Global civil society forum endorses a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly

2. juni 2023

The Coalition for the UN We Need, an alliance of civil society groups advocating for a stronger UN, has released the outcomes of an international conference, the Global Futures Forum, that was held in New York and online in March this year. The gathering brought together civil society representatives and experts to consider proposals to the UN as the world organization and its member governments are preparing for a series of conferences, the UN Summit on Sustainable Development in 2023, the Summit of the Future in 2024 and on Social Development in 2025. 

The document outlines thirty-three recommendations and next steps across seven thematic fields related to the Sustainable Development Goals, environmental governance, human rights and participation, a global digital compact, the global economic and financial architecture, peace and security as well as innovating the UN and global governance. According to a press release issued by the coalition, the proposals “are driven by five key objectives: a longer-term future orientation, global institutional reform, a whole of society approach, meeting existing commitments, and building trust.”

The section on “UN and global governance innovation” endorses the “We The Peoples” campaign for inclusive global governance and its three proposals: the creation of a UN Parliamentary Assembly, a UN World Citizens’ Initiative and a UN Civil Society Envoy. These suggestions aim at connecting the UN closer to citizens, their elected representatives and civil society, thus creating opportunities for their involvement and enhancing the organization’s accountability. “A stronger UN also requires a more legitimate UN”, the document says. In a next step, like-minded member states should form “a Group of Friends for Inclusive Global Governance” to investigate and move these ideas forward.

On a UN Parliamentary Assembly, the document says that it would give "elected representatives, who reflect a broader political spectrum, a formal voice at the UN. A UNPA can be established by a majority vote of the UNGA as a subsidiary body using Article 22 of the UN Charter. Through portfolio committees and transnational groups set up by its members, the UNPA can conduct public hearings and deliberations and merge their findings in plenary resolutions. A UNPA would act as a voice of the world’s citizens and serve as a catalyst for policies and proposals on further UN and global governance reforms."

The coordinator of the Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly and Executive Director of Democracy Without Borders, Andreas Bummel, who is also co-convenor of the "We The Peoples" campaign, attended the forum and helped facilitate the discussions in the field of "UN and global governance innovation".