Forum of Federations

Forum of Federations

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The Forum of Federations is an international organization based in Ottawa
Ottawa is the capital of Canada, the second largest city in the Province of Ontario, and the fourth largest city in the country. The city is located on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of Southern Ontario...

, Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. The Forum and its partners form a global network on federalism
Federalism is a political concept in which a group of members are bound together by covenant with a governing representative head. The term "federalism" is also used to describe a system of the government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and...

. It brings together elected officials, civil servants and experts in federalism from about 20 countries to learn from each other. The Forum's learning and technical assistance programs have covered the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Ethiopia, Germany, India, Italy, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Spain, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Switzerland. Venezuela, being a federal country at least in name, has a program director.


The Forum of Federation
A federation , also known as a federal state, is a type of sovereign state characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions united by a central government...

s is an international network of federal countries, elected officials, civil servants and scholars. The Forum was established by the Government of Canada in 1999 and currently has eight other partner governments: Australia, Brazil, Ethiopia, Germany, India, Mexico, Nigeria and Switzerland. The Forum runs learning events on federalism, gives technical advice on governance and produces publications for academics and practitioners of federalism. It is an international organization with programs and activities on six continents. Its activities involve working with government officials as well as academic experts, young professionals, journalists and others.


  • Publications: Published series of books on major themes of federalism:
    • Diversity and Unity in Federal Countries, ISBN 9780773537323
    • Local Government and Metropolitan Regions in Federal Systems, ISBN 9780773535626
    • Foreign Relations in Federal Countries, ISBN 9780773535015
    • The Practice of Fiscal Federalism, ISBN 9780773533011
    • Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Governance in Federal Countries, ISBN 9780773531345
    • Distribution of Powers and Responsibilities in Federal Countries, ISBN 9780773529748
    • Constitutional Origins, Structure, and Change in Federal Countries, ISBN 9780773528499

  • Problem-solving: Current or recent projects on federalism including post-secondary education, water, internal markets, oil and gas, public security, climate change, benchmarking, immigration, and integration of newcomers.

  • Learning: Organizes more than 70 events a year, workshops, roundtables, training sessions, where participants learn or refine their knowledge about the practices of federalism, and how to apply their learning in their countries. Events take place in over 20 countries.

  • Assisting the developing world: Development assistance programs have taken place or are planned in Ethiopia
    Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

    , Iraq
    Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

    , Nepal
    Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

    , Nigeria
    Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

    , Pakistan
    Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

    , Sri Lanka
    Sri Lanka
    Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

     and Sudan
    Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

    . These programs provide case studies, examples from all federations as well as institutional support.

  • Holds major international conferences: On average every three years, sponsored by Canada
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

     (1999), Switzerland
    Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

     (2002), Belgium
    Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

     (2005), India
    India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

     (2007) and Ethiopia
    Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

     (2010). Conferences are attended by heads of government (e.g. Johannes Rau
    Johannes Rau
    Johannes Rau was a German politician of the SPD. He was President of Germany from 1 July 1999 until 30 June 2004, and Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia from 1978 to 1998.-Education and work:...

    , president of Germany, in 2002; Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh
    Manmohan Singh
    Manmohan Singh is the 13th and current Prime Minister of India. He is the only Prime Minister since Jawaharlal Nehru to return to power after completing a full five-year term. A Sikh, he is the first non-Hindu to occupy the office. Singh is also the 7th Prime Minister belonging to the Indian...

     and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi
    Meles Zenawi
    Meles Zenawi Asres is the Prime Minister of Ethiopia. Since 1985, he has been chairman of the Tigrayan Peoples' Liberation Front , and is currently head of the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front .Meles was born in Adwa, Tigray in Northern Ethiopia, to an Ethiopian father from...

     in 2007), as well as ministers, judges, senior officials, young professionals, academics and other specialists.


The Forum was founded in 1999 following the First International Conference on Federalism in Mont-Tremblant
Circuit Mont-Tremblant is a race circuit about north of the village of Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada. Formerly the village of Saint-Jovite was often included in the name but was amalgamated in 2000.-History:...

, Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

. The event drew world leaders such as then U.S. President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

; former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien
Jean Chrétien
Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien , known commonly as Jean Chrétien is a former Canadian politician who was the 20th Prime Minister of Canada. He served in the position for over ten years, from November 4, 1993 to December 12, 2003....

; and Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo
Ernesto Zedillo
Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León is a Mexican economist and politician. He served as President of Mexico from December 1, 1994 to November 30, 2000, as the last of the uninterrupted seventy year line of Mexican presidents from the Institutional Revolutionary Party...

. Since then the Forum has been active on six continents, and has gained nine country partners.


  • Board members: Vijay Kelkar
    Vijay Kelkar
    Vijay L. Kelkar is an Indian economist and academic, who is currently the Chairman of the Forum of Federations, Ottawa & India Development Foundation, New Delhi and was Chairman of the Finance Commission until January, 2010. He was earlier Advisor to the Minister of Finance , and is known for his...

    , (Chairman), India; Abay Tsehaye Abay
    Abay Tsehaye
    Abay Tsehaye is the Minister of Federal Affairs of Ethiopia. The field of work of his ministry includes police functions and Addis Ababa city administration.Born at Axum, he attended high school in Mek'ele, afterwards attended Addis Abeba University...

    , Ethiopia; Alexander Alvaro, Germany; Ken Boessenkool, Canada; Rt. Hon. Kim Campbell
    Kim Campbell
    Avril Phædra Douglas "Kim" Campbell, is a Canadian politician, lawyer, university professor, diplomat, and writer. She served as the 19th Prime Minister of Canada, serving from June 25, 1993, to November 4, 1993...

    , Canada; General John de Chastelain
    John de Chastelain
    Alfred John Gardyne Drummond de Chastelain is a retired Canadian soldier and diplomat.De Chastelain was born in Romania and educated in England and in Scotland before his family immigrated to Canada in 1954...

    , Canada; Walter Fust, Switzerland; Prof. Julius Ihonvbere, Nigeria; Wolf Linder, Switzerland; Georg Milbradt
    Georg Milbradt
    Georg Milbradt is a German politician . He was the Minister-president of the Free State of Saxony from 2002 to 2008.-Life:...

    , Germany; Sen. Ramón Galindo Noriega, Mexico; Prof. Johanne Poirier, Canada; Vicente Carlos y Plá Trevas, Brazil; Roger Wilkins, Australia.
  • President and Chief Executive Officer: Rupak Chattopadhyay