La Via Campesina International passes on the torch to Africa

June 12, 2013) La Via Campesina, the global movement of mass based peasant
organizations, will soon come to the end of its 6th global conference that is
being held from the 9-13 June at the Padepokan Pencak Silat Indonesia, Taman
Mini in Jakarta, Indonesia. The movement has made crucial decisions regarding
it future strategies, new members, new coordinators and other important
internal issues.

LVC leaders
revealed that the international operative secretariat that has stayed in Asia
for the past 8 years, will now move to Zimbabwe in Africa. “We will pass on the
torch to Africa this year. Africa is a very important continent because the
transnationals have their eyes on it. They are grabbing land there and want to
impose the green revolution model with GMOs. We in Asia already know that the
green revolution has failed here. We extend solidarity and unite with the
African peasant movements to stop this recolonization and choose a development
path that will actually benefit the African people and peasants,”
said Henry Saragih, global coordinator of LVC and head of the SPI.

33 new member
organizations were ratified at the conference bringing the count to 183 along
with new countries like Palestine and Taiwan. These members are not just
farmers organizations, but also indigenous peoples movements, women’s movement,
urban movements, landless peoples movements and many others.

Talking about
the future strategy of the movement, Elizabeth Mpofu, of the Zimbabwe peasant
organization that will start hosting the LVC international headquarter next year
stated that, “In the coming years we will continue to intensify the debates and
recommit to all our key issues that were decided during our last global
conference in Maputo, Mozambique.” The main action plan will be publicized on
the 13th June, but Mpofu hinted that there would be emphasis on strengthening
the campaign to end violence against women, giving more space to youth, and
also on promoting a positive agenda through the global seeds campaign.

The Maputo
declaration of LVC also lists the key issues as building a global food
sovereignty movement with allies, pushing for a UN Declaration of Peasant
Rights, opposing free trade and transnational corporations, promoting agrarian
reform and stopping climate change among others.

Verlinden, a youth leader from the Peasant action movement (MAP) in Belgium
said that, “as youth, we are very proud that LVCs completes 20th years this
year and that it is moving to Africa to strengthen the peasants there. As
youth, we want to see a world society that values its farmers and peasants and
acknowledge our right to produce society’s food. We have made a commitment to
ensure the future of sustainable peasants agriculture and protect mother

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