As High Commissioner Sadako Ogata argued toward the end of the process, "CIREFCA has been a key formative experience in many respects, breaking new ground in ...
In the first instance, the achievements of CIREFCA were in large part attributable to the strong donor support of the European Community (EC).
In the second instance, the Central American states had a strong commitment to the peace process that could be channeled into CIREFCA. Sergio Vieira de Mello, in his role as "coordinator of the conference," commented on the dilemma of creating an explicit institutional linkage between CIREFCA and the peace process.
He further noted that much of the commitment of Central American states to CIREFCA was linked directly to the peace process: "The five governments attach a special importance to having the Conference convened at the earliest possible date, if only to demonstrate that consensus is possible on the social and humanitarian components of the Esquipulas II Accord.." (36) In that sense, the linkage to the peace process proved significant not only for mobilizing donor commitment but also for establishing political will among the states in the region.
By doing so, CIREFCA ensures a sustained link with development efforts on a larger scale, which otherwise would not be possible, and avoids the perpetuation of emergency schemes isolated from local communities such as closed or precarious refugee camps.
The strategic centrality of ensuring that local populations also benefited from this approach was again highlighted in the draft declaration prepared for CIREFCA: All project proposals, whether aimed at refugees, returnees or displaced persons, include a component geared at redressing the adverse effects felt by the surrounding local population and ...
These generic agreements were then intended to be applied to situation-specific, regional Comprehensive Plans of Action (CPAs), along the lines of CIREFCA and the Indo-Chinese CPA.
The creation of linkages has underpinned the success of CIREFCA and the Indo-Chinese CPA by expanding the range of interests involved within multilateral bargaining and hence the bargaining power of both North and South.
(29.) UNHCR, "Review of the CIREFCA Process," 1994, www.unhcr.ch: UNHCR, "Questions and Answers About CIREFCA," prepared for the seminar "Implementa tion of a Human Development Approach for Areas Affected by Conflict in Central America and Related Strategies for the Post-CIREFCA Process," June 1993, UNHCR Fonds 11, Series 3, 391.85.5.
(32.) For example, Article 8 of the Esquipulas II peace agreement referred explicitly to displacement, and CIREFCA's CPA was itself incorporated as Chapter 1 of UNDP's wider Special Programme of Economic Cooperation for Central America (PEC), which was the main development plan linked to the peace process.
(33.) Jenifer Otsea, CIREFCA JSU, to UNHCR Brussels, "CIREFCA: A Strategy for Solutions," 8/2/93, UNHCR Fonds 391.86.5.
(37.) "Principles and Criteria for the Protection and Assistance of Refugees, Repatriation and Displaced Persons," prepared by the Juridical Committee of CIREFCA, UNHCR Fonds 391.86.3 HCR/Mex/0890.