United Nations Parliamentary Assembly

A United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA) is a proposed addition to the United Nations System that would allow for participation of member nations' legislators and, eventually, direct election of United Nations (UN) parliament members by citizens worldwide. The idea was raised at the founding of the League of Nations in the 1920s and again following the end of World War II in 1945, but remained dormant throughout the Cold War. In the 1990s and 2000s, the rise of global trade and the power of world organizations that govern it led to calls for a parliamentary assembly to scrutinize their activity. The Campaign for the Establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly was formed in 2007 to coordinate pro-UNPA efforts, which as of December 2011 has received the support of over 800 Members of Parliament from over 100 countries worldwide.

Supporters have set forth possible UNPA implementations, including promulgation of a new treaty; creation of a UNPA as a subsidiary body of the UN General Assembly; and evolution of a UNPA from the Inter-Parliamentary Union or another nongovernmental organization. Several proposals for apportionment of votes have been raised to address disparities in UN members' population and economic power. CEUNPA advocates initially giving the UNPA advisory powers and gradually increasing its authority over the UN system. Opponents cite issues such as funding, voter turnout, and undemocratic UN member nations as reasons for abandoning the project altogether.

Read more about United Nations Parliamentary AssemblyHistory, Implementation, Powers, Legitimacy and Accountability, Funding, Direct Election Vs. Appointment By National Parliaments, Apportionment of Votes, Election Standards

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