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The Comprehensive Plan of Action for Indochinese Refugees, 1989–1997, has been hailed as a model of international solidarity and burden-sharing and criticized as an example of international buck-passing and questionable compromises. Looking back on this agreement—one in which both Sergio Vieira de Mello and Arthur Helton played significant roles—a fair conclusion might be that it was both. Though flawed in its implementation, however, the CPA does serve as a model of how inter-locking commitments—to asylum, resettlement and repatriation—can promote regional cooperation in response to protracted refugee crises. Considering their roles in the CPA, though they operated from different institutional vantage-points, both de Mello and Helton showed an ability to combine humanitarian principles with political pragmatism.


Punishing the Poor: The International Isolation of Kampuchea by Eva Mysliwiec