MOTION TO THE TURIN CONFERENCE – JULY 2008
1) This Assembly resolves to ask all its member sections to require that their members only undertake work within the rulings of international law and the UIA Charter.
2) Pursuant to this, our colleagues in Israel are requested to take particular notice with regard to working on settlement projects on expropriated Palestinian land in the Occupied Territories and annexed East Jerusalem that are deemed illegal under international law, including projects involving the dispossession of Palestinian and Bedouin citizens within Israel itself.
3) The Assembly should decide what appropriate action is to be taken in such cases by the UIA, the international guardian of professional and ethical standards in our profession, noting the precedent for action taken against the South African Institute of Architects in the 1970s.
Abe Hayeem, RIBA – Chair, Architects & Planners for Justice in Palestine (APJP)
Haifa Hammami, Architect- Secretary APJP
Ted Cullinan, RA,RIBA
Charles Jencks, Architect
Sir Richard MacCormack, RIBA
Eyal Weizman, Architect
Hans Haenlein, RIBA
Cezary Bednarski, RIBA
Phil Gusack, Architect
David Berridge, RIBA
John Murray, RIBA
John Van Rooyen, RIBA
Dena Qaddumi, AIA
Jake Brown, RIBA
John Hodge, RIBA
Martin O’Shea, RIBA
Joanna Hellig, SAR/MSA, Architects Without Borders-Sweden
Dick Urban Vestbro, Prof Emeritus, Swedish Association of Architects
Beatriz C. Maturana, Architect, Architects for Peace, Australia
Jonas Jernberg, Chair, Architecture Sans Frontiere, Sweden
Hubert Murray, AIA, RIBA
Terry Meade, RIBA
Nicholas Wood, RIBA,FRGS
Faisal Kahn, RIBA
Gail Waldman, RIBA
John Van Rooyen, RIBA
Walter Hain, Architect
ADDENDA TO THE MOTION TO THE UIA COUNCIL
ISRAEL AND INTERNATIONAL LAW.
1) Israeli law, within which Israeli architects practice, contradicts humanitarian conventions and condones racial discrimination, collective punishment, and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian population. Actions such as house seizures and demolitions, land expropriation, destruction or stealing of olive trees, town and city blockades and terminals are physical manifestations of an illegal occupation that have been meticulously documented by Israeli human rights organizations like B’Tselem, Peace Now, The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), and in the publication “Hollow Land” by Eyal Weizman.
2) Since 1947 Israeli kibbutzim, towns and cities have been built over the ruins of over 500 Palestinian villages, houses and heritage that were wiped from the map by a form of architectural and cultural erasure. 93 per cent of Israel’s land is for Jewish citizens only.
3) The continuing annexation and fragmentation of Palestinian land under the guise of security, through the expansion of illegal settlements, outposts, check points, settler-only highways and the construction of the illegal Separation Wall, which sequesters most of the water resources.
4) Israeli architects continue creating ‘facts on the ground’ which exclude and oppress Palestinians, and obliterate the formation of a viable future Palestinian state, in spite of Israel’s international obligations and commitments made in the context of the "peace" process at Madrid, Oslo, the Road Map and Annapolis.
5) Israel's settlement policy in the West Bank and annexed East Jerusalem continues unabated in contravention of Article 49(6) of the Fourth Geneva Convention and numerous binding UN Security Council Resolutions, including 242 446, 452, 465. This position has also been affirmed by the International Court of Justice, the world’s highest legal body, and by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the respected Israeli human rights organization, B’Tselem.
6) Serious breaches of the UIA Architects’ Charter and in particular:
Principle 2 - Obligations to the Public
"Architects have obligations to the public to embrace the spirit and letter of the laws governing their professional affairs, and should thoughtfully consider the social and environmental impact of their professional activities.
2.1 Standard: Architects shall respect and help conserve the systems of values and the natural and cultural heritage of the community in which they are creating architecture. They shall strive to improve the environment and the quality of the life and habitat within it in a sustainable manner, being fully mindful of the effect of their work on the widest interests of all those who may reasonably be expected to use or enjoy the product of their work."
7) As a precedent, in the 1970s until the end of apartheid, South Africa was excluded from the UIA for similar practices. In Israel, planning, architecture and other construction disciplines are being used to promote an apartheid-type system of environmental control, with Palestinians segmented in tiny enclaves.
Despite international condemnation, the above conditions have continued unabated and with the complicit support of architects in Israel and their representative body, the IAUA. The situation requires that the UIA take firm action to express its disapproval of these ongoing practices, which will send a clear message that these practices will not be tolerated in the architectural profession.