Five hundred lawmakers call for world parliament
Little more than a year after its launch, an international campaign to bring democracy to the United Nations has achieved a landmark.
“Over 500 members of parliament from over 80 countries have now joined the international Campaign for the Establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, or UNPA,” said Andreas Bummel, head of the UNPA Campaign Secretariat, headquartered in Berlin. “The enthusiastic response of these politicians demonstrates that lawmakers elected at the national level readily appreciate the logic of having elected representatives at the global level and now want to take action,” he added.
The UNPA's parliamentary endorsers (including Canada's Roméo Dallaire) have all signed the campaign's appeal (viewable at http://en.unpacampaign.org/appeal/index.php) which asserts that solutions to the world's major economic, environmental, humanitarian and other problems require that "all human beings engage in collaborative efforts,” including "a gradual implementation of democratic participation and representation on the global level.”
"The means to achieve this," says Fernando Iglesias, a member of the Argentine Chamber of Deputies and the Latin American regional parliament "is an elected body at the UN."
In addition to the support of 519 current parliamentarians, the UNPA campaign has been endorsed by the European Parliament, the Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development of the Canadian House of Commons, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Pan-African Parliament and (most recently) the Latin American Parliament's Commission on Political Affairs.
The appeal was initiated by an international campaign launched in May 2007. The UN Parliamentary Assembly could be established as a consultative body, without requiring UN Charter reform. It would initially be composed of national and regional parliamentarians but at a later stage become a directly elected body.
"Anyone who believes in a more democratic world can sign the appeal by visiting www.unpacampaign.org," says Fergus Watt, Executive Director of the World Federalist Movement-Canada, a member of the UNPA Campaign steering committee. According to Watt, "a United Nations Parliamentay Assembly would help foster a sense of global community and create a powerful constituency for a United Nations system better equipped to tackle the many challenges ahead."