Is the establishment of a Parliamentary Assembly compatible with the character of the UN as an intergovernmental organization?

The establishment of a Parliamentary Assembly would not change the nature of the UN as an organization of its member states. The fact that existing bodies and organs of the UN are composed of representatives of member states would not be affected by establishing a complementary Parliamentary Assembly.

Is there experience that can be used for a Parliamentary Assembly at the UN?

Parliamentary assemblies exist in numerous multilateral intergovernmental organizations, for example at the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, NATO, the African Union and in Mercosur, among others. In addition, it is possible to draw important lessons from the development of the European Parliament, created as a consultative assembly in 1952 and evolving over decades to today’s legislature directly representing almost 400 million eligible voters.

In what way is the UN undemocratic?

The United Nations is a forum of national governments, with its principle organs comprised of representatives and officers of the executive branch of member states who are normally exclusively selected by the ruling majority party (or coalition). Thus, the diverse political spectrum within member states is not represented. In addition, each member state has one vote, regardless of population size. That way democratic representation of the world’s population is not ensured.

What purpose would a Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations serve?

The purpose of a Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations is to give the citizens of UN member states a voice in political negotiations and decisions at the global level. The assembly would provide independent oversight of the UN’s bureaucracy and budget. With its members directly elected or appointed by national or regional parliaments, a parliamentary assembly would improve global governance by adding a democratic and independent complement to the existing intergovernmental bodies.

Why should a Parliamentary Assembly at the UN be established?

The UN and the numerous organizations included in the UN system such as the children’s fund UNICEF or the refugee agency UNHCR are important instruments of international cooperation. A Parliamentary Assembly is intended to make the activities and decisions of these organizations as well as global governance in general more democratic, more transparent and more responsive to the needs of the world’s citizens.

What is a parliamentary assembly?

In a parliamentary assembly elected representatives convene. In most cases a parliamentary assembly is an organ of an international organization which is otherwise comprised of political appointments representing only the executive branch and the ruling parties of each member state. Members of a parliamentary assembly, in contrast, include delegates from each major political group in a state party’s parliament. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is the oldest assembly of this kind.