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January 2012

(Volume 3, Issue 1)



Upcoming Events

Monthly Lecture & Discussion Series
Third Thursday of each month
Location: Unitarian Church, 949 West 49th Ave & Oak Street

Monthly Lecture & Discussion Series
Last Friday of each month
Location: St John the Divine Anglican Church, on Quadra
Marie-Berthe Dion Issues Action Group meets regularly to write letters
Third Wednesday of each month
10:30-12:30 & 6 - 8 pm 
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R2P: The Next Decade

The Stanley Foundation, in partnership with the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the MacArthur Foundation, marked the 10th anniversary of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) with a full-day conference on January 18th.

The daylong program brought together figures critical to the historical and contemporary evolution of R2P, including United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; members of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty; key international, regional, and national officials; academic and policy experts; civil society figures; and journalists.

Video recordings of the panels and speakers, background materials, and interviews with participants such as Roméo DallaireMichael Ignatieff, and Ambassador Hardeep Singh Pur a, permanent representative of India to the United Nations are available.

The blog of the International Coalition for RtoP has posted a summary of the conference, as well as an overview of the tweeting that went on during the event.


Rio+20: United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development

It has been twenty years since the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio and the UN is again bringing together governments, international institutions and major groups to revisit some of those same issues. Rio+20 will take place in Brazil in June of this year.

The official discussions will focus on two main themes: how to build a green economy to achieve sustainable development and lift people out of poverty; and how to improve international coordination for sustainable development. 

Publications and updates are available through the
 Rio+20 website, and include a bi-weekly newsletter and a brochure, The Future We Want, that provides an overview of the process.

This coming Sunday, the Montreal Branch of WFMC will host Desirée McGraw, Executive Director of the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation, on the topic "Rio + 20: Canada from Leader to Laggard?", as she shares her hopes for Rio 2012, as well as her perspectives on the decades since the Earth Summit on Environment and Development (Rio 1992), which she attended as one of two Canadian Youth Ambassadors.

This is the Montreal Branch's annual post-holiday luncheon.


Democratizing Global Governance

From the G20 to the Occupy Movement, one of the crucially important political reform challenges of our times remains the need to democratize global governance. Institutions, decision-making and the rule of law are most prominent and effective at the national level. But, increasingly, politics, information, media and finance operate globally.

To increase accountability, transparency and effectiveness at the international level, why not use as a model an institution that has served us so well domestically, and that we consider indispensable  - the institution of parliament?

WFM – Canada has renewed its campaign to garner support from among Canadian parliamentarians for the campaign to establish a Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations. From January 25 to February 2 letters and faxes are being sent to Canadian MPs and Senators encouraging them to endorse the international UNPA appeal41 Canadian Parliamentarians have already endorsed the appeal.

To find out more about the international campaign, visit To help build support from among Canadian parliamentarians, contact WFMC, as the regional contact for Canada.

Upcoming meeting of UN Human Rights Council

WFM – Canada National President Warren Allmand and Executive Director Fergus Watt participated in a meeting January 17 in Ottawa organized by the Canadian International Human Rights Network. Discussions among government officials and Canadian human rights NGOs focused on the upcoming 19th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

WFM – Canada is also working with Australian government officials on proposed language of a statement on the “Responsibility to Protect” that is likely to be adopted at the March HRC session in Geneva.

Young World Federalists and Global Democracy

At a January 19 meeting of the Vancouver Branch, Vivian Davidson reported on her attendance at the 28th International Seminar on Federalism last summer. For many years, the Altiero Spinelli Institute for Federalist Studies has organised this international seminar for young Federalists to gather for discussions with leading experts about federalist ideas and their application to the European and global context. 

According to Davidson, “One of the key developments at Ventotene was the emergence of a loose network of global democracy advocates."

“This is an interesting network,” says Davidson, because “It allows European and non-European global democracy activists to share experiences, update on individual projects in their respective countries and learn from their successes and failures.  Social media led initiatives and greater inter-connectivity are changing the way we work as World Federalist communities.  Our aim is to activate the global public in civic engagement for the purpose of advancing WF agendas and policies.  Hopefully in this way we can contribute to overcoming the dysfunctional nation-state political setup and create the necessary global democratic framework."

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