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UNESCO - Application de la décision de résolution concernant les institutions éducatives et culturelles dans les territoires arabes occupés (Conseil d'administration 195e session), Français

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Source: United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
25 August 2014

PARIS, 25 August 2014
Original: English

Item 28 of the provisional agenda



This document summarizes progress by UNESCO since the 194th session of the Executive Board in providing assistance to the Palestinian people and their educational and cultural institutions, as well as to such institutions in the occupied Syrian Golan.

There are no financial or administrative implications.

No decision is proposed in the present document.

1. The present document reports on assistance provided to the Palestinian Authority and to relevant Palestinian stakeholders; it also reports on assistance to the occupied Syrian Golan. The reporting period is from January to June 2014.

2. Detailed information on UNESCO assistance in Gaza, in particular its response to the current humanitarian crisis, is provided in document 195 EX/29 ("Report of the Director-General on the Reconstruction and Development in Gaza: Implementation of 194 EX/Decision 28") and is therefore not reported on in the present document.


3. With UNESCO technical support, the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE) has initiated consultations regarding the Education for All (EFA) 2015 Review. A National Partners Committee (including UNESCO and UNICEF) was established in order to launch the EFA Review and prepare the national EFA report. The report, which will cover national challenges and achievements in the West Bank and Gaza, will contribute to the global discussion on the post-2015 agenda for education, particularly regarding the situation of countries affected by conflict. The establishment of the Palestinian government of national consensus in June 2014 has allowed strengthening the work of National EFA Committee through enhanced interaction between the two sub-committees in the West Bank and in Gaza.

4. In support of the EFA agenda in Palestine, nine United Nations agencies (FAO, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNRWA, UNSCO, WFP and WHO, coordinated by UNESCO) and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education have developed and implemented the EFA Package, which focuses on inclusive and child-friendly education and early childhood development as key areas to guarantee the right to quality education. A project funded by the OPEC Fund for International Development and supported by AGFUND and the Norwegian Refugee Council was launched to support the implementation of the EFA Initiative. In total, 2,028 parents and caregivers (880 in the West Bank and 1,148 in Gaza) benefited directly from the awareness-raising activities, while 1,167 teachers, school principals, vice-principals, school counsellors and supervisors were trained on inclusive and child-friendly education, as well as awareness-raising activities. More information on the results of this project in Gaza can be found in a separate report on the reconstruction and development of Gaza (195 EX/29).

5. UNESCO joined the United Nations Partnership for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for Palestine, which develops capacities to mainstream disability in the education, health, employment, and social sectors in compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It is a close partnership between government ministries, United Nations agencies, international donors, disabled persons organizations, and other key stakeholders, including ILO, UNDP, UNICEF, UNESCO and WHO. It was officially launched in Palestine in January 2014. UNESCO formally joined the United Nations Partnership at the global level in January 2014. Under this Partnership, and through the pilot schools of the EFA Initiative, UNESCO has been focusing its interventions on assessing the accessibility of pilot schools in the West Bank and Gaza, collecting further data on inclusiveness and strengthening capacities of school principals, teachers and counsellors to implement inclusive and child-friendly education in schools. Discussions on technical support are now focusing on supporting Palestine in the implementation and monitoring of the recently ratified United Nations Convention on the Right of Persons with Disabilities

6. With financial support from the Saudi Committee for the Relief of Palestinian People, UNESCO initiated support to vulnerable students through a new initiative which seeks to expand access to resources, materials and books through libraries, and to implement a right to education advocacy strategy. More information about the results of this project can be found in the separate report on the reconstruction and development of Gaza (195 EX/29).


7. During the period under review UNESCO continued its support to the Palestinian cultural sector and its institutions, providing technical assistance and developing national capacities in particular in the field of cultural heritage management and conservation.

8. Significant progress was made in the implementation of "the Archaeological Park of Tell Balata" project, funded by the Netherlands. The project contributes to the safeguarding and the sound management of the site of Tell Balata, which is one key component of the "Old Town of Nablus and its environs" site on the World Heritage Tentative List of Palestine. In January, the donor generously granted additional funds for site maintenance and accessibility upgrade, as well as for the production of a documentary film about the site's history. Two publications — a Teacher's Handbook and a Guidebook (in English and Arabic) and the documentary film are in the final production phase; so are the site maintenance and upgrade works implemented by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, a key partner in this project. A third publication (Changing Landscape) is under preparation.

9. The project "Local development through the rehabilitation and revitalization of the historic built environment in Palestine", funded by the Government of Sweden through SIDA, is progressing towards the achievement of the expected results. Through the project, local technical capacities in the field of cultural heritage preservation are being developed and strengthened through the renovation of historic sites in Palestinian cities and localities. Six historic sites were renovated for public use and added to the 15 historic sites previously renovated, achieving facilitated access to cultural heritage assets. The renovations generated 12,070 working days in addition to the 24,604 working days previously generated. In doing so, it also contributed to the socio-economic development of the targeted communities. Furthermore, the project helped building the capacities of young professionals in the field of cultural heritage preservation, as 55 young architects and engineers received training, in addition to the 57 young professionals previously trained. Through this project, UNESCO also strengthens the coordination between civil society and Palestinian governmental institutions on cultural heritage management and conservation.

10. UNESCO continues to assist the Palestinian Authority in enhancing the legal and institutional framework for cultural heritage preservation. The adoption and enforcement of adequate cultural heritage legislation (both for built and intangible heritage) are recognized as priorities. UNESCO organized a participatory technical workshop leading to the finalization of the draft Palestinian Cultural Heritage law and its endorsement by the relevant Palestinian authorities.


11. UNESCO's Report on Media Development in Palestine was launched at a public event organized on 18 June simultaneously in Ramallah and Gaza. The report is based on UNESCO's internationally endorsed Media Development Indicators (MDI) and was carried out in partnership with a national research institution, the Media Development Centre of Birzeit University. The Report was developed and published thanks to financial support from Finland, the UNESCO International Programme for Development of Communication (IPDC) and Canal France International (CFI). The study serves as a reliable resource to accompany the efforts of policy makers, the media, civil society organizations, universities and training institutions in Palestine to promote an enabling environment for free, independent and pluralistic media, in line with key international standards. It is also intended to provide guidance to donors and media development partners on how to effectively target assistance based on objectively identified priorities and the national needs. The MDI study in Palestine was carried out over a period of 18 months and involved wide-ranging consultations with key media stakeholders as well as desk-based research and literature reviews. The consultations included a total of 58 in-depth interviews and a survey of 555 Palestinian journalists. The assessment process exhibits strong national-driven, inclusive and gender-sensitive features. UNESCO stands ready to assist the national authorities in the implementation of the recommendations.

12. In June 2014, UNESCO completed two major freedom-of-expression projects supported by Finland: "Promotion of the freedom of expression, safety of journalists and empowering of women in media to enhance respect for human rights in the Gaza strip and West Bank" and "Strengthening the safety and protection of journalists and the press freedom in the Gaza Strip". Within this framework, aside from the above-mentioned Report on Media Development in Palestine (partially funded by Finland), the following activities were carried out: First, UNESCO partnered with the Ma'an Network to implement three training sessions on conflict-sensitive reporting, benefitting a total of 64 Palestinian journalists. The results of the training were compiled into a handbook in Arabic and English. Second, UNESCO supported the legal aid programme of the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA), which aims to provide legal consultancy to journalists whose rights have been violated and to defend them in court. The project's outputs included the publication of a legal guide for journalists outlining all the relevant laws, and five workshops targeting a total of 134 journalists in the West Bank and Gaza to raise their awareness about the national legal framework and international standards. Third, UNESCO partnered with the NGO Filastiniyat to conduct four training sessions for 83 young female journalists on gender-sensitive reporting and the use of social media. In addition, four specialized workshops were organized on investigative journalism, women journalists' rights, media ethics and the role of women journalists in promoting reconciliation.


13. UNESCO, with the support of Norway, initiated in December 2013 a new phase of the Palestinian Women Research and Documentation Centre (PWRDC), which seeks to contribute to the successful implementation of the Cross-Sectoral National Gender Strategy of the Palestinian Authority. It highlights the lack of research and studies to inform policy-making, particularly on the causes of violence against women, and points to the need to build capacity within the government and civil society to support its implementation.

14. An online library and database that collects all research and data on gender in Palestine (and relevant regional and international data) for all stakeholders was started by the PWRDC in May 2014 and is to be completed by mid-August 2014. Two training sessions for librarians have been delivered to the PWRDC Librarian and Administration Clerk, and to three participants from the Ministry of Women Affairs (MoWA). The digital library manual is in progress and expected to be finalized by early August. Moreover, the current library of MoWA has been merged with the PWRDC's library.

15. The review of all existing research produced by the PWRDC to identify gaps and provide recommendations for new research has been initiated; so far 27 assessment reports out of 49 have been completed. Additionally, a partnership between UNESCO and the Institute of Women's Studies at Birzeit University was established to deliver a prolonged training program on research methodologies for policy-relevant research, policy analysis and evaluation of policy impact. Forty-eight potential research master trainers were identified, 27 from the West Bank and 21 from Gaza. The 96-hour training was completed in June 2014. Further, a research network for academic and civil society organizations to encourage development and diffusion of new research was established, and a roaster of gender specialized researchers is currently under development. The organization of a gender conference is in progress. Moreover, UNESCO Headquarters is supporting the mapping of existing centres at the national and regional level and the establishment of mechanisms for networking and sharing good practices across the region.


16. The scholarship programme for Syrian students in the occupied Syrian Golan ($113,000 from the Japanese Funds-in-Trust), was launched in July 2009 to grant 24 scholarships for four academic years to the students from the occupied Syrian Golan. The project ended in March 2013.

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