New statements in support of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly
In the past five months since we last posted an overview of new supportive statements on a UN Parliamentary Assembly, many more have accumulated.
If you follow this blog, you've already seen some of the extraordinary statements made on the occasion of the 5th International Meeting on a UN Parliamentary Assembly that was held in Brussels in October 2013 which we published here in full, namely from the president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, the chair of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the European Parliament, Elmar Brok, and the UN's Independent Expert on a Democratic and Equitable International Order, Alfred de Zayas (by the way, here on Youtube you can watch contributions made by Alfred de Zayas, Hanno Schedler, Antonio Vigilante, and Gerald Häfner at a panel during the conference).
Here are now some of the new sound bites. We begin with a statement from Fernando Iglesias, a former member of parliament from Argentina who was co-chair of the UNPA campaign's parliamentary advisory group and who now serves as council chair of the World Federalist Movement. According to him,There are different ways to build a better global order and many initiatives for any of them. But there is only one path towards a democratic global order: a world parliament. The campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly currently is the most advanced initiative in existence that works towards this goal.
Last year, the Italian member of parliament Federica Mogherini introduced a motion in the Italian parliament in support of a UN Parliamentary Assembly. We asked her to describe briefly why she endorses the proposal. Here's her statement:Faced with the globalization of economy and finance, the mounting imbalance in the distribution of wealth, or asymmetric threats to international security, the answer that is provided by the cooperation of nation-states is often no longer enough. There's an increased urgency that political institutions and instruments of participation and democracy also go through a process of globalization. That's why I support the establishment of a UN Parliamentary Assembly.
The parliamentarian and leader of the Norwegian liberal party Venstre, Trine Skei Grande, described her motiviation to support a UNPA as follows:We are all global citizens. Our mutual challenges are dealt with by a variety of international institutions and forums, unfortunately with varying lack of effectiveness, and varying lack of transparency and democratic participation. Venstre supports the establishment of a UN Parliamentary Assembly in order to increase democratic participation in the world’s most important international institution.
The Vice-President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Swiss parliamentarian Liliane Maury Pasquier, said that:The creation of a consultative Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations would strengthen the legitimacy of the UN and make it breathe some air of democracy. Just like what happens in the Council of Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly could function as the UN's democratic conscience and as an engine for change.
In a written message addressed to the participants of the conference in Brussels, the Minister of Textiles in the Union Government of India, Kavuri Sambasiva Rao, explained:The UN system as it exists today does not reflect the changing dynamics of the new world order. Minority communities and opinions continue to be neglected. It is essential that a United Nations Parliamentary Asembly comes into place which reflects the vast diversity of this globe. This could result in better collaboration between governments and addresses current concerns like war, poverty, terrorism, drug trafficing etc. in a better manner.
Speaking at the conference, the co-founder and secretary-general of the UNPA campaign, Andreas Bummel, emphasized the idea of an inclusive parliamentary assembly that was also part of the final declaration:A UN Parliamentary Assembly could be designed in more innovative ways than just as a copy of existing parliaments at the global scale. I conceive of it as a Cosmopolitan Congress that deals with all matters that concern humanity. In addition to elected representatives as core members it could also involve other international parliamentary networks as well as cities and local authorities, civil society, and representatives of indigenous peoples and nations.
The founder of the feminist initiative of Sweden and former member of parliament Gudrun Schyman said that:A democratic world parliament could strengthen the voice of our world's women who are often marginalized in the forums of male-dominated national governments. A United Nations Parliamentary Assembly would be a decisive step in this direction.