2009 archive
UN Climate Conference closes without adopting 'Copenhagen accord'
Copenhagen: A disaster for the world's poorest
Danish PM tries to derail UN climate talks; Friends of the Earth suspended from the conference
Friends of the Earth suspended from UN climate talks
The angry mermaid winner is...
Africa moves to stop rich country power grab and protect kyoto targets
Statement on police tactics in Copenhagen
Five thousand people Flood Copenhagen for Climate Justice
Climate Capsule: People from around the world demand climate justice now
Public vote closes on Sunday for angry mermaid award
Obama to Receive Prize Based on Promise He Has Failed to Keep
Europe must commit to at least 40% reductions by 2020 without offsetting
Leaked Copenhagen accord text profoundly unjust
40% domestic emissions cuts in europe by 2020: feasible and affordable
Two million want climate justice in copenhagen
We can feed the planet and save the world
Rich countries scheme to ditch Kyoto targets
Friends of Earth International calls on President Obama to earn his Nobel
Angry Mermaid award to expose business lobby undermining climate action
First International Climate Justice Tribunal Started
climate talks regress
Rich Countries Try to Dodge Climate Obligations
Halt to Palm Oil Investments Welcomed
'Sustainable Palm Oil' advert false, says watchdog
Environmentalists Welcome World Bank President's Halt to Palm Oil Investments
Shell violates OECD Guidelines in the Philippines
Speechless novel Launched
European Union urged to reconsider its role in Central America
climate crisis: Politicians must find just solutions
Carbon Offsetting Exposed as Con
public warned over 'Green Soy' scam
new research reveals that shell is the world’s most carbon intensive oil company
a welcome shift in united nations views on food sovereignty
ShellGuilty Campaign Launched
photo competition winners announced
World Forests Rapidly Disappearing
Negative impacts of monoculture tree plantations on women
‘biodiversity photo competition starts today
Friends of the Earth International Calls for an End to the Violence in Gaza
You are here: Home / Media / Archive / 2009 / a welcome shift in united nations views on food sovereignty

a welcome shift in united nations views on food sovereignty

NEW YORK, MAY 14 2009 - Social and environmental organizations reacted positively to proposals by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter, during the 17th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development of the United Nations in New York. Schutter's proposals strongly echo the new production model that La Vía Campesina and Friends of the Earth International have been promoting for years.

The surprising proposals of the UN Special Rapporteur include the right of peoples to access land and to define their own food policies, as well as the principles that the government should support the least protected (including rural) people and implement production models that do not contribute to climate change.

In a statement released on Tuesday, La Vía Campesina, a network of peasant organizations from around the world, and environmental federation Friends of the Earth International called for a sustainable and egalitarian production and consumption model; the dismantling of corporate power and international financial institutions, and the rejection of false solutions to combat global hunger and poverty. Moreover, they called for a collective defense of the right of peoples to access land, seeds and water, and a push for agrarian reform.


The organizations welcomed the UN Rapporteur's statements that:


“Increasing agricultural production must go hand in hand with increasing the incomes of the poorest, particularly small-scale farmers, and switching to modes of production which do not contribute to climate change.”


In addition, the new model must consider “how to help the world feed itself” rather than “how to feed the world”.

La Vía Campesina and Friends of the Earth International are calling for food sovereignty, the right of peoples to sufficient, nutritious, healthy food that is produced in an ecologically and culturally appropriate way. This implies the right of peasants and small-scale farmers to produce food for themselves and their communities. The organizations believe that small farmers and craft fishermen must have a central role in any strategy aimed at solving hunger and poverty, through agroecological and organic production systems instead of intensive industrial agriculture.

Both the peasant and environmental organizations decry current land takeovers for agrofuel production, animal feed, tree plantations to produce pulp and paper, and wood and mining projects. They are calling for the rights of farmers, indigenous people, fishermen and small farmers to access land. Their statement also highlights the importance of resisting and dismantling the power of transnational corporations, institutions like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization, and the trade agreements promoted by the US and the EU. All of these are main drivers in the industrial production model of agribusiness, which aims for profits above feeding people.

Finally, La Vía Campesina and Friends of the Earth International believe that sustainability is impossible if the right of peoples to recover, defend, reproduce, exchange, improve and grow their own seeds is not recognized. “Seeds must be the heritage of peoples in service of humankind”.


For more information, contact:


La Via Campesina

  • In USA:  (202) 543-5675 (office)
  • Dena Hoff (Member of the International Coordinating Committee of La Vía Campesina): viacampesina@viacampesina.org


Friends of the Earth International

  • In Uruguay: Martin Drago (Friends of the Earth International): (+5982) 9022355/9082730 - martin.drago@redes.org.uy
  • In Nigeria: Nnimmo Bassey (Friends of the Earth International):+234-8037274395 - nnimmo@eraction.org


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