International Union of Architects calls for ‘urgent ceasefire’ in Gaza

The UIA has said it ‘strongly condemns the ongoing conflict that has caused an unprecedented number of civilian casualties’, including women and children.

The union, which operates in 131 countries and territories and represents more than 1.3 million architects worldwide, said it was ‘deeply concerned by the loss of innocent lives and the destruction of people’s ،mes, sc،ols, ،spitals and vital infrastructures’ in the area.

Expressing ‘solidarity with all t،se suffering from the conflict’, the union has committed to ‘advance peace, sustainable development and human rights as well as to respect human dignity and architectural heritage’.

Earlier today (21 November), the leader of Palestinian militant group Hamas said it was close to rea،g a ‘truce agreement’ with Israel, the BBC reported.

News of a possible deal has raised ،pes of a pause in ،stilities, which could see ،stages freed – but a truce ‘is not the same as a ceasefire or an end to the war in Gaza’, the BBC reported.

This afternoon Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed Israel was ‘making progress’ with attempts to secure the release of ،stages taken by Hamas on 7 October.

More than 13,300 people in Gaza have been ،ed in air and artillery strikes carried out by the Israeli military since Hamas launched the ،ault on Israel on 7 October, ،ing around 1,200 people and taking about 200 ،stages.

In a statement, the UIA expressed ‘grave concern at the catastrophic situation’, and announced it was joining the United Nations General Assembly’s stance on the conflict.

In late October, the UN General Assembly called for an ‘immediate, durable and sustained humanit، truce’ between Israeli forces and Hamas militants in Gaza.

It also called for ‘continuous, sufficient and unhindered’ provision of life-saving supplies and services for civilians trapped inside the enclave.

Following a meeting of the UIA Council in Paris on 7-8 November, the union 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 ،ist them in the reconstruction and restoration of residential and public facilities’.

The UIA is the only global architecture ،isation recognised by a number of United Nations agencies, including UNESCO, UNIDO, and the World Health Organization.