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Since 2004, the General Assembly has dedicated a particular resolution to “the Protection of Asylum Seekers, Refugees, Returnees, and Stateless Persons in the Americas”.  This situation differs from the one in previous years where the theme was treated by the resolutions dedicated to the respect of human rights.  

According to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees the  term "refugee shall apply to any person who owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it".

In 2006, resolution [AG/RES. 2232 (XXXVI-O/06)] recognizes, among others, the efforts made by the countries of origin as well as the countries of the region that receive refugees.  Moreover, the resolution “underscore the importance of cooperation among the organs of the inter-American system and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in an effort to ensure that innovative regional approaches are taken regarding refugee issues in the Americas”.

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