One weakness of the United Nations is that its Member States are represented solely through the executive branch. The involvement of additional actors such as parliamentarians and civil society is critical to democratizing the UN, and will go a long way towards making it more transparent, accountable and effective. That's why I support the creation of a UN Parliamentary Assembly.
Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, 2016
I support the creation of a UN Parliamentary Assembly as a first step toward an eventual world parliament. The UN Parliament and the Inter-Parliamentary Union could exist side-by-side: While the latter would continue to serve as a platform of national parliaments to discuss matters of mutual concern, the former would represent the world's citizens directly and deal with global political matters such as climate change or the refugee crisis.
Dimitrios Papadimoulis, Vice-President of the European Parliament from Greece, 2016
It is important to me to promote the spread of the values of constitutional democracy and the rule of law across the world. A United Nations Parliamentary Assembly is an appropriate way to demonstrate these values to all nations and to ensure that the citizens of every country feel more connected to the UN and its programmes.
Helen Zille, Anti-apartheid activist, former Mayor of Cape Town, and Premier of the Western Cape, July 2016
We need radical new forms of representation and oversight. Perhaps the UN General Assembly should have a ‘lower house’, populated by citizen-elected representatives; a curb on the excesses of dominant states in the upper house. Perhaps global governance institutions could be audited on their ability to respond to and achieve progress on issues identified by people, rather than just governments.
Dhananjayan (Danny) Sriskandarajah, Secretary General and CEO of CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, July 2016
The United Nations needs to become more democratic and representative. With this goal in mind, member states have been debating a reform of the Security Council for more than three decades and still there's no agreeable solution in sight. For those who want to see progress, it's time to consider a complementary step: the establishment of a UN Parliamentary Assembly. This assembly would represent the world's citizens, not the governments, and may achieve more in making the UN more inclusive than any expansion of the Security Council ever could.
Syed Naveed Qamar, Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan and former Minister of Defence, June 2016
We need to strengthen the peace dialogue in the world, the conversation between individuals on the one hand and between peoples on the other. A UN parliament is an indispensable platform to make such a dialogue possible beyond national mindsets. Therefore I am happy that the Swedish Green Party supports the establishment a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly.
Valter Mutt, Member of the Swedish parliament and foreign policy spokesperson of the Green party Miljöpartiet de gröna, 2016
Global governance is in crisis. The UN is in urgent need of institutional reform. A UN Parliamentary Assembly should be established in order to create a democratic connection between the world organization and the world's citizens. The international efforts towards this aim deserve broad support.
Ibrahim Gambari, Former foreign minister of Nigeria and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Co-Chair of the Commission on Global Security, Justice, and Governance, 2016
More than 70 years after the establishment of the United Nations, global interdependence has made us all world citizens. It is long overdue that “We, the Peoples”, as the UN Charter begins, have more say in global affairs. For this purpose, a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly needs to be established. I am happy to confirm my personal support of the international campaign that works towards this goal.
Roger Nkodo Dang, President of the Pan-African Parliament, 2016
Unfortunately, in many cases the authority of the United Nations is insufficient. That's why it needs to be a common aspiration to change this and to make the United Nations more effective, transparent, and democratic through a reform of its structures and decision-making procedures. This is also the starting point of the Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly which shows important perspectives on the path towards the creation of a world parliament and which I am delighted to support since 2007.
Sigmar Gabriel, Vice-Chancellor of Germany and chairman of the Social Democratic party, 2016
The United Nations has been the global and crucial voice for peace, human rights, justice and environmental protection since its founding. At the same time, the UN faces limitations when member state governments do not represent the interests of their citizens. This is why the creation of the UN Parliamentary Assembly is so relevant for us – to give voice to every citizen, woman and man, all over the world; to create legitimacy by true representation, and to enhance political responsibility of the states’ leaders.
Cem Özdemir, Chairman of the Green party of Germany and Member of Parliament, 2016
I firmly believe that a World Parliamentary Assembly would be the best way to allow for citizen input in global governance. Providing the diverse strands of humankind with a meaningful voice in making the decisions that will shape their destiny will do more to legitimize the UN than any other reform that I can envisage.
Joseph E. Schwartzberg, Distinguished International Emeritus Professor, University of Minnesota, author of the book "Transforming the United Nations System" and founder of the Workable World Trust, 2016