Scotland Can Be A Global Citizen

Faodaidh Alba a bhith shaoranach chruinneil

Scotland can play an active, powerful and compassionate role in the world, promoting sustainable solutions, human rights, peace and democracy. A world of changing climate will face enormous challenges to past and long-held certainties and Scotland could play a pivotal role in meeting these challenges head-on.

Scottish Greens believe that we should establish and develop the institutions that will allow Scotland to become a strong global actor on issues such as human rights, sustainable development, democracy and conflict resolution. These institutions would also provide a framework on which to build an independent Scottish foreign policy should a future referendum return a Yes vote.

Scotland can take an active, powerful and compassionate role in the world. In a world of refugee crises, climate crises and conflict, we can play our part in meeting the challenges head on.

Ross Greer MSP

West Scotland
Education, Finance, Constitution and External Affairs spokesperson

Our commitments

  • International Relations

    Scottish Greens will push for a greater role for Scotland in world affairs by building our capabilities to engage with countries and communities overseas.

  • Peace and Nuclear Disarmament

    We will continue to resolutely oppose nuclear arms on the Clyde and seek to raise Scotland’s profile as a global peacemaker.

  • EU Membership

    We will campaign for a ‘Green In’ in the forthcoming referendum, while working with allies across Europe to reform the EU from within.

Scotland can have a louder voice on the world stage:

  • Westminster does not have a monopoly on international relations and diplomacy. Virtually every department of the Scottish Government has an international aspect to its work and both paradiplomacy (international relations conducted by subnational or regional governments) and citizen diplomacy (international relations conducted by civil society groups or NGOs) are becoming hugely significant on a wide range of international issues, from climate change to conflict resolution.

  • We need better representation overseas. We would seek to establish a Scottish diplomatic service, tasked with representing Scottish interests abroad within the areas devolved to the Scottish Government, such as health, justice and education; conducting diplomatic relations with governments and citizens overseas in areas of mutual interest; and providing consular services to Scottish citizens abroad. This service would build on Scotland’s existing overseas presence in the Scottish Affairs Office in the Washington DC and the Scottish Government EU Office in Brussels.

  • Scotland needs stronger engagement with international institutions. Green MSPs would support membership for the Scottish Government as an observer on international bodies such as the United Nations, World Health Organisation and Nordic Council. We will also encourage cities and local authorities to join international bodies such as United Cities and Local Governments or the Council of European Municipalities and Regions to make progress on global issues where national efforts have stalled.

  • We can do more to tackle global poverty and climate change. We will campaign to increase the Scottish Government’s International Development Fund and Climate Justice Fund, boosting our capability to fund overseas projects in support of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Green MSPs will support work to embed policy coherence for development across Scottish Government decision-making.

  • Scotland can speak up for the oppressed. The Scottish Green Party has long championed the causes of oppressed and dispossessed peoples. Green MSPs would push for the Scottish Government to unilaterally recognise the existence of Palestine as a state and support the rights of Kurdish peoples in the Middle East. Where possible, we will support a policy of boycotts, divestments and sanctions against entities, such as Israel and Russia, involved in the illegal occupation of territories.

Scotland can be a force for peace:

  • Scotland has a history of peacemaking. Green MSPs would aim to position Scotland as a global peace hub, building on the country’s reputation as a location for negotiations such as the Edinburgh Conversations, which contributed to reducing East-West tensions during the Cold War, or the peace talks in Craigellachie aimed at resolving conflict in the Caucasus.

  • We need to build a peace industry. We would support establishing a Scottish peace centre tasked with researching conflict issues and developing best practice for nonviolent conflict prevention and resolution. The peace academy could promote Scotland as a host for international negotiations and summits on conflict prevention, non-proliferation and debt arbitration; and engage with international academic and peacebuilding institutions such as the UN’s University for Peace.

  • We need to curb the arms industry. Green MSPs would support measures to curtail the global arms trade by cutting Scottish Enterprise or Scottish Development International support to enterprises involved in arms sales to human rights abusers. We would encourage pension funds to divest away from these enterprises and we would push for a Just Transition Fund to help defence sector workers retrain for careers in other areas such as renewables or transportation.

  • A nuclear-free Scotland. Scotland’s opposition to the Trident nuclear weapons system is well-established and we are proud to be at the forefront of efforts to disband this obscene Cold War relic. We would pursue every possible avenue to pressure Westminster into getting rid of the nuclear weapons stored on the Clyde. We would explore options such as: issuing guidance to Police Scotland not to enforce charges against nonviolent activists involved in protests against the Faslane base and shipments of nuclear weapons on Scottish roads; amending the Marine Scotland Act to include a ban on the movement of nuclear weapons through Scottish waters; and ending government support for businesses involved in the supply chain for Trident.

  • A nuclear-free world. The Scottish Green Party will continue to support nuclear disarmament on an international scale and Green MSPs would seek observer status for Scotland in organisations such as the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative or the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs. We will actively campaign for the establishment of nuclear weapon free zones in Europe and the Middle East.

Scotland can be a strong player in Europe:

  • A ‘Green In’ for EU membership. The Scottish Green Party strongly believes continued membership of the EU is in the best interests of Scotland and we will campaign for a ‘Green In’ in the upcoming referendum. We do however recognise that the EU is badly in need of reforms and we will work as part of a pan-European movement to democratise the structures and institutions of the EU. We believe in a more localised and regionalised Europe, where political and economic power is decentralised and member states cooperate on mutually beneficial initiatives such as cooperation against tax evasion and transnational crime or the harmonisation of regulations on environmental protection and workers’ rights.

  • No to TTIP. We are unequivocally opposed to the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) and similar deals which seek to expand corporate power and erode our public services. The Scottish Green Party has long opposed this deal and will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the millions of citizens across Europe who believe that the undermining our democracies is completely unacceptable. If efforts to prevent this retrograde legislation from passing through the European Parliament fail, Green MSPs would pursue measures to ensure that it never takes effect in Scotland.

  • Reform the EU single market. We would campaign to scrap EU procurement and state aid rules that prevent member states from favouring local enterprise or supporting emerging industries. Until such reforms take place, Green MSPs will push for the use of the Teckal exemption to ensure that local, publicly owned enterprises are favoured in procurement by the Scottish Government or local authorities.

  • A Renewables Capital for Europe. Scotland has the engineering know-how and technical expertise to become a major global player in renewable energy. This position would greatly aid the EU in achieving the sustainable development goals of the Europe 2020 strategy. The exchange of skills and technology would enable the growth of a decarbonised European economy and the establishment of a European supergrid would allow Scotland to export its huge surplus of renewable energy onto the continent.

  • Pan-European solidarity. Scotland’s experience of ideologically driven cuts to public services is unfortunately not unique in Europe. We would join hands with peoples across the continent to oppose ideologically-driven economic austerity. With allies, Scotland could stand firm as a bastion of resistance and play a decisive role in turning the tide against the forces that seek to erode our rights, weaken our democracies and sell off our public services.

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