One promising avenue of giving ... space to the citizens of the planet is the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, which could start initially as a consultative body and gradually develop into a legislative assembly. This is an ambitious plan, but one that with patience and determination is implementable, taking the European Parliament as a model.
Alfred de Zayas, United Nations Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order, former Secretary of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, 2013
The idea of a democratically elected world parliament seems like a nice, but still distant dream if one considers the many dictatorships in the world. The establishment of a UN Parliamentary Assembly however, that initially has advisory powers and exercises oversight, could be a good and feasible first step into this direction.
Brigitte Zypries, Member of Parliament and Minister of Justice from 2002-2009, Germany, 2013
The fact that there still is no parliamentary body at the UN more and more interferes with the world organization's democratic legitimacy. A UN Parliamentary Assembly would strengthen the democratic nature of the UN and bring it closer to the citizens. That's one of the reasons why the East African Legislative Assembly supports its establishment.
Margaret Zziwa, Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly, former Member of Parliament, Uganda, former Member of the Constituent Assembly drafting the 1995 Ugandan Constitution, 2013
In a democratic order, citizens elect representatives at multiple levels. There are city councils, provincial or state parliaments and national parliaments. And yet for global matters that affect each and every person on the planet, there exists no elected world parliament. A world parliament would be an instrument to find and implement solutions that are democratic, accountable and serve the best interest of humanity.
Global Week of Action, From the announcement of the first Global Week of Action for a World Parliament, 17-24 October 2013, 2013
Just as every town has an elected city council or just as every democratic nation has a parliament, a UN Parliamentary Assembly that reflects the diversity of the world’s citizens and cultures needs to be established at the global level. Such a global parliament would allow for global issues to be dealt with in a democratic and legitimate way.
Youssou N'Dour, Singer, musician, and Minister of Tourism, Senegal, 2013
The strengthening of the United Nations will only be achieved by the participation of direct representatives of the citizens in the decision-making process. The setting up of a Global Parliamentary Assembly is fundamental for the functioning of democracy today.
Vasso Papandreou, Former Minister of Energy, Interior, Public Works and Environment, Greece and Member of the European Commission, 2013
The creation of a consultative Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations would strengthen the legitimacy of the UN and make it breathe some air of democracy. Just like what happens in the Council of Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly could function as the UN's democratic conscience and as an engine for change.
Liliane Maury Pasquier, Member of the Swiss Parliament (Council of States), Vice-President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, 2013
The UN system as it exists today does not reflect the changing dynamics of the new world order. Minority communities and opinions continue to be neglected. It is essential that a United Nations Parliamentary Asembly comes into place which reflects the vast diversity of this globe. This could result in better collaboration between governments and addresses current concerns like war, poverty, terrorism, drug trafficing etc. in a better manner.
Kavuri Sambasiva Rao, Minister of Textiles in the Union Government of India, 2013
A UN Parliamentary Assembly would increase the likelihood that the powerless can come together and publicly criticize oppression, racism, slavery, environmental damage, poverty and most of all a lack of education and participation. It would enable them to blow the whistle and make governments and international institutions more accountable.
Hanno Schedler, Asia/Africa Department of the Society for Threatened Peoples, 2013
The European Parliament may serve as a model for how a UN Parliamentary Assembly could develop over time. What once began as an advisory body composed of national parliamentarians is a directly elected legislature today, even if the development is still ongoing. We are delighted that the example of the European Parliament is inspiring and encouraging the efforts for democratizing the UN system and global governance.
Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, 2013
A democratic world parliament could strengthen the voice of our world's women who are often marginalized in the forums of male-dominated national governments. A United Nations Parliamentary Assembly would be a decisive step in this direction.
Gudrun Schyman, Co-founder of the Feminist Initiative of Sweden and former Member of Parliament, 2013