Brazil’s federal government and Brazilian social organizations initiated debates today on the proposals the country will present at the International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development, sponsored by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and set for 2006, in Brazil.
Around 100 people, including representatives of the government and social movements composed of rural workers, Indians, members of communities founded by runaway slaves, and environmentalists are participating in the preparatory workshop, which runs through Friday, November 11, in the Ministry of Foreign Relations, in Brasília.
At the opening of the workshop, the Minister of Agrarian Development, Miguel Rossetto, said that the conference offers an opportunity for countries to renew and extend their commitment to the agrarian issue. The last global conference on this topic was held 27 years ago.
"Our commitment is to perfect the circumstances for this debate to involve our leaders and to collaborate so that this international conference really fulfills the great expectations kindled since its approval," the Minister affirmed.
Rossetto commented that the current international debate on rural development is focused on economic aspects. The Minister argued that it is necessary to examine this issue from the perspective of sustainable development, food security, and social inclusion.
The Secretary of Agrarian Policy of the National Confederation of Agricultural Workers (Contag), Paulo Caralo, who is participating in the workshop, called for more concrete steps to carry out agrarian reform in Brazil.
"The major obstacle to agrarian reform at present is the Judiciary, and we want to discuss alternative ways to be able to carry out agrarian reform in this country."
The 2nd International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development is scheduled to be held on March 7-10, 2006, in Porto Alegre, in southern Brazil.