The poorest nations fall further behind. Nations in transition from command to open economies face immense hardships. Nations that have achieved prosperity see their success accompanied by a new array of problems like social, environmental, cultural and economic, and many are consequently reluctant even to pursue their assistance policies at former levels. The current situation calls for wider intellectual understanding, deeper moral commitments and more effective policy measures. Without them, a half century of considerable progress could be undermined. Worse, all people of the world will live on a deteriorating planet, and will increasingly lose the ability to shape their destiny in a coherent way.