UN: Global Governance and Democracy *
International Leadership, Education & Development Academy (INLA) and the Secretariat of the Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly (CEUNPA) invite to a presentation and panel discussion at the World Social Forum 2011 in Dakar, Sénégal, 06-11 February Cheikh Anta Diop University Campus on
Global Governance and Democracy: Regaining control through a UN Parliament The proposal for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly
on 8 February 2010 from 16h00-19h00 (date and time preliminary, to be confirmed)
With Jo LEINEN, Member of the European Parliament, Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Advisory Group of CEUNPA, Germany
Mamadou Ibrahima FALL, President, International Leadership, Education & Development Academy and representative of CEUNPA, Senegal
Manuel MANONELLES, Director, UBUNTU-World Forum of Civil Society Networks,Spain
Heike HÄNSEL, Member of the German Parliament, Chair of the Sub-Committee on the United Nations, International Organizations and Globalization
Senator Abdou GUISSÉ, Senegal
Coura NDIAYE, Advisor at the Economic and Social Council of the Consultative
Assembly of Senegal
Moderated by Magatte DIOP, Secretary-General, L’Association des Juriste pour une Justice Sure, Transparente, Indépendante et Èquitable, Senegal
This event is a contribution to the World Social Forum’s 2011 working axis 8 that concentrates on the construction and expansion of democratic, political and economic structures and institutions, at a local, national and international level and the participation of the peoples in decision-making and in the control of public affairs and resources.
For more information please consult www.unpacampaign.org
Contact for the event: Phone: +221 33 8242227, firstname.lastname@example.org
A United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA) for the first time would give citizen representatives, not only states, a direct and influential role in global policy. The assembly would not replace existing UN bodies but would be an additional means to integrate parliamentarians more effectively into the shaping of globalization.
As a transitional step until direct elections become practical, the UN Parliamentary Assembly could consist of delegates from national and possibly regional parliaments, reflecting their political diversity. The UNPA would therefore include members of minority parties whose opinions are often not represented in the United Nations. Unlike current UN ambassadors, UNPA representatives would not be subject to the authority of national governments. These parliamentarians would be free to ask probing questions, raise sensitive issues, and table innovative proposals for consideration by the Security Council, the General Assembly, the Bretton Woods financial institutions and other UN bodies.
The great problems of our times – such as war, disease, poverty and climate change – cannot be solved by individual nations acting alone. Direct citizen representation could help the world develop a greater understanding of itself as a global community. At the highest levels of the United Nations, a UNPA could function as a world conscience and watchdog, and a catalyst for further reforms. Over time, the UNPA could evolve from a consultative body to a world parliament with genuine rights of information, participation and control.
A consultative Parliamentary Assembly at the UN could be established as a subsidiary body by a vote in the General Assembly under Article 22, without changing the UN Charter. The historical record demonstrates, as with the Land Mines Treaty and the International Criminal Court, that if a few countries urged on by civil society take the lead, significant transformation at the international level is indeed possible.
The “Appeal for the Establishment for a Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations” promoted by the UNPA-Campaign reflects the consenus among like-minded parliamentarians, civil society representatives, activists and scholars regarding the proposal.
Quotes“A long-term Green goal is overcoming the international democracy deficit. This includes greater democratisation of the UN and other international institutions. Among these reforms, Greens support the creation of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA) as a parliamentary body within the UN system.”
Global Greens Second Congress, São Paulo, May 2008
“The European Parliament calls for the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA) within the UN system, which would increase the democratic profile and internal democratic process of the organisation and allow world civil society to be directly associated in the decision-making process”
European Parliament, June 2005
“A Parliamentary Assembly at the UN would encompass a number of advantages. Representation of the population and participation of civil society within the organization would promote the faith of citizens in the UN and increase its acceptance and legitimation. … peoples and minorities could introduce their concerns more efficiently within a Parliamentary Assembly at the UN, ultimately promoting the preservation of global diversity.”
Open letter of a majority of 101 members of the Swiss National Council to then UN-Secretary General Kofi Annan, February 2005
“Better-structured democratic control and accountability is needed if the world’s democratic deficit is to be addressed seriously. At some point, contemplation of a UN Parliamentary Assembly will be needed. … Such an Assembly should be more than just another UN institution. It would have to become a building block of a new, democratically legitimate, world order”
22nd Congress of the Socialist International, São Paulo, October 2003
“It has also been suggested that [an assembly of parliamentarians, consisting of representatives elected by existing national legislatures] could function as a constituent assembly for the development of a directly elected assembly of people. We encourage further debate about these proposals. When the time comes, we believe that starting with an assembly of parliamentarians as a constituent assembly for a more popular body is the right approach. But care would need to be taken to ensure that the assembly of parliamentarians is the starting point of a journey and does not become the terminal station.”
Report of the Commission on Global Governance, co-chaired by Swedish Prime Minister Ingvar Carlsson and former Foreign Minister of Guyana, Shridath Ramphal, 1995
“A World Parliamentary Assembly would enable national parliaments to become better acquainted with the work of the United Nations … The establishment of a second body in which the major nations would have an added weight would bring the United Nations closer to the one man, one vote ideal”
Twentieth Report of the Commission to Study the Organization of Peace, New York, November 1969
“An international Parliament elected by the Peoples should replace the assembly of delegates proposed in the Paris text [of the Statutes of the League of Nations]. This Parliament should have full prerogatives and legislative powers”
International Conference of League of Nations Societies, Berne, March 1919