This book is the product of a collective effort by some members of the Group of 78. The name of the group derives from the number of its founding members. Its activities comprise studies of and analysis of public issues which seem at the time to be of crucial importance not only to Canadians but to all the inhabitants of the planet. The issues are discussed at annual conferences and some of the discussions have been edited and published.
The present effort was stimulated by the rapid changes in the political landscape of Eastern Europe and the consequent demise of the Cold War. It seemed at the time that those changes were about to usher in a new historical era, rich in unprecedented opportunities of improving human life, in particular of freeing humanity from the threats generated by the burgeoning arsenals of weapons of total destruction and by the degradation of the environment. It seemed that global collective effort directed at solving urgent global problems became suddenly possible. One could speak hopefully of an "agenda" for such collective effort.
The following members of the Group of 78 and friends sympathetic to its aims contributed to this work by submitting copy, directing us to sources, making cogent suggestions for substantive revisions or stylistic improvements:
Newton R. Bowles