World Parliament
November 6, 2017 6:16 AM   Subscribe

In existence since 1958, the World Constitution and Parliament Association has been taking preliminary steps to form a World Parliament, as mandated by the Constitution for the Federation of Earth, which had its first draft in 1968. This constitution, under the auspices of the so-called Earth Federation Movement, sets out in detail how a world parliament should be construed, as well as defining the steps and processes we need to take towards achieving it. Jindal Global University is hosting a conference in Delhi this week: “Building the World Parliament 2017”.

Our current global systems and institutions are not adequate for an increasingly inter-dependent and connected world. The UN, EU, NATO, ICCInterpol, WTO, WHO, World Bank, IMF etc., represent the status quo in international cooperation, with the wealthiest (G7 / 8 / 20 etc.) holding all the cards, including the one called “democracy". The Sustainable Development Goals define many worthy aims, but there is no system in place to implement them. Climate change conferences are held, almost continually it seems, yet we still don’t take the necessary coordinated actions to reverse, mitigate and/or adapt to the crises we humans have ourselves created. International criminals, including some national leaders elected by outdated, and dangerously undemocratic means, continue to pursue wars of aggression, undeterred by any sort of constraint on their powers.

The concept of the sovereign nation state is becoming less useful, particularly in an era of giant transnational corporations. Pharmaceuticals, agrochemical and service industries (e.g. software, healthcare, finance) wield immense economic power and can through secretly-brokered deals between nation states and corporations potentially hold whole continents to ransom

Recent events show that the current ways we organise ourselves politically are not set in stone. Going forward, we need to look at moving to a global system whereby we enable all people regardless of country (or region) of origin, race, creed, wealth, sex, etc. have an equal voice in how the planet is regulated. Rogue nations, with their weapons of mass destruction (as well as of lesser destruction), need to be kept in check, with the aim of moving towards a world where such weapons are not only illegal but also unnecessary. Access to natural resources, education, healthcare, medicine etc. needs to be in the hands of the many not the few, and our law-makers, implementers and deciders need to be truly accountable to the people and planet that they serve.

Initiatives to augment or replace the current systems with some form of global democracy range from a Russian who has registered and appointed himself interim world president (pending elections via SMS), to the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, which appears to have a fair amount of credibility, and which gained some traction recently with their recent World Parliament Now week of action. Other active organisations in the sphere range from the Inter-Parliamentary UnionGLOBE International, and the World Federalist Movement.

The World Government of World Citizens seems to exist mainly to issue (machine-readable) passports to "World Citizens”. It’s not clear whether these passports have ever allowed their bearers to cross international borders without additional proof of national identity. There is a call to world democracy through a global referendum, started by a Canadian in 2004, but having only 22,292 votes cast so far (~95% in favour). There is of course a Wikipedia entry on the subject, containing some useful background to the history of the idea of world government.
posted by cbrody (5 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Is this where we get the Prime Directive?
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:56 AM on November 6, 2017 [3 favorites]

This is an impressive collection of references in spite of anti-globalization sentiment and general disregard for cultural expressions of internationalism through the ages (excepting the Holy See). Well done.

To this I add H.G. Wells - The New World Order (1940) and The Open Conspiracy", because I am saucy by nature.
posted by marycatherine at 7:31 AM on November 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

In theory we don't need a new world government per se, but a functional world court, based on international laws that can be made by a majority of existing governments. But this process would also need to adopt a formula that represented their participation based on their own successful implementation of democratic processes, and not just by population, in order to resist a world fascism. If a rogue country refuses to honor those laws or has no functional democracy, then their world voting representation would likewise be restricted, and along with it, enforcement of some rights that go with international investment.
posted by Brian B. at 7:49 AM on November 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

posted by briank at 8:34 AM on November 6, 2017

This is really interesting and is something I had no clue existed. That said, it sounds like something that the foil-hat talk-radio brigade would go absolutely apoplectic over.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:52 AM on November 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

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