Parliamentarians for Global Action
Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) is a non-profit and non-partisan international organization of more than 1,300 free elected legislators from 120 democratic countries. It was established circa 1978 as Parliamentarians for World Order engaged in a range of action-oriented initiatives that promote democracy, peace, justice and development throughout the world. The vision of PGA is "to contribute to the creation of a Rules-Based International Order for a more equitable, safe and democratic world".
The main office of PGA is located in New York City, close to the United Nations, while the seat of the PGA Foundation is in The Hague (The Netherlands), in proximity to the International Court of Justice, the Hague Academy of International Law and the International Criminal Court.
It promoted the establishment of a permanent International Criminal Court (ICC) since 1989 and the ratification of the International Criminal Court treaty , the Rome Statute, since 1998. PGA has been working on expanding membership of the ICC in more than 65 countries in all regions of the world. PGA members, for example, have been instrumental to the recent accessions to the Rome Statute of the ICC by Japan (2007), Suriname and the Cook Islands (2008), as well as to the ratifications of Chile (2009), Bangladesh, the Seychelles and St. Lucia (2010).
The most important event of the PGA International Law and Human Rights Programme is the Consultative Assembly of Parliamentarians for the ICC and Rule of Law, which met in Ottawa, Canada (2002); New York-UN Headquarters (2003); Wellington, New Zealand (2004); Tokyo, Japan (2006) and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (2008). The 6th session of the Consultative Assembly - the largest global parliamentary gathering entirely devoted to international criminal justice and the fight against impunity - was held in the Parliament of Uganda, on 27–28 May 2010, a few days ahead of the Review Conference of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
In the United States, Sen. Tom Harkin is the most prominent member. In the European Union, European Parliament (EP), following the path of Ms. Maj-Britt Theorin (former MEP, Sweden), Mr. Harlem Desir (MEP, France), Ms. Glennys Kinnock (former MEP, UK), prof. Vittorio Prodi (MEP, Italy) and Ms. Lena Ek (MEP, Sweden), the current chairperson of the PGA EP group is Ms. Marietjie Schaake (MEP, The Netherlands).
Membership criteria based on democracy
In order to qualify for full membership the Parliament must adhere to all of the following criteria:
- the members must be freely elected by the general population or a reasonable segment of it,
- the election should be open to more than one party, or to those who have no party,
- the Parliament must evince an actual ability to engage in free debate,
- the Parliament must have the right to turn back legislation proposed by the government.
- Annual Parliamentary Forum, which is open to all the membership
- International Council, which represents all the regions of the world, including all PGA National Groups
- 15-member Executive Committee, which is elected by the International Council
PGA and UN
PGA also works closely with the UN system through the advisory body of the United Nations Committee for PGA. The organisation is an NGO in general consultative status with the UN/ECOSOC and regularly submits quadriennial reports to the NGO Committee of the ECOSOC.
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- “PGA Regional Seminars on Strengthening United Nations Peace Keeping Operations – International Parliamentary Input. Informal Briefing with the Security Council, G-77, United Nations Committee for PGA and UN Officials”. May, 2002. Final Report.