The New Standard for Human Rights
The UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants
(25.10.18): The UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other People working in Rural Areas was presented in the UN headquarters to the 'Third Committee of the General Assembly'. This comes after nearly two decades of consultations and negotiations led by millions of peasants, pastoralists, artisanal fisher folk, agricultural workers and indigenous peoples’ organisations ... and with the support of CETIM and FIAN International.
The Declaration, still awaiting final ratification, supports the development and implementation of socio-economic policies that improve our food and agriculture system. It will also pave the way for the creation of public policies in favour of peasants and rural workers in countries where such policies do not exist.
A vast majority of the citizens support the Declaration. The European Economic and Social Committee has shown its support, and the European Parliament voted a resolution asking EU states to back the project. On 2nd October in France, the National Advisory Committee on Human Rights urged the French government, in an advisory opinion, to back the text. The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) has also expressed its support to the Declaration and so has the former rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier de Schutter as well as his successor, Hilal Elver.
It is estimated that of out of 820 million people suffering from hunger (2018 UN figure), 80% live in rural areas. These people are particularly vulnerable and discriminated against,. They suffer forced expulsions and lack access to essential resources: land, seeds, loans, education, justice and basic services. Yet, on average, small food producers contribute 70% of the world’s food, with this figure rising to more than 80% in so-called developing countries.
Source: Time to Mobilise #peasantsrightsnow
The current draft of the declaration was finalised in April 2018. A process that began over 10 years ago. Thereafter, the text was tabled for final voting and adoption at the UN General Assembly in September 2018. Ratification is expected by mid next year.
In favour (33): Afghanistan, Angola, Burundi, Chile, China, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iraq, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Mongolia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Switzerland, Togo, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.
Against (3): Australia, Hungary and United Kingdom.
Abstentions (11): Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Georgia, Germany, Iceland, Japan, Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.
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New Zealand didn't bother turning up for this one.