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Green Party Foreign Policy launch

17 September 2008

Make peace not war: Green Party Foreign Policy launch

New Zealand should be much bolder in promoting peace, human rights, social justice and sustainability on the world stage, say the Greens.

This is a key thrust of the Green Party's foreign policy, released tonight by Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Keith Locke at a meeting of the Canterbury branch of the New Zealand Institute for International Affairs.

"New Zealand is a small country but we can provide moral leadership, as we have shown on nuclear issues," Mr Locke says.

"We should be bolder standing up for those suffering from oppressive regimes. We should never mute criticism to gain a trade advantage, or curry favour with powerful players, as we seem to do with China and the United States.

"The Greens propose more engagement with UN organisations to establish global guidelines for sustainable living, to cover forestry, fisheries catch, oil resources and greenhouse gas emissions.

"The Greens want a greater commitment to development assistance, by legislating for a timetable to get to 0.7 percent of Gross National Income by the international target date of 2015. We favour innovative ways to increase aid from the rich world, including charges on international flights and currency transactions.

"We also favour re-directing much of the $1.3 trillion global military spending to development projects. We would make much faster progress towards ending world poverty and meeting the Millennium goals if we did.

"New Zealand can play a much greater role in international peacemaking, to allow this to happen.

Also at the launch tonight will be Dr Kennedy Graham, a former diplomat who at number nine on the Greens' party list could well make it into Parliament.

"Dr Graham has been invaluable in developing the legal framework for the policy," Mr Locke says.

"We want New Zealand to champion the application of international law - particularly through the World Court and the International Criminal Court - to prevent conflict, achieve disarmament and enforce human rights standards.

"One specific policy is for New Zealand not to commit troops to any foreign war without getting official UN authorisation."

* The Green Party's Foreign Affairs policy is available at: http://www.greens.org.nz/policy/summary/foreign

ENDS

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