Heavy security and fears of terrorism are not stopping billions of people worldwide from welcoming 2003 with hopes for peace and prosperity.
New year festivities are being held throughout much of the Middle East, East Africa, and parts of Eastern Europe, including Greece, Belarus, Bulgaria and the Baltics.
Two-hundred 50-thousand police are patrolling the streets of large Russian cities, looking out for drunken trouble-makers.
Thousands of police are also on the streets of Paris, following the recent arrests of nine suspected Islamic militants.
German officials expect about one-million revelers for a huge celebration at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, while British authorities are urging people to avoid the center of London to prevent overcrowding.
British anti-terrorism police are also on heightened alert.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he is confident his city's New Year celebration will be safe, with half-a-million celebrants expected to pack Times Square.
Asia rang in 2003 with joyous fireworks over Sydney Harbor in Australia, skydivers in Malaysia and anti-U-S protests in South Korea.
Brazil will welcome 2003 with the inauguration of a new president. Luiz Inacio da Silva -- better known as Lula -- will be sworn in Wednesday, becoming the country's first left-wing president.