Further statements in support of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly

Further statements in support of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly

7. Oktober 2013

Statement from Johan Galtung

Statement from Johan Galtung

Since our last post in August, we have collected and published further statements in support of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly.

On 31 August, the Norwegian sociologist and mathematician Johan Galtung who is considered to be a founder of the discipline of peace studies said:

I'm enthusiastic about the idea of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly. Representing the world's citizens, it would finally bring democracy to the global stage. If the Indian Union and the European Union can organize a parliament, the world as a whole can do it, too.

We interviewed him for this blog and his support is no surprise. He's one of the initial signatories of the international appeal for a UN Parliamentary Assembly and in the 1970s he already voiced support for the proposal of a world parliament. 

In another exclusive statement, Sándor Fülöp, former Parliamentary Commissioner for Future Generations in Hungary and a member of the World Future Council, noted that:

Our world is facing ecological disasters and challenges that are systemic and global. The response has to be systematic and global as well. That's why genuinely global institutions such as a UN Parliamentary Assembly are required.

In September, the Humanist Association of Germany decided to endorse the campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly (this background might be interesting). On this occasion, their president Frieder Otto Wolf, professor of philosophy at Free University of Berlin, said the following:

The global community will not succeed in solving its deep crisis and huge common problems if the citizens have no say and no right to participation. From a humanist perspective, democratising the UN through a parliamentary assembly thus isn't only merely useful, it's indispensable.

Another prominent statement came from Germany in September. Brigitte Zypries, the former minister of justice and member of parliament (who was re-elected in the recent elections) raised the issue of non-democratic states but thinks that a UN Parliamentary Assembly could be a start nevertheless:

The idea of a democratically elected world parliament seems like a nice, but still distant dream if one considers the many dictatorships in the world. The establishment of a UN Parliamentary Assembly however, that initially has advisory powers and exercises oversight, could be a good and feasible first step into this direction.

Finally, the latest statement for now was made by the Greek politician Vasso Papandreou, former minister and former member of the European Commission:

The strengthening of the United Nations will only be achieved by the participation of direct representatives of the citizens in the decision-making process. The setting up of a Global Parliamentary Assembly is fundamental for the functioning of democracy today.

As usual, we've posted these statements at Flickr and Facebook.