International organizations have not kept pace with global challenges. The UN, World Bank and other multi-lateral institutions were set up to deal with post-WWII crises. Today the world if far smaller, crowded with 4.5 billion more people than 60 years ago, and much more connected, with the rapid rise in flows of information, people, goods, and services across borders. We are all more affected than ever by what happens elsewhere. Globalization has accelerated at a revolutionary pace while global institutions have evolved at an evolutionary speed, leading to a widening governance divide between global problems and global solutions. Ossified institutions are losing the battle to tackle modern concerns that transcend national boundaries, such as financial crises, cyber crime, pandemics, migration, and the effects of global warming.
-Professor of Globalization and Development at Oxford University, Ian Goldin book: Divided Nations-Why global governance is failing, and what we can do about it.
"The responsibility for change, therefore, lies with us.
We must begin with ourselves, teaching ourselves not to
close our minds prematurely to the novel, the surprising, the seemingly radical.
This means fighting off the idea-assassins who rush forward
to kill any new suggestions on grounds of its impracticality, while
defending whatever exists now as practical, no matter how absurd,
oppressive or unworkable it may be.... we should not expect today's nominal leaders - presidents and politicians, senators and central committee members
[written well before the downfall of communism] --
to challenge the very institutions that, no matter how obsolete, give them prestige,
money, and the illusion, if not the reality, of power."
-Alvin Toffler (The Third Wave, 1980)
The throes of the contemporary world are those of a birth. And what is being born with such great pain is a universal society. What characterizes the events we witness, what distinguishes them from all preceding events back to the origins of history is their global character.
The leaders are the laggards. the disease of power seems to confuse and befuddle them. Never is the chancelleries of the world or in the halls of the United Nations is the real problem raised. Never do they state the bold truth that the next great advance in the evolution of civilization cannot take place until war is abolished. they increase preparedness by alliance, by feverish activity in developing deadlier weapons. We are told we must go on at present some say for 50 years or more.
-General Douglas MacArthur, WWII Supreme Allied Commander
26 Jan 1955 NY Times p. 1
The awareness that we are all human beings together has become lost in war
and through politics. We have reached the point of regarding each other only as
members of a people either allied with or against us and our approach-prejudice,
sympathy or antipathy-are all conditioned by that. Now we must rediscover the
fact that we-all together-are human beings. Now let us set our hopes on the
spirit’s bringing people and nations back together
- Albert Schweitzer Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
There is no question there will be world government this century. The questions
are will it come about by cataclysm, drift or rational design and will it be
totalitarian, benign or participatory democratic. The probabilities being in that
- Saul Mendlovitz, Director World Order Models Project, UNESCO Peace
Education Award 1991. Former president, World Policy Institute, New York.
The new world order that is in the making must focus on the creation of a world
democracy, peace and prosperity for all.
In the next century (now), nations as we know it will be obsolete; all states will
recognize a single global authority and realize national sovereignty wasn’t such a
great deal after all.
-Strobe Talbott Deputy Secretary of State under Bill Clinton
More than ever, we need a new international order that draws on the experience and results achieved in these years by the United Nations. It would be able to provide solutions to the problems of today... based on the dignity of human beings, an integrated development of society, solidarity between rich and poor nations, and on the sharing of resources and the extraordinary results of scientific and technological progress.
-Pope John Paul II
The better mind of the world desires today not absolutely independent States warring one against another, but a federation of friendly, inter-dependent States
- Mohandas Gandhi
There are no nations! There is only humanity. And if we do not come to understand that right soon, there will be no nations because there will be no humanity.
-Isaac Asimov I, Asimov
We have entered a period of human history in which the problems we face-and climate change is but one-are so massive and complex that no country, no matter how powerful, can solve them alone. Yet we continue to allow our attachment to sovereignty to get in the way of meaningful collective action….learning to think and behave as citizens of the world, not just of our own nation-states, is what we must all do if we’re to avoid environmental havoc…[we need] to campaign for global co-operation on global issues…it is in every nation’s long-term interests to do so. After all, what good is sovereignty if you can’t breathe? I ask myself: is any country’s sovereignty, including Canada’s, more important than the welfare of future generations?
-John Macfarlane Editor of The Walrus
There is no solution for civilization or even the human race, other than the creation of world government.
For humanity is already a single, whole and planetary we appeal as human beings to human beings; remember your humanity and forget the rest.
–Einstein on his death bed.
A 'sophisticated' person might well comment: We have been working toward the same goal by means of small, patient steps. But I, the so-called 'idealist', regard this as a fatal illusion. There is not any gradual way to secure peace, but through a resolute and creative act".
-Excerpts taken from Einstein on Peace, 1963
There is no first step to world government; world government is the first step.
-Emery Reves, The Anatomy of Peace, 1945
We can no longer permit ourselves to be lead by statesmen who use us as pawns in the game of national interests. WE wish to be led by those who represent us directly; we, the individuals of the human community.
Today the universal common good poses problems of world-wide dimensions, which cannot be adequately tackled or solved except by the efforts of public authorities endowed with a wideness of powers, structure and means of the same proportions; that is, of public authorities which are in a position to operate in an effective manner on a world-wide basis. The moral order itself, therefore, demands that such a form of public authority by established.
-Pope John XXIII 1963 Pacem in Terris "The Insufficiency of Modern States to Ensure the Universal Common Good"
Humanity is transiting into a new kind of civilization, a global civilization. We are really too close to the event to realize its significance.
-Indian ambassador to UN Karen Singh 1989.
Science has made unrestricted national sovereignty incompatible with human survival. The only possibilities are now world government or death.
- Bertrand Russell
The classical scope of responsibility-to one's self, to one's family, to one's community and nation-must be broadened. This responsibility in short, must be universal in concept and planetary in scope.
-former Canadian PM Pierre Trudeau (commencement address at Duke University North Carolina, 1974)
$1.74 Trillion in world military expenditures (SIPRI)..."fills the coffers of the rich whilst it fills the coffins of the poor".
-Duncan Graham, Purple Dawn Sept. 1990
The real terrorists are national leaders, the real hostages are all of us.
-Bishop Thomas Gumbleton 1978
The world needs leadership that is proactive, not simply reactive, that is inspired, not simply functional, that looks to the longer term and future generations for whom the present is held in trust. It needs leaders made strong by vision, sustained by ethics and revealed by political courage that looks beyond the next election.
-Our Global Neighborhood: The Report of the Commission on Global Governance (1st ed.)
World government is not only possible, it is inevitable; and when it comes it will all appeal to patriotism in its truest, in its only sense, the patriotism of [those] who love their national heritages so deeply that they wish to preserve them in safety for the common good.
-Sir Peter Ustinov