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Source: United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
10 October 1994

United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization
Executive Board

Hundred and forty-fifth Session

145 EX/9 Rev.
PARIS, 10 October 1994
Original: English

Item 5.2.1 of the provisional agenda



In this document the Director-General reports to the Executive Board on the measures he has taken to give effect to 144 EX/Decision 4.2.1.

1. In 27 C/Resolution 18, the General Conference considered that UNESCO’s action in favour of the Palestinian people after the signing of the Declaration of Principles in Washington on 13 September 1993 between Israel and the PLO is: ‘of the highest priority and that it must begin immediately after the transfer of authority from the Israeli administration to the Palestinian authorities in the fields of education and culture provided for in Article VI of the above-mentioned Declaration of Principles, and that this action must be planned and must cover all aspects of the education system and the educational and cultural institutions, notably in the fields of training and structures’.

2. The Executive Board, in 144 EX/Decision 4.2.1, invited the Director-General in accordance with this mandate given to him by the General Conference to: ‘take immediately the measures necessary for the implementation of the activities provided for in the Memorandum of Co-operation, and the Recommendations of the Mission on Higher Education in the West Bank and Gaza Strip’. The Executive Board also invited the Director-General: ‘to provide, within UNESCO’s fields of competence, the assistance required by schools to preserve Arab cultural identity and provide scholarships for students of occupied Syrian Golan’.

3. In implementation of the above-mentioned resolution and decision, a Plan of Action (see Annex I) was adopted by the Joint UNESCO/PLO Co-ordination Committee, which met in Tunis from 29 to 30 April 1994. This Plan of Action consists of 26 activities, of which eight were considered as being urgent and needing to be undertaken immediately. The different sectors of the Secretariat prepared, or are in the process of preparing, the project documents for these activities and it was agreed between the Director-General and Mr Arafat that the acting President of PECDAR (Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction) should present these projects to the World Bank and to other donors for financing.

4. To prepare the implementation of these different projects, many co-ordination missions took place and correspondence was exchanged with the United Nations Specialized Agencies, in particular, UNRWA, World Bank, UNDP, UNICEF, ILO, UNIDO and WHO. In the field of bilateral co-operation, contacts were made and meetings were held with IGOs, in particular the European Commission, and with representatives of Belgium, France and Germany. The purpose was threefold: to impart information about UNESCO’s activities regarding assistance to the Palestinian people and to develop proposed activities as joint ventures and/or for fund raising. Details on the above can be obtained from ADG/DRG, the ADGs of the Programme Sectors, Programme Support Sectors, and from the Director of the Co-ordination Unit for Assistance to the Palestinian People (see Annex II).

5. For the same purpose, UNESCO has sent follow-up missions to the field for the implementation of the following projects: rehabilitation of schools in Gaza and Jericho (10-24 June and 16-24 September 1994) - this project is being financed for an amount of $2.5 million by the Saudi Arabian Government - 15 schools have been identified for rehabilitation in Jericho and the Gaza Strip during the next 18 months. The Plan of Operations has already been drawn up and the work started on 25 September 1994. At the same time, a feasibility study was carried out for the construction of the first public kindergarten in Gaza, which will serve as a model, and is to be financed by Daimler-Benz. From 30 July to 6 August 1994, a specialist from UNESCO went to Jericho, Jerusalem and Gaza in order to assist the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) in setting up their television and radio network and to identify their immediate requirements.

6. After assessment on 1 and 2 September 1994, it was decided that UNESCO will provide a television transmitting system, a production unit and technical assistance. UNESCO also contributed to the preparation of the PBC master plan.

7. Between August and October, the following activities were carried out or planned: (1) feasibility studies for (a) setting up a Palestinian National Museum and preparing the plan for the conservation and safeguard of monuments and historical sites in Gaza and Jericho, (b) the creation of a traditional handicraft centre in Gaza, (c) the establishment in Gaza of a Marine Science Station; (2) assistance by high-level experts to help the Palestinians in the establishment of their Ministry of Education and to prepare two workshops, one for the Ministry of Education and the other to aid in the setting up of a Ministry of Culture;1 and (3) a special mission for higher education to the West Bank and Gaza to prepare the Conference for the PEACE (Palestinian European Academic Co-operation in Education) programme, which will be held next November in Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium), in order to extend this programme to other European, African, Asian, Arabic and American universities, and to final& the project documents for the development of Palestinian higher education, which will be submitted later to potential donors.

8. The commencement of the implementation of other projects took another form: the mechanism for the Transfer of Knowledge through Expatriate Nationals (TOKTEN) project was launched as a joint UNDPA/UNESCO venture at the meeting held in UNESCO Headquarters on 19 and 20 May 1994, in which representatives from the PLO, UNDP, UNITAR, Palestinian universities and delegates from Denmark, Italy and Norway participated. The meeting approved and recommended the project document and it was decided that UNESCO would be responsible for the preparation of the data base of Palestinian Diaspora specialists.

9. A working meeting of experts is planned for November to develop the project prepared by UNESCO, regarding the setting up of the Mircroelectronics Central Faculty.

10. A study was prepared, in co-operation with a Palestinian consulting office, on the ‘Hydrological conditions in the West Bank and Gaza and the need for information management systems and training in the water sector’. This study will be a major element in a broader study currently being conducted by the UNESCO Regional Office for Science and Technology in the Arab States (ROSTAS).

11. Three UNESCO chairs were granted to Palestinian universities within the UNITWIN programme for the academic year 1994/1995; one of these chairs is already foreseen for restoration of historic monuments and sites, the other two are yet to be designated. Under the inter-university co-operation programme PEACE, funded by UNESCO and the European Commission, two scholarships were granted, as well as seven short-term study visits for Palestinian university professors to an amount of US $37,000.

12. The programme of technical assistance for the establishment of the Ministry of Education is now at an advanced stage, its implementation started in September.

13. Thanks to the generosity of the Italian Government, the establishment of a Palestinian Curriculum Centre is also at an advanced stage and it should be inaugurated in November in the West Bank. In addition, ‘agreed minutes’ were signed on 3 September 1994, between the representatives of Italy, the Palestinian Authority and UNESCO with a view to UNESCO’s implementation of the Palestinian News Agency project (WAFA).

14. UNESCO, in co-operation with IL0 and UNIDO, are preparing a joint project for a workshop in technical and vocational education to be held before the end of the year in the occupied West Bank. Other workshops are in their preliminary preparation concerning management, planning and evaluation in the fields of education and culture with the World Bank, Harvard, INSEAD and IIEP. These joint workshops have as their objective to train Palestinian executives in administration, management, finance, etc., for a modem society.

15. Under the Participation Programme 1994-1995, 13 scholarships have so far been awarded to Palestinian students.

16. Plans are being made in the Education Sector to provide the necessary aid to occupied Syrian Golan schools in order to grant fellowships to students of occupied Syrian Golan to pursue their secondary education, to provide equipment, and to help preserve the Arab Syrian cultural identity.


1. In line with the request of the relevant Palestinian authorities, the activities related to culture were slightly delayed.


PLO/UNESCO Joint Co-ordination Committee

Plan of Action

To ensure the implementation of the Memorandum of Co-operation between the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) agreed by the two parties on 9 December 1993 in Granada, Spain, convinced of the major role that education, science, culture and communication are called upon to play in advancing the peace process by building up a modem Palestinian society, based on values of peace, democracy and human rights, and in light of the recommendations of the PLO/UNESCO Joint Co-ordination Committee, the two parties agreed to the following:

done in Tunis on 30 April 1994
in two copies, each drafted in English and Arabic

For the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization
For the Palestinian Liberation Organization
Palestinian National Authority
Federico Mayor,
Yasser Arafat,
Chairman of the Executive Committee


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