BIJ1 wants the Netherlands to be proactive in promoting international solidarity and cooperation. This is desperately needed, because there are many problems in the world that concern us all that we can only solve together. Protecting human rights, equality, climate justice, self-determination and freedom of movement must be at the heart of our foreign policy. The Netherlands must also recognise the consequences of its own colonial history and make an effort to repair the damage caused.
PROBLEMS WE MUST FIGHT TOGETHER
Human rights, civil liberties, the climate and prosperity are under increasing pressure in many countries. Acquired rights for ethnic and religious minorities, women, people with disabilities, journalists, climate activists and human rights defenders are at risk. Inequality of income between countries is only getting worse. Climate crises, humanitarian disasters, conflicts and outbreaks of epidemics are not combated effectively. Only with international solidarity can we achieve climate targets, end conflicts and combat poverty effectively. That is in everyone’s interest, including the Netherlands.
REDEMPTION OF COLONIAL DEBT
The Netherlands has a colonial debt to repay. Our wealth has been acquired in the past on the backs of oppressed people in Dutch colonies and trading posts. Even today, the Netherlands still earns money from countries that are a lot less prosperous. Those countries see little in return. Protecting large companies that often avoid tax has become increasingly important for our international relations. This must stop. Instead, we must protect human rights in these countries and work on reconstruction and repairs.
We want to move away from development-cooperation as a symptom, and we want to move towards a world where this is no longer necessary and instead, we work together on an equal footing. We see a future in which fair trade does go without saying, in which countries are relieved of their debts and in which the consequences of colonisation have been repaired.
BIJ1 proposes the following measures with regard to international cooperation.
- Internationally, the Netherlands must actively commit to cancelling all debts of low-income, middle-income and middle-income countries.
- The budget for international poverty reduction will be increased to 1% of GNP. None of this budget will be used to control migratory flows, as is currently the case. Special attention is paid to combating the underlying causes of poverty and inequality.
- The Netherlands is increasing capacity and funds to support and strengthen international and multilateral (human rights) institutions such as UN institutions.
- The Netherlands is going to work hard to combat tax evasion by multinationals in the Netherlands. Tax loopholes in legislation will be closed.
- Trade and development-cooperation are being pulled apart and no longer come back under one ministry. Trade interests should never be linked to international repairs of damage caused.
HUMAN RIGHTS AND SUSTAINABILITY
- The Dutch commitment to human rights will become an integral part of all Dutch international relations, such as trade missions and judicial cooperation.
- The Netherlands will actively commit to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals with concrete targets and combines this with human rights policy.
- The Netherlands will increase its direct investment in civil society organisations and human rights defenders abroad who are committed to justice and equality. The agendas and needs of these organisations are leading in this respect.
- The selection of countries for international aid is determined on the basis of necessity in the countries themselves and the added value of the Dutch contribution, not on the basis of the Dutch agenda in the field of trade, migration or counter-terrorism.
- The Netherlands calls on companies operating in conflict areas to fulfil their responsibilities under the OECD guidelines and attaches consequences to non-compliance with those guidelines. Non-compliance with the OECD guidelines is included as a standard ground for exclusion in the Schedule of Requirements for Public Procurement.
- The Netherlands will actively engage in developing both national and international regulations to hold companies guilty of human rights violations accountable. Victims are recognised and compensated.
- The Netherlands draws up protocols for fair trade, sustainability and human rights for companies based in the Netherlands. If these protocols are violated, companies are fined or expelled from the Netherlands.
- The Netherlands will commit on an international level to combating climate change in low-income or low-middle-income countries, including a financing mechanism for loss and damage.
- The Netherlands will commit internationally to raising taxes on capital, profits and pollution as part of a progressive, comprehensive approach to extreme inequality and climate change.
- There must be an end to the occupation and colonisation of Palestinian land and the Palestinian people. Palestinian refugees must have the right to return to their homes and possessions. As long as the occupation continues and the rights of Palestinians are violated, we are suspending the Association Agreement with Israel and all trade relations with Israel. Palestine is immediately recognised (16).
- The Netherlands recognises the Republic of Maluku Selatan (Republic of the South Moluccas) and supports West Papua’s struggle for independence.
- The self-determination of people will be the starting point for the recognition of new states.
- The Netherlands pays extra attention internationally to stateless people, displaced persons and oppressed peoples.
- The Netherlands will actively commit to correcting colonial injustice that the Netherlands has done to the former Dutch colonies.
- The Netherlands is making an extra effort to arrest suspects of war crimes to be handed over to the International Criminal Court, as well as to indict politicians and soldiers from the USA and Europe who have committed war crimes under the false flag of ‘fighting terrorism’ or overthrowing anti-imperialist regimes.
- We are particularly committed to protecting the human rights of anti-imperialist activists at the International Criminal Court. We are therefore strengthening the position of the International Criminal Court in the anti-imperialist fight.
- The Netherlands continues to invest in emergency aid, with a focus on conflict prevention. In doing so, the Netherlands is committed to reforming the humanitarian system. This system pays more attention to local humanitarian organisations and the resilience of local communities.
- We encourage internships to countries and territories that are at the forefront of international anti-imperialist resistance, such as Palestine, the Philippines and Venezuela. This with the aim of learning, building ties and developing anti-imperialist awareness among the Dutch population.
- The Netherlands will also commit internationally to safety for freethinkers, atheists and humanists. Too many of them are murdered, persecuted and rejected. The Netherlands is a safe haven for them.