Statement by the Press Secretary/Director-General for Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on the Election of Mr. Rudolphus Franciscus Marie Lubbers as the Next United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

October 26, 2000

  1. Japan welcomes the election of Mr. Rudolphus Franciscus Marie Lubbers, former Prime Minister of the Netherlands, who was elected at the United Nations General Assembly on October 26 as the next United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on the nomination of the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

  2. Mr. Lubbers served as prime minister of the Netherlands for many years during which he displayed his skill as a statesman as well as being active as an academic. As he is well-known to the international society for his competency and insight, he is the most appropriate person to fulfill the important and difficult duties of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Since the Netherlands is one of the major donor countries for the UNHCR and has been contributing to humanitarian affairs, Japan considers the Netherlands as a worthy country to produce a High Commissioner for Refugees.

  3. Japan expects that Mr. Lubbers will succeed to and further develop the considerable achievements that his predecessor Mrs. Sadako Ogata has done. Japan highly values the activities of the UNHCR and intends to continue its support for the Office.

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