Global Commonwealth of Nations

Baha’i representative Bani Dugal signs the 2008 Faith in Human Rights statement on 10 December at The Hague.

Looking on is the Right Reverend Bishop Athenagoras (Peckstadt) of Sinope, of Belgium.The imperative of establishing and perpetuating the general peace of humankind is a central component of Bahá’í teachings. In the latter part of the nineteenth century, Bahá’u’lláh called upon the world’s rulers to reconcile their differences and to “lay the foundations of the world’s Great Peace.”1 In doing so, He outlined a number of steps that would lead to permanent stability in international relations. At the heart of His vision was a set of new social structures based on participation and consultation among the world’s peoples. These new institutional mechanisms would eliminate conflicts of interest and thereby reduce the potential for disunity at all levels of society. A number of international institutions were envisaged: a world legislature with genuine representation and authority, an international court having final jurisdiction in all disputes between nations, P


These institutions would have the means to ensure and maintain a general disarmament by applying principles of collective security. They would neither usurp nor suppress the basic autonomy of nations, would safeguard the personal freedom and initiative of individuals, and would protect long-cherished cultural traditions of the world’s peoples. The system of governance outlined by Bahá’u’lláh emphasizes the importance of grass-roots decision-making that is democratic in spirit and method but also provides a level of coordination and authority that makes cooperation possible on a global scale.

* Adapted from Bahá’í Topics, an information resource produced by the Bahá’í International Community.