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Rio+20: Opening statement of the Farmers Major Group by La Via Campesina

Cross-posted from La Via Campesina

Read by Henry Saragih, international coordinator of La Via Campesina at the opening of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development Rio+20

June 20, 2012, Rio de Janeiro

Mr. Chair, Heads of States, Your Excellencies and esteemed representatives, we have been debating the future of the planet and humanity for the past two years. It is clear that sustainable agriculture is essential to the discussion on sustainable development.

Our constituencies include: farmers, artisanal fishers, pastoralists, agricultural workers, youth and indigenous peoples. They are often among the most affected by multiple crises, in particular women and young people. They also hold the solutions for sustainable development in their hands.

In order to be able to implement systems that nourish our people and sustain our planet, institutional change is necessary, particularly in the area of participation and empowerment of the most vulnerable, the majority of whom reside in rural areas. The new path of development entails the empowerment of these constituencies to produce and harvest, this requires the rights to equitable access to land tenure – regardless of gender, marital status, religious or ethnic origins – and to productive resources, including seeds, inputs, trade and markets.

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Filed under Climate Justice, Food Sovereignty, Green Economy, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, Rio+20