Founder of the North South Roundtable, Barbara Ward (1914-1981) said at the time of the inaugural session of the NSRT in Rome in 1978:
"This meeting could mark a turning point in our understanding of planetary dilemmas."
Since then for the next several decades, North South Roundtable tried to live up to this vision of its founder through its meetings, publications and direct briefings of the policy makers and policy shapers of the world. All this work was done not by anyone individual but by the collective efforts of all the members of the NSRT as well as by the numerous participants in its special sessions. The credit for guiding the North South Roundtable goes to its founder Barbara Ward and its chairmen, particularly Mahbub ul Haq, Maurice Strong and Richard Jolly. The late Dr. Saburo Okita of Japan played a vital role in shaping the NSRT as its vice-chairman.
Barbara Ward summed up the contribution of the NSRT when, during her last public appearance at the Sussex Roundtable in 1980, she said:
"It is people and their work, it is the new ideas, the visions that begin to change society. I would say that we dare to be head¬strong, that we will be dedicated, and that we will not cease until ideas that are represented here of world justice, of world community, of interdependence of our beautiful planet, will be realized."
These eloquent words illuminated the pathways of North South Roundtable for many years.