Democracy Without Borders

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Global protest movements should push for global democracy

Youth celebrating the Lebanese revolution in 2019. Photo by Vicken Vincent Avakian with kind permission (source)

The global protest and the Covid-19 pandemic make it obvious that it is more than ever necessary to give everyone on the planet an equal representation on the biggest problems facing humankind. The virus could not be stopped at any border. This applies to an increasing number of critical global problems. Today, global issues obviously require an international response.

Through ten episodes, beginning with this first video, Joel Marsden will take you on a journey, visiting different parts of the world, exploring democracy and the possibility of global democracy. He uses material from his “World Vote Now” documentary published in 2009, which he shot over eight years and which brought him to more than two dozen countries in all world regions.

Why has this global protest begun?

People and groups all over the world are protesting against authoritarianism, state violence, oppression and corruption. In more than twenty countries, notable movements and mass protests have been going on over the past 18 months, even before the pandemic. Think of Ethiopia, Hong Kong, Lebanon, Sudan, Russia’s Far East or the United States. They all believe in democratic principles, equality, and justice. They protest an outdated order that does not accept these values.

Watch episode 1 here:

A reform of the United Nations and the global protest

As they are struggling for democratic governance at home, the people of the world don’t have a say in how the world as a whole operates. This is even the case if they live in fully developed democracies. This video explains that there is an enormous deficit of democracy at the global scale and many think that a global democratic revolution is required. This is the case for the UN, the world’s most important international organization.

The interview subjects indicate that every country at the United Nations has only one vote regardless of how large their population is. The population of San Marino is only at about 30,000 and China counts over one billion. The UN is simply a community of states and those are responsible for its actions or inactions. The world organization represents neither the people nor humankind.

Watch the campaign video here:

Moreover, at the global stage there is a sort of anarchy. The UN General Assembly’s decisions are not binding. The United Nations Security Council is the only organ capable to take binding decisions on issues of peace and security. But here, five nations hold the veto: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the USA who are also the official five nuclear states. The Charter reflects the power balance at the end of the Second World War. The Council is no longer in line with the contemporary world.

As the United Nations is inadequate and has no clear democratic mandate, citizens want a global parliament that democratically represents them and can tackle global issues. The objective of a world parliament should be taken up by global protest across the world, uniting movements behind the vision of a democratic global revolution.

Learn more in this article: “It’s time for a democratic global revolution”

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