Foreword: This essay was revised from one first written in September 2009. As such it maintains the perspective of that year.
Momentum is beginning to develop for the DWG (Democratic World Government) movements. Some individuals and organizations desire to bypass or even abolish the current United Nations. This is understandable as one considers the undemocratic structure of a large bureaucracy that continues to prop up legions of squabbling nation-state regimes.
Others, however, seek a more pragmatic approach that involves working with what already exists and reform the UN. Another group combines vision and pragmatism to go even further: 1) to not just reform the UN but transform the United Nations, and 2) couple this with the Global Referendum on Democratic World Government, a grass roots effort poised to go “viral” planet-wide.
Recently people from across Planet Earth formed WATUN, the World Alliance to Transform the United Nations. Lawyer-activist Francisco Plancarte of Planetafilia Federacion Federale, a global democracy NGO headquartered in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, founded WATUN. The first International Congress of WATUN was held in Mexico City and was chaired by global democracy activist Rob Wheeler. This founding congress piggybacked onto the 9-11 September 2006 annual conference of the UN Department of Public Information and Non-Government Organizations to host its own gathering on 12 September 2009.
Some accounts, including the newsletter of the Democratic World Federalists, declared over 1,300 people participated in the UN DPI/NGO conference. Rob Wheeler estimates somewhere between 75 and 100 activists attended a WATUN Workshop held during the UN conference and the WATUN Congress held afterwards. At least 29 member organizations joined WATUN. Many more are expected to join. Those in attendance defined the Mission Statement for WATUN and established a Council to continue the work inaugurated in Mexico City.
Together the attendees hammered out a Mission Statement for the World Alliance to Transform the United Nations. It is long for a mission statement, yet detailed and to the point. The new WATUN Mission Statement, quoted from the WATUN website, follows as:
“The Mission of the World Alliance for Transforming the United Nations is to urge and promote a Review of the UN Charter as a first step in reforming or transforming the United Nations, starting with a UN Parliamentary Assembly and moving towards a World Parliament that truly represents the people, including via nation-states and world civil society. We’ll work for the establishment of an effective system of global governance that is able to deal adequately with such global issues as peace and security, disarmament, sustainable development, adherence to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, international law, and the protection and restoration of the natural environment. It should be based on the principles of justice, freedom, democracy, rule of law, equity, self-determination, mutual cultural respect and religious diversity, international fellowship and cooperation.”
VWG (Vote World Government), the pioneering NGO founded by Canadian activist Jim Stark that launched the Global Referendum for Democratic World Government joined WATUN. VWG and the Global Referendum were represented at the first WATUN Congress by Francisco Plancarte, who recently joined VWG and sits on its Board.
The new WATUN Council planned to focus on eight upcoming campaigns to further the cause of planetary democracy. One of those campaigns is to work to support, educate, and publicize the Global Referendum. Rob Wheeler and Jim Stark crafted a resolution adopted by the Council for consideration. The Council intends to address the Global Referendum at its next meeting, scheduled for October 2009 in New York City. The resolution reads as follows:
“GLOBAL REFERENDUM ON DEMOCRATIC WORLD GOVERNMENT
In order to transform the UN into an institution that represents the genuine interests of humankind, we must surely use democratic means to achieve our goal. Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides that “The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government [and that] this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which … shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.” A global referendum is feasible today, using the Internet, and a world vote on democratic world government is now underway at www.voteworldgovernment.org. If the online voting goes “viral” and the ballot passes by a good margin, that mandate would be accepted by many people as legally binding under international law, and would be politically compelling no matter what its legal status. In such an emerging situation, we will surely be able to transfer ownership of the global referendum to the UN. A global referendum on democratic world government is a very powerful new idea, and it has already been supported by 119 cosmopolitan authors. WATUN thus agrees to: 1) endorse the global referendum (as presented at www.voteworldgovernment.org); 2) encourage each member organization, and all other civil society organizations, to collect ballots however possible and as fast as possible, to be tabulated by Vote World Government (the NGO that developed this initiative); 3) support the idea of moving the global referendum from an online vote to a formal procedure by means of a resolution in the UN General Assembly (a draft UN resolution for this has been prepared, and is posted at www.voteworldgovernment.org/draftUNresolution.pdf).”
As a reminder the wording of the Global Referendum is simple and straightforward. It reads thus: “Do you support the creation of a directly-elected, representative and democratic world government?”
These are powerful steps. Building democratic world government is a massive undertaking, more massive than landing men on the Moon. It is time we accept this challenge. It is time men and women come together from across the planet to craft a constitutional planetary democracy that advances liberty, justice, equality, peace, and community. Crafting such a union goes hand in hand with the necessity to reform our global economic system and abolish war between not only nations but also different ethnic and religious groups.
This movement is a preventative stand for the survival of the human species so that we may resolve a historically unique convergence of global crises. There will be no individual liberty, nor financial prosperity, no journeys to the planets and stars, no world peace, no inner peace until we get our own planetary house in order as one united species.
1) World Alliance to Transform the UN @ http://www.transformun.org/home.
2) Democratic World Government through a Global Referendum @ http://voteworldgovernment.org/. (Note: This was left here for the record for historical purposes. Since this was first published, this NGO has renamed itself Vote World Parliament with its new website at https://voteworldparliament.org/. The Author currently serves on The Board of VWP. The referendum is worded to ask “Do you support the creation of a directly-elected, representative and democratic world parliament?”
4) Planetafilia Federacion Mundial de Naciones @ http://www.planetafilia.org/english/english.html.
3) “The World Voter: The Newsletter of Vote World Government, Issue # 19, September 2009” with article on WANTUN & VWG @ http://www.rescueplanforplanetearth.com/WorldVoterNewsletter19.pdf.
William Dudley Bass
20 September 2009
Revised and reposted 11 January 2012
NOTE: This article was first published as “WATUN: Another Step Forward for Humanity on Earth,” on my earlier current affairs blog At the Brink with William Dudley Bass, on 20 September 2009 at, http://atthebrinkwithwilliamdudleybass.blogspot.com/2009/09/watun-another-step-forward-for-humanity.html. It was revised and re-published here. Thank you.
Copyright © 2009, 2012, 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.