On November 10, at its annual meeting in DC, Citizens for Global Solutions honored international lawyer Benjamin Ferencz with the Norman Cousins Global Governance Award. Named after the late Norman Cousins, distinguished professor of medicine, writer, editor, diplomatic envoy of US presidents, and for many years our own association president, the award has been presented to a handful of global-governance stalwarts including Walter Cronkite and Ted Turner.
Although he couldn’t be with us in person, Ben received the award by phone from his Florida home and regaled our group of 30 plus board members and guests in a clear and compelling voice that belies his 99 years. Fitting of the occasion, Ben chose to speak of his work in partnership with Norman Cousins when they together advocated for women survivors of horrific German medical experiments during the Second World War.
Ben Ferencz’ Efforts for World Federation
Famous for his prosecution of the Nazi SS officers responsible for death camps, Ben is very special to CGS. His seminal book, Planethood, co-authored with Ken Keyes, is a primer for world federalists. It makes the case for democratic world government and provides step-by-step instructions on how to get there. World federalists and CGS have given away thousands of copies of Planethood. At one time Ben donated an entire print run of his book to our association, and he has served for many years on the CGS Advisory Council.
One of Ben’s greatest contributions to the cause of global justice and the rule of law is his work as architect on the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court. The ICC treaty is a groundbreaking initiative that extends accountability for war crimes and other crimes against humanity to the level of the individual perpetrator, making it significantly harder to maintain immunity by hiding behind state sovereignty or other institutional firewalls. Making individuals subject to prosecution for crimes that they order is tremendously important to the cause of universal justice.
After a long and productive career as an international lawyer and lecturer, Ben recently donated $10 million to the Holocaust Memorial Museum Foundation and appeared on CBS’s 60 Minutes. With the Norman Cousins Global Governance Award we acknowledge his legacy as a champion of Citizens for Global Solutions. Congratulations, Ben Ferencz, we are forever indebted to your service in the cause of peace, justice, and our dream of a federal republic of the world – a true United Federation of Nations!
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post do not necessarily reflect the official policy of Citizens for Global Solutions.