Lawmakers from Africa, Caribbean, Pacific and Europe discuss UNPA
The establishment of a UN Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA) was discussed on 17 March 2008 at a fringe meeting organized on the occasion of the 15th session of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly of the Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific States and the European Union (ACP-EU) in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The event, attended by over 40 elected representatives, was jointly convened by Jo Leinen, MEP, on behalf of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament (EP) and the Secretariat of the Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly. In his introductory remarks Mr. Leinen gave an overview of the campaign and stressed the EP's support for the creation of a UNPA. The second speaker, Dr. Breda Pavlič, long-time international civil servant in UNESCO, now retired and based in Slovenia, explained briefly why she joined the efforts. "It is a fact that the vast majority of the world’s inhabitants are almost entirely alienated from the decision-making process at the UN", Dr. Pavlič stated. She added that the peoples' "more direct participation" needs to be ensured. Most of the ensuing debate focused on how to achieve a UNPA. The need for a pragmatic approach was stressed in most contributions. One of the steps mentioned was that parliamentarians could be included into some of the UN General Assembly's Committees.