Coalition for a World Community of Democratic Nations
Our purpose is to build a coalition of like-minded international organisations to promote the establishment of a world community of democratic nations.
The aims of the community would include:
- To help to prevent war and build peace in the world
- To preserve and extend freedom and democracy in the world
- To promote solidarity and increase the economic prosperity of its members
- To establish greater co-operation between its members in dealing with global problems
- To lay the foundations of a more effective system of democratic global governance, and an eventual global parliament.
The basic features of such a Community should include:
- A shared decision-making mechanism, such as the qualified majority voting scheme used in the European Union
- A membership open to the accession of new democratic nations, so that membership may eventually become universal
- An assembly of parliamentarians from the member states, to lay the foundations of an eventual global parliament
- A court to settle disputes between members on the basis of international law, and become the nucleus of an eventual legal system.
Background and History
- Two great civil movements, the world federalist movement and the Atlantic movement, both began in the years just before World War II.
- The world federalists campaigned for a global parliament, as a means of preserving world peace, and finding global solutions to global problems.
- The Atlantic movement campaigned for a union of the democracies in order to preserve freedom and democracy. Their original objective after the war was to guard against Communism, but later Clarence Streit also advocated a union as a first step towards a global parliament.
- These are enormous objectives, and neither has yet been achieved during the following seventy years.
- The World Federalists have generally concentrated their efforts on reform of the United Nations, but no significant reform of the Charter has ever yet been attained.
- The European federalists have argued that European federation must come first. Following the step-by-step evolutionary strategy of Jean Monnet, Robert Schuman and their collaborators, they have achieved great results, leading to the present European Union. “Europe will not be built all at once, or according to a single plan”, as the Schuman Declaration puts it.
- Recently, the World Federalist Movement has lowered its sights, to concentrate on limited objectives that do not require changes in the Charter. They have formed powerful Coalitions to campaign first for an International Criminal Court, and second for the Responsibility to Protect. These campaigns have had great success. The Coalition for the ICC now boasts more than 2,500 NGO member organizations, all with different agendas but united in pursuit of this particular objective. Their budgets run into the millions of dollars.
These examples suggest that a fruitful long-term strategy for achieving a union of democracies, or a global parliament, or both, would be:
- Adopt a step-by-step evolutionary strategy like that of the European federalists
- Start with a smaller core group of member nations, as the Europeans did, and look for the membership to expand over time until it becomes universal. Since democracy must be a fundamental principle of any global parliament, the initial members should consist of democracies.
- The first step should probably be a community, analogous to the European Economic Community. It could be an economic community, a security community, or preferably a combination of both.
- To help achieve this limited first objective, form a Coalition of NGOs following the WFM example, all with different agendas but united in pursuit of this particular objective. We could hope to attract various organizations from both the world federalist movement and the Atlantic movement, as well as civil society in general.
For further discussions of the movement to unite the democracies, see for example the websites of the Streit Council (http://streitcouncil.org/), or the Democratic World Federalists (http://www.dwfed.org/path-unite-democracies/)
There will be lively discussions about the ideal basis and functions of such a Community. We envisage an international conference at which the merits of various proposals will be debated. Some more detailed and concrete discussions along these lines may be found in the following documents, which were submissions made to the “A New Shape’rize competition being run (2017) by the Global Challenges Foundation: