Open letter: German government urged to support creation of a UN Parliamentary Assembly

20. September 2011

Alliance of German organizations and personalities backs proposal of the European Parliament

On the day before the start of the general debate at the UN General Assembly in New York an appeal was made to German chancellor Angela Merkel and foreign minister Guido Westerwelle to follow a recommendation of the European Parliament and to take the initiative

Former minister Hans Eichel and Detlef Dzembritzki at the press conference
Image: DGVN

at the UN for the establishment of a parliamentary assembly.

In an open letter that was addressed to Ms. Merkel and Mr. Westerwelle by around 40 non-governmental organizations and more than 150 public figures it was said that "a Parliamentary Assembly would strengthen the democratic character, the democratic accountability and the transparency of global governance and would allow for better participation of the public in the activities of the United Nations."

"In the 21st century foreign policy no longer can be separated from domestic policy. The UN needs to be strengthened and democratized at the same time," said former federal minister of finance Hans Eichel, presenting the letter at a press conference in Berlin. "A parliamentary assembly would help to tackle global problems more effectively," said Detlef Dzembritzki, vice-chair of the German United Nations Association. "We want that the establishment of a parliamentary assembly at the UN

Symbolical delivery of the letter
Image: DGVN

is specifically mentioned and supported in the German contribution at the UN's general debate", said Andreas Bummel, chair of the Committee for a Democratic U.N., summarizing the request of the open letter.

Among the signatories of the letter are Attac Germany, Friends of the Earth Germany, the German United Nations Association, the Society for Threatened Peoples, the Global Economic Network Germany, Mehr Demokratie e.V. or World Vision Germany. The individuals that have signed the letter include around 40 professors, approximately 70 members of parliament from all parties from the German Bundestag and the European Parliament, opposition leader Sigmar Gabriel, former premiers Hans Eichel and Erwin Teufel, numerous former federal ministers, former speaker of parliament Rita Süssmuth, the mayors of Mainz, Rostock and Essen or the former Secretary-General of the Christian Democratic Union, Heiner Geißler.

The letter was handed over at a public event in front of the Brandenburger Gate in the heart of Berlin to two people wearing the masks of Ms. Merkel and Mr. Westerwelle. Supporters of the initiative held letters saying "for a world parliament."

A parliament at the UN for the first time would also give elected representatives of the citizens a direct role in shaping global policy. In June, the European Parliament supported the proposal.

Simultaneously with the presentation of the open letter in Berlin a press conference was held by German lawmakers in the European Parliament Jo Leinen and Alexander Alvaro in Brussels. They called on EU Council president Herman van Rompuy to take up the proposal of the European Parliament in his upcoming speech at the UN General Assembly.

Further information

Open letter to Ms. Merkel and Mr. Westerwelle with list of signatories

Pictures of the press conference and the symbolic handover of the letter

Top image: Symbolic handover of the letter in front of the Brandenburger Gate in Berlin, by DGVN

Tags: Germany