Parliamentary conference on desertification supports a UN Parliamentary Assembly

Secretariat, 22. September 2013

International meeting of 65 legislators adopts declaration

The Parliamentary Round Table on Desertification that took place in Windhoek, Namibia, on 20 and 21 September 2013, issued a declaration on "the role of Members of Parliament in the efforts to combat desertification, land degradation and drought" and on "parliamentary contributions to achieving a land-degradation neutral world in the context

Logo of the UNCCD COP11 conference in Windhoek
Image: UNCCD

of the Post-2015 Development Agenda". The final of twenty recommendations says that legislators should "promote the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly". The document also declares that "parliamentary oversight mechanisms, e.g. vis-à-vis the Global Environment Facility, regional development banks, the Green Climate Fund" should be created.

The 10th Round Table of Members of Parliament was held in parallel with the ongoing eleventh session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, UNCCD. Co-organized by the Namibian National Parliament and the UNCCD secretariat, the Round Table brought together 65 Parliamentarians from 18 countries. The declaration will be presented at the last plenary session of the Conference of State Parties, COP11, which ends Friday, 27 September.

A United Nations handbook on the role of parliamentarians in the implementation of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification that was published at the end of July suggested that parliamentarians involved in the process "could play a leadership role" in the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly.

In November 2009, a declaration adopted by the Parliamentary Round Table on the UNCCD said that "a UN Parliamentary Assembly could strengthen the effectiveness, transparency, representativeness, plurality and legitimacy of the work of the institutions that compose the UN system. The establishment of a UNPA could also be a parliamentary oversight centrepiece of the renewed system of international financial and economic governance."

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Top image: Desertification Management in Tinfu, Morocco, 2011, by Richard Allaway, CC BY 2.0