High Commissioner set to visit Nepal and Bhutan

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This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Jennifer Pagonis - to whom quoted text may be attributed - at the press briefing, on 18 May 2007, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

The High Commissioner, António Guterres, is scheduled to start a four-day mission to Nepal and Bhutan on Tuesday 22 May to discuss one of the most protracted refugee situations in Asia and the need for comprehensive solutions. Some 108,000 refugees, originating from Bhutan have been living in seven camps in eastern Nepal since the early 1990's.

During his visit to Nepal, his first official trip the country, Guterres is expected to visit refugees in Goldhap camp, meet high level government officials, UN agencies and UNHCR's donors.

He will focus attention on current efforts to alleviate the long-standing plight of the refugees. UNHCR has been very encouraged by the efforts of a group of interested countries to assist in resolving this protracted situation.

On Thursday, 24 May, Guterres will head to Bhutan for discussions with government officials.