Habitat International Coalition
Global network for the right to habitat and social justice
WSF 2015: Local Authorities Supporting Palestine
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Report of the conference: Local authorities in support of Palestinian rights held at WSF 2015


Civil society and social movement participants met with local authorities to discuss the legal obligations and practical examples of cities and local government implementing the principles of nonrecognition and cooperation with parties that violate human rights in Palestine. Joseph Schechla (HIC-HLRN) presented the "self-executing” international law obligations of local authorities to refrain from contracting and procurement with parties that cooperate with Israel’s occupation and colonization of Palestine. Maren Mantovani (Stop the Wall Campaign) presented good practice examples from around the world, whereby city and federated state governments have implemented their extraterritorial obligations consistent with the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign of nontransaction. António Zurita of Fondo Andaluz de Municipios paras Solidaridad Internacional (FAMSI) delivered a statement from Andalusian Spanish municipalities that already are committed to responsible investment and procurement.

The participants posed suggestions for widening the participation in BDS in cooperation with local authorities and their already-binding obligations to comply with their extraterritorial human rights obligations. In a statement at the seminar, participants expressed their support of cooperation with local authorities in this process, and recommended specific coordinated actions.

The event followed the December 2014 conference in Seville, organized by the UN Division for Palestinian Rights, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), FAMSI and la Junta de Andalucía. There civil society and local governments presented a platform for cooperation in the form of the "Olive Declaration” (EnglishFrench, SpanishArabic). Outcomes of theLocal Authorities in Support of Palestinian Rightsseminar will contribute to building the follow-up program.


Habitat International Coalition
General Secretariat