Himba village in Namibia.
Photo: © Heather Cowper

UN Declaration on the Rights of Rural People: mandate extended

Greater support for the project compared with previous voting.

On 27 June 2014, the Human Rights Council of the United Nations extended the mandate of the International Working Group to develop the draft declaration on the rights of peasants and other people living in rural regions, reports FIAN – FoodFirst information and Action Network –on its website.

The decision to extend the mandate was adopted with 29 votes in favour, five votes against and 13 abstentions. The decision to set up the group in 2012 was only favoured by 23 states, with 9 votes against and 15 abstentions.

Just to remind readers, in July 2014, a “Draft Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas” had been developed by the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee and discussed by member states. After having discussed the Draft Declaration, it was recommended to hold a second session in summer 2014.

Meanwhile, the Chair of the working group has consulted 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. The results of these consultations have been included in a second Draft Declaration. The new text was presented at the second session of the intergovernmental working group on 27 June.

The intergovernmental working group will meet again in November and will be headed by Bolivia. By that time, Bolivia is to hold talks with different stakeholders.