World Refugee Year was officially launched on
The WRY Secretariat was led by Claude de Kémoularia, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General.
start of the Year already fifty-four countries, representing all continents,
and one non-self-governing territory, officially announced their participation
in World Refugee Year. The initiative to participate was taken in some states
by the government itself, in others by voluntary agencies, and in one case by
an individual. In many countries, national WRY committees were formed, most of
them under the patronage of the head of state or of the prime minister. In
In an address to the ECOSOC on 20 July 1959, UNHCR Dr. Auguste R. Lindt announced that UNRWA and the UNHCR Office had combined to propagate a plan according to which special stamps would be issued on the occasion of World Refugee Year: "Certain governments have already promised to participate in this plan, the success of which may not only have a definite moral value, but it might also bring in additional financial resources to refugee problems".
emblem of the WRY was an uprooted oak tree. It depicted the refugees being
uprooted from their own home. For the official United Nations stamps Olav
by president Eisenhower concerning the
All the International Years proclaimed by the General Assembly.