The Office of the
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was established in 1950. The agency is mandated to lead and coordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Since 2006 UNHCR has also taken a leading role in the area of protection of Internally Displaced People (IDP).
Greece is one of the oldest members of the Agency, an active player in the field of dealing with the flow of immigrants and a reliable partner of the UNHCR, because of its geographical position, being one of the main entry point countries of illegal immigrants in the Mediterranean area. The office of UNHCR was established in Greece in 1952 and its inauguration took place just 15 months after the establishment of the Office of the agency in New York by the General Assembly. Greece also ranks in one of the highest positions concerning financing of the Agency, per capita, worldwide.
Cooperation between Greece and UNHCR has been strengthened, especially since the beginning of the war in Iraq, that the migration flow towards Greece has augmented. The Greek government and the UNHCR are in close cooperation to insure that the treatment of these individuals is the best possible. Many times Greece has received positive reports and public acknowledgement by UNHCR officials of the positive stance the Greek authorities have shown in this very sensitive and important issue.
The Permanent Mission of Greece in Geneva is also in the middle of a process to inform UNHCR, in advance, for any incident on which we have a detailed report from the competent Greek authorities. These actions show in the most emphatic way the positive attitude of Greece towards this very sensitive issue. Greece is an Executive Committee Member and a Standing Committee Member of the UNHCR and supports the recent actions of the High Commissioner Mr. Antonio Gutterres aiming at restructuring the Organization to make it more effective.
Also Greece supports the leading role the Agency has taken in the area of protection of the IDPs worldwide.