International Meeting, 4 October 2010
Palacio del Congreso de la Nación Argentina
Declaration of Buenos Aires
1. We, the participants in the Campaign for the Establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, reiterate our joint appeal to the United Nations and the governments of its member states to start a preparatory process towards an intergovernmental conference for the purpose of establishing a Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations.
2. Sixty-five years after the establishment of the United Nations, in the name of "We, the Peoples", the world's most universal political organization still is not equipped with a formal body that enables elected representatives of the world's citizens to participate in its deliberations and decision-making.
3. At the 2005 World Summit of the United Nations, the heads of states and governments reaffirmed that "Democracy is a universal value based on the freely expressed will of people to determine their own political, economic, social and cultural systems and their full participation in all aspects of their lives." However, in today's interdependent world, no society is able to determine its own fate independently and without the explicit participation and input of the people expressed through their elected representatives.
4. Those who are to be affected by a decision should have a chance to take part in it. As important decisions taken at the global level today affect all human beings, we recognize the need to democratize global governance. Therefore we confirm our determination that democratic participation and representation of the world's citizens is gradually implemented in the United Nations and, as appropriate, in its funds, programmes and agencies as well as other intergovernmental organizations.
5. In today's multipolar world, enhancing the institutional foundations of governance is more important than ever. In particular, there is an urgent need to bring about a more coherent framework of multilateral organizations, agencies, programs, funds, and treaty bodies and to make these organizations more accountable to the world's citizens.
6. The United Nations system is and should continue to be the essential core institution for international cooperation and a more viable framework for effective international governance. A UN Parliamentary Assembly will be a critical component, and a catalyst for further institutional evolution. We expect that once established, a UN Parliamentary Assembly, would advocate and facilitate more comprehensive reform of the present system of international institutions and global governance.
7. Global challenges such as climate change mitigation, nuclear non-proliferation, and financial stabilization, transcend national boundaries and can only be dealt with by more effective transnational governance structures. A UN Parliamentary Assembly would be a response to these challenges as it would be able to make international governance structures more democratic, more inclusive and would balance the relationship between small and large countries.
8. We reiterate our view that a UN Parliamentary Assembly can and should evolve gradually. In the first step, changing the UN's Charter would be unnecessary. Two options are available: A UN Parliamentary Assembly could be set up by a vote of the UN General Assembly under Article 22 of the UN Charter. Alternatively, it could be created on the basis of a new intergovernmental treaty. In the longer term, the assembly could be transformed into a directly elected legislative world parliament as a result of a UN Charter review according to Article 109 of the UN Charter.
9. Having considered different models for representation in such an assembly, we believe that the principle of degressive proportionality could be taken as a possible basis for the distribution of seats.
10. The need to democratize global governance is one of the greatest political challenges of our times. It calls on individual world citizens, and especially parliamentarians, governments, the international donor community, and civil society to make a commitment to democratic global change. Thereby, we believe, the UN and other global intergovernmental institutions would become more effective and deliver better results for people worldwide.
11. We now call on all governments that espouse democratic principles at home, and which proclaim their virtues abroad, to advocate and support the application of the same principles of democracy, accountability and transparency in international institutions and decision-making processes.
Adopted on 4 October 2010