April 9-15, 2012
Anti-nuclear energy sentiments dominate Global Greens Congress
Reported by Chiou Kuo-rong
Written by Lydia Ma
The 3rd Global Greens Congress was held on March 30, 2012 in Dakar, Senegal and attended Green Party representatives from more than 90 countries. This quadrennial global convention was dominated by calls to phase out and oppose nuclear energy, a sentiment strongly conveyed by Green Party delegates representing Taiwan, Japan, Pakistan, India, Mongolia, and more.
During the convention, the Green Party of Taiwan proposed a motion to create a “Global Indigenous Peoples Green Network” and the motion was voted and passed. This new network will allow indigenous peoples’ to raise awareness on their plight to safeguard their living rights.
Delegates from every country took turns voicing their country’s concerns and making statements. Taiwan was represented by 3 indigenous representatives from the Tao tribe who carried signs reading “Nuclear Energy: Zero” as they went up to speak. The representatives spoke about indigenous people’s determination to oppose nuclear energy. Japanese delegates focused on the aftermath of the nuclear spill at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant and underscored that the impact of such nuclear spills would not only affect Japan, but also the rest of the world as air currents and ocean currents would carry radiation to other countries.
Just before departing to attend this convention, Taiwan Green Party delegates underscored that the reason indigenous groups were selected as representatives this time was to propose the creation of a “Global Indigenous Peoples Green Network” within the Global Greens Congress. The proposal calls for every country to ban storing nuclear wastes in places where indigenous peoples live. According to the document, “As long as any country continues to use nuclear energy for electricity, indigenous peoples lives will be in peril.”
PCT Indigenous Ministry Committee Secretary Omi Wilang also attended the Global Greens Congress. As the General Secretary of the Indigenous Peoples Action Coalition of Taiwan (IPACT), he thanked the Green Party of Taiwan for inviting him and said that he hoped this convention would open up opportunities for Taiwanese indigenous peoples to network with delegates from other countries.
Omi Wilang later told Taiwan Church News that when Taiwanese delegates issued an appeal for help to oppose nuclear energy in Taiwan, they realized that more than 10 delegates at the convention were actually elected officials who were currently in office. "We must make use of every opportunity to establish good relationships with members of the Global Greens Network," he said, underscoring that international networking and support was vital in advancing indigenous movements at home.