2004 — Challenges for the Global Society

How did the globe's society grow closer together during 2003?

December 28, 2003

How did the globe's society grow closer together during 2003?

The global community faces big challenges — many of which will shape politics for years to come. And once again, world events in 2003 — from increased outsourcing to India to health risks and trends in leisure and spirituality — prove that integration reaches people all over the world. Our Read My Lips traces key social issues on the 2004 agenda.

“A good government is one that contributes to the happiness of people.”

(Andrés Manuel López Obrador, mayor of Mexico City)

“We have solved about 10% of the problem of access to medicines by developing countries.”

(EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy)

“There are certain advantages to population decline: freedom from housing overcrowding and traffic congestion — and also moving away from an obsession with economic growth to place more emphasis on cultural and spiritual pursuits.”

(Masatoshi Kikuchi, strategist at Merrill Lynch in Tokyo)

“China — or, indeed, any other nation getting richer — should be reason for celebration, not consternation.”

(Michael Cox and Jahyeong Koo, economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas)

“Who needs to pay us $350,000 a year — if they can get a cheap Indian radiologist for $25,000 a year?”

(Anonymous radiologist)

“Americans want to consume more, while Europeans enjoy their leisure more.”

(Greg Ip, Wall Street Journal reporter)

“Americans want the rest of the world to admire and emulate their country. In that respect, we resemble the French.”

(Jim Hoagland, Washington Post columnist)

“We’re all eating sushi these days.”

(Sabine Krueger, German consumer)

“Mozart is no longer the most famous Austrian in the world.”

(Headline in Le Monde)

“They survived 2,000 years of pogroms not by hitting back — but by thinking.”

(Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Mohamad Mahathir)

“Israel is like the spoiled child of America — and Arabs are like the abandoned child.”

(Ayman Abdel Al, Egyptian artist)

“I am Joseph, your brother.”

(U.S. Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (D-CT), speaking at the Arab-American Institute on similarities between Arabs and Jews)

“The road from Kabul to Washington is shrinking incredibly. We all should remember that.”

(Suraya Sadeed, founder of Help the Afghan Children)

“Putin will allow them to be rich — but not to run the state.”

(Eric G. Kraus, analyst at Sovlink Securities)

“If temperatures get warmer by two or three degrees Celsius, it’s not that bad. We could spend less on warm coats.”

(Russia’s President Vladimir Putin)

“The Stone Age came to an end, not because we had a lack of stones — and the oil age will come to an end not because we have a lack of oil.”

(Sheikh Yamani, former Saudi Oil Minister, on the advent of the hydrogen economy)