The Guardian April 25, 2001


Editorial:
Greens unite

A significant step in the campaign against the destruction of the 
world's environment and against corporate globalisation was taken at the 
world conference of Green parties held in Canberra over the Easter weekend. 
The conference decided to establish an international Green network and 
launched a campaign to boycott the major US oil companies, Mobil-Exxon. The 
US oil companies are held to be behind the decision of the Bush 
administration to repudiate the commitments made by the US at the Kyoto 
climate change conference.

About 350 delegates came from 70 countries and represented millions of 
Green voters. About 400 Australian Green activists joined the overseas 
visitors. With a number of elected representatives in several countries and 
Ministers in some governments, Green Parties are a growing political force 
in many countries. They are vigorously taking up key environmental, 
economic and social issues.

The Canberra conference called for the creation of a World Environment 
Organisation with the power to impose sanctions in cases where the needs of 
the environment are threatened by corporate and government policies. The 
conference also called for reform of the World Trade Organisation to make 
it an elected and open decision making body rather than the present WTO 
that is secretive and dictated to by the big corporations.

Another decision was a call for the governments of the developed countries 
to allocate one percent of their GDP to alleviate poverty, poor health and 
illiteracy in developing nations.

The conference ratified a charter of common aims and principles for Green 
parties and movements around the world.

The Canberra conference was preceded by a conference of 400 Young Greens in 
Sydney. Members of the Communist Youth of Australia took part in the Sydney 
conference.

Senator Bob Brown said that the Greens were "an emerging alternative to 
economic rationalism. We want the power of charting the future to be in 
elected parliaments, not the World Trade Organisation and large 
transnational corporations. Issues like global warming, the growing gap 
between rich and poor and enhancing democracy are high on our agenda", he 
said.

The issue of democracy was highlighted at the conference by the fact that 
Ingrid Betancourt, a Green Party Senator in Colombia and candidate for the 
presidency has received death threats as a result of her campaigning. She 
travels in a bullet-proof car surrounded by 10 bodyguards.

Although stopping short of calling for a society without capitalist 
corporations the decisions of the Greens' conference on the environment, 
opposition to the big corporations, genuine democracy rather than the 
dictatorship of the WTO and the question of worldwide poverty are all 
issues with which communists can readily identify.

The fact that the various Green parties of many countries have come out so 
strongly against the corporations, and are backing their policies with 
action, is a very welcome development. The anti-corporate direction of the 
Green movement gives added strength to the growing worldwide struggle 
against the transnational corporations and their tame governments. The 
Green conference is further proof of the fact that the people's struggle 
against the corporations is intensifying on a worldwide scale.

The Political Resolution adopted by the CPA Congress, also held over 
the Easter weekend, says that the "Party seeks both short-term and long-
term agreements for joint action with, first and foremost, other left 
progressive organisations, Greens, trade unions, progressive community 
organisations, social-democratic parties, and other people's organisations. 
We lay stress on the development of mass action in which coalitions of 
organisations and individuals can play a major part in mobilising thousands 
and tens of thousands or workers and those in other social groups and 
classes that are anti-monopoly."

In specific references to the environment, the Political Resolution 
called for the "adoption of a program for the protection of the national 
environment, regeneration and sustainable development, protection and care 
of river systems, land care, salination, waste management, urban and 
workplace pollution, loss of bio-diversity, greenhouse gas emissions and 
protection of old growth forests. Urgent implementation of internationally 
agreed measures to control climate change" is needed said the Resolution.
Back to index page