CONCLUSION OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION AND DURABLE SOLUTIONS IN THE CONTEXT OF A PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY The Executive Committee, Recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic poses a threat to human health, safety and well-being with its unprecedented and multifaceted effects including humanitarian impacts on refugees, asylumseekers, refugee returnees, stateless persons, and, in many situations, internally displaced persons (hereafter ‘persons of concern to UNHCR’), including increased protection risks; Recognizing also that the poor and the most vulnerable people are the most affected and that the impact of the pandemic will have repercussions on development gains, hampering progress in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, including target 3.8;* Also recognizing that the biggest share of the world’s refugees and other displaced persons are hosted by low- and middle-income countries which are among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, having severe impacts on their public health, as well as socio-economic impacts; Recognizing further the particular impact of COVID-19 and its multifaceted consequences for persons of concern to UNHCR, as well as many host communities, including as regards health, increased risks of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), discrimination, economies and humanitarian access, as well as access to education; Reaffirming the right of every human being, without distinction of any kind, to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health; Recognizing further that the availability of and timely access to safe and effective vaccines, medicines, health technologies and health therapies is important to the advancement of this right, bearing in mind that extensive immunization against COVID-19 is a global public good for health in preventing, containing and stopping transmission, in order to bring the pandemic to an end; Recognizing that a public health emergency of international concern, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, requires a global response based on unity, solidarity and strengthened multilateral cooperation; Reaffirming its commitment to international solidarity and responsibility- and burden–sharing involving all members of the international community, and recalling the importance of international cooperation, in particular to support communities and countries hosting large refugee populations, in ensuring protection and assistance and achieving solutions, in particular in the context of a public health emergency; Acknowledging that States have the right to take measures to protect public health; while recalling that such measures need to be implemented in a manner consistent with States’ obligations under international law, including international refugee, human rights and, where applicable, international humanitarian law; * See also UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/70/1. 1

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