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UNITED
NATIONS
E

        Economic and Social Council
Distr.
GENERAL
E/1978/55
9 May 1978

ORIGINAL: ENGLISH

Second regular session, 1978
Agenda item 28. Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of
Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples by the specialized agencies and
the international institutions associated with the United Nations

ASSISTANCE TO THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

Report of the Secretary-General

Introduction


1. The present report is submitted to the Council in accordance with resolution 2100 (LXIII), under which the Council:

2. The report contains information received from organizations on action taken by them in implementation of the resolutions. Information received from other organizations at a later date will be contained in an addendum to the report.


United Nations Development Programme

In compliance with Council resolution 2100 (LXIIl) UNDP continued the contact established since November 1976 with the Chairman of the Palestine National Fund with the view to elaborating on the two project ideas discussed between UNDP and the Fund, namely the "Study of the Institutional Aspects of Development Financing Benefitting the Economic Development of the Palestinian People" and the "Research and Inventory of the Historical and Cultural Heritage of the Palestinian People". UNDP has also started a dialogue with the Chairman of the Palestinian National, Fund on the procedure related to the establishment of an Indicative Planning Figure for financing technical assistance activities. The Chairman of the Palestinian National Fund was made fully aware of the legal position of UNDP in relation to the above-mentioned Council resolution concerning assistance to the Palestinian people.

UNDP also continued its consultations with the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Western Asia (ECWA) and the new PLO representative to ECWA with the purpose of exchanging views on new approaches directed towards identifying the social and economic needs of the Palestinian people.


United Nations Industrial Development Organization

In pursuance of Economic and Social Council resolutions, 2026 (LXl) and 2100 (LXIIl), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) established contact with the representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) located at Vienna to ascertain the technical assistance needs of the Palestinian people in the field of industrial development. It also consulted with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Beirut and with the secretariat of the Economic Commission for Western Asia (ECWA).

The representative of PLO then submitted a written request in which he indicated the type of projects his organization would like to have executed by UNIDO. These were:

(a) Six fellowships for six months each in the various fields of industrial development;

(b) Participation of PLO in in-plant training courses and technical meetings;

(c) Survey of manufacturing activities in the West Bank of Jordan and the Gaza Strip. The survey should cover the development of industry from 1966 till the present time and include recommendations for the future. The survey should be undertaken by five experts for a period of six months.

In compliance with the requests, PLO has been invited to submit nominations for the six fellowships and for candidates for the Training Course on Industrial Planning to be held in the German Democratic Republic from 21 April to 20 May 1978 and for a Seminar on Management and Training in Public Enterprises scheduled to be held in Yugoslavia from 18 September to 6 October 1978.

With respect to the survey of manufacturing activities in the West Bank of Jordan and the Gaza Strip, attempts were made to prepare initially a desk study based on material that might be available at UNIDO and ECWA but the up-to-date and relevant material on the industrial situation for the period 1966-1977 was not available. Efforts in this direction, however, continue.


Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Economic and Social Council resolution 2100 (LXIIl) was brought to the attention of the Council of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) at its seventy-second session, held in Rome from 8 to 11 November 19775 and to the attention of the FAO Conference at its nineteenth session, held in Rome from 12 November to 1 December 1977.

The Council and Conference were informed that a tentative programme of action had been prepared, with a view to its discussion with the Chairman of the Palestine National Fund who, as reported in the report of the Secretary-General to the sixty-third session of the Economic and Social Council (E/6005), had been invited by the Director-General to visit Rome.

The Director-General had two meetings in Rome with the Chairman of the Palestine National Fund, on 21 November 1977 and on 6 March 1978, and discussed ways in which FAO could initiate a programme of assistance to the Palestinian people.

Three specific possibilities were discussed:

(a) Attendance by Palestinian specialists at the Near East Workshop on Agricultural Investment Projects, organized in Rome from 9 January to 3 February 1978;

(b) The granting of FAO fellowships to Palestinian technicians for studies in fields related to food and agriculture, including forestry and fisheries;

(c) The involvement of FAO in the feasibility study for the establishment of a Palestinian Open University, recently initiated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), in co-operation with PLO and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development.

Three Palestinian specialists did indeed participate in the above-mentioned Near East Workshop on Agricultural Investment Projects. The Workshop was organized in response to the support for a proposal of the Director-General, expressed by member nations attending the Thirteenth FAO Regional Conference for the Near East. The purpose of the Workshop was to inform government officials concerned of modern investment practices, from identification through evaluation, and to analyse case studies relevant to the Near East region. The Workshop had 57 participants including 47 fellows from 20 countries. Follow-up includes possible FAO support for in-service training and projects for eventual submission to interested donors.

The provision of FAO fellowships to Palestinian specialists is being arranged in consultation with the Chairman of the Palestine National Fund. Subject to the submission of a formal request and the nomination of suitable candidates, it is envisaged that this assistance will be provided under FAO's Technical Co-operation Programme.

Discussions are still under way regarding possible FAO assistance in a feasibility study for the establishment of a Palestinian Open University.

Action on the subjects indicated above will be pursued and will be reported to FAO's governing bodies.


International Civil Aviation Organization

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is willing to co-operate as required, within its mandate with ECWA and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), on implementation of the relevant provisions of Economic and Social Council resolution 2100 (LXIIl).

World Meteorological Organization

In accordance with the procedure followed by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the substance of Council resolution 2100 (LXIIl) will be submitted to the next session of the Executive Committee (Geneva, May-June 1978). At its previous session (Geneva, May-June 1977), however, the Committee considered resolution 2026 (LXI) on the same subject. As the operative parts of that resolution are similar to those of Council resolution 2100 (LXIIl), it seems relevant to refer to the decisions taken by the Committee on that occasion. The Committee requested the Secretary-General:

(a) To contact ECWA as a matter of urgency with a view to identifying the social and economic needs of the Palestinian people in the fields of competence of WMO;

(b) To consult PLO as to the form and nature of assistance which might be required in the fields of competence of WMO and to formulate projects as appropriate for the improvement of the social and economic conditions of the Palestinian people.

In compliance with the above decisions, appropriate communications were addressed by WMO to ECWA and PLO with a view to developing projects in the fields of competence of WMO for assistance to the Palestinian people. In reply it was suggested by ECWA that possibilities in this regard could be examined after completion of the studies undertaken by ECWA for identifying the needs of the Palestinian people. A reply from PLO is awaited.


United Nations Children's Fund

Further to previous assistance reported by the Secretary-General, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has, during the course of 1977, released $100,000 from its emergency reserve to assist displaced Palestinian children and mothers within the context of the relief and rehabilitation programme in Lebanon.

This assistance has gone towards supporting two nursing and midwifery schools run by the Palestinian Red Crescent in Beirut and Tyre through the provision of demonstration and training equipment, audio-visual aids, reference publications and transport for field training. Through the General Union of Palestinian Women, UNICEF has provided assistance to a number of child care centres and orphanages, including provision of residential and educational play equipment. Training grants were also provided to carry out a training programme for 20 supervisors of children's programmes as well as transport for supervision of kindergarten programmes.


World Food Programme

With regard to the action taken by the World Food Programme (WFP) in implementing Council resolution 2100 (LXIII), the following points may be noted:

(a) It is the standing policy of WFP that its food assistance should be distributed to the needy people engaged in development activities and/or eligible for relief food aid without discrimination of any sort. Therefore, the Palestinians living in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, where a number of WFP-assisted projects are operational, are eligible for WFP assistance under the same conditions as the other beneficiaries in these countries, provided they are also involved with the implementation of WFP projects.

(b) An emergency operation, specifically designed for alleviating food f shortages faced by Palestinian refugees in Syria, was approved last year at a total cost to WFP of $1.5 million. It has been successfully implemented in close collaboration with the United Nations Relief Works Agency, which was designated as the "executing agency" by the Government of Syria.


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