Manifesto for Global Democracy presented in Paris
On Tuesday last week, 31 January, the Manifesto for Global Democracy was presented in Paris at an event held at the university Sciences-Po which was attended by around 150 people including students of political sciences and international relations and several civil society activists.
The speakers included Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, former Secretary-General of the United Nations; Mr. Pascal Lamy, former director of the World Trade Organization; and professors Bertrand Badie (Sciences-Po), Fernando Iglesias (Spinelli Chair, CUIA), Alain Touraine (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales) and Heikki Patomäki (University of Helsinki). The discussion focused on global challenges and how institutions that are responsible to deal with them could be structured in a democratic way.
In the beginning, Fernando Iglesias introduced the manifesto and reported on the previous four presentations that were made in London, Rome, San Sebastián and Buenos Aires during 2012 and 2013. Professor Patomäki referred to different proposals for achieving a more democratic global order, pointing out in particular the creation of a Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations. Alain Touraine stressed that an initiative like this should have a universal character while Pascal Lamy raised doubts about the possibility of achieving democratic representation on a global scale. Mr. Boutros-Ghali related the initiative of the manifesto with the necessary democratic reform of the international system and the UN itself according to the agenda for democratization that he developed during his term as UN Secretary-General. The host, Bertrand Badie, closed the panel by stressing the importance of the concept of global democracy in order to overcome the limits of the global debate that is currently dominated by the controversy between neoliberalism and populist nationalism.
Among other things, the manifesto includes support for "a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly as the embryo of a future World Parliament." The next presentation of the manifesto will take place in the last week of March in Helsinki.