200th ExCom launches climate justice committee; Berlin Declaration signed

‘We are providing a political home to Europeans who want a free market, tolerance, and freedom… we liberals look at the world not with fear but with courage’, declared FDP (LI full member) chairman, Christian Lindner MP, as he welcomed more than 150 liberals from 6 continents to Liberal International’s 200th executive committee meeting in Berlin on Friday 22nd June.

Taking the words of the leader of the German Liberals in the Bundestag to heart, ExCom delegates initiated a two-day project to define a new priority for Liberal International’s work. In addition to political debate and the adoption of important policy resolutions, delegates voted on the establishment of a new climate justice committee, to be headed by LI deputy president, Hakima el Haite.

The new committee’s structure will mirror that of LI’s highly successful human rights committee, with its principles underpinned by the newly adopted Berlin Declaration on Climate Justice, which was co-authored by IFLRY (LI full member) secretary general, Sven Gerst, and Ms El Haite who served as Morocco’s Minster of Environment during COP22 and was nominated a UN Climate Champion. The committee is set to attract the brightest and best liberals from around the world to coordinate liberal thinking and chart a path for LI member parties in government and opposition to deliver the targets set out in the Paris Agreement.

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The ExCom programme prominently celebrated the launch of the publication of the Andorra Liberal Manifesto, as LI president Dr Juli Minoves and FNF (LI cooperating organisation) deputy chairman and LI vice-president, Karl-Heinz Paqué detailed the process of designing a landmark international blueprint of liberal values. The first edition traces the 18-month global journey to consult on the paper and produce a final text, noting the contributors and collaborators. It has since been translated into the 6 official languages of the United Nations as well as German.

Prior to the vote on the Berlin Declaration on day two, a rich series of panel debates on the social, political, and economic impact of climate change with experts from within and beyond the liberal family defined the scope of LI’s work in this area.

The executive committee concluded with a warm invitation from LI’s three Senegalese member parties to join the global liberal family in Dakar, Senegal from 28-30 November for LI’s 62nd congress, hosted by the president of the republic, Macky Sall.

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