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Source: United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
21 October 2015

21 October 2015
Original: English/French



Item 33 Implementation of 37 C/Resolution 67 and 196 EX/Decision 27 concerning educational and cultural institutions in the occupied Arab territories2 (197 EX/33) 14. After considering this item, the Programme and External Relations Commission recommended that the Executive Board adopt the following draft decision:



The Executive Board,

1. Recalling 37 C/Resolution 67 and 185 EX/Decision 36 as well as Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with regard to the right to education, Articles 4 and 94 of the Fourth Geneva Convention with regard to the denial of the right of children to education, as well as the Hague Convention (1954) and its additional Protocols and the UNESCO Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972),

2. Also recalling the Advisory Opinion of 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice on the "Legal consequences of the construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian territory",

3. Having examined document 197 EX/33,

4. Committed to the safeguarding of monuments, works of art, manuscripts, books and other historical and cultural properties to be protected in the event of conflict, as well as the safeguarding of schools and all educational facilities,

5. Deplores the damaging impact of the military confrontations in and around the Gaza Strip in the fields of competence of UNESCO where several hundreds of educational and cultural facilities were destroyed or damaged, affecting more than 500,000 school children and students as reflected in OCHA, UNRWA and UNESCO reports, as well as the severe damages inflicted to cultural heritage sites and cultural institutions, also deplores breaches of the inviolability of UNRWA schools;

6. Expresses its deep concern about the recent escalation of the situation and its effect on the full exercise of the right to education by schoolchildren and students;

7. Reaffirms, in this regard, that schools, universities and cultural heritage sites enjoy special protection and, should not be targeted in situations of armed conflict;

8. Expresses its growing concern about the harmful impact of the Wall and other practices on the activities of educational and cultural institutions, as well as obstacles resulting therefrom which prevent Palestinian schoolchildren and students from being an integral part of their social fabric and from exercising fully their right to education, and calls for the observance of the provisions of relevant UNESCO Conventions, resolutions and decisions;

9. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, cease all of its settlement activities, the construction of the Wall and other measures aimed at altering the character status, and demographic composition of the Occupied Palestinian territory, including in and around East Jerusalem as well as in Cremisan Valley region, which, inter alia, negatively impacts Palestinian schoolchildren's ability to fully exercise their right to education;

10. Also notes with deep concern the Israeli censorship on the Palestinian curricula of schools and universities in East Jerusalem and urges Israel, the occupying Power, to immediately halt this censorship;

11. Expresses its appreciation for the substantial contributions of all concerned Member States and intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations to UNESCO's action in Palestine, and appeals to them to continue assisting UNESCO in this endeavour;

12. Thanks the Director-General for the results that have been obtained in relation to the implementation of a number of current educational and cultural activities, and invites her to strengthen UNESCO's assistance to the Palestinian educational and cultural institutions in order to address new needs;

13. Encourages the Director-General to continue to reinforce her action in favour of the protection, reconstruction, rehabilitation and restoration of the Palestinian archaeological sites and cultural heritage and invites her to address the needs for capacity-building in all UNESCO's fields of competence by expanding the financial assistance programme for Palestinian students;

14. Requests the Director-General to organize, as soon as possible, the ninth meeting of the Joint UNESCO-Palestine Committee.



15. Also invites the Director-General:

16. Decides to include this item in the agenda of the Executive Board at its 199th session, and invites the Director-General to submit to it a progress report thereon.

2 After considering this item, the Programme and External Relations Commission (PX) recommended by a vote taken by roll-call that the Executive Board adopt the draft decision contained in document 197 EX/PX/DR.33.7, with 40 votes in favour, 1 vote against and 11 abstentions:
The following States having voted for the adoption: Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Austria, Bangladesh, Belize, Brazil, China, Cuba, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, France, Gabon, Germany, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Mexico, Montenegro, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Russian Federation, Spain, Sweden, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The following State having voted against: United States of America.
Abstentions: El Salvador, Ethiopia, Gambia, Malawi, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Korea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Ukraine.
Absent: Afghanistan, Angola, Chad, Mozambique, Pakistan, Turkmenistan.

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