It´s time for Peasants´ Rights

Interview with Ana María Suárez Franco, of FIAN International, at the UN´s Human Rights Council

Ana María Suárez Franco, permanent representative of FIAN International in Geneva, Switzerland shares an update on the Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and its process of approval at the UN´s Human Rights Council that is expected on Friday September 28.

“To protect, respect and fulfil the rights of peasants”, who defend territories, is the aim of the Declaration, which if approved by the Council would be submitted to the United Nations General Assembly.

47 members are part of the Council in this 39th round of sessions, so 24 votes in favor are necessary for the Declaration to be approved. Recently, RWR shared the denunciation by La Vía Campesina, the main promoter of this instrument, according to which Brazil and other nations members and non-members of the Council were proposing to delay the resolution for 2019, which was interpreted as a dilatory intent rejected by the civil society that supports this initiative.

Vázquez is optimistic that the five rounds of negotiation (almost two decades) will result in the approval of the Declaration. But she remains vigilant: “While one eye smiles, the other is weeping because while the support from Africa and Asia is important, and also from Latin America, we´ve heard several voices from developed countries such as the UK or the European Union itself that were going for abstention”, said the expert in the interview with Real World Radio.

“We still have resistance in some Latin American countries, about which we don´t know their opinion, just like Brazil and Mexico”, she added. Off-the-record, Chile, for instance, has announced that they will vote in favor. “We are an indigenous and peasant continent”, said Franco, “so the only way to achieve the Right to Food is through the protection of peasant men and women”. That´s why she highlighted the fact that it is necessary that Latin American governments, just like Bolivia, which led the work process, give a clear political sign and recognize peasants, indigenous people, forest and coastal peoples, as special subjects of rights.

Meanwhile, La Vía Campesina and other social movements have launched a strong campaign sending letters of support to the Declaration by social movements, ancestral authorities and legislators.

The campaign is also present in social media with multiple messages demanding #PeasantsRightsNow



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