United Nations

A/51/380


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

19 September 1996

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


                                                          A/51/380
                                                                 

General Assembly
Fifty-first session
Item 30 of the provisional agenda*

*    A/51/150.


                    COOPERATION BETWEEN THE UNITED NATIONS AND
                             THE LEAGUE OF ARAB STATES

                          Report of the Secretary-General 


                                     CONTENTS

                                                           Paragraphs  Page

  I.  INTRODUCTION .........................................     1       3

 II.  CONSULTATIONS AND EXCHANGES OF INFORMATION ...........   2 - 4     3

III.  FOLLOW-UP ACTION ON PROPOSALS AGREED TO AT GENERAL
      MEETINGS BETWEEN THE UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM AND THE
      LEAGUE OF ARAB STATES ................................   5 - 33    3

      A.  United Nations Office at Vienna ..................   6 - 9     4

      B.  Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia ..  10 - 13    4

      C.  United Nations Development Programme .............  14 - 15    5

      D.  United Nations Environment Programme .............  16 - 17    5

      E.  United Nations Population Fund ...................     18      6

      F.  United Nations Relief and Works Agency for
          Palestine Refugees in the Near East ..............  19 - 22    6

      G.  World Health Organization ........................  23 - 25    7

      H.  International Monetary Fund ......................     26      7

      I.  World Bank .......................................  27 - 28    7

      J.  Universal Postal Union ...........................  29 - 30    8

      K.  International Telecommunication Union ............     31      8

      L.  United Nations Industrial Development Organization  32 - 33    8


                                 I.  INTRODUCTION


1.   The present report is submitted pursuant to paragraph 12 of
General Assembly resolution 50/16 of 28 November 1995.


                  II.  CONSULTATIONS AND EXCHANGES OF INFORMATION

2.   On 3 January 1995, the Secretary-General of the United Nations
visited the headquarters of the League of Arab States in Cairo, where
he was received by the Secretary-General of the League,
Mr. Esmat Abdel-Meguid.  This was the first such visit by a Secretary-
General of the United Nations.  The Secretary-General of the United
Nations described the purpose of his visit as being to underline the
importance of cooperation between the United Nations and regional
organizations according to Chapter VIII of the Charter, and to discuss
means of strengthening such cooperation.  During the meeting, the two
Secretary-Generals also reviewed a wide range of issues related to the
Arab world, including Iraq, Kuwait, Libya and Western Sahara, as well
as the situation in Somalia and the dispute between Yemen and Eritrea. 
They also had a meeting during the fiftieth session of the General
Assembly.

3.   On 15 and 16 February 1996, the Secretary-General of the United
Nations convened a second high-level meeting with regional
organizations with which the Organization was cooperating in
preventive diplomacy, peacemaking and peacekeeping.  The meeting was
part of the Secretary-General's ongoing effort to continue the
dialogue between the United Nations and regional organizations and to
agree on ways and means of enhancing cooperation.  It was held within
the overall framework of the "An Agenda for Peace" (A/47/277-S/24111)
and its supplement (A/50/60-S/1995/1).  Mr. Mowaffak Allaf, Assistant
Secretary-General, Head of the International Political Affairs
Department, attended the meeting on behalf of the League.

4.   During the period under review, the secretariats of the United
Nations and the League of Arab States, as well as the Office of the
Permanent Observer for the League of Arab States to the United
Nations, continued to maintain close contact on other matters of
mutual concern to the two organizations.  In October 1995, during the
visit to New York of the Secretary-General of the League,
representatives of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
discussed with him a wide range of possible activities as a follow-up
to the general meeting on cooperation which had been held at Vienna in
July 1995.  The Director of the Regional Bureau for Arab States of
UNDP has initiated periodic briefings for the Arab Group of Permanent
Representatives to the United Nations in New York on UNDP-related
matters.


III.   FOLLOW-UP ACTION ON PROPOSALS AGREED TO AT GENERAL
       MEETINGS BETWEEN THE UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM AND THE
       LEAGUE OF ARAB STATES                             

5.   A summary of the reports of the organizations and agencies of the
United Nations system on their cooperation with the League of Arab
States during the period under review is given below.  It represents
the follow-up action on proposals adopted at the United Nations-League
of Arab States meetings in Tunis in 1983 (see A/38/299 and Corr.1),
Amman in 1985 (see A/40/481/Add.1), Geneva in 1988, 1990 and 1993 (see
A/43/509/Add.1, A/45/481/Add.1 and A/48/468/Add.1), and Vienna in 1995
(A/50/496).


                        A.  United Nations Office at Vienna

6.   During the period under review, the Office for Outer Space Affairs
and the League have continued to implement the recommendations of the
Second United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses
of Outer Space (UNISPACE 82).

7.   The current efforts of the Office in assisting developing
countries in building up indigenous capabilities in space science and
technology are aimed at the establishment and operation of centres for
space science and technology education at the regional level.  The
Office is engaged in the search for a host country for a centre in
Western Asia.  To this effect, in cooperation with the League of Arab
States and the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
(ESCWA), it might dispatch an evaluation mission to the region.

8.   As a follow-up to the recommendations of Agenda 21 of the United
Nations Conference on Environment and Development, and the general
meeting on cooperation between the United Nations system and the
League (Vienna, 19-21 July 1995), the Office for Outer Space Affairs
is in the process of developing a proposal for the League to
co-sponsor a workshop or training courses for the benefit of its
member States in one of the following subjects:  space techniques for
monitoring and control of the desert environment; space technology for
the sustainable development of natural resources; and applications of
space techniques to prevent and combat disasters.

9.   The Office for Outer Space Affairs, through its Space Applications
Programme, is prepared to offer the League any assistance on education
and training, especially in practical applications of space
technology.


                B.  Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia

10.  During the reporting period, ESCWA continued to harmonize and
promote joint activities with the League of Arab States.  Areas of
cooperation included industry, transport, women and development, human
settlements, and population.  In the field of industry, ESCWA
established grounds for future cooperation with the League on
promoting cleaner production in the Arab world.  It also participated
in the workshop on "The environmental impact on the industrial
activities in the Arab world" held at Cairo in December 1995.

11.  In the field of transport, it was agreed with the Arab League
Transport Section to coordinate, consult and identify areas of
cooperation, including a proposed joint arrangement for an expert
group meeting.

12.  In the area of women and development, ESCWA participated in a
workshop on leadership skills and coordination for Arab official
delegations to the Fourth World Conference on Women, which was
convened under the umbrella of the League of Arab States at Beirut in
July 1995.  ESCWA also collaborated with the League during the Fourth
Conference in organizing daily briefings and coordination meetings for
the Arab official delegations to the Conference.

13.  In the field of human development, the regional preparatory
meeting for the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements
(Habitat II) was organized by ESCWA, in cooperation with the League of
Arab States, in Amman from 23 to 26 January 1995.  ESCWA also
participated in the organization of the Third Arab Preparatory Meeting
for Habitat, held at Rabat in September 1995.  The meeting, held in
cooperation with the League, approved a draft declaration on
sustainable human settlements prepared by ESCWA.  The draft
declaration was adopted by the Council of Arab Ministries for Housing
and Reconstruction in December 1995.  Jointly with the Council, ESCWA
continued to publish a news bulletin on human settlements in the Arab
world.


                     C.  United Nations Development Programme

14.  UNDP cooperation with the League of Arab States and its associated
agencies on specific initiatives has continued.  At the UNDP-League of
Arab States meeting held in October 1995, the two sides addressed the
need to ensure (a) systematic exchange of information and
documentation between UNDP and the League of Arab States; (b) policy
dialogue on planned developmental activities; and (c) collaboration in
the area of mobilizing resources for development in the Arab States
region.  The idea of formalizing future collaboration between UNDP and
the League of Arab States on the basis of a memorandum of
understanding is being pursued; the draft of the memorandum is under
consideration by both organizations.

15.  UNDP participated in the meeting on the development of the
occupied territories, which was organized by the Welfare Association
and sponsored by the League, at Cairo in November 1995.   The League
participated in the experts meeting on poverty eradication and
sustainable livelihoods in the Arab region, held at Damascus in
February 1996.  UNDP continued its cooperation with the Arab Fund for
Economic and Social Development (AFESD) in the area of environment and
computerization; with the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) in the area of
trade; with the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (AOAD)
in the area of oilseed crops; and with the Arab Labour Organization
(ALO) in the area of labour administration, labour laws and
regulations.  The United Nations Sudano-Sahelian Office (UNSO)
cooperates with the League of Arab States and its associated agencies
on the implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat
Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or
Desertification, particularly in Africa.


                     D.  United Nations Environment Programme

16.  UNEP has continued to implement, together with the League of Arab
States and its specialized organizations, the following five main
programmes:  (a) combating desertification and increasing the green
area; (b) combating industrial pollution; (c) environmental education,
awareness and information; (d) conservation of biodiversity; and
(e) establishment of a network of environmental information.

17.  In addition, UNEP has continued to cooperate with the specialized
agencies of the Arab League in the field of industrial pollution (Arab
Industrial Development and Mining Organization); land degradation
(Arab Organization for Agricultural Development); environmental
education and training (Arab League Educational, Cultural and
Scientific Organization).


                        E.  United Nations Population Fund

18.  UNFPA and the League of Arab States have continued to cooperate
fruitfully on the basis of the Population Research Unit, a permanent
structure in the League (see A/50/496, para. 58), and in the
implementation of the Pan-Arab Project for Child Development
(PAPCHILD).


F.  United Nations Relief and Works Agency for
    Palestine Refugees in the Near East       

19.  Relations between UNRWA and the League of Arab States are
characterized by close cooperation.  UNRWA, which provides essential
services to 3.2 million registered Palestine refugees in its area of
operations, maintains close contact with the Permanent Observers of
the League of Arab States in Vienna and New York and with the League
Secretariat in Cairo, and participates in sectoral meetings organized
by the League.  The Agency seeks to foster regular exchanges between
its officials and the League Secretariat at various levels and in
various forums.  One of those opportunities was the general meeting on
cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States
held in July 1995.

20.  UNRWA has benefited from the League's ongoing support for the
UNRWA programme and its continuing efforts to urge Member States to
increase voluntary contributions to its regular budget.

21.  The fifth joint meeting between UNRWA and the Arab League Council
of Education for the Children of Palestine was held at Cairo in
December 1995.  The annual meetings review education services offered
to Palestine refugees in the host countries, and are normally attended
on behalf of UNRWA by the education programme chiefs for each of the
five fields of operation of the Agency.  UNRWA welcomed the proposal
of the League Secretariat, put forward in June 1995, to broaden the
scope of the annual meeting to include all three programme areas in
which the Agency is active, education, health and relief and social
services.

22.  Together with the League of Arab States and the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), UNRWA
co-sponsored a workshop on "The development and support of Palestinian
education and the Palestinian education process", held at Cairo in
June 1996.


                           G.  World Health Organization

23.  The World Health Organization/Regional Office for Health
Development participated in and provided technical input for several
workshops and technical documents prepared by the Technical
Secretariat of the Council of the Arab Ministers of Health.  These
included:  the seminar on alternative systems for health-care
financing; meeting of the Steering Committee for Environment Pollution
Control in the Arab World; meeting of the Joint Committee for
Environment and Development in the Arab World; workshop on the control
of pollution by heavy metals and the alternative technologies;
training course on assessment of the industrial impact on the
environment in the Arab countries; meeting of the Regional Population
Committee; Seventh Meeting of the Arab Councils Responsible for
Environmental Health Affairs; assessment of industrial impact on the
environment in the Arab countries; and role of non-governmental
organizations in the protection of the environment and the achievement
of sustainable development in the Arab world.

24.  WHO has collaborated with the technical secretariat in developing
a protocol for collaboration with the Union of Arab Pharmacists and
suggested rules and regulations for the functioning of the Arab
Pharmacopeia Committee.

25.  WHO is closely involved with other United Nations agencies and the
Arab Gulf Programme for United Nations Development Organizations
(AGFUND) in the technical preparation and implementation of the
PAPCHILD project.  The Regional Office hosted the last meeting of the
PAPCHILD Technical and Higher Steering Committee, in April 1996, and
prepared, jointly with UNICEF, an evaluation paper for the project and
its future development.  It is also collaborating with the Arab Board
for Medical Specialization.


                          H.  International Monetary Fund

26.  Although the nature of IMF activities does not necessitate
intensive contacts with the League of Arab States, in the past few
years a number of staff of the League have participated in courses
offered by the IMF Institute.  In addition, the resident
representative of IMF in Egypt has participated in seminars organized
by the League.


                                  I.  World Bank

27.  As in previous years, the World Bank maintained through 1995 a
dialogue initiated with the League in Cairo on ways to mount joint
activities in the region.  The dialogue has continued in 1996 at the
highest levels with the recent meeting at Cairo between the President
of the Bank, and the Secretary- General of the League of Arab States.

28.  While no joint field activities have been established, the
resident mission of the Bank in Cairo maintains contact with League
representatives.  The Bank staff have occasionally participated in
specialized League meetings.  The latest example is the third session
of the League's Joint Committee on the Environment and Development,
held in October 1995.

                            J.  Universal Postal Union

29.  Cooperation between the Arab countries and UPU is coordinated by
the Arab Permanent Postal Commission (APPC), a specialized body of the
League.  In the framework of implementing its system of presence in
the field, UPU has created a regional adviser post responsible for the
Arab countries, with headquarters in Cairo.

30.  The UPU International Bureau is regularly invited to take part in
APPC meetings, and in this way contributed substantially to the work
of the seminar for Seoul postage strategy national coordinators in the
Arab countries held at Dubai in March 1996.  At its session in October
1995, the UPU Council of Administration approved regional technical
assistance priorities on behalf of the Arab countries for the period
1996-2000.  Programmes and projects on behalf of these countries will
be prepared and implemented in close cooperation with APPC as the
League's specialized body.


                     K.  International Telecommunication Union

31.  Cooperation between ITU and the League of Arab States has
continued through the ITU Regional Office for the Arab States in Cairo
and the Technical Secretariat of the Council of Arab Telecommunication
Ministers of the League.  ITU has worked in close collaboration and
cooperated in developing telecommunications in the Arab region through
various meetings, joint seminars and training courses and workshops. 
A cooperation agreement between ITU and the League, expected to be
signed shortly, is currently being studied by both parties.


              L.  United Nations Industrial Development Organization

32.  UNIDO has maintained close cooperation with the League of Arab
States and its specialized agencies.  It has established particularly
close ties with the Arab Industrial Development and Mining
Organization (AIDMO), as well as the Arab Union for Cement and
Building Materials (AUCBM), Arab Railway Union (ARU), Gulf
Organization for Industrial Consulting (GPIC), Arab Iron and Steel
Union (AISU), and Arab School for Science and Technology (ASST).

33.  Given the industrial mandate of both UNIDO and AIDMO, the bulk of
regional activities deployed by the organizations in the Arab
countries is implemented in cooperation with AIDMO as a specialized
agency of the League of Arab States.  In the framework of three
agreements with AIDMO, joint activities have been undertaken in
various industrial spheres, including the preparation of feasibility
studies and investment project profiles, the organization of training
workshops, assistance in the establishment of data banks, and the
conduct of industrial surveys.


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