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Source: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
4 October 2007

Commissioner-General’s Statement on the Occasion of World's Teachers Day

4 October 2007

Dear UNRWA Teachers.

Today the United Nations celebrates the World's Teachers Day, in which the whole international community turns to each and every educator to simply thank them for weaving the future of children and strengthening further the pillars of good governance, fair practices and humane societies. Each one of you, our 21,000 teachers, are trust funds entrusted with the future of some half a million Palestinian refugee students. I cannot think of a loftier mission than yours.

Today, and on behalf of your other colleagues, on behalf of the parents of the students in UNRWA schools and on behalf of the students themselves, I would like to extend a simple thank you. A thank you for our teachers in Syria delivering first rate education to there students and to our teachers in Jordan for achieving remarkable results by dedicated teachers and support staff. A thank you for our teachers in Lebanon, especially during these trying times. And I take this opportunity to call on all of you to remember our colleague, Adel Khalil Khalil, a teacher at UNRWA Manara elementary school, who was killed by a sniper bullet in Nahr el-bared refugee camp on 21 May 2007. A special thank you as well to our teachers working in our Gaza and West Bank fields of operations for their dedication to deliver education despite the long delays at checkpoints, worsening safety and security conditions and rising levels of threats and intimidation. Away from their homes, you, our teachers, were the ones who protected the students, gave them a sense of safety and instilled in them the love for education. You were their counselors, educators and friends and for that I thank you.

I am fully aware as to your specific needs and I will continue my efforts, along with that of the Director of Education and other colleagues, to meet these needs to the best of UNRWA's financial abilities. I also stress again to you my commitment to ensure your safety and personal security and that you work in a safe and secure environment.

On this important day I renew my admiration and respect to the principled work of each and everyone of you.




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