koreans within its borders, the UNHCR should initiate arbitration proceedings pursuant to Article XVI of the UNHCR Mission Agreement and appoint an arbitrator for the UNHCR; and
(2)because access to refugees is essential to the UNHCR mandate and to the purpose of a UNHCR branch office, a failure to assert those arbitration rights in present circumstances would constitute a significant abdication by the UNHCR of one of its core responsibilities.
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