Never Again Genocide – World Parliament Now!

The author is coordinator of the Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly in Rwanda and Legal Representative of CDN

The second Global Week of Action for a World Parliament is scheduled to take place from 17-26 October 2014. During these ten days, civil society and grassroots movements around the world are called upon to organize activities and events to support the establishment of a democratically elected global parliament.

The first Global Week of Action for a World Parliament was held in October 2013, with the slogan: “Let the People Decide – World Parliament Now!” It was promoted by the international Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly, whose Secretary-General is Andreas Bummel. He stated that “the week of action is an excellent way to instigate public discussion on the proposal of a world parliament and to make it clear that there is popular support for this. This will help to create the necessary political will to actually democratize global governance through a citizen-elected assembly. It’s only beginning but there is no doubt it will gain more and more momentum.”

We, the Citizens for Development Network (CDN), share this same vision and we want to help build popular support for a world parliament. CDN is a National NGO of Rwanda, and our specific objectives are:

  1. Supporting a World Parliamentary AssemblyCDN

  2. Transforming the UN policy towards minorities and indigenous peoples

  3. Supporting perspectives on federalism

  4. Pan African and East African integration

  5. Human rights and the Responsibility to Protect

  6. Monitoring and evaluation of the evolution of MDGs.

  7. Promoting the capacity of the population to participate in their development, and in research oriented towards the generation of revenue.

  8. Promoting the voices of citizens and their right to self-satisfaction vis-à-vis the services rendered to them.

As a way to promote these values and to achieve some of these objectives we join the Global Week of Action for a World Parliament.

Rwanda has been experiencing rapid economic growth and development for the last twenty years. But, it is still disheartening to remember the blatant indifference and inability of the international community to ensure the safety of those in Rwanda during the terrible genocide that took place in the 1990s. A decisive way to ensure that the United Nations will keep its promise of “Never Again” in the future, would be to let the voices of the world’s people be heard through the creation of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA). A UNPA could work both as a powerful global whistleblower and as a tool for effective global decision making on issues related to global security and our global responsibility to protect the people of the world, wherever they live.

In a blog post from January 2014, written for the UNPA Campaign’s website, I similarly argued that a UNPA could help to galvanize world public opinion and help to pressure the international community to honor its Responsibility to Protect. Had a World Parliament existed in 1994 it could very well have been the driving force to mobilize support for intervention in Rwanda.

As we are preparing the event to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide we are discussing how a UNPA could help to prevent Genocide in the future. Hence, we will participate in the Global Week of Action for a World Parliament alongside promoting our event of Never Again campaign to use a UNPA as a means to prevent genocide.

The time is now for the Rwandan people to emphasize that a World Parliament is crucial to ensure that the hope of “Never Again!” comes closer to reality. The Global Week of Action for a World Parliament is a good opportunity to educate people around the world about our common responsibilities for each others’ well being.

Never again genocide. World Parliament Now!