WSF 2015: Local Authorities Supporting Palestine


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

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 Rights
seminar will contribute
to building the follow-up program.