Appeal for a Parliamentary Assembly presented at the United Nations in New York

Secretariat, 10. November 2015

President of the UN General Assembly receives campaign representative

Over 1,400 current and former lawmakers from more than 100 countries and hundreds of renowned personalities from politics, science, cultural life and civil society have signed an international appeal urging the United Nations and its member states “to establish a Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations.” The appeal and

Mr. Bummel and Mr. Lykketoft at UN headquarters
Image: UN

the list of signatories was presented to the President of the 70th UN General Assembly, Mogens Lykketoft, at UN headquarters in New York.

The document states that “in order to cope with major challenges such as social disparity, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the threat of terrorism or the endangerment of global ecosystems, all human beings must engage in collaborative efforts.” The appeal says that “people must be more effectively and directly included into the activities of the United Nations and its international organizations” and calls for “a gradual implementation of democratic participation and representation at the global level.” Originally launched in 2007, the document is still open for endorsements.

Meeting with Mr. Lykketoft on Friday, the coordinator of the international Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly, Andreas Bummel, explained that the new body could be established by the UN General Assembly without a reform of the UN’s Charter. He said that a parliamentary dimension could help to revitalize the UN’s main body and could enhance the world organization’s democratic legitimacy.

Recently, the Commission on Global Security, Justice & Governance co-chaired by former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Nigerian Foreign Minister and former UN Under Secretary-General Ibrahim Gambari recommended the establishment of a UN Parliamentary Network in order to overcoming the UN’s democratic deficit.

Endorsement by numerous former UN officials

Prominent supporters of the appeal with ties to the UN include former UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, former Under-Secretary-Generals Shashi Tharoor, Brian Urquhart and Heitor Gurgulino de Souza, former Assistant Secretary-General and former President of Slovenia, Danilo Türk, former Assistant Secretary-General Anders Wijkman, the former commander of the UN mission in Rwanda, Roméo Dallaire, the UN’s former rapporteurs on the right to food, Olivier de Schutter and Jean Ziegler, the former rapporteurs on torture Theo van Boven and Manfred Nowak, and former UNESCO Director-General Federico Mayor.

The campaign calls on the UN’s member states to start deliberations on the proposal. Last year, the UN’s rapporteur for the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, Alfred de Zayas, recommended that the UN should further study the matter.