Over 100 Japanese lawmakers call for a UN Parliamentary Assembly
According to the Japanese Parliamentary Group for World Federation, more than 100 members of the Japanese House of Representatives and the House of Councillors, the two chambers of the National Diet, in recent weeks endorsed an international call for the creation of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly. Signatories include parliamentarians from all major parties.
“These endorsements confirm that a UN Parliamentary Assembly is one of the important topics that needs consideration in the discussion on how to achieve more effective and more inclusive global governance. We urge the Japanese government to look into the subject”, said lawmaker Seishirō Etō, chair of the Japanese Parliamentary Group for World Federation.
The international call recommends “a gradual implementation of democratic participation and representation on the global level” and suggests that “the establishment of a consultative Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations” is “an indispensable step”.
A report presented by the Japan Commission on Global Governance in May already highlighted broad support of the proposal.
Sukehiro Hasegawa, chair of the commission, is quoted in the report saying that “global challenges such as pandemics of infectious diseases, environmental pollution and climate change, conflicts and terrorism, widening gaps between rich and poor, financial and energy problems” could not “be handled effectively by UN agencies which are based on the sovereign state system.” It was “becoming necessary to transform the UN system by establishing a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly as the preliminary step for creation of the World Parliament”.
The commission’s sub-committee on parliamentary diplomacy recommended that a UN Parliamentary Assembly should be promoted by individual politicians and in international parliamentary settings.
The support from Japanese legislators was strongly welcomed by representatives of the international campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly. “This initiative indicates that Japan could play a leading role in building support for the proposal”, said Andreas Bummel, the campaign’s Secretary-General and Executive Director of Democracy Without Borders.
The Japanese Diet in a landmark resolution adopted fifteen years ago resolved that Japan should strive towards the realization of a world federation in order to achieve world peace. There is an understanding that a UN Parliamentary Assembly may be a step in this direction.
Top image: Building of the National Diet in Tokyo. Image taken in 2011. Source: Flickr/Dick Thomas Johnson, CC BY 2.0
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