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Council on Ideas

M. Cherif Bassiouni
Murray Gell-Mann
Nikki Giovanni
Stanley Karnow
Anna C. Roosevelt

We are living in a time of accelerating globalization, and not only in commerce, finance, and communications. Moreover, we now have the ability to make very significant changes on a global scale that affect humankind and the rest of the biosphere.

The human race is facing a wide range of tightly connected challenges, including issues of war and peace, extremes of poverty and wealth, intolerance and tolerance, resource exploitation and biological diversity, and crime and the rule of law.

The potential use of weapons of mass destruction by individuals and groups as well as nations poses a very serious danger. Meanwhile, conflicts with conventional weapons are causing tragedy in many parts of the world. Yet the major organizers of large-scale violence usually remain unpunished as the international community pursues expedient political settlements, ignoring the maxim that without justice there can be no peace.

The appearance of centralized and stratified societies over the last ten thousand years or so, the growth of human populations, and the development of new technologies have greatly increased human impacts on the environment.

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