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  • Print publication year: 2006
  • Online publication date: July 2009

10 - Conclusions


“If America wants the rest of the world to be part of the agenda it has set, it must be part of their agenda too.”

Prime Minister Tony Blair, Davos, Switzerland, January 27, 2005

In the twenty-first century we must strive for a goal that has long eluded humankind: international peace and security. To accomplish this we must invent a new kind of international society based on the rule of law. The rule of law is essential to international society just as it is to domestic order.

But the rule of law is much more difficult to achieve on the international plane. A key is the commitment of all states to international law and international institutions. There must be a realization that the problems of peace and security to a great extent are not soluble by unilateral action even by the most powerful of states. Multilateralism is therefore essential.

But law and international institutions alone cannot assure peace and security without another essential ingredient: justice.

Justice starts with legitimacy, which, as President George W. Bush said in his Second Inaugural Address in 2005, means democracy, liberty, and an end to tyranny everywhere in the world. Liberty means the implementation of human rights recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Liberty also means tolerance; groups who claim to have a hold on religion or other “truth” must be tolerant of those who do not accept their ideas and beliefs.

Justice also has an economic dimension. International society must organize to fight poverty and disease.