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International Conference of Local Authorities

in Solidarity with the Palestinian People:
LOCAL AUTHORITIES AT THE HEART OF THE STATE OF PALESTINE
In the framework of the 2014 UN International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian
People (IYSPP), the IYSPP Events and Activities Committee, in collaboration with the
Ministry of Local Government (MoLG) and the Association of Palestinian Local Authorities (APLA)
and with the support of some of their key partners, is organizing an International Conference
of Local Authorities in Solidarity with the Palestinian People: Local Authorities at the
Heart of the State of Palestine.
This important event is taking place between 21-23 November 2014 in Ramallah,
Palestine and will be attended by international political figures, Members of Parliament,
Mayors and Local Authorities Representatives.
Considering the 2014 difficult and suffering year, especially in Gaza, and considering the
actual situation of the Palestinian State building process, it appears that, despite all
difficulties and injustices encountered by the Palestinian people and by the State of
Palestine, local Authorities (who have always been in the History key social, cultural and
economic pillars of Palestine and the closer administrative and Political structure for
Citizens as well) could play a key and a better role in the Palestinian institutional and
development process.
The year of Solidarity is a unique occasion for opening new debates on these issues, for
identifying new ways to improve the living conditions of Palestinians and to better develop
their territory, and for promoting in that context new solidarities and partnerships between
Local Government Units of Palestine and of all over the world as well. It will also be the
occasion of developing solidarities between Local Governments for the reconstruction of
Gaza following the example of West Bank Local Governments who have already mobilized
among themselves more than 10 Million Dollars for the reconstruction of Gaza.

GENERAL PRESENTATION1
Key Theme
1. Stakeholders

2. Objectives

3. Themes and topics

Local Authorities at the heart of the State of Palestine
Representatives of Local Governments of Palestine and of the world
(Municipalities, Cities, Associations of LGs, … with the aim of having as
much as possible a balanced representation of all continents) and
related key political, academic and technical stakeholders and partners
(I)Opening debates and initiating researches; (II)promoting new
understandings and visions; (III)outlining new strategies; (IV)identifying
new ways of action and of improvements; and (V)developing networks
and partnerships on:
- The key role of Palestinian LGUs in the State building and
development processes, considering challenges that they are
facing and their specific situation
- New collaborations, cooperation and solidarities that can be
developed by international LGUs to support Palestinian LGUs that
are in a particular situation by considering new roles of lobbying,
advocacy and defending Palestinian interests that they could play
on the international scene
1. CHALLENGES FACED BY THE PALESTINIAN LOCAL AUTHORITIES
 Occupation and territorial fragmentation (from Oslo until today)
 Framework of decentralization in Palestine
 Paris Declaration - institutional capacities at the local level
2. THE ROLE OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES IN BUILDING A JUST,
DEMOCRATIC AND INDEPENDENT PALESTINIAN STATE
 Local Authorities as a pillar of the Palestinian State
 Democracy and governance at local level
 Local Authorities as key actors for the Legitimacy of the Palestinian State –
historical role

3. LOCAL SERVICE DELIVERY – LEARNING FROM INTERNATIONAL
EXPERIENCE
 Local authorities and public administration
 The issue of Palestinian Local authorities’ tasks and competencies
(responsibilities)

 Strategies and actions for supporting local service delivery
4. LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND TERRITORIAL
INTEGRATION
 The development and urban planning issues in Palestine
 Ways and strategies for improving the Palestinian territorial integration (the
issue of the Palestinian sovereignty)

 LED challenges in Palestine
5. SOLIDARITY IN ACTION, INCLUDING JUSTICE FOR PALESTINE
 International actions of Local Authorities in solidarity with Palestine
 Is international solidarity playing the game of Israel – Solidarity and the two
States solution


1

Justice for Palestine (Jerusalem, Gaza and West Bank)

On 31 of Augustus (on-going development and organization of the Conference)

4. Participants

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5. Activities

6. Technical &
financial partners

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About 250 Palestinian Representatives of LGUs (Mayors),
including Municipalities of Gaza and concerned political,
professional and academic figures (stakeholders)
About 250 Representatives of LGUs essentially from Europe,
America, Africa, Middle East and Asia and concerned political,
diplomatic, development and academic partners
Each theme will be introduced by a Conference conducted
together by two speakers (an international and a Palestinian
speaker), then developed in parallel in three “roundtables” on
related topics (moderated each by three technical adequate
stakeholders and partners) and finally concluded during a plenary
debate (5 themes in all with a total duration of 3 hours for the
development of each theme)
Field visits (Bethlehem / Kalkylia)
Mini targeted meetings (between Municipalities)
Exhibitions, movies and evening events
Documentation will be available in a temporary “library”
The organization of the event is supported by 4 Committees under
the Coordination of the IYSPP (implemented by the PLO with the
support of the UN): the Scientific Committee (themes, topics and
intervenants); the Media & Culture Committee (events and
communication); the Web-site Committee and the Data base
Committee (managing contacts with 1.100 Mayors and LG
Representatives).
A Secretariat is coordinating the technical organization
(accommodations, registrations, coordination, logistic, etc,)
The Conference is scientifically supported by the MoLG, the MDLF,
the APLA and active development partners in the LG sector (BTC,
GIZ, Danish Cooperation, Italian Cooperation, AFD). Other contacts
are made to mobilize all technical partners involved in the LG
sector.
The Conference will be supported by the MDLF (Palestinian
partner) for the eventual accommodation of invitees. Regarding
external support, the Conference is supported by the Belgian
Cooperation (and BTC), GIZ and the Italian Cooperation. Additional
partners should still confirm their participation.

7. Intervenants

8. When and where

9. Languages and
translation
10. Accommodation
11. Registration

12. Transportation
13. Communication

14. Invitations

2

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The speakers of the Conferences (5 Palestinian and 5 international)
will be selected among professors, researchers, politicians,
academics,… recognized by their contributions to the concerned
themes and topics. The international speakers should together
represent different parts of the world2
- The round-tables will be animated by Palestinian and international
“specialists” already involved and concerned by each topic and,
when relevant, by Palestinian Mayors and Municipal staff.
- 21, 22 and 23 November, 2014
- Ramallah (the Conference will essentially take place at the
Movenpick Hotel that has adapted facilities.
- Official languages (reports, Conferences) will be Arabic and English
- Translations will be available in French and, if it appears to be
necessary, in Spanish and Italian
Delegations will be staying in hotels in Ramallah (under the
coordination of the organization technical Secretariat)
- Pre-registration can be done on line (see web-site)
- Registration will be confirmed when key technical and financial
dimensions of the Conference will be completed or in the process
of being completed (deadline: end of September)
Transportation including transfers from and to the airport and
between hotels and conference venues will be provided by the YISPP
- Website: iyspp.plo.ps
- A partnership will be developed with France 24
- A press conference will be organized in Ramallah by end of
September with Palestinian media and key press correspondents
- A communication strategy is developing for managing all
communication aspects of the Conference and all post-Conference
activities (researches and actions)
The process of pre-inviting stakeholders has been launched:
- Palestinian ambassadors have been informed and contacted for
launching at their level pre-invitations: ongoing process
- Palestinian municipalities have been required to send invitation to
their “partners” (twins and or partners of the decentralized
cooperation): on-going process
- The technical secretariat (YISPP) is preparing a direct mailing to
Local Governments all around the world (Data base)

Contacts are already initiated for mobilizing them among well-known universities, faculties and institutes all around
the world (Middle-East, Europe, America and Asia). Their selection and their mobilisation will be completed by end of
September.

AMBITION OF THE CONFERENCE
Beyond a common discourse…
The Conference intends to develop and to deepen ideas that abound in Palestine and around
the world on the Palestinian issue (everyone has something to say on it…); to open new avenues
of reflexion, to explore and to identify new levers of intervention and of development that could
be implemented at the local level of the territory.
The ambition of the Conference is to bring together Palestinian (West Bank, Jerusalem and
Gaza) and foreign local actors in order to promote linkages between them, to bring out new
ideas and new initiatives…To move the lines… By refusing to whine without acting
constructively…
This requires to avoid falling into the usual complaints but instead, to brainstorm together on
"what actions, which tracks, what policies, what new ways can we imagine to encourage, to
enable, to enhance, to improve, to facilitate the Palestinian State building and development
process by fully integrating into it LGUs who are or should be one of its major pillar?”
The Conference could introduce and outline beginning of answers on these issues, inspiring new
ways of thinking and of acting, and new dynamics of solidarities ...
Both Palestinian LGUs and foreign LGUs together through a balanced dialogue can see how
conventional decentralised cooperation approaches could be surpassed and completed.
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Palestinian LGUs must understand now that they have an active role to play in the process
of the Palestinian State building and development processes and they do not have just to
wait support from their partners and from central government ... They are a part of the
Palestinian State and key actors of its development;

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Foreign LGUs should also imagine likely new collaborations to support Palestinian LGUs
that are in a particular situation such as new approaches of “coaching” or partnership. They
could also consider a new role of lobbying, advocacy and defend Palestinian interests on the
international political scene.

1. STAKEHOLDERS
The Conference is organized by the UN International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian
People (2014) Secretary implemented by the PLO with a small support of the UN.
It is technically supported by the Ministry of Local Government (MoLG), the Municipal
Development and Lending Fund (MDLF) and the Association of Palestinian Local Authorities
(APLA).
The MoLG’s international technical partners (essentially LGRDP/BTC, Danish Cooperation,
AFD, GIZ, Italian Cooperation, Global Communities and UN Habitat) are and will provide a
technical and scientific support.

The Conference is targeting 600 LGUs representatives (300 from Palestine, including Gaza,
and 300 from Europe, Middle East, Asia, America and Africa) and their related political,
academic and/or technical partners

2. THEMES AND TOPICS AND INTERVENANTS
The Conference will introduce and develop 5 themes (i) Challenges faced by the Palestinian
local Authorities, (ii) the role of local Authorities in building a Palestinian State, (iii) the issue
of Local service delivery, (iv) Local Economic development and (v) the issue of the territorial
integration and Solidarity in action.
These themes will be presented into a Conference (45 Minutes) by a Palestinian stakeholder
together with an international speaker. Afterward, the themes will be developed through 3
parallel roundtables where the participants will be able to dialogue with intervenient and
speakers (one hour). These discussions will be than presented into a one hour plenary
session (public debate) where ideas, approaches, proposals, key questions raised up during
roundtables will be identified.
Each theme will also be afterward the occasion of identifying a subject of research
(research-action) that will be developed after the Conference together by a Palestinian and
a foreign University and/or Institute.
Speakers will be identified among the academic, technical, research, and/or political world
in Palestine and abroad.