Building a World Federation and Democratic International Institutions

Resolution submitted by PC3 – External Affairs and Global Governance

Adopted by the European Congress in Liège on 21 November 2021. Re-adopted and amended in the European Federal Committee in Tartu, Estonia on 14 April 2024.  

The pursuit of a unified global community built on principles of peace, multiculturalism and the equal rights and dignity of all human beings has emerged as a provider of hope during many of the darkest times of our history. It is no longer just a vision, as this idea has achieved considerable success in promoting peace between European nations in the form of the European Union. Even as the concept of national sovereignty and independence has been, indeed, a force for progress and liberation through the last centuries, it is yet again evident in the current tumultuous landscape that it has not vanquished the desire to dominate; instead equating individual safety and security with the maximisation of national power, and equating global peace with a precarious balance of terror. Therefore, by Federalism we mean not only a new form of government, but a new international order, the only order fully capable of maintaining peace as well as achieving a perpetual peace – by transforming the existing international relations between competing nation-states into legal relations among equals, based on global rule of law and subsidiarity.

A World Federation, built on these principles, would reflect a reorganisation of power on a global scale that would no longer be based on a North–South-divide, on the dominant–dominated logic or a unipolar or multipolar hegemony, but instead on an equal and full realisation of political, social and economic rights and human potentials in every part of the world. This can only be achieved if citizens are given the rights, power and resources to participate democratically in shaping the institutions that govern global relations and if the existing forms of global governance are consolidated and democratised into representative and inclusive federal multi-level institutions that preserve,
protect and foster international democracy.

JEF Europe,

  • Recalling its Political Platform, in particular point 5.2 stating that achieving federal institutions at all levels and a world federation represent JEF Europe’s long-term objective;
  • Recalling the resolution of PC2 “Environment does not stop at borders: Towards a sustainable Europe and a sustainable Global Climate Policy” which, among others, urges to include, in the reform of multilateral institutions, the creation of an International Court having competence over transnational environmental crimes;
  • Recognising the different regional paths towards federalisation, such as the European Union, the African Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations without whom global multilevel governance could not be achieved;
  • Condemning any form of neocolonialism, also and especially when it comes under the cover of “development” and “democratisation” which, along with the legitimacy and perception of these goals, it effectively undermines;
  • Recalling that the world federation needs to be based on subsidiarity and pluralism, not centralisation of power and hegemonic control, and that it requires a two-way process with a strengthened role for local, transnational and regional organisations;
  • Maintaining that whilst national states are historically grown and well-established constructs, they are not final solutions to power
    distribution, especially within modern fields of governance that came up longer after the creation of the nation states, such as environmental policy or the understanding of the indispensability of safeguarding minority rights,
  • Noting that the world already knows a plenty of examples of successful multinational and pluralistic federal states;
  • Deeply convinced that only federalism can ensure peace, not only in the sense of the absence of war, but as a situation in which war is completely out of consideration as a means of resolving conflicts;
  • Emphasising that insecurity at the global level requires the strengthening of multilateral structures and forums to enhance dialogue and cooperation to ensure that human rights and peace are fully preserved and respected, with taking into account and learning lessons from historical mistakes and the non-functionality of the previous attempts such as the United Nations and the League of Nations;
  • Underlining the urgency of mitigating and halting a global climate catastrophe and ecological collapse, perhaps the most widely-understood example of the “tragedy of the commons”, emerging when individuals and states prioritise self-interest; while regretting the evident failure of the numerous global Conferences of the Parties and their participants to agree and commit to a sustained solution;
  • Concerned by the continuing global prevalence of unequal access to vital resources, standards of living adequate to health and well-being, necessary social services, economic opportunities, funding and just and favourable conditions of work with dignified compensation for work, especially within youth, minorities and immigrants; while regretting the evident inadequacy of the current trade agreements, international organisations and conventions in mitigating these inequalities;
  • Underlining the acceleration of scientific and technological advancement in emerging technologies, breakthroughs which provide unprecedented power for their proprietary companies allowing them to escape state regulatory control and determine rules and legislation;
  • while regretting the evident failure of these companies and beneficiary states to curtail the weaponisation and criminal use of those technologies, to safeguard democracy against disinformation and destabilisation and to protect private data;
  • Alarmed by the proliferation and global networking of criminal organisations, which set themselves up as criminal multinationals, ; while regretting the evident lack of a sufficient global criminal law and frameworks capable of combating transnational crime;
  • Observing the global increase in the recent development of international migration; acknowledging its continuing increase in the future considering the state of the world; and regretting the complete lack of a unified understanding and commitment within states to provide safe and dignified channels for immigration;
  • Disturbed by the recent flare-up of regional conflicts all around the world, including the new prevalence of using threats of mass destruction, including with nuclear weapons, as a tool of hostile diplomacy, which clearly signal an impending rebalancement of the global security order;

    Regretting that no reform of the United Nations (UN) Security Council has been seriously taken into account as well as noting its lack of representativeness and undemocratic decision-making;

  • Stressing these lessons-learned from the current systems of global governance, such as the United Nations, which despite its accomplishments has, after 70 years, still not succeeded in maintaining international peace and security, as mandated by the UN Charter;
  • Stressing that as long as the UN does not adopt its own budget, the most influential states will continue to be unaccountable to the international community;

    Denouncing the system of voluntary contributions to UN’s agencies which has made them very prone to political blackmailing and created a lack of stability and predictability to the budget and the recurrent underfunding of important priorities;

  • Taking note of trade disputes and trade wars, their consequences for the global economy and the inability of the Dispute Resolution Mechanism to resolve disputes as well as the slow progress in concluding new multilateral trade pacts;
  • Bearing in mind that if a world federation is based on the application of democratic principles and the rule of law, it is therefore required that the binding and unbinding jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is recognised by all UN members states and enforced universally so that the citizens of the world can be truly equal before the law;
  • Recognising the lack of a commonly shared global, albeit multilayered, identity that is usually found only at the elite levels, which also makes global organisations legitimate only within and accountable to the elites, proven by the EU still being unable to establish a common “European” identity; and hence, underlining the importance of the creation of and education towards a global identity and shared responsibility to a global community being essential to establishing future prosperity and peace.

Therefore JEF Europe,

  1. Urges the EU to become an increasingly integrated and comprehensive institutional model and a more credible democratic, international and coherent foreign policy actor through multilateral and multiplex structures contravening great power unipolarity or multipolarity;
  1. Encourages the EU to play an active and constructive role in the process of democratisation of international organisations, including by working towards the reform of voting mechanisms, such as in the UN and the World Trade Organisation (WTO);
  1. Also encourages the EU to collaborate with other regional organisations in consolidating a multilevel democratic international political structure in a way that breaks with the neo-colonial power dynamics that continue to undermine the trust in current forms of global governance, including the EU itself;
  1. Urges UN member states to work towards consolidating global human rights governance, including by ratifying the rest of the international protocols establishing quasi-judicial processes for the defence, protection and promotion of human rights, and recalls that this requires each State to commit itself to enhancing the state of democracy and respect for the rule of law;
  1. Calls for the contentious jurisdiction of the ICJ to be extended to cases initiated by a single state, without requiring the consent of both parties to initiate proceedings and deliver binding judgments, and further calls for non-state actors to be given the possibility to initiate cases at the ICJ;
  1. Urges states to sign and ratify the Rome Statute to ensure that the International Criminal Court will have full jurisdiction and power in all States;
  1. Calls for regional organisations to start concluding multilateral trade agreements that are based on human rights, ecological and social standards and ensure true and effective freedom of movement of goods, persons and services in the world as a basis for economic integration and prosperity for all;
  1. Calls on the WTO member states to recommit themselves to the principles of the WTO and stop obstructing the proper functioning of the dispute settlement mechanism;
  1. Calls for a reform of the conditionalities of the International Monetary Fund, in particular for the allocation of permanent and exceptional Special Drawing Rights so as not to finance the oppression of the population of undemocratic regimes;
  1. Calls the EU to support a more democratic and representative system at the international level in which states, regional organisations and representatives of the world’s citizens are equally represented, including reshaping the UN political institutions towards federated institutions;
  1. Strongly emphasises the need to empower the UN General Assembly and to abolish the veto power and the permanent members system in the UN Security Council;
  1. Encourages the creation of a UN budget based on its own resources, which would allow the institution to decide its priorities and strategies and to directly fund UN agencies, because voluntary state contributions can easily be politically instrumentalised;
  1. Calls, as a first step, for building and consolidating a world parliament, for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA) to be established within the United Nations decision-making system to represent all citizens of the world equally;
  1. Reaffirms its commitment to strengthening cooperation with the World Federalist Movement in tackling new global challenges and promoting peace, sustainability, citizens’ participation and global democracy.