South Asian Federalists seek support for UNPA in Nepal
|Press conference in Kathmandu|
The Campaign for the Establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA) was presented for the first time in Nepal last Saturday at an event which was organized by the South Asian Federalists and the National Press Institute. The President of the South Asian Federalists, Dr. James Arputharaj, explained in Kathmandu that the goal of the campaign is "to give the citizens of the world a voice at the United Nations." According to Dr. Arputharaj, who promotes the campaign in South Asia, "effective global governance is of utmost importance to guarantee the stability and welfare of our globalized human civilization. But if the UN and other global institutions are to be strengthened, there is no way around making them more democratic and responsive to the needs of the ordinary citizens. There must be a direct link between the people and decision-making at the global level." As a first step Dr. Arputharaj recommended the establishment of a UNPA "where representatives elected by the people could come together and deliberate on global issues." The campaign coordinator said that "the UNPA would be added to the UN General Assembly as a lower chamber."
Since its launch in April 2007 the campaign has gained support by more than 600 members of parliament and civil society organizations from all around the world. Dr. Arputharaj who met Minister for Cultural and Parliamentary Affairs Minendra Rizal, sought support from Nepal's government for the proposal to set up a UNPA. "Nepal as the youngest democracy in South Asia can play a major role in the campaign and raise its voice for a people's parliament in the UN," Dr. Arputharaj was quoted saying in a report published by República. The presentation in Kathmandu was covered by several TV channels and national newspapers.