Occupied Palestine – draft decision – UNESCO draft decision

199 EX/PX/DR.20.2

PARIS, 8 April 2016

Original: English


Item 20



Submitted by: Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, and Sudan


The Executive Board,

1. Recalling 38 C/Resolution 72 and 185 EX/Decision 36 as well as Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with regard to the right to education, Articles 4 and 94 of the Fourth Geneva Convention with regard to the denial of the right of children to education, as well as the Hague Convention (1954) and its Protocols and the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972),

2. Also recalling the International Court of Justice's Advisory Opinion of 9 July 2004 on the "Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory",

3. Having examined document 199 EX/20,

4. Committed to the safeguarding of monuments, works of art, manuscripts, books and other historical and cultural properties to be protected in the event of conflict, as well as the safeguarding of schools and all educational facilities,

5. Deplores the damaging impact of the military confrontations in and around the Gaza Strip in the fields of competence of UNESCO where several hundreds of educational and cultural facilities have been destroyed or damaged, affecting more than 500,000 schoolchildren and students as reflected in United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and UNESCO reports, as well as the severe damage inflicted on cultural heritage sites and cultural institutions, and also deplores breaches of the inviolability of UNRWA schools;

6. Expresses its deep concern about the recent escalation of the situation and its effect on the full exercise of the right to education by schoolchildren and students;

7. Reaffirms, in this regard, that schools, universities and cultural heritage sites enjoy special protection and should not be targeted in situations of armed conflict;

8. Expresses its growing concern about the harmful impact of the Wall and of other practices on the activities of educational and cultural institutions, as well as obstacles resulting therefrom which prevent Palestinian schoolchildren and students from being an integral part of their social fabric and from exercising fully their right to education, and calls for the observance of the provisions of relevant UNESCO conventions, resolutions and decisions;

9. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, cease all of its settlement activities, the construction of the Wall and other measures aimed at altering the character, status and demographic composition of the Occupied Palestinian territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, which, inter alia, have a negative impact on Palestinian schoolchildren's ability to fully exercise their right to education;

10. Also demands, in this regard, that the Israeli authorities renounce to the extension of the Wall through Beit Jala and the Cremisan Monastery in the governorate of Bethlehem;

11. Notes with deep concern the Israeli censorship of the Palestinian curricula of schools and universities in East Jerusalem, and urges the Israeli authorities to immediately halt8 this censorship;

12. Expresses its appreciation for the substantial contributions of all concerned Member States and intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations to UNESCO's action in Palestine, and appeals to them to continue assisting UNESCO in this endeavour;

13. Thanks the Director-General for the results that have been obtained in relation to the implementation of a number of current educational and cultural activities, and invites her to strengthen UNESCO's assistance to the Palestinian educational and cultural institutions in order to address new needs;

14. Encourages the Director-General to continue to reinforce her action in favour of the protection, reconstruction, rehabilitation and restoration of the Palestinian archaeological sites and cultural heritage, and invites her to address the needs for capacity building in all UNESCO's fields of competence by expanding the financial assistance programme for Palestinian students;

15. Requests the Director-General to organize, as soon as possible, the ninth meeting of the Joint UNESCO-Palestine Committee;


16. Also invites the Director-General:

(a) to continue the efforts she is making to preserve the human, social and cultural fabric of the occupied Syrian Golan, in accordance with the relevant provisions of its decisions;
(b) to undertake efforts to offer appropriate curricula, and to provide more grants and adequate assistance to the educational and cultural institutions of the occupied Syrian Golan;
(c) to dispatch an expert to assess and evaluate the needs of the educational and cultural institutions in the occupied Syrian Golan and report to her before the 200th session of the Executive Board;


17. Decides to include this item in the agenda of the Executive Board at its 200th session, and invites the Director-General to submit to it a progress report thereon.

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