Lawmakers in a joint statement call on UN to consider Parliamentary Assembly, other proposals

28. January 2022

In a joint statement published on 26 January 2022, more than 120 parliamentarians from over 40 countries call on the United Nations and its member states to strengthen the world organization’s “democratic and participatory character.”

The document recommends that three proposals should be implemented, among them a UN Parliamentary Assembly, in short UNPA, which includes elected representatives. The other two proposals are a UN World Citizens’ Initiative which enables people to put forward proposals on key issues of global concern and a high-level UN Civil Society Envoy to enable greater participation of civil society representatives.

The statement lends political support to a global campaign of 200 civil society groups rallying for these reform ideas dubbed “We The Peoples” in reference to the opening words of the UN’s Charter. It follows on a report of UN Secretary-General António Guterres titled “Our Common Agenda” which highlighted the need for greater participation and inclusion of various stakeholders in the UN’s work. 

The lawmakers suggest that governments should establish a “Group of Friends for Inclusive Global Governance” that works to advance the three proposals “in collaboration with parliamentarians, civil society and experts” with a view of a “Summit of the Future” which Guterres proposed for 2023.

Democracy Without Borders, Democracy International, and CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation are the organizations leading the “We The Peoples” campaign. They commented that the support of parliamentarians from around the world sends a strong signal that, in the midst of a global pandemic and the climate crisis, global governance urgently requires a democratic transformation in order to bring ordinary citizens closer to the UN and global decision-making.

A separate campaign for a UNPA that has been run by Democracy Without Borders for fifteen years over time was endorsed by more than 1,700 current and former members of parliament, among others. The new statement connects these efforts to a broader program for inclusive global governance and the ongoing UN consultations on the "Our Common Agenda" report.