the global coalition for democracy

Registration Webinar series: Now we will be heard!


Now we will be heard! - Citizens’ Participation in the United Nations

Dates: 17h00-18h00, Wednesdays on 28 July, 11 August, 25 August, 8 September

Why are we not heard? On the local level in many parts of the world, petitions, referendums, and citizens assemblies can influence whether a street is renamed, a factory is built, or what should be done with public spaces. In Switzerland, citizens vote four times a year on national issues. Since 2011 European citizens can place issues on the agenda of the EU by collecting one million signatures in one year. This is called the “European Citizens’ Initiative”. 

Bit by bit normal citizens everywhere have claimed their right to participate directly in politics, but so far there is no way for citizens and civil society organisations to influence politics on a global level. It has been known for years that the United Nations, the organization central to global governance, needs to become more inclusive of global citizens by democratising its structures. Last year, at the 75th anniversary of the UN, a window of opportunity opened to reform the UN and to make their decisions more democratically legitimate. 

Join us to learn about:

  • A UN World Citizens’ Initiative (UNWCI) (28 July, 17h00-18h00 CEST)
  • A UN Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA) (11 August, 17h00-18h00 CEST)
  • A UN Civil Society Envoy (UNCSE) (25 August, 17h00-18h00 CEST)
  • Global Citizens’ Assemblies (8 September, 17h00-18h00 CEST)

By taking you on a treasure hunt through the internet, we will introduce these ideas of democratic global governance in more detail. Through challenges you can easily do on your sofa and discussions with experts, we offer you a chance to imagine what is possible and how we, ordinary citizens of all ages, can influence global politics. The idea is simple: instead of talking to you for 90 minutes on Zoom, we will set challenges for you to find out more about these ideas in preparation for a joint discussion with you and the experts on these topics. 

Join us on Wednesday 8 September 2021 at 17:00 CEST for the first fierce pro / contra debate on the actual feasibility of a Global Citizens' Assembly. In the days before the discussion we will send you little challenges to help you gain perspectives on the topics at hand.

In this way we will explore all aspects of the UNWCI, the UNPA, the UNCSE, and the Global Assemblies. The main debates wiĺl always happen on Wednesdays and the first challenges will be sent to you on the Friday before. Altogether you will never have to invest more than 90 minutes in total for one event, we promise. 

The events are open to everyone, whether or not you have experience with direct democratic issues! You can join all of the events or just the ones you are interested in. No prior knowledge is needed.

Join us in a summer of challenges, discussions and global participation!

Register now to receive the Zoom link:

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This project is made possible by the financial support of the GLS Treuhand Stiftung.

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