54 Va. J. Int'l L. 195 (2013-2014)
The Responsibility to Solve: The International Community and Protracted Refugee Situations

handle is hein.journals/vajint54 and id is 205 raw text is: ARTICLE
The Responsibility to Solve:
The International Community and Protracted
Refugee Situations
T. ALEXANDER ALEINIKOFF* & STEPHEN POELLOTt
Today, more than half of the world's nearly twelve million refugees are in
protracted refugee situations and the vast majority are not on the road to a du-
rable solution. We contend that the international community has a legal and
moral duty to seek solutions to long-term refugeehood. We call this duty the
Responsibility to Solve (R2S) and present three arguments for its recognifion.
The first flows from the human harms imposed on those left in the limbo of ref
ugee status for an extended period of time; the second focuses on prinaples that
underlie the international refugee regime, of the centrality of solutions and the
necessity of burden-sharing, and the third derives from peafic commitments of
members of the UN GeneralAssemby and signatories to the Refugee Conven-
tion to cooperate with UNHCR in seeking solutions. Recognition of R2S
would provide a rhetoric and a moralfulcrum for renewed attention to solutions,
in turn leading to enhanced funding for returns and local integration as well as
more resettlement opportunities. It would also remind us that the principle of
non-refoulement - while at the core of refugee protection - is not the ul-
timate goal of the international refugee regime. The responsibility of the inter-
national community to refugees is not simply to support camps or other ar-
* Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, on leave; UN Deputy High Comnmis-
sioner for Refugees. This paper reflects the personal views of its authors, and does not purport to
state the position of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees or any other
UN organization.
t Legal Director, Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project; Adjunct Professor of Law, Fordham Universi-
ty School of Law.
The authors appreciate the thoughtful comments of Jeff Crisp, James Hathaway, and Volker Turk
on an earlier draft of this article. This article was first presented as the annual lecture of the Program
on Law and Human Development at Notre Dame University in March 2012 (co-sponsored by Notre
Dame's Kellogg Institute for International Studies and the Center for Civil and Human Rights).

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