by Kennedy Graham
Co-leader Metiria Tūrei and I were the two Kiwi MPs attending the 3rd Global Greens Congress which concluded last week. Green party colleagues, Pete Davis (International Secretary) and Jackson Wood (Young Greens) attended as well, so there was a respectable turnout of four from NZ. Yes, offsetting occurred.
These are, more or less, five-year events. The 1st Congress, in Canberra in 2001, adopted the Global Greens Charter. The 2nd, in Sao Paulo in ‘08, laid plans for strengthening the global movement. This 3rd, in Dakar, Senegal, continued that process, with a few significant accomplishments.
First off, we created a Greens Parliamentarians Association. With some 340 MPs at national and regional level (and many more at local level), the Green political movement is becoming a force to be reckoned with. The ‘Global Greens Parliamentarian Association’ contrasts with the ‘international’ character of the other, 20th-century, political movements (Socialist International and the conservative movements).
The aim will be to coordinate the goals and actions colleagues with a view to making our work in committees and parliamentary debates more potent. And, also, to ensure a democratic strengthening in all countries which can only work to our advantage. As Green MPs further enter parliaments (and governments) around the world, the present imbalance of membership from Europe should leaven out, as new colleagues are elected elsewhere, especially in Africa and Asia-Pacific. Latin America is reasonably well-represented already.
The Congress also agreed to create a full-time secretariat starting from 2013. It will be a small office to begin with, but plans are being laid for financial and organisational strengthening over the next few years.
Resolutions were passed on a number of topics – preparing for Rio + 20 (the review of the Earth Summit, the global sustainability and climate change conference in Rio in 1992), democracy in Africa, the movements for self-determination in West Papua, the Occupy movement, Climate Change and Energy (moving away from fossil fuels to renewables and campaigning against deforestation), and on the future of the Global Greens.
The 4th Congress is likely to be in Europe, within the next three to five years.