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.
The moderate reformist President Hassan Rohani's defense of freedoms does not please the hardliners, the actual rulers of Iran. The battle for power there is ongoing, and internal tensions are raging, but for the time being, Iran remains under the control of the mullahs' regime, and will not celebrate any time soon gaining the freedoms that have been prohibited for over three decades and a half.