Is it time for a new world order?

We had an unusual meeting today as a number of executives from US public radio joined us. I’m not sure what they make of WHYS, but it was interesting to have them there. So if you listen to WAMU (Washington), WABE (Atlanta), WNYC (er, New York), KNOW (Minnesota) and KJZZ (Phoenix), your station is involved today.


Welcome to Georgia in Jamaica, Doug in Oklahoma, John in Malaysia, Maurice in New York, Katharina in Belgium, Wendi in Portland, Yota in San Francisco and Peter in Vancouver. Thanks for signing up to the Daily Email.


Hundreds of you are emailing the BBC every hour about this issue, and it’s also being debated on many other sites. Gaza, Kenya and the money markets are also being discussed but not on the same scale.

Here’s a quote from French President Nicolas Sarkozy earlier this month.

“France will do everything so that Germany, Japan, Brazil, India and a major African country become permanent members of the Security Council. We have a 20th century organisation for the 21st century. It can’t work.”

Here’s a quote from British Prime Minister Gordon Brown speaking in India this weekend.

It’s time to build a “new global society. We can and must do more to make our global institutions more representative and I support India’s bid for a permanent place, with others, on an expanded UN Security Council.”

And here are some questions for you.

1. Do the world’s major institutions (the UN, the IMF, the World Bank and the G8) need reform?

2. If they do, in what way and which countries should be represented?

3. If they don’t, why do you think they are working well?

4. Should we start from scratch? And if we need new institutions, how should they work?

104 Responses to “Is it time for a new world order?”

  1. 1 Michael McGuire
    January 21, 2008 at 13:45

    The problem with trying to have a new world order is that half of the people on the planet are still limited by their own tribal mentality and refuse to cooperate with anybody beyond their own social group.

  2. 2 Tommaso Debenedetti
    January 21, 2008 at 13:52

    Yes, the world need a global reform. Specially, a strong reform of EU is really very, very importantr for Europe and for the world. The European Union now is a big istitution, but is not able to help peace, is not able for economy, and is incomprehensible for citizens. We need a drastic refor of the EU!
    Rome, Italy

  3. January 21, 2008 at 14:00

    yes its time for a new [not the old new ] but a new order [one that can deliver peace and prosperity for all [not just the same old elites]

    re how to change the plight of the worlds poor


  4. 4 David - UK
    January 21, 2008 at 14:03

    I think we need a new world order. We need something more like a ‘collective’ a new kind of social contract. The governments and institutions today seem to be nothing more than glorified tribal groups. Designed more for an ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ mentality, than an effective guiding group, that is designed to help and aid the planet and all of its flora and fauna; (Just because people think they’re more important than the planet or the flowers and animals doesn’t mean that it’s true.)

    Here’s an example, why do we need one person in charge of our governments? Why do we need a head of state? We’re becoming a global community, so why not start to act like it. The power of the veto and a council seat should be given to India but not without a non-proliferation of nuclear weapons commitment from India. There sould also be a place for Brazil, Malaysia (maybe) and an African country too.

    Lest we should all forget, it has been over sixty years since we’ve had a global war. The UN has done it’s job.

  5. 5 steve
    January 21, 2008 at 14:06

    Kind of funny, I was listening to WAMU which was broadcasting some NPR show, talking about some “untold” story from WW2 that they were just revealing about someone named “Chapman”. They talked about how he was a double agentd, and it went on and on, and then I realized that I had the book, called “triple cross” and it was also a movie, starring Christopher Plummer. So much for “untold story”. NPR should do a little better job given tha tthe book and the movie were from the 1960s. I think they even got his first name wrong. It was Eddie Chapman.

  6. 6 Xie_Ming
    January 21, 2008 at 14:14

    It is time for a reorganization of international governance.

    The premise of the UN was that the WW II victors would establish and control the the new World order. Events have superceded that. The current suggstion is that newly dominant nations should control.

    My suggestion would be for a goal of maximizing the happiness of the World population, together with respect and enforcement of an international law.

  7. 7 Brett
    January 21, 2008 at 14:26

    I would LOVE to see a reformed, new type of UN established. One with a bit more influence and relavence. And especially one that could keep the US and its misguided foreign policies and ‘do whatever we like’ mentality in check.
    I would also like to see many more developing countries take active roll in the international community, opening up the doors to the developing world in this century will be paramount in dealing with international relations and international issues. Hopefully it will help to aleviate the ‘Us verse Them’ type situations that arise between the developed and developing world.
    The Big Dogs in international politics are becoming increasingly irrelavent and unable to adequately cope with international issues as developing nations are begining to rise to power and gain international relavence.

    I look forward to listening to todays show to hear the differing viewpoints on this subject.

    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  8. January 21, 2008 at 14:26

    Proff Huntigton made that clear way back in the 90’s.
    Why don’t the Americans understand?
    my opinion is:

  9. 9 rosatkins
    January 21, 2008 at 14:26

    Hi Ros,
    This is indeed a very pertinent issue. How can we claim to be democratising the whole world when the most populous democratic country in the world doesn’t have a permanent seat in the most important international council- The Security Council; Africa, a continent of over 900million whose issues are usually discussed at the council also doesn’t have a permanent seat.
    One thing also more annoying is to hear the term the term ‘international community’- What it means is USA, Britain, France and sometimes Russia plus China; this is not, and should not be the ‘international community’.
    We need a New world order which is very representative of our world else, so-called inernational institutions would not survive beyond 2015-trust me!

    Accra, Ghana.

  10. 10 rosatkins
    January 21, 2008 at 14:29

    Hi WHYS,

    A new world order is emminent its over due the world needs to move wíth time. Some institutions that are governing our world today are outdated just to mention one WTO. Its using trade principles developed in the stone age.

    The UN has over lived its usefulness . It must be restructured. Africa which has more members is even not represented in security council. There is need to cooperate others in decision making this should not be restricted to a few nations like President Sarkozy put it but on a rotation basis like what the European or Africa unions do on their presidents. 60 years now most of the powers have been concentrated on USA which has seen that superpower being arrogant in issues of world interest. Maybe it would be wise to move the UNO headquarters to Switzerland.

    There is a need for UN soldiers who can intervene in crisis regions responding quickly inorder to avoid lose of innocent lifes. Its unimaginable that in countries like Columbia Cocaine is grow and exported worldwide despite knowing that it has health consquences which result in deaths.

    The world should look at the production of weapons for war whether they worth it. Who is our enemy? maybe alleins.Those huge sums can be used to make the world a better place.

    World Bank and IMF must be abolished if not modernised to met the present problems facing nations. To solve indivudaul country problems there is a need to make pilot studies and benchmarks and develop strategies which are proactive oriented. This could reduce most problems that are caused by mankind. These are wars, denial of basic services like food, shelter, education and health services as it is the case of GAZA right now where the whole region has been without electricity because Israel stopped supplying feul to GAZA. Collective punishment is no solution because it creates even more hate among parts nvolved.

    60 years now IMF has not helped to solve the problems of most developing nations it must be revamped to meet the requirements of modern times. We are living in an age where we are blessed with technology which can assist us tacle most of our world problems.

    G8 must completely be scraped its a lobbist grouping who are just about 15 000 against the population of 5 Billion and more citizens of the world.

    Terror and Internet know no boundaries so then need for appropiate solutions. Make the world a better place to live in for everyone

    Isaac Muongo in Germany

  11. 11 Molly in Oklahoma
    January 21, 2008 at 14:47

    It makes sense that world institutions, including the United Nations, should be in a perpetual state of reform since the world, itself, is ever-changing. But I don’t think it is as easy to just add permanent SC members as Sarkozy and Brown seem to think it is. If 5 new pernanent members are added, will the number of rotating temporary members decrease? Wouldn’t that make the SC even less world-representative? What happens to the veto power of the current permanent member nations? It is hard enough to get 5 countries to agree; trying to get 10 nations to agree would be a nightmare!

  12. 12 Virginia Davis
    January 21, 2008 at 14:55

    Almost 7 am here in Portland, OR. Dark still and very cold – 20’s (F) or maybe less. Water dripping in the faucets to keep them from freezing.

    Yes, the United Nations needs to change. A larger Security Council is a good start.
    We should move from “nation” armies to “international forces” – not just for peace
    keeping but also natural disasters.

    The UN is a good basis. The US should pay all its dues. “Our” next president should work for slower growth in population. Also to eliminate nuclear weapons. Any viable institution needs to grow and change.


  13. 14 John D. Anthony
    January 21, 2008 at 15:21

    The U.N. Security Council will remain largely impotent so long as any one member has the power to veto a measure for it’s own self interest.
    Running the world by consensus is an impractical utopian fantasy.

    John in Salem

  14. January 21, 2008 at 15:36

    Hi Ros, Akbar here.
    Excellent venue. Since the end of the cold war, it has been repeatedly suggested that UN must change. After all, it was created in 1947 to offset Soviet expansionism. the danger now, is neo-conservatism which has inflamed the Mideast, spreading fast to Pakistan and onwards.
    Unfortunately, of some 192 UN members, only a handful are effectively paying for the agency and carrying out their responsibility. All said and done, the UN is redundant, clumsy, obtrusive, inefficient. Whatever form an international watchdog body emrges to rpelace it, it must command a rapid deployment force, avoid the increasing danger of further armed conflicts and have act in trouble spots, such as Kenya, Serbia, Columbia and Iran.
    A. Javadi

  15. 16 Mark
    January 21, 2008 at 15:36

    What a crazy question and what unrealistic expectations. Does anyone believe that someone can just wave a magic wand, write a few treaties and the way the world works will suddenly change? Every naive attempt has failed. Kyoto. The Growth and Stability Pact in Maastrict, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the League of Nations, they all were written by naive men who supposedly had noble purposes. The real world works by a complex interplay of economic and military facts and power directed by interests. Four or five men representing corrupt governments sitting at a table in New York City could not prevent the world’s most militarily powerful nation from using military force to defend itself from what it saw as a serious threat to its security. 170 nations cannot force the world’s most powerful economic power to commit economic suicide unilaterally because they fear melting of the polar ice caps. (When the ineffectiveness of their flawed treaty was exposed by American scientists, their response was that Kyoto was just the beginning.) The world outlawed war many times and there were treaties limiting the number of nuclear weapons the two largest nuclear powers could have yet between them they had over twenty-thousand of them aimed at each other on a hair trigger for nearly 40 years. Had the trigger been pulled, detonation of only a small fraction of them would have been sufficient to end all human life on earth. After the Nazis tried to kill all the Jews in Europe, the world said “Never Again” yet we see case after case of genocide even today right before our eyes. In a recent book, the author cites the Secretary General of the UN as intercepting information on the ground in Rwanda regarding events and recommended military intervention and repeatedly prevented it from reaching the Security Council as the world stood by while 800,000 people were murdered in 100 days. The governments of France, Britain and the US also knew what was going on but did nothing to stop it. What new useless treaty can Eurocrats and other impotent drones author now that the EU Constitution has likely been morphed into a secret treaty not to be publicly disclosed until it is ratified? The US for one will NEVER submit to world government no matter how pure the motives, how flowery the words. It didn’t build the greatest civilization in the history of the world in a mere 11 generations to see it undone by a pack of howling political jackals from around the world representing their jealous constituents. If they want to be treated as equals, let them act as equals and earn the privilege of power and respect. It can’t be conferred by a treaty. BTW, former Mayor Koch of NYC said yesterday on the Leon Charney Report that his choice for President Bloomberg should run on two issues, the US economy and an ultimatum to Europe to contribute its fair share of the burden of security in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, and elsewhere or the US should completely withdraw including from NATO and let the Europeans deal with the ensuing mess themselves. It would save the American taxpayer in the long run trillions while the cost of the chaos would be borne by others closer to the hot spots…like Europe. I could vote for that.

  16. 17 drkcusick
    January 21, 2008 at 15:39

    World Bank, IMP etc. I’m not an economist, but I gather from reading, John Perkins, Michael Parenti, G.E. Griffin and others that the banks do not set up programs which help indigenous people, but in fact destroy their diverse agricultural economies, load them with debt, pretty much follow the program of impoverishing them that we now see unfolding with the subprime housing in the US. So they simply have moved from direct colonization of the third world to psychological colonization throught monetary manipulations.
    There are many books on the how to change disaster capitalism into something more participatory, so I dont think we have to reinvent the wheel, just bring together those who have spent the lives thinking and writing about it.

  17. January 21, 2008 at 16:15

    How many possibilities the exciting era in which we live offer for a mre peaceful and harmonious future. Unfortunately our present systems seemed to be undermined by greed for power and money and favourizes those who pursue those goals in the most ruthless fashion. In a world where secure credit card payment are becoming more of a norm I see a window for an increased interaction between the responsible citizen and our governments. It is is sad fact that politicians rarely represent their voter’s interests. If we are going to pretend democracy let each interested individual vote by internet on every single amendment. probably unfeasible, but it would be nice to give more say to the public rather than politician with their own vested interests.

    Things are changing in any case and very fast.
    As more people satisfy their material needs they start to realize that there is no hapiness in ‘things’ and start to look inward at their own lives and ethics. Of course ther is still poverty and realistically, there probably always will be, but if the people in developed countries start to take more responsibility for how they live their lives and understand the greater implications of their actions we can hopefully come to a happier more egalitarian world. There are many encouraging movement such as fair-trade and environmental groups that were considered as marginal just a decade ago and now their conerns are being taken very seriously on a global level.

    In reference to David’s comments above, when referring to council seats, I assume he means UN council seats. Why should India be expected to commit to non-proliferation of nuclear weapons when other members, UK, France, US etc..have done nothing of the sort. Ideally they should also agre to the same conditions. As for even entertaining the idea that such a blatantly racist country as Malaysia should be given a seat I would answer with a resounding NO. This is a country that puts a man in space, but can’t even guarantee safe drinking water for its inhabitants. Beside the shiny sky scrapers are open drains and the vast majority of the peninsular rainforest and its endemic flora and fauna has been decimated. There are serious issues of legal discrimination in the country that strongly resemble the apartheid-era laws that the world rightly protested about in South Africa. The Malay majority are ‘positively discriminated’ensuring that they retain power through land ownership, education,(94% of university places for ethnic Malays) preferential banking interest rates, financial incentives for larger families and more besides while the Chinese and Indian minorities (which still represent more than 30% of the population) struggle with a system deliberately rigged against them. Presently the islamic government is undertaking a proramme of demolition of Hindu temples at the rate of two a week – which has needless to say upset the substantial ethnic Indian minority. When they marched in peaceful protest, the goverment troops opened fir with rubber bullets, water canons and tear gas. When a multi ethnic movement for democratic reform took to the streets, they met with the same response. The Malaysian goverment reserves the right to imprison anyone, for an indefinite period, without trial.
    Malaysia. I don’t think so. Sanctions for reform might be a better option.

  18. January 21, 2008 at 16:17

    A new world order is not something we can create. There is one coming if we continue the path we are on. As the U.S. Economy, respect, validity, and trust ratings fall in the world view to pre- WWI levels, only our military will keep us relevant. This is kind of the same situation the USSR was in just before their fall at the end of the cold war. If it wasn’t for our military and credit spending these emerging economies would have stopped dealing with us over the past 4 or 5 years.

    Signs that this is true is things like China sending us poisoned, lead laden, children’s toys and food. We didn’t immediately stop their product from coming into the states. Because they own us in the same way your mortgage holder owns you. Another sign is that the US dollar is in the toilet. For as long as I can remember, we would take trips to Canada in order to get at least 40% more product out of our money. Now, the Canadian dollar is actually worth more then the US dollar!! There are hundreds of other signs that we are on track one day with out a job and with out money to pay our bills on a national level.

    This is what is going to create the “new world order.” The face of it will be driven by the ideologies of the dominate Economic and political powers. As of right now that looks like India, China, and possibly the EU. Funny we may be less then a hundred years way from China “preemptively invading the US” in order to remove our nuclear stock pile.

  19. 20 Marisa Landau
    January 21, 2008 at 16:31

    Agreed that the UN has done a reasonable job of avoiding new world wars, if this is indeed its merit – I rather think that this credit should go to international commerce. But it’s an overstuffed bureaucracy with all kinds of perks for its officers. Same for the EU governing centers in Brussels. They spend a fortune on their own administration (Kofi Annan himself acknowledged this) but are unable to, say, stop the carnage in Kenya by diplomatic means, or send quick supplies to disaster areas. They are also influenced by all kinds of lobbies and have their share of corruption and nepotism. It’s easy to point out their shortcomings and ask for “reform” – easier said than done.
    As for new members in the Security Council, let’s remember “Africa” is not a country. If an African country is chosen, which criteria should be applied? Population and/or GDP, for instance? Well, Kenya used to be one of the most prosperous countries in the region but look at it now. If South Africa is chosen, all hell will break loose for being a partly white country. What about Egypt or Morrocco? They’re also African. I guess if one is chosen, all the others will be unhappy.
    From South America, Brazil could be chosen since it’s the economic giant of the region, but Chile has higher standards of living. So what’s the criteria?

  20. 21 VictorK
    January 21, 2008 at 17:14

    ‘How should we run the world’ – the questions begs two points: just who is ‘we’, and does ‘the world’ really lend itself to being ‘run’ like a country? If ”we is the trans-national liberal elite, then they should not be let anywhere near power, global or local. And except for utopian dreamers, the world is not a country that can be ‘run’ like any other.

    Conservatives respect Lord Falkland’s maxim ‘When it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change.’ Talk about a new world order implies the introduction of huge, unprecedented, untested and purely speculaive changes, all for the sake of achieving a political ideal of world government which there is no reason to think is attainable or, if possible, desirable. Every responsible person should resist attempts to build a global order.

    Sarkozy’s comment is simply fatuous: there is no actual, pressing need for the security council to be expanded except to satisfy the vanity of certain self-important countries. The existing council works as well as can be expected; it is not in need of change.

    Brown’s comment was foolish, at best: there is no such thing as a ‘global society’, old or new, and nothing to justify the arrogance of supposing that mere human beings (however conceited) can construct such a thing. Global institutions exist to achieve certain objectives; they do not exist to be ‘representative’, unless representativeness will facilitate the attainment of their principal objectives. The cold truth is that many countries of the world are neither fit to govern themselves nor fit to be represented in global bodies like the UN or the World Bank. Again, change is not necessary and therefore the best course would be to resist all attempsts at introducing needless innovations of the Brown-Sarkozy variety.

    As to the questions that were put:

    1. Do the world’s major institutions (the UN, the IMF, the World Bank and the G8) need reform?

    Only insofar as they are failing to meet their respective goals, in which case such reform is in order as can be expected – from actual experience of rectifying similar failings – to leave the institution in question better placed to do what it is supposed to do. this is a matter of practicalities, not of visionary proposals.

    2. If they do, in what way and which countries should be represented?

    I’d be interested to hear what others have to say about the failings of these global institutions. My own view is that many of them are redundant and in need of outright abolition instead of reform. Where countries are clamouring for representation this should be resisited unless the countries in question are willing and able to commit themselves financially and/or militarily to making a permanent contribution to the institution in question proportionate to their sense of self-importance. The days of countries demanding a place on the Security Council while expecting the US to carry on bearing the lion’s share of the UN’s monetary and military demands must end. Any country prepared to pay the price of being a member of the Security Council should have a place on it; any country not prepared to do so – like Russia or China – should be kicked off. Representation by responsibility: any takers?

    3. If they don’t, why do you think they are working well?

    Some of these institutions are redundant and ought to be abolished. There is no need for organisations to regulate global trade. Governments are perfectly capable of doing so amongst themselves. The IMF and World Bank and other economic bodies should simply be abolished. The UN should be reformed so that votes are weighed, not counted, with the greatest weight going to the votes of those countries that contribute financially and militarily to the UN. This would make it representative in the only way that matters, and would reduce the role of most countries in the world – who are little more than badly managed political parasites – while reducing the influence of despotisms like China and semi-despostisms like Russia. In the same vein the voice of 1 billion muslims is not worth hearing for that reason alone, When they make themselves useful in practical ways to the world’s concerns (e.g. Darfur) then it will be time for the muslim world to be better represented on bodies like the Security Council. Ditto Africa.

    4. Should we start from scratch? And if we need new institutions, how should they work?

    We can begin by abolishing the institutions we don’t need like the World Bank and IMF, and reforming all the others according to the principle of representation by responsibility. No institution should be created or maintained that usurps the functions of a sovereign state. The functions of bodies like the World Health Organisation and UNESCO should be turned over to charitable organisations, or handed to new, globally-focused charities. Bodies like the World Court should be abolished, as well as bodies that interfere with sovereign governments .because of their human rights record. Membership of those bodies that do remain should be limited to those countries that are prepared to contribute to the achievement of their goals.

    Those who value global institutions as tools for attacking the West (a significant body of opinion) will disagree with what I’ve proposed. But they can still have what they want if they and others like them are prepared to set up new organisations that are openly anti-Western (not covertly and hypocritically so, like the UN), and that are funded by non-Western governments and interests. Then everyone can be happy.

  21. 22 rosatkins
    January 21, 2008 at 17:17

    Hi Ros!
    For those who cannot see or know the world needs a true realisation of its direction.A new world order will provide the template to avoid current over manipulation by the US . One state cannot rule the world and it never will..
    Togo Kasoro

  22. 23 Joel Fletcher
    January 21, 2008 at 17:19

    As long as the world is seperated by different relegions, all encouraging zealots, we will never unite. A united world is the only way we can hope to survive. We can not fight global warming, poverty, ethnic genocide,starvation, AIDS, cancer, the next big pandemic, and every other affliction facing us as seperate entities. Unfortunately, I can not see the the radical Islamists, living in third world conditions, giving up their power, let alone the puppeteers in the Vatican and the other christian powerhouses letting go of their air-conditioned dog houses and closets full of shoes. Too bad. Greed pretty much sucks.

  23. 24 Nick by email
    January 21, 2008 at 17:33

    Monday morning on our semi-national holiday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and a new world order would be great to see.

    As nations and economies have become more inter-related it would be great to see the U.N. altered. Perhaps a simple way for the U.N. to change is to move out of New York City and relocate to Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a city that is so important to so many cultures that no one group/country should be able to run it. So why not let it be run by the world, though not like Washington, DC (All people living in the city would have the say to how to run the city itself).
    I’d like to think a simple move could create incredible change. Potentially less violence could occur since it is one less sticking point in the Palestinian/Israeli conflict (and the continuation of the Christian/Muslim conflict too). As less violence occurred and we saw how a multi-national city worked well it would lead to more cooperation between nations under the U.N.

    I know this is incredibly naive and sounds really “California-hippy-dippy” but you have to at least think about positive change or we’re just going to continue in this feast for some famine for the rest cycle.

    Nick (KALW listener in San Francisco)

  24. 25 viola anderson
    January 21, 2008 at 17:42

    Isn’t the actual question that needs to be debated this: Does the world need a world government modeled after current national governments with equivalent powers to enforce duly enacted world laws? Mark has clearly expressed valid reasons why the United States cannot back a structure which brings its people under the control of others whose interests are not its own. I’d like to hear arguments for such a world power structure. U.S-phobic., Islamic-phobics, Jew-phobics, Christian-phobics, and other “phobics” should try to discuss this issue without airing, once again, their biases.

  25. 26 Will Rhodes
    January 21, 2008 at 17:44

    “Michael McGuire January 21, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    The problem with trying to have a new world order is that half of the people on the planet are still limited by their own tribal mentality and refuse to cooperate with anybody beyond their own social group.”

    Could not agree more!

  26. 27 otto esterle
    January 21, 2008 at 17:51

    the world bank and IMF are like all other capitalist institutions…they want to make money. the problem is that they’re doing it under the guise of “development”.

    the structural adjustment policies of these group banks force poor nations to give up their traditions in favor of paying back the loans they receive. if they want to “help develop” these countries they should do it in a way that facilitates that countries way of life, not by forcing theme to develop the way america and europe do. this is how government sanctioned sweatshops came into being. they give up land and property in order to appease the banking gods and before they know it their people are closing their fields and markets and going to work at these huge factories.

    this is often the only option for the poverty stricken countries and while i’m sure their govts have pure intentions and the wb and imf have pure intentions, the result is corruption and the gap between the haves and have nots grows exponentially.

    this is the rhetoric we hear everyday on the news–if you listen–but what does it mean. it means that the govts of the underdeveloped countries are making deals with wb and imf officials to release their trade tarriffs so big business can move freely in their country because developed nations have laws prohibiting it in their own. then the govt officials sifon the money to their own and force introduce capitalism to the people.

    i don’t know what should be done. stop making deals with the imf and wb—you will get screwed.

  27. 28 Art Persyko
    January 21, 2008 at 18:01

    Yes, it’s time for a new world order. On this day when we in the United States remember and honor the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr, it’s appropriate for us to consider the potential for prioritizing human rights and environmental concerns over market forces and brute power, whether military or economic. The current world order gives far too much power to the dominant countries and multi-national corporations that block human progress toward a more just, peaceful, and environmentally sound world; toward one that serves the common good. For example, the current world order has allowed the WTO to impose enforceable global trade rules that prioritize the business values of the most powerful nations and corporations above all else. We need to give much greater priority to putting in place enforceable global rules that enhance human rights and environmental values, if we want to some day see a more satisfying, just and sustainable world for all, not just a privileged few. The UN and our other global institutions should be reformed and empowered to promote human and environmental progress along those lines for the common good of everyone in the world. – Art Persyko, a KALW listener in San Francisco

  28. 29 Heather
    January 21, 2008 at 18:09

    Coming from America, this is going to sound bad, but I think that the state of many of these countries (for example India and China – both of which I have lived in for several years) shows that they still need guidance when it comes to establishing a country’s infrastructure and how to treat its citizens. Just because a country has a lot of citizens doesn’t mean that they are treating them correctly or can manage the country well.

    Heather, Colorado, USA

  29. 30 Chris
    January 21, 2008 at 18:10

    A new world order? I can’t agree. Europe and America enjoy their position atop the rest as a result of stability, democracy, security, and a legacy of responsible behavior. The reason many other countries do not have their place at the table is because they are lacking in one or all of these traits.

    Seattle, USA

  30. 31 Martin
    January 21, 2008 at 18:13

    Get Real! When did the powerful ever voluntarily give away their power???

    Martin, Amsterdam

  31. 32 Anthony
    January 21, 2008 at 18:14

    I think every country should have a spot, and votes should be based on the point system. A certain amount of points for population, GDP, technology, etc, etc. I think this would be fair, and everyone being evolved would lead to more peace and prosperity.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  32. 33 Grant Colvin
    January 21, 2008 at 18:15

    I believe it is time to change most of the inter-governmental institutions in the World today, like the UN, the IMF, and the World Bank. The UN is still living in a hopelessly post-World War Two mindset that is completely inadequate to deal with the modern problems of globalization and global terrorism. There are no truly developing countries on the Security Council as permanent members. I agree with Nicolas Sarkozy in expanding the permanent membership of the UN to India, Germany, Japan, and Brazil.

    Efforts by developed countries to effectively develop developing countries are almost solely interested in securing more money for themselves, often at the expense of the countries they are “helping”. The WTO and other similiar organizations have these problems, and so need to be radically restructured to actually ensure economic growth and stabilization, as well as modernification of these underdeveloped nations.

  33. 34 Chad Robinson
    January 21, 2008 at 18:15

    I believe that in many ways we have a 21st century economy but trying to work with centuries old systems. Even newer organizations such as the WTO and the UN rely on age-old paradigms instead of re-creating systems using innovations of the 21st century considering all the changes we’ve seen, particularly since the end of the Cold War and the September 11th attacks.

    I would suggest we completely reorganize the major global organizations to reflect the way the globe looks now.

    I look hopefully on the changes the EU is considering, such as incorporating more former Soviet states and Turkey. If the global entities undergo similar changes, we can have a better global community.

    I think the number one issue we will see when recrafting these organizations is the lingering issue of sovereignty. How do we address this as economic borders are dropping by more and more countries want their people barriers higher and higher? Americans have issues with Latin American immigrantion. Europe is dealing with a growing Muslim population. The approach that I would suggest for moving forward is scrapping all these groups and developing a single new global collaborative that clearly defines its roles and powers from the beginning, folding in development, economics, public health, national security and human rights into a single body.

  34. 35 Blez
    January 21, 2008 at 18:16

    The paradigm is already shifting. China, India and South America are heading to the front of the stage, The US and Europe are falling back to become bit players.

    Blez, Oregon, USA

  35. 36 Sean
    January 21, 2008 at 18:17

    Yes it is time to reform the world order. The structure of the United Nations Security Council is a remnant of the post WWII/Cold War era. It was organized in an effort to balance the polarized forces in the world at the time. The problem that exists now is the misrepresentation of the worlds population at that level of the United Nations. Getting rid of the Security Council would be a grave mistake, but there very definitely should be more representative membership. There should be a number of permanent seats added to the Security Council in order to give a more balanced voice to that powerful council of world government. Those permanent members should be drawn from each region of the world. The rotating members could then be more persuasive with the member from their region, and therefore have more influence at large.

  36. 37 juliana
    January 21, 2008 at 18:18

    Xie-ming’s comment concernes me:

    “The current suggestion is that newly dominant nations should control.”

    Replacing the players without replacing the dynamic would only lead to a coronation of brand new bullies. China is powerful, all right, but having heard their ambassador speak here in Cleveland, I heard only lip service to cooperation and an undertone of relentlessness. The proper attitude is that newly dominant nations should contribute. Otherwise nothing is changed.

  37. 38 Shirley Wilson
    January 21, 2008 at 18:20

    I see international law as the supreme legal force that binds all parties to treaties that form international law. As such, I think that the United Nations should be the basis of international law in terms of legislation and enforcement.

    It is very unfortunate that countries such as the United States have been undermining the effectiveness of the United Nations by breaching the UN charter, voting against important resolutions, preventing voting on important resolutions, watering down the wording of important resolutions, and using threats to prevent other nations from voting on important resolutions.

    Israel has also served to undermine the importance of the United Nations by daily violating several resolutions concerning the sovereign integrity of Palestine, settlements in Palestine, and such acts as killing Palestinians and destroying their homes and infrastructure.

    Rogue states such as these have no place on the Security Council. Their actions should no longer have impact on the determination and enforcement of international law.

    Until rogue states such as the US and Israel are reigned in, the world cannot depend on any form of international law as a guideline for our global community. I would much rather see internaitonal law enforced against rogue states than have a new body constructed to form and enforce internaitonal law.

    Shirley Wilson, Chicago, Illinois, USA

  38. 39 Kieran
    January 21, 2008 at 18:20

    If nation states are divided themselves, how can we possibly have a homogenous world order? Who represents who?

    Kind regards,

    BBC World Service Addict,

    Kieran, Dublin, Ireland

  39. 40 damali ayo
    January 21, 2008 at 18:23

    Stop referring to Africa as if it is one country. It is a continent with 47 countries within it.
    Europe, Asia, North America, and South America aren’t expected to only have one voice in the world conversation and it’s unfair to treat Africa as if it is a monolith.

    damali ayo
    Portland, Oregon

  40. 41 Dwight
    January 21, 2008 at 18:24

    How about an organization that gives countries votes in 2 separate houses. One is based on population, so the more people the country has the more representatives they have. The other has an equal vote. A lot of people think that a structure like this would never work. People would never abide by it.

    Lord of logic

  41. 42 Lubna
    January 21, 2008 at 18:25

    We do need a new world order where each country would have its voice heard. We’re so tired of the phrase ” Who should be more powerful?”

    Lubna, Baghdad

  42. 43 Kola by text
    January 21, 2008 at 18:26

    Why should anyone worry who rules a world where might is right?

    Kola in Nigeria.

  43. 44 Hanaz by text
    January 21, 2008 at 18:26

    Sure, I’m convinced by all 3 of them, perhaps USA, Russia, and China should make space for them.

    Hanaz, Prague

  44. 45 Bill by text
    January 21, 2008 at 18:27

    South Africa cannot get itself together, let alone the United Nations. Our economy is crumbling because of twelve days of power cuts.

    Bill, Johannesburg

  45. 46 Mark Cromwell
    January 21, 2008 at 18:28

    1. So we exchange the power of the few for the power of some other few?

    2. You are advocating the democratization of an institution whose members are not entirely democracies. Until then, no way.

    3. Using climate change as an excuse for a power grab is demagoguery.

    Mark Cromwell
    San Francisco, CA

  46. 47 Chris by text
    January 21, 2008 at 18:28

    Being a populous country is not a criterion for becoming a member of the UN Security Council. India is very naive and won’t punish even rogue nations.

    Chris in India

  47. 48 Greg Bruschi
    January 21, 2008 at 18:29

    Why would people support the UN after watching Bush & Co run roughshod over it when we needed it most? It’s lost its prestige and credibility.

  48. 49 Jamika
    January 21, 2008 at 18:30

    A new alignment is necessary. How to achieve it is the hard part. What might work would be a world conference to establish “benchmarks” for participation in a successor body to the UN Security Council. Originally, the determinants were military power with nuclearization as a paramount consideration. There might be several things wrong with this scheme.

    A new world conference could establish more pertinent factors: Greenhouse gas remediation measures; participation in peacekeeping missions; aid to developing countries; voluntary nuclear and conventional weapons de-escalation and disarmament; promotion and practice of demonstrable & varifiable democratic/popular governance.

    This is a partial list. Many more could be possible. The idea would be that nations would be ranked on the various criteria & those with the highest net scores would be eligible for service on the Security Council successor body. Also needed would be a means for ensuring regional representation, proportioned to share of world population.

  49. 50 Edison by text
    January 21, 2008 at 18:30

    Why? They don’t even control their own countries. Full of corrupted MPs. First they should fix their countries before judging others. I am a Brazilian living in Belgium.


  50. 51 Hamid by text
    January 21, 2008 at 18:31

    I think the UN is losing its power and its prestige, so we look on the UN as a device which is controlled by US and its allies.

    Hamid from Kabul

  51. 52 Baig by text
    January 21, 2008 at 18:31

    India should be pressed to curb religious in-tolerance before getting a permanent seat.


  52. 53 Dickson Owiti by text
    January 21, 2008 at 18:32

    Apart from the fact that Africa is the richest in resources, it may not be able to run the world body because of a lack of values i.e. democracy, honesty etc. We see that in Kenya, Zimbabwe etc. Let Africans learn to handle their problems first.

    Dickson Owiti in Berlin

  53. 54 Fred by text
    January 21, 2008 at 18:33

    These American institutions of world governance need to represent world politics and not American ones.

    Fred in Malawi

  54. 55 Jamila Thomas
    January 21, 2008 at 18:35

    The time for change is over due. The UN Security Council, for example, is racially and religiously inequitable body set up by former European colonial masters. Under their watch, they have mostly secured their and their allies’ interests at the expense of their former subjects and weak nations. Look at the state of the world.

    Either there is a fair representation of the world populations, or no one group should be given the power to run any world bodies

    Jamila Thomas

  55. 56 Eric in the Netherlands
    January 21, 2008 at 18:36

    I would like to see the 200 countries or so part of the UN security council, world bank and so on, BUT who pays for it. If India, for instance, wants more action, is it ready to pay equivalently per head than the current countries leading the world band and IMF are. It will come one day, but in the meantime I would like that our countries controlling the cash that they are providing. If everybody also wants to change the contribution ratio, let’s talk about.

    Also, the one who said that India should be part of the UN SC because it is a democracy is just appalling. Remember the crisis in Burma where India losts its voice suddenly and could not complain about the events. Well in the UNSC we already have China then as a democracy.

    When comes to Africa, I would like to see Africa cleaning in front of its door by reducing actively its level of corruption. The West, so me as a taxpayer, is giving billions with little results.

    We discuss the matter, but before those countries who just want power without the consequences change. The current system is as good and bad as we can make it. By the way, would a different UNSC structure have stopped the war in Iraq to happen? I do not recall lots being done by the emerging countries then.

    Cheers to the world,

    Eric (Netherlands)

  56. 57 Josimar Scott
    January 21, 2008 at 18:39

    The proposals by Mr. Brown and Monsieur Sarkozy are just a means of escaping responsibility. That is, the Developed countries are now trying to sever ties with former colonies which have unstable economies and at times unstable political climates. European countries somehow feel responsible for any post-imperial instability within the Developing countries. By proposing a more regional co-operation, for example the African Union, they allow those countries to control the problems in those countries.

    The current problem with United Nations is that it is an oligarchic organization in which former imperialists and Cold War superpowers can balance decision making in their favour. This excludes the intellectual contributions of equally qualified Third World representatives especially when negotiating on economic issues.

    Josimar Scott

  57. 58 Mark Poysden
    January 21, 2008 at 18:40

    Disband the Security Council at the UN. Why should a fistful of countries decide the future of the entire planet. No veto powers for any country. One country, one vote in the General Assembly would be the most democratic model and would ensure more democratic actions by the UN. The veto powers exercised till now by some of the countries in the GA have spurred and inflated some of the major political crises of our time. Perhaps a review of all UN Resolutions that have been ignored by some members would be more effectively enforced if voted on is this way.

    Mark Poysden
    The Netherlands

  58. 59 Jamila Thomas
    January 21, 2008 at 18:41

    The time for change is over due. The UN Security Council, for example, is racially and religiously inequitable body set up by former European colonial masters. Under their watch, they have mostly secured their and their allies’ interests at the expense of their former subjects and weak nations. Look at the state of the world.

    Either there is a fair representation of the world populations, or no one group should be given the power to run any world bodies.

    Jamila Thomas

  59. 60 Brian
    January 21, 2008 at 18:43

    I’m an American and there is no question in my mind that India, South Africa, and Brazil should be permanent members on the security council. The current permanent members are simply the major powers on the victorious side of the Second World War.

    South Asia, Africa, and Latin America are the fastest growing regions of the world. Representation in the US House of Representatives is based on population. Population ought to stand for something in the UN.

  60. 61 Steve in USA
    January 21, 2008 at 18:56

    I’m sure Israel would be thrilled with getting rid of the security council and all nations having one vote, and the 70+ Muslim nations vote against anything Israel does every time.


  61. 62 Frank
    January 21, 2008 at 18:58

    We in the U.S. cannot legitimately advocate democracy in other countries, without also conceding an international form democracy that works toward the best interests of the entire world.

    I am hopeful that the next U.S. administration will be more responsive to the needs and inputs from the whole planet.

  62. 63 Linda Wilson
    January 21, 2008 at 18:59

    I would like to see a council selected by the Nobel nominating committee. They are respected world wide, and they would select representatives for humanity, a solid world-wide economy, and positive changes for the environment.

  63. 64 MegaC126 Denver
    January 21, 2008 at 18:59

    Like a lot of others jobs, apply for it. Then have an international interview, using some of the best political minds, religious leaders, Nobel Lauretes (sp), etc. Then have then re-apply every 5 years via the same process.

    “Your country seems qualified, what do you bring to the table?”

    I am willing to compromise.

  64. 65 José Roberto
    January 21, 2008 at 19:09

    Our world needs to find a way where evebody can express your point of view! This dream is impossible! Then let´s try change our home,community, city, state, country and after, let´s try to transform this world.

  65. 66 Vivienne
    January 21, 2008 at 19:34

    Was looking forward to this programme, but before long realised it was one of those men only manifestations in which the WS specialises. So tired of the discrimination against women: get it right – women are at least HALF the population.

    Consequently, stop favouring minorities at the expense of women. This was quite shocking discrimination: women make up half the population in ANY group.

    Sexism is still alive and well, as Hillary Clinton has pointed out recently when commenting on posters held up by men at meeting – for goodness sake don’t ask any ethnic or religious minorities to iron your shirts!

  66. 67 Vivienne
    January 21, 2008 at 19:49

    For an academic and elegantly argued case – but depressing – read Catherine McKinnon’e book titled Are women human.

  67. 68 fldz
    January 21, 2008 at 20:12

    Excellent idea for a purely hypothetical, idealogical conversation.
    “must do more to make our global institutions more representative”

    Precisely exactly wrong!
    But impressively so!

    I propose a completely new way forward:

    Internet oriented constitutional democracy. People sort through their own issues.
    Votes weighted by proximity to issue, ie: my local garbage-strike is functionally LOCAL ONLY. You can vote from Australia but your vote is worth 0.00001 to 1.
    Vote takes place continuously, but decided deadline closes the vote until disparegance reaches a decided level.

    Stem-cells may or may not be deemed ‘human rights’ or ‘religeous turf’, but solid scientific data on global-warming, overpopulation, etc., is equally weighted globally accourding to impact, responsibility, etc.

    Current gov remains in place, powedered wigs and all, but LOTs of professional and private advisors to all the people where leaders used to be, who will either have reliable clout this moment or not.
    Industry will hire their spokesmen, religeon others, etc.

    Constitution is a band-pass filter. Only issues that can get past it are considered at all except in local and supreme courts.
    Constitutional filter is also based on proximity so that ‘soverienty’ remains if only by idealogically contrived borders.

    Well it’s a start on functionality meets philosophy (gone berzerk).

    Asside from reversing the flow of power to where the individual really IS the source, how far is this from what the world is doing now?

    Isn’t it just an old program that’s been optimized?

  68. 69 UN? No thanks!
    January 21, 2008 at 23:14

    George Bush senior mentoned the New World Order in two speeches on September 11th 1990 – 1991, 10 years later the Twin Towers were destroyed and we are now being faced with ever increasing limits on our liberty.
    The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change entered
    into force on 16 February 2005 (kyoto) and this is being welcomed by the many sheeple who believe Al Gore and the IPCC (another United Nations front)
    The police of many countries allied to the UN are becoming more militarised and thuggish in preparation for riots as energy prices increase and food supplies decrease.
    Britain, the EU and the US are implementing the ID card which will be used for suppression, during the Rwandan Genocide ID cards were used to seperate the Tutsis from the Hutus, the Hutus were murdered (read Shake Hands With The Devil by Rome Dallaire) during the genocide the UN dithered and did nothing to prevent the Mass murder.

    A New World Order is being implemented and the architects are the technocrats behind the governments. America is the new world, the new world order will arise from the ashes of a destroyed United States, as all good Masons know, you destroy the old as you build the new.
    I suggest the following to inform your scheptical minds.
    The Open Conspiracy by HG Wells
    Brave new World by Alduos Huxley
    Between Two Ages : America’s Role in the Technetronic Era and International Politics in the Technetronic Era by Zbigniew Brzezinski
    Also read Agenda 21 (united nations)
    The DCDC Global Strategic Trends Programme – http://www.mod.uk

    No to a New World Order.

  69. 70 ian
    January 21, 2008 at 23:19

    Whether we, you, or I think it is time for a new world order or not, one is being built all around us. It is not based on freedom, or human rights, or equality. It is about money, control and death. Think about it…….

  70. January 22, 2008 at 01:57

    A new World Order?


    Please make mine a Newkey Brown!

  71. 72 KarlB
    January 22, 2008 at 04:05

    New world order?

    I’m upset on how much power my State and County government has on planning in my city, much less if some distant far-off global government had a say.

    I’m quite surprised Europe has headed toward one economy with all the rules and regulations sprouted from Brussels.

    It is always better to have a strong local government.

  72. 73 Angus Cooney
    January 22, 2008 at 05:50

    The problem is education, we are talking about what we understand as a western educated world. forgetting there are people who chase animals and shoot darts through bamboo sticks.

    You will never get world piece, that is another word we know but others don’t.
    The world is just to complicated for total peace. gone are the days of forcing education on people because we are too PC, well you are not gonna get the other half educated and then the problem remains for us.

    So protect what you got, fight off the enemies that don’t like it.
    Look at how good we have it and keep it that way.

    Angus Cooney
    Nova Scotia

  73. January 22, 2008 at 06:23

    Yes, internet oriented openest democracy is a great idea which must be implemented: The UN must have a message board and similarly the others. For honest leaders this is already implemented through the blogs!How many read through the blogs? For example India can do with 60000 Megawatts less of infinitely costly electricity(coal and nukes) by adopting vapour absorption methods of cooling! Some world leaders are so myopic that they disregard history:
    is a nasty present issue. There are ways of being carbon free and nuclear free! Are these honestly being discussed?
    Similarly a new world order is a must so we change to a life style which uses the minimum energy required!
    Looking at Katrina and the Dec 26 Tsunami and the causes put forward for these in the blogs :these leaders must be hauled up and we should go over to a normal order.
    Can you believe that human beings caused these catastrophes? For the tsunami read:
    People must go normal, not modern.

  74. 75 T. Kootee KORVAH
    January 22, 2008 at 07:51

    I do not know much about the G8, IMF and so on, but please let me propose the reform of the United Nations.

    Why? I believe there is a wide spread corruption which has engulfed this system. I am speaking in reference to my horrible experience during my status as refugee during the periode of 17 years (1990_2007) at the time a branch of the UN (HCR) faid to protect many hopless including myself.

    Besides, if you now look arround you, you will notice that the actual UN is now disabled. The system needs to be serviced. The very Geneva Convetion is not effective any more. In fact it is terrible in the field where some staff work, but do not know the UN the Geneva Convetion or deliberately refuse to follow it.

    I am not able to tell the world about my night mares while I was in Africa as a refugee. I also believe that there are so many people who will agree that the United Nations is now deffective. Please help renew this system. It is outdated now. Those who work with it are not really striving to improve the situation, but are seeking wealth at the expense of thousand of vulnerable and hopeless people.

    I should very much appreciate if you could give this proposal the attention it deserves.

  75. 76 Alma Cristina
    January 22, 2008 at 08:35

    A New World Order? Here’s a comment from Albert Einstein made when most of you were not yet here and I barely was: “The significant problems we face today can not be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” A. Einstein, 1945. ‘Amen,’ says I! Truer of today than of his day, a new world thinking is now a matter of sheer survival: the survival of civilization. We shift or Nature, with our most efficient assistance, will effectively shift us out! The thinking running the world totay has been spun out of a growth & development mind-set focused on material wealth and personal gain. Its parameters are economic and material. Its vision is singular. What is needed is a wholistic vision of global well being, not simply material or economic, but social and political, personal and transpersonal. What is needed is a new world view with feet on the ground and eyes beyond the horizon. The materialistc world view that now informs us is neither viable nor is it sufficient unto our needs or the planet’s. Our thoughts crawl when they could soar. We pursue impermanence and material insufficiency, where self-transcendence and global sufficiency are our destiny and our true path. We much search and find our way to this higher mode of thought, of being and of Life.

  76. 77 rosatkins
    January 22, 2008 at 11:04

    Dear WHYS,

    The time for change is over due. The UN Security Council, for example, is racially and religiously inequitable body set up by former European colonial masters. Under their watch, they have mostly secured their and their allies’ interests at the expense of their former subjects and weak nations. Look at the state of the world.

    Either there is a fair representation of the world populations, or no one group should be given the power to run any world bodies.

    Jamila Thomas

  77. 78 rosatkins
    January 22, 2008 at 11:32

    How about an organization that gives countries votes in 2 seperate houses. One is based on population, more people the country has the more represenatives they have. The other has an equal vote. A lot of people think that a structure like this would never work. People would never abide by it.

  78. 79 Paul Newon
    January 22, 2008 at 12:31

    Computer of the 80s and NO longer use in our time, but computer used in the late 90s can be use in our time because of a technology called “Upgrade”. Get new hardware and software that meet our time and you are online. The UN needs to be “Upgraded”, it must meet our time. Look at our new problem “Global Warming”, just like she did for a new Human Rights Office, the UN must start running even more than other institutions that have this problem their lips. Wake up people it is getting hot in here….

  79. January 22, 2008 at 12:32

    New world order,first of all I would like explain that it is very hard to understand its real meanings.

    New order mean new arrangement,or new globle law,under which all human being would be equal,whether some universal power want to impose new inter national law making a world body,what is the real meaning of NEW WORLD ORDER.

    I have seen it, I have consider it from every angle but failed to reach the conclusion.

    Rich countries are still rich and poor has become poorer,they are used for political purposes,conspiracies are still being hatched against them.slogans of democracy are given and raised but the same are undermining by using differen tactics.
    On the name of democray martial regims are supported and declared them true allies and people’s wish totally ignored.

    As for as the world body is concerned at the crucial time it has also been ignorned its procedure,opinion and principles put aside and invaded innocent people are smeared with their own blood.

    In case, new order mean universal justice, I would say conceopt is unique but can not be implemented its imposition is impossible.
    On the name of justice world peace is deteriorating.
    preference is given to interests the views ,MIGHT IS RIGHT has become deep root no one has credibility to eradicate it.

  80. 81 Paul Newon
    January 22, 2008 at 12:32

    Computer of the 80s are NO longer use in our time, but computer used in the late 90s can be use in our time because of a technology called “Upgrade”. Get new hardware and software that meet our time and you are online. The UN needs to be “Upgraded”, it must meet our time. Look at our new problem “Global Warming”, just like she did for a new Human Rights Office, the UN must start running even more than other institutions that have this problem their lips. Wake up people it is getting hot in here….

  81. 82 John Rogers
    January 22, 2008 at 12:59

    I have always been stubbornly apposed to this concept, in any form. However, after 8 years of George Bush. ( God willing ) , I have become a much more focused individual, on those things that concern the human community as a whole. I really think American traits like individualism are great, but we just don’t have the luxury as a Planet, or a Global society, to be worried about the selfish desires, over what benifits society, as a whole. I am delighted to be asked, instead of being led by the nose. I say this in all seriousness. If we don’t start living closer together, like one huge family. We won’t be able to tackle the issues, needed for our existence. I speak for alot of people when I say, that in the intrests of tackling global warming today, we can’t wait for President Bush, to selfishly squander another precious year. It is vital that we begin the economically painful transition away from fossil fuels, today. People need to be made aware of now, that our lifestyle as it exists today, is a danger to the entire planet. Big changes will need to be made, and people should be told straight out. Until we reverse the problem, many people will need to share common resources. Selfishness and ego, are luxurys that will need to be put away for another day, and another generation. For our President to ignore reason, over his own vain legacy, is not only childish, but potentially dangerous for everyone. Him saying that, we won’t participate until China and India, is like sitting in a burning movie theater, and refusing to help fight the flames, because the movie is still playing. We should tell people now, so know how many people we, can count on. If people refuse to cooperate, they will need to be locked up, for our own survival, or until they come to their senses. I am not a fan of full blown Socialism, but I would prefer a world of breathing socialists, over a world of extinct freedom lovers.

  82. 83 Josimar in America
    January 22, 2008 at 14:17

    The proposals by Mr. Brown and Monsieur Sarkozy are just a means of escaping responsibility. That is, the Developed countries are now trying to sever ties with former colonies which have unstable economies and at times unstable political climates. European countries somehow feel responsible for and post-imperial instability within the Developing countries. By proposing a more regional co-operation, for example the African Union, they allow those countries to control the problems in those countries.

    The current problem with United Nations is that it is an oligarchic organization in which former imperialists and Cold War superpowers can balance decision making in their favour. This excludes the intellectual contributions of equally qualified Third World representatives especially when negotiating on economic issues.

  83. 84 Daniel in China
    January 22, 2008 at 14:18

    Every human being even without having a medical experience knew that complete set of teeth that gave the mouth beauty starts from one.

    The world’s major institutions are outdated and all the affairs are been implementing with old look of the economic, expansion, ability, of many countries. In support of what Nickolas Zarkozi the French president said, we are using 20th century ideas to run our 21st century affairs. If permanent members of the UN were US, Russia, France, UK, and China, we youth of today deserve answers to our questions which goes like this; What are the criteria they used from the beginning to come to the conclusions that this five countries will run the affairs of the world for ever? If the rules are base on democracy and freedom of speech, who and who should be there? Did they remember that life Started from Egypt, later to the Romans?

    With my experience traveling in more than 20 countries in this world, i don’t see what stops countries like Japan, Germany, Norway, Singapore, Nigeria, South Africa Brazil and Italy not to be permanent member of the UN. If it’s economic, only the state of Russia is rich same as China, the people are just getting the rhythm little by little. What are we talking about when the citizen of permanent member of UN are seeking asylum in a country that is no where closer to the seat? Will a German or Japanese seek asylum in the UK or France? There are lots of problems at the UN in decision making because many countries are on the seat but they are not suppose to be there.

    In fact, UN make me to understand the reason why the Chinese gave the name fei zhou to the Africans.(Fei zhou) means a continent that does not exist. If truly Africa exist, they will not just be a money payer and army contributor to the UN without having any say. If we are talking about problems, American continent has enough to think about, Haiti, Colombia, Cuba and many more same as Asia with countries like Burma, Pakistan, Srilanka and Co. With all this, i don’t think the word war will be new to anybody on this planet.

    With G8, i think all is still well because the rules and the constitution is based on nothing but the economic power. Although there are countries that are fast moving in the improvement of the economics, the future will judge.

    We don’t need to think about IMF because the night is fast coming and if they’re clever they will be packing because the darkness of the sky will make it harder for packing. The IMF was formed to build and help economic of many poor countries, and many of the countries are catching up so IMF will die.

    We cannot start from scratch, but some of the rules has to be y2k compliance to fit in to the situations of the world of today.
    Daniel Lawal From China

  84. 85 Vivek Sharma, Bangalore
    January 22, 2008 at 14:19

    Lets’s be clear. Howmuch ever you may want to couch this as a moral arguement, this jostling is only about self interest. No nation,for example even moral hot air India, is really thinking only about itself as we have seen in G77 talks and at Bali.  

  85. 86 Jamila Thomas, Kuwait
    January 22, 2008 at 14:19

    Dear WHYS,

    The time for change is over due. The UN Security Council, for example, is racially and religiously inequitable body set up by former European colonial masters. Under their watch, they have mostly secured their and their allies’ interests at the expense of their former subjects and weak nations. Look at the state of the world.

    Either there is a fair representation of the world populations, or no one group should be given the power to run any world bodies.

  86. 87 Dr Martin Joughin, Amsterdam
    January 22, 2008 at 14:21

    You have one person on the programme who repeatedly points out that it’s all very well to have a utopian vision, but you then need to say how you get from here to there. His fundamental point, echoed by my emails, has been repeatedly ignored by your empty-headed team.

    The point of the programme is clearly nothing to do with intelligent reality-based discussion, but just a cheap slot to allow ill-informed people to indulge in vacuous grandstanding. This would be fine if it wasn’t the prime evening slot for Europe.

    Whoever thought up this sad excuse for a World Service primetime programme should be ashamed of themselves.

  87. 88 Mark Poysden
    January 22, 2008 at 14:26

    I suggested a possible solution in my first e-mail.

    Disband the Security Council at the UN. Why should a fistful of countries decide the future of the entire planet. No veto powers for any country.

    One country, one vote in the General Assembly would be the most democratic model and would ensure more democratic actions by the UN.
    The veto powers exercised till now by some of the countries in the GA have spurred and inflated some of the major political crises of our time. Perhaps a review of all UN Resolutions that have been ignored by some members would be more effectively enforced if voted on is this way.
    mark, The Netherlands

  88. 89 Elle
    January 22, 2008 at 14:26

    There should be reform, but not starting over, because there would be too much chaos.

    All world organizations will end up having similar problems no matter what the balance of
    power is. The reality is that the world and such organizations will always have to deal with
    complicated issues.

    Countries should have to prove themselves. All countries and governments need to prove
    that they can be trusted not to abuse power. There should be standards and restrictions.
    And they should be enforced to all countries including the U.S.


  89. 90 Steve, USA
    January 22, 2008 at 14:28

    I’m sure Israel would be thrilled with getting rid of the security council and all nations having one vote, and the 70+ muslim nations vote against anything Israel does every time.

  90. 91 Doug in America
    January 22, 2008 at 14:28


    This strikes me as a particularly irresponsible discussion. First of all, changes of the sort proposed by this program will never be enacted, as one of your guests noted. Second, it shows no understanding at all of the UN, nor any respect for the difficulties of action in an international sphere.

    The United Nations was designed to be a medium of international cooperation, but the organization for expressing that democratically is the General Assembly. Every demand I’ve heard about the need for democratic expression is met in that body. This includes climate change, much research about which is being coordinated even now through the UN.

    The Security Council consisted of the original United Nations–the victorious allies at the end of World War II–whose combination of military power and moral authority were to be invoked in the Security Council only to deal with security issues. The United Nations security council was to be able to provide an international body that could impose collectively sanctions that otherwise would constitute acts of war by individual nations, in the name of preserving global order. In the worst cases, the Security Council would be empowered to send military forces to enforce its vote. It specifically excludes smaller nations that were secondary allies, or that had little military or economic resources to bring to address such issues. But perhaps even more importantly, the Security Council reflected the military and economic political realities of power in the world at the time it was created. It continues to do so today, substantially. In cases of imbalance, such as China’s membership being held by the ROC instead of the PRC, this has been addressed.

    To attack the security council for not being “democratic” is not only to attack the commonsense requirements for powerful nations even to consider surrendering as much sovereignty as they have to an international body, but to provide aid and comfort to those in my country who would prefer to destroy the UN and pursue a unilateral path, as well as to those rogue nations for whom the sanctions or threat of force that the Security Council represents is an inconvenient check on their ambitions.

    Doug Williams
    California, U.S.A.

  91. 92 Steven in the US
    January 22, 2008 at 14:29

    My name is Steven miles a retired U.S. Soldier I believe the un and all world organizations are obsolete the new system should invite all nations in the world to the table and all comitiees should be elected

  92. 93 Sulayman
    January 22, 2008 at 14:29

    The UN, IMF/World Bank and the G8 etc are all agent of the New World Order which need an absolute and completely a total reform. A reform which will give all countries a greater chance to participate, and a reform which will narrow down the gap between the have and the have not, a reform which will make and everlasting peace in the middle east and a reform in which no actor or country that is above the international Law.

  93. 94 david by email from kenya
    January 22, 2008 at 14:38

    lets do away with institutions and concentrate with the most vulnerable poor mankind.i know where you can find reformed institutions yet the common man there has a long way to reform.


  94. 95 fldz
    January 23, 2008 at 05:19

    Phase out the old after new is up & running redundently, then yes, start from scratch.
    No existing system on earth is even worth salvaging compared to what’s possible.

    When you want to replace the wiring harness on your A.H. 3-liter because you forgot about positive ground.. 🙂
    and youre a dirt-poor klutz like me, you take it on a few wires at a time by making redundancies, not rip everything out and then have no ride to work.

    Proof of concept by DOING, then total replacement leaving only emergency redundancies.

    Leave the UN as is so they won’t get the idea anyone takes them seriously.

    Imagine you have a better gov in mind that’s so superior for individual affluence and overall collective effectiveness that you KNOW it would sweep the globe like wildfire (caused by reversed voltage) if only it was released into the wild.

    Do you start a violent revolution to advent it against enourmously entrenched power or just run the goddamn thing as a steering wheel on a baby’s car-seat so as to make existing governments look like the bumbling idiots they profess to be! (which they are not)

    Building a simple functioning demo-democracy online should be the 1st order of business if anyone is serious about revolution, peeking into the inevitible future (or building it)

    Democracy designs democracy via democracy.
    ie: all web developers (say.. BBC HYS people) add is the code and their advice.

    The demo project would get and keep worldwide attention!!!!
    BBC should be the ones to do it!!!

    I have a pathetic laughable start on an HTML demo, and once upon a time it’s said that some Vikings had a pathetic laughable start on ideals behind the Magna Carta. 🙂

    This could be the transparent aluminum of democracy, but this time the fat guy tells me & Scotty to go play in the freeway and remains as oppressed as he deserves.
    Or not.

  95. 96 Gary
    January 23, 2008 at 10:00

    I agree with the person who suggested that since the world is continuously changing, so should international institutions like the security council. This was formed after WWII and consisted as now, of what were then the strongest countries militarily, being able to control world events.
    Maybe we should now change the rules from “military might” to “economic might” and include such items as human rights, availability of democratic institutions, treatment of poverty and other measures of civilised behavour !

  96. 97 Please stop
    January 27, 2008 at 20:19

    A world goverment, the new world order, will sooner or later turn into a dictatorship ruled by the trans-national elite. It will be a dictatorship that it will be impossible to revolt or escape from.

  97. 98 d matthews
    January 28, 2008 at 19:27

    WE THE WORLD AS A WHOLE, DESPITE the many CLAIMS ,value money above all else . it so far is THE measure and leads us all.
    THE USA IS STILL, for a time,THE BIGGEST ECONOMY BUT THINGS ARE EVER SHIFTING… and the USA is losing much of what made it great.
    THERE WILL BE A NEW WORLD ORDER BASED ON THIS EVOLUTION the shifts of money and power and need.
    access to food and energy sources and other critical resources may change the power structure
    changing what the world values can also change our places in it. it changes cultures.

    the excessive consumption of fossil fuels took away the natural development and maturation of an ancient but politically immature culture and gave some excessive power and resources .(like giving a teen a trust fund.)
    which, surprise led to much misuse of the religion and people and power..
    all world relationships and order is forever changed ..
    we in usa and europe far east and uk who’d like to consider ourselves more mature politically are still learning and making huge mistakes.
    looking at many immersing cultures and new power bases,
    perhaps its time to consider each and every action and reaction before we interfere or create.
    look at ourselves as one interdependent family instead of separate planets as we have had the leisure to in the past.
    and cooperatively lead the world toward some long range goals that truly benefit all… instead of the usual throwing in a match or two and watching what develops

  98. 99 Maribeth in VA USA
    February 4, 2008 at 19:48

    I agree that we need to update our global models to be pertinent to 2008. I think the best way to accomplish this is for a mutually agreed to counsel of global representatives to develop a tiered model based on factors such as economics, population, and development. All countries around the world can be ranked and asigned a level of voting, with no countries having absolute 1-vote veto power. As countries continue to evolve/de-evolve they can move from tier to tier. This way no country is assured of holding on to a particular global position and developing countries can always be part of the global picture.

  99. 100 Justin Durueke
    June 19, 2008 at 02:19

    This topic is so controversial and depends on someones point of view. In the olden days like our elders tell us, so many things that happen now never happened. A woman remained pure until she met the right man. The issue of virginity has been eroded. When a young girl says she’s a one, people look at her like she is a fool. Moral decadence has taken its course on society.

  100. 101 Eric S,
    September 24, 2008 at 12:59

    We absolutely do not need a new world order because the elites who support one do not have our best interests in mind. I will fight the move to create a world government, army, currency, etc. The elites do not regard freedom and independence as a part of the New World Order; they rather want control and dependence on big brother. Death to the New World order.

  101. 102 Michael Marescalco
    September 27, 2008 at 22:53

    I agree with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, that the UN security council should be more inclusive of all the other members of the UN and that it should not be dominated by what looks like U.S. imperial ambitions which are failing presently, and have been the cause for great human suffering around the world.
    I agree with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, that India and China should not be out of the mix either. It would be great to see these changes come about. The functions of the IMF and the World Bank could be reprioritized to serve our global challenges with the environment and other pressing social reforms that would be welcomed by the people they would benefit.

    Michael Marescalco

  102. September 9, 2009 at 12:53

    The New World Order is not a good idea. Usless you actually want to be a slave.

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