Update on UNPA Campaign

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Update on UNPA Campaign

On November 5th, the Senate of the Republic of Argentina became
the first national parliament to adopt a resolution unconditionally
calling for the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary
Assembly (UNPA), an advisory body that would review the activities of
the UN and give citizens for the first time direct representation at
the global level.

Though many international bodies such as
NATO, OSCE, and the Commonwealth have parliamentary chambers, the
United Nations does not. Ambassadors to the UN answer only to their
governments, not their respective fellow citizens, and usually advocate
for national concerns. Proponents believe that a UNPA would act as a
symbol of global community, a world conscience, and a lever for further
UN reform.

A UNPA could be created without the approval of
the Security Council and without reforming the UN Charter. Article 22
of the existing Charter allows the General Assembly to create its own
subsidiary bodies. Until direct elections can be held worldwide,
national parliaments could second selected members in proportion to
party representation. This would mirror the evolution of the European
Parliament (EP) which switched to direct election in 1979. The EP
provided mechanisms whereby citizens and NGOs could have direct
influence on EU proceedings, helped Europe develop new ways to manage
common problems, and thereby transcend the violent inter-state
conflicts of the twentieth century.

The UNPA concept has also
been endorsed by the European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of
the Council of Europe, the Pan-African Parliament and the Latin
American Parliament's Commission on Political Affairs. Since 2007, an
international appeal for such an assembly (detailed at www.unpacampaign.org)
has been endorsed individually by over 525 sitting parliamentarians
from over 80 countries encompassing all the world's major regions.

In Canada, the Campaign is also supported by many prominent Canadians
including John Turner, Lloyd Axworthy, Flora MacDonald, Ed Broadbent
and Elizabeth May. In a report adopted in June 2007, the Canadian
House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and
International Development under Conservative chairman Kevin Sorenson
recommended that “the Parliament of Canada should give favourable
consideration to the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary

According to Fergus Watt, Executive Director of the
World Federalist Movement-Canada, a member of the UNPA Campaign
steering committee, "a United Nations Parliamentay Assembly would help
foster a sense of global community and create a powerful constituency
for a United Nations system better equipped to tackle the many
challenges ahead."


To endorse the UNPA online and receive news of the ongoing campaign, go to www.unpacampaign.org