A People's World Government
Who's Fooling Whom?
By Carl Teichrib
Forcing Change, June 2008
- "...the United Nations must be made into an effective world government." Lucile W. Green, Journey to a Governed World
Note: The following article was originally penned in the late 1990s after attending a small, but intense meeting on ways to implement a world parliament.
The reason for re-publishing this item is straightforward. A recent, global call has been issued to create a world parliament attached to the United Nations. Presently, more than 500 Members of Parliament, from Canada to New Zealand to South Africa to Argentina, have endorsed this move. Other notables such as Edgar Mitchell, former Apollo astronaut; Boutros Boutros-Ghali, former UN Secretary-General; Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London; and John Turner, former Prime Minister of Canada, have come out in favour of this proposal.
Last fall, a preparatory meeting between major non-government organizations re-ignited the UN Parliamentary Assembly idea – a concept that has been in quiet circulation for decades. Now, world government advocates and UN support groups are engaging in lobbying efforts to bring political pressure to bear. And it is anticipated that media attention will begin to focus on this development in the near future.
How serious is this movement? Although the concept isn’t new, it has never managed to grow wings. Today, that’s changing. Momentum has intensified since 2005, with last year’s NGO meeting adding significant clout to the program. In order to help understand what this means, I’ve decided to re-print an article based on my personal experiences at one of the earlier People’s Assembly/world parliament events. Some changes have been made from the original (which was published in Gary Kah’s Hope for the World Update), including extra details that pertain to the situation at hand.
Something else to note is that two of the organizations mentioned in this article are now defunct. In the case of the Action Coalition for Global Change, the organization has morphed into a website network, Empower the United Nations. And in the case of the United Planetary Federation, the group is no longer operational. However, the work of these organizations helped lay the foundation for today’s United Nations Parliamentary Assembly campaign.
To the residents of a weathered looking section of north Chicago, I must have looked lost. After the fourth drive around the block, I still hadn’t found what looked like the right building. The sun had set hours before, and the street lighting was poor. Large hardwood trees lined the sidewalk, and all the houses looked the same – dark.
This was where elite global movers and shakers were supposed to meet, in an old residential section? This was where, for the next two days, world thinkers would develop directives towards bringing Chicago on-line with global government? Something didn’t seem right.
Finally, after 20 minutes of frustrated searching in the gloom of a November evening, I stopped the car and ran up the steps of the only building that vaguely fit what I was looking for. No lighted signs, billboards or banners announced my location; just a plain piece of paper with simple type posted on the door. Walking in, I was welcomed to “DreamHouse.”
Unknown to all but a handful, Chicago was the setting for a small but intense conference on world government in early November 1997. For two days (7th and 8th), the United Planetary Federation (UPF), under the leadership of Glen Nuttall, hosted the United Peoples Advocates
and Global Virtual Assembly
– a visioneering event for global governance.
The meeting place, as already alluded to, was very low profile. DreamHouse, as the place was called, was a former Salvation Army chapel. It was from this location, still equipped with a podium embossed with a wooden cross, that the message of global consensus was preached.
A few months earlier I had talked to Mr. Nuttall, the conference organizer, about the up-coming Assembly. Optimistic, he explained that this meeting was meant to unite the peace movement and work to bring Chicago to the forefront of the emerging global system. He also hoped to have a substantial crowd for the conference. The crowd never showed. Less than twenty people were in the building.
A Meeting of Minds
At first it seemed to me the UPF Assembly was a washout. With so few attending, what could happen? Little did I know that those in the room were some of the most influential players within world government circles. Note: the following short list reflects the positions these people held in 1997.
- Lucile Green: member of the World Constitution and Parliament Association (WCPA), 4th signer of the WCPA Constitution for the Federation of Earth, founder and co-chair of the World Government Organization Coalition, member of the American Humanist Association, the World Future Society, and on the executive of the Action Coalition for Global Change (ACGC). Note: Since Lucile Green’s death in 2004, ACGC has morphed into a new organization: Citizens for a United Nations People’s Assembly. However, from the mid-1990s until 2004, the ACGC was a key United Nations empowerment advocacy group.
- Nari Safavi: President of the World Federalist Association of Chicago and on the World Federalist Association National Board.
- Tom Hudgens: President and CEO of the Association to Unite the Democracies (an organization that was influential in the early history of NATO), a member of the World Federalist Association, and a member of the World Citizens Assembly.
- Robert Stuart: Chairman of the Board of the Association to Unite the Democracies, member of the World Federalist Association.
- Howard Cort: member of the International Public Policy Institute, and a task force member to organize a United People’s Assembly under the guidance of the Action Coalition for Global Change.
- Roy Corr: member of the World Federalist Association and Worldwatch.
- Amos El-Roy: key developer of the Grassroots World Government (GWG) web site and author of GWG working papers.
---Summing up the gathering of these individuals, Lucile Green, in her Saturday morning speech, stated,
- “I feel that I’m speaking to a room full of VIPs. Robert Muller loved to quote Margaret Mead, saying, ‘You know it takes only a few committed people to change the world.’ And it’s the only thing that ever does change it. So I think we have here a few important people, this is an important event, and we could change the world.”1
In some respects it was a “federalist family” atmosphere. Because of the small size, and because most of those in attendance knew one another, the discussion and planning time was overt to the cause of world federalism. For myself, an unknown to the group, it was a time of education concerning the goals and principles of global government.
The Voice Of Special Interest Groups
Key to the UPF meeting was the development of strategies to bring Chicago into a unified world’s People’s Assembly. Even though the concept was new to me, I soon discovered that the idea of a People’s Assembly spanned decades. As far back as 1978, Lucile Green recommended that non-governmental organizations (NGOs are a akin to a global lobby group) form an official institution attached to the world community. This was expressed during an NGO forum – a “People’s Assembly” – running parallel to the 1978 United Nations Special Session on Disarmament.
After the Special Session was over and the People’s Assembly closed, Green publicly suggested the following line of action,
- “…the Peoples Assembly…will continue as a precedent and possible nucleus for forming a truly global institution to represent the common interests of people rather than the competing interests of nations. A Peoples Assembly will be held every time and place the U.N. special sessions are held on problems that concern people in general, such as the future of the oceans, technology, and childrens [sic] rights. The Peoples Assembly should be…soundly incorporated into the structure of the U.N. as a permanent house – a Peoples Assembly with the voting power to change the no-win game of dis-united nation…”2
In 1997, the idea of a People’s Assembly witnessed a renewal. Lucile Green, Robert Muller (former UN Under Secretary General), Douglas Roche (Canadian Senator), and Lady Rhyl Jansen (president of the UN Association of New Zealand), started to organize an NGO network with the goal of creating a People’s Assembly
. That same year, UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, gave the call for the formation of a People’s Millennium Assembly in the year 2000. NGOs such as the World Federalist Association and Green’s Action Coalition for Global Change
recognized this historic opportunity, anticipating the time when NGO’s would act as the collective voice of people around the world.
So what does this mean? NGOs with United Nations status would have a direct say, on “your behalf,” in determining international policies. Groups such as Planned Parenthood, the Global Futures Network, the World Federalist Movement, the World Wildlife Fund, Greenpeace, the Bahá’í International Community, and Lucis Trust (an occult educational group formerly known as Lucifer Publishing), among other likeminded organizations, would act as the official voice of humanity in the international arena.
All of this would be done through elected local representatives – a global Member of Parliament
– holding a seat in the newly formed United Nations People’s Assembly
. And as NGOs such as the World Federalist Movement formed the backbone of this official body, so too they would be the channels through which these MPs gained influence and power.
Targeting Cities and the Year 2000.
Developing the foundation for this not-so-distant People’s Assembly
was one of the main purposes for the Chicago meeting. Moreover, the Chicago People’s Assembly was only one of many similar gatherings being convened worldwide. At Dream-House, we were given lists of major cities that were planning similar events. Places such as Boston, Bombay, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, New Delhi, Paris, Philadelphia, Tokyo, The Hague, and Wellington are scheduled to host events that will lead towards the creation of an Assembly. Cities such as San Francisco and New York have already held their conferences, and NGOs in these cities are moving forward.
In Perugia, Italy, People’s Assembly organizers were hoping to have 80,000 participant march from Perugia to Assissi in support of this global cause. But because of an earthquake in the area, only 10,000 showed up. Even as the UPF conference in Chicago was taking place, a high level NGO/People’s Assembly meeting was being conducted in Geneva, Switzerland. On Saturday morning, Lucile Green presented personal greetings from the Geneva group, as well as from the Perugia Assembly organizers.
But why target cities? At Chicago the reason became obvious. Cities are strategically significant. To Illustrate, UPF participants were given a list of 94 of the largest cities in the world. We were told that these were “global cities,” representing major portions of the planet’s population. Hence, these cities are the economic, political, corporate and academic hubs for their represented regions and nations. By bringing cities on-line as players in a UN People’s Assembly, governance on a planetary scale could be ramped up.
Ms. Green provided extra context,
- “...the idea of a People’s Assembly has gone from a long, long dream, (from) at least ‘78 and probably earlier than that…into an embryo. It’s no longer a question of if it will happen but a question of what will it be like? And there are already signs of life in all of these Assemblies around the world...life signs of this embryo about to be born. We even know the date when it will be born, which will be the year 2000. And between now and then, my friends, we are in labour. And there will be pain in labour. Plenty of it, I’m sure. But our labour pains will bring forth a new life in the year 2000.”
Author’s Note: In 2000, I participated in the UN Millennium Forum, which in many ways represented Kofi Annan’s earlier idea of a Millennium Assembly. During that event I was involved in the working group tasked to find ways to empower the United Nations system. One of the primary focus areas was on the creation of a United Nations People’s Assembly/world parliament structure. This recommendation found its way into the United Nations Millennium Forum concluding document.
During the lunch hour, Lucile Green expressed suspicions of my presence
. Because of the small size of the group and the fact that everyone, except myself, contributed to the discussions
, I stood out. Within a few minutes, Robert Stuart from the Association to Unite the Democracies, along with Ms. Green, openly questioned my silence and lack of participation. Pulled aside and questioned by these two, I explained that I was attending because I felt this meeting would be of historical value – a true statement. I also explained that as an obvious outsider, I didn’t feel comfortable contributing to the discussions.
At this point I was given an interesting insight. They explained that what we were doing was secretive, and that the general public was not aware of world government developments
. This work, I was told, was theoretical in nature. Somehow this didn’t fit with the political ideal of “representation.”
Democracy & Representation in a World Government:
Tom Hudgens, CEO of the Association to Unite the Democracies, gave an alternative scenario; Hudgens outlining how NATO could be used as a framework for a unified world democratic system. If NATO nations would come together on a macro-level (politically, economically, militarily, etc.), he believed other countries would feel pressure to join this global “democratic” system.
Others in the audience thought this approach had merit, and suggested pursuing it further.
Another gentleman who contributed heavily at the UPF meeting was World Federalist Nari Safavi.
- “I cannot hide my sense of excitement and exultation because I think a lot of the goals and principles that the World Federalists have been advocating now are coming to fruition. The historical forces are aligning.... All of a sudden what was unachievable, what was unthinkable, is thinkable and is achievable.”
Mr. Safavi elaborated on the connections between world government and a People’s Assembly,
- “To the idea of a world government, World Federalists nowadays basically respond that the world government is already here. When you look at organizations such as the World Trade Organization or IMF (International Monetary Fund) or...the World Bank; what are these? These are instruments of global governance. World government is here, but we just don’t have any voice in them. ...if we want to have a Federation to be democratic, we need to have people’s representation... so we hope to see a People’s Assembly ultimately to evolve into the Constituents Assembly body of the world government, where the citizens of the world, their representatives, will have the power to legislate for the whole world.”
During our talks, somebody asked about the electoral process of a global People’s Assembly. What values and ethics would be required in a global Member of Parliament? After some lengthy discussion, it was obvious that a global MP would have to meet a certain set of criteria.
- No pro-nationalism or country specific patriotism. First and foremost, a global MP must hold allegiances to the Earth community.
- Western views of development and economics, primarily capitalism, would have to be downplayed. Instead, a more holistic approach would be necessary in a global MP.
- A global MP couldn’t be someone who held narrow religious and philosophical beliefs. Rather, he/she must embrace spiritual pluralism and a wider set of ethics. [See New Spirituality for an Awakening Planet]
- His/her focus must be on the Earth first: environmental concerns must supersede human growth and development.
- A global MP must be lock step with the agenda for world government. Period.
Democracy? Representation? The words rang hollow.
Getting To The Point
Deborah Burris-Kitchen, an overt Marxist
who teaches at the University of LaVerne, California, gave a speech outlining the dangers of global capitalism
. Her presentation added much to the discussion, but it also caused uneasiness within the group. Was it that her message acted as a type of mirror for the other participants, revealing the real nature of world government? In any case, even as participants disagreed with Burris-Kitchen, the general “consensus” was that a global system must be not Westernized, but based on a larger methodology.
Lucile Green demonstrated what this would look like in her book Journey to a Governed World,
- “A new consciousness is also emerging from a growing awareness in the West of the wisdom of the Eastern world-view. Buddhism, Hinduism, Taosim and Shinto, while they differ in many respects, portray the world as a multi-dimensional, organically interrelated eco-system of which man is one of many inter-dependent parts. Perhaps we can learn through them to see the world whole, as it really is, and together – West and East – begin to build the foundations of a new world order.
The most urgent item on the planetary agenda is to set the limits of freedom and order in supra-national, global affairs. A constitution for the world is needed which combines the achievements of both hemispheres: that is, constitutional limitations and a bill of rights from the West and a spacious world-view from the East.”3
Before the Chicago event ended, a special survey was passed around. The questions presented painted an interesting picture of world government and global democracy. And it caused me to reflect:what kind of world will my children inherit? Note: The survey is reprinted in its entirety in this issue of Forcing Change.
It was nearly six p.m. when I was questioned again regarding my purpose for attending the meeting. The message was clear: I was viewed as an infiltrator. Knowing when your time’s up is important. I gave myself an hour more and then headed for the door. In the space of a comparatively few short hours, DreamHouse had allowed me to catch a glimpse of the bigger picture – a vision of pseudo-democracy and the desired centralization of power.
In the future, watch as a United Nations-inspired “People’s Assembly” gains momentum and comes to public light. When it does, I fully expect that the media spin will be primarily positive, selling the idea to a public ill-equipped to comprehend the true nature of the global dream.
A people’s world government…who’s fooling whom? FC
1 All quotes, unless otherwise noted, have been taken from the audio recordings of this event.
2 Lucile W. Green, Journey to a Governed World: Thru 50 Years in the Peace Movement (The Uniquest Foundation, 1991/92), p.39.
3 Ibid, pp.34-35.