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.
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.
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.
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.