recent column I wrote spoke about the need to establish a federated world governing body. In it, I cited the Haifa-based Universal House of Justice’s “The Promise of World Peace” published in 1985.

The Universal House of Justice quoted Shoghi Effendi, who served as Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith until his death. He spoke of the need to curtail “unfettered national sovereignty.”

“Some form of a world superstate must needs be evolved,” Shoghi Effendi said, “in whose favor all the nations of the world will have willingly ceded every claim to make war, certain rights to impose taxation and all rights to maintain armaments, except for purposes of maintaining internal order within their respective dominions.

“Such a state will have to include within its orbit an international executive adequate to enforce supreme and unchallengeable authority on every recalcitrant member of the commonwealth; a world parliament whose members shall be elected by the people in their respective countries and whose election shall be confirmed by their respective governments; and a supreme tribunal whose judgment will have a binding effect even in such cases where the parties concerned did not voluntarily agree to submit their case to its consideration.

“… A world community in which the clamor of religious fanaticism and strife will have been forever stilled,” he continued, “in which the flame of racial animosity will have been finally extinguished; in which a single code of international law — the product of the considered judgment of the world’s federated representatives — shall have as its sanction the instant and coercive intervention of the combined forces of the federated units; and finally a world community in which the fury of a capricious and militant nationalism will have been transmuted into an abiding consciousness of world citizenship.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, who guided the Bahá’í Faith before Shoghi Effendi, said humanity should make peace a priority.

“They must make the Cause of Peace the object of general consultation, and seek by every means in their power to establish a Union of the nations of the world,” he said. “… This supreme and noble undertaking — the real source of the peace and well-being of all the world — should be regarded as sacred by all that dwell on earth. …”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá spoke of the vital necessity to limit each nation’s armaments.

“… For if the preparations for war and the military forces of any nation should be allowed to increase, they will arouse the suspicion of others,” he said.

“The fundamental principle underlying this solemn Pact should be so fixed that if any government later violate any one of its provisions, all the governments on earth should arise to reduce it to utter submission, nay the human race as a whole should resolve, with every power at its disposal, to destroy that government. Should this greatest of all remedies be applied to the sick body of the world, it will assuredly recover from its ills and will remain eternally safe and secure.”

“The holding of this mighty convocation is long overdue,” noted the Universal House of Justice.