A global movement, a united vision

How do you summarise four days of life-changing panels and workshops by world-leading Greens MPs and activists? The Global Greens Congress in Liverpool, UK brought together 109 Greens Parties from 90 countries.

By Rosanne Bersten, National Communications Coordinator
Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Waverley Councillor, Dominic Wy Kanak, described the opening ceremony of Congress 2017 as being like an Olympics for the Greens — and he’s right. Country after country is called and a representative steps forward and waves a flag or holds up a Greens sign — it’s both thrilling and humbling.

The Congress brings together Greens from around the world and of all types, from countries where the Greens are sharing power to countries where corruption and warfare block the most basic participation — speakers range from Isabella Lövin, the Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden, to Frank Habineza, presidential candidate for the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, despite the fact that the previous candidate was beheaded.

We Australians were well represented — apart from our 30-strong delegation, we have Penny Allman-Payne as the Asia-Pacific Greens Federation Convenor, Christine Milne as Global Greens Ambassador, Senator Richard Di Natale, and of course the tireless Margaret Blakers, outgoing Global Greens Convenor.

Over the four days, participants attended keynote speeches about the challenge of meeting the Paris agreement on climate change in the face of President Trump's abandonment of America's commitments; about the role of Greens in democracy in general from grassroots movement to participants in government and what improvements we can make; and about illiberal democracies and freedom.

There were the parallel sessions: workshops for the Global Greens Women's Network, the new Global Greens LGBT+ Network, and the Global Greens Seniors Network, panels on oceans and trade and animal welfare and sustainable food production and universal basic income and alternatives to GDP and just about any other issue you can imagine.

Alongside all of this, of course, was the hard work of the delegates to nut out and vote on the numerous resolutions presented to Congress, culminating in the Liverpool Declaration, which is the overarching statement to come out of the Congress and sets the agenda for Greens parties around the world for the next five years.

Visual minutes for the Global Greens Congress 2017 in Liverpool UK

Towards the end of the Congress, a beautiful tribute was held to Margaret Blakers, with at least one representative from each federation speaking about their memories of Margaret and her influence over the past 17 years in holding the Global Greens together. She was gifted a variety of gorgeous items including a book of photographs from the Asia-Pacific Greens.

Christine Milne became quite emotional as she spoke about being Margaret's flatmate in Canberra, coming home from a long day in the Senate and having Margaret excuse herself to take yet another meeting at 11pm, midnight or 2am.

Tribute page to Margaret Blakers showing message from Christine Milne

If you’re quite rushed for time, listen to our summary video above and watch Christine Milne’s speech, starting at approximately 32 minutes in the video below.

Live from the #Greens2017 Congress in Liverpool, the biggest Green gathering in history - http://greens2017.org

Posted by European Greens on Thursday, 30 March 2017

Tempted to delve deeper? Check out Christine Milne’s speech, Isabella Lövin’s speech (both above) and Keli Yen’s farewell speech (starting at approximately 33 minutes into the video below), plus read the Liverpool Declaration.

Closing Plenary

Live from the #Greens2017 Congress in Liverpool, the biggest Green gathering in history - http://greens2017.org

Posted by European Greens on Sunday, 2 April 2017

If you have more time, read our Live Blog, where we did our best to capture all the highlights of the Congress as they happened, and watch all the videos that were posted to the European Greens Facebook page.