The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was established on 14 December 1950 by United Nations General Assembly resolution 428(V). The agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems world-wide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and to find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country.
UNHCR’s Regional Representation is based in Canberra, and is responsible for the promotion and protection of refugee rights in the region which includes Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
UNHCR’s Regional Representation focuses on three key areas of the Office’s mandate: legal protection; resettlement; and public information.