Call on world leaders: Global parliament to exert "oversight" of international system

30. mars 2009

Three days prior to the gathering of world leaders in London to address the global financial crisis, politicians, academics and representatives of civil society organizations from 61 countries have issued a joint statement calling for the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly. The proposal is in line with similar recommendations already passed by the European Parliament, the Pan-African Parliament, the Latin-American Parliament and the Senate of Argentina.

"The establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly should be an important part of the renewed system of international financial and economic governance," the document stipulates. According to the statement, this global parliamentary forum could initially be created as a consultative body. It suggests, however, that "in the long run", the parliament "could exercise genuine global oversight over the system's institutions."

The list of signatories to the "Call for Global Democratic Oversight of International Financial and Economic Institutions" includes 140 members of parliament and numerous former government ministers, among them Hans Eichel who served as German Minister of Finance from 1999-2005.

The request is also backed by former United Nations Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali from Egypt. "At this critical juncture we urge the United Nations and the governments of its member states to support the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly in their deliberations on the reform of international monetary, financial and economic institutions," Mr Boutros-Ghali stressed.

The statement notes, among other things, that the new body could "monitor the interlinkage and impact of the system's financial and economic policies in other fields such as sustainable development, food supply, education, health or eradication of poverty."