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The Land and Water Settlement Commission and the Palestinian Land Authority - with the support of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) office in Palestine, Global Land Tool Network (GLTN), and other key partners - joined efforts in convening the Palestine First International Land Conference.

The Conference took place on December 13-14 2018 in Ramallah, at the advent of the 71st anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and gathered over 300 participants across the different land sector stakeholders engaged in Palestine. Government representatives, academia, international organisations and experts of various disciplines debated the most pressing land-related challenges faced by the people of Palestine and proposed recommendations on how to address them. A report collecting the final recommendations of the event is being prepared by the organisers and will be shared in the coming weeks.

The UN-Habitat/GLTN support materialized through the financial contribution of the European Union aiming at fostering tenure security and land rights of Palestinian communities in the West Bank across the Area A/B/C divide. Ombretta Tempra, Human Settlement Officer from the Global Land Tool Network, addressed the participants recognizing the active involvement of the State of Palestine in the Arab Land Initiative and its commitment to the realization of the New Urban Agenda and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including its land-related targets. Good land governance is at the heart of sustainable development, it is key for the realization of human rights and it underpins the social, economic and environmental dimensions of inclusive and sustainable urbanisation.

The UN-Habitat/GLTN assistance to the Land and Water Settlement Commission and the Palestinian Land Authority started in December 2017 through an orientation training on the applications of the Social Tenure Domain Model in the West Bank. The engagement continued through technical discussions on the benefits and potential roll-out of a fit-for-purpose land administration approach to protect land rights for Palestinian communities, including practical measures and recommendations to enable the environment for a good land governance. The support to the Palestinian land sector is set to continue with the development of a policy paper with options for the protection of Bedouin’s land rights and the provision of technical advice and capacity development to strengthen land registration processes in the West Bank. UN-Habitat / GLTN will also keep ensuring that Palestine is part, benefits and enriches regional and global land administration and land governance discussions and that the land rights of the most vulnerable are protected.