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Why I support the World Federalist Movement - Canada

By Blake MacLeod

It is in our very nature as humans, that we work to secure those essentials which sustain us. We have organized into groups. Unique societies have formed around the idea of nation. When at our best, we work cooperatively through political and judicial frameworks in ways that benefit the collective. Through these democratic mechanisms we protect and define the rights and responsibilities of the individual within national borders. At the global level however, our relationships with others polarize as competing interests, often antagonistically, making it difficult to achieve those common benefits at the supra-national level. 

As world federalists we believe that, while far from being perfect, the United Nations offers hope and a constructive pathway toward a more equitable and just world. We believe that international law should act to complement domestic laws, and in doing will deliver benefits to individuals, that accrue from a more politically harmonious, more peaceful and more cooperative world order.

To that end, over 73 years since our organization’s founding, World Federalist Movement - Canada has worked collaboratively with other organizations to establish such important advances as the ‘International Land Mines Treaty’ in 1997, one important benchmark by which certain actions of enemy combatants are now measured. Eighty percent of the world’s nation states have now ratified the treaty. 

WFM-Canada was instrumental in establishing the International Criminal Court in 2002. Spearheaded by Canadian lawyer, and the court’s first president, Philippe Kirsch, the Rome Statute treaty framework was quickly embraced by countries hungry for the promise of enhanced global security through international law. 

World federalists in Canada and beyond were instrumental in the work to establish the ‘United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea’. Now generally considered to be a reflection of customary international law, and ratified by Canada in 2003, the Convention has gained universal status. These laws apply whether or not a country is party, and provide for the peaceful settlement of disputes related to certain territorial interests…a common cause of war. 

In 2012, the WFMC joined other civil society organizations to lobby for changes in Canada’s draft legislation to implement the ‘Convention on Cluster Munitions’. Their use today is considered in contravention of international norms, and the Convention acts as a powerful disincentive against their strategic use in war. 

World Federalists in Canada have been working with campaign organizers since 2007 and currently to establish a ‘United Nations Parliamentary Assembly’. The campaign proposal seeks to address the democratic deficit at the United Nations by selecting parliamentarians through citizen direct elections to a new or reformed body at the UN, rather than by the political appointment of representatives as is the case today.

As a world federalist in Canada since 2002, I am moved to recall the years of dedicated service by countless colleagues. Many of these friends have passed on, often with some provision included among their last wishes that effectively extends that support into the future. I will follow in those footsteps. 

As WFM-Canada is ‘reimagined’ and ‘co-evolves’ within the larger movement, our membership and our leadership are becoming invigorated by a new generation of global citizen. As a world federalist in Canada, I look to the future with an inspired and confident determination. Through constructive contribution, I am inspired to believe in a brighter future for all humanity.

As an organization, we recognize the enormous potential for effective engagement. Through the work of the World Federalist Foundation, we are finding new ways of seeing and connecting with the world. By fully leveraging the constellation of new media, we are adapting our outreach strategies through communication and direct engagement. We are also working to strengthen our relationships with world federalists globally. 

We are encouraged, and so immensely grateful to our volunteers, fellows, members, monthly donors, and, to those who have included legacy gifts to WFM-Canada and the World Federalist Foundation (WFF). As we press on in 2024, with all of the excitement that comes from collegial synergy, our past accomplishments are all of ours’ to celebrate. With your support, today and into the future, the organization will continue to make an important impact in Canada and the world beyond. 

Blake MacLeod

National Secretary, 

National Board and Executive Committee member 

1 comment

Ursula Litzcke

Hello Blake,

Your essay is so timely.

Many of us are feeling left out of the bigger process, because the UN seems overloaded with nations who are feeling strange to each other. There just is not enough time to analyze and discuss our different perspectives. And now, with travelling of common people all across the globe being reduced for several reasons, are we stuck with even less opportunity to get to know each other?

I notice that it is mostly fear which is cutting us off from one another. The latest and simplest example, should we be so fearful of the one case of measles to change our travel plans?

In the meantime, the UN, and the WHO, are re-writing rules, or at least tinker with the wording in the Declarations. I agree with you, the UN is all we have. But can we not dare to gently criticize our own UN? Life is relentless; nothing ever stands still.

How do we reject the thread of FEAR that we are being fed? By demonstrating some realism? By appealing to some common sense?


Ursula Litzcke

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