European Parliament Adopted Resolution for UN Parliamentary Assembly
In a summit held on July 5th, the European Parliament called upon its member states to support the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA) at the upcoming 73rd session of the UN General Assembly. In particular, the adopted resolution calls on its members to:
“advocate the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA) within the UN system in order to increase the democratic character, the democratic accountability and the transparency of global governance and to allow for better citizen participation in the activities of the UN and, in particular, to contribute to the successful implementation of the UN Agenda 2030 and the [Sustainable Development Goals]”
This action follows similar calls for a UNPA made by the Pan-African Parliament and the Latin-American Parliament. These resolutions come as a result of tireless work by the Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, which for years now has advocated for the formation of such a body. The campaign, which has the support of over 1500 elected politicians from across the world, is now gearing up for its Global Week of Action to be held on the 19th to the 28th October, soon after the 73rd General Assembly.
EU Parliament Also Supports UN 2020 Summit
The European Parliament’s resolution also called on its members to support a “UN 2020 Summit” that will consider “comprehensive reform measures for a renewal and strengthening of the United Nations.” This would in particular aim to address potential reforms to the UN Security Council, to make it, and by extension the UN as a whole, less dominated by the Permanent Five Members.
UNPA Would Improve Global Democracy
The proposed UNPA would be a democratically elected body of the UN, whose electorate would, where possible, be representative of the entire population of the world. In this way, the individual could be represented on the global political landscape, without having to rely upon intermediaries appointed by governments; this would ensure that the UN could be defined by democratic dynamics rather than power politics. It would also serve to combat the alleged democratic deficit that currently exists at the highest levels of global governmental interaction and bridge the chasm that exists between the agency & needs of the individual and the realities of the international political community.
The body would initially serve an advisory role to the UN General Assembly and UN Security Council without any direct legislative power. Its intention would not be to impinge upon the sovereignty of the nation-states but merely to increase the agency of their citizenry and the legitimacy of a great many international institutions through democratization. Moreover by establishing a forum where all the diverse of voices of the world can be heard together the UNPA would serve as an incomparable catalyst for the global community to work together and enjoy the mutual benefits therein.
Recently a book has been published by two of the leading members of the UNPA Campaign, Jo Leinen and Andreas Bummel, which offers a holistic overview of the proposals for a UNPA. It lays out in great detail the history and potential future of the concept of a UN Parliament. For anyone who wishes to know more about this topic here is a review of this valuable book.
All Citizens of the World Should Make Their Voices Heard
While the body could technically be formed at any time using Article 22 of the UN Charter, which allows for the formation of subsidiary bodies of the UN, it will first need to capture the collective imaginations of the global community. Thus as we draw closer to the 73rd UN General Assembly, all citizens of the world should work together to make their voices heard so that that their opinions and their viewpoints have a permanent place within the structure of the UN.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post do not necessarily reflect the official policy of Citizens for Global Solutions.