INTRODUCTION: A United Nations conference aimed at mobilising massive aid for African refugees started on Thursday (9 April) after a two-hour wrangle over Israeli participation, with several Arab delegations boycotting the ceremony.
GV PAN Delegates in conference hall.
SV Delegates shaking hands.
GV UN Secretary General Waldheim.
CU TV cameraman.
GV Waldheim on platform.
GV Delegates seated in conference hall.
SV Waldheim speaking in English over scenes of empty Soviet seats, empty Syrian seats and other delegates listening. (6 SHOTS)
GV Delegates in hall.
SPEECH ON FILM (TRANSCRIPT)
SEQ. 7: WALDHEIM: "We are all aware that the refugee situation in Africa, as elsewhere, is an effect, not a cause. It is not, however, the purpose of this conference to devote itself to the underlying causes, not matter what they may be. In any case the plight of the refugees involves fundamental human rights. It is my hope that all governments will continue to support the efforts of the High Commissioner through granting asylum those seeking refuge and by scrupulously serving the principles of non-refoulement and voluntary patriation."
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Background: INTRODUCTION: A United Nations conference aimed at mobilising massive aid for African refugees started on Thursday (9 April) after a two-hour wrangle over Israeli participation, with several Arab delegations boycotting the ceremony. Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait and Bahrain were among the empty seats when the conference opened with an appeal by the Chairman of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), Sierra Leone President Siaka Stevens, for an end of bickering and conflict.
SYNOPSIS: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that more than half the world's refugee population are Africans. The vast numbers of refugees now huddled in camps represent a major world health hazard. Many of the refugees are starving, and confined to insanitary camps with risks of plaque and epidemic.
U.S. Secretary General Kurt Waldheim said there had been a staggering increase of refugees in Africa in recent years, and appeals for pledges of aid amounting to 1.2 billion dollars to assist the refugees and their long-term repatriation or integration with the host country.