Vella calls on Commonwealth to support creation of UN Parliamentary Assembly

Foreign minister George Vella calls on Commonwealth ministers to back campaign for the establishment of a UN Parliamentary Assembly.

Foreign Affairs Minister George Vella
Foreign Affairs Minister George Vella

Foreign minister George Vella urged Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) to consider backing the Campaign for the Establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly.

During a meeting for Commonwealth foreign ministers in Sri Lanka, Vella said "one of democracy's pillars is direct representation in decision making bodies."

Underlining the fact that the Commonwealth includes 54 nations, Vella said that these countries could influence the 194-member UN and push through the establishment of an assembly which would strengthen "representation and parliamentary diplomacy."

 A United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA) is a proposed addition to the United Nations System that would allow for participation of member nations' legislators and, eventually, direct election of UN parliament members by citizens worldwide.

The idea was originally 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.

 In the 1990s and 2000s, the rise of global trade and the power of world organisations that govern it led to calls for a parliamentary assembly to scrutinize their activity.

The Campaign for the Establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly was formed in 2007 to coordinate pro-UNPA efforts, which as of July 2013 has received the support of over 800 Members of Parliament from over 100 countries worldwide and is supported by over 5,000 people.

 

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