The 2017 national convention of Citizens for Global Solutions in St. Louis October 20-22 marked a new focus in its efforts to bring about a democratically governed world. "Just Security 2020: Citizen Action for an Effective and Inclusive UN" was the theme of the convention. The featured speaker, Dr. Richard Ponzio, Director of the Just Security 2020 Program at the Stimson Center in Washington DC, explained how broad institutional reforms at the UN are designed to culminate in a 2020 summit on the UN's 75th anniversary. The specific recommendations of the Albright-Gambari Commission on Global Security, Justice and Governance can be found on the CGS website http://globalsolutions.org/issues/commission-global-security-justice-governance
David Lionel used videos in an interactive session to encourage discussion about what local groups can do to raise awareness of the Just Security 2020 effort and how to educate them about its specific recommendations. The challenge is to find ways of generating local enthusiasm for this project for global justice and knowing how to bring other non-governmental organizations into a collaborative effort.
The World Federalist Institute's Friday meeting began with a report via Skype with Andreas Bummel in Germany about how a UN Parliamentary Assembly is needed to make the UN more democratic. After that, the first topic discussed was what WFI's role should be in CGS in emphasizing global governance messaging and outreach. The next topic was why WFI should be promoting a UN Parliamentary Assembly and how to do that. The third topic was how WFI could and should promote World Federation Education and how such education is critical for the kind of social change we want to implement.
During the convention the two CGS boards approved a new Strategic Plan. The plan details goals and objectives to guide the organization through the next 5 years. Work has already begun to implement these goals and objectives. The Saturday evening banquet was followed by a "Lifetime Achievement Award" presentation to Ronald Glossop for his long-time commitment to CGS and World Federation. There was a fund raising event for CGS in Ron’s honor. If you are interested in participating, please click here to donate. Saturday evening also included a talk by Tad Daley about his energizing meeting with the Young European Federalists in Italy.
Sunday morning we held a lively discussion about framing our message based on George Lakoff’s book Don’t Think of an Elephant: Know your Values and Frame the Debate. There is much more work to be done in this area. If you are interested in helping please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday afternoon the convention concluded with the viewing of “The World Is My Country” a captivating film directed by Arthur Kanegis about the life of world citizen, Garry Davis. David Gallup, Executive Director of Garry Davis’ World Service Authority, was present to accept applications for a World Passport, a simple way to affirm your global citizenship and declare your allegiance to humanity and the earth.
Participants are looking forward to another national convention, maybe in California in 2019.