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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/49/439
28 September 1994

ORIGINAL: ENGLISH

Forty-ninth session
Agenda item 77


UNITED NATIONS RELIEF AND WORKS AGENCY FOR PALESTINE REFUGEES IN THE NEAR EAST

Offers by Member States of grants and scholarships for higher education, including vocational training, for Palestine refugees

Report of the Secretary-General


1. The present report is submitted to the General Assembly in pursuance of its resolution 48/40 D of 10 December 1993.

2. The report includes the substance of responses from Member States and United Nations agencies to the appeal contained in that resolution, together with reference to further action taken by Member States and United Nations agencies in response to the appeal contained in General Assembly resolutions 32/90 F of 13 December 1977, 33/112 C of 18 December 1978, 34/52 C of 23 November 1979, 35/13 B of 3 November 1980, 36/146 H of 16 December 1981, 37/120 D of 16 December 1982, 38/83 D of 15 December 1983, 39/99 D of 14 December 1984, 40/165 D of 16 December 1985, 41/69 D of 3 December 1986, 42/69 D of 2 December 1987, 43/57 D of 6 December 1988, 44/47 D of 8 December 1989, 45/73 D of 11 December 1990, 46/46 D of 9 December 1991 and 47/69 D of 14 December 1992. By these resolutions the Assembly appealed to all States, specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations to augment special allocations for grants and scholarships to Palestine refugees; invited the relevant specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system to continue, within their respective spheres of competence, to extend assistance for higher education to Palestine refugee students; and requested the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to act as the recipient and trustee for such special allocations for grants and scholarships and to award them to qualified refugee candidates.

3. In 1993-1994, the Government of Japan awarded 11 fellowships, through UNRWA, to Palestine refugees who are employed by UNRWA as vocational training staff at the UNRWA headquarters branch in Amman and at the eight vocational training centres in the UNRWA area of operations. Applications of nominees for these fellowships were processed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The fellowships, which apply to studies in Japan, are under the guidance of JICA. A review of this programme shows that since its inception in 1985 and until 1994, a total of 115 fellowships has been offered by the Government of Japan under the programme, of which 103 have been processed. In 1989, the Government of Japan contributed $1 million to be spent over a five-year period, towards the UNRWA university scholarship programme for secondary school graduates. The recipients are Palestine refugee students from the occupied territory. A total of 143 recipients participated in the programme in 1993-1994. In addition, in 1992 the Government of Japan contributed $400,000, to be spent over a five-year period, towards the UNRWA university scholarships programme for secondary school graduates from the UNRWA area of operations; the recipients are Palestine refugee students. A total of 138 recipients participated in the programme in 1993-1994. These awards, while not specifically in response to the General Assembly resolutions, are in keeping with their spirit.

4. The Government of Switzerland contributed $180,000 in 1989 to the UNRWA university scholarships programme for secondary school graduates and contributed an additional $213,000, $197,300, $197,300 and $209,790 to the programme in 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1993, respectively. The recipients, who total 185 Palestine refugee students from the UNRWA area of operations, participated in the programme in the 1993/94 academic year. The awards, while not specifically in response to the General Assembly resolutions, are in keeping with their spirit.

5. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), as part of its long-standing agreement with UNRWA, granted 175 fellowships to Palestine refugee education staff of UNRWA in the period 1981 to 1994. The Director-General addressed a circular letter on 25 February 1994 to member States, international organizations and Arab and Islamic funding sources appealing for voluntary contributions to a special fund for fellowships for Palestinian students and requesting them to consider providing sponsored fellowships for Palestinians. This circular letter was in accordance with decision 5.3.1 adopted by the UNESCO Executive Board at its one hundred and forty-second session. During the 1993/94 academic year, UNESCO awarded 28 scholarships to Palestinian students under the regional project entitled "Scholarship fund for higher education for students of occupied Arab territories", 17 scholarships from its regular programme and budget and 3 scholarships under its Participation Programme, totalling $213,500. Under the inter-university cooperation programme PEACE (Palestinian European Academic Cooperation in Education) funded by UNESCO and the European Union and signed in September 1992, two scholarships were awarded and seven short-term study visits to Palestinian university professors were awarded in the amount of $37,000.

6. The World Health Organization (WHO) continued to offer a post-graduate training fellowship programme aimed at developing the technical and managerial skills of the staff of the UNRWA Department of Health and at meeting future replacement needs under the various health disciplines. One Palestinian refugee health staff member of UNRWA benefited from these WHO international fellowships in 1993. WHO has awarded more than 36 such fellowships since 1986.

7. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) offered to UNRWA scholarships to train Agency staff members during the training years 1994 and 1995. Three applications were submitted, which will be considered for courses to be conducted during 1995.

8. The United World Colleges continued their cooperation with UNRWA by offering scholarships to Palestine refugee students who complete the tenth grade to study for two years leading to the international baccalaureate. In 1993-1994, two scholarships were offered by Pearson College in Canada and Armand Hammer College in the United States of America, while in 1994, three scholarships were offered by the United World College of the Adriatic in Italy, Pearson College in Canada and Armand Hammer College in the United States.

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