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On August 4, 2016, nine Central and North American states released the San Jose Action Statement, wherein they endeavor to take concerted action to strengthen protection for refugees fleeing Central America. Most refugees from the region are forced to flee pervasive violence caused by heavily armed, transnational criminal gangs, particularly in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. In the statement, the governments of Belize, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, and the United States asserted: “[W]e are confronted with a growing number of asylum seekers and refugees and recognize the need for asylum systems to identify and respond to those in need of international protection.” The statement also underscored the need for “timely identification and documentation” of refugees, as well as the need for “unhindered access to fair and efficient procedures for protection.” Moreover, participating governments stressed the importance of finding alternatives to detention for asylum seekers and the need to provide access to legal aid. The statement is the culmination of discussions organized by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the Organization of American States (OAS) in Costa Rica in July 2016. It precedes the UN summit on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants, and President Barack Obama’s Leaders' Summit on Refugees, both being held during the 71st session of the UN General Assembly in September 2016.