GENEVA (AP) _ The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees is closing its office in southern Vietnam after 25 years during which it helped more than 1 million people emigrate and provided security to those forced to return.

Spokeswoman Judith Kumin said Tuesday the agency is satisfied that its programs _ introduced to cope with the refugee crisis after the Vietnam War and costing a total of $100 million _ had been a success.

``There were ups and downs but on the whole it was a remarkable quarter-century of cooperation,'' said Kumin.

Soren Jessen-Petersen, the assistant high commissioner, will visit Vietnam on Wednesday for two days of ceremonies marking the 25th anniversary and the closure of the office in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon.

UNHCR will keep open a small office in the capital Hanoi to promote refugee law.

The agency started relief work in U.S.-backed South Vietnam and the Communist North in 1973. It formally opened an office in 1975, when the Communist victory prompted a mass exodus of people from the South in rickety boats.

Over the years since 1979, UNHCR helped 700,000 boat people who arrived in Hong Kong and other Asian nations to settle abroad. The United States, Canada, Australia and France took many of them.

Anxious to provide a safer alternative to the dramatic boat departures, it persuaded the Vietnamese government in 1979 to sign an ``orderly departure program'' for people wishing to leave. Under this arrangement, an additional 600,000 Vietnamese were able to emigrate legally over the past 18 years.