Bagnolet, Geneva, October 11, 2023. In its 54th session, an overwhelming majority of member states of the United Nations Human Rights Council took a historic step by voting in favor of a resolution aimed at further implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas (UNDROP). This momentous decision sets the stage for the establishment of a UN Working Group focused on the effective implementation of UNDROP. Comprising five independent experts with balanced geographical representation, this group will operate for a three-year term.
Today’s final vote reflects a relentless global effort to promote and uphold the rights of peasants, agricultural workers, fishers, pastoralists, forest-dependent people, nomadic people, Indigenous Peoples, rural women, and other rural communities. With overwhelming support, including 38 votes in favor, 2 against, and 7 abstentions, the UN Human Rights Council has opened a promising new chapter in the struggle for the rights of peasants and other rural communities worldwide.
Notably, this development has received substantial support from most countries representing all from all the continents showed through their vote that UNDROP is key instrument to address the multiple crises faced by peasants and rural workers in today’s world.
Morgan Ody, General Coordinator of La Via Campesina, expressed gratitude to the Plurinational State of Bolivia for its leading role in shepherding this resolution to adoption. “As a global peasants’ movement, we remain committed to working closely with states, UN bodies and mechanisms, other social movements and civil society organizations to ensure that we effect positive change through the promotion and protection of our rights,” said Morgan.
The creation of a UN special procedure, represented by the UN Working Group, is a pivotal milestone in elevating UNDROP’s global prominence. This Working Group will be instrumental in facilitating the UNDROP’s implementation, identifying and promoting best practices and lessons learned, and fostering collaboration and technical capacity-building in the pursuit of these goals. Zainal Arifin Fuat emphasized the importance of this development, saying, “It is high time for UNDROP to be promoted on the international stage. This UN Working Group will play a central role in achieving our goals.”
For La Via Campesina and its allies, CETIM and FIAN International, the work of the UN Working Group on UNDROP signifies a critical step toward reshaping existing systems. This shift aims to transition from destructive, profit-driven models to people-centered systems that harmonize with the Mother Earth. UNDROP is an important instrument which sets the foundation on which build better public policies for food sovereignty, agroecology, climate justice and agrarian reform, and to protect against criminalisation of our struggles. This collective endeavor seeks to build better and socially just societies, focusing on the well-being and dignity of all, particularly those in rural and agricultural areas.
Globalize the Struggle, Globalise Hope!
Read the resolution here
Melik Özden, Director of CETIM, firstname.lastname@example.org, +41227315963