Declaration Of The First Youth Assembly Of The Via Campesina

From the 12th of June to the 13th of June 2004 young people of 37 countries and cultures that belong to the Via Campesina met in São Paulo, Brazil to celebrate our First World Assembly. During this time of solidarity and exchange we shared our realities and our dreams as young peasants. Despite coming from different countries and cultures we realized that many of the problems we suffer are common to everyone. We have observed the following:

  • Monopolization and lack of access to natural resources: land, seeds and water. The privatization of basic necessities such as food, health services and education, among others.
  • The imposition of neoliberal policies and unsustainable agricultural production forms in our countries, which mainly affect young peasant peolpe from all areas.
  • The lack of effective policies to encourage the continued presence of youth in the countryside, or the settlement of young farmers into the rural areas, together with the lack of social services or political education, pushes us to an exodus from the countryside, forcing us to migrate to the large urban centers in search of a better quality of life. Migration that worses a historical and cultural loss of identity.
  • Militarization and repression, exercised by imperialism, in complicity with the governments of our countries is putting an end to social movements and peasant farmers.

Given this reality, we propose:

  • To ratify our struggle and action commitment against the neoliberal model and to contribute to the strenghtening of Vía Campesina.
  • Strengthening our organizations at the local, regional and international level, developing youth-based work within the Via Campesina.
  • Encouraging exchange of resistance experiences and struggle from our respective organizations.
  • Developing programs that encourage the permanence and settlement of youth in the rural areas.
  • Promoting the building of alliances with other organizations in the struggle against the capitalist model.
  • Putting in motion political training processes for the strengthening of young peasants as actors in social change.
  • Recovering, practising and protecting the cultural values of our people and of the peasant world.
  • To fight against Free Trade agreements, production policies imposed by WTO, multinationals, genetic modified organisms, imperialism, militarization and agression wars.
  • Practising international solidarity among young peasant farmers of the world who suffer the consequences of imperialism, neoliberalism and globalization.
  • The use of mistica, dance, songs, poetry and other expression forms to convey the meaning of our traditions and cultures in the struggle for young peasant farmers.

To put these proposals into practise, we want to develop the following actions:
1. Comunication

  • To develop a fluent comunication system within our organizations.
  • The construction of our own regional spaces within the Via Campesina web as a spread, building and exchange medium.
  • To spread the Via Campesina to other organizations that share our values and principles.

2. Building
    To develop ideological building through educational schools, meetings, Seminaries, exchanges…
3. Coordination

Select two young people (a man-a woman) per region to coordinate the youth work.

Youth, Globalize the Struggle, Globalize Hope!!!