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        General Assembly
18 September 1989


Forty-fourth session
Item 23 of the provisional agenda*


Report of the Secretary-General


2. Throughout the period under review, the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States (LAS) have maintained close contacts on the question of the Middle East and on other matters of mutual concern to the two organizations.


4. On 24 April 1989, the Security Council urged all parties to respond favourably to appeals for effective cease-fire in Lebanon and invited the Secretary-General of the United Nations, in collaboration with the ministerial committee of the League of Arab States, to make all possible efforts and to make all contacts which could be deemed useful for these same purposes (Note by the President of the Security Council, S/20602). In this connection, a meeting was held at Geneva on 28 April 1989 between the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kuwait in his capacity as President of the Committee of the Arab League on Lebanon.

E. Diversification of Arab economies

31. UNCTAD also maintains close contacts with LAS concerning issues relating to the economy of the occupied Palestinian territory. A mission was undertaken to the LAS headquarters in February 1989, during which the Economic Department of LAS agreed to collaborate with UNCTAD on the study entitled "Prospects for sustained economic development in the occupied Palestinian territory". In particular, it considered co-sponsoring one of two seminars in support of the study, and to exchange information on the economic and social situation of Palestinians in the occupied territory. The UNCTAD secretariat also co-operated in the preparation of a chapter of the Joint Arab Economic Report devoted to the economic and social situation in the occupied Palestinian territory.


I. Child care


77. UNICEF and LAS worked together at the country and regional levels to formulate goals for children for the 1990s as a step towards the establishment of goals for the fourth United Nations development decade.


79. UNICEF reinforced its co-operation with UNRWA on behalf of the Palestinian children in the West Bank and Gaza. It implemented a programme in Gaza of physiotherapy to rehabilitate children who have suffered injuries and broken bones. Palestinian mothers and children in Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic are also benefiting from programmes being implemented by UNICEF, including immunization, oral rehydration therapy and the supply of clean drinking water.



K. Refugees

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

170. In October 1988, during his mission to Tunisia, the High Commissioner met with the Deputy Secretary of the League, at Tunis, in the absence of the Secretary-General of LAS. The draft agreement of co-operation between UNRWA and the League was discussed. The issue of problems facing Palestinian refugees falling outside the area of competence of UNRWA were also dealt with.

P. Public information

Department of Public Information

190. During the past year the Department has continued to provide extensive radio, television, press and photography coverage of United Nations activities such as meetings, seminars and special events having to do with the situation in the Middle East and the question of Palestine. It also reported regularly on League activities in the United Nations, such as statements made by the Permanent Observer of LAS before the Security Council and General Assembly and press briefings given by the League.

191. In the field, the United Nations information centres have extended all possible co-operation to LAS offices and representatives in the countries where they serve. Where there is no representation, the information centres have co-operated with diplomatic missions of the States members of the League or with the representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Co-operation often involves providing United Nations information material in the form of press releases, publications, posters, videotapes and films. LAS offices are included in the specialized mailing list of the information centres for dissemination of newsletters, documents and information brochures relating to the situation in the Middle East and the question of Palestine. Many joint activities have involved co-operating in the observance of 29 November as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. LAS representatives are invited to seminars and symposia on the question of Palestine organized by the Anti-Apartheid, Namibia and Palestine Programmes Section and also to journalists' encounters on the question of Palestine organized by the Department.

192. To cite briefly of joint activities carried out, the Information Centre in Tokyo joined the League to observe 29 November 1988 as the Day of Solidarity. It also regularly organizes programmes in co-operation with the League and Japanese organizations. At Rabat, five organizations affiliated with LAS regularly participate in the Department's information programmes. In January 1989, a colloquium was jointly organized at Casablanca by the Rabat Information Centre and ALECSO. In October 1988, the Information Centre at New Delhi and LAS jointly organized a public meeting on the question of Palestine, which was addressed by a Government minister, the Ambassador of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Chief Representative of the League.

193. As in previous years, the Department once again organized activities to acquaint media representatives with the facts and developments relating to the question of Palestine. A team of 13 high-level journalists participated in a news mission to the Middle East (7-23 May 1989) organized by the Department. They visited Tunisia, the Syrian Arab Republic, Jordan and Egypt, meeting high-level government officials and officials of the Palestine Liberation Organization, including Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee. The Department organized a regional journalists' encounter on the question of Palestine in Asia in January and February 1989 and another was planned for Latin America in July 1989. A series of national journalists' encounters were also organized in Europe and Asia in January and February.

194. The Department has continued its annual programme for training journalists and broadcasters from developing countries. During 1988, it provided training to 16 journalists and broadcasters from around the world. Two of the participants were from the Middle East, one a writer from Algeria and the other a broadcaster from Jordan.




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