Democracy Without Borders is the successor of the Committee for a Democratic U.N., in short KDUN for its German name. In February 2017, KDUN’s members decided to continue their work with a new name, a new approach and an expanded mandate. Democratization at the national and global levels is strongly connected. As democracy comes under pressure worldwide, a holistic approach is needed that recognizes this relationship.
KDUN was originally established in 2003 in Berlin with the objective to promote a democratization of the United Nations and the system of Global Governance through parliamentary representation of the world’s citizens. In a strategy paper published one year later, the Committee outlined its primary goal of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA).
In 2005, members of the Swiss parliament affiliated with KDUN initiated an open letter to then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, asking him to put a UNPA onto the UN’s reform agenda. Eventually the letter was endorsed by a majority of Swiss parliamentarians and got strong attention in Swiss media.
In 2007, after a year of preparation and coalition-building, KDUN and its partners worldwide launched the international Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly with press conferences in a dozen countries in all world regions.
Today, the campaign is the world’s leading network that advocates parliamentary representation at the UN. It is supported by over 300 non-governmental organizations, 300 university professors, 1,500 current and former members of parliament, and hundreds of distinguished individuals from 150 countries.
Under its new name and mandate, Democracy Without Borders will continue to serve the UNPA campaign and a world parliament remains its most important long-term goal.
In addition, however, the organization will seek to develop new complementary programs that aim at strengthening and defending democracy in other areas as well.
Image: Calling for a world parliament in front of Brandenburg Gate in Berlin in 2011