Taking the Long View

The coming year will be a narrative of tension – a series of difficult choices between the imperatives of the present and those of tomorrow. Fortunately, the pendulum of history is swinging back toward the United Nations and collective action.

NEW YORK – The coming year will be a narrative of tension – a series of difficult choices between the imperatives of the present and those of tomorrow. How we resolve this tension will be the measure of our vision and our leadership.

As a community of nations, we face three immediate tests in the coming year. The first has just begun. Not the global financial crisis, important as it is. I am speaking, here, about climate change, the one truly existential threat.

We have only 12 short months until a key summit in Copenhagen, where world leaders will gather next December to reach an agreement to curb global warming. We need a deal that will extend, deepen, and strengthen the Kyoto Protocols. We need a new treaty for the twenty-first century that is balanced, inclusive, and comprehensive – one that all nations can embrace.

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