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Mondial Interviews Amy Oloo Incoming Executive Director of WFM-IGP

Mondial: What are your first thoughts and impressions upon entering into your new position as the executive director of WFM-IGP?

Amy: I’m incredibly honored by the opportunity to take on this role, but I’m also hyper-aware of the enormous responsibility that comes with the position. My mind is also racing with all the different ideas I’d like to implement at the WFM-IGP, but I’m also very cognizant of the need to prioritize. Ultimately, I believe the WFM-IGP has tremendous potential to make a positive impact and I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to tap into this potential.

Mondial: Share with us what challenges you see ahead for WFM-IGP. What are its most important needs and issues? What are its greatest opportunities?

Amy: WFM-IGP has been navigating a period of transition for the last year or so. We’ve had to go back to the drawing board to re-establish our programs, focus, policies, and operations. This effort has been made more difficult because we do not have extensive resources to apply to this process. Our current organizational needs include working toward a clear and unified vision and mission, developing programs that reflect these decisions, and obtaining the necessary financial and human resources. The organization’s challenges are also its greatest opportunity, since returning to the drawing board gives the WFM an opportunity to build back better and stronger.

Mondial: As you see it, what are the key priorities right now for the global movement for world federation? What are its main issues and needs at this time?

Amy: I believe our key priority is unity and inclusivity whereby young federalists, federalists from the global south, and other marginalized voices who support our vision would be invited to participate in federalist platforms and engage in discourse on various global governance issues. A challenge to our vision of world federation is, of course, the growing support for the populist-right in the West and subsequent nationalism, as well as the North-South divide on issues such as climate change.

Mondial: Do you envision that the WFM is the spearhead of the world movement? Or is it more important to build a broad coalition with other NGOs focused on global governance?

Amy: I envision the WFM as the spearhead of the federalist movement. However, there may be NGOs focused on various global governance issues that do not necessarily subscribe to the ideals of federalism as outlined in the Montreaux Declaration (i.e. the WFM’s founding document); in such an instance the idea of joining with them in a separate broad coalition of NGOs focused on global governance makes sense. The WFM and members of such a coalition would ultimately share many of the same goals, and thus the pursuit of pragmatic partnerships (where appropriate) would be the best course of action.

Mondial: What is your current view of role the United Nations and its agencies? Do you envision focusing on UN reform as your priority, or do you feel it is more important to aim for building a new global governance organization from the ground up?

Amy: The UN and its agencies have a key role in maintaining peace and security, as well as promoting international cooperation in solving economic, social, and humanitarian issues. The organization has been successful in achieving these things to an extent, but its structure has weaknesses, particularly in regard to the rules governing the Security Council. This has meant that the world has been at the mercy of the P5 countries, who selectively apply the veto power to safeguard their interests ahead of any social or humanitarian implications. There is also insufficient representation of civil society voices in decision-making, which limits the organization’s vision and effectiveness. With this in mind, I would say that UN reform is way overdue and can perhaps help the organization better achieve the purposes outlined in its charter. Even so, it’s difficult to envision a situation in which the permanent Security Council members would yield their veto power that has given them immense privilege in shaping the current international order to their benefit. Improving on current global governance institutions, and perhaps building new ones, seems like the best way forward because such efforts can draw lessons from the UN’s own structural inequalities and failures, and at the same time seek to promote more inclusive and effective platforms for global governance.

Mondial: You are a rising leader of a new generation. What is your vision for the world we need to create during your lifetime?

Amy: As I indicated above, my ideal world is one where youth, women, representatives from the global south, and other marginalized voices are given an equal seat at the table in finding solutions to the world’s challenges. I envision a world in which our common good is prioritized ahead of any nationalist or capitalist goals, and where people who actively work against this common good, for instance as it pertains to environmental protection, are held to account.

Mondial: If you like, share something additional about yourself and your new role in the movement for democratic world federation, or about the current world situation.

Amy: As a feminist and as a Pan-African that is a champion for inclusivity, I am really grateful to be taking on the executive director role. I believe that a seat at the table for every interest group is what a democratic federation requires and what the world at large needs.

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