A voice for global citizens

Campaign for a UN World Citizens’ Initiative

The UN’s democratic deficit

The United Nations is an exclusive club of representatives of UN Member States. Its democratic deficit has been complained about for decades. While the UN has made some effort to include representatives of civil society and other major groups in some of its deliberations, there are no means for ordinary citizens to exert influence.

Examples for citizens’ input

In many countries there are mechanisms by which citizens can suggest initiatives to be considered by the executive or legislative branch of government. In the European Union there is the official instrument of a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) which gives citizens the power to submit a legislative proposal to the European Commission. 

A World Citizens’ Initiative

The idea of a UN World Citizens’ Initiative (UNWCI) is that if a certain number of global citizens endorses a citizen-launched initiative, UN bodies such as the General Assembly or the Security Council have to put the item on their agenda and give representatives of the initiative the floor to make their case. A UNWCI will allow global citizens to have their voices heard.

Join the global campaign

Democracy Without Borders in collaboration with Democracy International and CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation as well as other civil society organizations across the world are pushing forward a global campaign that advocates the creation of a UN World Citizens’ Initiative. We invite you to join our efforts.

Civil society statement

A UN World Citizens’ Initiative is one of the three demands included in the international civil society statement on inclusive global governance published in April 2021 which has been endorsed by over 150 organizations and networks. 

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