Campbell Corner Language Exchange
Pakistan's Foreign Policy:
Responding to current global and regional dynamics
by Riaz H. Khokhar
Foreign Secretary of Pakistan
Presented at the Adda Bozeman Lecture
November 12, 2003
It is a great pleasure to be here at Sarah Lawrence.
Allow me to begin by felicitating you all on the
75th anniversary of the College. This is indeed
a proud moment in the history of this distinguished
For three-quarters of a century, Sarah Lawrence
has been a citadel of liberal arts education.
All this while, the Sarah Lawrence community has
been making its invaluable contribution to America's
rich academic, intellectual and social life. The
formidable reputation of the college continues
to attract students from far and wide, including
from my own country. I wish you many more such
anniversaries, as the students and faculty carry
on their creative work and further energize the
spirit of Sarah Lawrence.
It is heartening to have so many young men and
women this evening, interested in our region and
in Pakistan. In this increasingly interdependent
world, we need close interaction and continuous
dialogue to understand each other's perspectives.
That we do so in the Adda Bozeman Lecture series
is most apt. As the world went through tumultuous
times in the past half-century, Adda Bozeman spoke
with clarity and forthrightness. Her thinking
was ahead of the times, on subjects from strategic
intelligence to statecraft to multiculturalism.
She produced seminal works on wars and cultures.
Long before the unveiling of the Clash of Civilizations,
Adda Bozeman stressed the need to understand diverse
cultures in order to create the international
system on a sound sustainable basis. She understood
that the making of foreign policy is governed
by mind-sets instilled at schools. She spent three
decades of her own life nurturing the minds on
this very campus.
Therefore, I see great value in our discourse
today, because when you take the reins of this
nation as leaders, your policies and postures
will be deeply influenced by your perceptions
of other cultures and civilizations. More than
ever, we need a law-based international society,
and I am sure students like you will play a key
role in shaping such a society.
If Adda Bozeman was alive today, she would be
greatly upset with the current state of affairs.
A believer in a multilateral world, she would
be dismayed to see the UN weakened, understanding
of cultures relegated to the backburner, and a
tendency towards simplification on the rise.
In my presentation today, I propose to look at
the global and regional landscape, then outline
the parameters of Pakistan's foreign policy, and
finally give you an idea of how we are coping
with these challenges. Pakistan's role in the
fight against terrorism will be a recurring theme
in my remarks.
Without exaggeration, the horrific and abominable
terrorist attacks of 9/11 have shaken the foundations
of the international system, creating new uncertainties.
This tragedy showed that the US--the sole superpower
in the post-Cold war period--is not invulnerable.
It also demonstrated that no part of the world
is safe from the threat of terrorism, as terrorists
struck in Pakistan, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and
Some questions have not been answered yet. Did
the events of 9/11 mark the end of the unipolar
world or did they usher in a new era of multilateralism?
Immediately before 9/11, in the US, there was
a brief drift towards isolationism. But after
September 11, the US relied on an international
coalition to wage a war against global terrorism.
Later, however, the US came up with a doctrine
of unilateralism--saying "with partners if we
can, alone if we must"--and pre-emption, which
was partially applied to Iraq. What has become
evident is that because of enhanced global connectivity,
no nation can either act alone or withdraw from
international involvement. We all have to move
together to make the world a safer place.
Some would argue that we need not idealize the
Cold War or post-Cold War periods because some
of the basic problems--such as the right to self-determination,
an equitable international economic order, and
elimination of poverty--remained largely unaddressed.
Proxy wars of the Cold War era were succeeded
by conflicts in the Balkans, the Middle East,
and South Asia. Paradoxically, all these conflicts
affected Muslims. International law or the UN
norms failed to outlaw wars or deliver justice
to people under occupation.
After 9/11, it became clear that non-state actors
and transnational developments had emerged as
major threats to peace and security. International
terrorism, religious extremism, illicit drug production
and trafficking, global financial instability,
and abject poverty in vast parts of the globe
are the unfinished agenda of the last century;
all problems which require urgent solutions. These
phenomena also dictate more collaboration among
all nations--big or small, rich or poor.
Globalization is a reality today and we have
to devise ways to manage it effectively. To do
so, we need more political leadership and guidance
than ever before. As we become global citizens,
governance has become part of the international
agenda. Global diplomacy is increasingly being
defined by efforts to promote financial, economic
and commercial cooperation at international, regional
and sub-regional levels. Globalization should
not be allowed to exacerbate inequalities and
exclusion. That is a recipe for disaster.
While the issues that I have outlined just now
are pressing in their own right, our most immediate
task is to avert a clash of civilizations, a clash
between the West and Islam. At first sight, and
if you go by the strident media sound bites, it
appears that the West and Islam are the fault
lines for an inevitable global war. But is this
true? The Western leaders have stressed that the
war on terrorism is not directed against the Islamic
world. It is not an inter-civilizational war.
Muslim leaders have said loudly and clearly that
they reject terrorism in all its forms and manifestations
and that all major religions--Christianity, Judaism
and Islam--can coexist on the basis of their common
monotheistic ethos. Both sides believe that enlightenment,
tolerance, democracy, and economic development
provide the basis for a more harmonious world.
If that is the consensus at the strategic level,
why are we gripped by a fear of a conflict that
we would be sucked into involuntarily? Let's dig
deeper into the causes.
Today, there are two parallel narratives of the
events of 9/11 in the Western and Islamic world.
The American public thinks--and rightly so--that
the attacks of 9/11 were an evil act. But the
more deep-seated perception is that this act was
committed not by a handful of terrorists, but
that all Muslisms oppose Western civilization
and its way of life and want to inflict hatred
on US interests all over the world. A simplified
version of this perception is: "What do they
hate us?" or "You are with us, or against
us." Glib media commentators blithely invoke
images of the Crusaders and talk of an inherent
conflict betwen Christianity and Islam. The news
that the Pope visited a mosque for the first time
in the history of the Catholic Church is reduced
to a blip.
Ironically, there is little understanding here
that the 9/11 attacks were as much against the
US as against moderate Muslims around the world.
What is also not fully understood is that there
is a fierce conflict going on within the Islamic
world between moderates and extremists.
Statements by people like General Boykin that
the Judeo-Christian world was pitted against "the
guy named Satan" reinforce misgivings in the Islamic
countries. Such remarks get more media coverage
than the moderate voices calling for censure.
Expressions such as "Islamic terror", "Muslim
rage", "Islamic threat" and the "Crisis of Islam,"
only fuel the charged atmosphere. By such facile
characterizations, a distance is created between
the enlightened forces in the West and Muslim
The narrative in the Muslim world is that the
attacks of 9/11 were evil no doubt, but the widespread
fear among Muslim masses is that the war on terrorism
would be expanded to target other Muslim states.
The majority of the Muslim states are still going
through the post-traumatic stress of the colonial
period and perceive that their faith and their
values are under threat. To reinforce their argument
they cite past Western injustices, the United
States' unconditional support to Israel, non-resolution
of the Kashmir dispute despite a clear mandate
from the UN Security Council, religious profiling,
demonization of Islam, and Western support for
repressive regimes in Muslim countries. They face
the predicament of balancing their opposition
to terrorism with their rejection of perceived
new threats to their identity and polities. The
extremists in the Muslims countries are using
the US-led campaign against terrorism, the war
in Iraq, and the deteriorating situation in the
Middle East to mobilize support for themselves
against their moderate political rivals.
Both these narratives present a distorted
picture. Yet, they call for strategic intervention
by the leadership, not acquiescence in a slide
towards confrontation. These misperceptions
have made the world a dangerous place. Our President,
President Pervez Musharraf--a strong believer
in promotion of dialogue between the West and
the Muslim world--has presented the concept of
Enlightened Moderation. It is a two-pronged strategy.
The first prong is that Muslims should shun extremism
and promote tolerance and moderation within their
own societies and focus on socio-economic development.
The second prong, to be delivered simultaneously,
would require resolution of the political disputes
involving Muslims in Palestine and Kashmir, and
an upgrade of the West's long-term commitment
to economic development in the Muslim countries.
Both sides have to reach out to each other. Both
sides have to banish prophets of doom and hatred
and nurture the bonds that unite them.
In the short-term, of course, the war on terrorism
has to be continued with full vigor until it achieves
its objectives. But this would only treat the
symptoms. The long-term strategy requires a broad-based
approach. We have to look beyond Al Qaeda to the
breeding grounds of terrorism. We should try to
find out what prompts a suicide bomber who kills
civilians and blows up a peace process. Non-resolution
of political disputes, mass poverty and deprivation,
and illiteracy provide fertile recruiting grounds
for extremists and terrorists.
Most of the unresolved political disputes and
issues involving Muslims are brushed aside on
the grounds of realpolitik. This has given
rise to hopelessness, frustration and desperation.
Foreign occupation and the suppression of the
right of peoples to self-determination is a direct
or proximate cause for terrorist acts that flow
from a sense of despair.
It is ironic that we do not have a precise, operational
definition of terrorism. A clear legal definition
of terrorism needs to be evolved. We have to address
the reality of state terrorism that targets people
under occupation and to differentiate between
terrorism and the legitimate freedom movements
struggling to realize the right of self-determination.
Some states are misusing the campaign against
terror to continue to suppress their people seeking
freedom. Equating this freedom struggle with terrorism
is unjust. Then there are acts of violence and
mass murder committed by individuals and groups
against civilians. No ideology, no doctrine can
justify their acts or condone their crimes. It
is, however, equally important that there should
be no selective application of the international
norms and standards against terrorism.
In this context, we should not allow bands of
terrorists and extremists to hijack the global
agenda. It must be clearly recognized that Bin
Laden does not speak for the world of Islam. He
speaks only for a fringe, parochial constituency
which deeply hurts the soul of Islam. Islam, as
Muslims constantly remind us, is a religion of
peace, harmony and justice. It preaches humanity,
egalitarianism, moderation, tolerance and co-existence.
It is progressive and forward-looking. The practices
of the extremist fringe are in direct conflict
with the true essence of Islam. Their message
of extremism, sectarianism and hate has nothing
to do with the moderate and tolerant spirit of
Islam. Moderate Muslims believe that their noble
faith must be reclaimed from these violent usurpers.
The fight against terrorism can only be decisively
won through improved and increased international
cooperation. Strict law enforcement must go hand
in hand with serious efforts to address the root
causes. Police action to stop terrorists should
be accompanied by political actions to resolve
long-standing disputes that provide ready recruits
to militants. Strategies should be devised for
ensuring political and economic justice. The war
on terror should be waged while simultaneously
protecting human rights. Civil society and international
organizations should be equal stakeholders and
jointly fight terrorism at home and abroad.
In the evolving international situation, it would
be myopic to think that the United Nations has
lost its relevance. Early this year, those who
were quick to predict that the UN will meet the
same fate as the League of Nations have been proved
The UN is more relevant today than ever before--not
just for the developing countries but also for
the most powerful nations. We need the UN in Iraq,
Afghanistan, and Liberia--to name just a few examples--for
peace-keeping and peace-building. With its global
reach we need this Organization for fighting terrorism
and other transnational threats; and for managing
globalization and trade. Its vast network helps
root out poverty and deprivation, disease and
illiteracy. I would tend to agree with those who
argue that if the UN did not exist, we would have
to invent it. Thank God, it already exists!
In the realm of regional dynamics, we witness
both healthy and unhealthy trends. The good news
is that the majority of the countries are working
towards regional and sub-regional cooperation
and integration, which serve as building blocks
for a more stable and predictable world economy.
NAFTA, the European Union, and the ASEAN are the
most successful examples in that direction. In
South Asia and Central and West Asia we have made
a beginning in this direction by creating SAARC
and the ECO, but these organizations are not taking
off. SAARC remains hamstrung because India won't
accept participation on an equal footing with
the smaller neighboring states. The ECO-which
brings together ten Islamic states of Central,
West and South Asia-has not been able to create
the necessary critical mass. But the consensus
is that regional cooperation is the way forward.
The negative trend in regional dynamics is that
so far we have not been able to resolve some of
the festering disputes and there are no viable
mechanisms available to do so. Some efforts are
being made to induce confidence-building measures
in order to create conditions for conflict resolution
as well as peace and stability. But we are a long
way from achieving these objectives. There is,
however, a clear realization that unsettled disputes
endanger regional economic cooperation and progress.
Now let me turn to Pakistan's foreign policy.
In 1947, we created Pakistan, inspired by the
ideals of our founding father--Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad
Ali Jinnah--and the popular ethos of the Muslims
of South Asia, to raise a modern, moderate, and
democratic Muslim state. Our foreign policy since
then has been guided by four parameters--security,
democracy, development and Islamic identity. Even
today these elements are our guiding principles.
Security has been most elusive over the decades.
We had to live with a hegemon --India-- on our
borders, which never accepted the reality of Pakistan
as a strong and stable state. In the West, because
of its fascination for Gandhi, there is an illusion
that probably one billion non-violent Gandhis
live in India. We living next door had to bear
the brunt of India's repeated aggression and hostility.
We know the reality only too well.
The root cause of tensions and conflict in South
Asia is the unresolved dispute of Jammu and Kashmir--a
territory of 85,000 square miles, roughly the
size of Utah or Minnesota, with a population of
13 million. India and Pakistan have fought three
wars over this dispute--wars that could have been
avoided. Fifty years ago the UN Security Council
had mandated that the people of Jammu and Kashmir
should be asked through a plebiscite if they wanted
to join India or Pakistan. Pakistan has met all
its commitments in this regard while India has
honored none. In fact, India has resorted to repression,
electoral fraud and dubious constitutional measures
to annex the territory, but India has failed to
do so because of popular Kashmiri resistance.
India has also unsuccessfully tried to tar the
Kashmiri freedom movement with the brush of terrorism
and committed gross and massive violations of
human rights. In the last 14 years, some 85,000
Kashmiri civilians have been killed by Indian
We have repeatedly told India that there is no
military solution of the Kashmir dispute. It can
be resolved only by peaceful means, through negotiations.
President Musharraf traveled to India on a peace
mission in August 2001, but an agreement for a
comprehensive engagement between the two countries
was scuttled at the last minute by BJP hardliners.
We made several calls to resume negotiations,
but New Delhi rejected our offers and initiatives.
In 2002, India resorted to so-called 'coercive
diplomacy' and amassed about one million troops
on our borders threatening us with war. Realizing
the futility of this action, India later partially
withdrew its forces from our border.
This year in April, Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee
offered talks and we reciprocated positively,
but soon thereafter India refused to resume a
composite dialogue. Since April, Pakistan and
India have taken small steps to restore diplomatic
and communication links to the pre-December 2001
level, but New Delhi is not ready to talk on Kashmir
as well as peace and security in Asia--issues
that are at the heart of India-Pakistan tensions.
For its part, Pakistan has made proposals that
can form ingredients of a road map for peace in
South Asia. We have offered an agreement for a
comprehensive ceasefire between India and Pakistan
along the Line of Control--the temporary line
that divides Jammu and Kashmir--to encourage a
general cessation of hostilities inside the Occupied
Kashmir with reciprocal obligations for the Indian
security forces and the freedom fighters. We have
also proposed that in order to verify Indian allegations
of movement across the LoC, we could either strengthen
the UN military observer group in Kashmir--known
as UNMOGIP--or set up a new, impartial mechanism.
Our President has gone a step further and said
that we are ready to work for a win-win solution
by eliminating options that are not acceptable
to Pakistan, the Kashmiris and India. Despite
these proactive and forward-looking overtures,
we are faced with the brick wall of Indian rejections.
It is because of this never-ending impasse that
we have always kept the door open for third party
mediation or facilitation. We remain hopeful that
this conundrum will be solved. The costs of not
addressing the problem are very high. The two
countries remain locked in a devastating conflict,
while one third of the people live below the poverty
Pakistan has played a critical role as a frontline
state in the war on terrorism. We took the decision
to join with the coalition against terrorism in
our national interest. For several decades, Pakistan
has been a target of the worst form of terrorism.
In the early 1980s, when we decided to fight the
Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, saboteurs and
terrorists played havoc in our urban centers.
Ironically, some of the holdovers from the foreign
Mujahedin who were fighting against the Soviet
Union became a potent threat to us. Another source
of terrorism was an externally-sponsored battle
for sectarian turf in Pakistan. The third and
the most sinister form of terrorism against our
country was sponsored by the Indian intelligence
agencies. As we geared up to fight extremism and
promote moderation, we decided to root out terrorism
and declared that nobody would be allowed to use
our soil for terrorist activities.
What is not understood fully is that because
of the Afghan war and the prolonged civil war
afterwards, Pakistan had to assimilate serious
blows and setbacks. Now we are being consumed
by the shocks and aftershocks of the war on terrorism
in neighboring Afghanistan. The political, economic,
environmental and social costs are enormous. Despite
these staggering costs, we are taking concerted
action to interdict Al Qaeda fugitives and the
Taliban regime remnants.
Over 70,000 of our troops are deployed on the
border for this purpose. We have arrested and
deported over 500 suspected members of Al Qaeda,
including some of its top leaders like Abu Zubaydah,
Ramzi bin Al-Shibh, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
Effective intelligence and information set-ups
have been established. Aerial surveillance has
been enhanced. A quick reaction force has been
created. Practical measures now effectively halt
financial and other support to terrorist organizations.
Wide-ranging measures have been taken to marginalize
extremists and militants. Several sectarian and
extremist groups have been banned and their assets
frozen. Madrassa reform has been introduced to
acquaint students with modern knowledge along
with religious instruction. These measures would
go a long war in changing the madrassa culture.
Indeed no country has done more in the fight
against terrorism than Pakistan. No other country
has made more sacrifices. From President George
W. Bush to the leading congressmen and senators,
all have singled out Pakistan for praise for the
role we have played in stemming the tide of terror.
CIA Director George Tenet will tell you that the
war on terrorism could not have succeeded without
Pakistan's critical help.
We support the Bonn process in Afghanistan and
the government of President Karzai. But lack of
security in Afghanistan remains a cause of deep
concern. We have urged the Security Council to
expand the mandate of the International Security
Assistance Force (ISAF) and extend its operations
beyond Kabul and Kunduz so that a semblance of
security in the whole of Afghanistan could be
created. Both are essential for neutralizing Al
Qaeda and starting the task of reconstruction
in earnest. Peace in Afghanistan will make that
country emerge as a bridge between Pakistan and
Central Asia for greater economic cooperation
and for routing the latter's vast gas reservoirs
to Pakistan and beyond.
Iraq remains an open wound. Daily casualties
of American soldiers flashed across the Television
screens bring pain and sorrow to your homes. On
the other hand, the instability and strife in
Iraq fuels Arab anger and creates uncertainty.
There is no magic wand to fix the situation in
Iraq, but we believe that a speedy political transition
enabling the Iraqi people to choose their own
government and empowering the UN to conduct peacekeeping
operations would promise an early closure of this
In the Middle East, the Quartet's road map--envisaging
Israel and Palestine coexisting as two sovereign
states side by side in peace and security--has
been badly bruised. There is an urgent need to
repair it and put it back on track, because what
happens in the Middle East has a resonance throughout
the Islamic world.
Pakistan has a multidimensional relationship
with China, which is strategic in nature. Our
perceptions on major global and regional issues
fully converge. Our excellent cooperation extends
to diverse fields--from political to economic
to trade to defense. It is our firm belief that
the Pakistan-China relationship is a factor of
stability in South Asia. During President Musharraf's
visit to Beijing just last week, the two countries
signed a Joint Declaration on Directions of Bilateral
Relations, which would go a long way in reinforcing
an all round and comprehensive partnership in
the 21st century.
Traditionally, we have nurtured close ties with
the Islamic world where Pakistan is considered
to be a key player. Recently, we have taken an
initiative to make the 57-member of the Organization
of the Islamic Conference a vibrant forum and
an effective vehicle for conducting a dialogue
with the non-Muslim world.
Last, but not the least, today we have our most
important relationship with the United States.
Like President Reagan, Americans see the US as
the shining city on the hill. In the aftermath
of September 11, they are puzzled at the anger
against the US. What I can tell you is that the
US has been a symbol of liberty and fairplay and
a land of equal opportunity. The world would still
like to see the US cast in that image.
Pakistan and the US have been close allies during
and after the Cold War, though our relations have
been jolted from time to time by a cyclical pattern.
Today, we can say with satisfaction that our ties
are governed by a new architecture encompassing
cooperation in the political, economic, and defense
spheres. What we are trying to do is to look beyond
the war on terrorism and create a long-term, sustainable
partnership that will serve our interests in the
years to come. In this phase, we are not looking
for grants and assistance, but enhanced market
access and US investment in Pakistan. Together,
we can work for a more secure and prosperous world.
Pakistan is against proliferation of weapons
of mass destruction . We had to conduct nuclear
tests in 1998, following Indian tests, to restore
the strategic balance in South Asia. For our defense,
we are maintaining a minimum credible nuclear
deterrence. The purpose of this deterrent is to
defend ourselves, not to threaten any country.
The strategic and conventional balance between
India and Pakistan is the best guarantor of peace
and security in our region.
Following the nuclear tests of 1998, Pakistan
proposed the adoption of a Strategic Restraint
Regime (SRR) for South Asia, with three interlocking
One: agreed and reciprocal measures for nuclear
and missile restraint to prevent deliberate
or accidental use of nuclear weapons;
Two: establishment of conventional arms balance
as a confidence building measure between the
Three: establishment of a political mechanism
for resolving bilateral conflicts, especially
the core dispute over Jammu and Kashmir
Regrettably, India continues to reject the idea
of a Strategic Restraint Regime. India has outlined
a "nuclear doctrine" that envisages the development
and deployment of a classical 'triad' of land-,
air- and sea-based nuclear assets. Simultaneously,
India continues its headlong acquisition of sophisticated
weapons systems from abroad and development of
multiple missile systems of varying sizes and
Pakistan does not wish to enter into an arms
race with India, which we believe would be destructive
for the entire region. For both countries, it
would be economically unsustainable and morally
untenable. Both countries need these precious
resources to address their developmental needs
and to give a hopeful tomorrow to their peoples
who remain mired in poverty.
Therefore, in order to preserve the stability
of strategic deterrence in South Asia, Pakistan
has made specific proposals. These include: (i)
a bilateral moratorium on further nuclear testing;
(ii) maintenance of nuclear weapons on de-alert
status; (iii) non-deployment of nuclear capable
ballistic missiles; (iv) formalization of the
understanding to provide prior adequate notification
of flight tests of missiles; (v) acceptance of
a moratorium on the acquisition and deployment
of anti-ballistic missile systems; (vi) CBMs to
reduce the risk of use of nuclear weapons by miscalculation
or accident; and (vii) discussion of each other's
nuclear security doctrines to avoid a regional
nuclear and missile arms race.
In the conventional field, Pakistan's proposals
include, inter alia, the maintenance of
an acceptable ratio in the armed forces of the
two countries, non-acquisition of destabilizing
weapons systems (such as missile defense), and
an eventual agreement on the non-use of force
or a non-aggression pact. We hope that it would
be possible for India and Pakistan, with help
from the international community to engage in
serious discussion on these issues having a tremendous
bearing on regional and international peace and
At the global level, proliferation of weapons
of mass destruction and the risk of WMD falling
in the hands of terrorists constitute another
major international concern. Pakistan believes
that these twin challenges must be addressed seriously
and separately. Terrorists must be prevented from
ever acquiring weapons of mass destruction. States
which possess such weapons, or sensitive materials
or technology, should exercise effective controls
over them. In this context, the universal acceptance
and implementation of the IAEA's Convention on
Physical Safety is important. Programs to ensure
protection of "loose nukes" and of inadequately
protected fissile materials are useful. For its
part, Pakistan has instituted firm command and
control mechanisms to ensure the safety and security
of our strategic assets. We are prepared to participate
in the elaboration of internationally agreed measure
to prevent terrorists from gaining access to WMD.
To address the proliferation of weapons of mass
destruction, there is a need to strengthen the
existing WMD regimes. Cooperative, and not coercive,
approaches should be adopted for equitable non-proliferation,
along with efforts to address the underlying security
concerns of states which motivate them to seek
WMD. There should also be incentives, apart from
disincentives, for the acceptance and implementation
of non-proliferation obligations. There is also
a need for the nuclear weapon states to undertake
good faith efforts at moving towards significant
nuclear arms reductions and ultimate disarmament.
The credibility and eventual success of international
efforts to address these challenges depends on
equitable, non-selective and non-discriminatory
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As we grapple with a wrenching transition in
international relations, I am reminded of the
vision of Adda Bozeman. We need deeper cultural
understanding and a more informed discourse on
peoples practicing diverse faiths and on nations
in search of their destiny. But this kind of interaction
will remain unproductive, if strong international
institutions do not underpin it. We already have
such institutions--like the United Nations--we
should strengthen them, not try to undermine them.
We must realize that we are on the cusp of a
new Millennium. This is a defining moment in history
and we are faced with fateful choices. We must
decide whether to flow with the dangerous drift
that threatens confrontation and the collapse
of civilization, or muster the collective will
to change the course of history towards a terror-free,
peaceful and cooperative global society. We and
particularly our world leaders bear an enormous
- To free our planet from war and violence,
poverty and pestilence;
- To redress inequity and impoverishment which
breed despair and destruction;
- To collectively construct a new global architecture
of peace and prosperity for all peoples and
We must turn challenge into an opportunity for
ourselves and for our future generations. Clearly,
the need for deeper reflection and collective
action was never greater. The very survival of
the world as we know it is at stake. And failure
is not an option.