International Justice

Figures published by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees show that the number of asylum seekers arriving in the EU in 2001 (384,530) is only a little over half the level it was in 1992 (675,460).This contrasts strikingly with the alarmist debate currently taking place across some European countries.

The environment is the ultimate global issue and requires global as well as local solutions. The Scottish Green Party believes that only a just world can produce a sustainable planet. We reject the current model of international operation in which a tiny minority consume the bulk of the world’s resources, leaving both the planet and the vast majority of its inhabitants impoverished. We further reject the notion that aid should be tied to Western profit or that the first solution to international problems is a military one.

The Scottish Parliament’s powers over international affairs are extremely limited but it should use those powers it has within Scotland to ensure that we minimise any impact we have on international injustice. The world could currently produce all the resources necessary to sustain the world’s population, if excessive demands of some were constrained. We believe in a Scotland that can be proud of its role in the world and confident of its part in reversing injustice. Someone who cannot feed their family is never going to be convinced of the importance of issues such as biodiversity: an unjust world will never be a sustainable one.

Green MSPs will work for the following:

  • We will press for Scotland to accept and welcome its fair share of asylum seekers and to house them as guests rather than prisoners. We wish to see those seeking asylum to be housed throughout the UK, reducing the pressure on the south-east of England, and placed in areas with existing communities of their national origin. We will also work to see that asylum seekers have access to appropriate legal, translation and medical facilities, and the same rights to work, housing, social security and liberty as any other Scottish resident.

  • We will work towards the removal of all nuclear weapons from Scotland and a reduction and eventual abolition of all arms sales either originating in or passing through Scotland. We reject violence as a solution to international and other problems, supporting instead diplomatic and legal solutions, and wish to see Scotland use its influence with UK authorities to move away from needless conflict as well as ensuring that it is not producing the tools of war.

  • We will ensure that Scottish universities are funded to offer a set percentage of places to students from developing nations, and will end the practice of recruiting only the best and brightest from the countries that can least afford to lose them. We will encourage schemes which enable people, particularly young people, to study and work with others from around the world to exchange skills, beliefs and values which may be of use here and in other countries.

  • We will work towards the creation of an Ethical Trade Commission to regulate a scheme of accreditation recognising fairly traded products on sale in Scottish shops. Those which can demonstrate ethical practices in both their investment and the treatment of staff in other countries should receive tax credits for both new and existing schemes which encourage fair trade.

  • We will campaign against international economic treaties and agreements, such as the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), which put the interests of rich countries and multinational companies before the interests of communities and the environment and which further extends free trade rules into the delivery of services, such as water, health and education.

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Scottish Green Party, PO Box 14080, Edinburgh EH10 6YG
Tel / Fax: 0131 478 7896
e-mail: info@scottishgreens.org.uk