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Pan-African Parliament calls for UN Parliamentary Assembly

10-25-2007 07:16 PM CET | Associations & Organizations

Press release from: Committee for a Democratic United Nations

The eighth session of the Pan-African Parliament convening in Midrand, South Africa, unanimously adopted a resolution calling for the establishment of a Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations this Wednesday, 24 October 2007. “The United Nations is an important advocate for democracy in the world. Democratization in fact is decisive to increase accountability and responsiveness of national governance. We believe that this also applies to international organizations. To maintain its credibility the UN itself thus has to become more democratic. A UN Parliamentary Assembly would be a means to achieve this”, Mokshanand Dowarkasing, a legislator from Mauritius who introduced the motion, commented.

“A growing number of decisions affecting the African citizens are taken beyond the borders of their nation state and even of Africa itself. In times of increasing globalization these decisions cannot be left to government diplomats alone. The voice of the citizens has to be heard in the halls of the United Nations and its agencies as well”, Kante El Hadj Diao, Chairman of the PAP’s responsible Committee on Co-operation, International Relations and Conflict said.

“We recommend to the governments of the African Union to take the initiative in the United Nations and other diplomatic fora to establish a UN Parliamentary Assembly. Since the body could be created by a vote of the UN General Assembly such support would be instrumental to build strong political momentum”, Mr. Dowarkasing added.

The resolution envisages a gradual approach with the body being established, initially, with consultative functions only and composed of national parliamentarians. However, according to the motion, the UNPA “eventually should have participation and oversight rights” and “should be directly elected”.

Observers from abroad have hailed the decision. “The resolution paves the way for a joint initiative of the Pan-African and the European Parliament”, Jo Leinen, a legislator in the European Parliament, noted. The Committee for a Democratic UN, a non-governmental organization specialized on the topic strongly welcomed the African support as “major development in the international efforts towards a UN Parliamentary Assembly”. Earlier this year an international Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly was launched in more than ten countries, with endorsement of over 300 legislators from around the world.

Committee for a Democratic UN
Forsthausweg 1, D-64569 Nauheim, Germany
Andreas Bummel
Phone +49(0)6131 6278376

The Committee for a Democratic UN is a non-governmental organization based in Germany. It advocates the establishment of a UN Parliamentary Assembly and the democratization of the international system.

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