188.8.131.52 Basic Elements of a Programme of Action
In an analytical report on agrarian reforms and rural development
in developing countries since the mid sixties (which was prepared
as a preliminary report for the conference) it was ascertained
that the development efforts made until then had often not
reached the rural regions. The inequality and differentiation
between urban and rural areas have become even more pronounced.
Within the framework of socioeconomic development, an appropriate
population policy is required, and the ecological balance
as well as the conservation of limited resources gain considerable
importance. The main objective of the development efforts
is to eliminate poverty, famine, and malnutrition. The responsibility
for the agrarian reform and rural development rests, primarily,
in the hands of the governments of the individual countries.
However, these must be supported by the international community.
But this collaboration must be based on the principles of
independence, national sovereignty, and self determination
as well as non-interference in the internal affairs of nations.
On the basis of these principles, the following guidelines
were, among others, drawn up for the programme of action.
- The basic objective of development is individual and
social improvement, development of one's own abilities,
and improvement of the living standard for all of the people,
especially the poor in the rural areas.
- National progress that is based on growth, equity, and
participation requires redistribution of economic andl political
power and a greater involvement of the rural areas in the
national development efforts. It is also necessary to improve
employment and income earning possibilities for the rural
population, to develop farmers' associations, cooperatives,
and other voluntary, democratic organizations for producers
and agricultural labourers.
- The greatest possible efforts should be made to mobilize
and use the local resources for rural development.
- The governments should give priority to rural development
and offer incentives for more substantial investments and
increased production fn rural areas.
- An equitable distribution and efficient utilization of
land, water, and other inputs while taking the ecological
balance and protection of the environment into consideration
are indispensable for developing rural regions, mobilizing
the people, increasing production, and reducing poverty.
- Great diversity in rural activities, including the integration
of agriculture and animal husbandry, fisheries, aquacultures,and
integrated forest development is important for rural development
on an broad basis.
- Settling industries, especially agro-industries, an rural
regions offers the required mutual ties between agricultural
and industrial development.
- Measures and programmes concerning the agricultural and
rural systems should only be implemented with the assent
and participation of the whole rural population, including
the young people and their organizations. Development efforts
should be orientated towards the needs of the various groups
of rural poor.
- Women should be granted equal rights and contribute in
the same way as the men to the social, economic, and political
process of rural development as well as partake fully in
the improved living conditions in the rural regions.
- International collaboration should be intensified and
a new awareness how urgent the measures are should be developed
in order to increase the flow of financial and technical
means for rural development.
On the basis of these principles, the conference recommends
the governments and all the organizations concerned to implement
a programme of action with the following contents, to formulate
the appropriate objectives to that end, and to make fund available.