South-South cooperation should embrace goal of “One World” and a UN Parliament

17. March 2016

Proposal for a UN Parliamentary Assembly presented at conference in New Delhi

The proposal for a UN Parliamentary Assembly was presented at an international conference on South-South cooperation, SSC, that was held in New Delhi last week. In a session on "One World Global Citizenship," the representative of the Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly in India, James Arputharaj, suggested that South-South politics should pursue the goal of democratizing global institutions.

James Arputharaj

"People should be at the center of any debate on South-South cooperation. Issues like eradicating extreme poverty or mitigating climate change are global in nature. The Global South should promote a UN Parliamentary Assembly so that the world's citizens, including those from the South, are adequately represented in global decision-making," Mr. Arputharaj stated. "If there was a global parliamentary assembly directly elected by the people, this would boost the sense for global citizenship. This is urgently needed," he added.

In his presentation, Mr. Arputharaj recalled that the founding fathers of independent India, in particular Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi, were strong supporters of a "One World" policy and endorsed the goal of a world federation. "In India, over 60 current and former members of parliament now support the campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly, as do over 1,300 more from around the world. This is a good starting point to revive this tradition," he noted.

The conference in New Delhi was organized by Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), a New Delhi based think-tank under the Ministry of External Affairs of India. In a press release issued ahead of the event, the organizers stated that "India's vision of one world has existed for centuries, it has only attracted greater attention in contemporary times when the world is faced with graver problems such as climate change, environmental pollution, growth in inequality, etc which require global solutions. However, given the global real politic, it may seem incongruent to assume unilateral pursuance of the idea. In this context SSC stands for human centric development and not economic development alone."

The conference was attended by more than 100 eminent speakers from abroad in addition to a large number of Indian scholars, researchers, subject experts, high ranking government officials, and representatives of civil society organizations.

Tags: India