27 october 2020

— Parliamentarians for Peace, launched earlier this month by Open Diplomacy and the Normandy World Peace Forum, has released a Peace Policy Platform. Democracy Without Borders says on its website, “The group’s intention is to identify and promote ‘key policy solutions which work towards peace’ across borders and political boundaries. As the document’s five principles testify, securing peace in their understanding is a broad concept that touches on issues not only of security but also of freedom, democracy, rule of law, the environment, sustainability, healthcare, education, social justice or the digital world, among others.”

— Varun Suthra of the India chapter of Democracy Without Borders writes in the Daily Excelsior, “The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the world has been devastating but as the saying goes, there’s always a lesson to be learnt from every catastrophe. Now is the moment to promote the notion of global citizenship.” There are “two important proposals that the [United Nations] General Assembly could implement on its own without Charter amendment: the creation of a UN Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA) and of the instrument of a UN World Citizens’ Initiative (UNWC). Both would help overcome the logic of national competition and help strengthen global citizenship. … As the world’s largest democracy and one of the most diverse nations, India should endorse these efforts towards making the UN more open and inclusive.”

— In a 4,000-word essay at The Transnational, Jan Oberg lays out a 23-point plan “for global democracy and a strong UN” including the restriction of Security Council veto power, a greater role for the General Assembly, a more powerful Secretary-General, the direct election of UN representatives, and the creation of “a Citizens Chamber or Second Assembly.”

— United Nations Secretary‑General António Guterres said Monday, “Today, the conditions for the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons were met further to the deposit with the Secretary‑General of the fiftieth instrument of ratification or accession of the Treaty. … The entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is the culmination of a worldwide movement to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons. It represents a meaningful commitment towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons, which remains the highest disarmament priority of the United Nations.”

— Rachel Bridges writes at the United Nations Foundation website that in September, the UN Foundation “joined forces with the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation and the World Health Organization (WHO) to urgently fill funding gaps in the COVID-19 response with the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. Since March, over 633,000 individuals, philanthropies, and corporations from 190 countries have generously given more than US$236 million to the Fund.” The fund “has helped global partners prevent, detect, and address the COVID-19 pandemic, but there continue to be urgent needs in the global response. Every donation makes a difference.”

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