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UN: Adopts Declaration on Rights of Peasants and Other Peop

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:24 pm
by Oscar
United Nations Third Committee Adopts UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People working in Rural Areas

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Media Release: November 19, 2018

(New York – November 19, 2018) -- The Third Committee of the UN General Assembly approved the Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas this afternoon, expressing the widespread support for the promotion and protection of human rights for an often neglected population. It was approved by a recorded vote of 119 in favour to 7 against, with 49 abstentions. It is a landmark achievement for La Via Campesina, which contributed significantly to the language and process of this declaration

The Declaration, building on prior human rights instruments, aims to better protect the rights of all rural populations including peasants, indigenous peoples, fisherfolks, and farm workers. This framework seeks to secure their rights to education and health care, as well as access to land, water, seeds, and natural resources. UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Hilal Elvar, noted, “This declaration is not just about a particular group; it is about defending an agricultural and food system model consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals and the universal right to adequate food. Peasants and other people living in rural areas play a critical role in contributing to agricultural diversity yet are among those most vulnerable to hunger.”

Since the Declaration’s adoption at the UN Human Rights Council in late September, La Via Campesina peasants and allied organizations have been working hard to ensure adoption at the General Assembly. For the last three weeks, delegations of La Via Campesina members have been in New York lobbying nation states to vote in favour of the resolution. Jessie MacInnis of the National Farmers Union took part in the session of the Third Committee, and was present at today's monumental adoption.

The adoption of the Declaration was not without opposition. Disappointingly, Canada abstained from taking a stand on the Declaration on the grounds of opposing collective rights, the right to seeds, and other red line issues. The United States took issue with the seemingly legally-binding language of the declaration, the perception that is elevates the rights of peasants above those of other groups, and its threat to intellectual property rights. The opposition of many countries in the developed North sets the stage for the work that must still be done.

“In the 3rd Committee, where all the UN countries participate, we have witnessed a great diversity of positions in Eastern and Western Europe. For those who supported us, we thank them greatly, your vote in favor put human values in the human rights, giving hope for millions of peasants, men and women, across the continent. For those that history will record their abstention or votes against, we wish to tell you that peasants and small family farmers in your countries cannot be left behind,” said Ramona Duminicioiu, La Via Campesina Europe.

“The power of the peasant movement is being felt at the highest level of international governance: for this, we must acknowledge the hard work and passion of so many peasants worldwide. The solidarity of peasants internationally is a testament to how closely we and our issues are linked, regardless of where we live. However, today is only a stepping stone on the long path of human rights justice for rural people. We must carry forward this momentum and put the declaration into action at every level of society,” said Jessie MacInnis, National Farmers Union.

Ms. Duminicioiu will discuss the declaration process this Thursday, November 22 at the National Farmers Union Convention in Saskatoon. The event is open to the public, 7:00 pm at the Hilton Garden Inn, 90 22nd Street East.


For more information:
Read the articles of the Declaration here: [ ]

Re: UN: Adopts Declaration on Rights of Peasants and Other

PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:43 am
by Oscar
La Via Campesina makes history: UN Declaration on the rights of peasants formally adopted by General Assembly

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Media Release: December 17, 2018

New York - The United Nations Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas (UNDROP) has been formally adopted by the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly today. This adoption follows the vote in the Third Committee of the General Assembly on November 19 that saw a recorded vote of 121 in favour to 8 against, with 54 abstentions. This ratification formally introduces the Declaration as a UN human rights instrument, and will be used as a tool for La Via Campesina (LVC) and its allies to continue the struggle for the recognition of peasant rights worldwide. La Via Campesina was a key contributor in bringing the Declaration from the grassroots level to the international stage.

“This is an exciting and truly ground-breaking moment for La Via Campesina. To have an internationally recognized instrument at the highest level of governance that was written by and for peasants from every continent is a tremendous achievement. To have a tool such as this to support our continued work at the grassroots level is invaluable,” said Jessie MacInnis of the National Farmers Union, who was present at the United Nations General Assembly for the adoption today. She also took part in a delegation of LVC peasant leaders who lobbied for state support prior to the adoption of the Declaration at the Third Committee of the General Assembly on November 19. The NFU is a founding member of LVC.

“This Declaration sends an important message that our livelihoods matter and our small-scale methods of food production are vital for a sustainable future. Not only does it have the potential to serve farmers, but also rural communities and consumers, because society as a whole will benefit when peasants rights are realized. The non-binding nature of the Declaration presents a challenge, but it will still be an incredibly potent tool for organizations to use in grassroots lobbying and within the court system. Just as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights set the standard for human rights law, we hope that UNDROP can serve as the foundation,” added MacInnis.

Canada persisted with its abstention. Canada stated concerns with collective rights, saying priority issues identified in the Declaration are addressed through existing international instruments and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The issue of collective rights was brought forth by many states, arguing that they are not recognized under international law and are not recognized by any of the core international human rights treaties.

Now that the declaration is a recognized international instrument, LVC and its allies will work to build implementation strategies that fit into a broad spectrum of national and regional contexts. LVC will mobilize to bring peasants rights violations up against the articles of the Declaration and lobby for policies and strategies that protect and respect the value of peasants within rural communities and their crucial role as conscientious stewards of the land and sustainable food producers.

MacInnis concluded, saying “Today is a celebration of a tremendous achievement for LVC, but the struggle justice, dignity, and support of peasant livelihoods is far from over.” - 30 -

For more information:

Jessie MacInnis, NFU Youth Vice President: (902) 292-1040

Contact information:
Telephone: 306-652-9465

Mailing address:
2717 Wentz Ave., Saskatoon, SK S7K 4B6