- Published on Friday, 11 June 2004 01:40
PRESS RELEASEVIA CAMPESINA - IV International Conference - São Paolo, Brazil - June 14-19
It is in São Paolo, Brazil that the international movement Via Campesina will hold its IV International Conference. The conference will take place from June 14th to 19th.
The event will see participants from as many as 80 nations including the United States of America, Germany, France, United Kingdom, as well as Palestine, Haiti, Cuba, Lebanon, Rwanda, Niger, Syria and 18 other Latin American and Caribbean countries. The conference will coincide with the holding in São Paolo of the widely discussed United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) at which heads of state are expected to discuss enhancing coherence between national development strategies and global economic processes.
The main issues the Via Campesina members wish to raise during their four-yearly international event are food sovereignty; the banning of genetically modified seeds and agrarian reform.
A youth and a women’s assembly where specific issues and concerns will be addressed and formulated will precede the IV International Conference from June 11th to 13th.
The event will be marked by a series of "mistica" ceremonies in which different cultures will unite to express in music and colours their dedication to the earth which they aim to reclaim and preserve.
On June 20th the Brazilian organisation MST, (the landless workers movement) member of Via Campesina will hold it’s 20th anniversary in the city of Itapeva, in south São Paulo.
Via Campesina is an international movement, which coordinates peasant organizations of small and medium-sized producers, agricultural workers, rural women, and indigenous communities from Asia, Africa, America, and Europe.
Its origin goes back to April 1992, when several peasant leaders from Central America, North America, and Europe got together in Managua, Nicaragua, at the Congress of the National Union of Farmers and Livestock Owners (UNAG). In May of 1993, the First Conference of Via Campesina was held in Mons, Belgium, where it was constituted as a World Organization, and its first strategic guidelines and structure were defined.
The principal objective of Via Campesina is to develop solidarity and unity in diversity among small farmer organizations, in order to promote economic relations of equality and social justice; the preservation of land; food sovereignty; sustainable agricultural production; and an equality based on small and medium-sized producers. Via Campesina is organized in eight regions as follows: Europe, Northeast and Southeast Asia, South Asia, North America, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America and Africa.
For more information: www.viacampesina.org