Indian parliamentarians for a global parliament at UN


New Delhi : In order to improve the democratic character of global governance, Indian parliamentarians have lent their support to a global campaign for the creation of an elected global parliamentary assembly at the United Nations.

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Speaking Wednesday at the presentation of an Indian edition of a new book titled ‘A Global Parliament’, Science and Technology Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said the proposal was “bold” and “worth serious consideration”.

“A largely consultative United Nations Parliamentary Assembly could be created and national parliaments, including the Indian parliament, could send elected representatives to the global parliament,” Deshmukh said.

Deshmukh further added: “I support an international campaign for the creation of a UN Parliamentary Assembly which is endorsed by more than 800 elected representatives throughout the world and hundreds of leading personalities, among them over 45 members of the Parliament of India. I hope that an elected global parliamentary assembly will become a reality in our lifetime.”

According to the authors, US professors Richard Falk, University of California, and Andrew Strauss, Widener University, democratic decision-making needs to be “extended to the global system”.

“To begin with, a UN Parliamentary Assembly will be a consultative body of UN General Assembly and will be the voice of the people globally,” said Lok Sabha member Shashi Tharoor.

“For practical reasons, the representatives to the UN Parliamentary Assembly should be elected by the national parliaments of different countries so that even non-democratic countries such as China could take part in it,” said Tharoor.

“Everything takes time and we in India should support the creation of a global parliamentary assembly at the UN,” Tharoor added.

The preface to the Indian edition of the book states that promoting a UN Parliamentary Assembly would “fit well into India’s support of democracy and by doing so India could catch the world’s imagination as it did when it strongly advocated for the end of colonialism and apartheid.”

In the book, Falk and Strauss argue that a number of twenty to thirty countries that are geographically, culturally and economically diverse could initiate a project to create a global parliament.

The book is a compilation of articles and essays by Falk and Strauss that appeared in journals such as Foreign Affairs and newspapers like The International Herald Tribune or The Times of India between 1997 and 2010.