What is the difference between a Global Parliamentary Assembly and a Parliamentary Assembly at the UN?
A Global Parliamentary Assembly and a Parliamentary Assembly at the UN are largely synonymous terms. Using the term of a Global Parliamentary Assembly stresses that the assembly should be linked to the work of all relevant intergovernmental organizations whereas a UN Parliamentary Assembly often is merely conceived as a first step in this direction by establishing it as a subsidiary body that is exclusively linked to the UN General Assembly. The term of a Global Peoples Assembly or Global Parliamentary Assembly is also used for a specific strategy towards a world parliament that is based on an intergovernmental treaty.
What is the difference between the proposed Parliamentary Assembly and the Inter-Parliamentary Union?
The Inter-Parliamentary Union is an independent association of national parliaments with a principle goal of strengthening the ability of national parliaments to exercise an oversight function of international activities at the national level. The purpose of the proposed Parliamentary Assembly by contrast is to exercise parliamentary functions directly at the international level, in its own right. One of the goals is to make UN executives and UN institutions accountable to a global parliamentary body. There is currently no interest by the IPU in assuming such a capacity.
What would be the relationship between a Parliamentary Assembly and the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization?
Over time, a Parliamentary Assembly would be vested with consultative functions and rights to information also vis-à-vis the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization. This would be an important contribution to making global governance more coherent and systematic. Later, the UNPA could be endowed with rights of participation and oversight as well. As the World Bank group, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization are legally independent international organizations, the functions of a Parliamentary Assembly would need to be enshrined through relationship agreements or by a change of those organizations’ statutes, agreed to by the member states.
What would be the relationship between a Parliamentary Assembly and the UN Security Council and the General Assembly?
The Parliamentary Assembly would complement the work of the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly as a consultative body. For example, the assembly could submit recommendations to the General Assembly or the Security Council for further consideration. As the assembly developed credibility and the confidence of the international community it could evolve and be included into decision-making at the UN General Assembly, for instance regarding the adoption of the UN’s budget or the election of the UN Secretary-General. In the long run, as part of a comprehensive reform of the UN, the UN General Assembly and the Parliamentary Assembly could become two chambers of a world parliament.
What is the difference between the proposed Parliamentary Assembly and a world parliament?
The proposed Parliamentary Assembly initially would have largely consultative and supervisory functions vis-à-vis the UN and the organizations of the UN family. In the beginning the assembly would likely be composed of members of national and regional parliaments. A world parliament by contrast is conceived as a body that is able to pass globally binding law and whose members are directly elected. The Parliamentary Assembly may be the first small step in the direction of the long-term goal of a world parliament.
What is the difference between the United Nations General Assembly and the proposed Parliamentary Assembly?
The United Nations General Assembly is enshrined in the UN Charter as the organization’s main body where the governments of the UN’s member states are represented with one vote each. The proposed Parliamentary Assembly would be a new subsidiary body, one that represents the world’s peoples and where the distribution of seats would be graduated. Members of national opposition groups would be represented in a Parliamentary Assembly, ensuring the body would reflect a broader political spectrum.