2016 Platform: World Peace and International Relations

The Obama Administration has made a dramatic impact on the world. America now stands for international cooperation first. Under President Obama's leadership, we exited Iraq, caught Bin-Laden and began a new chapter in the story of the relationship between Cuba and the US.

But many places in the world remain closed to Democracy and repressive of the most basic civil rights.  Terrorism is a plague, but wars have demonstrated that even for the most powerful nation on earth, it is impossible to eradicate terrorism solely through a strategy of war and brute force. Foreign intelligence, an effective foreign aid program and domestic policing should be better leveraged to support the nation’s fight against terrorism.

Finally we must trust in the belief that the American people will support truth over the fear mongering of our political adversaries. We must be truthful with our allies and also with ourselves. We must be firm with those who threaten the American people and our democratic ideals, whether at home or abroad.  And we must take the moral path as we strive to promote world peace.

To create a more secure and peaceful world, California Democrats will:

  • Support the decision to withdraw our troops from Afghanistan and talks aimed at ensuring legitimate democracy in Afghanistan;
  • Proactively seek durable peace in the Middle East;
  • Cooperate with other nations to eliminate terrorism, increase literacy and child survival rates, combat poverty disease and malnutrition, bolster existing and new democracies and developing nations and reduce the support and demand for narcotics;
  • Support the capability of multilateral institutions such as the UN and NATO, and use our economic leadership to leverage the capacity of foreign aid institutions to foster international peace and decrease poverty;
  • Combat external threats through increased participation in, support for, and cooperation with the UN, other international agencies and regional organizations, greater participation in peacekeeping to help prevent mass atrocities, and renewed international collaborations to build government structures in states which are failing or emerging from conflict;
  • Abide by the terms of the key treaties that advance the causes of peace and human rights, such as: the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Biological and Toxins Weapons Convention, the Landmine Treaty, the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women, and the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;
  • Negotiate towards implementation of both the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons;
  • Support international efforts to establish an Arms Trade Treaty regulating arms transfers;
  • Support the advancement of programs that will end the cycle of violence to ultimately promote peace, rule of law, and human rights for increased security and prosperity at home;
  • Actively promote the establishment of national institutions based on the organizing principles of violence prevention and non-violent conflict resolution, utilizing and developing a network of "best practice" peace building policies and programs, both within UN member states, and externally among nations;
  • Follow the Geneva and Hague Conventions. No torture. No extraordinary renditions. No exceptions;
  • Commit to the achievement of the UN Millennium Goals including eradication of extreme hunger and poverty, achievement of universal primary education, and promotion and empowerment of women. Work to enhance the UN and regional organizations;
  • Set as a long-term policy of the US the elimination of all nuclear weapons around the world. Support the Obama Administration's "interagency discussions and international negotiations regarding the reduction and elimination of weapons of mass destruction throughout the world." Reallocate defense expenditures in a manner commensurate with actual threats. Enhance efforts to deprive terrorists of weapons of mass destruction by moving multilaterally to diminish weapons stockpiles;
  • Affirm the mission of the State Department as the promotion of world peace and disarmament through diplomacy;
  • Condition our policies and our aid to other governments upon respect for basic human rights;
  • Tailor our foreign policy to eliminate the worst poverty by targeting an additional one percent of our budget to aid and development;
  • Promote population-planning worldwide through education and support for family planning organizations;
  • Reduce our trade deficit and restore America's global economic leadership by designing policies that maximize the benefits and minimize the negative consequences of globalization;
  • Reevaluate the War Powers Act by exploring the return of authority to declare war to Congress;
  • Structure fair trade agreements that require countries to adopt and enforce internationally recognized labor standards such as the right to associate and bargain collectively, and the prohibitions of child labor, forced labor, and discrimination in employment;
  • Support the President in his efforts to reach a nuclear agreement with Iran and hope that the Iranian Government will recognize this opportunity to re-engage with the world community in a positive way in pursuit of peace and with recognition of basic human and civil rights.  However California Democrats also recognize that the recently signed agreement does not affect state laws that limit transactions with companies that do business in Iran, specifically including the bar on investment by CalPERS, CalSTERS, banks and insurance companies in those companies as well as limitations on government contracting with companies doing business with the Government of Iran.  Those laws should be maintained; and
  • Support the dignified treatment of refugees no matter their race, religion or country of origin.
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