Priorities for the millennium

Ziauddin Sardar's reminder of northern Europe's global expansion and exploitation ("Stuff the millennium", 8 January) reminds us that western arrogance, ignorance and greed are still the greatest threat to humanity. Overcoming these remains the central task of the coming century.

I propose three priorities: first, apartheid has not ended so long as a minority of western powers dominate the UN Security Council, central banking system and other institutions of global governance. The world's majority have less influence over global finance, trade, security and the environment than Africans and Indians had under apartheid in South Africa. My top priority, therefore, is democratic and equitable reform of the UN and other institutions of global governance.

My second priority is an international agreement to cap greenhouse gas emissions and allocate emissions rights between countries on the basis of convergence to equal per capita rights from a specific date, such as 2045, as proposed by the Global Commons Institute and Globe International.

Third, war continues to devastate the lives of millions of people and the environment, and the military takes $700 billion a year that could be spent on welfare and peace building. Therefore the abolition of war and the replacement of the law of force by the force of law, as proposed by the Hague Appeal, is my third priority.

Titus Alexander
London E17

This article first appeared in the 15 January 1999 issue of the New Statesman, A slight and delicate minister?