Ideas are what cause nations to collapse or rejuvenate. It is ideas and ideology that help people to overcome the barriers in front of them. But ideas need good leadership to spread them effectively. Over history, we have seen how ideas can change people's thinking and endure throughout time, being handed down from one generation to another.
The hard-won battle to eradicate polio once and for all is within our grasp but we can't relax yet. We must, maintain and accelerate our efforts. So it is heartening to see Commonwealth countries, including the UK, coming together this weekend at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Malta to review the results achieved to date and call for renewed global support.
Why do we insist on ignoring what stares us in the face? The suicidal fanatics who threaten to kill us in the name of their perverted brand of Islam are not refugees from Syria, or deranged zealots from the mountains of Pakistan: they are, with only very few exceptions, men and women who were born in our hospitals, educated in our schools and who grew up in our cities... Many of the attackers were already known to the police. Some had records as petty criminals. Others had clear links to identifiable terrorist groups. So as we still struggle to comprehend the crime that was committed in Paris last Friday night, perhaps we should start by examining what is going on under our noses.
Former Pakistan cricket captain turned politician Imran Khan is to divorce his wife of 10 months. Imran married ex-BBC weather presenter Reham Kha...
It is rather chilling to imagine what will be taking place in the coming days, as Pierrepoint's Pakistani descendants ponder how best to kill this man. They will presumably be pulling out their paraplegia charts, factoring in the weight of his wheelchair, and wondering how best to roll Abdul Basit into place, all in the name of justice. Let us hope that sanity prevails.
Much has been written recently of the spate of executions in Pakistan - more than 200 now, and counting - since the moratorium was lifted last December. While this spate of execution surely merits the international condemnation it has provoked, it must not be permitted to obscure the nightmare that is being faced by Pakistani citizens on death row in other countries. Most pressing, perhaps, is the fate of those who face execution in Saudi Arabia.
Mercy Corps is continuing to work with the Balochistan regional government to reach thousands more men and women in Pakistan by providing them with vocational training and opportunities to build social cohesion, but this will not be a quick fix. We must remain invested in fragile regions around the world and look to make a difference in the lives of those who live there. Right now, in the face of growing regional instability, this has never been so pressing.