Latin-American Parliament backs proposal for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly

12. december 2008

The Latin-American Parliament (Parlatino) backs the call for the establishment of a Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations (UNPA). The XXIV. ordinary session gathered on 5-6 December 2008 in Panamá passed an according resolution. It notes that a UNPA shall help to strengthen "the effectiveness, transparency, representativeness, plurality and legitimacy of the international system." The resolution passed by the plenary of the continental body follows on a declaration of its Commission on Political Affairs in June which strongly endorsed a UN Parliamentary Assembly. In that declaration, the Commission invited "all parliamentary organizations to participate actively in the process of its creation." Furthermore, on 14 November 2008 the Senate of Argentine was the first national parliamentary chamber to voice its unconditional support.

The Argentine deputy and member of Parlatino, Fernando Iglesias, stressed the importance of the recent resolution: "The support given by the Latin-American Parliament to the Campaign for a Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations constitutes an unprecedented milestone. Indeed, the continent that few decades ago was the scenario for political genocide and for many of the most terrible military dictatorships, expresses now, through this resolution of its oldest and biggest supranational parliamentary institution, its deep conviction on the virtues of democracy at any level of political decision-making."

The head of the Secretariat of the Campaign for a UNPA, Andreas Bummel, added: "Following the European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Pan-African Parliament, Parlatino is the fourth continental parliamentary body in the world supporting the creation of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly. Considering the urgent need of more democratic and effective oversight of international institutions which has become apparent through the global financial crisis, it is high time that the creation of a world body composed of elected representatives is seriously considered by the United Nations and its member states."

The Latin American Parliament was created 1964 and is based on an international treaty concluded 1987 which by now 22 member states from the region have joined. (Image: Parlatino)