It is often said that people's capacity to respond to these threats to our security is so severely constrained that nothing much will happen until ecological catastrophe actually strikes

Vice-Chancellor, ladies and gentlemen. It is always a pleasure to return to my old University, and especially today to deliver the inaugural Global Security Lecture - even though this hall brings back desperate memories of sitting my degree exams, and looking at the audience reminds me of attending, on a grand scale, one of those terrifying tutorials that forcibly punctuated the otherwise smooth running of an undergraduate's existence!

I now find, somewhat to my surprise, but to my great satisfaction, that through the pioneering work of the Global Security Programme, Cambridge has a University platform from which I can speak directly about a whole range of inter-related matters which have for many years been of growing interest and concern to me. This will no doubt prove to be more hazardous to your health than mine!

I must just start by congratulating Dr Prins and his team on the progress that the Global Security Programme has made since its inception, immediately before the Berlin Wall was breached in 1989. The University central authorities must also be congratulated for having encouraged global security studies to strike root vigorously in the chaotically interdisciplinary - and therefore fertile - soils of our world-class University.

I note that today's lecture marks the launch of a £12 million appeal for funds to make the Global Security Programme itself secure for the long-term, which I happily endorse. The wide range of existing public and private supporters includes the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Defence, and several of the great American philanthropic foundations, led by the MacArthur Foundation of Chicago, and I hope that further support will be forthcoming. I do believe it is important for Cambridge and, I would venture to say, for all of us that this innovative enterprise continues to prosper and grow.

The stated central concerns of the Global Security Programme are Stewardship, Sustainability and Survival. The Programme's attitude in approaching these fundamental issues is one of practical idealism - and I'm all for practical idealism!

What passes for 'realism' these days is often so absurdly unrealistic. How for instance can any apparently realistic person not take the threat of global warming seriously, or fail to see the dangers when burgeoning consumption in the rich world is matched by burgeoning population growth in the poor world?

Last April, I accepted an invitation to offer some thoughts to the Brundtland Commission prior to the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. My remarks to the commissioners are to be published next month under Dr Prins's editorship in a collection of essays all focused on the Rio agenda. Gwyn Prins has called the collection 'Threats without Enemies', and threats to global security are indeed more insidious, and less easy to see, than traditional threats which have human agents behind them. The threats from climate change are less easily seen and reacted to than, for instance, Saddam Hussein invading Kuwait; so the effort that we must make to recognise these threats without enemies, in good time, is all the greater.

But such threats are now far more widely discussed than ever before. It was less than 12 months ago that so many world leaders met at the Rio Earth Summit. This landmark event served as a focus for - and stimulated - a remarkable wave of worldwide concern and debate. The Summit itself was the largest intergovernmental meeting in history, and it involved unprecedented participation of non-governmental groups, with unprecedented media coverage. Of course, the results were not all that many had hoped for. The more cynical or despairing have alleged that so much talking actually did very little to safeguard the security of our planet, much less the many threatened species upon it.

Others have argued that it marked the beginning of something of profound significance for the future of the human race, in that we began to see clearly the links between poverty, a deteriorating environment, population growth and consumption patterns. Yet how rapidly these concerns (and that sense of profound significance) have disappeared from our news headlines.

It would be foolish to pretend that the momentum created by the Earth Summit has not been slowed down, both by the depth of the recession in the world economy, and by a sequence of intensely complex conventional security issues which have preoccupied world leaders and the United Nations Security Council.

If what is known as the 'New World Order' has meant anything at all, it has so far meant fire-fighting on a grand and global scale. Given the momentous events of the last year (in former Yugoslavia, Somalia, Russia and South Africa, to name but the most visible), what strikes me as remarkable is that environmental and development concerns have not disappeared altogether from the international stage.

It has long been a concern of environmental organisations that the pressures of the present will always take political precedence over the possibility of yet more pressures to come in the future. And yet what could be more understandable? If your house is burning down, you use whatever water comes to hand, even if that's your only source of water for the rest of the year. When it seems that you're waking up to a new crisis every morning, crisis management soon becomes second nature - and consideration of the long-term view is swept from sight.

But the terrible thing is that almost none of the most important ecological indicators of decline have shown any real improvement over the last year since the Earth Summit. The Worldwatch Institute's interesting new document 'Vital Signs 1992/3' is not able to offer us much hope when it says:

'Among the most promising developments in recent years are the wholesale dismantling of nuclear weapons, the decline in global military expenditures, the dramatic reduction in CFC production, the growth in bicycle production, and the decline in cigarette smoking.'

A somewhat motley collection, if you ask me!

But in some areas progress has indeed been made - especially in addressing a number of local and regional environmental issues.

One of the last acts in office of President Bush was the signing, after a 10-year campaign, of amendments to the Clean Air Act which will more than halve US emissions of sulphur dioxide during the 1990s. President Clinton has already made his own intentions clear by agreeing to sign the Convention on Biological Diversity. Japan will soon present a new comprehensive law of environmental protection. The European Community's environment policy remains the best model for achieving incremental regional improvements across a very wide range of issues. Many individual countries are now following up the Rio decisions with national sustainability plans and strategies of their own, and the welcome establishment of the Commission for Sustainable Development within the United Nations will help to accelerate that process.

At the international level, however, it is only in combating the loss of the ozone layer that a significant advance has been made, with last October's agreement at Copenhagen to speed up the phase-out of CFCs and other ozone-depleting chemicals. Yet scientists still expect that problem to continue to get worse for at least another decade - and it will take most of the next century to heal the damage that has been done.

Other strategic environmental threats continue to grow. The destruction of virgin temperate and tropical forests, with their unique mix of species and their contribution to maintaining the global atmospheric balance, continues almost unabated: every year, an area of virgin forest comparable to the area of the United Kingdom disappears forever. Along with those forests, species of plants and animals disappear at an ever-increasing rate. No-one knows how many, because we have as yet only examined a small fraction of all the species currently in existence. As someone remarked recently, this is the biological equivalent of burning a library without having read the books.

Meanwhile, the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere continues to thicken the heat blanket around our planet. The rate of change may vary from year to year, but even if natural variations or the collapse of emissions from East European industry gives us a temporary respite, the underlying trend (without even considering the implications of China's dash for growth) is pushing our atmosphere ever further and faster into the unknown.

Back on the ground, the world continues to lose good land to topsoil erosion, contamination and the encroachment of deserts; whilst of most pressing concern to personal and in some cases international security, per-capita demand for fresh water continues to grow rapidly, whilst its availability steadily declines.

Finally, in this catalogue of horror, human population continues to burgeon, adding more pressure to each and every environmental problem. By the time I have finished this speech, there will probably be nearly another 10,000 people on the planet - with each of them, if current trends continue, demanding ever greater consumption of our planet's finite resources. The global population will pass six billion before the end of the decade.

Over the last three years, this country's population aid to the developing world has increased by nearly 70%. But still the United Nations Family Planning Agency estimates that 300 million women who want family planning help do not have access to it. Unless a major worldwide effort is made to answer this cry for help, the rate of population increase will prevent us ever being able to achieve sustainable development.

Against this overall background, it is certainly disappointing that the Earth Summit seems to have receded so much in people's thinking, but in truth it was always going to be a major challenge to bring the full implications of the Earth Summit directly into people's individual homes and lives.

One of the most interesting things for me about Vice President Gore's hugely influential book ('Earth in the Balance') is the way in which he brings such stratospheric concerns right down into people's own backyards - without any sense that he is patronising them by simplifying it all for the uninitiated. His analysis of what he calls 'dysfunctional civilisation' is rooted in the sense of community breakdown and personal alienation that so many individual Americans now feel. His prescriptions (which include revitalising the US economy by confronting the challenges of sustainability head on) are rooted in the aspirations and reality of so-called 'middle America'.

What I suppose I am getting at here is that security starts at home and, when we're lucky, it stretches in an unbroken chain from individual concerns all the way through to the kind of concerns the Earth Summit addressed. It is wholly natural that things closer to home are likely to matter more to people than things in far-off countries or far off on the horizon.

It may be that one of the most useful contributions that the emerging discipline of global security can make is to widen our very understanding of security by taking on broader, non-military interpretations (social, economic and political security), and by emphasising the different levels at which security ceases to be an abstraction and becomes a very hard-edged reality for people in their own daily lives, in their communities, and in their workplaces.

The workplace plays an important part in anyone's perception of their personal security, but nowadays not everyone has a workplace to go to. Unemployment across the European Community is running at around three million. Even as the grip of the recession eases, experts tell us there is no certainty that unemployment will fall as far or as fast as we all wish it would. Current anxieties about 'jobless growth' may or may not prove justified, but it is a phenomenon which is being talked about much more frequently - often without any real appreciation of what this might mean to people's aspirations and to the cohesion of society.

Work means so much more to people than the relatively straightforward business of being paid for selling one's labour. Security, dignity, purpose, fulfilment, conviviality, status, service to others, reassurance, solidarity, variety; in an industrial society, some or all of these psychological benefits are delivered primarily through the jobs that people have or the work they do, paid or unpaid.

Part of the answer to unemployment, of course, lies in taking every possible step to improve the competitiveness of industry, thereby lowering costs, and encouraging the expansion of sales and the development of new products. I am always impressed by the determination of British businessmen, with whom I meet regularly, both in this country and on visits abroad, to succeed in the toughest of markets. But even with this kind of emphasis on international competitiveness I believe there may still be difficulties in providing sustainable jobs (as we currently define that term) for all those who want them.

In this country, some 400,000 people become unemployed each month, and a similar number leave unemployment. This is a remarkable turnover, and suggests that in the future a great many people will experience at least a short period of unemployment at some time in their lives.

Growing experience is beginning to make us understand that we should not worry simply about the economic wastefulness of intelligent and potentially productive people being idle - even for short periods - but about the devastating effect on them as people.

How then are we to organise matters to give everyone some status, some self-respect and the sense of personal security that comes from having a job? At present we live in a society where some people are fully-employed and some are wholly unemployed. In the long-run, should we perhaps try to get away from thinking in those terms? Ought we not to be examining ways of ensuring that all people (but particularly all young people) have a chance to serve others and the community, thereby improving their own prospects through the work they do?

Paid employment for all who want it has until now been the rule of life. Ought we now, I wonder, to be starting to look at a wider framework of meaningful occupation which also embraces voluntary work and leisure, involving activities which improve the quality of life around us - of others as well as ourselves? This is not in any way an implied criticism - it is simply a suggestion that a discussion is needed, to face the future, particularly as these are subjects of particular concern to my various Trusts and organisations, and they will shortly be starting a major research project, looking at the implications of these developments for the young and, in some cases, not so young people we are trying to help in various ways.

All of the activity of my Trusts takes place 'in the community', which is itself an elusive yet vital component of the chain of security to which I referred earlier; a chain which stretches from personal security to global security.

I do not (quite!) remember the national mood immediately after the Second World War, but those who do, testify to the enormous sense of community and of purpose of those immediate post-war years, in addition to the obvious thankfulness that there was peace again. The war had been won - and now the task was to build a new Britain. Some of the institutions people most value today, including the National Health Service, were made possible by the intense sense of community at that time.

People also wanted to be richer, of course, and the golden years of high economic growth, low inflation and low unemployment began. Unfortunately, the way that this process of wealth-creation was measured and accounted for gave no weight to the sense of community that had both won the war and built those institutions, nor to the natural environment that had engendered our perception of this island as a 'green and pleasant land'. In the name of 'progress' and 'growth' people's homes were demolished wholesale; famous beauty-spots and much-loved natural areas were disfigured or destroyed; well-meant slum-clearance schemes piled neighbours on top of each other in soulless tower-blocks - exchanging the street where everybody knew everybody for a vandalised lift and a dangerous graffiti-decorated concrete staircase.

With the benefit of hindsight, it is easier to see that in those post-war years while people grew so much richer, they lost, to a greater or lesser extent, the unquantifiable sense of security provided by extended families, close-knit communities and the sense of belonging to, and being part of, a particular place in the natural and man-made worlds, all of which had done so much to sustain them in materially much tougher lives. Nevertheless, the success of soap operas like Coronation Street and EastEnders perhaps illustrates the strength of the feeling that everybody needs 'good neighbours'!

A feeling of belonging to a clearly defined local community still makes the greatest contribution to many people's perception of security. Such communities work well where they still exist - in small towns and villages, in isolated areas, and in places brought together by disaster and adversity. The response of Liverpool people to the Hillsborough disaster or Warrington people to the murder of two children by the IRA reminds us that community feeling is not far below the surface.

The physical structure of a community can also, I believe, make an important contribution to the general feeling of security and well-being of those who live there. Places like Port Sunlight, built by the far-sighted and philanthropic Lord Leverhulme for his workforce just over 100 years ago, still have enviably low rates of crime and a notably stable community.

But the essence of community, of course, is that it is about people - about human relationships - and about the balance between rights and responsibilities.

If we want our children to be educated and trained so that they can both obtain the most from life and compete effectively in an increasingly competitive global economy; if we want all our retired people to pass their later years with the comfort and dignity that befits a civilised society; if we want everyone to have free access to the finest healthcare when they are sick; if parents are to be helped with the upbringing of their children; if the unemployed are to be retrained and otherwise supported back into a rewarding working life; if all these so-called 'rights' are to be delivered, then a great many responsibilities must also be shouldered.

If those who wish to exercise these rights do what they can to help themselves, and are perceived to be doing so; if the unemployed take re-training seriously and, at the same time, help those in the community less fortunate than themselves; if would-be parents enter into parenthood with due appreciation of long-term commitment to the inevitable burdens and responsibilities; if people do what they can to keep themselves healthy (through prevention rather than cure); if the elderly maintain their independence and self-reliance for as long as possible; if all these responsibilities are shouldered, then the rights become achievable.

I firmly believe that our membership of the wider world actually increases rather than diminishes our need to be part of a local community. The more complicated the world around us, the more we need the support and the security of those who are nearest to us. Indeed, whatever international structures we help to build, they stand best on secure local foundations. Global security and security in the community, it seems to me, are inseparable. If the Earth is to be secure, the foundations of that security have to be built in millions of communities...

Security is an abiding human concern, but the threats to security change across the decades. Both in World War II and during the Cold War, military threats were the most serious, so that we came to identify security almost exclusively with military security. Military threats, and hence military security, remain extremely important. But other threats to security are of increasing concern and may be more difficult to counter. Poverty and pollution of all sorts engulf and threaten increasing numbers. Neither welfare states nor markets have ended these sorts of insecurity; their benefits have simply been unavailable to the poorest of the world, and their costs have been borne by rich and poor alike.

There are more poor people today than ever before, because of rising populations, and there are fewer easy remedies because of damaged environments and damaged communities. Greener policies can do a lot to repair damaged environments; it is harder to see how to repair damaged communities, or to nurture new communities which will provide emotional and spiritual, as well as material, sustenance to individual human lives and do so without threatening other communities.

I realise, Vice-Chancellor, that such concerns may seem a long way removed from the subject of global security, towards which, I can assure you, I am steadily wending my circuitous way! Indeed, I shall not dwell for long on the national link in the security chain.

Stewardship, sustainability and survival; these are as much national security goals as they are global security goals. Sustainable development is not a doctrine which can be embraced in isolation; only when national goals for sustainable development can be achieved in cooperation with other nations will we be able to anticipate a future that is not littered with increasingly bitter disputes over those natural resources which define and limit sustainability.

I would now just like to explore one of these potential non-military threats to security in greater detail, and have decided to concentrate on the possibility of conflict and human tragedy over water resources.

From the historical record, it is clear that the rise or fall of whole civilisations can be correlated with changes in the water available to them. Yet modern societies have become dependent upon unprecedented usage of fresh water - not only for direct personal use, but for irrigation, basic industrial processes and inland fisheries.

In the last few years, many countries have felt the pinch of water shortages, from the trivial levels of a hosepipe ban to the terrible suffering in Sahelian Africa. The last few years have also seen serious drought in parts of China, the Western United States, and most seriously the unprecedented drought in southern parts of Africa.

The last time I talked about water shortages (in a speech launching the Royal Society for Nature Conservation's 'Water for Wildlife' campaign during last summer's drought) the heavens opened above us and rain hammered so loudly on the roof of the tent in which we were all standing as to drown out my measured warnings! 'Shortage? What shortage?' For wholly understandable reasons, in matters of this kind, people will seize on whatever conflicting evidence is available to justify further delay. But just as one-off downpours do not cure droughts, endless delays do not cause today's environmental problems to disappear.

What if these are but the beginnings of the problem? For as water demand continues to grow, sources may decline. Large dams are silting up, and opportunities to create new dams are limited, even where this is physically possible, because of the ecological and human damage they can cause. As countries find that their purely domestic sources of water are exceeded, they turn to international sources. Nearly half the world's land lies within international water basins that are used by two or more countries. Where one country lies directly downstream of another the potential for conflict is obvious. The River Nile, flowing through nine countries, all of which have plans to take increased amounts of its water, is perhaps the obvious example to give. But Bangladesh has made bitter accusations about Indian use of the Ganges water and catchment areas. Saddam Hussein sought to destroy Saudi Arabia's water supply as a weapon of war. Arguments continue over the Euphrates and Jordan rivers, to name but two more, and even the United States and Mexico fail to agree about the Colorado River.

The 'strategic threats' posed by global environment and development problems are the most complex, interwoven, and potentially most devastating of all the challenges to our security. The complexity springs from many quarters. One is the uncertainty, coupled with the time-scales involved and the inertia facing any attempts to change. Many of those who wish not to act seem to take refuge in uncertainties - and it is, of course, possible that the more alarming warnings of our scientists will not come to pass. Scientists themselves readily admit that they do not fully understand the consequences of our many-faceted assault upon the interwoven fabric of atmosphere, water, land and life in all its biological diversity. But things could also turn out to be worse than the current scientific best guess. In military affairs, policy has long been based on the dictum that we should be prepared for the worst case. Why should it be so different when the security is that of the planet and our long-term future?

One might hope that our existing international institutions would all be playing a major part in ensuring that global environmental threats to security are contained and controlled, and that the often stated precautionary principle is observed, but just as Vice President Gore has described the dysfunction of national society, so too the last decade has seen serious dysfunctions in international institutions.

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have both at times pursued active policies towards the poor country borrowers of their funds which did not reflect the principles of stewardship, sustainability and survival. Perhaps the right lessons have now been learned from the consequences of that era, and there are now some hopeful signs that we are getting better at getting it right. Both the United Nations and the Commonwealth, for example, are now giving high priority to encouraging the observance of democratic principles. It is also impressive to see the ingenious ways in which aspects of the UN Charter are being adapted to present needs. This is, perhaps, most visibly the case in the area of military security, to which I would now like to turn.

Traditionally, when the word security has been used, we have thought first of military security, of defence, of the use of armed force. We have thought of security in terms of keeping our people alive and free. But, the question now arises, alive and free for what? To live in peace, relative comfort and personal security, to have enough to eat and adequate shelter for our families; or to exist in a dangerous, polluted, fractious and unstable world which is using up its natural resources at an accelerating rate and in which the future for our children, never mind our grandchildren, looks bleak? What we have to realise is that, increasingly, the threats we face are indeed the 'threats without enemies', at least in the traditional sense of warmongers and aggressors, to which I referred earlier.

A particular difficulty is that many of these non-military threats are insidious, they creep up on us slowly and are difficult to recognise. Our reactions, even under favourable circumstances, are likely to be late. Often they will also be inadequate. We may well pass the danger point before we wake up. Here perhaps we should take a lesson from military strategists, who pay great attention to indicators and warnings, meaning indicators and warnings of a potential trouble-maker's intentions. I see great merit in coordinated international attention being paid to indicators and warnings of environmental problems, resource disputes and local difficulties which could flare up.

I said just now that total security could not be provided by armed forces alone, but the armed forces themselves have a significant part to play in limiting or resolving environmental and resource disputes. They also have a considerable, some think unique, capacity for assisting our scientists in better understanding the ecology of our planet. To give but one example, only nuclear submarines regularly operate beneath the Arctic ice cap, and the physical, oceanographic and hydrographic data they can record is not available from any other source. They are thus alone in an area of specific and very keen interest to our climatologists.

Vice-Chancellor, those of us, most of us, who spent the whole of our adult lives, until 1991, under the shadow of the Cold War, must warmly welcome the changes brought about by the collapse of Communism in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. There is understandably much talk of the peace dividend (though I have to say that I rather agree with those who say that the real peace dividend is peace itself) and we are seeing lower defence budgets and force levels, the United States forces are engaged in a massive withdrawal from Europe; and British defence spending is falling to some 24%, in real terms, below the level at which it stood in the later stages of the Cold War.

I have to say that I, for one, find it hard to believe that the world is a notably safer place, particularly when looking at the growing list of problems which are provoking instability worldwide. In addition to the territorial and ethnic disputes which horrify and preoccupy us so much at the moment, we should not forget the inflammatory potential of poverty, disease, refugees, population problems, pollution and the scramble for resources.

In looking at this daunting list of problems and potential problems - bearing in mind that the United Nations is currently involved in 13 peacekeeping missions, in addition to their role in Bosnia, we should not underestimate the contribution that democracy makes to security. There are people who are prone to imply that, unlike military security, economic subsistence and basic human rights, democracy is a luxury. They imagine that strong, authoritarian governments will be able to deliver the basic securities most efficiently. Yet the evidence suggests that military security, economic subsistence and human rights are all buttressed rather than undermined by democracy. Of all the wars since 1945, hardly any have been between democracies. Of all the economic disasters since 1945, the worst have been in non-democratic states. Of all the violations of human rights, the worst have been in countries whose governments had no reason to think that they would be subject to democratic recall. Democracy is certainly not a luxury: without it the basic securities that human beings most need remain fragile.

Whatever else critics may feel about the role of today's burgeoning non-governmental sector, it should surely be a source of comfort to them that those NGOs are wedded so uncompromisingly to strengthening our democratic institutions and procedures.

Of less comfort to those critics will be the search amongst many activists for new values and a renewed spiritual commitment. In the aftermath of the Waco tragedy, and faced with murderous sectarian conflicts in Bosnia and Northern Ireland, security and spirituality may seem to make strange bedfellows. But one of the great healing insights of contemporary environmentalism is the need to work positively with people of all faiths and religions on redefining the meaning of stewardship and re-interpreting our responsibilities.

The spiritual challenge is to widen our 'circle of compassion' to embrace not just the whole human family (which we are, slowly but surely, succeeding in doing, as the end of the Cold War has at least demonstrated) but the totality of life on Earth. For even as we stand somewhat apart from the natural world, it has been borne in on us of late that we are each still wholly embedded in it, dependent on it for our well-being and for our security.

And this, Vice-Chancellor, is where the issues of security at the personal and community levels, with which I started my talk, come full circle - at long last! For I firmly believe that the solutions to today's long-term global problems are best seen (and most powerfully articulated) in terms of people's most pressing short-term needs.

The challenge here, of course, is to bridge the gap between today's crisis management and tomorrow's pending ecological disasters. When more and more people in the developing world are unable to obtain enough energy to meet their basic needs, it is easy to understand why the still hypothetical horrors of long-term climate change cut mighty little ice. But governments and non-governmental organisations alike can drag those long-term eventualities back to current realities - through specific programmes to eliminate energy shortages, through the introduction of new market instruments and incentives to promote energy efficiency, through active measures (as is happening here in Cambridge), to promote cycling and walking, and to improve public transport. The list is endless! The short-term benefits to the local economy and to people's immediate quality of life are enormous. The long-term ecological benefits are not insignificant either!

The same conversion process - of abstract, distant, somewhat vague threats to our long-term security into hard-headed viable solutions that go some way to meeting people's needs today - would seem to be applicable in many different policy contexts. Not just 'think globally - act locally'. But also 'protect tomorrow - act today'.

As an observer of the difficulties that all politicians face in 'selling' sustainable development, in making it as relevant and attractive as the still reassuring shibboleths of standard crisis management, it seems to me that opportunities to overcome some of those difficulties are going begging. And the same might well be said of environmentalists themselves. Empowering people through positive local solutions might prove an interesting alternative to sandbagging them with global grief!

It is often said that people's capacity to respond to these threats to our security is so severely constrained that nothing much will happen until ecological catastrophe actually strikes - and with a force that even the hardest-headed 'realist' cannot ignore. That may well prove to be the case - but do we not have an obligation to minimise the likelihood of such a grim eventuality by addressing the threats in terms and through policies which make sense to people today?

Achieving truly sustainable development does not always entail painful (and politically unsellable) trade-offs between the interests of future generations and our own short-term self-interest. We are all slowly learning to re-interpret short-term self-interest (which is likely to remain the most intoxicating political brew for some time to come!) within a longer-term framework of stewardship and the reciprocal rights and obligations of citizenship on a finite planet.

Unprecedented threats to our long-term survival have indeed emerged during the last generation; but so too have unprecedented means to counter them, and pessimism is not, I believe, the only possible frame of mind in which to address the future. I share with Vice President Al Gore great hope for the potential of many of the new technologies, and I am confident that far-sighted and prudent industrialists and governments will choose this route in the interests of both corporate and global survival.

But there is no 'quick fix' for the problems we face, and technology alone will certainly not suffice. We somehow have to find the wisdom, courage, restraint and humility to confront the fundamental realities of living on a finite planet. Developing a clearer vision of how we can do this will require new levels of openness and creativity, utilising all the intellectual and philosophical resources at our disposal. The discipline of global security, with its clear-sighted focus on stewardship, sustainability and survival, interpreted in a spirit of practical idealism, has a major contribution to make to this process, and I wish the Global Security Programme every possible success."