Question of Palestine home
Economic and Social Council
27 October 1987
Agenda item 12
REPORT OF THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL
Second regular session of 1987
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
The following additional information has been provided by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Economic and Social Commission for Western
Asia (ESCWA) for inclusion in the report of the Secretary-General on assistance to the Palestinian people.
UNITED NATIONS EDUCATIONAL, SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATION
1. During the current biennium, 15 scholarships for 9 months each, at a total cost of $73,300, have been awarded to Palestinian students at the request of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Similar requests are currently being examined by the Secretariat for the 1987/1988 academic year.
2. Five short-term fellowships were awarded in 1986 at the request of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)/UNESCO Department of Education to Palestinians employed by UNRWA in its education programme in the five fields of operation at a total coat of $34,700. Thirteen similar fellowships for 1987 are currently being processed.
3. With regard to assistance to Palestinian universities in the occupied Arab territories, five scholarships at a total cost of $32,300 were awarded to members of the academic staff of two universities during the 1986/1987 academic year. Candidatures are currently being submitted for the 1987/1988 academic year.
4. Under the participation programme, 18 scholarships were awarded to Palestinian students at the request of PLO for a total amount of $62,000 for the 1986/1987 academic year. A similar number of requests is expected for the 1987/1988 academic year.
5. Educational equipment and supplies worth $50,000 were purchased for the UNRWA/UNESCO Department of Education during the current biennium.
6. Equipment worth $34,350 was purchased during the biennium for three universities in the occupied Arab territories.
7. Equipment costing $10,000 was purchased for the Palestinian Open University in 1987.
III. EDUCATION OF PALESTINE REFUGEES
8. During the current biennium, UNESCO continued to loan to UNRWA, on a full-time basis, 15 posts attached to the UNRWA/UNESCO Department of Education, including that of the Director, at a total cost of $2,117,000, financed under the UNESCO regular programme. In addition, UNESCO loaned to UNRWA, for a period of six months in 1987, a programme specialist in special education to offer technical support to special education services in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip under the supervision of the UNRWA Field Office at Jerusalem.
IV. EDUCATIONAL AND CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS IN THE OCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIES
9. In conformity with resolution 27 adopted by the General Conference at its twenty-third session, in which the Conference invited the Director-General to "appoint a leading academic personality with responsibility for conducting a comprehensive study of the conditions in which academic freedoms are guaranteed and exercised in the occupied Arab territories", the Director-General requested the Reverend Father E. Boné (Belgium), Professor at the Catholic University of Louvain, to carry out the above-mentioned study. The Reverend Father Boné undertook a series of missions in this respect, in particular to UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, the United Nations Commission for Human Rights at Geneva, Amman, the occupied Arab territories and Israel, and submitted a report on his findings to the Director-General in August 1987. The Director-General is submitting this report
to the Executive Board at its one hundred and twenty-seventh session. The question will also be examined by the General Conference at its twenty-fourth session.
V. PALESTINIAN OPEN UNIVERSITY
10. Since it elaborated the feasibility study in 1979 for the Palestinian Open University, jointly with the Arab League Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, UNESCO has maintained close relations with the authorities of the University, now denominated Al-Quds Open University, and has provided assistance, mainly in the form of technical advice. A consultant mission took place for this purpose in 1986 to determine with the University's President specific fields where UNESCO assistance is urgently needed. Other requests for consultant services are now being examined by the secretariat and consultations thereon are taking place with the University's authorities. However, in view of the scope of the needs of this University and the limited funds, the secretariat is at present investigating the possibility of mobilizing appropriate funding from extrabudgetary sources on the basis of a fund-in-trust.
VI. UNIVERSITY OF JERUSALEM "AL-QUDS" FOR PALESTINE REFUGEES
11. The General Assembly, in its resolution 35/13 B of 3 November 1980, requested the Secretary-General, in co-ordination with the Council of the United Nations University, UNRWA and UNESCO, to study ways and means of establishing the University of Jerusalem "Al-Quds" under the aegis of the United Nations. However, UNESCO was not invited to contribute to the functional feasibility study, which was first requested by the General Assembly in resolution 36/146 G of 16 December 1981 and since then has been entrusted to the United Nations University. UNESCO has no activities at present concerning the University of Jerusalem "Al-Quds".
VII. PIPELINE PROJECT
12. In conformity with General Conference resolution 22 C/23, the Director-General launched an appeal in 1986 to all member States, as well as to regional, subregional and interregional development agencies and intergovernmental organizations, for voluntary contributions for the establishment of a Scholarship Fund for the Higher Education of Students of the Occupied Arab Territories. Pledges of contributions have so far been received from the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the Arab Organization for Industrial Development. A fund-in-trust (420/RAB/10) was established in 1987 for this Scholarship Fund to be financed by voluntary contributions, with a target budget of $2,500,000 for financing 50 scholarships a year.
UNITED NATIONS RELIEF AND WORKS AGENCY
FOR PALESTINE REFUGEES IN THE NEAR EAST
1. A study on food security in the West Bank and Gaza Strip was conducted in collaboration with the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development in October 1985. It analyses the performance of the agricultural sector, Israeli practices and the shortage of agricultural products in the occupied Palestinian territories.
2. A study entitled "The financial sector in the occupied Palestinian territories", conducted in collaboration with the Special Economic Unit of UNCTAD, has been completed.
3. A survey entitled "Technical and vocational training and education in the Went Bank and Gaza" is being conducted. It covers all vocational and educational centres in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, including major obstacles in this field. The survey is aimed at identifying a programme of work to improve vocational training and technical education in the occupied territories.
4. A feasibility study for a training and educational centre in the agricultural sector in the West Bank is being prepared. It is based on the recommendations of the survey mentioned above, which indicates that there is a great need to establish such a centre. It is expected to be completed by the end of 1987.
5. A study on marketing of agricultural products in the occupied Palestinian territories is being prepared. It focuses on the problems faced by Palestinians in marketing their agricultural products. It examines ways and means of solving marketing problems. It is expected to be completed by the end of 1987.