Report from the 2023 Congress of the World Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy
(Note: A shorter version of this report is available as a Press Release)
Critical issues for humanity – such as the climate/environment crisis, a global erosion in human and civil rights, and lack of progress on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), along with the rise of armed conflicts and authoritarian regimes – require better global governance according to member organizations of the World Federalist Movement – Institute for Global Policy (WFM-IGP). The organizations reaffirmed their shared commitment to advancing effective global governance at the 29th WFM-IGP biennial Congress over the past weekend, held on November 11 and 12, 2023 on zoom attended by 70 delegates and observers from 29 countries.
“International law and global governance mechanisms must be strengthened in order to better manage the critical problems facing humanity” explained WFM-IGP Congress Chair Donna Park, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. She further observed, “World Federalism offers an effective model for a peaceful, secure, just, democratic, equitable and sustainable world. The policies, programs and campaigns advanced over the weekend would help humanity to build such a world.”
To advance international law, human rights and justice, the Congress resolved to support an international treaty on preventing Crimes Against Humanity and strengthen its recently launched Legal Alternatives to War (LAW not War) program to enhance the universality and effectiveness of the International Court of Justice. The Congress also resolved to continue its active support of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and promote the establishment of additional judicial institutions to meet global challenges not covered by the ICC, including crimes against the environment, corruption, organized crimeand persistent and unchecked violations of human rights, ensuring effective remedies for victims.
“The challenges we face today require global solutions, and world federalism provides the necessary framework for effective international cooperation,” says Rebecca Shoot, Co-Chair of the WFM-IGP Commission on International Justice, the Rule of Law and Human Rights, working out of Washington, DC, USA. “Respect for the rule of law, support for international judicial institutions, and protection of human rights must be the bedrock of this cooperation. By adopting concrete proposals to apply these principles in practice, WFM-IGP and its member and affiliated organizations take important steps to advance the vision and promise of the UN Charter for a world governed by law not war.”
To further advance peace, human security and international conflict resolution, the Congress discussed common security approaches to address and resolve armed conflicts. In addition, the Congress called on States to phase out policies of nuclear deterrence; affirm the norm and practice of non-use of nuclear weapons; adopt policies of no-first-use of nuclear weapons; slash nuclear weapons budgets and re-allocate these resources to peace, climate protection and the SDGs; and commit to achieve the global elimination of nuclear weapons no later than 2045, the 100th anniversary of the UN.
The Congress also advanced governance proposals to protect outer space for peaceful purposes and to ensure effective governance of Artificial Intelligence.
To advance environmental and economic governance, the Congress supported the work of the Climate Governance Commission (CGC) to identify and help establish effective environmental governance mechanisms; and affirmed the joint initiative of WFM, Citizens for Global Solutions and the Climate Governance Commission to launch Mobilizing an Earth Governance Alliance (MEGA) Program. The program will implement the recommendations of the CGC 2023 report and complementary global environmental governance proposals. These recommendations include pricing carbon, developing the legal concept of Earth Trusteeship, reforming the Bretton Woods institutions, and creating an empowered Global Environment Agency and UN Parliamentary Assembly.
“At root, it is not an environmental crisis,” says John Vlasto, Chair of the WFM-IGP Executive Board, based in London, UK. “Humanity has created a global governance crisis – resolve this and we can unite to live in harmony with each other and with nature.”
The Congress also explored a range of effective programs of WFM-IGP and its member and affiliated organizations that take forward these adopted policies. These include the Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly, Campaign for a UN Emergency Peace Service, Common Security platform, Earth Trusteeship Initiative,EU Treaty Reform Now campaign,Legal Alternatives to War (LAW not War) campaign, Move the Nuclear Weapons Money campaign, UNFOLD ZERO, 3+3 Coalition for a North-East Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone and 1 for 8 Billion project.
“The concrete proposals and exciting campaigns being advanced by the World Federalist Movement provide feasible approaches to managing the world better,” says Alyn Ware, WFM-IGP Program Director, working out of Prague, Czech Republic. “By strengthening current global governance mechanisms – such as the United Nations General Assembly, International Court of Justice and International Criminal Court, and establishing new mechanisms – including an Anti-Corruption Court, UN Parliamentary Assembly and UN Emergency Peace Service, we can resolve international conflicts more justly and humanely, prevent war and facilitate the global cooperation to protect the environment and action to ensure a sustainable world for current and future generations.”“
“The founders of the world federalist movement had the courage to dream of a world without war, with global institutions and human cooperation enabling sustainable peace for all people and our planet through the effective implementation of international justice, respect for the rule of law, and protection of human rights,” says Ms Shoot.
As the inheritors of their legacy, WFM-IGP and its member organizations continue to advance their declaration of purpose initially defined in the Montreux Declaration in 1947, which holds that:
“WE BELIEVE that PEACE is not merely the absence of war, but the presence of justice, of law, of order – in short, of government and the institutions of government. World peace can be created and maintained only under a world federal government, universal and strong enough to prevent armed conflict between nations and having direct jurisdiction over the individual in those matters within its authority.”
This Congress comes at a challenging time for humanity and our planet. Action to animate these words is more necessary than ever. “We have only one world and need to preserve it. For this, we need Parliament at the UN to address the democratic deficit at the UN, disastrous global climate crisis, prevent wars, bring regulations in the use of outer space and Artificial Intelligence,” says Dr James Arputharaj, Member WFM-IGP Executive Board based in Bangalore, India.
In order to move more resolutely toward a world federation of nations, the Congress urged the start of a process for a UN Charter Review Conference based on Article 109(3) of the Charter to strengthen the United Nations and establish a UN parliament. Such a process would recognize sovereignty of planetary citizens as co-decision makers alongside states, backed with universal and enforceable rule of law, to replace the war system with peaceful conflict prevention and resolution, and honor the earth’s ecological boundaries.
About the World Federalist Movement- Institute for Global Policy
The World Federalist Movement/Institute for Global Policy, founded in 1947, is a non- profit, non-partisan civil society organization that promotes global governance to address peace and security, human rights, the environment and other transnational issues. The organization is governed by its Congress, comprised of 43 member organizations from across the globe that work to determine the broad policy direction of the organization. For inquiries, please contact Alyn Ware, Program Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact: Donna Park, WFM-IGP Congress Chair,
5 Thomas Circle NW, Washington, DC 20005
Phone: +1 202 546 3950