The UN General Assembly adopts the Declaration on Peasant Rights
Now the focus is on its implementation
On December 17, 2018, the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 73) in New York adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas. Now that the declaration is an international legal instrument, La Via Campesina (LVC) and its allies will mobilize to support regional and national organizations in their implementation processes.
Today's final vote represents the culmination of a historic process for rural communities. With 121 votes in favor, 8 votes against, and 52 abstentions. The AGONU forum, representing 193 member states, ushered in a promising new chapter in the fight for the rights of peasants and other rural communities around the world. The 17-year process, initiated by the international peasant movement La Via Campesina, supported by numerous social movements and allied organizations, such as FIAN and CETIM, has been a great source of inspiration and strengthening of peasant communities in all regions of the world.
2018 was decisive for the Declaration process:
Geneva: In April, after 6 years of negotiations, the 5th Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group of the Human Rights Council (HRC) concluded the discussions on the content and finalized the text. In September, the HRC (39th Session) adopted the Declaration by majority vote.
Rome: In October, during the 45th Forum of the Global Committee for Food Security, La Via Campesina, together with the Civil Society Mechanism and with the support of several countries and UN institutions, organized a political event promoting the Declaration within the framework of the Decade of Family Farming.
New York: In November the declaration reached the process of the General Assembly of the United Nations (AGONU). On November 19, the declaration was voted on and approved with a large majority by the third UNGA commission responsible for social, humanitarian and cultural affairs. Finally, with the plenary vote of the AGONU as of today, the adoption process was concluded. A new stage will now follow, an implementation stage; transforming the aspirations of La Via Campesina into solutions for the daily struggles of rural society.
“This declaration is an important tool that should guarantee and help realize the rights of peasants and other workers in rural areas. We urge all states to implement the declaration withconscientiousness and transparency, guaranteeing peasants and rural communities access and control over land, peasant seeds, water and other natural resources. As peasants, we need protection and respect for our values and our role in society to achieve food sovereignty, ”said Elizabeth Mpofu, from Zimbabwe and the General Coordinator of La Via Campesina.
As peasants around the world, we will mobilize and unite in our respective countries to lobby for the goal of establishing policies and strategies that contribute to the recognition and implementation of peasant rights with accountability. Violations of our rights through land grabbing, forced evictions, gender discrimination, lack of social protection, deficient rural development policies, and criminalization can now, with the official international recognition of this Declaration, be confronted with greater legal and political weight.
The rights of the peasants are human rights!
Let's globalize the fight! Let's globalize hope!