Ideas to Action:

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Views from the Center


Vice President Cheney’s speech at Davos was widely covered in the world press. He focused on the risk of “new and far greater terror” than that of September 11 itself, which itself he called “only the merest glimpse of the terrorism that threatens us all.” In artful language, he argued that freedom and democracy everywhere would overcome those risks; in the interim, however, and as a last resort there might need to use force.

There was less coverage of speeches by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and Canadian Primer Minister Paul Martin. Kofi Annan characterized global risks much more broadly, “Today, not only the global economic environment, but also the global security climate and the very conduct of international politics have become far less favorable to the maintenance of a stable, equitable, and rule-based global order.”

Among other pleas to the business community he had a specific one in the area of trade, “Business can and should use its influence to help break the current impasse in talks. More than anything else, we need a deal on agriculture that will help the poor. No single issue more gravely imperils the multilateral trading system, from which we benefit so much.”

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CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.