World Congress of Federalists boosts support for global democratization

13. July 2012

Resolution on global democracy adopted

The 26th World Congress of the World Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy (WFM - IGP) that assembled this week in Winnipeg, Canada, has reaffirmed the international movement's support of global democratization. A resolution that was passed unanimously by delegates from over 20 countries stressed that "the Arab Spring, the Occupy movements, indignados, and other forms of social protests have shown an increasing discontent with the existing global political order and

Federalists meeting in Winnipeg

raised the question of democratizing globalization through globalizing democracy." WFM - IGP runs major international programs on the International Criminal Court and the Responsibility to Protect. The organization determined that it should be a "key pillar" of its strategy to facilitate "channeling the social energy into the concrete development of a world parliament and a democratic global order."

Development of a UN Parliamentary Assembly

As WFM - IGP celebrates its 65th anniversary this year, the movement debated the details of its longstanding policy of supporting the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly. The congress determined that "such an assembly could be established by the General Assembly under Article 22 of the UN Charter and, thus, would require no Charter amendments. It could develop in stages, beginning with parliamentarians elected either by their respective national legislatures or, if countries are willing to do so, by direct popular elections. It could later be constituted by direct popular elections entirely. The Parliamentary Assembly could, in concert with the UN General Assembly, be accorded gradually increasing legislative competence." In addition, the movement stated that "democratic transparency and accountability should apply both to existing and future global institutions by way of global democratically representative parliamentary oversight bodies."

Panel discussion

Speakers at a panel discussion on the subject included Bill Blaikie, former Deputy Speaker of the Canadian House of Commons, former parliamentarian Warren Allmand, who is President of WFM Canada, and Andreas Bummel,

Andreas Bummel, Bill Blaikie and Warren Allmand (from left to right)

Secretary-General of the Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly. There was broad agreement in the debate that support at the grassroots level needs to be built further. "In history, parliaments only came about through pressure from the people. When this pressure comes, a world parliament will become a reality," Mr. Allmand stated. Acoording to Mr. Blaikie, "we already have global governance, whether we like it or not. But it's not democratic." Mr. Bummel recalled a slogan that was already used at popular protests against the World Trade Organization in Seattle 1999, "no globalization without representation." The panel discussion was followed by the presentation of a new study titled the "Creation of a World Parliamentary Assembly: An Evolutionary Journey" authored by Joseph Schwartzberg.

One of the leading proponents of global democracy and a UN Parliamentary Assembly, former Argentinian parliamentarian Fernando Iglesias, was elected as new chairperson of the WFM - IGP's Council, following James Christie in this position. The movement's president is Lloyd Axworthy, former Canadian foreign minister.

In the last session of the meeting, the World Federalist Movement declared its endorsement of the recently published "Manifesto for a Global Democracy."

Top image: Group photo of the participants of the WFM - IGP Congress, by CEUNPA

Tags: Canada