What we do

Why a Democratic World Federation?

Our Priorities 

World federation is the essential idea of a unified system of governance that promotes international cooperation, addresses global challenges, and meets the needs of all people through democratic practices. A democratic world federation is not a “one world government” that eliminates national sovereignty but a constitutionally limited and representative model of global cooperation. World Federation has been proposed as a necessary means to:

    • Abolish war;
    • Promote non-proliferation and disarmament toward a nuclear-free world;
    • Avoid environmental and ecological disaster;
    • Better manage a globally interconnected economy;
    • Deal with gross violations of human rights;
    • Protect and represent individuals and populations outside of or suppressed by national jurisdictions; and
    • Effectively confront international criminal threats.

While there are multiple proposed models of world federation, they share several fundamental characteristics, including core democratic values such as checks and balances and accountable governance. CGS furthers education and dialogue on models of World Federation through our resources, events, and programs. To learn more, please visit our curated curricula (forthcoming).

Benefits of World Federation

End the War System

  • Disarm offensive weapons
  • Reduce the arms trade
  • De-alert nuclear weapons
  • Transform national military forces into national civil guards

Reinvest the Peace Dividend

Enable the redirecting of money currently spent on the military to investment in environmental restoration, education, health, and renewable energy

Checks and Balances

Provide checks and balances plus democratic accountability for present global structures, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

World Citizenship

World Citizenship encompasses the values of global interdependence and responsibility to safeguard human rights, democratic participation and accountability, and the rule of law.

Shared Prosperity

In our interdependent world, the prosperity of our nation is inextricably linked with that of other nations. There are global problems that no one nation can solve alone. We must engage other nations to find solutions to these challenges, solutions that take into account the needs and aspirations of all people around the world.

Fair and Lawful Process

Sustainable solutions to global problems are best achieved through fair, inclusive, and lawful processes in which all parties are accountable. Americans should strengthen and support institutions and mechanisms that facilitate democratic participation, protect human rights, promote sustainability, and uphold international laws and norms.

Democratic Accountability

As an organization of and for Americans, we will seek to hold the Executive and Congressional leaders of the United States accountable to the American people.

Former UN Secretary-Generals

Dag Hammarskjöld
The world is too small to be divided into isolated nations. We must think and act globally to address the challenges that affect us all. World federalism offers a path towards unity, cooperation, and a brighter future.
Dag Hammarskjöld
Former UN Secretary-General, Sweden
The world is too small to be divided into isolated nations. We must think and act globally to address the challenges that affect us all. World federalism offers a path towards unity, cooperation, and a brighter future.
Dag Hammarskjöld
Dag Hammarskjöld
Former UN Secretary-General, Sweden
Kofi Annan
We must build a new world order, a world in which there is a proper distribution of resources, in which we can be confident that every child has the chance to live a decent life. We have the knowledge and technology to do it. The question is whether we have the will.
Kofi Annan
Former UN Secretary-General, Ghana
We must build a new world order, a world in which there is a proper distribution of resources, in which we can be confident that every child has the chance to live a decent life. We have the knowledge and technology to do it. The question is whether we have the will.
Kofi Annan
Kofi Annan
Former UN Secretary-General, Ghana
Ban Ki-Moon
A unified global government is essential to maintain world peace and ensure the well-being of all humanity. Borders should not divide us; they should unite us in our shared pursuit of progress and prosperity.
Ban Ki-Moon
Former UN Secretary-General, South Korea
A unified global government is essential to maintain world peace and ensure the well-being of all humanity. Borders should not divide us; they should unite us in our shared pursuit of progress and prosperity.
Ban Ki-Moon
Ban Ki-Moon
Former UN Secretary-General, South Korea
Boutros Boutros-Ghali
World federalism is not just an ideal; it is a practical necessity. Only through global cooperation and governance can we effectively address the pressing issues facing humanity and build a future of justice, peace, and shared prosperity.
Boutros Boutros-Ghali
Former UN Secretary-General, Egypt
World federalism is not just an ideal; it is a practical necessity. Only through global cooperation and governance can we effectively address the pressing issues facing humanity and build a future of justice, peace, and shared prosperity.
Boutros Boutros-Ghali
Boutros Boutros-Ghali
Former UN Secretary-General, Egypt
U Thant
World federalists hold before us the vision of a unified mankind living in peace under a just world order... The heart of their program - a world under law - is realistic and attainable.
U Thant
Former UN Secretary-General, Myanmar (Burma)
World federalists hold before us the vision of a unified mankind living in peace under a just world order... The heart of their program - a world under law - is realistic and attainable.
U Thant
U Thant
Former UN Secretary-General, Myanmar (Burma)
Tanner Willis

Tanner Willis

Operations Officer

Tanner Willis has a master’s degree from United Nations Institute of Training and Research (UNITAR) in international affairs and diplomacy. During his time at UNITAR he has been part of two fellowships, one with Al Fusaic as an information and communication technology and international affairs fellow. Al Fusaic is a non-profit who aims to provide education and career advancement to promote peace and security in Southwest Asia and North African region. His second graduate fellowship was with the United Nations Association – National Capital Area (UNA-NCA). UNA-NCA advocates alongside UNA-USA for further partnership with the United States and the United Nations to achieve goals surrounding global issues and uphold the UN charter.

Tanner’s research experience focuses on how information & communications technology influences social and political dynamics with civil society and their relationship with governments. His experience will help CGS utilize digital technologies to promote CGS' mission in promoting peace, international law, and human rights in a responsible and ethical manner. 

In his spare time Tanner is an avid basketball fan of his home team of the University of Kentucky Wildcats. He has played, refereed, broadcasted, and coached basketball and enjoys all levels of the game. He also loves going to art museums, hiking, and traveling with his wife

Bruce Knotts

Bruce Knotts

President

Bruce Knotts was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ethiopia, worked for Raytheon in Saudi Arabia (1976-80) and on a World Bank contract in Somalia (1982-4), before he joined the Department of State as a U.S. diplomat in 1984. Bruce had diplomatic assignments in Greece, Zambia, India, Pakistan, Kenya, Sudan, Cote d’Ivoire and The Gambia, where he served as Deputy Chief of Mission. While in Cote d’Ivoire, Bruce served as the Regional Refugee Coordinator for West Africa. Bruce worked closely with several UN Special Representatives and observed UN peacekeeping operations in Sierra Leone from 2000-2003. Bruce retired from the Foreign Service in 2007 and began directing the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO) in 2008. Bruce founded faith-based advocacy for sexual orientation/gender identity human rights at the United Nations and continues to advocate for the rights of women, indigenous peoples and for sustainable development in moral terms of faith and values. Bruce is co-chair of the UN NGO Committee on Human Rights, the chair of the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace and Security, a member of steering committee of the NGO UN Security Council Working Group. Bruce retired from the UUA September 30, 2022. Bruce is currently the UN representative of the International Convocation of Unitarian Universalist Women. In 2006, Bruce and Isaac Humphrie were wed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

James Lowell May

James Lowell May

Program Officer

James May is a programme and project development specialist. He has lived in Serbia since 2005, and prior to joining Citizens for Global Solutions, worked across the Western Balkans on a broad range of issues including human, minority and child rights, accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity, Holocaust commemoration, democratic participation, social justice and economic empowerment, and environmental restoration.

James began working in the Western Balkans on issues related to accountability for human rights violations, first for the Youth Initiative for Human Rights, a coalition of NGOs active in the countries of the former Yugoslavia, as the network’s development coordinator, then the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights, leading a research project documenting the nomenclatural of the Milosevic Regime, and then the Federation of Jewish Communities in Serbia, running a Holocaust research and education project.

James then transitioned from accountability to efforts to protect and fulfil the rights of marginalised communities. For a decade James worked for the Centre for Youth Integration, an NGO that provides specialized services for children and youth in street situations in Belgrade, where he began as a volunteer before taking up a permanent role, while concurrently volunteering for community mental health organizations, as well as consultancy work for a number of local and international organizations, and most recently branched out to apply his experience to the environmental sector, focussing on social impact assessments and community-oriented nature-based solutions projects.

James has a degree in Archaeology from University College London. He was born and grew up in Great Britain. He is an avid cyclist.

Honorable David J. Scheffer

Honorable David J. Scheffer

Former U.S. Ambassador

Amb. David J. Scheffer is senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), with a focus on international law and international criminal justice. Scheffer was the Mayer Brown/Robert A. Helman Professor of Law (2006-2020) and is Director Emeritus of the Center for International Human Rights at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. He is Professor of Practice at Arizona State University (Washington offices). He was Vice-President of the American Society of International Law (2020-2022) and held the International Francqui Professorship at KU Leuven in Belgium in 2022. From 2012 to 2018 he was the UN Secretary-General’s Special Expert on UN Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials, and he was the Tom A. Bernstein Genocide Prevention Fellow working with the Ferencz International Justice Initiative at the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (2019-2021).

During the second term of the Clinton Administration (1997-2001), Scheffer was the first ever U.S. Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues and led the U.S. delegation to the UN talks establishing the International Criminal Court (ICC). He signed the Rome Statute of the ICC on behalf of the United States on December 31, 2000. He negotiated the creation of five war crimes tribunals: the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, and the ICC. He chaired the Atrocities Prevention Inter-Agency Working Group (1998-2001). During the first term of the Clinton Administration (1993-1997), Scheffer served as senior advisor and counsel to the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Dr. Madeleine Albright, and he served on the Deputies Committee of the National Security Council. Ambassador Scheffer received an A.B. (Government and Economics) from Harvard College, B.A. (Honour School of Jurisprudence) from Oxford University (where he was a Knox Fellow), and LL.M. (International and Comparative Law) from Georgetown University Law Center.