Report by International Co-Secretaries: Alex Bhathal and Bob Hale
This has been a very full and exciting year at the international level for the Australian Greens. We truly punch above our weight at a global level and our AG tradition of heavy involvement in the Global Greens has been proudly upheld over the past 12 months.
In the lead up to the third Global Greens Congress, held at the end of March in Dakar, Senegal, Australian Greens’ local branches, state parties and individual members donated generously, and ensured that Australia was one of the major financial supporters of the Congress. Through the AusAIDfunded Australian Political Parties for Democracy Program, the Australian Greens sponsored the travel and attendance at the Congress of 8 women from within our Asia-Pacific region. Donations from Australian Greens members, local groups and state parties supported the attendance of a further 8 AsiaPacific regional delegates.
The Congress passed over 40 resolutions, which included the formation of the Global Greens’ first Indigenous Network, a Parliamentarians’ Network and a Local Government Network. There were also a number of agreements reached about the future of the party, including a decision to establish a permanent Global Greens secretariat. Australia is one of three possible locations for the secretariat in its first phase of work, with the Canadian Greens and the European Green Party also putting in bids. At the time of writing we have just been through the first interviews in support of Australia’s expression of interest in hosting the secretariat.
This year also saw the Australian Greens’ successful conduct of our first full year of involvement in the AusAID funded Australian Political Parties for Democracy program. Our first program received $156,000 in funding and upon its successful completion we have attained a further allocation for the next three years of $200,000 per annum. In order to administer the program effectively for the coming three years we have employed Margie Law as Project Coordinator for the program.
At a regional level, the Australian Greens Global Issues Group has this year welcomed the formation of two more national Greens parties in the Asia-Pacific Greens Network, in Japan and Indonesia. We also donated funds and lent moral support to our nearest neighbours, the PNG Green Party as they fought their first national election campaign, which unfortunately did not see the election of any candidates. The Australian Greens also continues to support the development of the nascent Greens party in the Solomon Islands.
More recently, the Australian Greens have been heavily involved in an international response to the arbitrary arrest of the Chairman of the Pakistan Greens Party, Liaquat Ali Shaik, who was taken by police whilst undertaking aid distribution on behalf of the Pakistan Greens and was thankfully released approximately a fortnight after his imprisonment. As we write Bob Brown is about to embark on a trip to Rwanda, accompanying the exiled President of the Rwandan Greens, Frank Habineza, on his return to the country after the Deputy President of the party, Andre Rwisekera, was assassinated in the lead-up to Rwanda’s last national elections in 2010.
We wish to thank the hardworking members of the Global Issues Working Group who advise our work:
- Australian Capital Territory – Dierk Von Behrens
- New South Wales – Armen Aghazarian (previously, Tony Hicks)
- Queensland – Elissa Jenkins
- South Australia – Des Lawrence
- Tasmania – Amy Tyler and Anna Reynolds
- Victoria – Elliot Gingold and Tamar Primoratz
- Western Australia – Leonie Lundy
And we’d also like to thank all those generous members and local groups who have donated to the Global Greens over this past year.
12/30/2012 – 13:00