Allan Blakeney, who is being recognized as not only a very successful Premier of the province of Saskatchewan, but also one of Canada’s great nation-builders, was also a long-time member of the World Federalist Movement – Canada. He served as the organization’s National President from 1992 to 1996.
Allan Blakeney died Saturday after a battle with cancer.
According to WFM – Canada Executive Director Fergus Watt, “Allan Blakeney recognized that the goals of the World Federalists were a generations-long project. But he also believed we needed to make progress now in applying the principles of democratic federalism to world affairs.”
Blakeney joined the World Federalists in 1976. His active involvement in the organization began in the 1990s and he maintained close contact with the organization’s progress for the rest of his life.
In 1993 Blakeney appeared on behalf of the World Federalists at a meeting of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade (SCFAIT). The committee was reviewing Canada’s engagement with the United Nations system ahead of the UN’s anticipated 50th anniversary in 1995.
Blakeney presented a proposal for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, a consultative chamber that would bring parliamentarians into the work of the UN. The committee was chaired at the time by John Bosley, who would go on to become one of the longest serving Speakers of the House of Commons. The Committee not only supported the idea; it recommended that Canada’s House of Commons host the UNPA’s founding meeting.
Although the government did not take action on the recommendation put forward by Blakeney and the SCFAIT, the UNPA idea is still popular among Canadian parliamentarians. 70 members of the most recent Canadian parliament have endorsed an “International Appeal for the Establishment of a Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations.” (See www.worldfederalistscanada.org and a www.unpacampaign.org).
“Allan had a very well developed understanding of the impact that the law, and especially human rights law, could have in bringing about social progress,” said Watt. “He followed closely the development of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the role the international section of the World Federalists played in mobilizing a civil society coalition for the ICC.”
“Canadians will remember him as someone who strongly influenced law and politics nationally, as well as for the people of Saskatchewan. But he also had a global vision.”