Intellectuals call for “rapid implementation of forms of democratic global governance”

26. June 2012

Manifesto for global democracy released

Well-known intellectuals from over ten countries have written a joint manifesto “for a global democracy” that will be presented this week on Wednesday at an event in London, five days after the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro and one week after the G 20-meeting in Los Cabos, Mexico. In the document, around twenty-five initial signatories stress that

The manifesto’s initiator: Fernando Iglesias from Argentina

the challenges of globalization require “the rapid implementation of forms of democratic global governance on all the issues that current intergovernmental summits are evidently incapable of solving.”

The text states that politics lag behind the facts as the “economy has been globalized but political institutions and democracy have not kept pace.” According to the document, the international order that emerged from the end of Second World War and the fall of the Berlin Wall “has not been able to manage the great advances in technology and productive systems for the benefit of all humanity.”

Support for a UN Parliamentary Assembly as “embryo of a future World Parliament”

The signatories suggest that “more extensive and deeper forms of democracy” need to be created at the global level. Nation-states should become “part of a wider and much better coordinated structure, which involves democratic regional institutions on all the continents, the reform of the International Court of Justice, a fairer and more balanced International Criminal Court and a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly as the embryo of a future World Parliament.”

As the statement emphasizes, this goal of a new democratic world order should be reached by a “process open to all human beings, with the goal of a creating a participative global democracy.” The signatories call on “every human being to participate in the constitution of a global democracy.”

One of the initiators, the Argentinian intellectual and politician Fernando Iglesias, commented that the manifesto “is a pluralist declaration that emphasizes the shared values between people from very different backgrounds and convictions, and the need to progress toward new regional, international and global democratic institutions capable of facing the challenges of the 21st century.”

The manifesto's signatories

The initial signatories, described as “leading authorities in the study of the issue”, are Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im, Daniele Archibugi, Jacques Attali, Bertrand Badie, Zygmunt Bauman, Ulrich Beck, Mary Burton, Noam Chomsky, Richard Falk, Susan George, David Held, Mary Kaldor, Mathias Koenig-Archibugi, Lucio Levi, Giacomo Marramao, George Monbiot, Antonio Negri, Heikki Patomaki, Beatriz Sarlo, Saskia Sassen, Fernando Savater, Roberto Saviano, Juan José Sebreli, Richard Sennett, Vandana Shiva and Andrew Strauss.

The Manifesto will be launched through a series of international events that will take place until December this year in London, Rome, New York, Brussels, Buenos Aires and New Delhi. The event in London is the first.

Manifesto website
Full text of the manifesto

Top image: Youth and civil society walk out of Rio+20 summit in protest, by Youth Policy (Flickr), CC BY-NC-SA 2.0