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Global Greens meet in Bolivia to find Green solutions to global problems

November 2013

The annual meeting of the Global Greens Coordination (GGC) takes place this week in La Paz, Bolivia, between November 24th and 27th, 2013 and is followed by the Federation of Greens of the Americas (FPVA) congress from November 27th to 29th, 2013.  The GGC is the coordinating body of the Global Green movement which comprises more than 80 Green parties worldwide.

Specific areas where we will seek to deepen our agreements and intensify our work during these meetings include the following:

a) In recent years, Bolivia has made important progress in social inclusion, recognition of Indigenous peoples' rights and preservation of their languages, cultures and environment. This issue will be highlighted during our deliberations, particularly by comparing it with the situation and experiences of other countries.

b) A central aspect of our deliberations will be to exchange information and experience on the growing pressure of trade and bilateral investment agreements that are used as tools for the interests of large international corporations. Examples include NAFTA, the bilateral agreements between the EU and Canada and agreements signed or in the process of negotiation between countries bordering the Pacific, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The Global Greens will evaluate the increasingly aggressive push by developed country governments, in close cooperation with corporate interests, to impose Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions. ISDS provisions are condemned by Greens worldwide because they disempower national and regional democracies, forcing signatory countries to abandon legislative initiatives that might affect the interests of foreign investors due to the risk of prosecution and the imposition of multimillion dollar payments for supposed unrealized profits. 

c) The Global Greens’ presence in Latin America is a good occasion to assess the threats affecting biodiversity and in particular the survival of rainforests and the Amazon. Linked to this topic, we will examine the recent history of pirating species and seeds, backed by the scandalous patenting rules inspired by the colonial tradition long condemned by the Greens.

d) The GGC meeting will evaluate the disappointing outcomes from the UN Climate Conference COP19 recently concluded in Warsaw. A significant part of our deliberations will consider future steps to be taken, including on the points highlighted in the Global Greens’ pre-conference statement. We will also clarify initiatives to be taken in the lead up to next year’s G20 Leaders’ meeting in Australia and the vitally important UN Climate Conferences to be held in Lima, Peru, in 2014 and in Paris in 2015. There will be particular attention to strengthening and deepening cooperation between Greens, social movements and citizens' initiatives, particularly considering that our gathering is taking place where the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth took place in April 2012 and whose message continues to inspire.

e) The Global Greens will also discuss the risks and increasing damage caused by the extractive industry, ranging from gold-mining to coal, oil and gas fracking in Latin America and elsewhere. The Global Greens strongly support campaigns by environmental movements in countries of the region who are calling for serious independent environmental impact assessment and full consultation and co-decision by those affected by this industry.  Mining and other extractive enterprises cannot escape responsibility for the damage and health impacts of their operations.

f) The Greens assert their solidarity against the destructive impacts caused by the production, storage, sale and trafficking of drugs throughout Latin America. Wars between drug-dealers have provoked close to civil war conditions, plunging whole countries and regions into a desperate state. This is not only a local problem but continental and global. We intend to leverage our presence in Bolivia, a country with a particular expertise in this area, to exchange experiences and develop a common position, as opposed to the blind and pointless “war” against drugs that uses military means and have failed to solve the problem in the last twenty years.

g) In the context of the increasing multiplication of international trade treaties, which more than often leads to a negative cycle impacting salaries and incomes in the working sectors.  The GGC explored different ways to ensure that good standards of social protection are respected or developed where they do not exist yet, in coherence with our social sustainable policies.

h) Furthermore, the participants reflecting the different continental realities, expressed their concerns about the weakening of democracy at the global level. After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the democratic revolution of Eastern European countries, as well as hopes raised by the Arab Spring, the GGC acknowledges the increasing number of setbacks and the dangerous emergence of authoritarian and dictatorial regimes. The GGC agreed to call its member parties to strengthen their global cooperation to challenge these negative trends and to strengthen democracy worldwide.  

This GGC meeting in Bolivia will be a historic step in the development of Greens globally. We will adopt statutes enabling the Global Greens to become a legally recognised global organisation, fulfilling the decision of the Global Greens Congress in Dakar, Senegal, in April 2012. We will review the development of Green parties in North and South America and globally. We will also discuss ways of improving our presence on the internet and in social media, and to strengthen and to launch new campaigns at a global level. 

This meeting constitutes a rare opportunity for the Greens from Africa, Asia and Europe to meet their friends in the Americas, share experiences and come to common conclusions on how to enhance our planetary work inspired by our founding document the Global Greens Charter.

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