Ideas for a better world in 2011

To start the new year off right, the Monitor asked various thinkers around the world for one idea each to make the world a better place in 2011. We talked to poets and political figures, physicists and financiers. The results range from how to reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the world to ways to revamp Hollywood.

Hoshyar Zebari

HOSHYAR ZEBARI, Iraqi foreign minister

Idea: Lower the walls in the Middle East

Mr. Zebari would like to see more economic integration to build confidence in a region where the biggest problem, in his view, is the lack of trust between countries and sectarian groups.

"For the region there should be more economic integration – gas, oil, electricity, railroads, airports. This is what everyone aspires to. In the North, despite Kurdish-Turkish tension, there are apparently 600 registered Turkish companies in Arbil and about 15,000 Turkish workers. It has really changed the perception – it has changed the tension, it has changed the [relationship]. There is still a problem with the presence of the PKK [Kurdish Workers' Party, a rebel group], still there is a problem with some Turkish ideas, with their role throughout the region and so on, but economic interests open up the vein of relations – I think it needs more."

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