16 December 2014

Seville, 2-3 December 2014

Olive Declaration

1. The representatives of city and local governments, as well as of civil society organizations who gathered in Seville during the International Conference of Local Governments and Civil Society Organizations in Support of Palestinian Rights, organized by the Andalusian Fund of Municipalities for International Solidarity (FAMSI), the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP), United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) and the Junta of Andalusia, with the collaboration of the Parliament of Andalusia, where the event took place, declare:

2. 67 years after the adoption of United Nations Resolution 181 (II) and the Palestinian Nakba; 21 years after the signing of the Oslo Accords and on the 10th anniversary of the International Court of Justice advisory opinion on the Wall coinciding with the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (2014);

3. Reaffirming our unconditional support for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, namely their right to self-determination, the right to national independence and sovereignty, and the right of the Palestine refugees to return to their homes and properties, and to compensation for the property of those choosing not to return, and for loss or damage to property, in accordance with United Nations resolutions and international law;

4. Reaffirming the customary law and norms enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, which prohibits the acquisition of territory by force; the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and our own national Constitutions;

5. Alarmed by the ongoing deterioration of the situation in Jerusalem, the ongoing displacement and violations of the Palestinian fundamental rights, and by the increase of settlers’ violence and provocations against holy sites, particularly around the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound;

6. Calling for greater effectiveness of international diplomacy and of the institutions that should have put an end to this tragedy;

7. Condemning the recent attack against the Gaza Strip which resulted in the death of some 2,205 people, a quarter  of them children; displacement of 500,000 Palestinians, and the destruction of crucial civilian infrastructure;

8. Condemning the continuous expansion of illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory despite the repeated calls of the international community to put an end to this practice;

9. Recalling the Concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: Israel, CERD/C/ISR/CO/13, 9 March 2007, paras. 22, 23, 33, 34 and 35; and CERD/C/ISR/CO/14–16, 9 March 2012, paras. 11, 15, 24–27, calling on Israel to end all policies and practices which violate the provisions of article 3 of the Convention, which prohibits racial segregation and apartheid;

10. Recalling the conclusions of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine on EU, US, the Security Council and international companies complicit in Israel's violations of international law;

11. Recalling and celebrating good practices by local governments such as steps taken by over 16 municipalities in Andalusia and Catalonia endorsing the BDS campaign, the council of Leicester to boycott all settlement products and Rio Grande Do Sul's government decision to suspend the Memorandum of Understanding with Elbit System and many other initiatives all over the world;

12. Recognizing the growing impact of civil society movements to end the Israeli occupation, such as the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign;

13. Welcoming the growing international recognition of the Palestinian State and the ongoing Palestinian efforts supported by an increasing majority of countries, to engage the Security Council and other United Nations bodies;

14. Taking into consideration the long and passionate exchange of views during these two days, we call for:

  • the European Union and its Member States to fulfill their obligations under international law, as stated in the 2004 Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Wall, not to help to maintain nor to render aid or assistance to the illegal situation coming from the breach of international law, and to play a greater role in ensuring accountability and to take concrete steps to implement the human rights provisions of its association agreements;
  • all Member States of United Nations to live up to the Charter principles by ending their political and economic support for Israel's violations of international law and holding it juridically accountable for its crimes through their own and international mechanisms;
  • all layers of the international community, including local governments and civil society to gather support and exert pressure to end the siege of the Gaza Strip, and demanding the end of the abusive illegal use of administrative detention and freedom to all Palestinian political prisoners, supporting, among others, the international campaign “Free Marwan Barghouthi and all Palestinian prisoners”;
  • local governments to develop and reinforce relations between them and Palestinian municipalities through educational, economic, social, political, cultural, youth, media and expert exchanges, in a sustainable way, and the signing of more twinning agreements; focusing on Area C and Jerusalem;
  • international, European and national institutions to reinforce the Diplomacy of the Cities and eliminate the obstacles that complicate the development of Decentralized Cooperation;
  • Local governments to commit to responsible investment by not contracting with parties and not twinning with cities that support or benefit from occupation or violate related prohibitions under international law;
  • Civil society to pressure their local and national governments to hold into account Israel and companies complicit with its violations of international humanitarian and human rights law; and
  • the United Nations to adopt a principled, ethically responsible and transparent procurement policy and mechanism for  contracting with companies, for instance in the reconstruction of Gaza; that exclude from all tenders any parties, Israeli and other, that are complicit with the Israeli occupation, human rights abuses and violations of international law.

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