Aachen, Bad Honnef, Berlin, Bielefeld, Bonn, Gräfelfing, Hamburg, Hamm, Cologne, Wuppertal, 2018-11-19. Today, after six years of deliberations, the General Assembly of the United Nations is deciding on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas. A broad alliance of 15 civil society organisations is demanding that the German Federal Government votes to adopt the Declaration. The Declaration bolsters the rights of rural groups which are especially discriminated against, marginalised, and under existential threat and which account for a large proportion of the world’s food production.
Speaking for the alliance, Paula Gioia of Arbeitsgemeinschaft bäuerliche Landwirtschaft (AbL) and European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC) states:
"In the past year, the number of people going hungry worldwide rose to above 820 million. Competition for dwindling resources such as land and water is intensifying, and seed diversity is being endangered by the increasing commercialisation of a few high-yield, patentprotected varieties. In many countries, organisations and people advocating for the rights of peasants and rural workers are facing intimidation and even murder."
The Federal Government abstained from the vote on the UN Declaration in the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. However, in the coalition agreement, the Federal Government argued in favour of supporting small farmers and shoring up measures to protect human rights. In terms of human rights–based foreign policy, the Declaration can serve to close a gap in the international human rights canon.
The alliance of civil society organisations comprises the following organisations: Agrar Koordination, Aktionsgemeinschaft Solidarische Welt (ASW), Arbeitsgemeinschaft bäuerliche Landwirtschaft (AbL), Brot für die Welt, FIAN Deutschland, Forschungs- und Dokumentationszentrum Chile-Lateinamerika (FDCL), Forum Fairer Handel, GEPA – The Fair Trade Company, INKOTA-netzwerk, International Federation of Rural Adult Catholic Movements (FIMARC), MISEREOR, Naturland e.V., TransFair e.V. (Fairtrade Deutschland), Welthaus Bielefeld and Welthungerhilfe.
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