More new statements in support of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly
As readers of this earlier post and followers of the campaign's page at Facebook know, we've started a while ago to collect and publish supportive statements on the creation of a UN Parliamentary Assembly.
We want to use this occasion to provide an overview of ten interesting new statements that were made this year:
Let's start with the latest one which was made today by Alban Bagbin, a member of parliament, former minister of health and now a cabinet minister in the office of the president of Ghana in charge of priority projects:The absence of a UN Parliament has left a wide gap in the architecture of global democratic governance and must be bridged as soon as possible. Representatives of governments alone do not sufficiently represent the people.
Around a month before this, on 4 July, another government member voiced support, namely the foreign minister of Malta, George Vella. He said that he agrees with...the setting up of a Parliamentary Assembly for the United Nations, as I am a firm believer in parliamentary democracy, and believe that such an assembly will be the embodiment of the whole concept of representative governance and the epitome of what we mean by democratic empowerment of elected representatives.
Although there are many former foreign ministers who endorsed a UNPA, Mr. Vella might well be the first in office to do so in decades. It is also worth noting that decisive initiatives for the convention on the law of the sea emanated from Malta.
The member of the European Parliament Isabella Lövin from Sweden published the book "Silent Seas. The Fish Race to the Bottom" last year in English. On 4 July 2013, she made this statement:We must not be silent when the Oceans are dying because short-sighted national interests make effective global rules impossible. Through a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly a platform could be established that finally makes the voice of humanity heard in support of the global interest and sustainable life on Earth.
The need to transcend national political divisions was also highlighted in a way by Kansei Nakano, a former vice-speaker of the Japanese house of representatives, in a statement he made a day before:A global parliamentary body elected by and accountable to the world's citizens would increase understanding and solidarity across national borders in an unprecedented way and would contribute to the emergence of a real democratic world community. As a first step, a UN Parliamentary Assembly should be established.
The former minister of health and social affairs and former deputy prime minister of Sweden, Lars Engqvist, said the following on 3 June:Our global society needs a reformed United Nations: a democratically structured, global decision-making organization, that better mirrors our world of today. For this reason, I support the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly.
The new co-chair of the campaign's parliamentary advisory group, the Argentinian member of parliament Gabriela Michetti, was interviewed by us in May. The following quote of the day from her was published:Sooner or later, the creation of a UN Parliamentary Assembly as a key for a more democratic global order will be at the top of the political agenda. It is inevitable to give democratically elected representatives of the world's citizens a say in matters that affect all of humanity, for instance environmental and climate protection, global financial issues, human rights, or disarmament.
In a statement made in February, Daniel Innerarity, professor of political and social philosophy and the director of the Institute for Democratic Governance in San Sebastián in Spain said thatInstitutions such as the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly would help to reduce what is today an outrageous distance between those who decide and those affected by their decisions.
On the occasion of an official meeting in Senegal in March, the world-famous singer Youssou N'Dour who is also minister for tourism argued:Just as every town has an elected city council or just as every democratic nation has a parliament, a UN Parliamentary Assembly that reflects the diversity of the world’s citizens and cultures needs to be established at the global level. Such a global parliament would allow for global issues to be dealt with in a democratic and legitimate way.
Then, on 4 February, Rafael Domingo, visiting professor of law at Emory University in Atlanta and author of the interesting book "The New Global Law" (2010) provided the following statement:Because parliament is the democratic institution par excellence and the cradle of true democracies, a democratic global order worth this name has to be based on a global parliament that represents humanity as a whole.
The last quote in this overview is from Mathias Koenig-Archibugi, a senior lecturer in global politics at the London School of Economics and Political Science. On 16 January 2013 we published the following quote of the day from him, a quote which we believe gives a lot food for thought:The possibility of social events depends in part on beliefs about their possibility. Thus, the possibility of a global parliament is not independent from people’s beliefs about the possibility of a global parliament.
Finally, we do not want to miss mentioning that on 14 June, the secretary-general of the Parliamentary Forum for Democracy, Mátyás Eörsi, provided a statement that we featured on our blog already in full here and another one from Margaret Zziwa, the speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly, in February was featured here.