The Global Citizen
Determined to work for peace having seen the destructive impact of war, he joined the United Nations Secretariat in 1948 where he worked primarily on economic and social issues. For many years, he was the Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. His work with ECOSOC brought him into close contact with NGOs whose work he always encouraged
Maria Montessori (1870-1952), an Italian childhood educator and world citizen, would have been pleased at the efforts of the United Nations and UNESCO to promote Global Citizenship Education1. Montessori argued for a child's dignity and autonomy and for the ability of the child to break out of the narrow bonds of nationalistic education. She stressed that children have a unique consciousness and a special sensitivity in the early years which must be nurtured and allowed to develop along its own course.
The world citizen spirit of Maria Montessori's teaching displeased the narrow nationalist leaders in power in the 1930s. The Fascist government of Mussolini closed the Montessori schools in Italy in 1934 as did Hitler in Germany and then in Austria when Hitler's troops moved into Vienna. The dictators saw that creative thinking among children was a danger to their authoritarian rule. She spent the Second World War years in India where her educational ideas influenced a growing number of Indian teachers.
She stressed education for world citizenship in both content and methodology for as she pointed out access to education and to various forms of learning is a necessary but not sufficient condition to world citizenship education. A comprehensive system of education and training is needed for all groups of people and at all levels, both formal and non-formal. The development of a holistic approach based on participatory methods is crucial.
The biggest impacts often come from the seemingly smallest technological advancements: food-ordering apps, instagram, Pokemon Go. They not only make something rapidly accessible, but they do so in a way that highlights its huge role in our lives (or makes it a huge role in our lives). The same can be seen all over the world, but with arguably higher stakes. You open up the paper pull up your news app and see stories of other apps that are helping prevent deforestation through geo-tag reporting, improving democracy by disseminating knowledge and creating transparency in elections, mapping violence, and bringing mobile bank to rural villages.
Clearly, technology can not only solve problems, but also it can empower people. One study found that by “bringing internet access to the 4.1 billion people in the world who do not have it would increase global economic output by $6.7 trillion…, raising 500 million people out of poverty.” Yet, even if the world can overcome the barrier of affordable internet access, how do we guarantee that the gains are felt equally, by everyone? Unsurprisingly, a “report said the benefits of rapid digital expansion had been skewed towards the better-off and the more highly skilled, who were better able to take advantage of the new technologies.”
Dear Citizens for Global Solutions friends, members and supporters,
The boards of Citizens for Global Solutions are excited to announce a new direction for the organization -- one that reflects our current resource capacities and some difficult but realistic decisions by our volunteer leadership.
Opportunities lie ahead of us, and we feel these changes will allow us to take advantage of them.
Earlier this month, the boards agreed to transition to a volunteer-run association. Our current staff is moving on to new opportunities. Over the next year our boards and trustees will oversee renovation of our national offices into housing for young interns.
We are maintaining our issue-driven website and social media, our advocacy and educational efforts, and our commitment to donors and activists.
We will leverage our new partnership with the Commission on Global Security, Justice and Governance in support of several urgently needed global reforms, and several chapters will participate again in the Global Week of Action this October.
Nationally and locally, our activists will continue educating and advocating for solutions to climate change, mass atrocities, and nuclear proliferation. As always, these efforts come together to ensure our goal of a democratically governed world, which remains an inspiring vision for many.
Barbara Martin Walker, one of the long-time and finest members of WFM, passed away on Friday, March 25. Barbara Walker and her husband Bob were “lifelong supporters” of world federalism and our peace movement. She served on the World Federalist Movement's Executive Committee for many years, as Treasurer and advisor. Barbara was 92 years old.
Barbara was tremendously dedicated to peace education. Amongst her contributions was the excellent reference book Uniting the Peoples and Nations. Compiled by Barbara, it is perhaps the closest text I know to an international Federalist Papers.
Hopefully, in celebrating Barbara’s life, WFM and others will reread this extraordinary collection of more than 100 writings, from Kant to Kennedy, Gorbachev to Boutros-Ghali, Hudson to Heinrich, Einstein to Falk. It remains one of the most important primers for peace and federalism.
Barbara also co-founded with Sally Swing Shelley an important United Nations non-governmental organization, the Committee on Teaching about the United Nations (CTAUN). The annual CTAUN conference at the UN for educators continues to gain in importance.
My wife Lydia Swart and I loved Barbara and Bob. Shortly after becoming WFM General Secretary/Executive Director in 1994, Lydia and I cherished house-sitting the Walkers' beautiful home in Princeton, New Jersey while they vacationed at their island home in Menemsha, Massachusetts. Lydia and I will miss Barbara and celebrate the Walkers for the rest of our lives.
On behalf of WFM’s worldwide membership, we wish to send our deep condolences to Barbara’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren as they honor her memory.
Written by William Pace
Having returned to her native DC after almost two years working in Southeast Asia, Arielle (Ari) Weaver has joined Citizens for Global Solutions as the Outreach and Events Manager mid-January of this year. She may be our newest staff member, but this isn’t her first time working at CGS.
Arielle started her career at National Geographic, but wanting to focus more intently on advocacy and international affairs, she joined CGS in early 2012. As the Government Relations Research Associate, she helped with our Congressional Report Card and 2012 Annual Meeting, and quickly was promoted to the Edward Rawson Fellowship by the end of the year. From there, having a focus on our membership activities and online advocacy, Arielle was promoted again to Membership and Outreach Coordinator.
With adventure calling, Arielle moved to Thailand in the spring of 2014 to teach English. She also taught refugee children on the weekends and mentored college-aged women through a Thailand-based nonprofit.
Climate change. Terrorism. Nuclear warfare. Pandemics. Today more than ever, we are being confronted with issues that are global in nature. Gone are the days when a country’s biggest problems were confined to its own boundaries. Nations are so economically, socially, and technologically intertwined that they are forced to depend on one another.
We are all, whether we realize it or not, impacted by globalization. Globalization doesn’t just apply to migration and other large-scale situations; it is present in everyday life.
People around the world are exposed to other cultures on a daily basis without crossing any borders, via international calls, emails, satellite TV, social media, and more. Most of the material possessions we own aren’t from our own country. Even much of our food has traveled: the average American meal is transported 1500 miles before being eaten! Furthermore, people might interact with immigrants, refugees, or tourists or frequent establishments that bring other cultures in close proximity to their own. This phenomenon is described by some as “internal globalization.”
As we can see, our lives have an inescapable global dimension. For this reason, it is becoming harder and harder to ignore the living conditions of our fellow humans across the world.
It’s not uncommon to hear issue advocates claim that different organizations are “siloed”—focused on their approach to the issues that concern their organization. Working every day on any one issue can create tunnel vision and prevent sharing best practices. It’s for that reason that Citizens for Global Solutions is committed to working across a number of issue groups that bring together like-minded organizations working broadly on related issues, but in different ways. It's this work that makes CGS a prime example of an interdependent and collaborative organization.
Citizens for Global Solutions is currently active in seven coalitions or working groups. Personally, my favorite is WICC, the Washington Working Group on the International Criminal Court, but since I'm WICC’s Advocacy Chair, maybe I’m biased. CGS co-founded WICC, which is why as Advocacy Chair, I’ve been happy to keep CGS at the forefront of ICC advocacy on Capitol Hill and continue to bring the CGS brand to many congressional offices. WICC regularly meets with congressional staffers and sponsors briefings and other events to raise awareness of the Court's important work in international justice and human rights.
As 2014 drew to a close, we said goodbye to a beloved global citizen. Walter F. Hoffmann, prominent civil rights attorney and tireless advocate for world peace, died at age 90 on Wednesday, December 31.
Passionate for UN reform, Walter was a member of World Peace Through Law, founder of the Campaign For UN Reform, the Center for UN Reform Education, and Executive Director of the World Federalist Association in Washington, DC. In 1993, he was appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives to serve on the Commission on Improving the Effectiveness of the United Nations.
Born in Newark, Walter grew up in Glen Ridge and spent most of his adult life in Wayne, NJ. Walter was an Eagle Scout, graduated from Glen Ridge High School in 1942, and served with the Marine Corp in the Pacific in World War II. He was stationed on Tinian Island as a member of the 18th Anti-Aircraft Battalion when the Enola Gay took off from Tinian for Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945.
Walter graduated from the University of Michigan in 1948 and the University of Chicago Law School in 1951, where he was an editor of the Law Review. He was a trial attorney for the National Labor Relations Board and a staff attorney for the US House Ways and Means subcommittee investigating the administration of the IRS. He then returned to New Jersey and was a founding partner of Hoffmann, Humphreys & Lafer, in Wayne.
As a civil rights attorney in the 1960s, he successfully challenged residential covenants in NJ communities that excluded homeowners based on race and religion.
Walter served as Adjunct College Professor at William Patterson and Ramapo Colleges, teaching courses in Government and Political science.
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