Event Announcement: The Importance of The Recognition of Rights Holders And Collective Rights

The Fourth session of the open-ended intergovernmental working group on a United Nations declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas is set to begin in Geneva next week from 15 to 19 May. A delegation of peasant women, men and indigenous people from La Via Campesina will take part in the negotiations that will ensue.

On 15th May, members of La Via Campesina will also organize an independent discussion with other members of the civil society on “The importance of the recognition of rights holders and collective rights: perspectives from peasants and other people working in rural areas”

Date & TimeMonday, 15th May 2017 –13:00-15:00,

Venue: Palais de Nations, Room XXIV, Building E

Interpretation: Available in ES, FR and EN 

About the Program:

The struggle that peasants, pastoralists, fisher folk communities, hired rural agricultural workers, landless, indigenous peoples, rural women, transhumant and nomadic and other traditional communities have carried out for their recognition as political subjects, therefore, as rights holders against the systematic discrimination, has in recent years created the space for the negotiations of the declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas.

The different constituencies that claim for the recognition of their rights through a UN Declaration have stated that a collective right is in place when this is essential to protect the right in question. This collective dimension corresponds to food sovereignty, to substantive elements of the rights to land, forests and fisheries’ and in general to the rights set out in the current draft text of the UN Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas.

About the Panel:

This panel will present the voices of rights holders from different constituencies that will share their claims for their recognition as political subjects and the importance of collective rights for their struggles against discriminations and vulnerability suffered by their communities and themselves.

Each panelist will have 8 minutes to address the public. The organisations invited to address the public are:

The World Forum of Fisher Peoples (WFFP) was created in 1997. It has 29 member organizations in 23 countries and claims to represent over 10 million fisher people worldwide. See: http://worldfishers.org.

The World Alliance on Mobile Indigenous Peoples (WAMIP) was created in 2003 at the Fifth World Parks Congress (Durban) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Is s a global alliance of nomadic peoples and communities that practise various forms of mobility as a livelihood strategy while conserving biological diversity and using natural resources in a sustainable way.

The IUF is an international federation of trade unions created in 1920. It has more than 390 affiliates in 125  countries, and claims to represent a combined membership of over 12 million workers. See www.iuf.org/w.

La Vía Campesina comprises about 164 local and national organizations in 73 countries from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. Altogether, it represents about 200 million farmers. It is an autonomous, pluralist and multicultural movement, independent from any political, economic or other type of affiliation.

Expected Representations:

Moderator: La Vía Campesina leadership

The panel will be composed by:

Sue Longley, IUF/UITA

Fernando Dory, World Alliance of Mobile Indigenous Peoples (WAMIP) Board Member, Europe – Spain

Saúl Vicente Vásquez, International Indian Treaty Council (IITC).  Zapoteca, Oaxaca México; IITC Board Secretary; Unidad de la Fuerza Indígena y Campesina (UFIC)

Aleyda Aragón, La Vía Campesina, Nicaragua

Marcos Santamaría, World Forum of Fisher Peoples (WFFP), Galice – Spain

Tirso Moreno, Farmworkers Association of Florida – Assocación Campesina de Florida  (FWAF)-La Vía Campesina, USA

Christophe Golay and Priscila Claey will be invited to address the conclusions of the panel after an exchange with the public.

(Image is from an informal consultation held in February 2017)