Press release: One step closer towards the adoption of the UN Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas

Geneva, May 22, 2017

“This process has made our movement stronger than ever. After sixteen years of effort and dedication, throughout the world, our communities’ expectations of this Declaration keep rising, expecting our demands to be recognized in the intergovernmental negotiations.
– Henry Saragih (Via Campesina), in the closing session of the working group

All last week, around 70 delegates coming from all continents of La Via Campesina, fisher-folk, pastoralists, rural workers, indigenous peoples, with other social movements and non-governmental organisations, engaged in discussions with State and UN representatives to negotiate a UN declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas. The recommendations and conclusions presented by the chair-rapporteur, Mrs. Nardi Suxo, ambassador of Bolivia, at the end of this 4th Session of discussions in the UN, emphasized the advance of the negotiations and the need to finalise the draft in a forthcoming 5th Session of this Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group (OEIWG).


La Via Campesina along with FIAN and CETIM (Centre Europe – Tiers Monde) and other strong allies have deepened the commitment between governments, organisations, and various UN agencies for the establishment of the protection and promotion of the rights of peasants and people working in rural areas.

With these latest negotiations La Via Campesina has reinforced its determination for this declaration to be adopted at the earliest. The world need this declaration, to end poverty and hunger, to make the earth ecologically safe for the next generation and for an equitable food system. Let us not forget the food crisis of 2007-2008, when States participating in a UN mechanism vowed to not repeat the mistake of outsourcing their obligations to large commercial entities. In fact, it is established in the final study presented by the Advisory Committee of the UN Human Rights Council (A/HRC/19/75) that States should recognize the rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural areas by directly talking to those carrying out agroecological, equitable and sustainable livelihoods.

In attachment you can find the complete press release.

Spokespersons on this issue:

• Henry Saragih (International Coordination Committee La Via Campesina):
• Geneviève Savigny (Coordination Committee ECVC) :
• Sandra Moreno Cadena (Sindicato Andaluz de Trabajadores y Trabajadoras del Campo – ECVC) :
• Ikhwan Mohamed (Staff supporting Peasants’ Rights Declaration process for La Via Campesina):