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close this bookWe the Peoples... Millennium Forum - Declaration and Agenda for Action (UN, 2000, 25 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentOUR VISION
View the documentTHE CHALLENGES
View the documentA. ERADICATION OF POVERTY: INCLUDING SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT AND DEBT CANCELLATION
View the documentB. PEACE, SECURITY, AND DISARMAMENT
View the documentC. FACING THE CHALLENGE OF GLOBALIZATION: EQUITY, JUSTICE AND DIVERSITY
View the documentD. HUMAN RIGHTS
View the documentE. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND THE ENVIRONMENT
View the documentF. STRENGTHENING AND DEMOCRATIZING THE UNITED NATIONS AND INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

F. STRENGTHENING AND DEMOCRATIZING THE UNITED NATIONS AND INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

A major task of the world community in the twenty-first century will be to strengthen and greatly enhance the role of the United Nations in the global context. Governments must recommit themselves to the realization of the goals and mandates of the United Nations Charter. A challenging task is to firmly protect the integrity of the United Nations, counter the erosion of its role and to further strengthen and augment international institutions capable of implementing and enforcing international standards, norms and law, leading toward the formation of a new political and economic order.

The world community must be particularly concerned over the ongoing trend toward diminishing the influence of developing countries in the governance of international institutions, which will only undermine their credibility and effectiveness.

Strengthening and democratizing the United Nations and other international institutions will require the broad support and involvement of member states, regional bodies, civil society, and citizens everywhere, including young and older people.

The Forum urges;

The United Nations

1. To strengthen the coordinating role of the UN General Assembly to ensure that it can fulfill the mandates it already has according to the UN Charter.

The Forum urges the United Nations: To consider the creation of a UN parliamentary body related to the UN Genera! Assembly, One proposal that should be considered is the creation of a consultative Parliamentary Assembly. Any parliamentary body established at the United Nations should have its membership selected through an election process, and should conduct its business in an open, democratic manner.

2. To make the Security Council more representative of the world. Permanent membership in the Security Council is problematic because it blocks change and fails to accommodate evolving realities. Thus, the UN should begin to phase out the existing permanent membership in favor of a more flexible and accountable system. The Council should be immediately enlarged with newly elected members drawn from the member states from different regions of the world on a rotational basis.

3. To limit and move toward eliminating the use of the veto. The UN must move towards veto restriction. First could be an enlargement of the area of “procedural votes” for which the Charter excludes the veto. The veto must be restricted to Chapter VII peace issues only. It is unacceptable that the veto would apply to matters such as election of the UN Secretary-General. Complete veto abolition should be sought as a step towards the elimination of permanency.

4. To develop more effective means not requiring the use of force to prevent the outbreak of war and other threats to the peace and security of people. This will require a far more institutionalized and analytical approach to the causes of war and the ways to prevent conflict. Among other things, the Security Council must take more action to prevent conflict over raw materials and other basic resources. A greatly expanded Secretariat office on prevention and resolution of conflict is required, as is a fund that can quickly be deployed to mitigate conflict-producing social and economic crises.

5. To make the International Court of Justice (ICJ) the locus of a more effective, integrated system of international justice. The compulsory jurisdiction of the World Court must be accepted by all states. In the absence of voluntary compliance, the Security Council should enforce ICJ decisions and other international legal obligations under Article 94 of the UN Charter.

6. To consider the creation of a UN parliamentary body related to the UN General Assembly. One proposal that should be considered is the creation of a consultative Parliamentary Assembly. Any parliamentary body established at the United Nations should have its membership selected through an election process, and should conduct its business in an open, democratic manner.

7. To act on the resolution of the Commission on Human Rights calling for the establishment of a permanent Forum for Indigenous Peoples.

8. To provide a key role in arbitrating between the interests of creditors and debtor nations and in monitoring how funds released by debt cancellation are spent.

9. To recognize and support young people and youth organizations as active participants and equal partners in all UN processes. The independence and integrity of their work must be protected. The UN and governments are urged to support the initiatives and efforts set up by youth organizations themselves.

10. To strengthen information exchange and coordination among international organizations and specialized agencies so that the work developed by bodies like the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights shall be taken into account by the other organizations and bodies within their own policies.

11. To guarantee that international meetings and information documents involving civil society representatives shall be translated into the main international languages: English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Russian and Chinese.

12. To take measures to guarantee and to facilitate the participation of NGO representatives based in developing countries, Eastern Europe and indigenous peoples.

13. To strengthen the United Nations’ contact with citizens by providing increased resources for NGO relations offices throughout the UN system and by enhancing the United Nations network of information centers, as an indispensable resource in mobilizing support for the United Nations among the world’s peoples.

The Forum urges Governments: To pay UN dues on time, in full and without conditions, UN discussion of global taxes and fees has been stifled by the threat of a funding cutoff by a single member state. This blackmail must be rejected, and the UN must vigorously explore the possibilities of alternate funding from such sources.

Governments

1. To increase substantially the regular and peacekeeping budgets of the United Nations. The UN cannot carry out its many urgent tasks without substantially more resources and more staff. This budget could be doubled immediately, to very good effect. The UN’s budget problems have had a serious negative effect on peacekeeping. Additionally, the budgets of UN agencies should be increased to better support their work.

2. To pay UN dues on time, in full and without conditions. UN discussion of global taxes and fees has been stifled by the threat of a funding cutoff by a single member state. This blackmail must be rejected, and the UN must vigorously explore the possibilities of alternate funding from such sources.

3. To move towards creation of alternative revenue sources for the United Nations. The UN should set up expert groups and begin the necessary inter-governmental negotiations towards establishing alternative revenue sources, which could include fees for the commercial use of the oceans, fees for air-plane use of the skies, fees for use of the electromagnetic spectrum, fees on foreign exchange transactions (i.e. the Tobin Tax), and a tax on the carbon content of fuels.

4. To ensure that a gender perspective is integrated at all remaining stages of the process to establish the International Criminal Court and at all stages of the proceedings of the functioning Court and that the particular needs of children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities are considered.

5. To extend consultative rights of access and participation to NGOs. Governments should complete the process of extending to NGOs rights of access and participation in the General Assembly and its Main Committees and subsidiary bodies.

Civil Society

1. To support the creation and funding of a Global Civil Society Forum to meet at least every two to three years in the period leading up to the annual session of the General Assembly, provided that such a forum is conducted democratically and transparently and is truly representative of all sectors of civil society and all parts of the world.