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If the time has come for a government of the world, a global parliament, a true commonwealth of all nations, how could humanity make it happen? What would need to happen to make that incredibly important and revolutionary process a reality?
Well, it might surprise you to know that the world has already taken several of the first steps necessary for global governance.
First, humanity has established, all in the last sixty-five years or so, a broad spectrum of regional and international governmental organizations—starting with the United Nations, but only beginning there. Countries have recognized their interdependence and created the European Union, NATO, the African Union, The Arab League, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Association of South East Asian Nations, and many, many other similar organizations.
Second, we have a growing, recognized and increasingly important system and practice of international law, which includes the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court.
Third, the global financial market in goods and services has rapidly developed and become increasingly important. Efforts to regulate that supranational market, with institutions like the World Bank and the World Trade Organization, still tend to unjustly privilege the developed nations of the world over others, but change has started to occur.
Fourth, we now have a global media, with digital and satellite communications that allow most of the world’s people to receive information they never had access to before.
Fifth, growing grassroots groups like the World Federalist Movement, Citizens for Global Solutions and One World Trust all encourage people in every part of the world to become engaged global citizens.
Sixth, the national governments of the world have begun to recognize that our global environmental problems—climate change, air and water pollution, etc.—have no national boundaries, and require unified planetary solutions.
Seventh, the Campaign for the Establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (CEUNPA) began in 2007, brought about by the Committee for a Democratic United Nations. This important development would add a democratic Parliamentary Assembly to the United Nations, allowing member nations’ elected representatives to have decision-making power in the U.N.’s deliberations. Eventually, the Campaign proposes direct election of U.N. Parliament members on a worldwide basis. So far the CEUNPA has the support of more than 350 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and 850 parliamentarians from 140 countries.
These developments all echo the call of Baha’u’llah:
The time must come when the imperative necessity for the holding of a vast, an all-embracing assemblage of men will be universally realized. The rulers and kings of the earth must needs attend it, and, participating in its deliberations, must consider such ways and means as will lay the foundations of the world’s Great Peace amongst men. Such a peace demandeth that the Great Powers should resolve, for the sake of the tranquillity of the peoples of the earth, to be fully reconciled among themselves. Should any king take up arms against another, all should unitedly arise and prevent him. If this be done, the nations of the world will no longer require any armaments, except for the purpose of preserving the security of their realms and of maintaining internal order within their territories. This will ensure the peace and composure of every people, government and nation. – Baha’u’llah, Tablets of Baha’u’llah, p. 164.
…the national assemblies of each country and nation — that is to say parliaments — should elect two or three persons who are the choicest men of that nation, and are well informed concerning international laws and the relations between governments and aware of the essential needs of the world of humanity in this day. The number of these representatives should be in proportion to the number of inhabitants of that country. The election of these souls who are chosen by the national assembly, that is, the parliament, must be confirmed by the upper house, the congress and the cabinet and also by the president or monarch so these persons may be the elected ones of all the nation and the government. From among these people the members of the Supreme Tribunal will be elected, and all mankind will thus have a share therein, for every one of these delegates is fully representative of his nation. – Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith – Abdu’l-Baha Section, p. 291