10. December 2021, Bern

Putting Peasants Rights into practice

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas (UNDROP) was adopted three years ago by the UN General Assembly. At the 2021 Land Forum, HEKS together with a coalition of Swiss NGOs called “The Friends of the Declaration” and the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights will seek ways in which the Swiss government and civil society can further engage to translate the rights enshrined in the UNDROP into reality in their international engagement. You are warmly invited.

How to implement UNDROP in practice

UNDROP as an 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 of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, 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.


You are warmly invited to the HEKS/EPER Land Forum 2021:

Time: December 10 2021, 9.15 – 15.15
Place: PROGR Aula (1st Floor), Waisenhausplatz 30, 3011 Bern

Una Hombrecher - HEKS-Themenbeauftragte
Are you interested?
Contact information

For more information please contact:

Una Hombrecher
HEKS/EPER Thematic Advisor
Mail: una.hombrecher@heks.ch


(all times in CET)

 09.15  Welcome note
 09.30  Setting the stage – UNDROP in a nutshell

 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


 Key messages:

 Michael Fakhri, Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food
 Elizabeth Mpofu, La Via Campesina
 Tatiana Oliveira, Inesc, Brazil
 Vanessa Renfer, Uniterre


 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
 Christine Schneeberger, Deputy Head Global Cooperation, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
 Moderation: Ana Maria Suarez Franco, Accountability Coordinator FIAN International


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


 Lunch break


 Working groups: UNDROP implementation in different  fields of engagement

 1. Food systems
 2. Trade agreements
 3. Mainstreaming UNDROP into UN-System


 Presentation of the recommendations of the working groups


 Plenary discussion: Conclusions and way forward 


 Farewell and Apéro

Language: English
Covid-19: At this event a certificate is obligatory. Please check our Covid-19-Savety Concept here.
Registration: Before 26 November 2021


Registration for the Land Forum 2021, 10. December in Bern

Friends of the Declaration