MEGA launch: A Coalition Capable of Meeting the Moment

MEGA launch: A Coalition Capable of Meeting the Moment

Mobilizing Earth Governance Alliance (MEGA) is launched in Geneva on March 26, 2024 as a resounding answer to the challenges faced by Earth’s integrated ecosystems.

We all share one planet. But today our common home and our common humanity are under existential threats from serious and inter-connected crises.Mary Robinson, Chair of the Climate Governance Commission and Former President of Ireland, at the launch of MEGA.

The world faces a deepening planetary emergency—and is on a reckless path toward catastrophic ecosystem collapse —having already over-shot six of nine scientifically-identified Planetary Boundaries. Such profound and potentially cataclysmic challenges require new ways of thinking, collaborating, and innovating for change.

Enter the Mobilizing an Earth Governance Alliance (MEGA), launched on March 26 as a smart global coalition led by three civil society organizations – Citizens for Global Solutions (CGS), the Climate Governance Commission (CGC) and World Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy (WFM-IGP) – and cosponsored by 25 organizations around the world. (Watch the video of Mary Robinson launching MEGA).

The coalition advances proposals and campaigns for concrete environmental governance mechanisms, many of which have been thoroughly researched and analyzed in the Climate Governance Commission’s landmark report Governing our Planetary Emergency.

“Stronger and more effective global governance fit for purpose is required in order to facilitate the collective action that is required by States and other stakeholders to prevent an environmental catastrophe and to ensure healthy and vibrant ecosystems for current and future generations,” reflected Maja Groff, Convenor of the Climate Governance Commission.

“If the proposals of the Climate Governance Commission report and MEGA are fully implemented, then we can comprehensively solve the environment polycrisis,” added John Vlasto, Chair of WFM-IGP.

Examples of global governance proposals highlighted by MEGA include to establish a Global Environment Agency, an International Court for the Environment and an International Anti-Corruption Court, as well as to appoint a UN Special Envoy for Future Generations (along with legal representatives for future generations at regional, national and local levels), negotiate a Treaty on the Human Rights Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations (including the human right to a healthy environment), establish a Science-Policy-Action Network, declare a Planetary Emergency and establish a Planetary Emergency Platform.

Held in conjunction with the 148th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the timing and venue allowed for reflection on the importance of legislators in environmental governance due to their vital role in policymaking. “Everyone who’s been involved in parliamentary work I’m sure, will agree that it would be a mistake to underestimate what a small number of committed parliamentarians can make happen in their country,” said Nic Dunlop, Secretary-General of the Climate Parliament.

The launch event also recognized that true environmental governance solutions will require innovative cross-sectoral collaboration, including a focus on engagement of the private sector. “For global environmental governance solutions to be successful they need to provide the right incentive structure for the private sector to take decisive action,” explained Dr. Alexander Schmidt, Head of Science, Sustainability, and Climate Research at Stockholm-based carbon accounting provider Normative. “MEGA will work closely with businesses across the globe to understand their needs, capabilities, and limitations. It is through these dialogues that we can ensure a truly effective governance structure fit for purpose.”

The launch focused not only on preventing environmental catastrophe, but also on building a better future for all through enhanced stewardship of the Earth for current and future generations. ‘It is imperative that we revisit our shared values and connect its spirit to this new journey, including principles of international law, Earth trusteeship and wonderful efforts such as the Earth Charter which connects wisdom of indigenous knowledge and systems,” said Neshan Gunasekera, Member of the World Future Council and Chair of the Earth Trusteeship Initiative. “These call on all of us, present here and now, to build trust amongst each other, across generations, to ensure that we play our small part in preserving the integrity of our Earth’s systems.’

MEGA is established as a ‘big tent’, inclusive coalition of civil society organizations, legislators, academics/scientists, private sector actors and other stakeholders, working in cooperation with governments, and with a laser focus on strengthening global governance of the environment.

As CGS Executive Director Rebecca Shoot reflected: “For practically as long as there has been a global governance system as we know it, our organizations have advanced a shared vision of a better, more equitable, and inclusive world by harnessing the power of diverse coalitions. We are honored to join with allies from every region and sector now to apply this same strategic approach to perhaps the most critical challenge of all: saving our planetary home.”

Keep updated and engaged in MEGA by joining as a participating organization or by subscribing to the newsletter.

LAW not War

LAW not War

Legal Alternatives to War: Increasing the universality and effectiveness of the International Court of Justice

March 16, 2024. Resolve international conflicts in the courtroom, not the battlefield, the LAW not War crowdfunding campaign is live. We invite you to watch the promo video, make a donation and circulate to your networks.

“From the smallest village to the global stage, the rule of law is all that stands between peace and stability and a brutal struggle for power and resources. I note the importance of accepting the compulsory jurisdiction of the Court and call on all Member States to do so without any reservations.” Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General. Remarks to the UN Security Council Thematic Debate on the Rule of Law amongst Nations, January 12, 2023

“I prefer law to war under all circumstances.” Benjamin Ferencz (1920-2023), Prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunals. International champion of international law who popularised the motto ‘Law not War.’

Project outline

LAW not War is a new global campaign to enhance the jurisdiction and use of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in order to assist countries resolve international disputes peacefully rather than through recourse to the threat or use of force.

The principal objective of the campaign is to increase the number of States accepting the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ, with the aspiration to achieve universal acceptance of jurisdiction by 2045, the 100th anniversary of the United Nations.

In addition, the campaign works to enhance ICJ jurisdiction through:

  • Promoting greater use by UN bodies of the option to request Advisory Opinions from the ICJ;
  • Encouraging disputing States to make more frequent use of the option of taking cases to the ICJ by mutual agreement;
  • Encouraging more frequent use of the compulsory ICJ jurisdiction provision in a number of international treaties, and promoting the inclusion of compulsory ICJ jurisdiction in additional treaties;
  • Encouraging states to adopt constitutional amendments or legislative measures to affirm the UN Charter prohibition of war and the obligation to resolve international disputes peacefully including through recourse to the ICJ.

The campaign employs a mixture of education about the value and impact of ICJ jurisdiction, and advocacy to enhance such jurisdiction.

Authority, influence and impact of the ICJ

The ICJ has had considerable success at resolving international disputes, including some that involved the threat or use of force. Examples include:

  • Nicaragua v United States, which helped end US aggression against Nicaragua and paved the way for the Central American Peace Accords;
  • The Nuclear Tests case, which helped end nuclear testing in Pacific;
  • Chad v Libya, which resolved their territorial dispute and ended their armed conflict,
  • Costa Rica v Nicaragua, which resolved their territorial dispute over the Isla Portillos and ensured withdrawal of the Nicaraguan military forces.

The authority of the ICJ within the United Nations system, and the unique contribution the ICJ plays with respect to the application of the law, ensures that its decisions exert considerable influence and impact on the parties and other stakeholders in its cases.

An analysis of ICJ cases undertaken by Judge C.G. Weeramantry (former Vice-President of the ICJ), for example, indicated that approximately 90% of ICJ cases are implemented – either fully or mostly.

However, its role is limited by the fact that its jurisdiction is based on voluntary acceptance. As such, many disputes that could potentially be resolved with the help of the ICJ are not brought to the court because of refusal of one or more parties to accept its jurisdiction.

ICJ jurisdiction – general provisions

ICJ jurisdiction is conferred through a variety of processes including:

  • Voluntary declarations by UN Member states – under Article 36 of the ICJ Statute – by which they unilaterally accept compulsory jurisdiction for any dispute between them and other states that have also made such declarations (74 countries have made such declarations);
  • Mutual agreement by disputing states to take a specific legal issue to the court;
  • Advisory Opinions which are requested to the Court by the UN Security Council, UN General Assembly (UNGA) or other UN organs and specialized agencies which have been granted authority by the UNGA to request such opinions;
  • International treaties which provide for ICJ jurisdiction in disputes between States Parties relating to obligations under the treaty in question.

LAW not War is working to increase acceptance and use of ICJ jurisdiction through all four of these processes, but is placing a strong focus on enhancing the first process list above – increasing the number of voluntary declarations accepting ICJ jurisdiction for any international legal disputes.

ICJ jurisdiction – working with like-minded countries

The LAW not War campaign is building connection and cooperation with a like-minded group of countries that has produced a Handbook on accepting the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice and released a Declaration on promoting the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice which promotes the handbook and encourages states to accept jurisdiction of the Court both generally and in specific circumstances. 33 countries have now endorsed the declaration. 

LAW not War and Common Security

The International Court of Justice is a key global governance mechanism for enhancing common security, i.e. peace and security for all. The LAW not War campaign therefore works as part of – or in cooperation with – other common security campaigns and initiatives including the UNFOLD ZERO Common Security platform, the WFM-IGP Abolish War through Common Security and the Law program and the Common Security v Nuclear Deterrence initiative.

LAW not War and the UN Summit of the Future

The UN Summit of the Future, scheduled for September 2024, provides an opportunity to highlight the role of the ICJ and build support for universal acceptance of its jurisdiction.

A large number of civil society organizations, facilitated by the Coalition for the UN We Need, have been consulting and cooperating on a Peoples Pact for the Future which includes 33 recommendations to the Summit that have considerable support around the world. One of these is the recommendation that “all UN Member States should be encouraged to accede, by no later than 2035, to the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice to ensure the peaceful settlement of disputes.

C4UN will organise a second Global Futures Forum in May 2024 to build political traction for the recommendations in the Peoples Pact for the Future.

Cosponsoring and participating organizations

Founding/cosponsoring organizations:

LAW not War is a joint campaign established and managed (cosponsored) by:

  • Aotearoa Lawyers for Peace
  • Basel Peace Office
  • Citizens for Global Solutions
  • Peace Action, Training and Research Institute of Romania 
  • UNFOLD ZERO
  • World Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy
  • World Future Council.

Participating organizations include:

  • Act for Change / Agir pour le Changement (Congo)
  • Actions Communautaires pour le Développement de la Femme (Congo)
  • African Centre for Human Rights Education (Senegal)
  • All Souls Nuclear Disarmament Task Force (USA)
  • Asociación Española para el Derecho Internacional de los Derechos Humanos (Spain)
  • Association for Promotion of Sustainable Development (India)
  • Association of World Citizens (France/International)
  • Baltimore Nonviolence Center(USA)
  • Blue Banner (Mongolia)
  • Center for Enlightenment and Development (Malawi)
  • Center for Peace and Global Governance (USA)
  • Clean Climate and Environment Campaign Initiative(Nigeria)
  • Centre International de Droit Comparé de l’Environnement (France)
  • Center for United Nations Constitutional Research (Serbia)
  • Climate Governance Commission (Netherlands/International) 
  • Coalition for Peace Action (USA)
  • Democracy Today (Armenia)
  • Democracy Without Borders (Germany/International)
  • FrameOut (Sri Lanka)
  • G100 Security and Defence Wing (International)
  • Gender Peace and Security Organization (UK)
  • Global Compliance Research Project (Canada)
  • Global Directions (Australia)
  • Global Justice Intelligence Eyes, Inc. (USA)
  • Global Peace Alliance BC Society (Canada)
  • Global Security Institute (USA)
  • Hawaii Institute for Human Rights (USA)
  • Indian Institute for Peace Disarmament & Environmental Protection (India)
  • Initiative pour le Désarmement Nucléaire (France)
  • Integrity Initiatives International (USA)
  • Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace (USA)
  • International Community for Georgia Development and the Progress (Georgia)
  • International Helping for the Young (Chad)
  • L’Unione degli Scienziati Per Il Disarmo (Italy)
  • Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy (USA)
  • Legal Pact for the Future (USA)
  • Malaysian Youth Diplomacy (Malaysia)
  • Minnesota Peace Project (USA)
  • Mundo sin gurerras y sin violencia (Chile/International)
  • MY World Mexico (Mexico)
  • National Coalition of Civil Society Organizations of Liberia (Liberia)
  • National Council of Turkish Women (Turkey)
  • National Forum on Human Rights (Yemen)
  • NZ Centre for Global Studies (New Zealand)
  • New Zealand Nuclear Free Peacemakers Association (New Zealand)
  • Keen and Care Initiative (Nigeria)
  • Nonviolence International (USA/International)
  • Nukewatch (USA)
  • Ohio Nuclear Free Network (USA)
  • One Earth Future Foundation (USA)
  • Österreichische Frauenföderation (Austria)
  • Pakistan Peace Coalition (Pakistan)
  • Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (International)
  • Pax Christi Pacific Northwest (USA)
  • Pax Christi Toronto (Canada)
  • Pax Christi USA
  • Peace Action WI (USA)
  • Peace and Disarmament Collective Aotearoa (Aotearoa-New Zealand)
  • Peace And Justice Alliance (Canada)
  • Peace in Our Schools (Canada/Georgia)
  • Perú por el Desarme (Peru)
  • Platform for Peace and Humanity (Slovakia/Europe)
  • Project Enduring Peace (USA)
  • Quaker United Nations Office Geneva (Switzerland/International)
  • Reacción Climática (Bolivia)
  • Right Education Empowerment & Development Centre for Social Change – REED Centre (Nigeria)
  • Rural Area Development Programme (Nepal)
  • Science for Peace (Canada)
  • Scientists for Global Responsibility (UK)
  • Sri-Lanka Doctors for Peace and Development (Sri Lanka)
  • Stimson Center (USA)
  • Uganda Peace Foundation (Uganda)
  • Union des Amis Socio Culturels d’Action en Developpement (Haiti)
  • United Peace Keepers Federal Council (Thailand)
  • United Nations Association, London and South East Region (UK)
  • United Nations Association of New Zealand (New Zealand)
  • United Nations Association of Chad (Chad)
  • United Nations Association of Victoria (Australia)
  • University International Student Chamber (Japan/International)
  • Unione degli Scienziati Per Il Disarmo – Union of Scientists For Disarmament (Italy)
  • Visionary Ethics Foundation/Fundacion Etica Visionaria (Spain)
  • Women Empowerment Against Poverty of Nepal (Nepal)
  • Women’s Federation for World Peace (Austria)
  • Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, US Section (USA)
  • World Beyond War Aotearoa (Aotearoa/New Zealand)
  • World Citizens Association (Australia)
  • World Federalist Movement Canada (Canada)
  • World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA)
  • World Service Authority/World Citizen Government (International)
  • Youth Fusion – Abolition 2000 Youth Network (International)

Join this growing number of LAW not War participating organizations

Book Club Session #1: Keep Hope Alive: Essays for a War-Free World

Book Club Session #1: Keep Hope Alive: Essays for a War-Free World

The Hon. Douglas Roche joined the discussion and special Q&A where we discussed his book, Keep Hope Alive: Essays for a War-Free World, pages 1- 87.  Teaming up with our valued partner, the World Federalist Movement – Canada (WFM-Canada), we present joint-hosted sessions.

This collection of essays shines a light on hope that humanity can achieve a peaceful and just coexistence through the U.N.’s New Agenda for Peace and its blueprint for sustainable development.

The Hon. Douglas Roche, O.C., is an author, parliamentarian, and diplomat, who has specialized throughout his 50-year public career in peace and human security issues. He lectures widely on peace and nuclear disarmament themes. Mr. Roche was a Senator, Member of Parliament, Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament, and Visiting Professor at the University of Alberta. He was elected Chairman of the United Nations Disarmament Committee at the 43rd General Assembly in 1988. In 2018, he was recognized by the International Peace Bureau as one of three recipients of the Seán MacBride Peace Prize. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Book Club Schedule

From Support to Governance: Global Anti-Corruption Pathways

From Support to Governance: Global Anti-Corruption Pathways

Citizens for Global Solutions (CGS) and Integrity Initiatives International (III) co-hosted a Side Event to the Conference of States Parties to the International Anti-Corruption Convention (CoSP) on December 11, 2023. Cooperation among and assistance between States on investigative and prosecutorial strategies to combat corruption has advanced significantly. This side event will consider how lessons learned may be applied in global judicial terms: a standing and specialized International Anti-Corruption Court.

Co- Moderators

  • Ian Lynch, Director, Integrity Initiatives International (III);
  • Rebecca A. Shoot, Executive Director Citizens for Global Solutions

Speakers

  • Judge Mark Wolf, Senior U.S. District Court Judge and Chair of Integrity Initiatives International;
  • Judge Dr. Claudia Escobar, former Magistrate of the Court of Appeals of Guatemala and Vice Chair of Integrity Initiatives International;
  • Prof. Fernando Adolfo Iglesias, Co-President, World Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy, Former Member of Chamber of Deputies of Argentina;
  • Ms. Hillary Forden, Senior Associate Director, Rule of Law Program, The Carter Center;
  • Justice Maria Wilson, Justice of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Trinidad and Tobago.
Book Club Session #4: Peacemakers: India and the Quest for One World

Book Club Session #4: Peacemakers: India and the Quest for One World

Our forth and final session with author, Dr. Manu Bhagavan, focuses on Chapter 6.

Set against the backdrop of World War II, Indian independence and decolonization, and the Cold War, this “splendid…stunning…hugely engrossing” first-of-its-kind international history, based on seven years of research in twenty archives on three continents, tells the story of India’s quest to build consensus around the framework of “human rights,” to bridge the divisions between East and West, between capitalist and communist, and to create “one world” free of empire, poverty, exploitation, and war. This book is the story of India’s quest to create a common destiny for all people across the world based on the concept of human rights. In the years leading up to its independence from Great Britain, and more than a decade after, in a world torn asunder by unchecked colonial expansions and two world wars, Jawaharlal Nehru had a radical vision: bridging the ideological differences of the East and the West, healing the growing rift between capitalist and communist, and creating ‘One World’ that would be free of empire, exploitation and war. Madame Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, Nehru’s sister, would lead the fight in and through the United Nations to turn all this into a reality. An electric orator and outstanding diplomat, she travelled across continents speaking in the voice of the oppressed and garnering support for her cause. The aim was to lay the foundation for global governance that would check uncontrolled state power, address the question of minorities and migrant peoples, and put an end to endemic poverty. Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy would go global.

Manu Bhagavan is Professor of History, Human Rights, and Public Policy at Hunter College and the Graduate Center-The City University of New York, where he is also Senior Fellow at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies. He is author or editor of seven books, including the critically-acclaimed The Peacemakers (HarperCollins India 2012, Palgrave Macmillan 2013) and India and the Cold War (Penguin India and UNC Press, 2019). His newest book, forthcoming in December 2023 from Penguin/Viking India, is a biography of Madame Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, one of the most important and celebrated women of the twentieth century. Manu is the recipient of a 2006 fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies and more recently has received Hunter’s 2023 Presidential Award for Excellence in Scholarship. He has been interviewed for several documentaries and was featured in a skit on the Not the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, part of the satirical television program Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. In 2023, he also served as a judge for the PEN Literary Awards in the category of biography. Manu appears regularly in the media to discuss current affairs. Follow @ManuBhagavan on Twitter!

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.

Alex Andrei

Alex Andrei

Director of Technology and Design

Alex is an experienced professional in designing digital products, managing online applications, and providing IT consulting services. Their background is in working with online applications design, digital accessibility, learning management platforms, user experience and interface design for online and mobile applications. They have over 10 years of experience working with higher-education institutions, nonprofits, and business.

He believes that in today’s rapidly evolving landscape, organizations need to adapt and thrive in the digital realm to gain a competitive edge and be as successful as they can be. Alex specializes in supporting organizations in their digital transformation initiatives and creating effective user experiences and driving efficiency through technology to empower people.

As Director of Technology and Design, Alex focuses on identifying opportunities to integrate various technologies in ongoing operations and new initiatives at CGS to support programs, partners, and team members in achieving their goals.

Alex has a passion strategically leveraging cutting edge technologies to maximize the value of what can be done with limited resources to create a lasting impact and great experiences for people.

Jon Kozesky

Jon Kozesky

Director of Development 

Jon brings over 17 years of experience in development and fundraising in both the public and private sectors.  He started his career in politics working in the Ohio Statehouse and later in the office of U.S. Congressman Steven LaTourette, as well as former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. After leaving Capitol Hill, Jon pursued his passion of helping nonprofits secure the resources they needed to best serve their constituents. This passion led to his founding of Jon Thomas Consulting, a boutique nonprofit management and development firm serving organizations across the United States and throughout the world in streamlining their processes and maximizing their revenue growth through grant writing, government affairs, donor stewardship, and major event planning.

Prior to his fundraising career, Jon proudly served his community as a firefighter and water rescue diver. In his personal time, Jon is a champion competitive sailor and a bit of a thrill-seeker, having skydived and bungee jumped on 6 continents.

Jacopo Demarinis

Social Media & Communications Coordinator

Jacopo De Marinis is a 2022 graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he majored in Public Policy and Law, and is pursuing a career in peacebuilding and conflict resolution. While studying at UIUC, he co-founded a student chapter of Chicago Area Peace Action, CAPA UIUC, and spearheaded student campaigns for climate justice, justice for Black farmers, and a Chicago Department of Peacebuilding. He currently sits on the boards of Anne's Haven, a Chicago community-based organization dedicated to women's empowerment, and Chicago Area Peace Action. Jacopo has published articles on topics including conflict diplomacy, US-China relations, and United Nations reform in CounterPunch, Countercurrents, the LA Progressive, and on the Nepal Institute for International Cooperation and Engagement's website, among others. Jacopo joined the CGS team in September of 2022, as he strongly believes that stronger global governance and UN reform is necessary if we are to realize a more peaceful and just world.

Marvin Perry

Accounting Manager

Marvin has been working in the areas of HIV/AIDS, international peace and human rights. He has worked with both national and international non-profits in the DC area. Marvin brings years of experience in non-profit finance and administration. Marvin is a certified human resources professional and holds an MBA from Howard University School of Business.

Peter Orvetti

Communications Consultant

Peter Orvetti is an editor and political analyst who has spent most of his career providing daily intelligence briefings for the White House across four presidential administrations, as well as multiple Cabinet agencies, trade associations, and Fortune 500 companies. He is the author of several “Young People’s Guides” to various U.S. federal elections and is a former daily columnist for NBC Universal’s Washington, D.C., website.

He has been involved with CGS and other world federalist organizations for more than a decade and publishes the daily “One World Digest” email newsletter. He is also a theater reviewer and an actor in both professional and amateur productions.

Drea Bergman

Director of Programs

Drea Bergman has been shaping world citizens developing global youth programs as Director of Programs for CGS. She is a public policy researcher with master’s degrees from Maastricht Graduate School of Governance and the United Nations University-MERIT (Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology). She specializes in evidenced-based public policy programs using mixed-methods research and has focused especially on spearheading digital transformation for a variety of NGOs and foundations. Some of her other projects have included research in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. More recently, she has lent her expertise by providing strategic planning for social enterprise start-ups.

Bob Flax

CGS Education Fund President

Bob Flax, Ph.D. is the former Executive Director of Citizens for Global Solutions (now retired). He has spent a lifetime addressing human suffering, first as a psychologist, then as an organization development consultant, and for more than a decade, as a global activist through the World Federalist Movement. He also teaches in the Transformative Social Change Program at Saybrook University.

Bob has a B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy from New York University (1977), an M.A. in Psychology from Long Island University (1980), a Ph.D. in Psychology from Saybrook Institute (1992), an M.A. in Organization Development from Sonoma State University (2007), a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University (2015) and a Diploma in Global Leadership at the UN Peace University in Costa Rica (2019).

Bob’s love of adventure has led him to international trekking, scuba diving, and climbing the tallest mountains on 3 continents. He also maintains a Buddhist meditation practice and lives in a co-housing community in Northern California.

Rebecca A. Shoot

Executive Director

Rebecca A. Shoot is an international lawyer and democracy and governance practitioner with more than 15 years of experience in the non-governmental, inter-governmental, and private sectors supporting human rights, democratic processes, and the rule of law on five continents.

In nearly a decade with the National Democratic Institute (NDI), Rebecca held numerous positions in headquarters and the field supporting and leading democracy and governance programs in Central and Eastern Europe and Southern and East Africa. She subsequently moved to a leadership role steering NDI’s Governance projects globally and directing programming for the bipartisan House Democracy Partnership of the U.S. House of Representatives. Rebecca created a global parliamentary campaign for Democratic Renewal and Human Rights as Senior Advisor to Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA), an international network of legislators committed to collaboration to promote democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. Prior to that, she directed PGA’s International Law and Human Rights Programme and ran PGA’s office in The Hague. Most recently, she helmed global programming to promote gender equality and criminal justice reform for the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI).

Rebecca has spoken at high-level conferences and events on five continents (and increasingly, globally through online platforms). Her publications include the first Global Parliamentary Report (IPU & UNDP 2012), Political Parties in Democratic Transitions (DIPD 2012), and Navigating between Scylla and Charybdis: How the International Criminal Court Turned Restraint Into Power Play (Emory Int’l L. Rev. 2018), which was honored with the Emory International Law Review’s Founder’s Award for Excellence in Legal Research and Writing.

Rebecca is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and is a member of several bar associations, including the American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA), where she serves as Advocacy Director for the International Criminal Court (ICC) Committee. She served as a Visiting Professional in the Presidency of the ICC and has provided pro bono legal expertise to The Carter Center, International Refugee Assistance Project, United Nations Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances, and U.S. Marine Corps University, where she helped develop the international humanitarian law curriculum.

Rebecca earned a Juris Doctorate with Honors from Emory University School of Law, where she received several academic distinctions, including the David J. Bederman Fellowship in International Law and Conley-Ingram Scholarship for Public Interest Leadership. She earned a Master of Science in Democracy & Democratisation from University College London School of Public Policy and a Bachelor of Arts Magna Cum Laude in Political Science from Kenyon College. She holds certificates in Conflict Analysis from the U.S. Institute of Peace and in Public International Law from The Hague Academy of International Law.

As Executive Director of CGS, Rebecca will continue her current role as Co-Convener of the Washington Working Group for the International Criminal Court (WICC), a diverse coalition of human rights organizations, legal associations, former government officials, and leading legal professionals. CGS and WICC have a rich and intertwined history that this dual appointment brings full circle, with CGS formerly serving as host for the coalition and with several current and former common Board and National Advisory Committee members.

She also acts, directs, and writes for the theater.

Helen Caldicott

Physician, Author, and Speaker

Helen Caldicott is a physician, author, and anti-nuclear advocate. She founded several associations dedicated to opposing the use of nuclear power, depleted uranium munitions, nuclear weapons, nuclear weapons proliferation, and military action in general. In 1980, she founded the Women’s Action for Nuclear Disarmament (WAND), which was later renamed Women’s Action for New Directions. In 2008, she founded the Helen Caldicott Foundation for a Nuclear Free Future.

Blanche Wiesen Cook

Blanche Wiesen Cook

Professor, Author, and Historian

Blanche Wiesen Cook is a Distinguished Professor of History and Women’s Studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. She is author of a three-volume biography of Eleanor Roosevelt, as well as The Declassified Eisenhower: A Divided Legacy of Peace and Political Warfare.

David Cortright

Author, Activist, and Leader

David Cortright is director of Policy Studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame and chair of the Board of the Fourth Freedom Forum. In 1977, Cortright was named the executive director of he Committee for a SANE Nuclear Policy (SANE), which under his direction became the largest disarmament organization in the U.S. Cortright initiated the 1987 merger of SANE and the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign and served for a time as co-director of the merged organization. In 2002, he helped to found the Win Without War coalition in opposition to the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

He is the author or co-editor of 19 books including Waging Peace in Vietnam: U.S. Soldiers and Veterans Who Opposed the WarGandhi and Beyond: Nonviolence for a New Political Age, and Peace: A History of Movements and Ideas.

Andrea Cousins

Andrea Cousins

Psychologist, Psychoanalyst, and Anthropologist

Andrea Cousins is a psychologist and psychoanalyst who has practiced for more than 30 years. She has a doctorate in anthropology from Harvard University and a Doctor of Psychology degree from the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology. Her father, journalist and peace activist Norman Cousins, served as president of the World Federalist Association and chairman of the Committee for Sane Nuclear Policy, and was honored with recognitions including the United Nations Peace Medal.

Gary Dorrien

Gary Dorrien

Professor, Author, Social Ethicist

Gary Dorrien is the Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary and Professor of Religion at Columbia University. An Episcopal priest, he has taught as the Paul E. Raither Distinguished Scholar at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and as Horace De Y. Lentz Visiting Professor at Harvard Divinity School. He is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America’s Religion and Socialism Commission and the author of 18 books on ethics, social theory, philosophy, theology, politics, and intellectual history.

Daniel Ellsberg

Lecturer, Writer, and Activist

Daniel Ellsberg is a political activist and former military analyst. While employed by the RAND Corporation, Ellsberg precipitated a national political controversy in 1971 when he released the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret Pentagon study of the U.S. government decision-making in relation to the Vietnam War, to The New York Times, The Washington Post and other newspapers.

Since the end of the Vietnam War, Ellsberg has continued his political activism, giving lecture tours and speaking out about current events. Ellsberg was awarded the Right Livelihood Award in 2006. In 2018, he was awarded the 2018 Olof Palme Prize for his “profound humanism and exceptional moral courage.”

Oscar Andrew Hammerstein

Oscar Andrew Hammerstein

Painter, Writer, Lecturer, and Historian

Oscar Andrew Hammerstein is a painter, writer, and lecturer. He has taught graduate-level courses on New York theatre history and general musical theatre history as an adjunct professor at Columbia University. He is the author of The Hammersteins: A Musical Theatre Family.

Randy Kehler

Randy Kehler

Pacifist Activist

Randy Kehler is a pacifist activist who served 22 months in prison for returning his draft card in 1969 and refusing to seek exemption as a conscientious objector, seeing that as a form of cooperation with the Vietnam war effort. He played a key role in persuading Daniel Ellsberg to release the Pentagon Papers, and later served as executive director of the National Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign. Kehler and his wife Betsy Corner refused to pay taxes for military expenditures, resulting in the federal seizure of their Massachusetts home in 1989. They continue to withhold their federal income taxes.

Gordon Orians

Gordon Orians

Ecologist

Gordon Orians, an ornithologist and ecologist for more than half a century, has focused his work on behavioral ecology and the relationships between ecology and social organization, as well as on the interface between science and public policy. He was director of the University of Washington Seattle’s Institute for Environmental Studies for a decade and has also served on the Board of Directors of the World Wildlife Fund and on state boards of the Nature Conservancy and Audubon.

Orians was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1989 and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1990.

William Pace

International Organizer

William Pace was the founding convenor of the Coalition for an International Criminal Court (ICC) and a co-founder of the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect. He has been engaged in international justice, rule of law, environmental law, and human rights for four decades, serving as executive director of the World Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy, secretary-general of the Hague Appeal for Peace, director of the Center for the Development of International Law, and director of Section Relations of the Concerts for Human Rights Foundation at Amnesty International, among other roles. He is the recipient of the William J. Butler Human Rights Medal from the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on the ICC.

James T. Ranney

Professor, International Legal Consultant, and Author

James T. Ranney is an adjunct professor of international law at Widener Law School. He co-founded the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center in Montana and served as a legal consultant to the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. He has written extensively on the abolition of nuclear weapons and the establishment of international dispute resolution mechanisms.

Rick Ulfik

Rick Ulfik

The Founder of WE, The World, and the WE Campaign

Rick Ulfik is the founder of We, The World, an international coalition-building organization whose Mission is to maximize social change globally. He and his organization work closely with the New York Center for Nonviolent Communication, where he has been a facilitator since 2004. He is also the co-creator of the annual 11 Days of Global Unity - 11 Ways to Change the World, September 11-21.

He is an award-winning composer and keyboard player who has written, arranged, produced and orchestrated music for television networks, feature films, commercials, and albums. He has performed with Queen Latifah, Phoebe Snow, Carlos Santana, Bernadette Peters, and Judy Collins.

John Stowe

Bishop

John Stowe is the Roman Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky. He is a member of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual, a mendicant religious order founded by Francis of Assisi. In 2015, Pope Francis appointed Stowe bishop of the Diocese of Lexington. He is the Episcopal President of the U.S. board of Pax Christi, an international Catholic Christian peace movement with a focus on human rights, disarmament, nonviolence, and related issues.

Barbara Smith

Author, Activist, and Scholar

Barbara Smith has played a significant role in Black feminism in the U.S. for more than 50 years. She taught at numerous colleges and universities for 25 years and has been published in a wide range of publications including The New York Times Book ReviewMs.Gay Community NewsThe Village Voice, and The Nation.

Among her many honors are the African American Policy Forum Harriet Tubman Lifetime Achievement Award, the Lambda Literary Award, and the Stonewall Award for Service to the Lesbian and Gay Community. In 2014, SUNY Press published Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith.

William J. Ripple

Conservationist, Author, and Professor

William J. Ripple is a Distinguished Professor of Ecology in the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society at Oregon State University. He has published two books and has authored more than 200 scientific journal articles on topics including conservation, ecology, wildlife, and climate change. He was the co-lead author on the 2020 paper “The World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency,” which was endorsed by more than 14,000 scientist signatories from around the world. He is the director of the Alliance of World Scientists, which has approximately 26,000 scientist members from 180 countries.

Mark Ritchie

President, Global Minnesota

Mark Ritchie is president of Global Minnesota, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization devoted to advancing international understanding and engagement. He served as Minnesota secretary of state from 2007 to 2015. Since leaving elected public service, he has led the public-private partnership working to bring the 2027 World Expo to Minnesota and he has served on the board of directors for LifeSource, Communicating for America, U.S. Vote Foundation, and Expo USA. He is also a national advisory board member of the federal Election Assistance Commission.

Kim Stanley Robinson

Author

Kim Stanley Robinson is the author of many works of science fiction, including the internationally bestselling Mars trilogy, and more recently Red Moon, New York 2140, and The Ministry for the Future. His work has been translated into 25 languages, and won awards including the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards. In 2016, asteroid 72432 was named “Kimrobinson.”

Leila Nadya Sadat

Special Advisor to the ICC Chief Prosecutor, Professor, Author

Leila Sadat is the James Carr Professor of International Criminal Law at Washington University School of Law and the director of the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute. She is an internationally recognized expert on the International Criminal Court (ICC) and served as Special Advisor on Crimes Against Humanity to Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda of the ICC. She is also the director of the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative, a multi-year project to study the problem of crimes against humanity and draft a comprehensive convention addressing their punishment and prevention. She is a former member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, served as the Alexis de Tocqueville Distinguished Fulbright Chair at the University of Cergy-Pontoise in Paris, and is the author of several books.

Martin Sheen

Martin Sheen

Actor, Activist, and Leader

Martin Sheen is an Emmy Award-winning and Golden Globe Award-winning actor who has worked with directors including Francis Ford Coppola and Oliver Stone, in addition to starring as the U.S. president on the long-running television drama “The West Wing.” In his early days as a struggling actor in New York, he met activist Dorothy Day, beginning his lifelong commitment to social justice.

The self-described pacifist was an early opponent of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq and has been a consistent opponent of nuclear arms. As honorary mayor of Malibu, California in 1989, he declared the city a nuclear-free zone. Nearly 20 years later, Sheen was arrested during a protest at the Nevada Test Site. Sheen said in 2009 that he had been arrested 66 times for acts of civil disobedience, leading one activist to declare Sheen to have “a rap sheet almost as long as his list of film credits.”

Sheen has also been active in anti-genocide and pro-immigrant causes, as well as in the environmental movement. In 2010, he told a crowd of young people, “While acting is what I do for a living, activism is what I do to stay alive.” In a 1963 episode of “The Outer Limits,” he portrayed a future astronaut wearing a large breast patch that read “UE. Unified Earth.”