There is a spiritual dimension to the development agenda. It's inside each and every one of us, motivating us for action. And it is alive in churches, temples, mosques and in all sorts of other human groups and networks around the world, way beyond religion -- at the individual level, the community level and the institutional and global levels. Negotiators will come to agreement on the what and the how, hopefully. The why comes from deep inside us, often inspired by our various ancient as well as newer faith and thought traditions.
For all its imperfections, the UN is the sole international institution of indisputable legitimacy; it has to become the functional center for harmonizing mankind's response to a threat far more insidious than any faced in history -- climate change. A new global compact is urgently needed -- one that at long last steps beyond the shadow cast by the Great War over the world for the past one hundred years so that we can transform raison d'état into raison de planète; the reason of state to the reason of the planet.
The difference between the Egyptian and Syrian presidential elections this week is that the first has revived Egypt as a leading nation in the regional balance of power, with an Arab decision and Arab support, while the second has taken Syria out of the Arab mainstream and made it a satellite of Iran in the regional balance of power.