6 november 2020

— Writing at the Inter-Press Service, Mark Malloch-Brown of the UN Foundation and the International Crisis Group offers “a manifesto for a re-purposed UN that is both true to its Charter; but recognises the direction the winds are blowing; does not cling to the mast of a failing western liberalism alone; but understands and responds to the dynamics that have left that liberalism, and it seems multilateralism, on the rocks.” Malloch-Brown says the world “needs to believe the UN matters. … There is a majority out there for a better governed and prepared, more caring and inclusive world but that same majority has grown terminally impatient with existing institutions. The UN can be part of that failed past or attach itself to an emerging future.”

— The Universal Rights Group website examines the results of the United Nations UN75 survey, writing that both the UN75 high-level meeting and the global survey “show that while human rights remain a core part of the UN and its long-term vision, they are rarely considered an urgent priority. … Just as the pandemic has shown us that international cooperation must not just be a principled stance but a real commitment, human rights should be presented and understood as concrete demands rather than vague principles. To ensure the fruits of the revitalised multilateralism that so many called for at the 75th anniversary of the UN, there must be more work to also reinvigorate human rights.”

— Glen T. Martin of the World Constitution and Parliament Association, in a blog post, writes, “At this lethal turning point of history, when a pandemic is devastating our planet, when nuclear holocaust threatens our existence, when climate collapse is wreaking devastation across the planet, we have before us a choice: either the rational love of self-transcendence or perdition, business as usual, endless chaos, and decline into the likely extinction of our human project. Only through uniting in a global social contract as demanded by rational love can human beings end war, transcend international chaos, eliminate the corruptions of extreme wealth and systems of exploitation, and protect our planetary biosphere.”

— James O’Brien of the Future Europe Initiative at the Atlantic Council previews the upcoming meeting of the Western Balkans Six partnership, writing that on November 10, “the Western Balkans Six — Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia — the European Union, and ten European countries belonging to the Berlin Process will set an agenda for the next four years.” O’Brien says the summit “is likely to make regional economic integration the organizing principle for international engagement in the region.”

— South African National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise congratulated Duarte Pacheco of Portugal on his election as president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. The South African Parliament “has been a member of the IPU since our democracy and hosted the 118th IPU Assembly and Related Meetings in Cape Town in April 2008. These biannual meetings currently bring together about 1 500 parliamentary delegates from 179 national Member Parliaments and 13 regional parliamentary bodies in a world assembly.”

Quote of the Week:

“Faced with the globalization of economy and finance, the mounting imbalance in the distribution of wealth, and asymmetric threats to international security, the answer that is provided by the cooperation of nation-states is often no longer enough. There’s an increased urgency that political institutions and instruments of participation and democracy also go through a process of globalization.  That’s why I support the establishment of a UN Parliamentary Assembly.” — Federica Mogherini, former Vice President of the European Commission

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