On May 3 the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA) campaign convened a meeting in New York for government and civil society representatives to discuss the range of approaches to involving parliamentarians more directly in the work of the UN. Thirteen government representatives attended the meeting.
Then, in June 2017, the European Parliament made recommendations to the EU Council ahead of the UN’s 72nd (2017-18) session. Among the Parliament’s recommendations was a call for the Council “to foster a debate on the topic of the role of parliaments and regional assemblies in the UN system and on the topic of establishing a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly with a view to increasing the democratic profile and internal democratic process of the organisation and to allow world civil society to be directly associated in the decision-making process.”
Earlier this month, UNPA campaign representatives urged a similar approach on the part of the Government of Canada. Canada has not formally endorsed the establishment of a UNPA (although such a step has twice been recommended by Foreign Affairs Committees of the House of Commons). The letter calls on Canada “to support increased debate and dialogue on the role that parliamentarians and a Parliamentary Assembly can play in strengthening the work of the United Nations.”
Meanwhile, support for a UNPA among Canadian parliamentarians continues to grow, thanks in part to the lobbying and persistence of a team of WFMC board members and volunteers. 54 MPs and Senators have endorsed the UNPA campaign’s international appeal.