HIC-HLRN Hosts Land Forum III in Cairo
HIC-HLRN hosted Members organizations, experts and activists in Cairo on 15–17 January 2012 in the third edition of the Middle East/North Africa Land Forum. This session’s theme, “The Land, People’s Sovereignty and Self-determination,” reflected the region’s changing governance landscape. While previous iterations of the Land Forum also have focused on the human rights dimensions of land and natural resources, this New Year has built on the capacity of the region’s civil society to contribute to local, regional and global policy reforms by advancing the research and advocacy agenda. The participants shared experiences from Algeria, Egypt, Iran (Ahwaz), Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan (Darfur and Nuba Mountains), Syria, Tunisia, Western Sahara and Yemen. As in previous sessions, participants in this third Land Forum articulated the common issues across the region to pursue a greater rights and responsibilities of citizens within states. At the time of this third session, many parts of the region are undergoing transformation.
The participants’ contributions directed the conference program, which focused on practical implementation of the human rights framework to land and natural resources in cases of (1) land grabbing and real-estate corruption; (2) ongoing constitutional, legislative and policy-reform processes (3) situations of conflict, occupation and war; (4) the urban context; and (5) processes developing and applying relevant international norms. The Land Forum III seeks to consolidate civil efforts and commitments to develop the human rights dimensions of land in these fields also with gender equality and decent work principles over the coming biennium.
Participants chose to focus the practical and planning workshop within the Forum on applying human rights methodology to land natural resources in the contexts of (1) transitional justice; (2) agricultural, legislative and constitutional reform; and (3) the rights of indigenous peoples.
The Land Forum produced a final document of priorities and commitments to advance civil society capacities and pose solutions to the many problems and controversies in these thematic areas. The HLRN program for the MENA region will emphasize the follow-up to this most-recent Land Forum.
See the HIC-HLRN website for a background to the Land Forum and the current program.