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Green charter sets new model for politics

17 April 2001

The signing of a Green charter on the final day of the Global Greens conference in Canberra yesterday heralded a new model for politics, Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said today.

Key principles of Greens world-wide reflected in the 19 page charter are sustainability, ecological wisdom, non-violence, democracy, social justice and respect for diversity. The charter also called for massive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Ms Fitzsimons, who chaired two of the plenary sessions, said the charter was a break-through in easing the way for Greens round the world to work together.

"With email and the internet, the ability to swap information is nearly unlimited. The Greens are the first political force to look at harnessing that power to make global change."

"The current crises we're facing now are global - such as climate change, poverty and the need to reform our agriculture to be sustainable and safe. Many of the problems are driven by global corporations. Unless we also take global action, these crises are unsolvable."

Ms Fitzsimons said the 800 delegates from 70 countries at the conference had pledged to use their joint political power to keep Greens safe in repressive political environments.

"Some delegates at the conference had been arrested and tortured for their political activities, others were not there because they are in prison. The conference committed to setting up a new organisation, Green Shield, which would allow Green MPs and members around the world to intervene on behalf of their colleagues."

Ms Fitzsimons said she was also encouraged by the strong representation of young Greens, including 17 New Zealanders aged 15 to 30 who attended the Global Young Greens conference the week before in Sydney.

"That strong youth voice ensures that the charter will be vital and robust for a long time, and bodes well for the future of the Green movement."

Green Parties have committed to another global conference before 2006, and to regional group meetings before then.

ENDS

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