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Empowering the United Nations
by Creating a Global People's Assembly

As our world is faced with increasingly complex and potentially catastrophic global issues, there is an urgent need to revitalize and empower the United Nations in a way that allows it to deal with critical issues in an effective manner. Our lives, as well as the future existence of our planet, depend on it.

Given that our world is made up of sovereign nation states, issues deliberated at the UN often become bogged down in the politics between nations. It is difficult for the UN to respond to global problems, especially since two-thirds of all nations must agree in order for any action to be taken. Government representatives often are so beholden to the political administration that appointed them, that they must make decisions based on national interests or politics rather than on what is best for the people or planet as a whole. It is in this context that an international movement has emerged, that calls for a forum for the voices of the People to be represented in discussions of issues that affect them and the well-being of a sustainable, interdependent planet.

This movement calls for creating the first globally elected Parliament - a Global Parliament of the Peoples or a Global People's Assembly - a forum in which democratically elected people, as citizens of the world, will have an influential voice, most importantly on a global level. A Global People's Assembly might operate much like the European Parliament or the planned Pan-African Parliament, but on a global scale. Depending upon how it is structured, the delegates may or may not also simultaneously serve in the Parliaments of their respective nations.

Such an Assembly might initially be established by 20 to 30 progressively minded nations agreeing to democratically elect globally minded world citizens or parliamentarians as delegates to a People's Assembly, within the context of an evolving UN. This would create a model that could encourage other democratic nations to do the same. These representatives would then form the nucleus of an initial People's Assembly with the mandate of having democratically elected people involved in solving critical global issues, as well as in bringing the issues of the people of their nations to the UN. This Assembly might operate in parallel with governmental bodies, as a parliamentary advisory board, making recommendations with the survival of the planet, and the best interests of the people of the world in mind.

This Assembly might also function somewhat along the lines of traditional NGOs and civil societies, but giving elected representatives an expanded role, perhaps working hand-in-hand with governments to solve urgent issues such as UN reform.

The Secretary General has repeatedly called for UN reform. People in San Francisco, the birthplace of the United Nations, felt a responsibility and responded to the Secretary General's call by organizing a conference in June of 2004 on UN reform entitled: "Towards a Democratic United Nations for the 21st Century." This conference brought together people from five continents. During the conference proposals were drafted regarding five issues of global consequence - Alternatives to War, Human Rights, International Law, Social and Economic Justice, and Creating a People's Assembly. As a result of the conference, an "Empower the United Nations" Campaign was launched, with the central focus being the creation of a Global People's Assembly to effectively address global issues, particularly those concerning UN reform.

Within the rapidly growing international movement for a Global People's Assembly, the Citizens for a United Nations People's Assembly has demonstrated its leadership by organizing the first United People's Assembly during the UN's 50th Anniversary Celebrations in San Francisco. This was followed by a local and regional assembly, and later, by sending a delegation to the first Global People's Assembly in 2000. The Citizens for a United Nations People's Assembly offers to serve as a facilitator between the international People's Assembly movement, civil societies, NGOs, concerned world citizens, member governments and the United Nations Secretariat concerning initiatives for UN reform.

In this way, it is hoped that the People of the world can contribute towards empowering the UN to deal with global issues in a manner that insures peace and wellbeing on this planet for generations to come.

Citizens for a United Nations People's Assembly (formerly San Francisco People's Assembly)


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