The Kathmandu-based representatives of the Core Group of Nations working closely with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to support the refugees from Bhutan has stated that in 2008 more than 13,000 refugees will be resettled from Nepal.
"By the end of 2009, we hope that an additional 20,000 or more refugees who have chosen resettlement will be starting new lives in the United States, Australia, Canada, and elsewhere," said a statement issued on Wednesday by US Ambassador to Nepal Nancy J Powell as Chair of the Core Group of Nations -- Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway, and the US.
The Core Group has emphasized that the offer of resettlement goes hand in hand with continuing efforts to urge the government of Bhutan to accept the return of the refugees. "Repatriation and local integration are recognized by all of us as being equally desirable durable solutions," said Powell in the statement.
The Core Group nations and other nations have extended the offer of resettlement as a durable humanitarian solution for the refugees only after many years of attempts by the governments of Nepal and Bhutan to negotiate a repatriation solution, Powell said.