Spanish Foreign Minister: Creation of a UN Parliamentary Assembly should be considered

10. december 2018

In an article published in the newspaper El País in Madrid today, the Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell stated that the 75th anniversary of the United Nations in 2020 "may be a good moment to analyse at a summit some institutional changes necessary to increase its legitimacy and effectiveness, such as the reform of the Security Council to make it more representative and limit the use of the vetoes of the great powers, or the establishment of a parliamentary assembly, thus strengthening the role of civil society and the democratic dimension of the multilateral system."

The piece was published on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10th December 2018. Among other things, Borrell pointed out that the declaration is based on a multilateralist approach that needs to be supported now more than ever as more and more issues are transnational in nature. "At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the multilateralism that underlies its conception is of strategic importance; it is nothing less than a necessity for the survival of humanity," he wrote. According to Borrell, it is necessary for Spain to defend international institutions such as the European Union and the United Nations but also to help "reform them in order to strengthen world governance."

Josep Borrell assumed office as Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation following a change of government in June 2018 when Pedro Sanchez, leader of the Socialist Party, became Spanish prime minister. Previously, Borrell was President of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2007, among other things.

In a resolution adopted in July, the European Parliament called on the European Union's governments to advocate "the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly" and to support a "UN 2020 summit" that will consider "comprehensive reform measures for a renewal and strengthening of the United Nations."

El País is one of the most read and most circulated newspapers in Spain.

Top image: Josep Borrell speaking on 29 November 2018 (by Casa de América/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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Tags: Spain