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Remembering Warren Allmand

With much sadness, World Federalists across Canada mourn the death on December 7th of Warren Allmand. Warren served as National President of the World Federalist Movement – Canada (WFMC) from 2004 to August 2016. Warren first joined the World Federalists in 1961. The need for a more just and democratically accountable framework of global governance, one that upheld universal human rights and the rule of law, was integral to his world view throughout his 32-year career in Parliament.

Warren was elected President of the World Federalists in 2004, serving in that capacity until this past August. He had previously worked closely with the World Federalists as a point of contact in Parliament, and operationally as international President of Parliamentarians for Global Action and as President of Canada’s International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development.

Warrren’s contributions to the World Federalists were numerous and substantial. He was a diligent, “hands-on” President, whose political judgment and reputation benefitted the organization considerably. One of Canada’s leading human rights experts and campaigners, Warren not only understood, but lived by and upheld the dignity and freedom of world citizens everywhere. We will miss his wisdom, camaraderie and commitment.

A tribute video honouring Warren was presented to him this past August on the occasion of the end of his tenure as WFMC president at our national meeting held alongside the World Social Forum in Montreal.

Memories of Warren

We will miss committed leadership, his kind company and his earnest and humble approach to national and international affairs. He was an influential Canadian MP and Cabinet minister, as well as a great world federalist and a fearless leader of WFMC. We pay tribute to his dedicated service, many decades, if not more than half-a-century, to the world federalist cause. He brought greater rule of law and justice to Canada, including by abolishing the death penalty and resisting aggression in the world. He sought to foster the same structures and spirit of governance at the global level. He led on arms control, international criminal law, and UN reform. I had the good fortune of working for him at Parliamentarians for Global Action on the adoption of the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention, which we togehter witnessed being opened for signing in Paris, where he chaired a Parliamentary Symposium on the parliamentary role in the implementation of the treaty. The Parliamentarians declaration we drafted was subsequently signed by over 1,000 parliamentarians from around the world.While striken at a ripe old age, he was still active and attentive at our WFMC Annual General Meeting in August in his home city of Montreal. We were very fortunate, indeed blessed, to have his company. We also did well to pay him a tribute by video, which we watched together with him at the meeting. WFMC wisely awarded him the Hanna Newcombe award just before his passing. He is a great man of whom we can truly say: he made the Earth a better place. God bless Warren Allmand, his memory and his many good causes!

Walter Dorn, WFMC President

I calculate that over twelve years I’d probably spent fifty full days with him sitting at a table going through the minutiae of world federalist bylaws and minutes and agendas and programs. Warren was a stickler for correct Board minutes and was rarely impressed by innovative excuses. So (as Secretary) I would fix them. I was also very happy to work with him in our WFMC attempt to repair Canada’s flawed cluster munitions legislation. Several of us, including Warren, presented testimony to the Senate subcommittee. He immediately grasped the importance of fighting the “exceptions” allowed within the bill. It was also clear from the reception he got in committee as a witness that even long out of parliament his participation still held weight. I will tell my sons about Warren’s perseverance, playing old-timers’ hockey and running half-marathons into his eighties, but most of all I will speak of Warren as someone holding onto his principles in defence of human rights and liberties, come what may, no matter what. I am surprised at how sad his passing has been as we did not know each other that well, but the practice of his daily life is an inspiration I will cherish.

Robin Collins, WFMC Board of Directors, Secretary

My connection with Warren goes back to 1985-1990 when I was Project Ploughshares’ Ottawa representative. Warren was then, if memory serves, the chair of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee. During those years I met quite frequently with MPs who had various responsibilities concerning Canadian policies on nuclear weapons, arms trade, etc. My meetings with Warren – and his assistant at the time who I think was named Pat – were quite different from those I had with most of the other MPs. I would go into such meetings prepared to make our case on the issue involved and many of these meetings were not easy as differences persisted. My meetings with Warren were also difficult but in a different way. Warren already knew our positions and arguments and agreed with them. I wasn’t earning my keep by meeting with Warren as he was quite often a step or two ahead of me!

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