HEKS/EPER Land Forum 2021

Putting Peasants Rights into practice


“The friends of the declaration” (Alliance Sud, BfA/PPP, CETIM, Fastenopfer/AdC,
FIAN, Geneva Academy, HEKS/EPER, Swissaid, Uniterre) invite you to the launch of the Study
“Switzerland’s foreign policy and the United Nations declaration on the rights of peasants”
at the HEKS Land Forum.

Registration before 26 November 2021

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas (UNDROP) was adopted by the UN General Assembly three years ago, in December 2018. The instrument is highly relevant: peasants are key to global food security and thus to the transformation towards sustainable food systems. In addition, it is based on the needs of the people at its centre who participated in the negotiation process.

Economic and agricultural policies have pushed developing countries to produce for export, tying them to the bottom end of global value chains and making them vulnerable to fluctuations in world prices and markets over which they often have no control. This is compounded by the creation of markets for land that make it difficult for peasants to protect their customary, often collective, land rights. Trade agreements are another hurdle for local production. They limit the policy space of developing countries to support their peasantry.

Despite the increasingly evident shortcomings of the current trade system in terms of environmental sustainability, resilience, global food security and peasants’ rights, trade agreements are repeatedly concluded without proper assessment of their impacts and without peasants’ participation. Existing agreements are also not adapted even when it is obvious that they do not respond to the needs of peasants, consumers, or the environment.

Based on the study “Switzerland’s Foreign Policy and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants” (available in English, French and German), published by a coalition of Swiss NGOs called “Friends of the Declaration” and the Geneva Academy, this event will come up with proposals to guide Swiss governmental and civil society activities, so that they implement the rights enshrined in UNDROP through their international engagement.

Schedule (all times in CET)
09.15 Welcome

09.30 Setting the stage – UNDROP in a nutshell

09.40 Presentation of key findings of the study: Switzerland’s foreign policy and the United Nations declaration on the rights of peasants
Christophe Golay, Geneva Academy; Caroline Dommen, Independent Researcher, Sustainable Development Law, Policy and Practice

10.00 Key messages
Michael Fakhri, Special rapporteur on the right to food, Elizabeth Mpofu, La Via Campesina, Tatiana Oliveira, Inesc, Brazil, Vanessa Renfer, Uniterre

10.30 Panel discussion: How can we put the recommendations into practice? Carlo Sommaruga, State Councillor, Benjamin Müller, Deputy Head of the Human Rights Diplomacy Section (FDFA), Markus Schlagenhof, Ambassador, Head of the World Trade Division (FDFA) (tbc), Alwin Kopse, Head International Affairs and Food Security BLW, Thomas Gass, Ambassador, Assistant Director General, Head of the South Cooperation Department SDC (tbc)
Moderation: Ana Maria Suarez Franco, Accountability Coordinator FIAN International

11.30 UNDROP implementation in different fields of engagement – Introduction to the Working groups

11.45 Lunch break

12.45 UNDROP implementation in different fields of engagement

1. Food Systems
2. Trade agreements
3. Mainstreaming UNDROP into the UN-system

14.15 Presentation of the recommendations of the working groups

14.45 Plenary discussion: Conclusions and way forward

15.15 Farewell and Apero

Language: English (no translation)
Registration: Before 26 November 2021
Covid-19: At this event a certificate is obligatory.

For more information please contact: Una Hombrecher, una.hombrecher@heks.ch
The friends of the declaration:


Freitag, 10. Dezember 2021

9.15 - 15.15


PROGR Aula (1. Stock), Waisenhausplatz 30, 3011 Bern


Infos und Programm