President of the Pan-African Parliament: African governments should back a UN Parliamentary Assembly

6. May 2016

Meeting on the occasion of the parliament’s session in Midrand, South Africa

Mr. Dang and Mrs. Soares in Midrand

Mr. Dang and Mrs. Soares in Midrand

The president of the Pan-African Parliament, Nkodo Dang from Cameroon, voiced support for the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, in short UNPA, on the occasion of a meeting in Midrand, South Africa, during the current ordinary session of the continental parliamentary body.

At the meeting, PAP parliamentarian Ivone Soares from Mocambique presented Mr. Dang with the international appeal for a UNPA which is supported by numerous politicians, former UN officials, distinguished scholars, cultural innovators, and representatives of civil society organizations from all over the world.

In the conversation, it was recalled that in 2007, the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) adopted a resolution that called for the creation of a UNPA. "In this resolution, PAP recommended the establishment of a consultative UNPA within the UN system according to Article 22 of the Charter which enables the UN General Assembly to establish subsidiary bodies. It is our hope that African governments eventually will back this proposal," Mr. Dang said in a subsequent letter addressed to the UNPA campaign.

"More than 70 years after the establishment of the United Nations, global interdependence has made us all world citizens. It is long overdue that 'We, the Peoples,' as the UN Charter begins, have more say in global affairs. For this purpose, a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA) needs to be established. I am happy to confirm my personal support of the international campaign that works towards this goal," PAP’s president wrote.

The Pan African Parliament was established as an organ the African Union to ensure the participation of African citizens in the development and economic integration of the continent. It was inaugurated in 2004. The agreed aim is to evolve it into a parliamentary institution with full legislative powers whose members are elected across the continent by universal adult suffrage.

"PAP was established in order to bring Africa’s 1.1 billion citizens closer to their continental organization, the African Union. Without this element, stronger regional integration and cooperation is no longer possible. In the same way, the United Nations must evolve and open its doors towards parliamentary participation," Mr. Dang stated.