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Main Issues

Israeli Occupation Continues to violate Palestinian Farmers' Rights

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_Stop_Isreal_violations_2014.jpeg(Ramallah, September 2015) The Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) follows up intensely the Israeli violations against the Palestinian farmers to expose the brutality of the occupation to the local and international world. West Bank Damages to the agricultural sector & Violence against farmers

More than 16 Israeli settler attacks on Palestinians and their property were recorded this month, including:

  • Israeli settler attacks on Palestinians caused damage to around 550 trees and a water cistern in Hebron
  • Israeli settler attacks resulting in damage to Palestinian property was recorded in Mazra’a Al Qibliya village in Ramallah and set fire on a quarry truck belonging to a Palestinian from the village.

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Victory of the peasants’ movement in the struggle for the recognition of their rights within the UN

2015-10-06- ONUgeneve.jpgPress Release - La Via Campesina

(Geneva, October 5, 2015) On the afternoon of October 1st 2015, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted by majority a resolution where it decides that the open-ended intergovernmental working group, with the mandate to negotiate, finalize and submit to the Human Rights Council a draft United Nations declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas, shall continue the process for the next two years.

The resolution was presented by the governments of Bolivia, Ecuador, Cuba and South Africa and sponsored among others by Switzerland, Brazil, Eritrea and Argentina, in a joint effort from all regions to support this decisive step. In the final vote, the US government was the only one to vote against. The governments of Europe have abstained from voting and have continued with the same bloc-voting position as in June 2014, in the vote on resolution 26/26. In total, 31 countries voted in favor, 15 abstained, and only one voted against.*

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Via Campesina and other social movements in Rome to warn against threat of new patents

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-10-06-GuyTIRPAA.jpgMedia Release

(Rome, October 5, 2015) La Via Campesina and other social movements came to Rome from 5-9 October for the Sixth Session of the Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (IT-PGRFA) to warn the Governing Body against the threat of new patents on native seeds. The Seed Treaty is the only international agreement that clearly recognizes the right of farmers to save, use, exchange and sell their seeds. The Member States of the Treaty have the responsibility of realizing farmers’ rights, but so far nothing has been done. Until now, the Treaty has not been able to guarantee the promised sharing of benefits. The industry, which has been using our seeds for breeding, has never paid anything. Quite to the contrary, more than 10 years after it entered into force, we have seen a shift towards the patenting of our native seeds’ genes, thereby turning the Treaty into a tool of biopiracy, serving industry’s interests.

This is why LVC decided to share its concern with the Governing Body of the Treaty by presenting the statement signed together with many other peasants’ seed networks around the globe. You will find the full text of the statement here 

Contact in Rome

Ivan Mammana 0039 3407801399 (ES-EN-FR-IT)

Via Campesina condemns the attacks against Brazilian Via Campesina and MST Leader, João Pedro Stedile

Via Campesina expresses its solidarity with João Pedro Stedile and with our Sisters and Brothers in the MST

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-10-2_Stedile_and_LVC.jpg(Harare, October 1, 2015) Once again, we see that the Landless Workers Movement (MST), the largest peasant farmer movement in Brazil, a founding organisation and active member of the Via Campesina, is the target of a campaign by Brazilian and transnational capital  to deter its historic struggle for popular agrarian reform and authentic political reform - a struggle which runs counter to the interests of agribusiness and the multinationals.

Once again, our comrade João Pedro Stedile of the MST, has been the target of attacks on the part of the conservative oligarchy that has ties to financial capital.

On September 22nd, in the Pinto Martins Airport in Fortaleza, Ceará, a group of trouble-makers hurled curses and insults at João Pedro Stedile, as he arrived to take part in a conference and in other union activities related to the struggle for popular agrarian reform.

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You are destroying the Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources

To member governments of the governing body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources (IT PGRFA), Meeting in Rome 5-9 October 2015

2015-09-26-Seeds Treaty.jpgWe want to tell you that you are in the process of destroying the treaty. It is organising the theft of our seeds and our knowledge. We can no longer continue to give them to researchers and other prospectors that come and collect them in our fields, to then put them in the Treaty’s gene banks. As long as you do not ban all bio-pirated patents, as long as farmers do not have a right to keep, use, exchange and sell seeds from their own harvests then we will not collaborate with research and gene banks that serve the multinational seed companies.

The grains kept in genetic resource banks run by the multilateral system of the Treaty on Plants (IT PGRFA) belong to us: they are our inheritance from many centuries of peasant selection, and they have been collected in our fields.

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Statement from MST National Direction on the aggression against Stedile

2015-09-25-Stedile.jpg(São Paulo, September 23, 2015) The National Direction of the Landless Workers Movement (MST) issues this statement to condemn the assault suffered by the member of the national coordination of MST, João Pedro Stédile, at the airport of the city of Fortaleza, Ceará, this Thursday evening.

For the MST this is not an isolated event, it reflects the current political situation that Brazil is going through, in which the hatred against the popular movements, immigrants and the poor black population is growing. This is reflected by the recent events in Rio de Janeiro, where the marginalized youth from favelas are being prevented, at risk of assault, from going to the beaches of the south part of the city.

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Via Campesina promotes international declaration on the rights of peasants in United Nations Human Rights Council

2015-09-24-genevesept2015sc.jpg(Geneva, September 24, 2015) A delegation of La Via Campesina peasant men and women from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe have come to Geneva for the 30th session of the Human Rights Council, which is soon to vote on continuing its work to complete an "international declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas".

For many years, La Via Campesina, with the support of NGOs, has called on this UN body, denouncing the fact that peasants and rural populations are victims of human rights violations on every continent, though exclusion, land grabbing, repression of peasant leaders and the effects of agrochemicals on health.

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