Peace, Disarmament and Demilitarisation

The Australian Greens are committed to building a peaceful and just world, seeking nonviolent means for resolving conflict when it arises. Where violence and militarism does arise, we are committed to using the resources Australia has to minimise and reduce the incidences of armed conflict and violence. We must also ensure that current and former defence and military personnel are treated fairly, appropriately and with the respect they are due.

Principles

The Australian Greens believe that:          

1. Nonviolent conflict resolution is the most effective way of promoting peace.

2. Global cooperation facilitated by peaceful nonviolent conflict resolution is essential to ensuring human and environmental wellbeing.     

3. The glorification and normalisation of armed conflict detracts from the significant loss of life and the human and environmental devastation that is the reality of war.

4. All nuclear weapons, and the policy of “nuclear deterrence” which perpetuates their existence, must be abolished. 

5. The Climate Crisis and nuclear weapons represent two of the greatest threats to meaningful world peace, and therefore human and environmental wellbeing.

6. Environmental degradation caused by the impacts of the climate crisis will increasingly result in the displacement of people, undermining global peace.

7. Veterans and their families face unique financial, employment and health challenges which require strong policy responses.

8. Investment in offensive military capabilities undermines the environmental sustainability and social development necessary for global cooperation and peaceful non-violent conflict resolution.

9. Truth, Justice and Healing for First Nations peoples and the acknowledgement of the continuing impact of the frontier wars is central to enabling Australia to play a role in creating a peaceful and nonviolent community.

10. Veterans and their families have historically been subjected to systemic injustices caused by failures of government administered Veteran’s support systems. These systems require significant change to ensure Veterans and their families receive the support they need to live a good life.

11. First Nations Veterans have historically been subjected to discrimination and have had their contribution to Australia’s war history erased.

12. 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.

13. 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.

14. 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.

15. Conscription has no place in a democratic society.

16. The deployment of Australian Defence Forces (ADF) must be for defence and peace-keeping and emergency relief operations, and not for offensive action.

17. No nuclear armed or powered forces should be deployed within Australia's maritime boundaries.

18. Any deployment of Australian military forces in international conflicts, including for UN-sanctioned interventions, must require the approval of both houses of Australian federal parliament.

19. Australia’s defences require and ability to respond to natural disasters if requested by civil authorities and only in times of serious emergency. 

20. Military bases on Australian territory must be in Australia’s control, and all military activities must be accountable to Australia and its civilian authorities. 

21. Joint defence facilities and the presence of foreign troops puts Australia at unnecessary risk of attack and prevents us from building cooperative peace-based relationships with our regional friends and neighbours.

22. While the joint facility at Pine Gap remains operational, Australia is complicit in targeting weapons of mass destruction and in unlawful drone assassinations conducted by the United States of America.

23. Lethal autonomous weapons are a serious threat to global peace.

24. Deliberately restricting another country’s access to critical resources such as food and water is a hostile action. Action should be taken to address such restrictions peacefully. 

25. 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.

26. Rape and sexual violence in armed conflict are war crimes and constitute violations of the first Protocol of the Geneva Conventions.

27. To reduce the threat of terrorism, the social and economic injustices which contribute to terrorist actions should be addressed.

28. Continued militarisation of the digital space undermines peace and democracy.

Aims

The Australian Greens want:          

1. Governments to take urgent climate action to reduce the destabilising risks of climate-related disasters.     

2. To ensure that the Australian Defences forces are ready and available to assist civilian-led climate and disaster responses if needed.     

3. The elimination of weapons of mass destruction.

4. An explicit rejection of the doctrine of “nuclear deterrence” in Australia’s domestic and foreign policy.

5. Australia to sign and ratify the Treaty on the prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

6. The Australian Government to campaign for all countries to sign, ratify and implement all other outstanding international human rights and disarmament agreements.

7. The reconstruction and empowerment of all communities impacted by war to facilitate sustained peace.

8. A legislated requirement for military neutrality in international conflicts in the absence of parliamentary approvals.

9. An Australian Defence Force that is equipped, trained, and resourced to meet Australia’s peacekeeping needs.

10. A reallocation and reduction in Australian military expenditure consistent with the defensive security needs of Australia and the peace-keeping role of Australian forces.

11. 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.

12. The Australian Defence Force and other public security agencies to adopt a zero tolerance approach to all forms of violence, abuse, degradation and exploitation within their organisations. 

13. An Australian Defence Force where personnel have the right to conscientiously object to taking part in actions they believe to be illegal.

14. To ensure that Australian Defence Force personnel are not used in strikebreaking or policing activities which go beyond their remit.

15. A high-level international peace conference, under UN auspices, to reach consensus on a comprehensive global disarmament strategy.

16. An international ban on the manufacture and use of arms that indiscriminately kill, maim or cause long-lasting pollution including but not limited to landmines, cluster bombs and depleted uranium; and an immediate end to Australian Defence Force participation in any joint training or military operations with other military forces, where those forces are utilising such weapons.

17. An international ban on the development of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems.

18. To reinvigorate peace and conflict studies in Australian schools, universities and national institutions.

19. The active promotion of peace and non-violence through education.

20. To promote the role of women, LGBTQIA+ people, First Nations peoples, and multicultural communities in decision making in all stages of peace processes, agreements and transitional governance structures.

21. 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.

22. To ensure that regional defence agreements support an independent and peaceful role for Australia in the region and are consistent with our international and human rights obligations

23. A review of the ANZUS treaty.

24. No Australian participation in United States missile defence programs and a global ban on the militarisation of space.

25. 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.

26. The demilitarisation of border and coastal policing.

27. An end to training and joint exercises by the Australian Defence Forces with armed forces known to have committed human rights abuses.

28. Australian military training overseas to promote a democratically-controlled minimal security sector and to be focussed on sustainability and democracy issues.

29. Regular, comprehensive and transparent accounting of the costs, including social, health and environmental costs, associated with all Australian Defence Force military action.

30. An end to Australia’s participation in the development and production of military systems for the international arms trade.

31. An end to Australian government subsidies for the sale of weaponry or components, and a prohibition on arms fairs and on the promotion of weaponry in public places.

32. To raise the minimum age for recruitment to 18 years and end recruitment programs targeting school leavers and school-aged young people into the Australian Defence Force.

33. To end pro-active public recruitment advertising campaigns by the Australian Defence Force.

34. To ensure that our care systems or veterans and their dependents are comprehensive, accessible, transparent, and accountable so that they provide the services and supports needed for veterans and their families to live a good life.

35. 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.

36. The United Nations and associated agencies to strengthen the push for strong limits on the manufacture and trading of armaments of all kinds.

37. 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.

38. Perpetrators of rape and sexual violence in armed conflict to be prosecuted under war crimes legislation.

39. Decisions on defence procurement to be based on Australia's defence needs.

40. Defence procurements that do not restrict the operations of the Australian Defence Forces by increased reliance on any one country.

41. Australia to commit to prosecute war crimes.     

42. All civilians and military war criminals to face accountability for their crimes through a judicial process which accords with international human rights obligations.

(Pease, Disarmament and Demilitarisation Policy as renamed and amended by National Council May 2021)