Today, the reference to "organs and agencies of the United Nations other than the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees" in Article 1D of the Refugee Convention and Article 1(2)(i) of the Statelessness Convention is usually read as a reference to UNRWA since UNCCP
doesn't actually do anything anymore.
Narrowing his scope to the work of the UNCCP
in the second chapter, Fischbach reveals fascinating and mostly unknown historical material.
The urgency with which the UNCCP was formed and the relatively broad mandate it received reflected the prominence of the refugee issue on the world stage at the time.
In May 1951, frustrated UNCCP personnel launched the first of the organization's "technical efforts," commissioning a survey to identify and provide a concrete estimate of the extent and value of Palestinian refugee property.
By 1966, Fischbach argues, the UNCCP was largely a dead-letter organization.
The UNCCP was hard-pressed to provide protection and facilitate implementation of the durable solution for Palestinian refugees.
However, the UNCCP did attempt to facilitate the repatriation of refugees who wanted to return to Israeli-controlled areas.
In addition to securing the return of these refugees, though few in number, the UNCCP was also successful in the protection of refugee properties.
41) UNRWA was created to provide assistance for the refugees based on UN Resolution 302 (IV) of 1949, while UNCCP had been expected to provide for their protection based on UN resolution 194 (III).
45) In a regime of heightened protection, Akram argues, two agencies have been set up for Palestinian refugees: UNRWA, which was to be the assistance agency, and the UNCCP, which was to be the protection agency.
At the UNCCP
conferences, the position of the Arab states focused on the following: (i) the Palestinian refugees had to be given a free choice about returning to their homes, and only then could compensation be determined as between those returning and those resettling elsewhere; (ii) compensation was to be paid to individual claimants; (iii) compensation should reflect the true value of the property; (iv) Israel bore the principal responsibility for paying the compensation, and if it is unable to pay the full amount, the United Nations also bore responsibility because of its role in the 1948 partition; and (v) the refugees must be represented at the different stages of negotiations.
The discussion of the efforts of the UNCCP
program is a particularly insightful examination of the limits of taking a technical approach to resolving a broader conflict.