The first conference of the World Movement for World Federal Government (now known as the World Federalist Movement – Institute for Global Policy) was held in Montreux, Switzerland on 23rd August 1947 . An outcome of this conference was the Montreux Declaration, which has aged remarkably well and continues to guide our work to this day. The text of the declaration is as follows:
We world federalists meeting in Montreux at the first international congress of the “World Movement for World Federal Government”, call upon the peoples of the world to join us in our work. We are convinced that mankind cannot survive another world conflict. Two years have passed since the fighting ended, but Europe and Asia are still strewn with the wreckage of war. The work of rehabilitation is paralysed; the peoples suffer from lack of shelter, food and clothing, while the nations waste their substance in preparing to destroy each other.
The second attempt to preserve peace by means of a world organisation, the United Nations, is powerless, as at present constituted, to stop the drift of war. We world federalists are convinced that the establishment of a world federal government is the crucial problem of our time. Until it is solved, all other issues, whether national or international, will remain unsettled. It is not between free enterprise and planned economy, nor between capitalism and communism that the choice lies, but between federalism and power politics. Federalism alone can assure the survival of man. We world federalists affirm that mankind can free itself forever from war only through the establishment of a world federal government.
Such a federation must be based on the following principles:
- Universal membership: The world federal government must be open to all peoples and nations.
- Limitation of national sovereignty, and the transfer to the world federal government of such legislative, executive and judicial powers as relate to the world affairs.
- Enforcement of world law directly on the individual whoever or wherever he may be, within the jurisdiction of the world federal government: guarantee of the rights of man and suppression of all attempts against the security of the federation.
- Creation of supranational armed forces capable of guaranteeing the security of the world federal government and of its member states. Disarmament of member nations to the level of their internal policing requirements.
- Ownership and control by the world federal government of atomic development and of other scientific discoveries capable of mass destruction.
- Power to raise adequate revenues directly and independently of state taxes. We propose to make use of any reasonable methods which can contribute to the early achievement of world federal government to prevent another world war. We consider that integration of activities at regional and functional levels is consistent with the true federal approach. The formation of regional federations – insofar as they do not become an end in themselves or run the risk of crystallising into blocs – can and should contribute to the effective functioning of federal government. In the same way, the solution of technical, scientific and cultural problems which concern all the peoples of the world, will be made easier by the establishment of specialist functional bodies.
Taking into account these principles, we recommend the following lines of action:
- The mobilisation of the peoples of the world to bring pressure on their governments and legislative 2 / 3 23/10/2012 assemblies to transform the United Nations Organization into world federal government by increasing its authority and resources, and by amending its Charter.
- Unofficial and concerted action: in particular the preparation of a world constituent assembly, the plan of campaign for which shall be laid down by the Council of the Movement in close cooperation with the parliamentary groups and federalist movements in the different countries. This assembly, set up in collaboration with organized international groups, shall meet not later than 1950 for the purpose of drawing up a constitution for the world federal government. This plan shall be submitted for ratification, not only by the governments and parliaments, but also to the peoples themselves, and every possible effort shall be made to get the world federal government finally established in the shortest possible time. Without prejudging the results of these two methods of approach, we must expand our action as quickly as possible, so that we may take advantage of any new opportunities which present themselves to the federalist cause. One thing is certain we shall never realise world federal government unless all the peoples of the world join in the crusade. More than ever time presses. And this time we must not fail.