Parliamentarians for Peace present proposals at Normandy peace forum

Panel during the launch event of Parliamentarians for Peace in Caen. Most members had to participate virtually due to the pandemic. Image by Adrien Thibault/Open Diplomacy Institute. Published with kind permission.

According to a policy platform adopted by Parliamentarians for Peace, a new international group of elected representatives, global governance is weakening and the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated ”vulnerabilities of the global system”. ”One would have expected much more cooperation to face this crisis together,” the introduction goes on, stressing that ”no country possesses the means to combat global pandemics on its own.”

By contrast, the group’s intention is to identify and promote ”key policy solutions which work towards peace” across borders and political boundaries. As the document’s five principles testify, securing peace in their understanding is a broad concept that touches on issues not only of security but also of freedom, democracy, rule of law, the environment, sustainability, healthcare, education, social justice or the digital world, among others.

Support for a UN Parliamentary Assembly

The group was launched earlier in October by the French Open Diplomacy Institute and the Normandy region at the Normandy World Peace Forum in Caen. A first set of policy solutions recommended in their paper addresses ”critical and direct threats to the multilateral order and international law” and supports the Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly  carried out by Democracy Without Borders in order to strengthen and sustain international cooperation ”as per the principles that grounded the United Nations 75 years ago.”

Bringing democracy back into diplomacy

”There is a strong need to bring democracy back into diplomacy. We support the Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly to put the legislative branch of every nation at the heart of the multilateral order”, said Thomas Friang, founder and CEO of the Open Diplomacy Institute. The policy platform argues that ”bringing domestic policy makers into diplomatic arenas could fuel international cooperation with refreshed political leadership.”

Across different sets of solutions, the legislators commend and support around twenty other proposals and projects. With regard to health, for instance, the group highlights the Global Vaccine Alliance which ”offers a model of independent public-private partnership with a multilateral funding mechanism to improve general health among the poorest global citizens as well as working to prevent and tackle global health disruptions.”

According to the website, members of Parliamentarians for Peace include French Senator Catherine Morin-Desailly; Brazilian deputy Marcelo Calero; Ingjerd Schou, Vice-president of the Parliament of Norway; Darren Bergman, Member of the South African National Assembly; Canadian legislator Marie-France Lalonde; Senegalese deputy Pape Sgna Mbaye; Dima Jamali, deputy from Lebanon; Philippa Whitford, Member of the UK’s House of Commons from Scotland; Indian Member of the Lok Sabha, Gaurav Gogoi; and FAN Yun, Member of the Legislative Yuan of Taiwan.

Speaking on behalf of Democracy Without Borders and the Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly, Executive Director Andreas Bummel welcomed the launch of Parliamentarians for Peace and their policy recommendations. ”We are happy that this distinguished group of legislators joins the international efforts for strengthening the democratic character of the United Nations and look forward to collaboration”, he said.