Widening the Aperture

Madeleine K. Albright,
Former U.S. Secretary of State

Carl Bildt,
Former Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sweden

Ashlee Godwin,
Committee Specialist, U.K. House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee and the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy

Location: Notovel Warszawa Centrum, Warsaw, Poland

Time: 12:00 p.m. LOCAL
Date: Thursday, July 7, 2016

ASHLEE GODWIN: Well, good afternoon, everyone. It’s my pleasure to be moderating the first panel of the Future Leaders Summit here in Warsaw.

On the panel today I have two people who really need no introduction, apart from the fact that Fred Kempe has actually just introduced them. (Laughter.) But I will start by obviously saying that next to me is former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, the first woman ever to hold that position, and clearly she started a trend. (Laughter.) And Dr. Albright was, before that, U.S. permanent representative to the U.N. for the U.S., and has since become the chair of the Albright Stonebridge Group and Albright Capital Management to advise businesses how to engage on matters such as international relations. So all very important themes to the conversations that we’re going to be having today. Alongside her is the former Prime Minister of Sweden Carl Bildt. Again, also foreign minister, the first U.N. special representative on the former Yugoslavia, and a real voice in European international affairs.

Before I get going, I do just have a few housekeeping points, so please do bear with me. This session is on the record. Possibly one for you more than for everybody else, but never mind. And please also do remember to turn your phones off. We’d like to avoid phones ringing. Please do engage via Twitter. We have a hashtag, #FutureNATO. I’ve also been asked to tell everyone we are being livestreamed. So welcome to everyone watching online. For those – I’m not sure I’ve been given this – but it’s www.FutureNATO.org, just in case watching us live is not enough and you want to watch us on your phone as well, to get the surround sound feeling. (Laughter.)

OK. So I’ve been asked to make a few preparatory remarks sort of setting up this conversation and how the afternoon is going to go ahead. Well, last night I was stuck in Luton Airport for seven hours while my flight was delayed, so I had plenty of time to think about this session this afternoon. And I got to thinking about the title of the session, Widening the Aperture on Global Security. And really, the question that struck me was why do we need to do this? Do we not already have this sewn up? Do we not have this analysis? Do we not know what’s going on in the world around us?

And the more I thought about it the more I had one-word answer to why we need to think again, why we need to have new perspectives. And that word is globalization. It’s no longer enough for states to have a military and police forces to protect their citizens and their interests. Actually, it’s also no longer enough for them to work in military alliances. It goes beyond that, because of globalization. And really, looking at it, I see two trends that are the result of globalization, that have an impact on what we consider security.

Security, the notion of security, is changing. And the first is the transcendence of borders. So we have these really positive effects of globalizations, the movement of ideas and information, huge global trade flows, flows of money and capital, and also movement of people. These are all really positive things, but they do bring security challenge that, likewise, transcend borders. So you have the spread of malign ideas. Extremism is a subject that will be covered later. You have cross-border corruption and serious organized crime which is really difficult to trap and trace and to prosecute, because it crosses jurisdictions. And we also have seen in the last few months, especially the last year or so, the challenges of mass migration.

On the other hand, there’s a second trend which seems to be going in the opposite direction, which is actually the requirement to focus on human security. This is a really trendy phrase right now in security studies, the idea that we need to focus more on individuals. Individuals have all these great freedoms because of globalization – freedom to travel, to work elsewhere – I’m going to say upfront, unless you’re in the U.K. We seem to have voted against this. But you have the freedom to move, to interact with people abroad.

But that also makes us more vulnerable as individuals. In a globalized world, our states cannot protect us in the same way. And it was something that Fred referred to just now, is actually the emphasis instead should be on building individual, community, national, regional, global resilience to these malign effects of globalization on individuals and communities, not just on nation-states. These things don’t exist as they used to.

And so on the flipside of that, if you’re looking at human security, individual security, that means we all have a much greater part to play. We can no longer rely on our government’s – our government’s alliances to protect us to help us engage in a safe way in the world. All of those themes are going to be covered in individual sessions and talks this afternoon, but I think it does underline this idea of globalization, something that’s outstripped our ability necessarily to deal with it. It underlines why we need to widen the aperture and invite more voices in.

So those are my opening thoughts. I mean, they’re totally up for debate, obviously. But I would like to start with a nice, easy question. I used to work, until recently, as an editor for a defense journal in the U.K. And we, in our editorial team, had a joke. So many articles would start with the phrase: We live in uncertain times. We live in an age of growing complexity. So my question is, do we? Do we live in an age of growing complexity? Or is it just that because we don’t know what’s going to happen next, or because we don’t have a way of thinking about what’s happening, is that why it feels so much more complex? Madam Secretary.

MADELEINE K. ALBRIGHT: Well, thank you. And thank you for your opening comments, because I think they were terrific in terms of really laying out all things that we have to talk about. I’m glad you were stuck in an airport. (Laughter.)

MS. GODWIN: Thank you. I wasn’t. (Laughter.)

MS. ALBRIGHT: Let me just say, I think that everybody always thinks they live in an age of complexity. And I am an avid reader of many things, but The Economist had a very interest set of articles a couple of weeks ago about artificial intelligence, and what that meant in terms of changes that were out there. And they went back to talking about, you know, Adam Smith and Ricardo, and basically that people thought that industrialization added to a world of growing complexity. So I think everybody always does think that they do.

But we are, I think, living in an age of particular complexity because we actually know what is going on in other parts of the world, and therefore it’s not possible just to concentrate on your own country. And it does affect things like human security, specifically, for instance, you were talking about your – or in introducing the prime minister, or things that are happening in the Balkans. We could say that we didn’t know what was going on during World War II. Now we can’t say that, that we do know terrible things that are going on to people in other countries, which then brings in the issue of the whole responsibility to protect. So we do know. And I think it is more complex.

I think that what is interesting is that all the kind of megatrends that are taking place have – are a double-edged sword. So you were talking about globalization. And by the way, when we first started our business somebody came in and said: Can you stop globalization and help us? (Laughter.) And I thought, not exactly. (Laughter.) And so globalization does do an awful lot in bringing us together in various positive parts. But its other side, its negative part is that it’s faceless. And people don’t know where they belong. And so what’s happened is people are grouping more and more according to their identities. And it’s always good to have an identity, but if your identity hates the one next door it is totally counterproductive. And that is kind of what’s going on, is patriotism is good, hyper-nationalism is bad. And I think that we can explore that, but I think that is part of what makes it complicated.

The other is technology. I mean, it is stunning the kinds of things – and just announcing hashtags and various streaming and all the things that you talked about are an example of bringing us all together. But it also has a doubled-edged sword aspect to it. And that is that it has disaggregated people’s voices. And people get their own information kind of like an echo chamber. And everybody only believes what it is that they’ve just heard. And there is not enough kind of thinking about what somebody else may be thinking that disagrees with you. Everybody here should be very glad they don’t live in Washington because as I drive I listen to right-wing radio. And I get so mad. And it’s – someday I’ll be arrested.

MS. GODWIN: So we shouldn’t live in Washington because you’re driving mad, not because of the right-wing –

MS. ALBRIGHT: No, because I might hit you, you know, because I’m not paying attention. (Laughter.) But the bottom line is the disaggregation of voices makes governance difficult. And so I think that double-edge sword is technology.

And then I do think we’ll get into this more, because I grew up with a pretty clear vision. There was the good guys and the bad guys. During World War II that was very evident, and during the Cold War. The world was divided into the red and the red, white, and blue. And we knew who were bad and who was good. And I think that is more complicated now in terms of how do we protect against certain people? Is it their beliefs? Is it their actions? And so I do think we live in a more complicated time. And I think in many ways we are involved in a decade of disorder, where we don’t know what the institutional structures are.

MS. GODWIN: I’m really struck by your comments on the double-edged nature of sort of openness and identity. And I’d really like to return to that in a moment. But, Mr. Prime Minister, I wondered if you had any opening thoughts on that question.

CARL BILDT: If we live in complex times or not? We do.

MS. GODWIN: Is it truly a complex time, or is it just because we’re in the middle of it, and that’s just –

MR. BILDT: No, but I think that we are – it’s sort of very popular to talk about this phrase, the new normal. I would argue we are back to the old normal. I think we have been fortunate to live through a quarter of a century that has been extraordinarily good for mankind.

Good for Europe. Good for Warsaw, to take a very concrete example. Those of us who were here a quarter of a century ago knows that this was a dull, gray, depressing place, competing with Minsk probably, or something like that. And now, of course, one of the most dynamic and vibrant capitals of Europe. And that could be seen as a symbol of the transformation that we’ve seen in Europe. And globally we’ve seen it as well. Every social, economic indicator, every political indicator – Wars in the Balkans, certainly, and horrors elsewhere. But overall, it’s been probably the best quarter of a century for mankind ever.

And now we are probably back to what it used to be, back to sort of the geopolitics of the 19th century. Back to the transformation of technology. Back to migration streams that are much bigger. We haven’t had them that much in the last few decades, but if you go back to the 19th century we have massive migration streams that were transforming societies – the United States of America, to take one concrete example that did have some geopolitical ramifications later on, to put it in the mildest possible terms. So we are back to the old normal, which was more complex, more dynamic in a number of different ways.

And then new factors, technology, clearly transition from the – in my opinion, the transition from the industrial age to the digital age. We are now only in the faint beginning of that particular transformation. It’s going to change everything. And that we need to get used to and start to adapt and understand somewhat better than we do.

And this leads, of course, to somewhat of an institutional crisis of the West. I don’t think we have a crisis of the West, but we clearly have a crisis of the institutions of the West, be that the European Union or be that other institutions, when it comes to adapting to, going back to a period – or going – yeah, backwards into a period, or back again to a situation that’s going to be somewhat less stable, somewhat less predictable, and somewhat more even dangerous than we had in the past.

MS. GODWIN: In the course of my job, in my research, I’ve been struck recently by the fact that we still talk in terms of post-9/11. We still see this as the great watershed. And of course it was, in some ways. But the world has moved on so rapidly since then, as you say, in terms of technology. And you know, if you think of the phones that were around in 2000 compared to now, I mean, we’re in an entirely different place. How are we going to find this new framework, this organizing principle, if you like? Do we need new voices rather than the same old security analysts?

Madam Secretary.

MS. ALBRIGHT: Well, I think we definitely need new voices. And a lot of them are here. And I think that part of it is that the system is different. We were – I, again, grew up in a period where the nation-states were the basic element of a system. And Henry Kissinger still reminds us all the time about the Westphalian system and the Congress of Vienna. The bottom line is the nation-state has not disappeared, but there are other actors. And we have not fully involved the non-state actors in developing a system. I think, as Fred introduced us, in terms of the role of the private sector involved in national security issues and opening the aperture, and at what stage do they come to the table?

So, for instance, take a company like Coca-Cola. It has a budget, you know, ten times the size of Lithuania. But Lithuania ended up as president of the Security Council. And Coca-Cola is nowhere. And yet, the bottom line is they use a lot of water in the countries where they are, have an impact on health issues, et cetera. And you can use any one of the major corporations that need to be at the table. Nongovernmental organizations need to be at the table. Bill Gates, a non-state actor. We always think of non-state actors as just terrorists, but the bottom line is there are many dimensions to non-state actors. And they have to be brought into the system.

I think also there has to be a way to use technology within the non-state – within a state system or an international system that we have. And what has happened is that the institutions that we are operating with now were developed after World War II. And as someone who was born just before World War II, I do think that we need new actors. And the people here need to help in constructing a new international system. We do need a system, just not the one that we have at the moment.

MS. GODWIN: OK, so, I mean, the reason we’re all in Warsaw is obviously the NATO summit. NATO was established post-World War II as a way of sort of ensuring peace in Europe and, more to the point, ensuring collective security. Why doesn’t –

MR. BILDT: Keeping the Americans engaged.

MS. GODWIN: And keeping the Americans engaged.

MR. BILDT: Don’t forget that, because the problem that we had previously was the Americans were dragged into Europe but then left, and chaos ensued. And NATO, the Atlantic alliance, kept the Americans engaged. That was enormously important.

MS. GODWIN: And it continues to today in the current situation.


MR. BILDT: Absolutely.

MS. GODWIN: Where does NATO fit in with this sort of need to evolve? How does NATO remain relevant, engage with individuals, engage with corporations? Does it need to? Mr. Prime Minister.

MR. BILDT: Well, it clearly needs to. But at the moment, what is happening here in Warsaw is, of course, to some extent back to basics. We didn’t really – or not everyone, at least, expected that we will have to go back to basics, because we believed that we were living in a Europe where integration was building more and more peace, and that extended gradually towards the east and included to some extent even Russia. And suddenly we have Russia, by its aggressive actions – Ukraine, primarily, but before that as well – has challenged the fundamentals of the European security order. And if you start to violate the security order at one spot, it is brittle everywhere else. And, accordingly, now it’s back to basics.

We need to be credible in terms of territorial defense and the sovereignty of the nation-states that are the foundation elements of the security order. That’s very good. That being said, it’s fundamental but not enough, because clearly we have security issues that goes beyond the basic issues of –

MS. GODWIN: Migration being one of them.

MR. BILDT: Well, broadly speaking, I think we can talk about a flow security. Secure in their own world still, but any – you secure the borders, and that’s fine, but now we need to secure the flows. I mean, our economies, our societies are depending upon the flow of trade across the world, the free flow of information across the world, the flow of megabytes, and bytes and whatever in fiber-optic cables and satellite systems all over. We need to secure the flows. We need to secure the global air transport system. We need to secure the possibility of people to move – refugees, that we can take care of them according to our international obligations, but also the possibility for those that want to go and work or study somewhere else. All of these things need to be secure and organized.

So the back-to-basic element of the Warsaw summit is fundamental in view of the new challenge that, sorry to say, has reappeared, but not enough. We need to go to the freedom and the security of the flows across the borders that are increasingly important to us.

MS. ALBRIGHT: I think – I agree with that, but it’s back to basics with frills, or something that – nobody thought of cyberattacks as something that needed to be dealt with.

But I also think – and again, just something that Fred said – I think we – NATO is based not just on military hardware, but on common values. The military hardware has changed, but there also are questions about how we interpret common values. I think that it’s not just a matter of repeating that we believe in democracy or believe in equality of people, I think the matter here is to have a discussion about what we’re saying. Democracy is much harder than people think. And there is a real question about respect for other people’s identities, a number of different things. And I think a debate that is worth having is, we are for common values, but what are they? Do we define them together? How do we operate on it?

I think it’s a – I am basically often asked if I’m an optimist or a pessimist. I’m an optimist who worries a lot. (Laughter.) And so I think we need to figure out how to have a view that we use this crisis positively to try to figure out how to define where we are.

MS. GODWIN: I’d also like to add, you mentioned earlier the point about openness being a double-edged sword. And I’m quite taken by this idea that we like to be open, but on our own terms. We like to feel safe and secure while doing so. And I think the pace of globalization, the pace of change has maybe outstripped that sense of security – that somehow accountability, the provider of security, somehow seems more remote, and actually we feel a lot more vulnerable. And so I wonder if actually that is something that needs to be addressed, that actually our ability to control our surroundings has been outstripped by the openness that we have sought.

MS. ALBRIGHT: I do think that people do not feel a security, and partially it is unclear about whom we can trust. And I think, again, it is perfect – the best example of this is refugees, who need to be somewhere else, but you look at them and wonder if they’re – at least the excuse is, who’s the terrorist, and what is it that people believe in? And so there has been a loss of a lack of trust in our surroundings, as well as in the people around us and the credibility of the information that we’re getting.

So I do think that that is a real question about how do – what is it that provides security for you? And if you have grown up in some small village, you know who is who. If you’ve grown up traveling around the world, you’re not quite sure who is really with you and what their beliefs are. And I think that that does create kind of a sense of insecurity.

MS. GODWIN: Well, I would love to carry on talking to you, but I’m aware there is an entire room to my right, and I’ve indulged my privilege as moderator for long enough. So I’d like to open up to the floor. We have, oh, the lady at the front, who was the first hand up.

Q: Me?

MS. GODWIN: Yeah, the microphone’s just coming to you. If you could say your name and where you’re from.

Q: Yeah. Sorry if we’re not standing up. I have a laptop on my lap. Thank you. My name is Salwa Amin, Compact magazine.

And I have a question to Madeleine Albright, Secretary Albright, and it’s regarding a statement of another former defense secretary of the United States, Chuck Hagel, who has said within the forum of the Atlantic Council in May – he was warning that we – I’m quoting him now, quoted on the Atlantic Council website – “We can find ourselves very quickly in another Cold War buildup.” So he’s basically, if I may just get the bottom line, warning from a spiral of escalation by, you know, deployment of weapons, which will lead to another deployment of weapons on the other side. Same with exercises and deploying battalions as well. So I would like to know your view on this. Thank you very much.

MS. ALRBRIGHT: I think obviously we are all concerned about getting ourselves into some kind of a Cold War cycle. But I think we have to remember who is the provocateur in all of this, and it is not NATO. It is basically the Russians, and by having taken an illegal act in occupying Crimea.

And so I think we have to be able to balance between – and NATO summit is going to be talking about this, obviously – is reassurance, and understanding how to protect the members of the alliance, and also make clear – and this is a part that I think is very important – to continue and to enlarge the dialogue with the Russians. And I think that is a part that is essential, and hard to explain, frankly, because I think people are – it’s very easy to be either all positive or all negative. And we have to try to do both things at the same time: reassure our allies, and at the same time be open to having discussions with the Russians. And Secretary Kerry is – has made that very clear.

By the way, you talked about my being the first woman secretary of state. There have been two others. And now there are a lot of little boys in the United States that are very encouraged that a man can be secretary of state. (Laughter, applause.)

MS. GODWIN: Right, next question here, please. Just down in the front, please.

Q: My question is addressed to Secretary Albright. Perhaps it’s a dumb question, but you said that globalization is faceless and that is perhaps a driver of hypernationalism. So I’d like to ask you, is it possible to make globalization have a face, and that could perhaps mitigate nationalistic tendencies? Thank you.

MS. ALBRIGHT: And you are, with a face?

Q: Oh, sorry. Zebulon Carlander, future NATO fellow of the Atlantic Council, from Sweden.

MS. ALBRIGHT: I think that there is a way. And I think that the question is how to recognize that we do have different identities, but also then look for our common values and our commonness.

But I think we all have a number of different identities. And I think it’s important for people to recognize where they’re from and where they’re going and who are those that have a common background. But it’s really our future where we have to recognize the things that we have in common.

I don’t think it’s possible for us to all just decide we’re all the same. It’s boring. But I do think the matter is how to have your identity without deciding that you don’t like the other people. And that’s the major issue at the moment, that kind of in order to have your own identity that you have to identify yourself by saying I don’t like the people next door.

And so globalization allows you to learn something about others, which would show our commonness while we’re able to maintain our distinct features.

MS. GODWIN: Thank you.

There’s a gentleman just here.

Q: Good afternoon. My name is Jason Worlledge, I’m from the Community of Democracies, the permanent secretary out here in Warsaw.

And I’d like to start off by saying that I think we have some tremendous common democratic values outlined in the Warsaw Declaration, which you very well know, Madam Secretary, but I want to go back and talk about technology as the great disrupter of our generation.

And do you feel is it going to bend or is it going to break democracy? And how will democracy look under the weight of this technology and digital revolution that we’re undertaking?

Thank you.

MR. BILDT: I think technology has always been transformative. We tend to forget that. There’s a lot of it at the moment, no question about it, but I would go back in history, technology has transformed our societies.

When Europe started to be able to build ships and navigate the open seas and suddenly saw that there were other continents and other cultures, that transformed Europe and led to the West. The printing press, what that led to is tremendous, of course, when it comes to all sorts of political developments and then the steam engine and the telegraph and whatever. Now it’s a digital revolution.

And it is unique in the pace of the change that we see. In a very short period of time, the internet has gone to become the most important infrastructure of the world. And very soon the internet will be the infrastructure of every other infrastructure. There’s no infrastructure that is going to be independent of the net. That’s the new situation. That creates both possibilities and vulnerabilities, obviously.

So the pace of change is greater than it has been ever before, but also the reach of it. This is a global phenomenon. I mean, the poor village of India will have accessibility, which is – I was in the Rub’ al Khali desert or the Arabian Peninsula, the Empty Quarter, and I had accessibility through my mobile telephone. Unthinkable.

I understand, I haven’t been there, but I understand that if you climb Mount Everest you have mobile telephone coverage on Mount Everest. I’m not quite certain that owns to widespread social demand, but anyhow it’s a fact. It’s all over. So it’s spreading all over the world.

How does it affect democracy? I think that since I’m a great believer in the values of the West, individual freedom and dignity and respect for each other and all of these things, I think they are powerful in themselves.

And I note that close societies are afraid of the Western values, which is a testament to the strength of the Western values. And I think the more open systems that we have, the more open the world that we have, then the greater is the potential for the Western values over time. I say that being aware of the fact that there are criminals out there. It’s not something that came with the digital revolution. There were sort of thieves and all sorts of evil people before as well, but they have accessibility in a way that they didn’t have before.

We need to master that. But overall, I think it is to the advantage of our values and to the West and, accordingly, to democracy.

MS. GODWIN: Thank you.

Another question? This gentleman on the side, please.

Q: Hello. Yazika Treski (ph). I’m from Poland, from the Warsaw University of Technology.

I would like to return to the subject of globalization. And Madam Albright, you mentioned that maybe at the table we should have, like, big multinationals or big NGOs. You mentioned the Bill Gates Foundation.

I would have a question whether in fact we still at the table do not have big organizations like the European Union or African Union being a member of the Security Council. Would that be an idea for facing the new challenges?

Also, another situation where we have discussions within the European Union, but maybe also we should have within NATO of creating not a force made up of national armies, national forces, but separately a separate force which is created out of individuals being recruited directly to this international force, having a NATO army.

Are those answers to globalization, to the new normal?

Thank you.

MS. ALBRIGHT: I think actually all those should be considered because I think it is all different.

I don’t know where it’s possible to mix nation states and non-state actors. I hope it is because I think if we’re looking at stakeholders, they do play a very large role.

Having been at the United Nations, there are certain aspects of it that make it very – for instance, the Security Council composition is like the Rubik’s Cube.

So when we were in office, we had suggested that Germany and Japan be permanent members of the Security Council. The first country to come to me to complain was Italy saying this is outrageous, we lost the war, too, which is not a great campaign slogan. (Laughter.)

Or what happened at any given time, there were five European countries out of 15. And I would go to an ambassador and say I need your help on X vote and the ambassador would say I’m so sorry I can’t help you, the EU does not yet have a common position. And then two days later I’d go back to the same person and say now can you help me and the ambassador would say no because the EU does have a common position.

I think these days it’s unlikely they do. But the bottom line is, how many EU countries should be on the Security Council? And that’s just an example of the problems.

I think the thing that has to happen, however, is there needs to be more contact with people, with citizens of countries. That is what has been missing here. And part of it is how to make that happen and whether the technology can’t be used better in order to involve more soundings of people’s views.

And the people have to be informed, which is another part of the problem. With due respect for what just happened in your country, I found stunning the number of people that didn’t even know what they were voting on and what was it that in fact motivated them to behave the way they did.

And it goes to the Community of Democracies man’s question is, to what extent can technology be used to actually inform people rather than scaring them?

And I stole this line from somebody, but this is what is happening. People are talking to their governments on 21st century technology, the governments hear them on 20th century technology and are providing 19th century responses.

So there is no faith in the institutions. And it’s one thing to listen to people, it’s another to actually hear what they’re saying. And those are the things that need to be fixed.

And on having recruited armies, one of the things was initially the United Nations was supposed to have its own military force, Article 43 of the charter. The United States did not want that because there really is a sense about having some political control over when forces are deployed somewhere and the nation state is still viewed as the deployer.

MS. GODWIN: Mr. Prime Minister?

MR. BILDT: Yeah, a quick comment. I think sort of the Security Council and whatever, the nation states are going to be key when it comes to peace and security for the foreseeable future for exactly that particular reason.

But on other issues, governance will be different. Go back to the internet. The governance of the net is highly important. And the governance of the internet is not states, it is a biosphere of different institutions and networks, which is called, technically, a multi-stakeholder model. That means there is a role for governments. There is a role for business. There is a role for the technical community. There is a role for civil society.

And when we are designing and redesigning and changing this particular system, one of the primary criteria is that it should be not open to capture by anyone. It should be a system of dynamic governance that can’t be captured by big states or by big business or by big other interests, but all of the stakeholders should have the possibility to influence a system that is of greater and greater importance for global developments, but must be more dynamic in its very nature than I think any state-centric system, so to say, would be.

And it works miraculously well.

MS. GODWIN: OK, Adam, we are starting to run out of time. I’d quite like to take a couple of questions at once. So this gentleman here, down the middle of the aisle, if possible.

Q: Thank you. Yura Pabriz (ph) from National Defense University in Warsaw.

I have questions to both panelists and these questions concern migrations as pertaining to Europe and how to hand migrations. I would like to hear from the European perspective, Mr. Carl Bildt, and Madeleine Albright from the U.S. perspective.

Thank you.

MS. GODWIN: And another question. This lady at the front, please.

Q: Thank you very much. Katarzyna Pisarska. I am the director of the European Academy of Diplomacy here in Warsaw.

And I was very intrigued by what you said, Carl, about the old normal. Because I remember when Angela Merkel visited or talked on the phone with Vladimir Putin two years ago and she supposedly said to Barack Obama he lives in a different world.

And then a few weeks later the Russians had a good article in one of their journals saying, actually, the EU lives in a different world and they are detached from reality, we live in the real world, we live in the old normal, as you say.

Do you think this is really the case? Are we going back to some kind of realist culture? Because here in Warsaw in Poland, and I think you’ll hear a lot of that in the hours and days to come, this old normal is nothing good. It’s a world where geopolitics and, you know, decisions are made above the heads of the weaker by the stronger and where this dialogue and this pluralism and this openness actually disappears.

So if you can tell me more, what is actually the old normal because that really frightens me.

Thank you.

MS. GODWIN: Madam Secretary, would you like to have the first question?

MS. ALBRIGHT: Yes. First of all, let me say that part of our world generally has been, as you pointed out, the movement of peoples. And some of it has happened as a result of open borders and a sense that we are globalized and can travel.

The migrations are caused by, well, there’s a distinction between refugees and migrants. Refugees are people who leave their countries because they are under threat. I’m a refugee. I came to the United States with my parents after the communists took over Czechoslovakia, also having been a refugee during the war when the Nazis had taken over Czechoslovakia. So I’ve done it twice. You don’t leave by choice; you leave because you have to.

Migrants are people that are leaving because they are seeking a better life.

I do think that we need to recognize the tragedies of the refugees and be more generous about accepting them. But I think before the United States can tell everybody what to do, we need to take more refugees ourselves.

And I have been agitating for that within the United States. And there was an amazing story in The New York Times last week about how generous the Canadians have been to refugees. And so I do think that there – and it has a lot to do with human security that you raised earlier.

I think we have an obligation to each other to take more refugees.

MS. GODWIN: Mr. Prime Minister?

MR. BILDT: There’s no question that sort of migration and refugees have transformed Sweden during the last quarter of a century. It’s a different country in a number of different ways.

I think we’ve taken more than, if you look at it in relation to the size of the country, than practically anyone else in the OCD world. Has that led to problems? Yes, we do have problems. We have certain areas of our suburbs that are not particularly good and we need to bring more attention to it.

But has it been good? Yeah, absolutely, there’s no question that the vitality of our society has increased. We have a more dynamic economy than we would have had otherwise.

I was struck – I told yesterday, the day before yesterday, I had a meeting with the three leading editorial writers of the three sort of op-ed page editors of the three leading newspapers. And it struck me that none of them had their origin in Sweden. One had his origin in Poland and another one in another European country to the south and another one very far away indeed. But they are among the most perceptive and brilliant Swedish commentators today. So they have made Sweden a more interesting society in a number of different ways.

But of course, the management of it and the management of expectation is not entirely without its challenges. But overall, clearly, a positive development, they are normal or whatever.

Yeah, but we shouldn’t draw the parallels too much. But the 19th century wasn’t just realist geopolitics. I was the other day in The Hague in the Peace Palace and reminded ourselves then of the peace conference, the accord, The Hague conventions. The Permanent Council of Arbitration that is going to issue its verdict on South China Sea next week comes out of a conference in 1898, if I remember it rightly.

It was a great age of globalization in terms of technology. Certain other international institutions, the International Telephone and Telegraph Union, the International Postal Union, they were all set up in that particular age as well. It was an age of ideas crossing borders, some of them revolutionary, like democracy, some of them revolution of another nature.

So it was an age – I was making that comparison in the sense that there was a lot happening. It was a dynamic period with geopolitics and technology and ideas and, what we are now living, I think, a quarter of a century, that looked easier and more simple, we should know that the normal period in human history and European history has been more of a mosaic of challenges, some of them good and some of them bad, than I think the last quarter of a century has been.

MS. ALBRIGHT: I do think realpolitik is based on real facts. And what has happened is Putin does live in a parallel universe, he has made up his own facts. And I think that’s what Angela Merkel was referring to, because it’s very hard to respond to policy based on made-up things and propaganda.

And again, that is a technological issue because he has managed to propagandize his own population. But I happen not to be a realpolitik person, but they are based on facts and Putin is not.

MS. GODWIN: And of course, the summit will be returning to propaganda later.

We’ve got time for just one very brief question, the gentleman back there, Molly, if you could. Thank you.

Q: My name is Marcin Kilanowski from Nicolaus Copernicus University.

Madam Albright, you’ve mentioned that we should put the big corporations at the table. I remember when Mr. Kissinger was speaking here at the presidential palace in Poland asked the same question about the role of corporations. He said they are totally different entities, they are driven by profit, they should focus on profit, they are responsible to their shareholders for what they do and we should not think about them as responsible for what happens in the public sphere.

Your view is totally different, I believe. How would you make the big, private corporations be responsible more for their actions that they undertake in the public sphere?

MS. ALBRIGHT: Well, first of all, the reason that I say what I said is the effect that they have in the countries where they operate. And the way to make them responsible is whatever the current term is, social responsibility, for global corporations to be good local citizens. And in order to exist and to make a bottom line, they have to operate or they should operate in a responsible way in their countries.

What is interesting, Benjamin Franklin said this, they could do well by doing good.

The question is about the following aspect is what their impact is in countries. Because most of them actually have an impact on the economies in the countries where they are operating, in some ways more than the local governments or outside powers.

I agree with you that on terms of security, the nation state plays the largest, obviously the only factor. But I was saying it from the perspective of the influence and the impact they have on the countries where they operate. And laws have to be made; for instance, mining companies to do it in a way that the extractive industries don’t hurt the environment.

But if we’re talking about climate change, for instance, which is the big issue out there now, corporations have a very large role to play in that. So it’s that combination that I’m looking for.

MS. GODWIN: Well, thank you very much for your questions. I think they’ve really set up the rest of the conversations this afternoon.

I would just like to invite our speakers to make a few brief closing remarks if you wouldn’t mind just to wrap up this session.

Madam Secretary?

MS. ALBRIGHT: Well, I think this is such a good theme for here, and that is that with all of you, you have a way of looking at the current world and what is to come from a very different perspective. And I think that your voices need to be heard as you think through what the challenges are going to be, very different from the kind of challenges that the previous generations have had to deal with.

And by, in a way, trying to subdivide what the issues are and begin to look at them within a different framework puts you in a position where you can make decisions and project what needs to happen.

And I think what is absolutely essential is to think about the unintended consequences of decisions that are being made. That is part of the – if I may say so, Tony Blair just spent two hours on television trying to explain the unintended consequences of decisions. And I think it is absolutely essential that current and new decisions-makers think about that as you take your position in making decisions about the world.

MS. GODWIN: On unintended consequences, I think the U.K. has had quite a couple of weeks on that. (Laughter.)


MS. GODWIN: Mr. Prime Minister?

MR. BILDT: I think obviously what you need to do, and that is to state the obvious, is to think about the future and what it might mean. But I would say also reflect on history. History works with long waves and reflections on the lessons of history should always be there when you think about the challenges of the future.

And you should think about history also when you look at what’s happening in the politics of today, without going too much into that.

But one thing worries me more than anything else at the moment. You’ve seen there’s a political man out there that has a hat where it says “Make America Great Again.” I’m in favor of making America great, but I’m very afraid of the word “again.” Because think of that, make Russia great again, make Germany great again, make Sweden great again, it doesn’t fly very well in Poland I can tell you, that particular phrase, for all sorts of historical reasons. (Laughter.)

This implies that someone else has been depriving us of something that we are entitled to. And there’s a risk of that leading to a nostalgic nationalism that puts nations against nations, states against states, but nations against nations inside the states as well.

And so make great, I’m in favor of, we should be proud of our nations. But this “again,” nostalgic-looking nationalism that is spreading, make Russia great again, is dangerous. And we need to preserve, defend and enlarge the scope of our values of open societies, open Europe and an open world that prevents us from falling back on the mistakes of the past.

MS. GODWIN: Thank you very much.

A quick housekeeping note before I wrap up the session. There is no break after this session, the next one starts pretty much immediately, so please do stay in your seats.

It has been an absolute pleasure and a privilege for me to be on this panel today, but also, I’m sure, for everybody else in this room and everybody watching online as well. I know you’re both speaking later. But please, can you join me in thanking Madam Secretary and Mr. Prime Minister? Thank you. (Applause.)