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December 2012

(Volume 3, Issue 12)

 

 


Upcoming Events

 

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

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

Location: Unitarian Church of Montreal, 5035 boulevard de Maisonneuve Ouest 


Previous issues of WFMC News can be found on our website.

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Government’s flawed Bill S-10 moves to House of Commons

WFM – Canada was actively involved this fall in parliament’s discussion of the government controversial Bill S-10, draft legislation to implement the Cluster Munitions treaty. We are disappointed that the Senate of Canada has now passed the deeply flawed bill, without amendment.

The Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade (SCFAIT) heard from expert witnesses including World Federalist Movement – Canada. These witnesses pointed out numerous flaws in the legislation and suggested a variety of ways to close loopholes. As presently drafted, Bill S-10 would generate a number of “exceptions” to the treaty’s prohibitions banning use of cluster munitions. These exceptions would allow Canadian soldiers to engage in activities that would otherwise be prohibited under the treaty. They include directing, requesting or authorizing use, acquisition, possession, import or export of cluster munitions; the transfer of cluster munitions; and using, acquiring or possessing a cluster munition while on attachment, exchange or secondment with a non-state party to the Convention.

WFM – Canada President Warren Allmand appeared before the SCFAIT. His testimony included an “Open Letter” signed by 27 legal experts calling for the government to “remove or radically revise” the offending parts (section 11) of its draft Act to Implement the Convention on Cluster Munitions. These 27 legal experts, mostly professors of international law at major Canadian universities, also included three former Canadian Ambassadors for Disarmament, an American legal scholar who has authored definitive legal commentaries on the cluster munitions treaty, and the former head of the Canadian delegation to the treaty negotiations, who resigned from the Department of Foreign Affairs in protest over the government’s after-the-fact efforts to reinterpret the scope of the treaty.

Despite amendments being proposed in both the Committee and in Third Reading, the Senate voted to maintain the flaws in the legislation and send it to the House of Commons unchanged, where it is expected to be debated early in the New Year. Please register your support for efforts to fix Bill S-10.


December 2012 issue of Mondial

Mondial is a 20-page bulletin published in Canada by the World Federalists. Some of the articles in the December issue include:

  • An assessment of Canada’s controversial recent statements and actions at the United Nations;
  • Two articles reviewing aspects of the international community’s discussions of the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) and a possible “post-2015 development agenda";
  • The need for Canada to upgrade its commitment to UN peace operations;
  • Recent activities of the International Criminal Court;
  • Two articles on the “Responsibility to Protect;”
  • Background on the Senate’s treatment of Bill S-!0, including some powerful remarks by Canadian Senator Roméo Dallaire;
  • Updates on campaigns for the proposed UN Parliamentary Assembly;
  • A tribute to the late George McGovern
  • A review of Amartya Sen’s seminal work on “Development as Freedom;”
  • Activities from WFMC community groups across Canada;
  • A roundup of events from this summer’s international World Federalist Movement
  • Congress, including excerpts from remarks by noted Canadian author Erna Paris on the occasion of her receiving the 2012 WFMC World Peace Award.

Mondial is published in hard copy and is also available online. The December issue -- both the complete bulletin and individual articles -- will be available by December 31st. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for updates.


The Post-2015 Millennium Development Goals: Will Rhetoric Outpace Commitment?

On January 27, WFM – Canada’s Montreal “Branch Brunch” will take place at the Café of the Museum of Fine Arts (1380 Sherbrooke Street West, near the Guy-Concordia transit stop). Guest speaker for the event will be retired McGill University Professor Myron Frankman, who will review international discussions on the post-2015 development agenda, with specific reference to proposals for a universal, rights-based Social Protection Floor (SPF).

As the international community discusses what should replace the Millennium Development Goals after 2015, a more rights-based development framework, including ideas like the SPF, have been attracting wider support. The Social Protection Floor is based on the idea that everyone should enjoy at least basic income security sufficient to live, guaranteed through transfers in cash or in kind, such as pensions for the elderly and persons with disabilities, child benefits, income support benefits and/or employment guarantees and services for the unemployed and working poor. The combination of in-cash and in-kind transfers should ensure that everyone has access to necessary goods and services, including essential health services, food security, primary education, housing, water and sanitation and others defined according to national priorities. The SPF was recently endorsed in a study sponsored by the UN’s International Labour Organization.

The charge for the event is $35. Please RSVP by contacting Carol Greene.


ICC’s second verdict proves controversial

On December 18, the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Trial Chamber II issued a decision to acquit Ngudjolo Chui of the Democratic Republic of the Congo of all charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in the DRC in 2003.

The Office of the Prosecutor immediately announced that she would be appealing this decision.

In the earlier decision and judgment on the case, judges stated that the prosecutor had failed to present sufficient evidence to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that Ngudjolo Chui was responsible for the commission of the alleged crimes—including murder and sexual and gender-based violence—during an attack on Bogoro village in the DRC's eastern Ituri region.

For more information, visit the NGO Coalition for the ICC.


REMINDER: Your donations keep us going!

As 2012 is drawing to a close, we would like to thank you for your support and extend best wishes for the year ahead.

A growing number of the world’s citizens recognize that “global governance is broken,” and that committed engagement by civil society will be necessary to making political progress in the years ahead.

World Federalists recognize the need to move beyond a nation-state framework, to build a more equitable, accountable and democratically governed international order.

Although the present Canadian Government generated headlines this past year with an excessively critical approach to the United Nations, World Federalists have always been, and will continue to be, “constructively critical” of the organization. We seek a UN that can deliver on its goals. We are dedicated to transforming the institution so that it has the financial means, the legal authority and political legitimacy that will allow it to address the world’s pressing global problems.

With your help, public education and advocacy efforts in support of these world federalist goals will continue in the year ahead.

If a 2012 tax receipt is required, your donation should be made payable to the World Federalist Foundation.

Your support is very much appreciated, and needed.

Thank you!