Resolution of the East African Legislative Assembly

Resolution of the East African Legislative Assembly

14. February 2013

As reported, the East African Legislative Assembly, the parliamentary body of the East African Community, adopted a resolution in support of the establishment of a UN Parliamentary Assembly on 29 January 2013. In a subsequent statement, the assembly's speaker, Margaret Zziwa from Uganda, said that 

The fact that there still is no parliamentary body at the UN more and more interferes with the world organization's democratic legitimacy. A UN Parliamentary Assembly would strengthen the democratic nature of the UN and bring it closer to the citizens. That's one of the reasons why the East African Legislative Assembly supports its establishment.

In the meantime, the full text of the resolution as adopted by EALA has been released.

According to the resolution, EALA believes that a "United Nations Parliamentary Assembly would improve the transparency, accountability and the effectiveness of the United Nations." Among other things, it is stressed that a UN Parliamentary Assembly could be established "simply by a vote of the United Nations General Assembly in accordance with Article 22 of the Charter of the United Nations without an amendment of the United Nations Charter."

This is an important point as amending the UN's Charter is a very difficult process and only happened five times so far since 1945. Not only would the five permanent members of the UN Security Council have to agree, any change would also have to be ratified by two thirds of the UN member states.

Finally, EALA "urges the Partner States of the East African Community to take the initiative to promote the development of a common African position in support of the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly."

We are very curious about how the EAC governments will respond to this call.

Here's the official document.