More than 1,250 sitting and former lawmakers from over 100 countries and hundreds of renowned personalities from politics, science, cultural life and civil society have signed an international appeal urging the UN and its member states ‘to establish a Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations’.
Mr. Andreas Bummel, a spokesperson for the Brussels-based Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly, said in a statement that the appeal and the list of signatories was presented to the representative of the UN Secretary-General at the European institutions in Brussels, Mr. Antonio Vigilante, on Friday.
Mr. Vigilante is expected to forward the document to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the UN headquarters in New York.
PANA in New York, reports that the appeal was also endorsed by 320 professors from 50 countries, stating that, ‘to cope with major challenges such as social disparity, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the threat of terrorism or the endangerment of global ecosystems, all human beings must engage in collaborative efforts’.
The statement also quoted the appeal as saying that, ‘people must be more effectively and directly included into the activities of the United Nations and its international organisations’.
It recommended ‘a gradual implementation of democratic participation and representation at the global level’.
During the presentation of the appeal, the co-chair of the international campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly and member of the European Parliament, Mr. Jo Leinen, pointed out that, ‘the daily lives of the world’s citizens are increasingly shaped by economic, social and political forces that transcend national boundaries’.
‘A UN Parliamentary Assembly would enable citizen representatives to be directly involved in global political deliberations, agenda-setting, and decision-making,’ he noted.
The spokesperson of the campaign also stressed that the UN would benefit from the inclusion of elected representatives as it would bring the world organisation closer to the world’s citizens.
He recalled that the establishment of a UN Parliamentary Assembly has been endorsed by the European Parliament, the Pan-African Parliament and the Latin-American Parliament, among others.
Recently, the UN’s Independent Expert on democratization, Mr. Alfred de Zayas, recommended that the UN should conduct a study and convene a conference on the subject.
At the Commonwealth Summit in Sri Lanka last month, the foreign minister of Malta, George Vella, also urged governments to consider backing the proposal of a UN Parliamentary Assembly.