The Movement has had Special Consultative Status with the ECOSOC since 1970 and is affiliated with the UN Department of Public Information (DPI) and a current board member of the Conference of NGOs (CONGO). It currently counts 30,000 to 50,000 supporters.
The Campaign for World Government, the first world federalist organization was launched in 1937. In 1938, Federal Union was organized in the United Kingdom. In the U.S., Federal Union (now Association to Unite the Democracies) was established in 1939 calling for a federation of the Atlantic democracies. The Mouvement populaire suisse en faveur d'une federation des peuples was created in Geneva in 1940. During WWII, anti-fascist resistance movements shared clandestinely circulated copies of Altiero Spinelli's plan for European federation. In 1945, the Committee to Frame a World Constitution convened at the University of Chicago and drafted a Constitution for the World In 1947, five small world federalist organizations came together in Asheville, North Carolina and agreed to merge as the United World Federalists.
These five groups had in the previous year met with representatives of fifteen others in Montreux to discuss creating a worldwide federalist organization. It was one year later, in August 1947, also in Montreux, that more than 51 organizations from 24 countries came together at the Conference of the World Movement for World Federal Government. The Conference concluded with the Montreux Declaration.
By its second congress in 1948 in Luxembourg the Movement consisted of 150,000 members of 19 nationalities and 50 member and affiliated organizations. The 350 participants in the Congress laid the groundwork for an association of parliamentarians for world government, which came into being in 1951.
Federalists had hoped that the anticipated UN review conference (under Article 109 of the UN Charter) in 1955 would move the UN further in the direction of a world federal system. Unfortunately, the lack of political will dissipated any interest in such a conference. Around 1965 however, the Movement had established offices near the United Nations, with American federalist Marion McVitty as the Movement's UN observer and advocate.
Federalists in this period focused on amendments to the United Nations Charter as a way forward. Most involved reforms to institutions such as a more representative Security Council, a World Court with compulsory jurisdiction and judicial review authority and a democratically elected General Assembly (or a world parliament). Federalists proposed a number of new institutions such as a commission on sustainable development, an international development authority, a standing peacekeeping corps and an international criminal court. Most recently, WFM-IGP has been at the forefront of advocating for NGO access to international conferences and meetings.
WFM-IGP currently runs the following sites:
Organizations are categorized as either Member or Associate Member. Both Members and Associate Members are entitled to appoint delegates to the Movement's quadrennial Congresses; Members are further entitled to appoint one or more members to the Movement governing Council, which meets annually. (All such appointments are based on the membership size of the organization.) Currently, the annual dues are set at a flat rate for Associate Members and on a sliding scale for Members based on the size of their membership. The larger Members and Associate Members currently include Citizens for Global Solutions, Union of European Federalists, World Federalist Movement - Canada and the World Federalist Movement of Japan. Others include Democratic World Federalists, One World Trust, Committee for a Democratic UN, Ugandan World Federalists and several others