La Via Campesina, The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Wokers’ Association (IUF), World Forum of Fisher Peoples (WFPP), The World Alliance of Mobile Indigenous Peoples (WAMIP), Federation of Rural Adult Catholic Movement (FIMARC), Association Centre Europe-Tiers Monde (CETIM), FIAN International, Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS), CSRC Nepal, PWESCR (Programme on Women’s Economic, Social and Cultural Rights) as well as SAFA (South Asian Feminist Alliance for ESCR) and other organisations that we will add afterwards in annex list
To the third session of the open-ended intergovernmental working group (OEIWG) on a United Nations declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas
Geneva, Palais des Nations, Room XX
17-20 May 2016
We are representatives of peasants, indigenous peoples, pastoralists, fishers and rural workers from around the globe, between us representing many millions of rural people, from La Via Campesina along with CETIM, FIAN International and other human rights organizations. We have been constructively engaging this process of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas, from the field of pasture, our workplaces around the world and here in Geneva for many years. We strongly welcome the level of constructive support from cross-regions, from Latin America, Africa, Asia, Europe. We especially welcome the warm and effective leadership of Chair-rapporteur. It is worth taking note that delegates of UN member states extends their very strong contribution to the process.
The UN Human Rights Council resolution 30/13 in 2015 gave the mandate to this intergovernmental working group to negotiate, finalize, and submit to the council a draft UN declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas. The mandate calls for existing human rights to be made for visible with a view for the human rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas.
We believe that the Declaration should extend universal rights to peasants and other people working in rural areas thus filling existing normative gaps in protection. It should be forward looking, to deal with emerging gaps and thus end discriminatory practices affecting peasants and other people working in rural areas.
We, as representatives of peasants, indigenous peoples, pastoralists, fishers and rural workers, shall be recognized as legitimate parties in international cooperation in relation to food and rural development, since we are the main part of population facing hunger and malnutrition while we strongly contribute to feeding the world. The 2 billion peasants and other people working in rural areas have great knowledge and experience, and our own perspectives. We understand the current challenges facing the world’s food systems and have ideas for solution. We are able to contribute to the development process in valuable manner.
We call on States to unite in order to recognize and further guarantee the realization of the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas. All states and involved UN agencies need to keep on working how to best promote and protect small and medium food producers and rural populations. At this 3rd session of the UN Working Group, delegates as well as civil society work on various areas, which essentially establish for the peasants and other people working in rural areas their rights. Key articles that extensively and fundamentally fleshes out the life of peasants are discussed in a positive process. This also reminds all involved in the process that it is state that has obligation to set human rights standard, and exercise it in resourcefulness of meaning.
Beyond the sources already mentioned in the preamble, we wish to emphasize the importance of including the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples adopted by the UN General Assembly on 13 September 2007, pertinent ILO Conventions,and the work of the Committee on World Food Security on the right to food as sources for the Declaration.
As organisations representing peasants and other people working in rural areas, we stand ready to play our part and take up our responsibilities. We look into the process between now and the thirty sixth sessions of UN Human Rights Council in 2017 as parameter where we will strive our best effort to contribute in this standard setting.
For peasants and other people working in rural areas, the relationship with Mother Earth, her territories and waters is the physical, cultural, and spiritual basis for our existence. We are required to maintain this relationship with Mother Earth for the survival of our future generations. We gladly assume our role as her guardians.
We believe peasants and other people working in rural area will be more secure, and be able to work hard to produce adequate food and nutrition for humanity.
We thank you.
(complete list of participant in the joint statement will be sent to Chair-rapporteur secretariat in 27 of May at the very latest)