Breakthrough in U.S. Congress
for UN Parliamentary Assembly
- Democratic World Federalists News - March 25, 2013
There have been many proposals aimed at
UN reform. One of the most promising is the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly.
It would provide citizen's representation through a popularly
elected chamber and help democratize the organization.
Democracy advocates have noted that the UN Charter restricts
final decision-making power to the permanent five Security Council
nations who hold veto power. This favored status excludes the
world community from decision-making on global issues -- unacceptable
in a democracy.
Some argue that this lack of democracy at the global level is
both the source of many of today's problems as well as the main
impediment to solving them.
Demanding more democratic control over globalization
The addition of the Parliamentary Assembly could provide more
democratic control of globalization according to former UN Secretary-General
Boutros Boutros-Ghali. Proponents cite the need for democratic
oversight of such institutions as the World Trade Organization
and the World Bank in order to be more responsive to the needs
of ordinary citizens.
America often voices its belief in democracy. A UN with more
democratic representation by means of adding a UN Parliamentary
Assembly supports this core American value.
In spite of world support, the US has remained silent
The Campaign for the Establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary
Assembly has gained support from over 600 parliamentarians from
125 countries. The Canadian Parliament, European Parliament,
Pan-African Parliament and Latin American Parliament have all
adopted supportive resolutions.
However, up until recently the U.S. Congress has been silent
--showing little interest in promoting democracy at the global
US Senator Cardin breaks America's silence
In what may become a significant breakthrough, U.S. Senator Benjamin
Cardin (D-Md) finally stepped up last year to become the first
member of Congress to endorse the Campaign. Subsequently former
Congressman Paul Findley (R-Ill) signaled his support, joined
by former SenatorAdlai Stevenson III (D-Ill).
Will Congress follow suit and help bring
democracy to the UN?
Cardin's support for the UNPA helps draw attention to the Campaign,
and perhaps can spark a new dialogue in Congress about the value
to the world community of creating a democratic UN.
World federalists see the UNPA strategy
as an important step along one of the paths to a democratic world
federation. Participation by the U.S. Congress can accelerate
While adding a UN Parliamentary Assembly will not immediately
change the UN's underlying undemocratic political structure,
it may be a step in the right direction as it highlights the
challenge to the UN to transform into a true democracy hopefully
with the full support of the U.S. Congress.
Praise from the Democratic World Federalists
World Federalists support this and other actions
to create a democratically elected, federal global government.
We see this as humanity's best chance for a peaceful, just, and
sustainable world. Click here to find out how you can