World federalist groups emerged after the Second World War, developing at about the same time as world federalist groups in other countries. The Second World War left Europe devastated, the horror of the Holocaust was revealed, and atomic war, first used on the civilian populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, threatened all of humanity. The world federalists understood the structural constraints of the United Nations Organization and the urgent need to develop democratic world institutions that could make and enforce world law. What is world federalism? World Federalism in Canada Today, two decades after the end of the Cold War, the necessity for democratically accountable global governance has never been clearer. Our personal lives have become integrated with the life of an emerging world community, and global trends, conditions and patterns tie us to each other and the Earth.
Individual citizens have a stake in the outcome of world affairs and ought to have democratic rights over decisions affecting the world community. More than at any time in human history, we are one world. Finding the means, the legal and political structures, to adequately and democratically address global problems, is one of the greatest political challenges of our time. Today... As world federalists, we view the world as one society embracing all of humanity in all its diversity. We affirm that the ideals and principles of community life which are basic to civilized existence can and must be applied to international relations. To this end, we call for urgent progress in developing the democratic world institutions of law by which the world's people and nations can govern their relations to assure a peaceful, just and ecologically sustainable world community.
WFM-Canada advocates a much larger role for Canada in support of United Nations peace operations. Where we are going World Federalists are committed to overcoming the division of our world among competing states, interests and sovereignties. We understand and uphold the oneness of humanity. And we recognize the many technological, social and political forces that are stitching together tomorrow’s global community. World Federalists are organized in Canada as a non-profit citizens movement dedicated to advocating the application of the principles of democratic federalism to world affairs. WFMC advocates the creation of a United Nations Emergency Peace Service (UNEPS), that would provide the UN with a permanent rapid reaction capability.
For a recap of World Federalism click on the link below: "World Federalism 101"
Milestones Along the Way: Our Achievements
1951 - Five independent world federalist groups – in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg and Saskatoon – came together to form the World Federalists of Canada. In the aftermath of the Second World War, the world federalists understood the structural constraints of the United Nations Organization and the urgent need to develop democratic world institutions that could make and enforce world law. In the same year, a separate world federalist committee in the Canadian Parliament coalesced, growing over time to include more than a third of the House of Commons and the Senate and members from all political parties.
1955 - A World Federalists of Canada delegation briefed the Department of External Affairs during a two-hour session in Ottawa about the possibility of a general conference on revision of the United Nations charter as provided under Article 109 of the charter. This was the first of many meetings with the Department on a number of world federalist positions.
1960 - Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, a world federalist, voiced support for two world federalist proposals – the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice and the establishment of an international force strong enough to restrain nations from aggression (still not implemented by the world’s nations). That year, the Diefenbaker government also passed a Canadian bill of rights for every citizen, which Canadian world federalists had advocated in a 1950 brief to the Senate Special Committee on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
1961 - The World Federalists of Canada supported the establishment of the independent Peace Research Institute in Oakville, Ontario, mandated to carry out an intensive and fundamental study of the problems associated with the maintenance of world peace. This was a quarter century before Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau created the autonomous, government-supported Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security.
1967 - The World Federalists of Canada, with assistance from the Voice of Women, United Nations Association and service clubs, persuaded the Town Council of Dundas, Ontario to proclaim Dundas the first “mundialized” municipality in Canada, i.e., a fragment of world territory wishing to live in peace with the peoples of the world and to enjoy with them world government under the rule of law. Twenty-nine other Canadian municipalities eventually followed Dundas’ example and pursued symbolic activities associated with mundialization, including intercity twinning – a program that helped ease Cold War tensions.
1969 - The World Federalists of Canada began urging the Government of Canada to support the proposal for UN jurisdiction over the use and conservation of the deep sea and ocean floor. The international agreement creating the International Seabed Authority, the Law of the Sea, finally came into force in 1994.
1970 - The World Federalists of Canada worked with their American colleagues and others to create the International Peace Academy, a New York-based training facility for peacekeepers.
1972 - Former Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson became the first recipient of the World Federalists of Canada World Peace Award, perhaps the oldest continuing world peace award in Canada. The 2001 recipient, the 24th Canadian so honoured, was Lloyd Axworthy.
1976 - The World Federalists of Canada led in the conception, launch and early financing of Operation Dismantle, which organized municipal referenda on global disarmament across Canada and the US.
1986 - The World Federalists of Canada spearheaded the Nuclear Weapons Legal Action in Canada, mobilizing lawyers, activists, nongovernmental organizations and municipalities around the case against nuclear weapons and their use. The project, which produced a significant body of legal research, was the forerunner of the international World Court Project. It resulted in the 1996 advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the illegality of nuclear weapons.
1987 - The World Federalist Foundation, formed in 1986, adopted Our Planet in Every Classroom project, through which copies of a poster displaying a NASA photograph of Earth as seen from outer space were placed in classrooms around the world.
1993 - The World Federalists of Canada proposed a parliamentary assembly of elected citizens for the United Nations, modelled on the experience in the European Union. The evolving European Parliament has served as a model for this and other world federalist proposals. The World Federalists of Canada later applied this concept to the World Trade Organization to address its democratic deficit.
1996 - The World Federalists of Canada assembled and chaired the Canadian Network for an International Criminal Court, part of the international coalition convened by the World Federalist Movement. In the year 2000, Canada ratified the Rome Statute for an International Criminal Court, a permanent court that will enable the world community to try individuals accused of crimes against humanity, thereby weakening the case for punishing an entire nation.
1999 - The World Federalists of Canada co-ordinated Canadian participation in the monumental Hague Appeal for Peace conference, initiated by the World Federalist Movement and three partner organizations. The conference, which attracted over 9,000 people, coincided with the centennial anniversary of the first International Peace Conference in The Hague in 1899 and the culminating year of the UN Decade of International Law. In the same year, the Canadian world federalist journal on global governance issues, Mondial, was launched.
2000 - The World Federalists of Canada identified 15 people from low-income countries to benefit from Canadian International Development Agency support and attend the UN Millennium Forum in New York on ways to strengthen and reform the UN. The World Federalist Foundation held a special event in Toronto on the theme of climate change as well as a banquet in Ottawa honouring World Peace Award recipient Madame Justice Louise Arbour.
2014 - Resolution on instating Global Education curriculum in the provincial education system was sent to Hon. Peter Fassbender, Education Minister, BC.
2014 - Letters sent to Chinese and Japanese Consul-Generals asking that their disputes over the Pacific Islands of Diaoyu/Senkaku be sent to the International Court of Justice in the Hague. As part of the WFM mandate, we took no side in the dispute.
2014 - WFM-Vancouver supported Satoko Norimatsu, founder of the Vancouver Save Article 9 (VSA9) initiative and of Director of the Peace Philosophy Centre of Vancouver, in her campaign to retain in the Japanese Constitution Art. 9 that states that no military forces would be maintained, as drafted by PM Sidehara in 1945. Letter sent to Japanese Consul-General in Vancouver on this matter.
2014 - WFM-Vancouver hosted MPs Don Davies, NDP and Hedy Fry, Liberal, who spoke on each of their party's stance on the WFM United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA) campaign.
2014 October 25 WFM-C passed a Vancouver branch resolution on returning power from the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to all the 193 members of the General Assembly- for more details visit the "what we support" section.
“Canadian World Federalists can look back with pride on their record of promoting peace and justice over the last five decades. You have consistently been at the forefront of Canadians working to build a world based on the rule of law and respect for human rights.”
– Warren Allmand, President, Rights and Democracy, 2001
WFM-C Affiliated NGOs and coalitions
WFMC is a long-time member of the global Coalition for the International Criminal Court. World Federalists are part of a growing civil society mobilization behind the objective of democratizing governance – nationally, regionally, and at the global level. WFMC participates actively in the Campaign for the Establishment of a Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations (UNPA).
WFMC monitors and supports the progressive development of the Responsibility to Protect normative framework and is a supporting member of the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect (ICRtoP). WFMC is a participating member of the following NGO networks and coalitions:
Canadian Council for International
Climate Action Network
Canadian Network for the Abolition of
International Coalition for the
Responsibility to Protect
Women, Peace and Security
For a detailed description of World Federalist Statutes please visit the following site: