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1. The present report is submitted pursuant to General Assembly resolution 64/91.
2. The Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, in preparation for its field mission, addressed a letter dated 8 April 2010 to the Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations Office at Geneva, requesting full access to the occupied territories in order to fulfil the responsibilities entrusted to it by the General Assembly in resolution 64/91, and the opportunity to hold direct consultation with the concerned Israeli authorities on the human rights situation in the occupied territories. Regrettably, it received no response to its communication.
3. The Special Committee was supported by various United Nations agencies during the implementation of its mandate, specifically the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the offices of the Resident Coordinators in Egypt, Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic, which assisted in the organization of the mission and offered on-site support.
4. The Special Committee carried out a mission that included visits to Egypt from 8 to 11 June 2010; to Jordan from 11 to 16 June 2010; and to the Syrian Arab Republic from 16 to 19 June 2010, where it heard the testimony of 43 witnesses about the situation of human rights in the occupied territories. Witnesses were representatives of non-governmental organizations and individuals based in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Israel and the occupied Syrian Golan.
Department of Public Information
5. The Department of Public Information, pursuant to paragraph 8 (d) of resolution 64/91, continued to ensure the widest circulation of the reports of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories by using the means of dissemination at its disposal.
6. Through its news and media products, the Department ensured that information on the Special Committee’s work and findings was made available to global audiences and broadcast partners in the Organization’s six official languages.
7. The News Service Section provided coverage of the Special Committee, raising its profile by posting 12 stories on its activities and findings on the United Nations News Centre website and e-mailing them to tens of thousands of interested subscribers, including hundreds of journalists.
8. The Meetings Coverage Section issued three press releases in English and three in French 1 on the work of the Special Committee.
9. United Nations Television and Video (UNTV) covered public meetings of the Special Committee and related press briefings in New York. UNTV provided regular coverage through UNifeed, its six-day-a-week satellite transmission service. During the reporting period, some 40 UNifeed news reports were fed to over 500 broadcasters worldwide.
10. United Nations Radio extensively covered the work and findings of the Special Committee in its news bulletins and current affairs magazines. In addition to direct coverage of the Committee, United Nations Radio produced news and features on a broad range of related subjects, from developments on the ground, to humanitarian needs and relief efforts, to political and diplomatic interventions and activities.
11. The 41st report of the Special Committee (A/64/339) was distributed to media, non-governmental organizations and educational institutions by United Nations information centres, services and offices. The United Nations Information Service at Geneva has served as media liaison for the Human Rights Council, which tackled the question of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory during the reporting period. The United Nations Information Service at Geneva issued a series of press releases on the visit of the members of the Committee to Egypt, Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic in June and July 2010. 2
12. From 2 November to 11 December 2009, the Department organized a training programme for 10 young Palestinian journalists, who attended sessions at United Nations Headquarters in New York. In addition, they met with representatives of media outlets and of the funds, programmes and specialized agencies of the United Nations, as well as with other actors, in Washington, D.C. and in Geneva. The programme, which aimed to strengthen the participants’ capacity as broadcast media professionals, included briefings on the situation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.