The MDGs' election program is strong in terms of peace policy in terms of disarmament, arms control and international law. At the same time, peace policy is less consistent in this program than in their previous parliamentary election program. The party, which was founded as a pacifist party, thus seems to be in a declining peace-political form curve. Nevertheless, the program is far stronger on peace policy than most other parties.
Only a hundred pages into the MDGs' work program for 2021–25 is a mention of a clear peace policy. Here, however, a lot of clear peace policy is presented. MDG will work for increased use of civilian, non-violent conflict management globally, strengthen Norwegian efforts for international conflict prevention and peace mediation and contribute to the monitoring of international conflict situations. This is to deal with conflicts at an early stage and to protect civilians from abuse.
The MDGs' work program is also strong in terms of peace policy in terms of arms exports, arms control and disarmament. The program also states that Norway should use its place in the UN Security Council to promote peaceful conflict resolution. The party is in favor of Norway joining the ban on nuclear weapons and becoming a driving force for states to commit themselves to avoiding the use of explosive weapons in cities. Furthermore, the MDGs will work for an international regulatory framework for autonomous weapon systems. They also advocate a far more restrictive policy for Norwegian arms exports, and that the Petroleum Fund should withdraw from the arms industry. MDG wants a ban on arms exports to authoritarian regimes and demands end-user declarations for all such exports.
The MDGs' program states that the purpose of the party's policy of global disarmament is to reduce the need for violence to a minimum. This is to be achieved by building mutual trust, community and control mechanisms internationally. The MDGs 'work program also addresses challenges such as the nuclear winter as a result of nuclear war, and the need for more research to reduce the risk of using weapons of mass destruction – something we do not find in the other parties' election programs.
The work program also clearly advocates a defensive structure of the Armed Forces. MDG is for Norwegian NATO membership, but among other things wants to strengthen NATO's
work for "arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation" and that NATO should contribute to international detente. The program proposes that Norwegian participation in peace-building military operations be debated and adopted in the Storting, and thoroughly evaluated afterwards. However, the party allows for Norwegian military contributions in humanitarian interventions.
In addition to its election program, the MDGs also adopted a program of principles in 2015. A revision of this program is planned for next year. (1) This program of principles can serve as inspiration for peace policy for the other parties. Here, the MDGs identify themselves as a "peace party", and use the principle of non-violence as a basis for all areas of its policy. (2) The program of principles shows in concrete terms how non-violence can be used as a basis for both the economy, (3) security policy, (4) climate and development assistance.5 Unfortunately, this groundbreaking peace policy approach has not been continued in the party's work program. Perhaps this is because the MDGs take their peace policy position for granted. However, there are many indications that the party's peace policy involvement has simply waned somewhat. In any case, let us hope that the programme's fundamental peace perspective survives the MDGs' next program revision.
1 Clarified in conversation with MDG's communications manager Nils Mørk, 16 April 2021. Plan for revision of program of principles has been clarified by e-mail with MDG 20 / 4-21.
2 "As a peace party, we also recognize that peace is more than the absence of war." «The Green Party does not base the principle of violence on all areas of politics. Ecological and social sustainability, democracy and human dignity prevent conflicts through the removal of structural violence in peacetime. Non-violent resistance and dialogue are suitable tools for calming and resolving conflicts when they arise. It is possible to develop a culture of non-violence where the need for violence is reduced to a minimum and war is considered uncivilized. " MDG Principles Program, 2015, page 6.
3 "The economy must be subordinated to sound ecological principles and promote peace and justice both locally and globally."
"Norwegian participation in international military operations must be prompted by a UN mandate and there must be agreement that the purpose is to save and protect lives by preventing further violence."
5 "Therefore, a responsible climate and environmental policy, increased aid and efforts for social justice, international peace work and disarmament are inextricably linked."