The UIA calls for an urgent ceasefire in the Gaza Strip
International Union of Architects (UIA) calls for an urgent ceasefire in the
Gaza Strip and strongly condemns the ongoing conflict that has caused an
unprecedented number of civilian casualties. Many of those killed and injured
are children and women.
with 3.5 million architects from 115 countries, the UIA expresses solidarity
with all those suffering from the conflict. It joins the United Nations General
Assembly resolution on the protection of civilians and upholding legal and
humanitarian obligations expressing grave concern at the catastrophic
UIA Council, following its meeting on 7-8 November in Paris, France, adopted a
motion reinforcing the Union’s commitment to the UIA preamble, condemning the
targeting of civilian population in wars, deploring the urban and environmental
destruction with appalling consequences on civilian populations, and pledging
to assist them in the reconstruction and restoration of residential and public
a professional organisation, the UIA is deeply concerned by the loss of
innocent lives and the destruction of people’s homes, schools, hospitals and
vital infrastructures. The International Union of Architects is committed to
advance peace, sustainable development and human rights as well as to respect
human dignity and architectural heritage.
architectural community is fighting for a cleaner and better planet. We are
distressed that the war is doing the opposite. Conflicts cannot be solved by
war. The UIA issues an urgent call for a peaceful solution of the conflict, an
urgent ceasefire to prevent further loss of innocent lives and immediate
facilitation of humanitarian efforts by ensuring safe humanitarian passages and
medical supplies for the population in need.
November 6th, 2023
Union of Architects
Request for the UIA Council to Take Action Regarding
Violation of the UIA Preambles
UIA council members,
the Association of Architects in Palestine, write to you to ask the UIA council
out and take a position against the ongoing crisis in the Gaza Strip.
the past thirty days, Israeli airstrikes have caused an unprecedented number of
leading to the loss of over 10,000 lives, two thirds of them children and
women, and leaving more than 23,500 civilians injured. This unrelenting
violence has also targeted civilian
hospitals, schools and universities, churches, mosques, whole neighborhoods and
cultural heritage sites. The situation is exacerbated by a blockade and a cut
off water supply, electricity, fuel and internet from all of Gaza, further
deepening the humanitarian crisis to an unprecedented level which is humanely
even greater concern, Gaza has had a total electricity blackout since October
11, which has pushed essential health, water, and sanitation services to
collapse and intensified the issue of food insecurity.
mass displacement continues to escalate with the total number of internally
in the Gaza Strip has now exceeded half a million till now.
over two-thirds of the population are seeking refuge in hospitals, churches,
mosques, and UNRWA schools, which have been lately heavily targeted by Israeli
air strikes and bombardment causing unprecedented numbers of casualties and
shelters have been shelled with internationally banned white phosphorus bombs,
of people who took refuge there seeking safety. Not to mention bombing convoys
to the South of Gaza after evacuating them from their homes in the North, and
bombing ambulances carrying wounded people.
reports suggest that “Israel” is considering evacuating the civilian population
a move that represents the ethnic cleansing and racist plans and actions
committed by the occupier. Not to mention the statements by the Israeli
Minister of Heritage regarding dropping a nuclear bomb on Gaza – wiping out the
population, the area and sarcastically all existing Heritage.
horrible actions constitute not only a gross violation of all international
humanitarian laws and charters, but also amount to an unspeakable series of war
crimes including the capital crime of Genocide – and that coming from the
people who rightfully decry the horrors of Genocide.
the Association of Architects in Palestine, are aware that the UIA is keen to
advancing the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with a particular
emphasis on Goal 11: Making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
What is happening in Gaza is exactly the opposite, which puts a heavy ethical
responsibility on the UIA to take a position denouncing the relentless wanton
“tabula rasa“ destruction of the Gaza strip, and the purposeful choice offered
the Gazans of either annihilation or the forceful displacement of the entire
Population of Gaza (the largest open air concentration camp in the world) into
the Sinai desert depriving them basic means of living and uprooting them from
their habitat; this is another means of committing Genocide.
85% of the General Assembly held in Copenhagen in July 2023 pledged that “all
UIA Sections reaffirm their commitment to the UIA preamble including the 1985
Cairo and 2022 Madrid addendums” and recommended to issue a code of ethics and
conduct so that violators are held accountable and penalties are taken against
the light of all the above, we Palestinians are subjected to Genocide and
Ethnic Cleansing by the expansionist Zionist colonialism; and in reference to
the UIA Preambles, Articles and Bylaws, and for the sake of humanity, we call
upon you to take a clear position on the practices carried out by Israel
against the Palestinian people, which amount to war crimes.
PREAMBLE ADOPTED IN LAUSANNE. 1948 which states:
shall thereby be in a position to participate more effectively in the
living conditions by the reconstruction of devastated cities and villages, the
slums, the advancement of less developed regions, and the raising of housing
standards by making their contribution to a better understanding between men
and peoples by continually striving for the fulfilment of their aspirations for
material and spiritual well-being; in
with the other professional and cultural international organisations, they are
to contribute to the progress of human society and to the strengthening of
ADDENDUM TO THE PREAMBLE, ADOPTED IN CAIRO, 1985 which states:
Preamble can have meaning only in a world with peace among nations. The
of governments in relation to humanity is the preservation of peace as the
the needs and ambitions of people throughout the world. Governments should stop
for war and use their resources for improvement of conditions for all
ADDENDUM TO THE PREAMBLE, ADOPTED IN MADRID, 2022
its responsibilities and scope of action (as an UN-recognized NGO), the UIA
for human dignity and the eradication of all forms of violence, discrimination,
and promote environmental and climate conditions that allow life in ecosystem
balance and the well- being of humanity”.
and based on the evidence available of Israel breaking all the above rules and
we ask the UIA to:
expelling Israel from the UIA, revoking its membership from the International
of Architects for violating the UIA’s principles and preamble.
· Issue an
urgent call for a prompt ceasefire to prevent further loss of innocent lives,
establishment of humanitarian corridors to ensure the safe passage of
humanitarian aid, medical supplies, and personnel to address the dire
situation in Gaza.
is necessary to unite on common professional and humanitarian goals and values,
motivate our best forces and work together for more solidary to achieve an
equitable, inclusive and peaceful world.
Association of Architects in Palestine
17 November 2023
of the Association of Architects in Palestine (AAP)
Request for the UIA to take action faced with the conflict in the Gaza Strip
President, dear Nadia Habash,
recent letter informing the UIA Council of the dire humanitarian situation in
the Gaza Strip as a result of the current conflict was forwarded to all Council
members. The details you provide of the consequences of the current situation
on civilian lives and urban tissue are horrifying to read, and I would like to
express my deepest concern to you and to all members of the Association of
Architects in Palestine, as well as to the civilian population.
was informed of your requests before a tabled discussion was held on the matter
at the 157th Council meeting in Paris, France last week. During this
discussion, both were given due consideration.
the UIA preamble adopted in Lausanne in 1948 stipulates that the organisation
was founded to unite architects across political, economic and aesthetic
frontiers, Council considered your request to expel the Israel Association of
United Architects to be incompatible with the aims and principles of the Union.
Member Sections are professional organisations of architects that cannot be
held responsible for the actions of their governments.
nonetheless agreed that the second request made in your letter adheres to the
philosophy of the UIA. A motion to pledge the UIA’s commitment to the
fundamental right of all citizens to live in a space offering them health,
well-being and safety, to condemn the destruction of war, to promote peace and
to work towards the reconstruction of both the built environment and social
cohesion was subsequently raised and adopted by Council. We deplore civilian
loss of life and the destruction of homes, schools, hospitals and vital
infrastructure in the Gaza Strip. Please find attached with this letter the
text of the approved motion. The UIA has also prepared a communiqué condemning
the terrible consequences of the ongoing conflict and issuing an urgent call
for a prompt ceasefire and the immediate facilitation of humanitarian aid in
response to your letter; it was published today.
the President of the UIA, I express my deep sympathy to the families of the
innocent victims and wish you and the Association of Architects in Palestine
much strength and courage as you navigate the damage caused by this conflict.
The UIA remains at your disposal to explore any professional support needed to
help you. Kindly note that we collaborate with an NGO specialised in such
matters, the Emergency Architects Foundation.
ASSOCIATION OF UNITED ARCHITECTS
Migdalor St. Old Jaffa 68036, P.o.Box 8201 Jaffa 61082
UIA President of the Council
Israel Association of United Architects has read the UIA political press
release addressing the humanitarian issues of our region. We are all devastated
and concerned by the loss of innocent lives since the pogrom of 7th October
2023, where 1400 persons - men, women, and children were murdered in their
homes – burned and mutilated.
the morning of the attack, we lost a dear member of our Association - Architect
Yoram Bar Sinai - who spent his career creating communal spaces all over the
world- from China to Africa, and specifically in Israel and in his Kibbutz -
Be’eri- where he designed the communal paper factory that funded all of its
habitants in its peaceful community.
was murdered in his home at Be’eri – trying to defend his granddaughters. We
hope Yoram’s peace-seeking legacy and story will be a reminder of the hope of
the good in our profession and our place as human beings.
there are many who seek to destroy, we seek to build back better. With the
stated aim of the UIA to unify the profession, influence policies shaping
buildings and communities, and advance society through architecture and urban
design; we propose that the UIA support a dialogue of architects in the region
for the reconstruction and restoration in Israel and Gaza to advance peace,
sustainable development and human rights.
hope the UIA will carry our message,
of the Israel Association of United Architects
23 November 2023
Association of United Architects
Response to your letter dated 20 November 2023
President Orna Angel
you for taking the time to send a response to the press release sent by the UIA
last week faced with the devastation and destruction resulting from the current
conflict in and around the Gaza Strip. Your letter will be shared with all
members of the UIA Council.
is with deep sadness that we hear of the death of Architect Yoram Bar Sinai
during the attack of 7 October. On behalf of the UIA, I would like to express
my sincere condolences to the Israel Association of United Architects, to Yoram
Bar Sina’s family and to all those who knew him. We mourn his passing with you
and hope his legacy of peace and community building through architecture will
be upheld in his memory.
Israel Association of United Architects’ commitment to the principles of the
UIA is much appreciated amid this conflict, and we are glad to hear of your
continued resolve to build and advance a peaceful society through architecture
and design. As we deplore the loss of innocent lives and the damage to local
communities and infrastructure, we reaffirm our commitment to the UIA Preamble
and to our common values. In this light, we welcome your proposal to support a
dialogue between architects in the region on the reconstruction and restoration
of Israel and the Gaza Strip. As President of the UIA, I reiterate my deep
sympathy to the families of the innocent victims and wish you and the Israel
Association of United Architects much strength and courage as you navigate the
damage caused by this conflict. The UIA remains at your disposal to explore any
professional support needed to help you.