Convinced by the Tunisian revolution and the following democratic transition, I was also convinced of the urgent need to create a strong democratic connection between the people and their government. To face the global economic, social and environmental challenges, the international governance system needs a democratic revolution as well. With the support of the people and the necessary democratic legitimacy, elected representatives in a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly could work efficiently to find new global solutions, to fight poverty and the consequences of climate change. We need to act now and implement democratic principles at the largest scale of government if we want them to survive the recent rise of nationalism that is threatening peace and international understanding.
Mohamed Fadhel Mahfoudh, Former president of the Tunisian Bar Association and a leader of the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet which won the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize
It’s my personal experience that Parliamentary Assemblies can work quite effectively, for example within NATO and the OSCE. The United Nations is - and should be - the world’s most important organisation where almost all of the world’s nations and peoples meet. It’s high time that the UN gets its own Parliamentary Assembly.
Harry van Bommel, Member of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands
795 million world citizens are suffering from chronic hunger. An elected UN Parliamentary Assembly may be a means to give these most vulnerable members of our global community a stronger voice so that the systemic international causes of their misery can be more adequately addressed.
Hilal Elver, UN Special Rapporteur on Right to Food, 2016
Global problems require global solutions. A World Parliament is precisely the forum which takes humanity's point of view, it's the institution which proposes nothing less than to save us all from our own limitations. The rumor of the day is that a group of powerful hawks is preparing the Third World War. We should hope that this rumor will be debated in public forums that are guided by nothing but reason.
Mario Bunge, Argentine philosopher, 2016
The UN is not an exclusive inter-state institution, it is meant to be an inclusive space for active engagement with the civil society and multi-stakeholders. Time is ripe for new actors to launch new initiatives in order for the many commitments declared at the UN to be fulfilled or put into actions. I have seen the great value of cross-boundary work on the promotion of freedom of religion or belief by parliamentarians around the world, hence, I believe in the great potentials that a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly has for strengthening the UN system overall.
Heiner Bielefeldt, UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief and Professor of Human Rights and Human Rights Politics at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, 2016
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