“Faced with global crises, we build food sovereignty to ensure a future for humanity!”
Bogotá, Colombia- 1st to 8th December 2023
More than 400 delegates of La Via Campesina, representing 185 organizations and movements in 83 countries, together with allies, are gathered in Bogotá, Colombia to celebrate our 8th International Conference from the 1st to the 8th of December of 2023.
We, the peasants, rural workers, landless, indigenous peoples, pastoralists, artisanal fisherfolk, forest dwellers, rural women, youth and diversities and other peoples who work in the countryside around the world and united within La Via Campesina, declare that “Faced with global crises, we build food sovereignty to ensure a future for humanity!” towards a just and decent food system for all, recognizing peoples’ needs, respecting nature, putting people before profit and resisting corporate capture.
The 8th Conference is happening at a time when the Colombian social movements are celebrating a major political victory, the creation of an agrarian jurisdiction, and the constitutional recognition of peasants as political subjects with rights. Our participation in the monitoring and follow-up of the peace agreement in Colombia inspires us as peasants to continue building peace worldwide.
CELEBRATING 30 YEARS AS A PEASANT MOVEMENT
Over the last three decades, we have fought relentlessly against the commodification of food and nature, and for social justice, dignity and recognition of our rights. Collectively, together with our allies, we have advanced in the construction of food sovereignty, we pushed for reforms of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) so that our peasant voices would be heard, we took up popular peasant feminism as a tool of struggle against patriarchy and we popularized peasant agroecology as a response to global warming and as a way to produce healthy food in harmony with nature. A fundamental achievement of these years was the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas (UNDROP) and the approval of a special mechanism at the UN to strengthen its implementation and monitoring.
In all these years, our guiding and unifying slogan has been GLOBALIZE THE STRUGGLE, GLOBALIZE HOPE.
WE ARE FACING GLOBAL CRISES
Today, we live amid simultaneous, intense and prolonged crises. Structural crisis of the capitalist system, climate, environmental and health crisis has brought the planet to a state of emergency that threatens the lives of humanity and other forms of life on Earth. The COVID-19 health crisis created massive disorganization and increased inequalities worldwide. Thus, barbarism emerges in the form of hate, violence, repression, and fascism: the dominant elites convince the popular classes through disinformation, manipulation and hatred.
Those who exploit us and the poor and are grabbing all our resources, are funding the ethnic cleansing, genocidal strategies, and murder through wars in Yemen, Palestine, Haiti, Chiapas, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Ukraine and many other countries and regions. Millions of rural people are forced to migrate, many losing their lives, others living without dignity as refugees.
FACED WITH THESE CHALLENGES – we, La Via Campesina, have made and strengthened solidarity as a cornerstone for social justice and human rights.
We stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine and their struggle for self-determination against illegal Israeli occupation. We condemn the ongoing genocidal war in Palestine and call for an immediate ceasefire! Thus, La Via Campesina joined the boycott of COP28 in Dubai, also highlighting the hypocrisy of the hosting government.
We stand in solidarity with our member organizations in Haiti, Niger, Sudan and with all peoples who are affected by conflicts in Iraq, Chiapas, Myanmar, Ukraine, Libya, Syria, Eritrea and many other countries in similar situation.
We denounce the continuation of the criminal blockade imposed on Cuba by the United States. We also fully support the Venezuelan people in their demand for the blockade to be lifted and their defense of the Bolivarian Revolution.
We affirm our support and solidarity with the victims of the climate crisis and of natural disasters which affected Turkey, Morocco, Nepal, Libya, and many other countries.
FACED WITH MULTIPLE GLOBAL CRISES, WE ARE BUILDING FOOD SOVEREIGNTY TO ENSURE A FUTURE FOR HUMANITY
Today, more than ever, we know that food sovereignty, peasant agroecology and peasant and popular feminism are the solutions to strengthen local food systems, essential in the fight against hunger, the climate crisis, green capitalism and its false solutions and in favour of healthy food, the preservation of biodiversity, the respect of the rights of peasants and workers, and the construction of a world of justice, equality and peace.
Strengthening Food Sovereignty
We demand participation in the elaboration and implementation of public policies that ensure new relationships between those who produce food and those who consume it, those who live in rural and urban areas, and guarantee fair prices, thus generating a decent income for all those who produce in the countryside as well as fair access to healthy food for consumers.
We will continue to push for proposals for effective regulation of the inputs market not only to support the ability of peasants to produce food, but also to ensure a just and well-planned transition to agroecological farming practices.
We will continue to fight for a radical change in the international trade order. WTO should be replaced by a new global framework for trade and agriculture, based on food sovereignty and on cooperation and solidarity.
That is why, together with our allies, we are convening the Global Nyéléni Forum in 2025 to continue building popular alliances around food sovereignty and to move towards people-based food governance, not transnational corporations (TNCs).
Full Realization of Peasants’ Rights
We continue to demand the full implementation of UNDROP at all levels, so that peasant rights are realized in the territories. An urgent task is to implement the popular and comprehensive Agrarian Reform. It’s time for an International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development to stop the privatization and appropriation of territories and common goods by TNCs.
We propose a radical shift towards agroecology to meet the challenge of producing enough healthy food while at the same time reviving biodiversity, while cooling the planet. Peasant agroecology is the only model of food production that guarantees the continuity of life on the planet.
We will continue to defend peasant and indigenous seed systems and confront the implementation of multilateral treaties for access to seeds, advocating against biopiracy and seed patenting.
As LVC we reaffirm our commitment to the cause of rural workers in defense of labour and social rights, the struggle against the agro-industrial model and criminalization, as well as for global peasant rights policies that prevent forced migration and guarantee rights to those who decide to migrate.
Strengthening Our Movement: Internal Processes, Solidarity, and Alliances
La Via Campesina is a unique movement embedded in the diversity and strength of its members organizations all around the world. We continue to build a stronger and bigger movement: at this conference, we celebrated the incorporation the tenth LVC region, Arab Region and North Africa (ArNA).
In our movement we are convinced that peasant and popular feminism is our path of struggle against patriarchy and for equality, and that diversity is at the heart of food sovereignty in all territories. We announce the creation of our International Articulation of Diversities, shoulder to shoulder to the feminist struggle. In the fight against patriarchy, the men of La Vía Campesina will continue to build a space of study and self-reflection assuming commitment and responsibility.
We will focus our actions on young people, as they are our hope for a better present and future. Therefore, we will increase the involvement and representation of young people in political decision-making spaces from one youth member per continent to one ICC youth member per region.
We commit ourselves to deepen our training processes in order to strengthen our organization and the political, ideological and technical development of our proposals.
Although our movement articulates the struggles of the peasant world, we are engaged in building solidarity at all levels. That is why we are committed to continue to strengthen and broaden our alliances.
After 30 years, we are moving forward in building food sovereignty and hope. Together with the growing recognition of peasant as a political subjects, we welcome the repeasantization that guides the willingness of many to come back to the land. We celebrate the victories of massive peasant movements all over the world. United in diversity, we continue to organize, mobilize and march forward to ensure a future for humanity.
“Faced with global crises, we build food sovereignty to ensure a future for humanity!”
Globalize the Struggle, Globalize Hope!
To read all the articles and updates from the 8th International Conference, click here