Exchange on UN Parliamentary Assembly hosted in European Parliament

6. November 2008

Representatives of non-governmental organizations and stakeholders of the Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA) from around 15 countries gathered in the European Parliament in Brussels on 4th and 5th November for an exchange on the campaign's progress within the past year, an outlook onto the coming activities and to discuss political questions. The meeting included a Round Table consultation and an evening reception with invited guests in which several members of the European Parliament participated. The official host of the conference, the European deputy Jo Leinen, said in his words of welcome that "the aim is to end the current democratic deficit on UN level and to control governments in their decisions". As an example, Mr Leinen stressed the "immense importance" of global parliamentary monitoring in the field of climate regulations. Considering the current global financial crisis and its repercussions on the global economy, Neena Gill MEP pointed out that "the timing of the meeting is really opportune." "We need greater global governance but also real legitimacy. The citizens feel disconnected," Mrs Gill stated.

At the reception, co-hosted by the Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly and the Union of European Federalists, the Vice-President of the European Parliament, Edward McMillan-Scott MEP, underscored the parliament's longstanding support for the cause of a UN Parliamentary Assembly and also referred to the welcome message by the European Parliament's President Hans-Gert Pöttering, published the day before. Graham Watson MEP highlighted the campaign's achievements since its launch in April 2007, mentioning in particular that it is now already supported by almost 550 elected representatives from around the world.

One of the conclusions reached at the meeting was that a UNPA would be complementary to the Inter-Parliamentary Union's valuable task of enhancing the role of national parliaments in international affairs. (Picture European Parliament)