Montag, 21. Juni 2021

Where is the World Federalist Movement?

I take the regrettable end of the One World Digest in its previous form as an opportunity to briefly present my views on the so-called World Federalist Movement. The Wikipedia pages about it are incomplete, wrong in places or outdated.

Montreux 1947

The first attempts at organised world federalism were made between the two world wars in Great Britain and the USA. The topic was world government in general. In February 1947, a merger of several organisations took place during the Ashville Congress. At that time, according to a Gallup poll, 56% of US Americans were in favour of a World Federation (Weltregierung - Für und wider eine Idee, PDF German). One could certainly speak of a movement there.

More than 400 participants came to the first World Congress of the "United World Federalists" in Montreux/Switzerland in August 1947. With the "Declaration of Montreux" adopted there, it was hoped to be able to influence the review of the UN Charter (San Francisco Promise) expected by 1955 at the latest. This Congress also generated scepticism, especially among World Federalists with more radical ideas. The second World Congress in September 1948 was attended by 260 more delegates and observers. The number of members they represented is not documented. Even here, the reality of a movement can be doubted.

Then Garry Davis appeared. His eccentric actions in Paris gave rise to a World Citizens' Movement, which largely overshadowed the movement of the World Federalists. However, the flash in the pan of this movement quickly burnt out and with it almost all groups of World Federalists disappeared into political insignificance. What remained were pitiful remnants of quarrelling World Federalist associations and the dishonest business with the World Passport, which still finds the support of some active World Federalists.

Only the World Federalist Movement / Institute for Global Policy (WFM/IGP) has been able to hold its own and exert political influence through its pragmatic work. Keith Best has written an insightful article on this. However, the organisation, which for decades maintained an office at the United Nations in New York, now lacks the financial resources for a secretariat. While the news from the WFM/IGP sounded optimistic six months ago, recent statements by insiders give more cause for concern.

The World Federalists are no longer a movement. At best, they can still be seen as a scene. I guess you can get the active World Federalists worldwide who are really doing something for the cause on a bus. From that point of view, the self-designation as "World Federalist Movement" is misleading. That is why I think a change of name is in order. Furthermore, one should distance oneself from the"Democratic World Federalists", who are still listed as an affiliate. With such a rotten potato in the box, one should not be surprised if potential sponsors prefer to support other NGOs.

YouTube 2020
When the "Young World Federalists" appeared on the internet at the beginning of last year, it seemed to me to be rather full-bodied and more of a flash in the pan. But they are still there, which would be a positive thing. The somewhat dusty and outdated scene of the World Federalists urgently needs new blood. There has been some movement in the meantime, but it was not more than a little wind on the internet. However, it must be acknowledged that due to the pandemic, hardly any action outside the internet was possible and will continue to be. So there is time enough to consolidate the content. The "Policy Platform" is a good sign. It is unmistakable that an experienced World Federalist helped with the formulation.

Otherwise, the campaign looks less promising. Even though the YWF boast 1000 members on the idiotic internet platform "Discord", they are only a handful of young men convinced of themselves. They see criticism as an attack, arrogantly throw constructive advice to the wind and warnings are ignored. Thus, against their better judgement, they have entered into a partnership with the WCPA offshoot "Earth Constitution Institute". One must expect further irritation from there. And one thing should already be certain: Even if the YWF proclaim it grandly, it will never become a movement.

Mittwoch, 16. Juni 2021

Leadership in thought that leads to action

The World Academy of Art & Science (WAAS) was founded in 1960 by eminent intellectuals including Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, Bertrand Russell and Lord John Boyd Orr, who was also the first President of WAAS. The Academy includes scientists, artists and scholars dedicated to the pressing challenges facing humanity today.

It is a forum where these problems can be discussed objectively, scientifically, globally and free from self-interest or regional ties, in order to arrive at solutions that affirm universal human rights and serve the common good of all humanity. WAAS is founded on a belief in the power of original and creative ideas. Its motto is:

Leadership in thought that leads to action

To mark its 60th anniversary, WAAS held a virtual conference from 15 to 19 February 2021, attended by more than 120 Fellows and numerous guests. A detailed report on the contents of the conference has now been published in English. Garry Jacobs, President of WAAS, commented:

"Many said they came away from the conference energized by a deeper appreciation for why the Academy was founded, the characteristics that define its mission and objectives, the scope of its present work and future aspirations, and the unifying perspective that binds together all our activities on a broad agenda of important global issues. This report seeks to capture essential insights from the five days of intensive and enlightened discussion, the rich contributions by all the speakers, and the years of thoughtful work which they reflect. We hope you enjoy reading it and invite you to join our ongoing efforts to fulfill the Academy's mission in the days and years to come."

Click here to read the report (PDF 38 pages): A PLANETARY MOMENT

Freitag, 11. Juni 2021

One World Digest discontinued

It was already becoming a routine for me: Monday to Friday, first thing every morning, check out what One World Digest had to offer. Obviously I was one of the few who were interested. Peter Orvetti's service, founded in September last year, has now been discontinued due to lack of interest. That is regrettable. On Facebook, it says succinctly:

"One World Digest is switching to a Facebook and Twitter format, removing the website (which received few visits). Instead of multiple links once a day, links will be shared on a rolling basis as they are found. Thanks for reading!"

Of course, such a neat and attractive internet digest as Peter Orvetti had made means a lot of work. Then it is frustrating when this work does not get the desired response. Who likes to toil every day to be virtually ignored. And it also reveals the reality of the so-called World Federalist Movement. It is all more appearance than reality. I will go into more detail in a forthcoming post.

Even though I have subscribed to the Facebook page, I don't think Facebook and Twitter are suitable formats for a digest worthy of the name. This is then just the usual sharing of content, which unfortunately is hardly taken note of. But many thanks to Peter Orvetti for the effort. It was worth a try.

Samstag, 5. Juni 2021

Today is World Environmend Day

UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration: An Alliance for Action

By René Wadlow, President of the Association of World Citizens

On World Environment Day, 5 June 2021, begins the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030. An ecosystem is the interaction between people, plants, animals, and their surroundings. The UN Environment Programme and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization are the lead UN agencies for this Decade. However, the Decade aims to become a broad-based global movement in which many can play a role.

Today, many ecosystems are under stress and facing degradation. There is forest loss, and trees are not replanted. Wetlands are filled by soil carried by water. In some farmlands, there can be excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides. There can be over-grazing by pastoralists. Urban growth can take up ever-larger space. Each ecosystem must be studied at the local level. The stress studied and the remedial actions analyzed both at the local level and at the level of the broader region.

In this great effort for ecologically-wise use of land, there is a role for many persons as a vast range of actions are needed. Individual actions can have a wider impact by bringing people together in new alliances for action – in planting trees, in creating community gardens, in clearing and disposing of trash.

Working on ecosystem restoration must take into account the movement of people due to changes in the climate, to violence, and to different economic factors. When people move, they change their relationship to their setting. Ways of living that were established in the former ecosystem are no longer appropriate or possible in the new setting. It is very likely that the number of people on the move to new areas will increase both within a country and across national frontiers.

As Citizens of the World, we need to develop awareness of the changes under way which announce the creation of a world society. We all face important choices as we move forward with structures of cooperation and integration. The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration provides a vital focus for common action.

The Mondialist comments:

One should never give up hope, but as far as we humans are concerned, the situation of the Earth's ecosystem is rather hopeless. In comparison, such actions as this UN Decade seem like a helpless struggle with well-intentioned intentions and empty words. The climate changes that have already set in have already created irreversible facts. Of course, attempts should still be made to prevent the worst. But in a world with nearly 200 sovereign states, where everyone is basically allowed to do what they want, the prospects are poor.

It will ultimately come down to surviving climate change and the associated destruction of ecosystems. This is a Affair of Mankind as a whole. For the necessary structures of cooperation and integration, we absolutely need the Federal World Union. And as quickly as possible. We can no longer wait for a general change in consciousness.

Donnerstag, 3. Juni 2021

Pointer, make a Point!

We are already used to a lot from the club of the "Democratic World Federalists" and their president Roger Kotila. Now, unfortunately, I must also award the Brown Wooden Board of the Month to the number 2 in this squad of old men, vice-president Fritz Pointer.

Fritz Pointer has argued reasonably well in his articles so far. Much can be agreed with, but much is also wrong. His fundamental resentment of his own government is becoming all too clear and is quite understandable after four years of Trump. But now he is getting on the same track as Roger Kotila.

In his latest article (PDF), Fritz Pointer takes a speech by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to the UN Security Council as an opportunity to discredit the new US Administration's approaches to improving the United Nations and International Law, which can be seen as positive.

"Make no mistake about it the 'Rules-Based Order' put forth by US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, at the United Nations Security Council meeting May 7, 2021 is nothing more than a cover for Western hegemonic ambitions. ... Whereas, the United States and its Western allies –especially, the U.S. and Britain -want to substitute for International Law a new concept of 'Rules-Based International Order', which entitles them to meddle in the internal affairs of all other countries and to conduct policies around the world which ultimately contradict International Law."

This is precisely the position of anti-western disinformation propaganda from Moscow. Fritz Pointer seems to draw his wisdom from such sources. He also recommends at the end of his article a corresponding article on a relevant website. This "Information Clearing House" clearly belongs to the parallel universe of Russian disinformation media. The extent to which these mendacious campaigns have meanwhile assumed can be seen in a detailed article by Netzpolitik.

It is inexplicable to me why people who pretend to be World Federalists lower themselves to such a level. They make themselves useful idiots of authoritarian regimes that would never agree to a Democratic World Federation.

Montag, 24. Mai 2021

Global Ethic Project – get everyone involved!

On 6 April, the Swiss theologian Hans Küng died at the age of 93. He achieved worldwide fame through his efforts for a Global Ethic. Inspired by an article by René Wadlow, which the Citizens for Global Solutions published on their website, I revisited Hans Küng's book "Projekt Weltethos", which I had already read 30 years ago.

Hans Küng, Weltethos, published 1990 by R. Piper Verlag Munich, ISBN 3-492-03426-8

I find the general criticism of religion expressed in this book remarkable. Religious intolerance, claims to power and hatred motivated by belief in it still hold a large part of humanity captive. Building on this critique, one could say: let's abolish religions, and everything will be fine. But it is not that simple. Religions have developed into strong belief systems out of fear of the forces of nature, of suffering and death, from the dawn of mankind to the present day. They cannot be abolished so easily. Nor are they the only problem areas in this world, but are always interwoven with other social processes. Moreover, religions have become essential elements of culture and human identity throughout history.

It is good to know that it is precisely religious people who want to break the vicious circles and make the best of it. I had already written about this in my contribution to this year's World Religion Day. The Global Ethic Project must also be taken into account here. In September 1993, Hans Küng's initiative was discussed at the Congress for the Centenary of the Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago and the Declaration Toward a Global Ethic (PDF) was published. The document provides sufficient information about what the Global Ethic project means and what it aims to achieve. I find the following statement essential:

"We are convinced of the fundamental unity of the human family on Earth. We recall the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations. What it formally proclaimed on the level of rights we wish to confirm and deepen here from the perspective of an ethic: The full realization of the intrinsic dignity of the human person, the inalienable freedom and equality in principle of all humans, and the necessary solidarity and interdependence of all humans with each other."

This statement is addressed to all human beings, but especially to the followers and leaders of religions. Unfortunately, the Parliament of the World's Religions is not yet an official world parliament of churches and faith communities. The participants and delegates have no mandate. Nevertheless, a remarkable will for the Unity of Mankind in its cultural diversity is shown here, for which a global ethic is to provide the spiritual basis. Atheists and agnostics can also support this. They are expressly invited to participate in the project as well.

Join the Global Ethic Project!