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        General Assembly
4 August 1981


Thirty-sixth session
Item 60 of the provisional agenda*


Offers of scholarships and grants for higher
education for Palestine refugees

Report of the Secretary-General

1. The present report, which deals with offers by Member States of grants and scholarships for higher education for Palestine refugees, is submitted to the General Assembly in pursuance of paragraph 10 of its resolution 35/13 B of 3 November 1980. In pursuance of paragraph 6 of the same resolution, a separate report, dealing with the question of the establishment of a university of arts and sciences at Jerusalem to cater to the needs of Palestine refugees in the area, will be submitted at a later date.

2. The present report includes the substance of responses by Member States and United Nations agencies to the appeal contained in that resolution, together with references to further actions taken by Member States and specialized 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 and 34/52 C of 23 November 1979. By those resolutions, the Assembly appealed to all States, specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations to make special allocations, scholarships and grants to Palestine refugees, and invited the relevant United Nations agencies to continue, within their respective spheres of competence, to expand assistance for higher education to Palestine refugee students. The Assembly requested the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to act as recipient and trustee for such special allocations and scholarships and to award them to qualified Palestine refugee candidates.

3. Of the Australian Government's offer of six awards to Palestine refugees for tertiary studies in Australia, reported last year in response to resolution 32/90 F (see A/35/438, para. 2), one award was granted in April 1981 and the remaining awards were still in process of being finalized by the Australian authorities.

4. The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany offered 10 scholarships to Palestine refugee graduates of UNRWA vocational training centres in Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic for vocational instructor training in the Federal Republic. Three candidates from Jordan have been nominated for these awards and three candidates from Lebanon and four from the Syrian Arab Republic are being selected. These awards, while not specifically in response to the General Assembly resolutions, are in keeping with the spirit of them and represent the latest of a series of such awards made annually by the Federal Republic of Germany to UNRWA over a period of several years.

5. Similarly, the Government of France has offered two one-year scholarships through its Consulate in east Jerusalem to Palestine refugees graduating from Agency training centres. These awards, also, while not specifically in response to the General Assembly resolutions, are in keeping with the spirit of them.

6. The Universal Postal Union (UPU), responding to resolution 35/13 B, has noted that two Palestine refugees are still under training at the Higher Arab Postal Institute in Damascus, on UPU scholarships awarded in 1979 in response to resolution 32/90 F (see A/34/480, para. 5). The UPU has further stated that it is willing to consider other specific requests from Palestinian students for training fellowships in the postal field.

7. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) followed up its award of three fellowships in 1980 (see A/35/438, para. 5) with an invitation to the Commissioner-General of UNRWA to propose one or more candidates for training in 1981. Accordingly, UNRWA proposed four candidates for such training and by the date of this report one candidate had already been selected by WIPO.

8. The Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO) referred to its proposal, reported last year (see A/35/438, para. 4), that member States of IMCO would be requested to consider the possibility of either offering fellowships to Palestinian trainees in the maritime field or accepting such trainees in their national maritime academies.

9. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) advised that the Eighth World Meteorological Congress, pursuant to previous resolutions of the General Assembly on the subject of training of refugees, approved a special allocation under the regular budget of WMO for this purpose. At the date of this report, the Commission-General of UNRWA had not received any further information about this special allocation.

10. The International Labour Organisation (ILO), in response to resolution 35/13 B, offered four fellowships for nominees of the Palestine Liberation Organization to attend training courses at the International Centre for Advanced Technical and Vocational Training in Turin, Italy. In addition, a senior Palestinian educator had already been awarded a fellowship by the ILO for such training and similar awards were to be made to two other Palestinian educators.

11. The Commissioner-General of UNRWA has informed the Secretary-General that UNRWA will continue to make available to prospective candidates whatever information it receives about scholarships offered by Member States and specialized agencies for which Palestine refugee students might be eligible. It also is ready to act as the recipient and trustee of special allocations and scholarships whenever such funds and scholarships are made available to it for the benefit of Palestine refugees.



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