What is the World Government of World Citizens?

Picture of Garry Davis


Related Documents



On 25 May, 1948, in Paris, France, Garry Davis (26), a former Broadway actor and US. bomber pilot of World War II, renounced his exclusive citizenship in and allegiance to the United States of America.

At the same time, he publicly declared himself a "citizen of the world."

From that moment on, Davis, legally "outside" the nation-state represented the sovereignty of all human beings and become an operative world-government-in-microcosm.


Many, especially in the United States, derided Davis as a

"frustrated war veteran," "impractical," "utopian." or simply "crackpot." But thousands of others, shocked by the horrors of two world wars between sovereign states and by the threat of a nuclear holocaust, began to take legalized world citizenship seriously. Many refugees, especially those in Europe, having been daily harassed by the national bureaucracy, saw world citizenship as their only hope for direct control over their lives.


The French government ordered Davis out of France by 12 September. But with no passport, Davis was stuck...until the United Nations General Assembly came to Paris on 7 September and declared the Palais de Chaillot "international territory."

Davis again staked his claim 11 September by "leaving" France and "entering" the UN's territory! With the UN as backdrop, the World Citizen called for world law, asking the UN to transform itself into a world government via a review conference sanctioned by art. 109 of its Charter. At the same time, he designed and issued the first World Citizen Identity Card.

Letters of support by the thousands began to pour in. A new transnational constituency began to be identified.

But the UN itself asked the French Government to rid it of the troublesome idealist. He was expelled from UN territory by French police on 17 September but not without worldwide publicity.



The world citizen movement gained momentum when on 19 November, 1948, the former bomber pilot with friends interrupted a session of the General assembly again publicly calling upon that body to declare and transform itself into a democratic world government, thus providing a stable base for peace and legitimizing world citizenship. This time, UN security police expelled Davis forcibly.


Delivered November 22, 1948 by World Citizen Garry Davis to the General Assembly of the United Nations, Palais de Chaillot, Place de Trocadero, Paris, France.

Mr. Chairman and Delegates:
I interrupt you in the name of the people of the world not represnted here. Though my words may be unheeded, our common need for world law and order can no longer be disregarded.

We, the people, want the peace which only a world government can give.

The sovereign states you represent divide us and lead us to the abyss of Total War.

I call upon you no longer to deceive us by this illusion of political authority.

I call upon you to convene forthwith a World Constituent Assembly to raise the standard around which all men can gather, the standard of true peace, of One Government for One World.

And if you fail us in this...stand aside. for a People's World Assembly will arise from our own ranks to create such a government.

We can be served by nothing less.

Worldwide support, including prominent thinkers such as Albert Einstein, Albert Camus, Albert Schweitzer, Lord Boyd-Orr, Claude Bourdet, Richard Wright and Carlo Levi brought increased attention from the media and public alike.

Dr. Herbert Evatt, then president of the General Assembly, later received Davis and a world citizenship delegation promising to transmit to the delegated the world citizen petitions.

On 9 December, 1948, at the Velodrome d'Hiver in Paris attended by over 20,000, Davis read Evatt's response to the question as to whether the UN had a definite plan to make world peace.

Dr. Evatt's answer was a categorical no.


In 1949, Davis founded the International Registry of World Citizens. Over 750,000 individuals in 150 countries registered.

On 4 September, 1953, from the Town Hall of Ellsworth, Maine, he declared the founding of the World Government of World Citizens based on fundamental human right, calling for recognition from both individuals and other governments.

For Davis, the act was neither frivolous nor utopian, but entirely pragmatic and legitimate. The exercise of the right of political choice was inalienable, he claimed, and even sanctioned by the United States Constitution (9th amendment) and article 15(2), Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Still stateless, he had been imprisoned 16 times since 1948 for lack of "valid" papers. Along with other stateless world citizens, he needed a legal base with which to deal with national bureaucrats.


Within months of the Ellsworth Declaration, Davis faced a demand for World Government documents, identity cards, etc. from stateless persons, refugees and world citizens that was larger than any one person could handle.

To meet this demand, in January, 1954, he founded the World Service Authority (WSA) in New York as the administrative organ of the new government. Using the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [Article 13, Section 2], as its mandate, the WSA began issuance of World Government documents starting with the World Passport.

The World Government of World Citizens had passed beyond being merely an idealistic concept incorporated by one human. It has in fact become operational.

Today the WSA is a non-profit, global "city hall" for individuals everywhere who are seeking to evolve world citizen government institutions and structures. To date, close to 5,000,000 World Passports, World Citizen Cards, IDs, and birth certificates have been issued. Over 185 countries have recognized the passport on a de facto basis.

Quote of the day