Historians will look back and say this was no ordinary time but a defining moment: an unprecedented period of global change, and a time when one chapter ended and another began.
The scale and the speed of the global banking crisis has at times been almost overwhelming, and I know that in countries everywhere people who rely on their banks for savings have been feeling powerless and afraid. But it is when times become harder and challenges greater that across the world countries must show vision, leadership and courage – and, while we can do a great deal nationally, we can do even more working together internationally.
So now is the time for leaders of every country in the world to work together to agree the action that will see us through the current crisis and ensure we come out stronger. And there is no international partnership in recent history that has served the world better than the special relationship between Britain and the United States.
It is a relationship that has endured and flourished because it is based not simply on our shared history but on the enduring values that bind us together – our countries founded upon liberty, our histories forged through democracy and an unshakeable belief in the power of enterprise and opportunity.
But if it reflects our values and our histories, this special relationship is also a partnership of purpose, renewed by every generation to reflect the challenges we face. In the 1940s it found its full force defeating fascism and building the postwar international order; in the cold war era we fought the growth of nuclear weapons and when the Berlin Wall fell we saw the end of communism. In this new century, since the horrors visited on America in 2001, we have worked in partnership to defeat terrorism.
Now, in this generation, we must renew our work together once again. A new set of challenges faces the whole world, which summons forth the need for a partnership of purpose that must involve the whole world. Rebuilding global financial stability is a global challenge that needs global solutions. However, financial instability is but one of the challenges that globalisation brings. Our task in working together is to secure a high-growth, low-carbon recovery by taking seriously the global challenge of climate change. And our efforts must be to work for a more stable world where we defeat not only global terrorism but global poverty, hunger and disease.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
Globalisation has brought great advances, lifting millions out of poverty as they reap the benefits of economic growth and trade. But it has also brought new insecurities, as this – the first truly global financial crisis – underlines. Globalisation is not an option, it is a fact, so the question is whether we manage it well or badly.
I believe there is no challenge so great or so difficult that it cannot be overcome by America, Britain and the world working together. That is why President Obama and I will discuss this week a global new deal, whose impact can stretch from the villages of Africa to reforming the financial institutions of London and New York– and giving security to the hard-working families in every country.