A wide majority of states supported the Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas when it was voted on 28 September 2018 at the United Nations Human Rights Council. The results of the vote are 33 votes in favour, 3 against and 11 abstentions.
Among the states voting against the Declaration were Australia, Hungary and the United Kingdom. Most of the abstentions came from European countries, including Germany, Spain, Slovenia, Slovakia and Croatia, whilst Asian, African and Latin American states, with the exception of Brazil, supported the Declaration with a favourable vote.
On the floor, the European Union and Germany showed their concern over the recognition of the right to seeds, land, biodiversity, as well as to food sovereignty, yet unrecognised by international human rights law, FIAN International reported. According to FIAN, the EU stated that there is no room for the creation of “new rights” in the Declaration, despite these representing the interests and needs of more than 2 billion of people worldwide.
Now, the Declaration will need to go through the United Nations General Assembly Third Committee in October, before going to the General Assembly for a final vote in December.
The first meeting of the Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group on a United Nations Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas took place in July 2013. The UN-Declaration with its 28 articles combines numerous rights: the right to land and other natural resources, to seed and biodiversity, to sovereignty on decisions relating to their economic goals and food, to life, freedom, integrity, work and many others.
Draft United Nations Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas: www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/WGPleasants/Session5/A-HRC-WG.15-5-3.pdf