How Democracy Survives:
Crises of the Nation State
We have just received notice of this online symposium, which I think should be of great interest to all of us world federalists. See the website at
The Frederick S. PardeeCenter for the Study of the Longer-Range Future at Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies will host an online symposium, “How Democracy Survives: The Crises of the Nation State.”
In this three-day online symposium, leading scholars and activists from around the world will explore how democratic values and institutions can evolve and adapt to the growing challenges that are now destabilizing democratic nation states, such as climate change, resurgent nationalism, ethnic and religious conflict, human rights abuses, and deepening levels of economic inequality.
The symposium will take place from October 28th-30th, 2020, and is free and open to the public. The full agenda is at http://www.bu.edu/pardee/
Tiziana Stella, Executive Director of the Streit Council for a Union of Democracies, will be speaking at 10:30 am – 12:00 pm EST Thursday 29th in a session on“The Evolution of Democratic Federalism”. A session of particular interest to us will be on the final day, with the morning session under the title "Cosmopolitan Democracy and the Nation State", which includes contributions from our friends:
Joseph Baratta, on the history of the world federalist movement;
Andreas Bummel, on the campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly;
Shahryar Sharei, on UN Charter Review; moderated by Augusto Lopez-Claros of the Global Governance Forum;
And an afternoon session entitled "The Future of Democratic Federalism" including:
Susanna Cafaro, on Europe as a Lab for supranational democracy; and John Davenport, a member of our own Coalition for a WSC , on Themes from a League of Democracies, Consolidation Arguments, and Global Public Goods!
This encompasses most of the current ideas for the next steps towards a world federation!
You can register at the website above.
New Executive Director for the WFM-IGP
An advertisement for the position of Executive Director of the WFM-IGP, the umbrella organization of the World Federalist Movement, has appeared recently.. This is a crucial leadership positionfor the whole movement, and was previously
occupied by Bill Pace (and, briefly, by TawandaHondora).
The Future We Want, The UN We Need
On September 16th and 17th (with community-driven sessions to follow on Sept. 18th), we will gather virtually to honor the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. A cornerstone of international order since 1945, the United Nations must continue to adapt and innovate to respond to new threats, challenges, and opportunities in our current age of complexity.
The UN75 Global Governance Forum seeks to promote a more inclusive and effective United Nations through dialogue and recommendations that better harness the ideas, capabilities, and networks of both state and
non-state actors for achieving the UN?s commitment to peace, sustainable development, human rights, and
a stable climate
In this spirit, participants will seek collectively to raise the ambition of the UN75 Declaration - to be adopted on September 21st by world leaders - by initiating new multistakeholder pilot projects and presenting global governance innovations toward the realization of ‘The future we want, the UN we need.’ Information regarding the forum, including the agenda, honorary co-chairs, partnership and innovation tracks, and speakers can be found on the forum website.
[from the UN2020 website]
Meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Chairman of the Alliance of Democracies Foundation met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last July in Denmark to discuss how to strengthen the spine of democracies against the forces of autocracy. Since then, US Secretary of State Pompeo has called for "a new grouping of like-minded nations, a new alliance of democracies."
Alliance of Democracies also hosted the Secretary of State at the recent Copenhagen Democracy Summit where he spoke more in depth about the role the United States needs to take when dealing with challenges to our democracies.
Watch the full session here
[from The Democracy Defender, newsletter of the Alliance of Democracies Foundation]
Young World Federalist
An introduction to the world federalism movement - video below:
Global Citizens concert
April 2020. A major online concert,‘One World: Together at Home’, was organized by Global Citizen, which is a largely online community education group led by activist Hugh Evans, originally from Melbourne.The concert apparently raised $79 million for the WHO! We can only dream of such a global reach.
Commission for the Human Future report
March 2020. The new Commission for the Human Future has issued a report entitled ‘Surviving andThriving in the 21st Century’. It is a report from an expert round table convened by the Commission on March 28th this year. The members of the round table are a very impressive group, including some linked to us, such as scientists (Will Steffen and Geoff Davies), and some leaders of kindred organizations such as ICAN and MAPW (Tilman Ruff and Sue Wareham). The Commission has very similar objectives to ours – see further comments below. The report begins with a “Call to All Nations People” from John Hewson, the Chairman of the Commission.
(Crawford School of Public Policy – ANU)
Looking at thereport in a little more detail, from our own perspective as world federalists, it begins with a detailed discussion of ten global catastrophic risks, including overpopulation, climate change, nuclear weapons, and pandemics, which largely overlap with our own motivations. After considerable discussion, their conclusions include “a need for sweeping political reform”, and “the world needs more effective democracy, not less.” They conclude with a Recommendation
“The Commission for the Human Future calls on the nations and peoples of the Earth to come together, as a matter of urgency, to prepare a plan for humanity to survive and thrive, far into the future.”
However, we would say that they have not pushed their argument to its logical and inescapable conclusion, as follows:
1. Global problems need global solutions; 2. Solving the common problems of a society is the function of government. Therefore, to deal effectively with these global catastrophic risks, we need a global government. To Western minds at least, this global government would have to take the form of a democratic world federationorglobal parliament.
But it is true that such a government can only be established with the consent of the governed, i.e. at the will of the ‘peoples of the Earth’, as pointed out by John Locke three centuries ago.
International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)
.March 2020. The ICAN campaign in support of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) is making excellent progress. Over two-thirds of the UN members support the Treaty in one way or another. Some 36 states have already ratified the Treaty, heading rapidly towards the target of 55 ratifications which would see the Treaty enter into force. This is forecast to occur sometime next year. Australia, as an ally of the United States, does not support the Treaty. For some further details, see Daryl’s report here.
Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly
Bob Brown, Andreas Bummel and Chris Hamer at Parliament House, Canberra
The World Citizens Association of Australia invited Andreas Bummel, the global coordinator of the Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, to visit Australia in the period 2-12 September 2019. Our aim is to raise public awareness of the Campaign, generate public support,
and ultimately to secure the Australian government’s agreement to become a supporter of the Campaign.
During his visit, we organized a Symposium at the Australian National University on the theme "Towards a More Democratic United Nations" and a Seminar at the University of Sydney on the broader theme “Strengthening Democratic Global Governance: Towards a World Parliament” Read more
Since then, we have made a submission to the Inquiry of the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs regarding
Nationhood, national identity and democracy, advocating Australian government support for the campaign. Read the submission here
What the critics say:
A great gift to humanity at a time of
global emergency —Richard Falk
The new standard work on the idea of a world parliament —Frank Biermann
An important and excellent book—Jean Ziegler
I encourage you to read this fascinating book —Kumi Naidoo
Paris Peace Forum, November 2018
Chris Hamer's presentation at the Forum
Chris Hamer, President of the Coalition for a World Security Community, gave the first public presentation of the idea at the Paris Peace Forum. Thanks to the support of the Global Challenges Foundation, five members of our Coalition were manning a booth at the Forum and interacted with hundreds of local and national government officials, international organizations, NGOs, foundations, companies, experts, journalists, trade unions, religious groups and citizens. Marking the 100th anniversary of the armistice of World War I, the Forum started with a gathering of heads of state hosted by President Macron. The next couple of days were a grand fest for NGOs to present innovative ideas in the areas of peace and security, new technologies, inclusive economy, development, and environment. Ostensibly dedicated to peace, we were actually one of the very few voices articulating an actual vision for world peace.
New Shape Forum, Stockholm June 2018
The Global Challenges Foundation, set up by Swedish billionaire Laszlo Szombatfalvy, has announced a $5 million prize competition, ‘A New Shape’, for the best new ideas on global governance to deal with the enormous global challenges and risks facing our global community. This should be a great shot in the arm for the world federalist movement generally. Apparently some 2700 entries were submitted by the time the competition closed on September 30, 2017, and the prizewinners were announced in May 2018.
We submitted two entries. One was entitled ‘Towards a Global Parliament: Principles and Pathways’, and gives a general discussion on the idea of a World Community of Democratic Nations, as a first step on the way towards an eventual global parliament capable of dealing with these daunting global challenges, such as nuclear weapons, and climate change. The other was entitled ‘A World Security Community of Democratic Nations’, and gives a more detailed discussion of a specific starting point. It is proposed that NATO and the OECD should be reconstituted as two arms of the new community.
Our entries were knocked out in the first round. But afterwards, the Foundation offered to support five working groups, including ours, to prepare submissions for the Paris Peace Forum in November 2018. Hence was born the Coalition for a World Security Community.
Nobel Peace Prize for ICAN
The Prize was awarded in recognition of the leading role of ICAN in championing the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the first major nuclear disarmament Treaty in twenty years. This is a statement from the non-nuclear-weapon states reinforcing their commitment to the abolition of nuclear weapons. Now we need to challenge the Nuclear-weapon-states to respond, and fulfill their promise under Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, namely to “negotiate in good faith” on nuclear disarmament. They should set up a Commission to lay out a credible path to getting rid of their nuclear arsenals and then to implement it, even if it may take a long time. The Nobel Prize Committee refers to this challenge in their announcement.
As part of this project for a World Security Community of democratic nations which was mentioned above, we are in the process of setting up aCoalition for a World Security Community, to try and generate civil support for the project. Branches have been established in NSW and New York, with officers myself as President, Didier Jacobs as Vice-President, Rada as Treasurer and Brian Hyouk Son as Secretary. Our working group in support of the Coalition includes Australian members myself, Rada, Pera, Michelle, John, Austin, Brett and Brian. Daryl, Wali, Zeny Edwards and Camilla Schippa have been enlisted later. Many thanks to Austin and Brett for helping to set up a website for this group.What is the actual project? See a summary at the end of this Bulletin, and a full description here.
The ICAN team