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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/46/540
9 October 1991

ORIGINAL: ENGLISH

Forty-sixth
session Agenda item 72



UNITED NATIONS RELIEF AND WORKS AGENCY FOR PALESTINE

REFUGEES IN THE NEAR EAST

University of Jerusalem "Al-Quds" for Palestine refugees

Report of the Secretary-General


1. The present report is submitted in pursuance of General Assembly resolution 45/73 J of 11 December 1990, the operative part of which reads as follows:


2. It will be recalled that the General Assembly first considered the establishment of the proposed university at its thirty-fifth session. At that session it adopted, on 3 November 1980, resolution 35/13 B, in paragraph 5 of which it requested the Secretary-General, in coordination with the Council of the United Nations University, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)" "to study ways and means of establishing at Jerusalem, a university of arts and sciences to cater to the needs of Palestine refugees in the area, under the aegis of the United Nations".

3. Since then, the General Assembly has adopted 10 further resolutions on the subject (36/146 G of 16 December 1981, 37/120 C of 16 December 1982, 38/83 K of 5 December 1983, 39/99 K of 14 December 1984, 40/165 K of 16 December 1985, 41/69 K of 3 December 1986, 42/69 K of 2 December 1987, 43/57 J of 6 December 1988, 44/47 J of 8 December 1989 and 45/73 J of 11 December 1990) and the Secretary-General has submitted nine reports (A/37/599, A/38/386, A/39/528, A/40/543, A/41/457, A/42/309, A/43/408, A/44/474 and A/45/530) on the steps he has taken in pursuance of those resolutions, including his efforts to prepare the functional feasibility study on establishing the proposed university that was first requested by the Assembly in its resolution 36/146 G. The position of the Government of Israel in regard to the establishment of the university is also set out in those reports.

4. As the Secretary-General has previously indicated (see A/41/457, para. 4), he believes that, in order to comply with the request addressed to him by the General Assembly, it will be necessary to complete the functional feasibility study initiated in pursuance of previous Assembly resolutions. To that end, after Assembly resolution 45/73 J was adopted, the Secretary-General again sought the assistance of the Rector of the United Nations University, who at his request made available a highly qualified expert to assist in the preparation of the study. The expert was to visit the area and meet with the competent Israeli officials, bearing in mind that Israel exercises effective authority in the area concerned.

5. In a note verbale addressed to the Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations on 10 September 1991, the Secretary-General, with reference to the request addressed to him by the General Assembly, requested that the Government of Israel facilitate the visit of the expert, which would take place at a mutually convenient date. Recalling the position taken by the Government of Israel concerning the proposed university, as well as the clarifications already given by the Secretariat to the questions raised by the Israeli authorities (see A/36/593, annex), the Secretary-General expressed the opinion that such questions could be best discussed on the occasion of the visit of the United Nations expert.

6. On 25 September 1991, the Permanent Representative of Israel sent the following reply to the Secretary-General:

5. "The position of the Government of Israel on resolution 45/73 J was clarified in the Permanent Representative of Israel's note verbale to the Secretary-General dated 2 July 1991, which stated, inter alia, that 'The Government of Israel has voted consistently against this resolution ... and its position remains unchanged. It is clear that the sponsors of resolution 45/73 J seek to exploit the fields of higher education in order to politicize issues totally extraneous to genuine academic pursuits.' Accordingly, the Government of Israel believes it would not be beneficial for the proposed visit to take place."

7. In view of the position taken by the Government of Israel, it has not been possible to complete the functional feasibility study on the proposed university at Jerusalem as planned.


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