Last August 23 (2019), the Argentine Congress hosted a simulated session of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, in which around 60 students from the departments of Political Science and International Relations from the University of Belgrano took part.
The event was held in the plenary chamber of the Senate of Argentina in Buenos Aires and was organized by the civil society organization Democracia Global: Movimiento por la Unión Sudamericana y el Parlamento Mundial in collaboration with the University of Belgrano. It was part of the International Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, which is endorsed by over 1,600 current and former members of parliament from more than 130 countries.
Students discussed the preservation and conservation of the environment as a global theme, from the perspective of global representatives who are called on to represent global citizenship and the planetary interest.
The session was chaired by the provisional president of the Argentine Senate, Federico Pinedo as well as senator Esteban Bullrich, national deputy Fernando Iglesias and Cristian Gimenez Corte, an official representative of the United Nations. Senator Pinedo stated that “We need to establish norms and agreements in order to solve global issues.” Senator Bullrich said that “it is very important that we not only discuss these issues but we act to change the situation and find common solutions.”
During the opening of the event, Democracia Global’s Executive Director Camila Lopez Badra stated that “the younger generations are the future”, adding that “citizens need a supranational body in which they are represented.” Furthermore, she referred to the main topic of the model's debate: “Global citizens live in a shared planet and we must preserve and care for the environment”. Lopez Badra asserted that “climate change affects all of us” and highlighted that “one in every four species in the world is at risk of extinction; the oceans are heating up, there is an increase in pollution of the air and water, and there is an increasing lack of care for the environment.” With reference to the forest fires in the Amazon she stated: “Today, the planet’s lungs are on fire.”
Throughout the discussion, the university's students agreed on the necessity of “taking immediate action in order to have a tomorrow and preserve our shared future.” In his closing statement the UN official Cristian Gimenez Corte emphasized the importance of “increasing awareness of the necessity of creating international institutions that hold legitimacy.”
In his role as President of the World Federalist Movement, deputy Fernando Iglesias welcomed this “academic experience” and affirmed that the event is “a valuable precedent.” Fernando Iglesias is a founding member of Democracia Global, whose objective is to develop global democracy through the creation of democratic institutions at the continental, international and global levels. “Hopefully, this experience will help global citizens – especially young people – link the key challenges underlying our survival as humankind with the political sphere”, Iglesias concluded.
A model resolution on “the preservation of native forests” was the initiative that got the most support among the simulation's participants. The UN Parliamentary Assembly model was tested to raise awareness for the “construction of a parliament that would deal with global issues from a diverse array of perspectives and provide a voice to world citizens.”