Lawmakers step up efforts for UN Parliamentary Assembly
Lawmakers from three world regions have joined in order to expand parliamentary activities for the establishment of an elected body at the United Nations. At an international conference call on Thursday they have formally set up a "Parliamentary Advisory Group" of the Campaign for the Establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (CEUNPA). The group which will guide the campaign on major policy questions is understood as the nucleus for the development of a global network of lawmakers in the world who advocate the creation of a genuine parliamentary body at the world level.
"To date the campaign's appeal for the establishment of a UN Parliamentary Assembly is supported by more than 600 Members of Parliament from over 90 countries. It is our aim to reach out to our colleagues and to stimulate parliamentary initiatives in their regional and national parliaments," said Fernando Iglesias who was elected one of the two Co-Chairs of the Parliamentary Advisory Group and who is a member of the Chamber of Deputies of Argentina which in August was the first national parliament in the world to adopt a resolution calling for a UN Parliamentary Assembly.
"The lack of democratic oversight and the limited participation of elected representatives in global decision-making and negotiations is a major flaw in the design of today's system of global governance," commented Jo Leinen, Member of the European Parliament and the group's other elected Co-Chair. "A global parliament needs to be established as soon as possible. It could help to find more effective ways to cope with global problems such as the financial crisis, climate change and terrorism. For our campaign the establishment of the Parliamentary Advisory Group is a very important step," said Johnson Bartile Toskin, Member of the Parliament of Uganda and the group's elected Vice-Chair.
During the discussion on Thursday it was stressed, among other things, that the United Nations Climate Change Conference in December (COP15) would be a good opportunity to stress the need of genuine global democratization. Said Fernando Iglesias: "Who can still believe that national governments and leaders, who had been chosen to defend the interests of their country and to respond to their national political and economic clients, can solve this problem in the interest of the global common good?"
The Parliamentary Advisory Group of CEUNPA was established for a first term until November 2010 and will then review its terms of reference. The group may be composed of up to 15 Members of Parliament.
The group has seven founding members:
- Mokshanand Sunil Dowarkasing, Member of the National Assembly (Mouvement Socialiste Mauricien) and Member of the Pan-African Parliament, Mauritius
- Sonia Escudero, Member of the Senate (Partido Justicialista - 8 de Octubre) and Secretary-General of the Latin-American Parliament, Argentina
- Fernando Iglesias, Member of the Chamber of Deputies (Coalición Cívica) and Member of the Latin-American Parliament, Argentina
- Jo Leinen Member of the European Parliament (Socialist Group), Germany
- Edward McMillan-Scott, Vice-President of the European Parliament, United Kingdom
- Johnson Bartile Toskin, Member of Parliament (National Resistance Movement) and Member of the Pan-African Parliament, Uganda
- Graham Watson, Member of the European Parliament (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe), United Kingdom