///Helsinki Process on Globalisation and Democracy
The Helsinki Process, its Track on global governance, launched a dialogue on new approaches to involve parliaments into global problem-solving. The need for a parliamentary dimension of global governance was stressed by the Helsinki Process spokespersons in the press conference of Forum Barcelona 2004 (Barcelona, 24 September 2004).
“Within the Helsinki Process, we have identified one resource of global change which must be untapped, namely the elected representatives of people worldwide. Several high level commissions have identified this democratic deficit of world governance. We want to facilitate the process to make this parliamentary dimension of global governance into a reality”, said the convenor of the global governance track of the Helsinki Process Mr. Nitin Desai (India), former Under Secretary General of the United Nations.
In Forum Barcelona 2004, the Helsinki Process on Globalisation and Democracy launched a dialogue on the role of parliaments in global governance in the workshop, chaired by Helsinki Process Track Member Dr. Ngaire Woods (Oxford University, UK). The three speakers were Richard Falk (Princeton University, USA), Guido de Marco (former president of Malta) and Heidi Hautala (Parliament of Finland). This launching event, attended by Minister Asha-Rose Migiro of Tanzania, was co-convened together with the Spain-based organisation, UBUNTU, which acts as a world forum of civil society networks.
The next dialogue on the role of parliamentarians in global governance will take place on 13 October in Helsinki, organised by the Helsinki Process in cooperation with the Parliament of Finland. This series of dialogue events will culminate in the Helsinki Conference, September 2005.
“We want to facilitate the birth of a parliamentary dimension of global governance by creating global parliamentary committees to find solutions to particular global problems, and by making the international institutions – preferably jointly – accountable to groups of parliamentarians. This would increase the transparency of intergovernmental organizations such as the World Bank, IMF and WTO and invite them to better coordinate their responses
to global problems. No doubt, parliamentarians should work closely with the civil society. These two agents should see each other as allies and not as competitors on influence”, said a member of the global governance track of the Helsinki Process Ms. Heidi Hautala (Finland), a member of Finnish Parliament and the chairperson of KEPA (Finnish Service Organisation for Development Cooperation).
The Helsinki Process on Globalisation and Democracy, a joint initiative of Finnish and Tanzanian governments, aims for more democratic and more fair globalisation through partnerships between North and South as well as between civil society, business and governments. The Process is led by the high-level Helsinki Group, co-chaired by Foreign Ministers of Finland and Tanzania, which will publish its report in the summer of 2005 and convene the Helsinki Conference, 7-9 September 2005.
Helsinki Process secretariat, Juha Mustonen
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