Foreign Policy

The Open Manifesto on Foreign Policy

Our primary foreign policy objective is to reduce and to eliminate conflict, wherever it occurs. We will increase our commitment to conflict resolution through multiparty agencies including the United Nations.

The United Nations

We will engage with our UN partners towards reforming the UN and in particular the Security Council, without preconditions. We will pursue the goals of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Aid

We will conduct an early evidence-based review of aid policy, determining the effectiveness of current aid provision. We will require all recipients of aid (whether aid agency or state) to account openly and transparently for the cash received, submitting their accounts to open public scrutiny on the internet.

Successful aid, which actively leads to poverty reduction, is an important means of conflict reduction; but aid delivered to conflict zones is frequently diverted or abused. Aid without dealing with the issues of conflict is largely wasted aid.

Europe

We are strongly pro-European: we believe that a wider, deeper union of the people of Europe is a vital part of our peaceful future together. Whilst there are weaknesses in the EU, we believe that reform is best achieved from within.

Institutional Reforms

The institutions of Europe are in urgent need of reform. The movement towards openness, which is beginning to take hold in the UK, has much further to go in Europe. We will actively promote openness in the Council, Parliament and Commission; and we will push for reform of the Court of Auditors to support open-book accounting throughout the institutions of Europe.

We will push to increase the powers of the democratically-elected European Parliament to hold the unelected Commission to account.

Expansion

We favour the admission of Turkey to the European Union, provided that it brings its laws on freedom of speech and freedom of association, and the protection of minority rights and languages, into line with liberal norms. We believe that this is the best way of securing for the people of Turkey, including its minorities, the protections they need and deserve, and extending to the Muslim world European secular values of liberty and tolerance.

International Terrorism

Terrorism is a form of conflict, and our foreign policy goal of resolving conflict applies to terrorist conflicts as much as to any other.

The root of all terrorism is the perception of an injustice – real or otherwise. Terrorists (or freedom fighters) only engage in terrorism because of anger at the perceived injustice against a faith or a community; therefore, until the perceived injustice is removed, terrorism will continue. In many cases, the perception of an injustice is due to an actual injustice, but in other – more intractable – cases, there is no injustice, merely a perception of one. In either case, it is necessary to engage with the people who feel driven to support terrorism, if not necessarily with the terrorists themselves.

We can identify three areas where many Muslims perceive a particular injustice: Palestine, Kashmir and the North Caucasus. We will strongly support Israel, India and Russia respectively in efforts to resolve the injustice or the perception of it through peaceful democratic means, negotiations without preconditions and popular plebiscites in the areas concerned, and will continue to maintain that – at best – the use of force can merely contain and not defeat terrorism.

Next: Defence

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