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UN experts endorse the creation of a UN Parliamentary Assembly

Six current UN experts elected by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva have recently supported the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA).


According to Maina Kiai from Kenya, the UN's special rapporteur on rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, "one weakness of the United Nations is that its member states are represented solely through the executive branch. The involvement of additional actors such as parliamentarians and civil society is critical to democratizing the UN."


The UN's special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Heiner Bielefeldt from Germany, noted that the UN was "meant to be an inclusive space for active engagement with the civil society and multi-stakeholders." Considering the "great value of cross-boundary work on the promotion of freedom of religion or belief by parliamentarians around the world" that he has seen, he stated to believe "in the great potentials that a UN Parliamentary Assembly has for strengthening the UN system."


The UN's expert on the right to food, Hilal Elver from Turkey, said that "795 million world citizens are suffering from chronic hunger. An elected UN Parliamentary Assembly may be a means to give these most vulnerable members of our global community a stronger voice so that the systemic international causes of their misery can be more adequately addressed."


In 2013, the UN's expert on the promotion of an equitable and democratic international order, Alfred de Zayas, recommended that the UN should conduct a study on how a World Parliamentary Assembly "may advance genuine participation."


In addition, the international appeal for a UNPA was recently endorsed by Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, the UN's special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, as well as François Crépeau, special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants.


Additional information on the Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly can be found here.

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