Question of Palestine home
25 May 1984
Item 12 of the preliminary list*
REPORT OF THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL
21 May 1984
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL
Second regular session of 1984
Item 22 of the provisional agenda**
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DECLARATION ON THE GRANTING OF INDEPENDENCE TO COLONIAL
COUNTRIES AND THE SPECIALIZED AGENCIES
AND THE INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS
ASSOCIATED WITH THE UNITED NATIONS
Assistance to the Palestinian people
Report of the Secretary-General
INFORMATION RECEIVED FROM ORGANS AND ORGANIZATIONS OF THE UNITED NATIONS
Economic Commission for Western Asia
United Nations conference on Trade and Development
United nations Industrial Development Organization
United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat)
United Nations Development Programme
World Food Programme
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
International labour Organization
Food and Agriculture organization of the United Nations
United Nationals Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations
International Civil Aviation Organization
World Health Organization
Universal Postal Union
International telecommunication Union
International Maritime Organization
World Intellectual Property Organization
International Fund for Agricultural Development
** See Economic and Social Council decision 1984/101.
1. The Economic and Social Council, in its resolutions 2026 (LXI) of 4 August 1976 and 2100 (LXIII) of 3 August 1977, called upon the United Nations Development Program, the specialized agencies and other organizations of the, United Nations system to intensify their efforts, in close co-ordination with the Economic Commission for Western Asia, in identifying the social and economic needs of the Palestinian people. The above resolutions also urged those agencies and organizations
to consult and co-operate with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in establishing and implementing concrete projects for the purpose of improvement
of social and economic conditions of the Palestinian people.
2. The Economic and Social Council, in resolution 1983/43 of 25 July 1983, expressed
its gratitude to the Governments and United Nations bodies which provided humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people, in particular the Palestinian victims of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, and reiterated the appeal to the relevant Programs, organizations, agencies and organs of the United Nations system to sustain and intensify their efforts in this area.
3. The General Assembly, in resolutions 36/70 of 4 December 1981, 37/134 of 17 December 1982 and 38/145 of 19 December 1983, urged the appropriate agencies and organizations of the United Nations system to intensify their efforts, in co-operation with the PLO, to provide necessary economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people.
4. The resolutions of the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to report annually to the Assembly through the Council on the actions taken by the agencies and organizations concerned in the direction of implementing those resolutions.
5. The present report contains the information received from agencies and organizations of the United Nations system concerning their economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people requested in the above resolutions. Information received from other organizations at a later date will be issued as an addendum to the present report.
II. INFORMATION RECEIVED FROM ORGANS AND ORGANIZATIONS
OF THE UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM
Economic commission for Western Asia
6. Pursuant to the Commission's resolution 27 (III) of 14 May 1976, a broad outline had been approved for a comprehensive study of the economic and social situation and potential of the Arab Palestinian people in the region of Western Asia. In accordance with that outline, which was contained in the Secretariat report
submitted to the Commission at its third session (E/ECWA/32/Add.1), the Commission recruited a consultant in April 1981 to complete the project by August 1982. A report on progress made towards the implementation of the project was submitted to the Commission in May 1982 (E/ECWA/140, 28 January 1982), and a final report on the study was presented to the Western Asian Regional Preparatory Meeting for the International Conference on the Question of Palestine, held from 25 to 29 April 1983 in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.
7. In its resolution 123 (X) of 11 May 1983 on the study of the economic and social situation and potential of the Palestinian Arab people, adopted at its tenth session, the Commission
noted the submission by its Executive Secretary concerning the study (E/ECWA/l66/Add.l) under consideration. In accordance with paragraph I (b) of that resolution, a sub-committee was established, composed of the representatives of Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the Palestine Liberation Organization for the submission of adequate information on the situation of the Palestinian people to the International Conference on the Question of Palestine. The Sub-Committee produced the report that was later submitted to the Conference. As a follow-up to the implementation of Commission resolution 123 (X), the Executive Secretary presented a report to the Commission at its eleventh session, held in April 1984, under agenda item 6 (b).
8. In the context of its Program of work and priorities for 1983, the Commission carried out different activities related to the situation of Palestinians. In particular, every five years it produces a comprehensive population data sheet containing demographic changes in the countries of the region, and a summary data on this aspect is produced every other year. The summary for 1983 will include for the first time information on demographic characteristics of Palestinians. The data sheet is based on the demographic information contained in the statistical abstract of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (Syrian Arab Republic) and other sources covering demographic aspects of the Palestinians.
9. During the period from 9 to 13 October 1983, the Commission held in Baghdad a Regional Preparatory Meeting devoted to the International Youth Year: Participation, Development, Peace. The focus of the meeting's deliberations was concentrated on the situation and needs of Western Asian youth, including the Palestinian youth.
10. Under its regular activities on the promotion of national food strategies and food security Program, the Commission is carrying out a study on food security issues in the occupied land which deals with the development of food production and consumption in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip since the Israeli occupation. It makes recommendations on the ways and means of promoting food production and raising nutritional standards under prevailing conditions. The study is being carried out in collaboration with the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development.
11. For the preparation of the Secretary-General's report on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in occupied territories, requested by the General Assembly in resolution 37/222 of 20 December 1982, a consultant from the United Nations Center for Human Settlements visited the Commission in February 1983 for the purpose of meeting with officials and collecting appropriate information. During his four-day visit, he was assisted in compiling available data on the situation of Palestinians in the occupied territories.
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
12. The activities of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in
this regard have thus far been undertaken pursuant to resolution 109 (V), adopted
at the fifth session of the Conference on 1 June 1979, and the follow-up resolution 239 (XXIII) of 9 October 1981, adopted by the Trade and Development Board at the first part of its twenty-third session, held from 28 September to 12 October 1981.
13. As was reported to the Economic and Social Council at its second regular session of 1983, pursuant to Trade and Development Board resolution 239 (XXIII) and in compliance with paragraph 3 thereof, the UNCTAD secretariat approached UNDP to seek additional resources for financing the preparation, within the context of the International Development Strategy for the Third United Nations Development Decade, of a comprehensive survey on the state of the economy of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories, as well as an elaborate analysis of the potential for its development in various sectors, and to formulate proposals for alternative strategies in collaboration with the PLO.
14. While it has not yet been found possible to secure additional resources for conducting an in-depth survey of the economy in the occupied territories, as a first step, a report, entitled "Palestine: options for development" (TD/E/960), was prepared in 1983 by consultants at the request of the secretariat and submitted to the Trade and Development Board at its twenty-seventh session. That report contains a broad evaluation of the potential for and constraints on the economic and social development of the Palestinian peoples, while providing a framework and direction for the in-depth sectoral studies that would need to be made in preparing the comprehensive survey. During the preparation of that report, consultations were held with representatives of the PLO.
15. In 1983, the UNCTAD secretariat held consultations with the secretariat of UNIDO which, in compliance with its mandate, was preparing a comprehensive study on the industrial sector of the Palestinian economy. The results of that study are expected to make an important contribution to the proposed survey.
16. The UNCTAD secretariat submitted to the Conference at its sixth session, held in Belgrade from 6 June to 2 July 1983, a report entitled "UNCTAD assistance to national liberation movements recognized by regional intergovernmental organizations" (TD/282), which contained a review of the activities of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in the field of assistance to the Palestinian people. On that occasion, the Conference adopted resolution 146 (VI) of 2 July 1983, in paragraph 1 of which the Conference requested the Secretary-General of UNCTAD to set up a special economic unit to monitor and investigate the policies of the Israeli occupying authorities hampering the economic development of the occupied Palestinian territories and, in paragraph 2, requested him to report periodically to the Trade and Development Board and the General Assembly, through the Economic and Social Council, on the progress achieved
in the implementation of the resolution, including the work done by the economic unit referred to in paragraph 1. Pursuant to that resolution, provision was made for such a special economic unit in the UNCTAD component of the Program budget of the United Nations for 1984/85, submitted to the General Assembly at its thirty-eighth session. The provision has now been approved by the Assembly and steps are being taken-by the UNCTAD secretariat to set up such a unit.
United Nations Industrial Development Organization
17. Pursuant to Economic and Social Council resolutions 2026 (LXI) of 4 August 1976 and 2100 (LXIII) of 3 August 1977, and upon the request of the Permanent Observer of the Palestinian Liberation Organization to UNIDO, the Industrial Development Board, at its twelfth session in 1978 and at its fourteenth session in 1980, approved the following technical assistance project proposals:
(a) Survey of the manufacturing industry in the West Bank and Gaza Strip;
(b) Training in industrial development;
(c) Feasibility study for a cement plant in the West Bank;
(d) Feasibility study on a canning plant for citrus fruits;
(e) Assistance to the plastics industry;
(f) Assistance to the pharmaceutical industry;
(9) Assistance to small-scale industries and workshops.
18. The Board, at its seventeenth session, urged the UNIDO secretariat to assist in reactivating industrial production capacities in occupied territories and in establishing new capacities for the Palestinian people. The Board also urged the UNIDO secretariat to sustain and intensity its efforts in providing required technical assistance to the Palestinian people in co-operation with the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Implementation of approved projects
Survey of manufacturing industry in-the West Bank and Gaza Strip
19. The project was approved by UNIDO with a financial allocation of $US 56,000 from the United Nations Industrial Development Fund (UNIDF) and, with a recent project revision, the allocation was raised to $US 72,000. The survey, which is part of a comprehensive and in-depth survey of the state of the economy of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories to be prepared by UNCTAD, is being completed and has been submitted to the PLO and to UNCTAD accordingly. The UNIDO Survey may reveal new requirements of the Palestinian people for technical assistance in the industrial sector.
Training in industrial development
20. From the list of UNIDO group training Programs, a number of Programs of specific interest to Palestinian candidates were identified. UNIDO is awaiting responses to the invitations issued to qualified Palestinian candidates to participate in these training Programs. The following three UNIDF-financed group training projects, which were specifically designed for Palestinian candidates, were postponed to 1984 at the request of the PLO:
(a) Group training Program on industrial project identification, preparation, evaluation, financing and contracting, Vienna (Austria) (UP/PLO/83/060);
Number of participants: 15. Project cost: $US 99,4931
(b) In-plant group training Program in the field of industrial co-operatives, Poland (UF/PLO/82/062);
Number of participants: 15. Project cost: $US 88,800;
(c) Program for orientation and techniques of small-scale industry development, Hyderabad (India) (UC/PLO/83/005);
Number of participants: 15. Project costs $US 64,270.
Pro3ect 3: Assistance to
small-scale industries and workshops
21. The UNIDO project formulation mission, which was scheduled to visit Beirut and Damascus in 1983, was postponed until 1984 at the request of the PLO. A large-scale project proposal will be prepared after the visit of the UNIDO mission.
Assistance to the plastics industry
22. A project document was prepared and approved by UNIDO, financed by the United Nations Industrial Development Fund (UNIDP), to cover a consultation mission to identify the problems of the plastics industry and to make recommendations with particular emphasis on capacity utilization. Potential consultants are under consideration for recruitment. The project will be operational in 1.984.
Assistance to the pharmaceutical industry
23. An UNIDF-financed project document was approved by UNIDO. Two nominated consultants are under recruitment. The project operations will start in 1984.
Feasibility study for a cement plant in the West Bank
Feasibility study for a canning_plant for citrus fruits
24. As requested by the Office of the Permanent Observer of the PLO to UNIDO, it was agreed to keep these projects pending until a way can be found for their execution.
Participation of UNIDO in the International Conference on the Question of Palestine
25. UNIDO actively participated in
inter-agency meetings, five regional preparatory meetings on the International Conference on the Question of Palestine and the Conference itself.
United Nations Center for Human Settlements (Habitat)
26. Pursuant to Economic and Social Council resolution 1983/43 and General Assembly resolution 38/145 on assistance to the Palestinian people, and upon the request of the PLO, the United Nations Center for Human Settlements has approved the provision of nine middle-level training fellowships to qualified Palestinians to be trained in various specialized areas of human settlements. The fellowships are for the biennium 1984-1985 for courses in suitable specialized institutes for durations of up to six months. This offer of nine training fellowships has already been communicated to the PLO.
United Nations Development Program
27. In accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1983/43 and General Assembly resolution 38/145, UNDP has set up a special Program of Assistance to the Palestinian People to help improve their social and economic conditions. The program is centered in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, except for one project which is located in the Syrian Arab Republic. The Administrator is personally and directly responsible for that Program. Emphasis is placed on appointing highly qualified and impartial international consultants for project preparation and review. UNDP also retains full control of all project inputs throughout the life of the project, including delivery of supplies and equipment to project sites, and no intermediaries are used for transfers of funds required for project expenditures. Major reliance is placed on the use of logistical services offered by United Nations peace-keeping organizations in the area, as well as by UNRWA, with resulting benefits in terms of reliable deliveries and sharply reduced overhead costs. An amount of $US 7.5 million has so far been allocated from UNDP Special Program Resources and, by the end of 1983, those funds had been either expended for completed projects, committed for projects under way or allocated for approved projects which will become operational during 1984.
28. Six of the 14 projects approved for implementation have already been successfully completed. Five projects are presently still under implementation and three more projects will commence operations in 1984.
29. The available funds having been entirely committed with this list of projects UNDP is presently seeking voluntary contributions in order to implement a wide
range of pipeline projects, which are presently under review with the representatives of the Palestinian people and the concerned authorities. The future program covers project concepts in a variety of sectors. In the agricultural sector, it includes such projects as assistance to farmers, citrus processing in Gaza, agricultural laboratory in Gaza, plums and grapes processing factory in the West Bank, assistance to the Gaza Hydrology Department, development of olive groves and olive oil production, assistance to the Gaza fishermen. The projects in the pipeline also cover sanitation and water supply in rural villages and a large sewage disposal scheme at Khan Yunis and Rafah in the Gaza Strip.
30. The future Program also envisages assistance in the field of health through provision of equipment, operational requirements of the UNDP-sponsored Medical Services Training Center at Bethlehem and mobile clinics for rural villages.
31. In the educational sector, the Program involves building additional classrooms in rural villages and providing teachers' training for higher education and assistance to primary and secondary education in Gaza. In addition, UNDP's future Program of assistance also foresees building and repair of rural roads, training of specialists in glass and ceramics engineering technology and assistance to women's institutions.
32. Over the past four years, an excellent record of program delivery has been maintained, and there are excellent prospects for the future. The viability of the UNDP Program of Assistance to the Palestinian people, however, is entirely dependent on the provision of additional funds in the form of voluntary contributions from Governments and intergovernmental institutions, in response to appeals of the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Program and the General Assembly.
World Food Program
33. The World Food Program (WFP), in accordance with its regulations, responds to requests received, both for development and emergency assistance, from Governments, including those from the PLO, to be implemented with the agreement of the Governments of host countries. During 1983, no request for economic or social assistance was received on behalf of the Palestinian people, and thus none was provided. Nor was any emergency assistance given in co-operation with the PLO.
34. During the year, however, about 4,000 Palestinian refugees in the Syrian Arab Republic were provided with a WFP ration, under the terms of WFP project "Syria 1337", which foresees the feeding of refugees and returnees from Lebanon following the military invasion of that country in June 1982. The other Palestinian refugees involved in this particular exodus are being cared for by UNRWA. The total cost to WFP for this assistance was about $122,650.
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
35. Since May 1950, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has been providing education, health and relief services to Palestine refugees. At 31 December 1983, 1,991,957 refugees were registered with UNRWA. Although there has been no census of Palestinians, the registered refugees are believed to be more than half of all of the Palestinian people. Consequently, UNRWA is a major provider of education, health and welfare services to the Palestinian people. Those services have evolved over the years
in direct response to the needs of the refugees and the Agency's financial ability to meet them. By the end of 1983, about $2.4 billion had been expended by UNRWA on assistance to Palestine refugees. The education services were operated in co-operation with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), while the health services were operated in co-operation with the World Health Organization (WHO).
36. Since June 1982, following the Israeli invasion, UNRWA has been involved in emergency operations in Lebanon. Under a $62 million emergency relief Program between June 1982 and December 1983, some 185,000 Palestine refugees (including 7,UOO refugees who took refuge in the Syrian Arab Republic and 7,200 refugees who were not registered with UNRWA) were given food and medical care. More than 11,000 families have received cash grants and/or building materials for their immediate housing needs. The first phase of the reconstruction program, for which UNRWA appealed for $13 million, was launched in June 1983 to rebuild destroyed Agency schools, clinics and offices; to reconstruct refugee camp roads and drains; and to provide additional cash grants to 3,200 destitute families to repair or rebuild their homes. At the end of 1983, a total of $5.4 million had been pledged against this appeal, which permitted work to begin on projects in the Saida area and the disbursements of housing grants. The inter-factional PLO fighting in the Tripoli area in north Lebanon in November and December 1983 seriously affected some 35,000 Palestine refugees. The efforts of UNRWA to meet immediate relief needs began on 7 November 1983. By the end of the year, two distributions of foodstuffs had been carried out and the Agency had issued other necessities, such as blankets, mattresses and family kitchen kits. The work of replacing or repairing destroyed or damaged Agency premises and refugee houses in Lebanon was in progress throughout 1983. At the end of the year, most UNRWA installations were operating normally again.
37. The regular Programs are fully described in the annual reports of the Commissioner-General of UNRWA, most recently in the report covering the period from I July 1982 to 30 June 1983.
/ In brief, in the 1982/1983 school year, 336,207 children received elementary and preparatory (lower secondary) education in 651 UNRWA schools and 7,559 pupils were assisted with their secondary education at local government or private schools;
/ some 5,258 trainees followed vocational or teacher-training courses at eight UNRWA centers; 349 students were awarded scholarships for university study; modest programs of pre-school, youth and women's activities and adult craft training were conducted; and professional in-service training was provided for medical and educational personnel. Medical services were available to about 1.7 million refugees and supplementary feeding for such vulnerable groups as young children, pregnant women and nursing mothers. In the camps, UNRWA provided environmental sanitation and assistance with repairs to housing of families in special need. Special assistance, including basic food items, was given to the most needy families. The cost of financing the regular programs in 1983 was $195.5 million. The programs were conducted by 16,897 employees, mostly teachers, all but a handful of whom were themselves Palestine refugees, under the direction of 116
/ international staff.
38. The prime determinant of the Agency's ability to meet the needs of the refugees is the level of its financial resources. Given the funds, there are many projects which the Agency would implement to enhance the opportunities for refugees to become self-supporting, to improve the quality of services and to cater for the special needs of those with particular handicaps. Unfortunately, as the Agency has pointed out repeatedly over the years, income is insufficient
to maintain even the minimum services at the established levels. In 1983, the Agency's income fell short by $33.0 million of the budget of $207.5 million. A related problem is that the level of income is not known sufficiently far in advance to permit smooth planning.
39. The shortfall in cash income has repeatedly threatened the Agency's education program, which accounted for 60 per cent of expenditure in 1983. The General Assembly of the United Nations decided in March 1982 that Governments which were giving contributions in the form of commodities should be asked to convert them into cash or allow UNRWA to sell them for cash. The following autumn, responses to this decision prompted the Agency to phase out the general distribution of basic rations, which no longer had the priority they once had. Education and health services are more important to the Palestinian refugees of today, except in emergency situations such as that in Lebanon, where emergency food rations have been distributed regularly since June 1982. UNRWA continues, however, to attach value to its special programs for feeding nutritionally vulnerable groups - mothers and small children, poverty-stricken families and the disabled - and trainees on residential courses at the Agency's vocational and teacher training centers.
40. Nevertheless, within the financial constraints, a limited number of improvements were possible, of a nature to enhance the efficiency with which services met refugees' needs or to enrich an existing program. The information given below is illustrative though not exhaustive.
41. In 1983, expenditures on the education program increased by 14 per cent over 1982, from $110.5 million to $125.5 million. The major additional outlay was on the school program. Most UNRWA school buildings are operated on a double-shift basis to cope with the numbers of pupils. Some of the buildings urgently require replacement. During 1983, $3.3 million were allocated for the construction of 108 class and administrative rooms and 21 specialized units to replace some of the most unsatisfactory rented school premises. In addition, $501,OO0 were provided to construct 28 classrooms to avoid triple shifting and a further $3 million were made available to construct some 80 badly needed specialist rooms at existing schools.
42. Health services accounted for $40.0 million or 19 per cent of total expenditure compared with $33.9 million in 1982. Plans for improvements to the medical and dental services are gradually being implemented. More emphasis is being laid on the preventive aspects of oral health, especially among school children, and additional dental clinics have been established. Specialist clinics treat tuberculosis, diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, dermatological and rheumatic complaints and eye diseases. An additional number of small clinical laboratories attached to health units were equipped to perform bio-chemical tests previously referred to central laboratories. Special attention is given to the level of nutrition among infants and young children and their mothers. In response to the high prevalence of diarrhoeal diseases among small children, particularly in summer time, the Agency operates 55 nutrition rehabilitation clinics.
43. Elsewhere in its area of operations the Agency has been able to participate to a limited extent in self-help camp sanitation projects carried out by the refugees to construct drains and pathways in camps to connect sewage systems to local networks, and to continue the provision of private water connections and latrines to those families still without them. The schemes have been undertaken with the co-operation of the local municipal and governmental authorities.
44. The third category of service, the relief program, involved expenditure in 1983 of $19.4 million, compared with $31.3 million in 1982, amounting to 9 per cent of total expenditure. (The reduction is largely accounted for by the phasing-out of the basic ration program - see para. 39 above.) The assistance provided by the relief program is mainly concentrated on the most needy among the refugee population: widows, orphans, the aged, the physically and mentally handicapped etc. This category of refugees, known as "special hardship cases", has been provided with dry-food commodities, blankets, clothing, footwear, assistance in the repair of their shelters, preferential entry to UNRWA's training centers and assistance in becoming wholly or partially self-supporting by means of income -generating projects. The number of persons registered as special hardship cases at the end of 1983 was 90,142. For the benefit of all eligible registered refugees, UNRWA also provides a welfare counseling service and adult craft training courses, organizes women's and youth activities centers and arranges for the education and training of the disabled.
International Labor Organization
45. A new report on the situation of workers in the occupied Arab territories was submitted by the Director-General of the International Labor Office to the sixty-ninth session of the International Labor Conference (June 1983).
/ The report was prepared on the basis of missions to Jordan, the Syrian Arab Republic and Egypt, on the one hand, to hold consultations with governmental, employers' and workers' circles of those countries and with the Palestinian bodies located in them, and, on the other hand, to Israel and the occupied territories in order to examine at first hand view the situation of the Arab workers in question. The report made a number of recommendations with a view to improving the situation as regards, inter alia, employment, vocational training, working conditions, social security, and the exercise of trade union rights, and as regards the implications of the establishment of Israeli settlements for the situation of the workers.
46. In a special section, the report also reviewed ongoing or planned projects for technical assistance to the populations of the occupied territories. The Office had participated at the planning stage in two projects which had been selected for implementation by
UNDP: the promotion of vocational and technical education in the West Bank and in Gaza and specific training in industrial management. According to information provided
UNDP, the first of those projects is being implemented and proposals regarding the activities to be undertaken have been accepted by all the parties concerned. As regards the project for training in industrial management, the concept has been approved for implementation in the near future by the parties and a detailed plan of activities to be carried out at the ILO International Center for Advanced Technical and Vocational Training at Turin is now being drawn up.
47. Furthermore, an expert of the Office participated actively in the preparation of a project designed to promote the vocational training opportunities offered by Palestinian women's institutions and community development centers. The following needs were identified as objectives to be pursued by this project: technical assistance for the development and marketing of handicraft products, the evaluation of the social service needs of the community development centers, the granting of fellowships in the field of administration, social work, community development, vocational training, the promotion of basic education Programs and the acquisition of income-producing skills. The Office indicated its willingness to collaborate with UNDP in elaborating project documents concerning the provision of suitable assistance to Palestinian women in its spheres of competence, such as the promotion of long-term vocational training facilities at more advanced levels (technical school for girls in the West Bank), the promotion of vocational training courses in income-producing skills (at the elementary and intermediate levels), the reinforcement and expansion of the educational activities of the best organized and most effective women's organizations and support of handicraft production activities experiencing difficulties or threatened with disappearance.
48. The Office is prepared to give favorable consideration to other possibilities for increasing its contribution to the UNDP Program of assistance to the Palestinian people, with account being taken of the principle of the direct implementation by
UNDP of technical assistance projects in the occupied territories set forth in resolution 36/70 of the United Nations General Assembly. The report notes that four other projects in the field of labor, which had been temporarily postponed owing to lack of resources, could be rapidly implemented if the financing became available to UNDP. The fields covered by these projects are: assistance to production workshops in setting up an apprenticeship system, the development of co-operatives in the West Bank and Gaza, assistance to trade union organizations and a study of a social security system for the occupied territories.
49. As was pointed out in the previous report, the Director-General decided to make an additional allocation from the ILO regular budget in order to finance, during the biennium 1982-1983, technical assistance projects for the population of the occupied territories. The particular difficulties resulting from the situation of occupation, which have been compounded by the events in Lebanon, have adversely affected the implementation of the program and the anticipated completion dates. The Director-General has made proposals to the Israeli authorities concerning the dispatch of an expert to study facilities and vocational training needs in the occupied territories and to discuss proposals for a technical assistance Program.
50. Furthermore, steps have been taken with a view to offering to the administrative and teaching staff of higher educational institutions in the West Bank, some of whom have already benefited from a recent Program of fellowships at the ILO Center at Turin, further fellowships enabling them to take courses within the framework of the regular training Programs at the Turin Center. It is hoped that the recipients of the fellowships will be chosen in the near future. The Office is also envisaging the possibility of granting aid to Palestinian employers by making available fellowships and providing other forms of technical assistance, such as the development of small and medium-sized undertakings and the further training of professional staff.
51. ILO has noted that, in its resolution 38/145, the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to convene in 1984 a meeting of the relevant programs and agencies of the United Nations system to develop a co-ordinated program of economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people and to ensure its implementation, in accordance with the request made by the International Conference on the Question of Palestine. ILO is willing to contribute to this meeting in so far as its spheres of competence are concerned.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
52. During the period under review, FAO assistance to the Palestinian people continued to be in the area of training.
Specialized training in agricultural development
53. This is a project of the FA0 Technical Co-operation Program with a budget of $US 84,000. It provides for the award of three fellowships for university graduates over a 23-month period. The objective is to provide the required means for improving and updating the technical skill of three university graduates in animal husbandry, soil science and plant protection through intensive training programs. The fellowship in soil science was completed in September 1983. Nominations for the other two fellowships are expected. This follows a similar project which provided three fellowships in botany, food technology and agricultural engineering.
Agricultural training center
54. FAO is the executing agency of this project, which has a budget of $US 356,000 provided from the UNDP Program Reserve. Its objective is to assist the Palestinian families of Gilline and Ramadan refugee camps in the Syrian Arab Republic to improve the production and efficiency of crop and livestock farmers and producers by providing facilities, knowledge, skills, material inputs and technical leadership for demonstration and training work.
Participation in meetings
55. Since 1 January 1983, the Palestine Liberation Organization has been invited to attend the following meetings:
(a) Seventh Session of the PAO Regional Commission on Land and Water Use in the Near East (Rome, 16-18 March 1983);
(b) Thirteenth Session of the Commission for Controlling the Desert Locust in the Near East (Cairo, 10-14 April 1983);
(c) Ninth Session of the Near East Forestry Commission (Nicosia, 6-10 June 1983);
(d) Twenty-second session of the FAO Conference (Rome, 5-24 November 1983);
e) Seventeenth FAO Regional Conference for the Near East (Aden, 11-15 March 1984);
(f) Fourteenth session of the Commission for Controlling the Desert Locust in the Near East (Rome, 7 and 8 June 1984).
56. The organization was represented at the following meetings organized by the United Nations:
(a) The West Asian Regional Preparatory meeting for the International Conference on the Question of Palestine (Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, 25-29 April 1983);
(b) The Eighth United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine (Jakarta, 9-13 May 1983);
(c) The International Conference on the Question of Palestine (Geneva, 29 August to 7 September 1983).
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
Mandate of UNESCO
57. As a specialized agency of the United Nations system, UNESCO contributes through its activities to the implementation of the various resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly on assistance to the Palestinian people and, more specifically, to Palestine refugees. At its seventeenth session held in 1972, the General Conference adopted as one of its general resolutions a resolution entitled "UNESCO's contribution to peace and its tasks with respect to the elimination of colonialism and racism" (17 C, resolution 10.1) in which it:
Draws once again the attention
of the Executive Board and of the Director-General to the need to strengthen UNESCO's action in the fields of its competence as regards the assistance to be given in co-operation with the organization of African Unity and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to refugees from colonial-and occupied territories and to other peoples striving to liberate themselves from colonial domination, occupation and all forms of
the Secretary-General to assemble information by all available means at his disposal on the national education and the cultural life of the populations in the occupied Arab territories and to report to the General Conference at its eighteenth session".
By a resolution on the preservation and development of sites and monuments (21 C, resolution 3.422) adopted at the same session (1972), the General Conference:
the Director-General to continue his efforts to establish the effective presence of UNESCO in the City of Jerusalem and thus make possible the actual implementation of the resolutions adopted by the General Conference and the Executive board for that purpose".
Furthermore, at its eighteenth session held in 1974, the General Conference again adopted as one of its general resolutions a resolution entitled "Access by the populations of the occupied Arab territories to national education and culture" (18 C, resolution 13.1) in which it:
the Director-General to exercise full supervision of the operation of educational and cultural institutions in the occupied Arab territories, and to co-operate with the Arab States concerned and with the Palestine Liberation Organization with a view to providing the populations the occupied Arab territories with every means of enjoying their rights to education and culture so as to preserve their national identity".
58. In the Approved Program and Budget for 1981-1983 adopted by the General Conference at its twenty-first session (1981), UNESCO's mandate with regard to assistance to the Palestinian people is reiterated by the general and specific resolutions adopted at that session:
General resolution on the education Program
(21 C, resolution 1/01)
The General Conference
the Director-General to put into effect activities contributing to the achievement of the following objectives:
. . .
'Development of activities to aid refugees and national liberation movements in the fields of UNESCO's competence', by continuing to develop and intensify, within the fields of UNESCO's competence, activities to aid African national liberation movements recognized by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) recognized by the League of Arab States;
by taking all necessary measures to ensure effective implementation of the General Conference resolutions and Executive Board decisions concerning educational and cultural institutions in the occupied Arab territories;
by co-operating with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRM) in the education Program for Palestine refugees in the Near East, as well as with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and other United Nations bodies and regional intergovernmental institutions which render educational services to refugees and national liberation movements and organizations".
Resolution on "UNESCO's contribution to peace
" (21 C, resolution 10.1)
The General Conference
the importance of UNESCO's assistance and support to the national liberation movements recognized by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) as well as to the Palestine Liberation Organization, which is recognized by the League of Arab States, and
this support to be continued by allowing the representatives of these national liberation movements to participate in all activities of UNESCO, and in particular in the preparation of the Draft Program and Budget for activities which are of special importance to them".
Resolution on "Educational and cultural institutions in the occupied Arab territories
" (21 C, resolution 14.1)
The General Conference
. . .
the Director-General to keep a permanent watch on Israel's implementation of the resolutions and decisions of the General. Conference and the Executive Board relating to educational and cultural institutions in the occupied Arab territories, including Jerusalem, and to send for this purpose such missions as he may deem appropriate".
Resolution on "Education for refugees
" (21 C, resolution 1.04)
The General Conference
the terms of resolutions 10.1, 14.1 and 1/1.4/1 adopted at its twentieth session, concerning respectively: UNESCO's contribution to peace and its tasks with respect to the promotion of human rights and the elimination of colonialism and racialism; educational and cultural institutions in the occupied Arab territories; and the financing of the education Program for Palestine refugees in the Near East, jointly operated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and UNESCO ...
Member States to increase their contribution:
(a) to the financing of the education Program for Palestine refugees in the Near East jointly operated by UNRWA and UNESCO;
(b) to the Funds-in-Trust administered by UNESCO for the financing of education Programs operated in co-operation with the Organization of African Unity and the League of Arab States for refugees and peoples fighting for their independence and against
and all forms of colonialism, racialism, oppression or foreign domination".
Resolution on the "Palestinian Open University
" (21 C, resolution 1.06)
The General Conference
the Director-General to continue his efforts to carry out this project and in so doing to use all the resources placed at his disposal and to make the necessary contacts with the parties concerned by this project".
General resolution on the program for culture and communication
(21 C, resolution 4/01)
The General Conference
the Director-General to implement activities contributing to the achievement of the following objectives:
(g) 7.6 'Promotion of the preservation and presentation of the cultural and natural heritage of mankind',
by ensuring the presence of UNESCO in Jerusalem with a view to the preservation of the city and the site".
Resolution on the preservation of cultural property in Jerusalem
(31 C, resolution 4.14)
The General Conference
. . .
the Executive Board to review developments in the situation regarding Jerusalem and to take any measures that it might consider appropriate, in conformity with the prerogatives conferred upon it by the Constitution;
the Director-General to keep a constant watch
on the execution of the resolutions and decisions of the General Conference and Executive Board concerning Jerusalem".
Activities undertaken by UNESCO for the benefit of the Palestinian people
59. In connection with objective 1.4 "Aid to refugees and national liberation movements" of the Approved Program and Budget for 1981-1983, action has been taken to respond in areas within UNESCO's sphere of competence, to the needs of the PLO recognized by the League of Arab States.
60. UNESCO has undertaken a number of activities in the area of assistance to the formal and non-formal education of refugees and candidates presented by the PLO.
61. UNESCO continues to co-operate with the United Nations Relief and works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Under the agreement signed between UNESCO and UNRWA in 1966 and renewed for the period 1981-1983, UNESCO assumes technical responsibility and UNRWA assumes administrative responsibility for the education program for Palestine refugees. UNESCO continues to second 20 specialists to the UNRWA/UNESCO Education Department to plan and supervise the operation of schools and technical and vocational training centers situated in Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic, Jordan, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. This assistance is aimed in particular at improving the design of the education program for Palestine refugees and at implementing it more effectively.
62. Steps have been taken to ensure the effective implementation of' resolution 14.1 on educational and cultural institutions in the occupied Arab territories, adopted by the General Conference of. UNESCO at its twenty-first session to help the population of these territories exercise their rights to education and culture. The Director-General also sent a mission to the occupied Arab territories from 21 march to 6 April 1982 to find out which educational needs of the population of the occupied Arab territories are not being met and to suggest what action might be taken in this regard.
/ The mission also made recommendations to the Director-General concerning various pedagogical, financial and administrative aspects of educational and cultural institutions, with a view to improving the situation of such institutions in the occupied Arab territories. At the hundred and sixteenth session of the Executive Board, the Director-General reported on the action he had taken to implement resolution 21 C/14.1 and on the findings of the mission that he had sent to the occupied Arab territories. After considering the Director-General's report, the Executive Board adopted decision 5.1.5 in which it:
the Director-General to pursue his efforts with a view to implementing these resolutions and enabling UNESCO, - through its permanent presence - to exercise full supervision of the educational and cultural institutions in all the occupied territories, including Jerusalem and the Golan;
the Director-General to continue his action to help to improve the financial situation of UNRWA and of its educational Programs;
to include this matter on the agenda of the twenty-second session of the General Conference with a view to adopting the necessary measures".
63. In the area of specialized training for professional personnel, grants or fellowships have been awarded to candidates put forward by the PLO to enable them to receive specialized training in areas within UNESCO's sphere of competence. A feasibility study has also been carried out in co-operation with the PLO and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, on the creation of an Open University which:
"(a) ... aims to promote specific educational measures to overcome the obstacles encountered by certain groups in the exercise of their right to education" and
, the following subprogram:
"Action on behalf of (Palestinian) refugees and national liberation movements."
In the area of Programs of co-operation for development financed by funds-in--trust, UNESCO has continued to cc-operate with the PLO in implementing operational education projects by granting fellowships and carrying out of educational activities.
64. In the area of culture, further to General Conference resolutions 21 C/4/01 on the Program for culture and communication and 21 C/4/14 on the preservation of cultural property in Jerusalem, UNESCO has taken action to preserve the city and site of Jerusalem and to ensure UNESCO's presence there. Pursuant to these resolutions, the Director-General instructed his personal representative, Mr. Raymond Lemaire, to visit Jerusalem from 5 to 12 April 1983 in order to prepare an overall report on the state of the monumental heritage of the city of Jerusalem. At the hundred and sixteenth session of the Executive Board, the Director-General reported on the action he had taken to keep a constant watch on
the execution of the resolutions and decisions of the General Conference and Executive Board concerning Jerusalem.
65. The Second Medium-Term Plan (1984-1989) approved
by the General Conference at its fourth extraordinary session in 1982 provides for a number of measures to assist the education of Palestine refugees. The General Conference
adopted resolution 4XC/2/02 concerning,
, Program II.6 Promotion of the right to education of particular groups.
66. In connection with the Program and budget for 1984-1985, which was submitted to the General Conference at its twenty-second session, the General Conference, in the section of its resolution 2.1 concerning SubProgram II.6.2 "Action on behalf of refugees and national liberation movements",
(f) under Program II.6 Promotion of the right to education of particular groups:
. . .
(ii) to continue co-operation with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), and also with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the other institutions providing educational assistance to refugees and national liberation movements recognized by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), recognized by the League of Arab States, and to strengthen activities aimed at training the professional personnel of these movements".
67. Under the same SubProgram II.6.2, UNESCO will continue to co-operate with UNRWA in the education program for Palestine refugees in the near east. UNESCO's educational assistance to the PLO will be strengthened and directed as a matter of priority towards enjoyment of the right to education. It will be aimed at contributing to the development and qualitative improvement of activities undertaken in co-operation with UNRWA as part of the education program for Palestine refugees in the near east. UNESCO's action will be directed towards improving educational content and methods and adapting them to the needs of Palestinian refugees. Training seminars will be organized to promote pre-school education and adult education for Palestinian refugees.
International Civil Aviation Organization
68. As has been indicated in the past, ICAO is willing to co-operate, within its mandate, with ECWA and UNDP in providing assistance to the Palestinian people. In accordance with Assembly resolution A22-6, the PLO is entitled to participate as an observer in the sessions and the work of the ICAO Assembly and other international conferences convened under the auspices of ICAO and in the regional meetings dealing with its territories. The PLO attended as an observer the twenty-fourth session of the ICAO Assembly in 1983 and was invited to the Third Middle East Regional Air Navigation Meeting, held from 27 March to 14 April 1984, and the twenty-fifth (extraordinary) session of the Assembly, held from 24 April to 11 May 1984.
World Health Organization
69. In compliance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1983/43 and General Assembly resolution 38/145, the World Health Organization is constantly endeavoring to assist in the improvement of the health services available to the Palestinian people.
70. Close collaboration has been maintained with UNRWA and, in addition to the post of the Director of Health in UNRWA, who is seconded by WHO, the organization has also made available two medical officers, one nurse, one sanitary engineer and a nutritionist. Assistance has been provided through UNRWA in the fields of maternal and child health, diarrhoeal diseases control, immunization and in the development of school health programs.
71. The organization is continuing to carry out on-the-spot investigations in the area through visits of WHO officers and independent experts. At the time of the events on the West Bank, in the spring of 1983, the Director-General sent a special team to obtain information to prepare a report requested by the United Nations Secretary-General.
72. The Special Committee of Experts carried out a further visit to the occupied territories and noted that a number of its previous recommendations had been followed up. In particular, a WHO consultant had been sent to the area to support a study on diarrhoeal diseases and there had been a considerable strengthening of the Gaza Public Health Laboratory services and the out-patient specialist consultations at the community level. A WHO consultant immunologist visited Gaza and the West Bank to assess the coverage rate of immunization against the six diseases controllable by immunization. In general his findings were favorable, although immunization against measles was slightly low in coverage, and
in fact a request has been received for the vaccination of Palestinian women in the West Bank against German measles as a preventive measure against the occurrence of congenital abnormalities in newborn infants, which may occur should an epidemic of the disease break out in these areas.
73. Within the framework of the organization's Expanded Program on Immunization, a protocol for a sero-epidemiological survey is being developed to be used as a new tool for evaluating coverage for EPI target diseases.
74. In the field of training, WHO has awarded fellowships to several Palestinians in the occupied territories and to seven UNRWA staff in such areas as community health, sanitary engineering, endocrinology and clinical psychology. During 1983, the organization helped to organize a training course for UNRWA dental hygienists and two training courses
in clinical management of diarrhea for UNRWA physicians and nurses. Arrangements are also under way to organize similar courses in early 1984.
75. WHO mobilized $US I million for emergency health assistance to the Palestinian people following the events in Lebanon during the past year. 7his comprised the provision of medicaments, laboratory equipment and dispensary supplies to the Palestinian people in the areas concerned, and by special agreement was channeled through UNRNA. A further amount of $US 15,000 was mobilized for the provision of three WHO Emergency Health Kits to meet the needs of the Palestinian population in the Tripoli area. A BRS unit is also on order for the UNRWA health center in the Beqaa Valley.
76. As in the past, the organization paid an annual grant of $US 200,000 salary subsidies to medical specialists, health technicians and administrators of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society.
77. In accordance with Health Assembly recommendations requesting a study on the possibility of establishing three health centers in the occupied territories, the Director-General has taken appropriate steps to contact the authorities concerned, which included visits to the area by his representatives. In collaboration with UNDP, it is hoped that the first of those centers will open shortly.
78. Finally, it should be mentioned that WHO participated in both the West Asia Regional Preparatory Meeting for the International Conference on the Question of Palestine, which took place in May 1983, and in the International Conference itself, held at Geneva from 27 August to 3 September 1983.
79. The Articles of Agreement of the World Bank require that loans be extended to, or guaranteed by, Member Governments. In addition, Governments which borrow are responsible for determining the beneficiaries of projects financed by Bank loans. In all its work, the Bank places special emphasis on the alleviation of poverty and on integrating the disadvantaged and poorest segments of populations in the dynamic development process. Uprooted groups and refugees are often in particular need and, as these groups become settled in host countries, many of the services developed with Bank loans become available to them, although it is not possible to quantify such benefits. The Bank Group is ready, at the request of borrowing Governments, to help prepare and finance development projects which meet our usual criteria and which would benefit the Palestinian people.
Universal Postal Union
80. As in 1979-1982, Universal Postal union assistance in 1983 related to training activities for the benefit of two nationals of the Palestinian people. The two fellowships granted by the UPU Executive Council in 1979 were renewed until 1983 to enable two Palestinians to complete their lengthy training (1979-1983) at the Arab Postal Faculty in Damascus.
81. So far as its resources allow, UPU is willing to consider any other specific requests for training fellowships in the postal field for Palestinian students.
International Telecommunication Union
82. The Secretary-General has been informed that there have been no new developments in ITU with respect to assistance to the Palestinian people since the last correspondence of the Agency to the Secretary-General in 1982 on this subject.
International Maritime Organization
83. In its response to the request of the Secretary-General concerning assistance to the Palestinian people, IMO referred to the information reported to the Economic and Social Council last year (E/1983/72/Add.1 of 15 July 1983), which stated the following:
"1. The Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), at its forty-first session, decided, on 27 October 1978, that the national liberation movements recognized,
, by the League of Arab States should be invited as observers to IMO meetings and conferences.
"2. In order to implement this decision, the IM0 Assembly, at its eleventh session, amended its rules of procedure on 6 November 1979. Observers from the Palestine Liberation Organization have attended IM0 meetings and conferences since that date.
"3. Consultations are currently in progress between IHO and UNRWA in order to determine and to agree on appropriate arrangements for the provision of training facilities for Palestine trainees in the maritime field."
84. The Secretary-General has been informed that the above Consultations have not been concluded yet and that he will be informed of any further developments in this regard.
World Intellectual Property Organization
85. The Director-General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) will bring to the attention of the Governing Bodies of WIPO, at their next sessions in September 1985, Economic and Social Council resolution 1983/43 and General Assembly resolution 38/145.
86. Under the 1983 WIPO Training Program fellowships were awarded in the fields of industrial property and copyright to two candidates selected from a group of 13 candidatures submitted by UNRWA.
87. An invitation to propose candidates for the 1984 WIPO Training Program in the fields of copyright and industrial property was sent to the Commissioner-General of UNRWA, to the Secretary of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and to the Permanent Observer of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) at Geneva.
88. The Director-General of WIPO was represented at the International Conference on the Question of Palestine, held at the United Nations Office at Geneva from 29 August to 7 September 1983.
/ The Director-General was also represented at the first and second
, inter-agency meetings on the preparation for that Conference (19 to 21 January 1983, and 30 and 31 may 1983), as well as the European Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Conference (4 to 8 July 1983).
89. The Director-General of WIPO was represented at the meeting held at the Palais des Nations at Geneva on 29 November 1983 to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people.
90. The International Bureau of WIPO has informed the Permanent Observer of the PLO that it remains at his disposal for further discussions concerning the establishment and implementation of concrete projects to ensure the improvement of the social and economic conditions of the Palestinian people, and that it looks forward to continued co-operation with the PLO.
International Fund for Agricultural Development
91. Article 2 of the Agreement establishing IFAD states that "the objective of the Fund shall be to mobilize additional resources to be made available on concessional terms for agricultural development in developing member States". Furthermore, section 1 (b) of article 7 of the same Agreement lays down,
, that IFAD is to provide financing "only to developing States that are members" of IFAD. On the eligibility of a State to become a member of IFAD, section 1 (a) of article 3 states that "membership of the Fund shall be open to any State Member of the United Nations or any of its specialized agencies, or of the International Atomic Energy Agency". Accordingly, IFAD has not provided any financial assistance to the Palestinian people.
Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-eighth Session, Supplement No. 13
/ In Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic; elsewhere, all refugee pupils, totaling 34,992, enrolled in government secondary schools received their education free-of-charge.
/ At the end of December 1983, there were 129 approved international staff posts, of which 13 were vacant. Twenty posts are loaned by UNESCO to provide technical guidance to the education Program, 6 by WHO to provide technical guidance to the health Program, 88 are financed from the United Nations budget and 12 by UNRWA itself. Special non-governmental contributions financed 3 posts on a temporary basis for the emergency Programs of UNRWA in Lebanon, 2 social workers were funded by the Save the Children Fund, Norway, and 1 administrative assistant was funded by the Save the Children Fund, United Kingdom.
/ International Labor Organization,
Report of the Director-General, International Labor Conference, Sixty-ninth Session
(June 1983), appendix 3.
/ United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, document 22 C/18/Corr., para. 31.
/ For the report of the International Conference on the Question of Palestine, see A/CONF.114/42 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.83.I.21).