Establishment of a Global Commonwealth

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."

"The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens." - Baha'u'llah

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, and an international executive empowered to carry out the decisions of these legislative and judicial bodies.

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 grassroots 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.

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