Australian government should push for a parliamentary UN body, says citizens group

9. September 2019

A UN Parliamentary Assembly to support global democracy / Proposal presented in Canberra

Following an expert symposium on UN reform in Canberra, the World Citizens Association of Australia called on the Morrison government and the opposition to endorse the creation of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, in short UNPA.

Former Australian Senator Bob Brown (left) and Andreas Bummel, Campaign for a UNPA

“This new UN body will improve the democratic character of the United Nations and help strengthening democracy worldwide,” said the organizations’ Secretary, Chris Hamer.

“Next year the UN will commemorate its 75th anniversary. This is a good moment to consider renewal and improvement. A UN Parliamentary Assembly is a key proposal that should be on the agenda,” said Pera Wells, a former Australian diplomat and former Secretary-General of the World Federation of UN Associations. “Australia as one of the original founding members of the UN should take a lead,” she added.

“The purpose of a UN Parliamentary Assembly is to strengthen the voice of citizen-elected representatives at the UN and in global affairs. This will help bringing the UN closer to citizens and making it more accountable and responsive,” explained Andreas Bummel, global coordinator of the international Campaign for a UNPA who was visiting from Germany. 

Since its launch the campaign has been endorsed by over 1,600 current and former members of parliament from more than 100 countries and across party lines. This includes five current and seven former parliamentarians from Australia.

The former Senator and former leader of the Australian Greens, Bob Brown, said at the symposium that a global parliament was needed to deal with climate change. “It is necessary for human survival,” he stated.

The UN’s 75th anniversary in 2020 will be commemorated under the theme “The future we want, the UN we need.” Member states are encouraged to share their views on this topic.

The symposium “Towards a more democratic United Nations” was held at The Australian National University and was sponsored by the World Citizens Association of Australia, the Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly, the Crawford School of Public Policy and the Institute for Global Peace and Sustainable Governance.

Image: Australian Parliament in Canberra, by Ryan Wick/Flickr

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Tags: Australia