I must start by saying Matthew's humility was so refreshing in a world where the word "I" is overused. Matthew said he wasn't concerned with "I". He spent a lot of his time as a US ambassador listening to high school students all over UK, finding value in observation and substantial sample-based analysis. What I found most intriguing was his observation of the "connection paradox", never have we been so connected yet simultaneously disconnected in our digital age. In other words, connectivity does not equate to real connections. So I asked Mr. Barzun, "How do we address this problem?" he responded "Seek friction, do the uncomfortable."
Grateful to the World Affairs Council for bringing the insightful Stewart Patrick, a program director of the Council of Foreign Relations. What I found most compelling about this discussion on sovereignty is Stewart’s assersion that US involvement in international institutions is an expression of US sovereignty rather than a threat. It’s very American to promote human rights and Democracy, therefore rejecting them is “deeply UnAmerican” as Stewart rightfully stated. Thank you so much for coming to Louisville Stewart! I hope you enjoy some good ole Southern hospitality.
As Candy Crowley blunty stated, this panel is an alertness to the obvious. The United States ranks 104th globally in regards to women representation in government. Danny Hayes, professor of Political Science at AU talked about the systematic struggles for women running. Jennifer Lawless, professor of government at AU argues the campaign environment is what is impacting women running, rather than their gender itself. For example, no reporter wants to be the "sexist" reporter and is extremely cautious when covering female candidates.
Incredibly fortunate to meet an extremely important historical figure Stanislav Shushkevich, the first President of independent Belarus after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. So full of passion Mr. Shushkevich couldn't even stay seated throughout the discussion. It was fascinating to learn that Russia was literally prepared in a single night.
This evening I went to a discussion panel at the Mexican Cultural Institute of Washington, DC. The topic was regarding the North American agenda and cultivating relationships between the US, Canada, and Mexico. Marcela Lôpez Vallejo Olvera gave a very interesting presentation on the flows of energy between the nations, both figuratively and literally. Christopher Wilson gave a thoughtful analysis on the winners and losers in trade agreements, and followed impacts. It was a very interesting and informative panel!
Today I listened to one of the leading UN Secretary-General, Vuk Jeremić. I was very impressed by his humility and statement-- although Secretary General (he or she) can't perform miracles they can always be more agile. The need for decisive effective leaders is undoubtedly vital to our world. Especially in a time in which there's a lot of ambiguity within international politics. He laid out clear initiatives for effective implementation, such as annual reviews and regional goals. I was honestly impressed by his demeanor and dynamic background. Most importantly I'm glad he asserted the mentioning of "women" in a resolution is simply not enough. After all, human development is not separate from women development.