GORDON BROWN hailed Barack Obama's election victory as a "dawn of hope" last night as he urged the United States to join Europe in building a new world order.
The Prime Minister used his annual foreign policy address to the City of London to call on fellow world leaders to "seize the moment" and lay foundations for the "first truly global society".
He also reiterated the need for governments to inject more funds into their economies and resist the temptation to retreat into protectionism and isolationism in the face of the economic downturn.
Addressing the Lord Mayor of London's banquet at the Guildhall, he said: "Just days ago, across the Atlantic, our closest ally gave new meaning to its founding creed that all are created equal; gave new strength to the notion that the American dream is for all Americans.
"Whatever one's politics, it can surely only be a source of hope and inspiration that a nation which once would have looked at Barack Obama and defined him only by his colour today sees in him the man they want to be their President and commander-in-chief.
"As America stands at its own dawn of hope so let that hope be fulfilled through a pact with the wider world to lead and shape the 21st century as the first century of a truly global society.
"I believe that with the far-sighted leadership we have in Europe, the whole of Europe can and will work closely with the rest of the world to meet the great challenges which will illuminate our convictions and test our resolution."
Mr Brown, who will join world leaders at a financial summit in Washington this week, added that major powers had to decide whether "to be cowed by our fears or led by our hopes" during the tough times ahead.
"I want this to become the moment when we rise to the new challenges by purposeful visionary and international leadership, leaving behind the orthodoxies of yesterday and embracing new ideas to create a better tomorrow, not as the victims of history but as shapers of an open, free trade, flexible globalisation that is also inclusive and sustainable."
Mr Brown welcomed plans by Mr Obama and the governments of China and Germany to pump more money into their economies.
He quoted President Franklin Roosevelt, who led the US through a global recession during the 1930s: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
"When fear overwhelms our perceptions or reality the effect is paralysing; it leaves people frozen into inaction, helpless at a time of great risk and even at a time of great opportunity too," Mr Brown said. "But confidence in the future... is the key to bringing back confidence today.
"I am confident. Confident that we can seize the moment, grasp it together and use it to lay the foundations – optimistic, multilateralist and inclusive – on which we can build the first truly global society."