United Nations Parliamentary Assembly
A United Nations Parliamentary Assembly is a proposed addition to the United Nations System. It would allow for greater participation and voice for Members of Parliament. The idea was raised at the founding of the League of Nations in the 1920s and again following the end of World War II in 1945.
About United Nations Parliamentary Assembly in brief
A United Nations Parliamentary Assembly is a proposed addition to the United Nations System. It would allow for greater participation and voice for Members of Parliament. The idea was raised at the founding of the League of Nations in the 1920s and again following the end of World War II in 1945, but remained dormant throughout the Cold War. The Campaign for a U.N. Parliamentary Assembly was formed in 2007 by Democracy Without Borders to coordinate pro-UNPA efforts. As of June 2017, the group has received the support of over 1,600 Members of. Parliament from over 100 countries worldwide, says John Defterios, a member of the group’s steering committee and former U.S. Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. Defterio: In the post-Cold War era, several factors contributed to a more favorable environment for UNPA proposals. The World Trade Organization and similar organizations generated great concern as they seemed to be gaining more influence over trade disputes, yet were not accountable to the people, he says. The European Union, whose Parliament was gradually growing in power, provided an example of how a multi-nation parliament can evolve and function, Defterius says. In 2003, Freedom House counted 121 in general democracies, compared to 66 in 1987 and 30 in 1975 in the European Union. In 2013, the European Parliament counted 121 electoral votes in general; in 2003, the United States had 66 in general, and in 1975, 30 in European Union democracies, he adds.
The European Parliament is a unique supranational body, he writes, that is open to public scrutiny instead of secret scrutiny of secret trade disputes. It is a model that can be applied to international organizations, including the UN, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, says Defteriol. He says the EU is a great example of a world parliament that can evolve to function in the 21st century, as it did in the 20th century in the wake of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the creation of the European Economic and Monetary Union (E.U. and E.C. member states). The E.E. and the European Council of Ministers are also examples of a global parliament that has grown in power and influence in recent years, says defterios. The EU has more power than any other country in the world, but it is still in its early stages of development and is not fully accountable to its members, he argues. In 2015, European Parliament members voted in favor of a resolution calling for the EU to be more transparent and accountable to members of the public. It was the first time in history that a European Parliament has voted in such a way, and the vote was followed by a European Union resolution in June 2015. The resolution was passed by a majority of MEPs, but not by the majority of the U.K. Parliament, which is a key ally of the EU in the EU. In 2016, the EU passed a resolution that called for a European Parliamentary Assembly to be created.