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Civilization V's expansion Brave New World will introduce a new diplomatic feature known as the World Congress. The latest trailer from Firaxis explains how you can use this global organization to your advantage.
The World Congress can pass new policies for civilizations to adhere to. For example, you can impose embargos on war-like states or create a nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Civilizations can also pledge to work together on massive projects like an International Space Station.
Influence in the Congress is determined by how many delegates you can sway. You can gain delegates by forming alliances with other civilizations or making trades. Diplomats play a key role in your World Congress efforts, as they can spread propaganda to sway over civilizations or gather information on the leanings of other Congress members.
At a certain point in the game, World Congress members will be able to vote on a World Leader. If you have enough influence, you'll be able to get yourself elected and win the game. It's a peaceful alternative for players who don't want to simply wipe all the other civilizations off the map.
Brave New World will also update the trade system, giving players another peaceful way to gain global power. New historical scenarios in the expansion allow you to fight the Civil War or colonize Africa.