Jean-Pierre Hocke, ex-head of UN refugee agency, dies at 83

·1 min read

BERLIN (AP) — Jean-Pierre Hocke, a Swiss humanitarian official who headed the United Nations' refugee agency in the late 1980s, has died, the agency said Thursday. He was 83.

Hocke died in the Swiss city of Lausanne on Monday, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said. The current high commissioner, Filippo Grandi, described him in a statement as “a tireless advocate of international cooperation and solidarity in finding solutions to the great refugee crises of his time.”

Hocke served as the director of operations at the Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross for nearly two decades before becoming the sixth head of UNHCR in 1986.

UNHCR said he played a pivotal role in launching the International Conference on Central American Refugees, or CIREFCA, which aimed to help people displaced and otherwise affected by nearly 20 years of war and violence in the region.

Under Hocke, the U.N. agency also worked to provide for the voluntary return of Vietnamese refugees and began setting up large camps for Ethiopian refugees in Sudan and Somali refugees in Ethiopia.

Hocke resigned in October 1989 amid an investigation focusing on his alleged use of U.N. money for first-class air travel. He denied any impropriety.

The Associated Press

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting