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Maori Party attends international forum

‘Maori Party attends international forum working for global good’

Dr Pita Sharples, Co-leader of the Maori Party

Friday 23 November 2007

Dr Pita Sharples has today reflected on the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly campaign meeting he attended this week in Geneva (‘Palais des Nations’).

“In light of the flawed processes surrounding the Electoral Finance Bill currently being debated in Parliament, it was fascinating to be part of a conference which actively promoted democratic participation and representation at the global level” said Dr Pita Sharples.

“The theme of the conference was ‘Advancing Good Governance and Democracy’” said Dr Sharples. “The forum agreed to appeal to the United Nations and member state governments, to establish a Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations.”

“The priority is on encouraging international co-operation in order to positively shape global collaborative efforts” said Dr Sharples.

“As yet, no Parliamentary Assembly exists at the global level, so it is envisaged that the voice of the citizens would be gradually introduced into the United Nations and international politics”.

“Membership of the Assembly would include both parliamentarians participating in government and in opposition” said Dr Sharples, “or those parties which – like the Maori Party – present a strong and independent voice in Parliament but are neither Government nor opposition’.

“The United Nations Parliamentary Assembly is a first step towards the creation of a world parliament to support a sense of the global common good”.

“It was an honour and a privilege to be a representative from Aotearoa at such an important symposium – and indeed the only representative from Oceania”.

“I was proud to be invited to participate in such a key forum to enhance the very quality of democratic participation” said Dr Sharples. “The forum was also very enthusiastic about my suggestion that the next event could be held in Aotearoa”.

“It was awesome to attend a forum in which although the means of communication was English, the great majority of the participants were fluent in their own mother tongue; English being very much their second or third language” ended Dr Sharples.

Participants attended from USA, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Spain, Mexico, Sweden, Canada, Israel, Germany, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Mauritius, Azerbaijan, Italy and Haiti.

ends

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