Feb 242013

Statement to the Stop the War Coalition Philippines from Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam

Greetings from Australia and from a party well represented in our parliament which believes in peace and non-violence. The Philippines Senate will decide whether to ratify the Australia-Philippines Status of Visiting Forces Agreement (SOVFA) in July. While the proposal to negotiate a SOVFA was made by the Philippines in February 2004, the Australian Greens understand why protests broke out in Manila when your Senate debated this agreement in June 2012.

The experience of the Philippines in hosting overseas forces has been very negative in the past. Military training exercises that are facilitated by this agreement can have very severe social and environmental impacts. One of the Australian Greens four policy pillars is peace and nonviolence. Our objective is not just to reduce violence but to address the underlying causes of conflict towards political change that will build a more sustainable peace over the long term, based on cooperation, human rights, justice and the UN Charter. Military capability and training cannot guarantee human security, which includes human rights, a clean environment, a fair economic and social development, and nor can it address some of the most urgent security threats we face, which include climate change and the extreme weather events it brings, food and water shortage and poverty.
Felicity Hill Adviser Senator Scott Ludlam Australian Greens Senator for WA SG.61 Parliament House, Canberra ACT, 2600 p: +61 2 6277 3467 f: +61 2 6277 5821 e: felicity.hill@aph.gov.au

The date posted here is due to our website rebuild, it does not reflect the original date this article was posted. This article was originally posted in Yonip on June 20th 2012

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