chapter  12
Global powers: Earth’s planetary interest
ByShridath Ramphal
Pages 12

It was over half a century ago when Churchill offered his keen observation. The leading statesman of the time was speaking before a Harvard audience after receiving an honorary degree for his prodigious accomplishments spearheading civilization’s defence against barbarism. Well enough did he know what was required of the future. The problems ahead were daunting. “We have learned from hard experience”, he told his young audience, “that stronger, more efficient, more rigorous world institutions must be created to preserve peace and to forestall the causes of future wars.” The main challenge would be, he thought, to devise the form which a “system of world security” might take. That included recognizing and accepting “derogations…from national sovereignty for the sake of a larger synthesis”. The empires of the future, he said, were “the empires of the mind”.1