Our story starts way back in 1946.
The WVF began on Sunday, 9 June 1946 when six Belgian and French veterans of the First World War gathered around a table at the “Maison du Peuple” in Brussels, Belgium to discuss the possibility of setting up a world association of war veterans. Present at the gathering were two Belgians, Mr. Joseph Neves and Mr. Jules William from the Democratic Union of Veterans, Disabled and War Victims, and four Frenchmen, Mr. Albert Morel from the French Union of Veterans and War Victims Association (UFAC), Mr. G. Imbaud, Mr. G. Jerram and Mr. B. Meunier from the French Workers and Peasants Federation of Veterans.
Following the discussions in Brussels, veterans’ organisations in other countries were contacted. On 23 October 1948, a congress attended by representatives from seven countries, namely Belgium, Brzil, France, Italy, the Netherlands, the Union of South Africa and Yugoslavia, adopted a resolution entitled “Setting up of a Provisional Body”.
The resolution opened the way for the founding member associations to convene a constitutive assembly which was held at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France, from 23 to 27 November 1950.
Forty-three delegates and observers were present. The delegates were from Belgium (6), France (14), Italy (4), Turkey (2), the United States (9) and Yugoslavia (4), and the observers were from Denmark (1) and Finland (3).
The founding member associations of the Netherlands and Luxembourg were unable to send their representative s but declared their agreement with the creation of the federation. There was no participation from countries from Africa, Asia and South America, although the Union of South Africa attended the congress in 1948 prior to the constitutive assembly in 1950.
On the final day of the assembly on 27 November 1950, the constitution of “The International Federation of War Veterans Organisations” was adopted.
The first elected executive committee members of the WVF were Mr. Albert Morel of France as president, Mr. Elliot Newcomb of the United States as secretary general, Mr. Roger Parmelan of France as treasurer general and Mr. Celebonovic of Yugoslavia, Mr. Mahmut Nedim Zapcı of Turkey, Mr. Joseph Neves of Belgium and Mr. Pietro Ricci of Italy as delegates.
The name of the federation was changed to “The World Veterans Federation” at the 2nd General Assembly, which was held in Belgrade, Yugoslavia from 27 to 30 November 1951. It was the first amendment to the WVF Constitution.
Our Mission is to guide and advise our Member Associations so that they can take the lead in supporting initiatives that foster peace and security and to campaign for health and welfare initiatives that will enhance the wellbeing and independence of their members.
Our Vision is to be at the forefront of promoting and defending international peace and security and to be proactive in ensuring the health and wellbeing of all veterans and victims of war worldwide.
Our Motto is to encourage Member Associations to forcefully strive for international peace and security and to influence and promote a veterans health and welfare culture in their communities.
Our Core Values are to guide and inspire our members to be impartial, responsive, committed, accountable, collaborative, resourceful and act with respect, dignity, compassion and integrity.