The first meeting took place at the Palais des Nations (Geneva).
Photo: © munksynz

27.08.2013

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.

A 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 Geneva from 15 to 19 July 2013.
In her opening statement to the Working Group, Ms Flavia Pansieri, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, noted the challenges rural people have to face, particularly highlighting volatile food markets, skewed trade practices, climate change, environmental degradation, loss of biodiversity and the lack of rights to manage the land on which they live and work. “These challenges require governments to review laws and policies and find coherent and human-rights-based strategies,” said Ms Pansieri.

A “Draft Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas” was developed by the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee and discussed by member states during the first working group session. Following the discussions held during the working group and acknowledging the difference of views on the way forward, the Chairperson-Rapporteur recommends:

  1. that a second session of the open-ended intergovernmental working group be held in 2014;

  2. that informal consultations with governments, regional groups, intergovernmental organisations and UN mechanisms, civil society, representatives of peasants and other people working in rural areas as well as other relevant stakeholders, be held by the Chair before the second session of the open-ended intergovernmental working group;

  3. that the Chair be entrusted with the preparation of a new text on the basis of the discussions held during the first session of the open-ended intergovernmental working group and on the basis of the informal consultations to be held, and present this text before the second session of the open-ended intergovernmental working group for consideration and further discussion there.


According to the UN, the report on the first working group should be available (depending on timing of documentation) at next year's human rights council session, to be held most likely in February - March 2014.

More information on the meeting 

Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas

(Ines Lechner, Rural 21)