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1. The Programme and External Relations Commission (PX) held four (4) meetings; from Monday 6 July 2020 in the morning to Tuesday 7 July 2020 in the morning with Mr Hector Constant Rosales (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela) as Chairperson and Mr José Antonio Rodríguez Duvergé (Dominican Republic), as Temporary Chairperson, to examine the items listed below, which had been referred to it by the Executive Board at its plenary meeting on 2 July 2020.

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24. Occupied Palestine (209 EX/24)

25. Implementation of 40 C/Resolution 67 and 207 EX/Decision 39 concerning educational and cultural institutions in the occupied Arab territories (209 EX/25)

/…

Item 24       Occupied Palestine (209 EX/24)

  1. After considering this item, the Programme and External Relations Commission recommended that the Executive Board adopt the following draft decision:

The Executive Board,

  1. Having examined document 209 EX/24 as well as the annexes attached to this decision,
  2. Recalling its previous decisions concerning “Occupied Palestine”,
  3. Decides to include this item in the agenda of its 210th session, and invites the DirectorGeneral to submit to it a follow-up report thereon.

– – – – – – – – – –

ANNEX I

 

Executive BoardTwo hundred and ninth session   209PARIS, 26 June 2020Original: English EX/PX/DR.24.1

PROGRAMME AND EXTERNAL RELATIONS COMMISSION (PX) 

Item 24        OCCUPIED PALESTINE

DRAFT DECISION

The Executive Board,

  1. Having examined document 209 EX/24,
  2. Recalling the provisions of the four Geneva Conventions (1949) and their additional Protocols (1977), the 1907 Hague Regulations on Land Warfare, the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (1954) and its additional Protocols, the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (1970) and the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972), the inscription of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls at the request of Jordan on the World Heritage List (1981) and on the List of World Heritage in Danger (1982), and the recommendations, resolutions and decisions of UNESCO on the protection of cultural heritage, as well as resolutions and decisions of UNESCO relating to Jerusalem, also recalling previous UNESCO decisions relating to the reconstruction and development of Gaza as well as UNESCO decisions on the two Palestinian sites in Al-Khalil/Hebron and in Bethlehem,
  3. Affirming that nothing in the current decision, which aims, inter alia, at the safeguarding of the cultural heritage of Palestine and the distinctive character of East Jerusalem, shall in any way affect the relevant Security Council and United Nations resolutions and decisions on the legal status of Palestine and Jerusalem, including United Nations Security Council resolution 2334 (2016),
  4. Taking note of the letters addressed to the Director-General by the Permanent Delegations of Palestine and Jordan to UNESCO in 2019 and 2020 concerning the sub-sections below,

I         Jerusalem

  1. Reaffirming the importance of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls for the three monotheistic religions,
  2. Bearing in mind that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which have altered or purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and in particular the “basic law” on Jerusalem, are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith,
  3. Recalling the seventeen decisions of the Executive Board: 185 EX/Decision 14, 187 EX/Decision 11, 189 EX/Decision 8, 190 EX/Decision 13, 192 EX/Decision 11, 194 EX/Decision 5.I.D, 195 EX/Decision 9, 196 EX/Decision 26, 197 EX/Decision 32, 199 EX/Dec.19.1, 200 EX/Decision 25, 201 EX/Decision 30, 202 EX/Decision 38, 204 EX/Decision 25 and 205 EX/Decision 28, 206 EX/Decision 32 and 207 EX/Decision 38, and the ten World Heritage Committee decisions: 34 COM/7A.20, 35 COM/7A.22, 36 COM/7A.23, 37 COM/7A.26, 38 COM/7A.4, 39 COM/7A.27, 40 COM/7A.13, 41 COM/7A.36, 42 COM/7A.21 and 43 COM/7A.22;
  4. Regrets the failure of the Israeli occupying authorities to cease the persistent excavations, tunnelling, works and projects in East Jerusalem, particularly in and around the Old City of Jerusalem which are illegal under international law, and reiterates its request to Israel, the occupying Power, to stop all violations which are not in conformity with the provisions of the relevant UNESCO conventions, resolutions and decisions;
  5. Also regrets the Israeli refusal to implement the UNESCO request to the Director-General to appoint a permanent representative to be stationed in East Jerusalem to report on a regular basis about all aspects covering the fields of competence of UNESCO in East Jerusalem, and reiterates its request to the Director-General to appoint, as soon as possible, the above-mentioned representative;

II        Reconstruction and development of Gaza

  1. Deeply deplores the ongoing military developments around the Gaza Strip and their heavy toll of civilian casualties as well as their continuous negative impact in the fields of competence of UNESCO;
  2. Deplores the continuous Israeli closure of the Gaza Strip, which harmfully affects the free and sustained movement of personnel, students and humanitarian relief items and requests Israel to immediately ease this closure;
  3. Thanks the Director-General for initiatives that have already been implemented in Gaza in the fields of education, culture and youth and for the safety of media professionals, calls upon her to continue her active involvement in the reconstruction of Gaza’s damaged educational and cultural components and reiterates, in this regard, its request to her to upgrade the UNESCO Antenna in Gaza and to organize, as soon as possible, an information meeting on the current situation in Gaza in the fields of competence of UNESCO and on the outcome of the projects conducted by UNESCO;

III. The two Palestinian sites of Al-Haram Al-Ibrahimi/Tomb of the Patriarchs in AlKhalil/Hebron and the Bilal Ibn Rabah Mosque/Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem

  1. Reaffirms that the two concerned sites located in Al-Khalil/Hebron and in Bethlehem are an integral part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and shares the conviction affirmed by the international community that the two sites are of religious significance for Judaism, Christianity and Islam;
  2. Deplores the ongoing Israeli excavations, works, construction of private roads for settlers and of a Wall inside the Old City of Al-Khalil/Hebron which are illegal under international law and harmfully affect the authenticity and integrity of the site, and the subsequent denial of freedom of movement and freedom of access to places of worship and asks Israel, the occupying Power, to end all violations which are not in conformity with the provisions of relevant UNESCO conventions, resolutions and decisions;
  3. Regrets the visual impact of the Wall on the site of Bilal Ibn Rabah Mosque/Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem as well as the strict ban on access of Palestinian Christian and Muslim worshippers to the site, and demands that the Israeli authorities restore the original character of the landscape around the site and lift the ban on access to it;

IV

  1. Decides to include these matters under an item entitled “Occupied Palestine” in the agenda at its 210th session, and invites the Director-General to submit to it a progress report thereon.

ANNEX II THE UNESCO REACTIVE MONITORING MISSION TO THE OLD CITY OF JERUSALEM AND ITS WALLS

The Executive Board

  1. Stresses the urgent need to implement the UNESCO reactive monitoring mission to the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls;
  2. Invites the Director-General and the World Heritage Centre to exert all efforts, in line with their mandates and in conformity with the provisions of the relevant UNESCO conventions, decisions and resolutions, to ensure the prompt implementation of the mission and, in case of nonimplementation, to propose effective measures in the report to it at its 210th session;
  3. Expresses its commitment to exert its utmost efforts to resolve this issue at its next session.

ANNEX TO THE DOCUMENT

During the reporting period, the following correspondence has been received by the Secretariat in relation to this item:

Date From Subject
10 October 2019

 

Ambassador, Alternate

Permanent Delegate of Palestine to UNESCO, with enclosed letter from the Palestinian Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability of the Bethlehem University

Palestine Land of Olives and

Vines – Cultural Landscape of

Southern Jerusalem, Battir

18 December 2019

 

Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Jordan to UNESCO and Ambassador, Permanent

Delegate of Palestine to

UNESCO

The Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls
17 January 2020 Ambassador, Alternate

Permanent Delegate of Palestine

to UNESCO

Hebron/Al-Khalīl Old Town
22 January 2020 Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Jordan to UNESCO and Ambassador, Permanent

Delegate of Palestine to

UNESCO

The Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls
27 January 2020 Ambassador, Alternate

Permanent Delegate of Palestine

to UNESCO

Hebron/Al-Khalīl Old Town
29 April 2020 Ambassador, Alternate

Permanent Delegate of Palestine to UNESCO, with enclosed letter from the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates

Hebron/Al-Khalīl Old Town
18 May 2020 Ambassador, Permanent

Delegate of Palestine to

UNESCO

Hebron/Al-Khalīl Old Town
17 June 2020 Ambassador of Israel to

International Organizations

The Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls

 

Item 25      Implementation of 40 C/Resolution 67 and 207 EX/Decision 39 concerning educational and cultural institutions in the occupied Arab territories (209 EX/25)

  1. After considering this item, the Programme and External Relations Commission recommended that the Executive Board adopt the following draft decision: The Executive Board,
  2. Having considered documents 209 EX/24 and 209 EX/25, as well as the annex to this decision,
  3. Recalling its previous decisions concerning “Educational and Cultural Institutions in the Occupied Arab Territories”,
  4. Decides to include this item in the agenda of its 210th session, and invites the DirectorGeneral to submit to it a follow-up report thereon.

– – – – – – – – – –

ANNEX I

Executive Board                                 209 EX/PX/DR.25.1

PARIS, 26 June 2019

Two hundred and ninth session                                                                   Original: English

PROGRAMME AND EXTERNAL RELATIONS COMMISSION (PX) 

Item 25              IMPLEMENTATION OF 40 C/RESOLUTION 67 AND 207 EX/DECISION 39 CONCERNING

EDUCATIONAL AND CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS IN THE OCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIES

DRAFT DECISION

The Executive Board,

I         OCCUPIED PALESTINE  

  1. Recalling 185 EX/Decision 36 and 38 C/Resolution 72 as well as Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with regard to the right to education, Articles 24, 50 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 additional Protocols and the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972), 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,
  2. Having examined documents 209 EX/24 and 209 EX/25,
  3. 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,
  4. Deplores the damaging impact of the military confrontations on the fields of competence of UNESCO in the Gaza Strip, particularly education and cultural institutions;
  5. Deeply concerned by the Israeli army violations against Palestinian universities and schools, demands that the Israeli authorities immediately halt actions that violate UNESCO principles and the provisions of the world declaration for education for all (1990) and reaffirms, in this regard, that schools, universities and cultural heritage sites enjoy special protection and should not be targeted;
  6. Expresses its growing concern about the harmful impact of the Wall on the activities of educational and cultural institutions, and demands, in this regard, that Israel, the occupying Power, cease all of its settlement activities, including 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 and the Cremisan Monastery in the Bethlehem Governorate, which harm the social fabric of Palestinian society and prevent Palestinian school children and students from exercising fully their right to education;
  1. 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 halt this censorship;
  2. 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 as well as for building of schools for Palestinian children such as the school of Tana, near Nablus and the two schools in Khan Al-Ahmar and in Abu Nuwar near Jerusalem, and appeals to them to continue assisting UNESCO in this endeavour;
  3. Deeply regrets the destruction by the Israeli authorities of schools, including the school in Abu Nuwar and the school in Tana, and calls on the Israeli authorities to halt plans for further demolition, including of the school in Khan Al-Ahmar;
  4. Thanks the Director-General for the results that have been obtained in favour of the protection, reconstruction, rehabilitation and restoration of the Palestinian archaeological sites and cultural heritage, invites her to reinforce her action in this regard and to strengthen UNESCO’s assistance to the Palestinian educational and cultural institutions in order to address the needs for capacity building in UNESCO’s fields of competence by, inter alia, expanding the financial assistance programme for Palestinian students and school children, and requests her to organize, as soon as possible, the ninth meeting of the Joint UNESCO-Palestine Committee;

II        OCCUPIED SYRIAN GOLAN  

  1. Also invites the Director-General:
  • 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;
  • 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;
  • 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 210th session of the Executive Board;

III

  1. Decides to include this item in the agenda of its 210th session, and invites the Director-General to submit to it a progress report thereon.

ANNEX TO THE DOCUMENT

During the reporting period, the following correspondence has been received by the Secretariat in relation to this item:

Date From Subject
29 November 2019 Alternate Permanent Delegate of Palestine to UNESCO Educational, Cultural, Media and Health Institutions
23 January 2020 Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of Palestine Educational Institutions: UNRWA Schools
13 May 2020 President, Palestinian National

Commission for Education, Culture and Science

Closure of Palestine TV Offices

 

Item 29      International       Day       of       Conscience       (209 EX/29,       209 EX/DG.INF. Rev.,

209 EX/PG/1.INF.3)

  1. After considering this item, the Programme and External Relations Commission recommended that the Executive Board adopt the following draft decision:

The Executive Board,

  1. Having examined document 209 EX/29,
  2. Welcoming the proposal of Bahrain on the adoption of a resolution to proclaim the celebration of International Day of Conscience at UNESCO Headquarters on 5 April each year in compliance with United Nations General Assembly resolution 73/329,
  3. Recalling the Charter of the United Nations, including the purposes and principles contained therein, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other relevant international instruments of the United Nations system,
  4. Also recalling:
    • the Constitution of UNESCO and its mandate in promoting a culture of peace, nonviolence and sustainable development,
    • the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace adopted on 13 September 1999 by the United Nations General Assembly,
    • the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022) which was recommended for proclamation by the UNESCO General Conference in 2012 (36 C/Resolution 40) and subsequently confirmed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012 through its resolution 67/104,
  5. Considering the important role of UNESCO and its activities related to the culture of peace and non-violence and that, in this context, the General Assembly expressed its appreciation for the Organization’s ongoing efforts in promoting a culture of peace through a number of practical projects in the areas of youth, education, media and migration, in collaboration with governments, international organizations, foundations and civil society groups as well as the media and private sector,
  6. Endorses paragraph 5 of United Nations General Assembly resolution 73/329 by which it requested the Secretary-General to bring the resolution to the attention of all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system, businesses and academic and civil society organizations for appropriate observance;
  7. Recommends that the General Conference at its 41st session:
    • request the Director General to mark International Day of Conscience to be held annually on 5 April at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, and in UNESCO field offices, with the participation of Member States and other partners;
    • call upon all Member States and partners in a position to provide additional resources to support UNESCO’s activities related to the culture of peace and nonviolence;
    • welcome the offer of Bahrain to provide extrabudgetary resources to finance the aforementioned event each year in accordance with a grant agreement to be reached.