Today, we witness the wickedness and injustice of the Zionist occupation in the face of a global pandemic. With the onset of COVID-19 in West Asia and North Africa region, lives are put at a greater stake in conflict-stricken areas including the Palestinian territories. Proxy wars and occupations have hampered and stunted the capacities of suffering countries to weather such a health crisis.
The neglect of public health, combined with the rural people’s overall destitution due to fundamentally wrong economic and agrarian programs, neoliberal attacks against agriculture, and massive land and resource grabbing, expose the landless and rural poor to extreme peril when pandemics flare up.
As the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to wreak havoc on thousands of lives and millions of livelihoods across the world, we call on governments to exert all efforts to ensure the food security of the people, especially those from the most vulnerable sectors. We also urge that initiatives to monitor and test for possible coronavirus infection be made available to those in the rural communities and afford the people timely treatment. We note that while the new coronavirus could infect and impact anyone, it must be emphasized that the effects of the pandemic are far more magnified for the poor, including the rural people. Lastly, we warn against using the current public health crisis to legitimize more state repression of the people’s fundamental rights.
The following are some of [NAPM’s] observations and suggestions in the present context, considering the issues raised by Indian farmers as well as the broader interests of the state.
We express our solidarity with the Iranian people and the world in denouncing the escalating US aggression against Iran and in the whole of West Asia. We issue these calls in support of the global call to stop the US war on Iran, a step forward toward achieving a just and lasting peace in West Asia.
While the UNDROP is a landmark declaration despite its limitations, there are key issues it failed to address.