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Jeanne Verlinden, representative of La Via Campesina, explained on Wednesday morning the main themes addressed by the FAO Guidelines on land tenure and the use of other natural resources.
She told Real World Radio “In the morning we discussed the articles on the safeguards of the rights on the use of land of people who do not have property titles and the mechanisms to avoid their eviction
from those lands”
“These are matters of principles because the use of land and other resources such as rivers and forests cannot be separated from Food Sovereingty” said the Belgian peasant.
About the governments’ positions, Jeanne says that Canada has been attempting to complicate the agreements, while African countries and those aligned with GRULA (Argentina, Venezuela and Ecuador) seem open to keeping or even improving what was agreed in the previous negotiation round in July.
Meanwhile, the United States and the European Union have had some disagreements over different points of the Guidelines. The delegates of Obama’s administration had questioned the fact that they mention “social justice”, saying it should be just “justice”. Another point that caused strong claims from the civil society was the attempt to eliminate a paragraph rejecting criminalization and persecution of human rights defenders of indigenous and peasant populations.
Finally, Jeanne Verlinden said the “negotiations are like a Sumo wrestle, where both sides push: we are achieving some victories, but there are some defeats as well”.
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