UNPA good for India and world

Suddenly, the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly no longer seems a dream, but possible - even inevitable

Fergus Watt, the executive director of the World Federalist Movement – Canada, recently emailed your editor a link to a guest editorial in the Times of India. He thought the editor of the Clearwater Times might be interested in what was being written in another Times newspaper.

The editorial had the head: The common man’s voice. It had for a subhead: Creation of a global parliamentary assembly at the UN would be in India’s interest. A person named Abhay K., who was described as an author and diplomat, wrote it.

Topic of the editorial was the creation of a directly elected United Nations Parliamentary Assembly – a topic that your editor has discussed several times in this space already.

Reading about it in an Indian newspaper, however, put a whole new perspective on the proposition.

Suddenly, the UNPA no longer seems a dream, but possible – even inevitable.

India is the second most populous nation on the planet. Soon it will be the most populous. Although there are various proposals to weight voting so the nations with the most people wouldn’t have too much control of the assembly, representation would be roughly based on population. The editorial writer pointed out that this would mean that Indian representatives would have great influence in shaping world events.

The writer contrasted this with the present situation in the U.N. General Assembly, where nations such as Samoa and Tuvalu, with populations of only a few thousand, have the same single vote as India, which has about 1.2 billion people.

Creating a directly elected parliamentary assembly at the U.N. would not only be good for India, but for the world as a whole, the letter writer points out. It truly would be the common man’s voice.

The proposal is the UNPA would start out as an advisory body to the General Assembly. Its members would be appointed by their national parliaments, or by regional parliaments such as the European Union’s.

Over time its members would become directly elected by the people of the world, giving it more legitimacy. As it became more legitimate, it would gain more power and authority.

This is roughly the route followed by the European Parliament in its development and there is every reason to believe the UNPA would do the same.

Further information about the campaign to create a UNPA is available at www.unpacampaign.org.

The Times of India editorial can be read at http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/opinion/edit-page/The-common-mans-voice/articleshow/11097752.cms?mid=5527