Green friends, on behalf of the Green Party of England and Wales, I’d like to thank you for coming to Liverpool and to the Global and European Greens Congress. Whether you travelled for two hours or for 20 to get here, it is each one of us who has made this Congress so successful.
During the opening plenary, our co-leader Caroline Lucas talked about the politics of hope. She described how seeing you all here makes her feel less alone and more ready to continue the fight for a fairer world where Greens have risen up around the world to face huge challenges.
From climate change, to tax injustice, subjects we have discussed here together over the past few days, we faced global challenges that at times can seem too daunting, too overwhelming for us to take on.
These challenges will not defeat us. We will not face them alone, not alone as people, not alone as parties, and not alone as nations.
We are an international movement of millions. Congress has reminded us that we are a force to be reckoned with. We will take this knowledge with us when we go home today, home to our local challenges. Some of these challenges will be unique to particular countries, and some we all share.
The UK may be leaving the EU, but the Green Party of England and Wales along with the Scottish Greens and the Greens in Northern Ireland are proud to share common cause with colleagues and friends and Green parties across Europe and around the world.
What better tonic could we have this week after seeing Theresa May trigger Article 50 than to gather here together?
Yes, the politics of hate is on the rise everywhere. And yes, the far right is gaining strength. Yes, we live in a world that is currently obsessed with building walls rather than bridges. This weekend, we have shown that we are a truly global movement stronger than any forces which seek to divide us. Our movement cannot be contained by borders and our movement is stronger than short-term populism.
With the dedication of everyone in the room today, our movement will meet the challenges of the century ahead rather than repeat the mistakes of the century that is behind us.
As Greens, we are united; united by the determination not to settle for second best. By a shared hope for the future. We discussed some big topics over the last few days. With Greens from Germany, Luxembourg, the Philippines, Mexico and Senegal, we have talked about fighting for the promises in the Paris agreement.
We discussed how our movement can go further to promote democracy, locally, regionally and internationally with Greens from the UK, Germany, New Zealand, Burundi and Mexico. We learned about how to fight global tax injustice with Greens from the UK, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Peru and New Zealand.
Through our discussions, we came to see how we all have a part to play in changing our world.
And though at times, our individual activism may seem small, we come together at congress, we are reminded that we are all pushing for this change in the same direction. Our collective activism can achieve change on a global scale. We come from different countries, regions and towns, but over the past few days, our diversity has been our strength.
We have shared our experiences and this has enriched our discussions. We have learned from Greens who are in government and from Greens who are on the frontline of climate change, though we can only come together for a remarkable global congress like this every few years, but we live in a world where we can instantly message someone thousands of miles away. We’re all here, and willing to help if we reach out to one another. So let’s take this togetherness, our shared passion and commitment as we go home today. Congress, we are a force to be reckoned with. We are a powerful network of nations, we are an unstoppable movement of continents and together, we are the ones who will transform the world.