Being a part of the Global Greens
By Michelle Sheather, International Development Coordinator, Australian Greens
2023 was a huge year for the Global Greens. The Global Greens was founded in 2002 and is made up of four independent federations of Greens political parties and movements across Africa, Europe, the Americas, and Asia Pacific. The Australian Greens is a founding member and is now joined by 23 other member parties in the Asia-Pacific region.
These parties come from all over; from the Solomon Islands in the east; to Korea and Mongolia in East Asia; to India and Nepal; and also including Lebanon and Palestine in the Middle East. Many parties are new and emerging and each face similar challenges including inconsistent and hampering rules to register a party, issues just to stand for election, as well as electoral violence.
In June 2023 the fifth Global Greens Congress was held in Korea. Over 700 hundred people joined in person and online to share, listen, learn and commit to climate and social justice action. It was the first since Liverpool in 2017, hosted by the European Greens Federation. This is the 5th time delegates from over 105 Green parties from around the world have come together to advance Global Greens’ initiatives, policies, to pass resolutions and inspire and learn from one another.
The Korean Congress also set up new working groups, building on the existing Climate Working Group. This included a working group on Biodiversity to address issues relating to the Convention on Biological Diversity, an Indigenous and Tribal peoples’ network and the Democracy working group.
In Korea, the world’s Green Parties formally endorsed the Stop Ecocide International campaign to give nature legal rights and defend against pollution and environmental destruction; also the Fossil Free Future Non-Proliferation Treaty and Parliamentarians for a Fossil Fuel Free Future. Together we are working hard to keep fossil fuels in the ground, and make the swift shift to renewables in the climate and social justice fight.
Our actions now and in the coming years must create a wave of transformational change and pave the way for a sustainable 21st Century.
18 resolutions were agreed at Congress, which included: restructuring foreign debt, biodiversity (we are nature and nature is us), climate migration and displacement, LGBTQIA+ rights, water rights, animal rights, policy on child marriage, and climate emergency. The polycrisis of climate change combined with biodiversity loss, is recognised as central to all that we do in the updated edition of the Global Greens Charter to which all Greens parties subscribe.
We as signatories of the Charter resolve to promote a comprehensive concept of sustainability which:
- Protects and restores the integrity of the Earth’s ecosystems, with special concern for biodiversity and the natural processes that sustain life;
- Acknowledges the interrelatedness of all ecological, social, and economic processes balances individual interests with the common good;
- Harmonises freedom with responsibility;
- Welcomes diversity within unity;
- Reconciles short-term objectives with long-term goals; Ensures that future generations have the same right as the present generation to natural and cultural benefits;
- Promotes the First Nations Indigenous Tribal Peoples’ rights and custodianship.
We particularly at this time wish to express solidarity with our colleagues of the Green Party of Palestine and the Green Party of Lebanon, Iraq, and Jordan
In the Australian Greens, part of the work we do with the Asia Pacific Greens Federation is through the Australian Greens International Development Committee (IDC) which annually works with APGF and member parties to support party development through project-based work supported by a government grant.
This year we are supporting initiatives such as, assisting the Green Party of the Philippines with membership outreach to achieve party registration to enable them to contest elections for the first time as a party in 2025. We are supporting the PNG Greens with two by-election campaigns, their party now has its first ministry in PNG with MP Richard Masere as Minister. We’re also supporting the Asia Pacific Greens Womens’ network in mentoring programs, and supporting the Solomon Islands in their national convention and gender equity training in the April 2024 election campaign.
We are also working with existing and emerging Green parties in the Pacific region to hold their first face-to-face meeting in Fiji in mid-2024. We have more new Green parties starting in the Pacific than in any other region of the world. This includes Kiribati, Tokelau, Niue, Federated States of Micronesia, Tuvalu, and Samoa.
2024 will continue to be a building year for our own international work in the Australian Greens as part of the only Global movement of Green Parties.