Peace and Security


The Australian Greens believe that:

  1. Genuine security rests on cooperation, fair economic and social development, environmental sustainability, and respect for human rights, rather than on military capabilities.
  2. Non-violent conflict management is the most effective means of promoting peace and security in the international arena.
  3. United Nations-mandated military action should be a last resort and can only be justified if it is necessary either to avert a major violation of human rights or attempted genocide, or to counter the military invasion of a country.
  4. Civil society organisations, including ethnic and women's groups, should be fully involved in conflict prevention, peacemaking and post-conflict reconstruction, including at the highest level.
  5. Conscription has no place in a democratic society.
  6. The deployment of Australian Defence Forces (ADF) must be for defence and peace-keeping, and not for offensive action.
  7. No nuclear armed or powered forces should be deployed within Australia's maritime boundaries.
  8. The deployment of Australian military forces overseas must require the approval of federal parliament.
  9. The use and promotion of violence against civilians or elected governments or representatives, whether perpetrated by a state, an organisation or individuals, should be rejected as a means to achieve political ends.
  10. Rape and sexual violence in armed conflict are war crimes and constitute violations of the first Protocol of the Geneva Conventions.
  11. To reduce the threat of terrorism, the social and economic injustices which contribute to terrorist actions should be addressed.
  12. Climate change represents one of the greatest threats to international peace and security.
  13. Environmental degradation caused by climate change impacts will increasingly result in the displacement of people, undermining global peace and security.
  14. Involvement in military actions has broad and long lasting consequences, including economic and social costs to those directly involved, their families and the broader community.
  15. Veterans and their families face unique financial, employment and health challenges which require strong policy responses.


The Australian Greens want:

  1. The elimination of weapons of mass destruction.
  2. All countries to sign, ratify and implement outstanding international human rights and disarmament agreements and a strengthened nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
  3. The reconstruction and empowerment of war ravaged communities to facilitate sustained peace and security.
  4. A reallocation, and where possible, reduction in Australian military expenditure consistent with the defensive security needs of Australia and the peace-keeping role of Australian forces.
  5. An Australian Defence Force adequate to Australia's defence and peacekeeping needs.
  6. The Australian Defence Force and other public security agencies to have an inclusive and non-discriminatory culture, to reflect the diversity of Australian society and to be supported by a transparent military justice system.
  7. The Australian Defence Force and other public security agencies to adopt a zero tolerance approach to sexual abuse, physical abuse and bastardisation.
  8. A voluntary Australian Defence Force where personnel have the right to conscientiously object to illegal military actions, and where personnel are not used in strikebreaking or policing activities.
  9. A high-level international peace conference, under UN auspices, to reach consensus on a comprehensive global disarmament strategy.
  10. An international ban on the manufacture and use of arms that indiscriminately kill and maim - including landmines, cluster bombs and depleted uranium; and an immediate end to ADF participation in any joint training or military operations with other military forces, where those forces are utilising such weapons.
  11. To reinvigorate peace research in Australian universities and peace education in schools.
  12. The active promotion of peace and non-violence through education.
  13. To promote the role of women in decision making in all stages of peace processes, agreements and transitional governance structures.
  14. To ensure that trade embargoes and other economic sanctions are used as part of a strategy of conflict resolution, and have minimal harm to civilians.
  15. To ensure that regional defence agreements promote Australia's independent role in the region and are consistent with our international and human rights obligations.
  16. No Australian participation in United States missile defence programs and a global ban on the militarisation of space.
  17. The closure of all existing foreign bases and joint defence facilities on Australian territory and an end to foreign troop deployment, training and hosting on Australian territory.
  18. The development of an Australian Coastguard to replace military personnel and equipment in coastal policing.
  19. An end to training and joint exercises by the Australian Defence Forces with armed forces known to have committed human rights abuses.
  20. Australian military training overseas to promote a democratically-controlled minimal security sector and to be focussed on sustainability and democracy issues.
  21. Australia to sign and ratify all treaties directed towards achieving arms control and disarmament.
  22. Comprehensive and transparent accounting of the costs, including social and health costs, associated with past, present and future involvement in military action.
  23. No Australian participation in or subsidies for the sale of weaponry, components or arms fairs.
  24. The extension of the UN Register of Arms Transfers to include production and stocks and the establishment of an independent inspectorate associated with the Register to ensure transparency.
  25. The United Nations and associated agencies to strengthen the push for strong limits on the manufacture and trading of armaments of all kinds.
  26. Full implementation of Australia’s obligations under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and other UN resolutions on Women, Peace and Security, and the Australian National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.
  27. Perpetrators of rape and sexual violence in armed conflict to be prosecuted under war crimes legislation.
  28. Decisions on defence procurement to be based on Australia's defence needs.
  29. Defence procurements that do not restrict the operations of the Australian Defence Forces by increased reliance on any one country.
  30. A renegotiated defence relationship with our allies that promotes Australia's independent role in our region.
  31. The provision of decent living standards for injured service personnel, and their dependents in the event of their being killed or incapacitated.

[Policy endorsed: November 2017]