What an experience!
Global Greens Congress was by far the most confirming experience of my life. I always knew that the Green Party was the only international party, but to see it in action with representatives from 103 different countries brought it front and center.
It would take a far longer post than you’d be willing to read to describe the entirety of the event, but I will try to highlight the biggest parts of this five day event in Liverpool, United Kingdom.
First of all, it was so great working alongside my fellow Canadian delegates; my co-chair from the Young Greens of Canada, Cherie Wong, President of the Green Party of Canada Feeral Council, Ken Melamed, our FC critic on Agriculture, Jean Rousseau and of course our leader Elizabeth May! It’s clear after interacting with so many different Greens from around the world that we Canadians play a special role indeed and that the work of our Member of Parliament is renowned and respected.
Both Cherie and I became very fast friends with delegates from youth parties from 43 different countries. The Global Young Greens, until now, have had difficulty getting off the ground it seems, but with this largest gathering of Greens in world history, we are ready to make use of this incredibly powerful tool that is international cooperation. 200 or so delegates worked on forming new policy and passing new statues and several amendments to the previous body. I was so excited to have my own statue passed with consensus on a centralised database, a project I intend to work on myself!
GYG was also electing a new steering committee, a role with regional representation and gender balance that would direct the organization for the years to come. As the Global Greens are divided into four continental federations (Europe, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Americas), there would be only two delegates elected from each area. Both Cherie and I ran for this spot, and while one place from our confederation was filled by Gloria Polanco of the Dominican Republic Greens, the rest of Congress decided that I should be the one to help guide our federation! It will truly be an honour to serve this great organization and help make it the power that I know it can be.
We heard amazing discussion from vastly different Greens on various topics, including a fascinating discussion on “Green Trade” with a fantastic panel that Elizabeth spoke on. I heard the term “re-localization” here, which is something that I’d like to catch on here in CAnada- perhaps when I run for Member of Parliament! If the US is sending cookies to Britain, and Britain is sending buscuits to the US, why not just trade recipes?
Another personal victory came at the submission of an emergency resolution that I submitted to plenary! While spending time with the Federation of the Green Parties of the Americas, I became close with ta delegate from Argentina who expressed a strong need ot Canadian support to repudiate the Canadian megamine company “Barrick Gold” which had just that day had another massive leak in their gold mine. Somehow, over 1 million litres of cyanide have spilled into rivers in Veladero, and no one is stopping them. We snuck out from plenary for a brief while to draft the resolution, and to our delight it passed the following day!
I also participated in the formation of the Global Greens LGBTQ+ organization, something that I am very much looking forward to watching grow in the coming years.
As usual, sticking my nose into the bigger picture has resulted in an even greater workload for myself, but the rewards are just as great, and it helps put my work on the provincial level into perspective. It’s grounding, and it’s actually quite relaxing. My fellow steering committee members are going to be an absolute blast to work with (see above image) and I know that the next Global Greens Congress is going to be an absolutely tremendous show of international cooperation.
See you on the campaign trail!