It is Time for a Democratic Global Revolution

The UN’s Security Council, in particular, is suffering from a
dysfunctional decision-making method that grants the five victors
of the Second World War and official nuclear powers not only a
permanent seat but also a veto right. Credit: United Nations

By Daniel Jositch and Andreas Bummel
BERLIN / BERNE, Aug 28 2020 (IPS)

The people of the world need to seize the moment and bring about
a democratic global revolution. It is time for a global parliament
and real representation.

More than 21 million people got infected with the novel
coronavirus and over 770,000 have died. Never before did the world
witness similar collective lockdowns of social and economic
activity that had to be enforced to contain the pandemic.

For many, the corona-related global crisis exacerbates a
situation that was already critical before the outbreak of the
virus.

The climate crisis is unfolding with record temperatures in
Siberia, Greenland, the Antarctic and other places like the Middle
East. The new climate apartheid is characterized by whether you can
afford to shield yourself from such heat or not. Most cannot.

135 million people are facing crisis levels of hunger. There are
currently more than 70 million displaced people who have fled war,
persecution and conflict. It’s the worst humanitarian and refugee
crisis in seventy years.

There is a global inequality crisis. Productivity gains and
globalization disproportionately benefit the affluent. Financial
assets in the trillions are hidden in offshore accounts from tax
authorities. The world’s 26 richest billionaires own as much as
the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet.

While global surveys confirm that people across all world
regions strongly believe in democracy, there is in fact a
democratic retreat. Confidence in the actual performance of
democratic governments is waning. Populist nationalism and
authoritarianism has been advancing, aided and abetted by social
media platforms and the internet. Major arms control treaties are
crumbling, geopolitical tensions are rising and multilateralism is
under attack.

Civil society and citizens across the world are fighting back,
though. Pro-democracy movements are at an all-time high as
widespread protests in dozens of countries now and in recent times
demonstrate. Freedom and justice have lost no appeal. At the same
time, millions of citizens joined climate protests around the world
and called for quick and effective action in this critical
field.

The present issues are symptoms of a crisis of global
governance. There is a scale mismatch between a political world
order that is based on 200 states and territories and issues that
demand decisive global action.

As the UN celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, the
organization continues to lose significance and impact. The UN is
only as strong and effective as its member states allow it to be.
The same applies to all intergovernmental organizations and forums,
including the World Health Organization that had to launch an
investigation into its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The UN’s Security Council, in particular, is suffering from a
dysfunctional decision-making method that grants the five victors
of the Second World War and official nuclear powers not only a
permanent seat but also a veto right.

If long-lasting solutions are to be achieved, this scale
mismatch must be tackled. It is not enough to call on individual
governments to change their policies. The way how the world is
governed must be changed. What is needed is a new vision of a
democratic world order that is based on shared sovereignty on
global issues, a clear commitment to human rights, the principle of
subsidiarity and complete disarmament.

When the UN was founded it was recognized that this should only
be a beginning and that changes would be required. Article 109 of
the Charter provides that a conference to review the Charter should
be held by 1955. The UN’s member states did not deliver on that
promise. Now is the time to hold them to account.

The world’s people need an actual say in global affairs that
is not intermediated by national governments and their diplomats.
The key ingredient of a new UN should be a democratically elected
world parliament that complements intergovernmental bodies such as
the UN General Assembly.

The creation of a new democratic world organization that has
actual powers seems to be a gigantic project that raises numerous
questions. How is a global democracy to be created while major
states themselves are not democratically organised? Can decisions
of a world parliament be enforced against the will of individual
states? How is it possible that states will agree to the creation
of a superior political unit?

These questions show the way forward: The people of the world
themselves need to embrace and call for global democracy.
Eventually, they are the sovereigns not only in their individual
states but on the planet as a whole, too.

A global democratic revolution needs to push for a legitimate,
inclusive and representative global body that will deal with these
questions in a serious way. The creation of a UN Parliamentary
Assembly could be an important stepping stone to launch a global
constitutional process and a transformation of global
governance.

This global democratic revolution will be peaceful because it is
not about destroying structures or conquering territories, but
about opening up a political level that is lying idle.
Supranational integration cannot be imposed by force. It will
happen because the people want it.

If existing movements in the fields of climate, environment,
peace, disarmament, democracy, social justice and others join
forces, the global democratic revolution will become very real.

This may sound visionary. But the big issues troubling this
planet and its people will remain, and worsen, unless the root
cause is addressed. A democratic global government is not a mind
game in some ivory tower. It is the most important question on the
agenda of humanity today.

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The post
It is Time for a Democratic Global Revolution
appeared first on
Inter Press Service.

Excerpt:

Daniel Jositsch is a Member of the Swiss Senate
and President, Democracy Without Borders-Switzerland, and
Andreas Bummel is Executive Director, Democracy
Without Borders. Twitter: @democracywb

The post
It is Time for a Democratic Global Revolution
appeared first on
Inter Press Service.

Source: FS – All – Ecology – News
It is Time for a Democratic Global Revolution