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oting the recent environmental and man-made disasters across the world, DmitryMedvedev, President of the RussianFederation, calls on all countries to unitein their efforts to promote sustainable, safe and fairglobal development.It is not only the economy that has taught us importantlessons in recent years. Modern civilisation istechnologically very advanced, at least if comparedwith the world as it was just one or two hundred yearsago. Yet a single natural anomaly or technological errorcan put entire regions on the brink of ecologicaldisaster and separate continents from each other, as itwas in the past centuries. The volcanic eruption inIceland, a major accident on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, the heatwave in Russia last summer, devastating floods and snowstorms in variousparts of the world - it all makes one think abouthumanity's fragility.I believe that any delays in this sphere can be dangerous. Our objective is not just to complete the protracted climate negotiations, though this is imperative, but we must also create a common system for monitoring theenvironment and hazardous sites, and a generalwarning and disaster management system. Russia has put forward such an initiative, and I hope that our partners will also agree that these measures arelong overdue.Today there is an urgent need for new ideas that can change the world for the better, ideas that in the future will set new requirements for policymakingand will become standards for governments, thebusiness community, social development and relationsbetween states.LEADERSHIP FOR A SAFERAND SECURE WORLD028G8 MEMBER COUNTRIESDMITRY MEDVEDEV, PRESIDENT, THE RUSSIAN FEDERATIONNTop right: © European Union, 2011; Right: The Presidential Press and Information OfficeIf we talk about security, some time ago Russia putforward a number of proposals regarding a newEuropean security treaty. Today politicians' actions,international relations and the regulation principles areincreasingly lagging behind progress. At the same time, some people, some politicians,continue to believe in the phantoms of the Cold Warand get carried away by their primitive ambitions ofpower. But it is precisely in this period that aconsiderable part of the global community, almost onebillion people - just think about this figure - use socialnetworks for the first time in the thousand-year historyof humankind; they are communicating directly witheach other while remaining on various continents. Thatis amazing.The modern world is becoming more flat, as they say,erasing formal borders and barriers. The World WideWeb has fostered the creation of communities ofpeople who live in different countries but are united bya shared goal or idea, and no national government canclaim to have a strong impact on such communities.Perhaps that is for the better. The business communityhas experienced similar changes. However, theseprocesses also have a dangerous side: they canbecome a very important tool for extremists who inciteethnic and religious hatred, for drug traffickers, armsdealers and terrorists. These problems are alsoincreasing, and it is impossible to ignore them.At the same time this universal connectedness mustbecome a powerful driver of economic growth, and any attempts to sever these ties, such as restrictions on Internet freedom or the spread of innovations, will lead the world to stagnation and I think everybody realises that today. Russia will not supportinitiatives that may jeopardise Internet freedom,

G8 MEMBER COUNTRIES029Main Picture: JoséManuel Barroso, NaotoKan, Barack Obama,Herman Van Rompuy,David Cameron, DmitryMedvedev and StephenHarper (in a clockwisedirection) at the 2010 G8Summit in Canada.Right:Dmitry Medvedeva freedom that is founded on basic values and the law.Our task is to use every opportunity to transform ournew world into a world that is more just for the vastmajority of citizens, a world in which success isdetermined by talent and hard work rather than familybackground, a world where billions of people will beable to communicate directly with each other, a worldwhere people are not afraid of the government, andinternational relations are free from double standardsand hypocrisy, a world where it will be easier and moreefficient to work together, to work jointly. Especiallysince a new generation of leaders has come to power inmany countries, politicians whose views were formedafter the Cold War. We can discuss and realise ourdreams together. We are ready for this - and when I say"we", I mean Russia. nThe above remarks are excerpted from a speechDmitry Medvedev delivered at the World EconomicForum in Davos on January 26, 2011.