International meeting of NGOs in Mexico calls for review of UN Charter and world parliament
Representatives of around 20 non-governmental organizations decided on Saturday in Mexico City to establish a joint network to advocate for “a General Conference to Review the UN Charter”. In a declaration adopted by the “World Alliance to Transform the United Nations” (WATUN) which was founded at the meeting, the participants expressed “dismay” over the “UN’s lack of legislative and governmental powers for solving urgent global problems.” The declaration urges “the UN General Assembly to call a General Conference to Review the UN Charter according to Article 109”. The document stipulates that such a review conference shall consider, among other things, the UN’s purposes and principles, its organs, their composition and decision-making structures. According to the WATUN mission statement agreed upon at the meeting, the alliance intends to work towards “the establishment of an effective system of global governance.” As Francisco Plancarte, President of the Mexican NGO Planetafilia A.C. pointed out at a panel discussion, “the review conference can take as much time as is needed to deliberate on these important issues. But it needs to be convened as soon as possible.” Mr. Plancarte stressed that such a conference originally was scheduled for 1955. “The matter then was postponed 12 consecutive times and then indefinitely.”
The establishment of a UN Parliamentary Assembly as a step towards a world parliament is a key element in WATUN’s mission statement. “While we do not take a stance on the question of a Charter review conference, we clearly agree that a UN Parliamentary Assembly could be an important, if not decisive catalyst for substantive changes in the international system. It could be a forum for global deliberations on the issues which WATUN bears in mind,” said Andreas Bummel who observed the meeting in Mexico on behalf of the Campaign for the Establishment of a UN Parliamentary Assembly.
The NGO gathering on the Charter review was held subsequent to a conference on disarmament organized in Mexico City by the UN’s Department of Public Information Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (UN DPI/NGO) from 9 to 11 September. In a keynote address at the closing ceremony of that conference on Friday the Costa Rican lawyer Roberto Zamora stressed the need to democratize the UN.