9 September 2019
Our Strategic Adviser on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Senior Research Fellow Dr Christophe Golay participated this summer in a series of conferences and training courses on the implementation of the United Nations (UN) Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas (UNDROP).
Dr Golay notably traveled to Paris, Rome, Bucharest, Budapest, Bangkok and Phnom Penh to discuss the role of states, UN agencies, civil society organizations and social movements in the implementation of the declaration.
Our Research Brief The Implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas and its main recommendations informed the discussions.
The need to implement the UNDROP in Europe was discussed in conferences and workshops in Paris and Bucharest. In Budapest, Dr Golay gave a training with La Via Campesina to 14 participants from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) regional office in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, on their role in supporting the implementation of the UNDROP.
‘In Europe, where states promoted industrial agriculture and commercial seed systems for decades, it is key to convince national authorities and regional institutions to better protect peasants’ right to seeds’, explains Dr Golay. ‘Our Briefing The Right to Seeds in Europe was very useful in these discussions’ he adds.
At an expert seminar held in June at the Geneva Academy, several UN Special Rapporteurs, Independent Experts, members of UN working groups and UN treaty bodies, civil society representatives and staff of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) discussed the role of UN human rights mechanisms in the implementation of the UNDROP.
‘Existing UN human rights mechanisms can play an important role in monitoring the implementation of the UNDROP. However, one of the main recommendations of our publication calls for the creation of a new monitoring mechanism, such as a new UN Special Procedure on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas’ stresses Dr Golay.
Dr Golay also traveled to Rome, where he participated in a conference co-organized with the Permanent Representation of Switzerland to the FAO, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Food Programme (WFP), the Permanent Representation of Costa-Rica to the UN Agencies in Rome, and the Department of Political Sciences of University of Roma Tre. Participants discussed the role of FAO, IFAD and WFP in the implementation of the UNDROP, and the contributions of the UN Declaration to the implementation of the UN Decade of Family Farming.
At the end of July, Dr Golay travelled to Bangkok for the annual meeting of the DEMETER research project. On 25 July, he gave a presentation on the importance of the UNDROP for Asian countries during an FAO policy dialogue with external stakeholders at FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.
He then travelled to Phnom Penh where he participated in several meetings, conferences and workshops on the implementation of the UNDROP in Cambodia, and the roles of UN agencies, civil society organizations, social movements and academia.
‘It is particularly important to push for the implementation of the UNDROP in Asia, as the majority of peasants and other people working in rural areas, as well as the majority of those who are hungry in the world, live in this region’ explains Dr Golay.
Dr Golay will continue to promote the implementation of the UN Declaration and will notably attend a series of conferences throughout Europe on this issue, starting in Brussels on 30 September, followed by Luxembourg on 15 November, and Paris in December.
During an expert seminar UN Special Procedures, members of UN treaty bodies, staff from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as representatives from civil society and the Swiss Government discussed the role that UN human rights mechanisms play in monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals that seek to realize economic, social and cultural rights.
Our new publication Optimizing the UN Treaty Body System outlines a series of recommendations related to the functioning of United Nations treaty bodies, considered a cornerstone of universal human rights protection.
This event, organized by the Permanent Mission of Japan and co-sponsored by the Permanent Missions of France, Canada, Mexico and Finland and the Geneva Academy, will discuss the challenges in economically empowering women.
We are a partner of the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project, housed at the University of Essex’s Human Rights Centre, which aims to map and analyse the human rights challenges and opportunities presented by the use of big data and associated technologies. It notably examines whether fundamental human rights concepts and approaches need to be updated and adapted to meet the new realities of the digital age.
This project aims to raise awareness about the complementarity of human rights and development by analyzing the relationship between economic, social and cultural rights and global development goals, namely the Millennium Development Goals adopted in 2000 and the Sustainable Development Goals adopted in 2015.