TED talks: An Independent Diplomat

06.08.2017 - TED: Ideas worth spreading

TED talks: An Independent Diplomat
(Image by TED)

After 15 years in the British diplomatic corps, Carne Ross became a “freelance diplomat,” running a bold nonprofit that gives small, developing and yet-unrecognized nations a voice in international relations. At the BIF-5 conference, he calls for a new kind of diplomacy that gives voice to small countries, that works with changing boundaries and that welcomes innovation.

And I’d always wanted to be a fighter pilot when I was a boy. I loved watching planes barrel over our holiday home in the countryside. And it was my boyhood dream to be a fighter pilot. And I did the tests in the Royal Air Force to become a pilot, and sure enough, I failed. I couldn’t see all the blinking different lights, and I can’t distinguish color. So I had to choose another career, and this was in fact relatively easy for me, because I had an abiding passion all the way through my childhood, which was international relations. As a child, I read the newspaper thoroughly. I was fascinated by the Cold War, by the INF negotiations over intermediate-range nuclear missiles, the proxy war between the Soviet Union and the U.S. in Angola or Afghanistan. These things really interested me. And so I decided quite at an early age I wanted to be a diplomat. And I, one day, I announced this to my parents — and my father denies this story to this day — I said, “Daddy, I want to be a diplomat.” And he turned to me, and he said, “Carne, you have to be very clever to be a diplomat.” (Laughter) And my ambition was sealed.

That’s my story. Thanks.

Categories: Human Rights, International, Politics
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