HE Lamis Mustafa Al Alami, Minister of Education and Higher Education, Palestine

Palestine, March 24th 2012 – The Minister points out that not all Arab countries are wealthy, leaving those countries little choice but to invest in Human Relations. She also explains that from a global perspective, competition is open, and the trend towards a knowledge-based society. She believes that education should shift from being teacher-centred to being learner-centred, and identifies the occupation of the Gaza Strip, with its ramifications, as the major obstacle to education in Palestine. She comments that Palestine has gone to great lengths to provide education and has achieved many objectives in this regard. She concludes by referring to a 5 year strategy plan focused on quality education.

Palestinian Flag Raised at UNESCO

UN, March 9th 2012 – Addressing the assembly of delegations and guests, President Abbas said: “Our admission (to UNESCO) is a tremendous source of pride for us […] Palestinian writers, artists and researchers have played a vital role trying to preserve the culture and identity of our people. UNESCO has also played a fundamental role – and has been a loyal partner.”

Welcoming Palestine to UNESCO, the Director-General said: “UNESCO is working on the frontlines today, to build a more peaceful, more democratic and more just world. Human dignity is our starting point and the measure of our success. Solidarity is our guide and our objective.

Multilateralism has never been so important. This new membership must be a chance for all to join together around shared values and renewed ambitions for peace. It is in this spirit that I welcome Palestine to UNESCO.”

UNESCO became the first UN agency to admit Palestine as a full Member after its Member States voted to admit Palestine as the 195th Member of UNESCO on 31 October, during the 36th session of the Organization’s General Conference.

Scholarship Program – United Palestinian Appeal

UPA’s University Scholarship Program has enabled over 2,000 students to attend universities in the West Bank and Gaza. These scholarships allow students to obtain a higher education and pursue a professional career in their chosen field. At the same time, UPA scholarships promote the development a strong, independent Palestinian community by supporting local educational institutions, which are a critical part of any functioning society.