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Exchange With Reporters Prior to a Meeting With Sadako Ogata, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

June 24, 1991

Refugee assistance

Q. Nice to see you.

The President. Very nice to see you all. Just delighted. We had a wonderful weekend, and we're so pleased to see Mrs. Ogata here because we're going to talk about some very important refugee matters. The High Commissioner's Office is doing a superb job, and we've got some big problems out there.

High Commissioner Ogata. We do have two large issue areas. One is, of course, in Iraq and in the Persian Gulf area. And the other is now in the Horn of Africa -- --

The President. Oh yes.

High Commissioner Ogata. -- -- which is just as large in terms of the scope of the refugees involved as well as the seriousness. And we require a great deal of international support and mobilization of resources.

The President. Well, we certainly want to do our part on that.

High Commissioner Ogata. You have been doing a great deal. And I came primarily to thank you very much and also to ask you for continued support.

The President. Well, as these problems develop, the United States -- --

High Commissioner Ogata. You have always taken the lead, yes.

The President. -- -- will have to do it. We have to do that.

Thank you all very much.

Measles Vaccine Funding

Q. Mr. President, have you postponed the funding of the measles vaccine for another year?

The President. I don't know what that story was about. If it's done, it hasn't been called to my attention. And I'll have to discuss it with -- --

Q. It was a low-level set of recommendations that have worked themselves up to -- --

The President. I wondered where that story came from, because there was certainly no decision -- --

Q. Because after extravaganza last week on -- --

The President. Yes, exactly. They're trying to act like we're turning our back. I'm surprised people would write it without confirming it, saying I had done something. It was a little annoying, but we'll have to look at it. I can't understand how anybody would write something and attributing it to what the President had done without doing as you're doing, verifying it. So, I appreciate your thoroughness here, giving us a chance to set the record straight.

Q. There's a few other questions we have, too.

The President. Good to see you.

Note: The exchange began at 11:08 a.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.

George Bush, Exchange With Reporters Prior to a Meeting With Sadako Ogata, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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