In an era in which democracy faces an increasing array of challenges, parliamentarians play a critical role in upholding democratic norms and ensuring basic human rights for all. In May 2018, a working group of global parliamentarians and parliamentary networks convened at the Ninth Global Assembly of the World Movement for Democracy in Dakar, Senegal, to discuss parliamentary efforts to promote democracy and uphold human rights around the world. With contributions from the African Liberal Network (ALN); ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR); Council of Asian Liberal Democrats (CALD); Former MEPs Association; International Republican Institute (IRI); National Democratic Institute (NDI); National Endowment for Democracy (NED); Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA); U.S. Former Members of Congress Association; and Women Political Leaders (WPL), several recommendations were produced, including the development of a Parliamentary Call for Global Democratic Renewal.
This global call outlines actions parliamentarians can take to support the protection of democratic norms and human rights in their own legislatures and globally. These actions include addressing disinformation campaigns and the weaponization of social media, advancing the political inclusion of minorities and marginalized groups, encouraging accountable governance of the people through fair elections, and insisting on the safety of parliamentarians and civic activists who may be targeted for their efforts to uphold human rights.
In honor of International Human Rights Day, which marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, members of parliament are joining together to reaffirm that democratic rights are human rights and to call upon their peers to do the same. This launch represents a call for names for global parliamentarians to mark their commitment not only to protecting democratic values and upholding human rights in their own governments, but also to encouraging the same of their peers across the world. Global parliamentarians have begun to mark their commitment to the Parliamentary Call for Global Democratic Renewal by signing their name in support. They now call upon their peers to share in this commitment by signing on.
In the spirit of the International Coalition for Democratic Renewal, whose founding document, The Prague Appeal for Democratic Renewal encourages democratic actors to uphold practices that contribute to liberal democracy globally, the Parliamentary Call for Global Democratic Renewal offers a similar platform uniquely for parliamentarians to take critical steps in their capacity as political leaders.
Interested signatories may view and sign the letter by clicking here.