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        General Assembly
12 September 1989


Forty-fourth session
Item 77 of the provisional agenda*


Offers by Member States of grants and scholarships for higher education,
including vocational training, for Palestine refugees

Report of the Secretary-General

1. The present report is submitted to the General Assembly in pursuance of its resolution 43/57 D of 6 December 1988.

2. The report includes the substance of responses from Member States and United Nations agencies to the appeal contained in that resolution, together with reference,to further action taken by Member States and United Nations agencies in response to the appeals contained in previous General Assembly resolutions on this subject. By those resolutions the Assembly appealed to all States, specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations to augment special allocations for scholarships and grants to Palestine refugees, and invited the relevant United Nations agencies to continue, within their respective spheres of competence, to extend assistance for higher education to Palestine refugee students. The Assembly requested the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to act as recipient and trustee for such special allocations and scholarships and to award them to qualified refugee candidates. Some of the awards, while not specifically in response to the General Assembly resolutions, are in keeping with their spirit.

3. In 1988, the Government of Japan offered 15 training fellowships to UNRWA vocational training instructors. The fellowships, which apply to studies in Japan, are under the guidance of the Japan International Co-operation Agency. A similar number of fellowships was provided in 1987 and in 1986 and five were provided in 1985.

4. The World Intellectual Property Organization followed up its award of 13 fellowships in the period from 1980 to 1987 with an offer of additional fellowships in 1988.

5. The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany awarded a total of 24 fellowships in the period from 1981 to 1986 inclusive to Palestine refugee graduates of UNRWA vocational training centres. In 1988 an offer of an additional 25 scholarships was made. Those scholarships were to be awarded in 1989.

6. The International Maritime Organization (IMO), under its Project RAB/84/028 - Arab Maritime Transport Academy, located at Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, enrolled 29 Palestinians in the Academy in 1987 in a variety of training courses. Since the inception of the Academy in 1981, more than 290 Palestinians have been trained there. It is the intention of IMO to continue to provide such assistance to personnel from the Arab States, including Palestinians, through the Academy. IMO in currently seeking financing for suitably qualified persons, including Palestinians, to undertake courses at institutions established by or operated in co-operation with IMO in Sweden, Italy, Malta and France.

7. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), as part of its long standing agreement with UNRWA, granted 52 fellowships to Palestine refugee education staff of UNRWA in the period from 1981 to 1987. In 1988 a total of six fellowships were awarded.

8. Outside the framework of its co-operation with UNRWA, UNESCO in its programme and budget for 1988/89 foresees continued assistance to the Palestinian universities in the occupied Arab territories in the form of fellowships for members of their academic staff and the purchase of equipment. Consultant services are also foreseen for the Al-Quds Open University. A number of fellowships will also be awarded during 1988/89 to Palestinian students sponsored by the Palestine Liberation Organization. Efforts will be pursued to render operational the scholarship fund for the higher education of students of the occupied Arab territories, the establishment of which was requested by the UNESCO General Conference in resolution 22 C/23.

9. During 1988, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations continued within its sphere of competence to extend assistance for higher education to Palestine refugee students through its project "Specialized training in agricultural development", under which three Palestinian follows have continued their studies since 2986 for Post-graduate degrees in agricultural economics and animal production and through the provision of technical expertise to the Al-Quds Open University. The expertise provided is in the techniques and practices of distance education and in the elaboration of curricula and programmes related to land and community development.

10. In the period from 1986 to 1994, the Universal Postal Union is providing four-year scholarships to two Palestinians for further training in the postal field. This follows the granting of two scholarships for four-year terms under which two Palestinian students were trained at the Arab Higher Postal Institute at Damascus from 1979 to 1983.

11. The World Health Organization, in a post-graduate training programs aimed at developing the technical and managerial skills of the staff of the UNRWA Department of Health and at meeting future replacement needs under the various health disciplines, awarded nine regional and international fellowships to Palestine refugee health staff of UNRWA in 1988. This was further reinforced by the award of eight short-term courses to upgrade the qualifications of staff in certain areas. This followed the award of eight fellowships in 1987 and five in 1986.


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