DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .
An article from the Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly
The international Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, in short UNPA, is now endorsed across party lines by more than 1,500 current and former members of parliament from over 120 countries.
Possible logo of a UN Parliamentary Assembly
The campaign’s appeal for the creation of a UN Parliamentary Assembly that was signed by the lawmakers calls for “a gradual implementation of democratic participation and representation on the global level” and states that “to ensure international cooperation, secure the acceptance and to enhance the legitimacy of the United Nations and strengthen its capacity to act, people must be more effectively and directly included into the activities of the United Nations and its international organizations.”
“This is an important milestone,” said Andreas Bummel, the campaign’s coordinator. “The support of a UN Parliamentary Assembly by such a broad group of parliamentarians from all the world’s regions shows once again that it is high time for the United Nations to consider this project,” he emphasized.
“If it comes to democratizing the world organization and global cooperation, it is no longer possible to ignore the proposal for a UN Parliamentary Assembly. This is a success of the campaign and of the numerous parliamentarians whose support the campaign could mobilize”, commented Jo Leinen, a member of the European Parliament and co-chair of the campaign’s parliamentary advisory group.
The 1,500th lawmaker who signed the appeal for a UNPA last week was Nomsa Tarabella-Marchesi from South Africa. “The UN would benefit from involving elected representatives in its deliberations. After all, in many cases it’s them who are needed to help implement UN policy at the national level, especially if it comes to the Agenda 2030. A UN Parliamentary Assembly would also provide for democratic oversight of the UN’s operations, including playing a meaningful role vis-à-vis the Security Council. This additional layer of accountability would increase the world organization’s democratic character,” Mrs. Tarabella-Marchesi said.
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European lawmaker Soraya Post who recently supported a pro-UNPA motion in the European Parliament said that “we as peoples of the world must be be able to directly influence the UN’s political agenda and its implementation. It is a matter of our human rights and their full realization”.
Signatories include the president of the Pan-African Parliament, Roger Nkodo Dang from Cameroon, and the chairpersons of the parliamentary committees on foreign affairs in Belgium and India, Dirk van der Maelen and Shashi Tharoor, respectively.
Numerous lawmakers who signed the appeal occupy important executive positions today. Among them are Germany’s foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel, the EU’s commissioner for the digital economy and society, Mariya Gabriel from Bulgaria, the president of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, Sweden’s minister for international development cooperation, Isabella Lövin, the EU’s foreign minister and vice-president of the EU’s commission, Federica Mogherini, Argentina’s vice-president, Gabriela Michetti, or Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau.
With more than 100, the highest number of current members of parliament who endorse the campaign come from Germany, followed by Canada with over 50 and Sweden with over 40. Other countries with more than 10 current parliamentarians include Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, India, Italy, South Africa, Spain and Switzerland. More than 50 individual members of the European Parliament are on record as well.
The establishment of a UNPA has been supported by the European Parliament, the Latin-American Parliament and the Pan-African Parliament, among others.
Apart from members of parliament, the campaign has also been endorsed by numerous former UN officials, distinguished scholars, cultural innovators, representatives of civil society organizations, and many committed citizens from all walks of life.
Full list of signatories