UN's Independent Expert reasserts that the establishment of a UN Parliamentary Assembly should be explored
Following a similar statement at the UN General Assembly's Third Committee in New York earlier this month (here's our report), the UN's Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order, Alfred de Zayas, has now reasserted this week that the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly should be explored. The recent remark was made by Mr. de Zayas at an international expert meeting in Caux, Switzerland, on a draft declaration on the right of peoples to peace that is being worked on by the UN Human Rights Council's Advisory Committee.
Here's the respective excerpt from Mr. de Zayas' speech (that can be downloaded in full from the UN's website):Article 3 of the Draft Declaration deals with the issue of disarmament, which is crucial to the prevention of armed conflict. Not only is article 6 of the ICCPR in play, but also the right to individuals to meaningfully participate in the conduct of public affairs, as stipulated in article 25 of the ICCPR. There is a very obvious disconnect between governments and the people, and a worrisome lack of transparency. In many countries it is quite evident that the military-industrial complex exercises a thoroughly undemocratic influence over government policies and that the voice of the people that demands education and health care instead of more guns is not being heard. The whole contemporary discussion over “austerity measures” gains a particular relevance in connection with military expenditures which are not democratically decided by the people, and would certainly be rejected if there were the least attempt to carry out referenda thereon. In this context the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly should be explored. Such an Assembly would give greater voice to the real needs of peoples and could also facilitate, coordinate or conduct world referenda or opinion polling that would better reflect vox populi.
The meeting in Caux was attended by diplomats from over twenty countries and was organized by the Permanent Mission of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation to the UN in Geneva in cooperation with the Spanish Society for International Human Rights Law, the International Observatory of the Human Right to Peace, the World Council of Churches, the Japanese Committee on the Human Right to Peace and the International Association of Peace Messenger Cities.