WE'VE shown the world how to see in the New Year in traditional style.
But Scots can also make this a very special New Year.
Our gift to the world in 2005 can be nothing less than: #The beginning of the end to poverty around the globe; #An end to the needless deaths of 30,000 children EVERY DAY; #And an end to starvation for hundreds of millions of families.
That is not just a festive feelgood wish. It can start to happen at crucial world events that will take place in Scotland.
In July, the world's eight most powerful leaders will gather at Gleneagles for the G8 Summit.
With Tony Blair in the chair, we can carry forward our Government's campaign to tackle Third World debt, increase aid and help under-developed countries trade out of poverty.
This is more than a power- gathering of statesmen, because all Scots will have their say.
A massive rally is planned for Edinburgh on Saturday, July 2, to send the world leaders a message with a triple theme: Trade Justice, Drop the Debt and More and Better Aid.
In the second half of the year, the UK will hold the presidency of the European Union - at a crucial time in the negotiations to make world trade fairer.
The Make Poverty History campaign is a cause whose time has come. In Government, we know we will be challenged by this extraordinary coalition of people who care - from pop stars, TV celebrities and sitcom favourites to nearly 100 charities, campaigns, trade unions, and faith groups.
Bono, of U2, threw down a dramatic challenge to politicians and people alike when he declared: '2005 is our chance to go down in history for what we did do, rather than what we didn't do.' There are many ways to show how 2005 offers an unprecedented opportunity for global change.
The 20th anniversary of Live Aid will remind us of those astonishing concerts which raised millions for famine relief and focused attention on poverty in Africa.
The need for urgent action could not be clearer. Five years ago, world leaders signed up to historic promises that, by 2015, every child would be at school, avoidable infant deaths would be prevented and poverty would be halved. …