A Conversation About Peace And Nonviolence In International Relations

The Greens have always believed in working together for peace. We’ve always understood that protecting people and the planet from the horrors of war takes the steady work of cooperation, building mutual respect, fostering connections between peoples, and putting in the effort to understand each other.

That’s why the Morrison government’s announcement that it will spend over $90 billion to purchase nuclear submarines that will undermine friendly and trusting international relations shocked us all so much.

Morrison, Dutton, and the other hawkish conservatives in government actually seem to think that provoking rather than working with, China, and insulting our allies and neighbours, is the best course of action.

This has launched a welcome discussion about how we as a nation want to engage with the world.

By and large, we’re happy that this discourse has demonstrated that Australians believe in international cooperation – that we know global issues require a global response, and accept a responsibility to do our bit to foster productive, peaceful relations with other nations.

But largely missing from the debate are the many voices for peace.

It’s a travesty that any discussion about peace and nonviolence is ignored and dismissed by a hawkish and bullying government, a timid Labor opposition, and a media establishment who can’t seem to envision anything other than the status quo.

Peace and nonviolence is not only something we believe in – it’s one of the four pillars of the Greens. We Greens have always understood that protecting the environment, cultivating deep democracy, ensuring economic justice, and prioritising peace all go hand in hand. War and violence are not only some of the most environmentally destructive actions we can take, but they destroy the connections between people that we recognise are vital to democracy and justice.

That’s why we will be presenting a conversation on peace and nonviolence in Australian foreign policy, co-hosted with the ACT Greens and the Medical Association for the Prevention of War, at 7pm AEDT on October 4.

Join Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Dr Sue Wareham, former Senator Scott Ludlam, nonviolent conflict resolution expert, Felicity Gray, activist from WagePeace, Margaret Pestorius, and Green Institute Director and candidate for Canberra, Tim Hollo, to discuss what it would actually look like to have an approach to international relations in contemporary Australia that centred peace and nonviolence.

Register here.