Letter: A framework for global co-operation

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Sir: Your analysis of the 'New world disorder' (leading article, 9 January) was very perceptive indeed, but the proposed solution - a new institutional framework based on the Western powers and the United States - was inadequate. Its main aim would be to secure the deep, long-term involvement of the US in global security, post-Reagan/Bush. The world, however, is much bigger than the West and the US.

Nuclear weapons have made peace more than ever indivisible; and in a world of transnational corporations, so are environmental and economic security. We already have an institutional and global framework in place; namely the United Nations, however much it is in need of reform, restructuring, democratising, regionalising, etc. What is lacking is the political will to make it work.

After the Cold War, we need to return to the radical, global thinking of 1945, embodied in the UN Charter, something Boutros Boutros-Ghali pleaded for in his 'Agenda for Peace', April 1992, dealing with UN reform.

We live in a contradictory world of tensions between the need for greater internationalism and growing aggressive nationalism. Events in the Gulf, Somalia and the former Yugoslavia, to name but a few, make it imperative that we come down on the side of international structures and international law with all our energies, intelligence, creativity and, above all, our financial commitment, not just what you rightly call coins in the UN collecting box.

Yours sincerely,