Vilasrao Deshmukh, prominent lawmakers call for UN Parliamentary Assembly
New Delhi, Dec.9 (ANI): Nearly 40 sitting members of parliament from India, cutting across party lines, support an appeal addressed to the UN and the governments of its member states "to establish a Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations."
According to the statement "a gradual implementation of democratic participation and representation on the global level" is recommended.
The list of Indian lawmakers that have endorsed the proposal includes current union minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, union ministers of state Saugata Roy and Dinsha Patel and as well as former union ministers Mani Shankar Aiyar, Saifuddin Soz and Shashi Tharoor, the latter of whom served as a minister of state for external affairs in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's cabinet from 2009 to 2010.
Deshmukh, Union Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences said while being asked whether does he support a lower house directly elected by the people at the United Nations- "Yes, I support the establishment of a UN Parliamentary Assembly and it would be good if the proposal is seriously considered by the United Nations."
"Of course a lot of details need to be investigated. Still the government of India could express at the UN General Assembly that in principle it regards the proposal of a UN Parliamentary Assembly with favour," said Shri Tharoor at a meeting with representatives of the Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly in Delhi on Thursday, 8 December.
Shyam Benegal, the renowned director and screenwriter who is a member of the Rajya Sabha, declared his support of a UN Parliamentary Assembly recently. "When India was granted independence, sceptical observers said that so remarkably diverse a country in terms of religion, language, and culture could not maintain a representative democracy. Yet, despite these doubts, that is exactly what India has done. Today similar doubts are often expressed with regard to global democracy. Based on our experience, I believe that obstacles can be overcome and that first small steps to build democracy at the global scale are now necessary and possible," Benegal argued.
Former union minister Mani Shankar Aiyar adding his voice to a parliamentary assembly at the United Nations said- "At Independence, Jawaharlal Nehru said, 'We look upon the world with clear and friendly eyes.' One proof of that would be Indian support to a World Parliament."
Supporters of the appeal for a UN Parliamentary Assembly from India also include BJP vice president Najma Heptullah who served as a member of the Rajya Sabha for four terms and who was President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union from 1999 to 2002, the worldwide umbrella organization of national parliaments.
Eminent people such as Professor M.S. Swaminathan who was considered by Time magazine "one of the most influential Asian people of the 20th century" and Ela Bhatt, founder of SEWA and the recipient of Right Livelihood Award have also expressed their endorsement of establishing a Parliamentary Assembly at the UN. (ANI)
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