The RIBA’s resolution to suspend the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) has been overturned by the insitute’s council today
More from: RIBA overturns controversial Israel motion
Passed in March, the controversial resolution demanded the International Union of Architects (UIA) censure the IAUA over illegal settlement building in the occupied territories.The contentious motion was brought by former president Angela Brady and carried by 23 votes to 16 - with 10 abstentions.
However the resolution split the profession and has now, after a council vote, been shelved.
According to the institute, the motion calling for the IAUA’s suspension, was beyond ‘the powers of [RIBA] council’ and ‘was not in furtherance of the chairtable objects of the RIBA and should not have been placed before RIBA Council’.
The news comes just a month after an RIBA taskforce led by Sumita Sinha and Peter Oborn – RIBA’s vice-president of international – travelled to the region and held talks with both the IAUA and the Association of Architects in Palestine.
Delivering his findings from the taskforce’s trip, Oborn said: ‘The RIBA motion was beyond the powers of council. It should not have come before the members of council.’
‘This is not the forum for these issues.’
Earlier today (4 December) council voted in support of the taskforce’s report and its recommendations - one of which included revoking the original motion.
RIBA president Stephen Hodder said: ‘I’m keen that architects engage positively with this issue. RIBA Council has an important role to play in engaging with difficult and controversial issues. However it is a widely held view that the resolution passed in March concerning the IAUA did not make a constructive contribution to the current situation.
‘For the Institute to have engaged in this issue in a confrontational way - by seeking suspension of the Israeli Association of United Architects from the UIA - was wrong. These recommendations supersede the previous council resolution of 19 March 2014 and as a result that policy is now rescinded.’
He added: ‘We got it wrong’
Hodder admitted the fallout had damaged the RIBA’s reputation and ‘had a financial impact’ on the institution, but wouldn’t expand on how much it had cost.
What council voted on:
RIBA council endorses the report of the group and adopts the recommendations of the report including the proposals for further work and becoming a signatory to be UN Global Compact and the International Ethics Coalition. These recommendations include replacing previous policy of 19 March and that policy is rescinded.