Tuesday, April 24, 2007

"World parliament" at the UN / International Compact for Iraq

"Humanity faces the task of ensuring the survival and well-being of future generations as well as the preservation of the natural foundations of life on earth. We are convinced that in order to cope with major challenges such as social disparity, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the threat of terrorism or the endangerment of global ecosystems, all human beings must engage in collaborative efforts.

To ensure international co-operation, secure the acceptance and to enhance the legitimacy of the United Nations ... people must be more effectively and directly included into the activities of the United Nations and its international organisations

This statement above is part of an appeal recommending "a gradual implementation of democratic participation and representation on the global level" at the United Nations. Signed by 541 politicians, academics and business leaders from Europe and around the world, it is an appeal for the creation of a UN parliamentary assembly to overcome the "democratic deficit" in global affairs and give citizens a bigger voice. Some of the signers: Dame Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop; Arthur C Clarke, author of 2001: Space Odyssey; four Nobel Prize winners; and 377 MPs from 70 countries.

Here is more from the statement, which clearly democratizes the UN process in the "globalization" age, creating a footing for the inevitable participatory international politics of tomorrow. Direct elections of leaders are proposed for future consideration:

Such an assembly would not simply be a new institution; as the voice of citizens, the assembly would be the manifestation and vehicle of a changed consciousness and understanding of international politics. The assembly could become a political catalyst for further development of the international system and of international law. It could also substantially contribute to the UN's capacity to realize its high objectives and to shape globalization positively.

A Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations could initially be composed of national parliamentarians. Step by step, it should be provided with genuine rights of information, participation and control vis à vis the UN and the organizations of the UN system. In a later stage, the assembly could be directly elected.

We appeal to the United Nations and the governments of its member states to establish a Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations. We call for all organizations, decision-makers and citizens engaged with the international common interest to support this appeal.

I can just see former UN ambassador John Bolton pulling out his moustache hairs after reading this.

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In somewhat related news, Political Theory Daily is reporting that "The United Nations-sponsored International Compact for Iraq, which seeks to consolidate peace in the war-torn country and pursue political, economic and social development over the next five years, will be launched in Egypt early next month."

When the U.S. pulls its troops out of Iraq - when the occupation ends - the international community will be ready. George W. Bush needs to stop the politicizing this war and do the people's will - accept the funding offered by Congress on their reasonable terms and move this occupation toward its conclusion - despite surge architect Frederick Kagan's pipe dreams about achieving a victory that we know can never be qualified. Bemoaning the American public's negative view of the Iraq war, Kagan thinks that "premature judgments influenced by a week's headlines, whether positive or negative, are unwise." Kagan must have never heard the song "It's Too Late" by the venerable songwriter Carole King. Someday, perhaps, when U.S. military can actually learn how to successfully fight a fourth-generation war instead of boasting about small battles won while the war is dismally lost, a President might be able to ask the public to support a war of which he [or she] is confident will be over before too many citizens are sick, ashamed, and disgusted by it. With Iraq, it's too late, baby.

SEE: As life fades away, Baghdad becomes a memory