Paddy Ashdown is a former member of the British Parliament and a diplomat with a lifelong commitment to international cooperation.
Throughout his career, Paddy Ashdown has moved across the international stage. He served as a Royal Marine and an intelligence officer in MI6, the Secret Intelligence Service of the United Kingdom, before becoming a member of Parlaiment. In 1988 he became the first leader of the newly formed Liberal Democrat party. After leaving Parlaiment he served as the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“The multinational corporations now developing budgets often bigger than medium-sized countries — these live in a global space which is largely unregulated, not subject to the rule of law, and in which people may act free of constraint.”
“The United States will remain the most powerful nation on Earth for the next 10, 15 years, but the context in which she holds her power has now radically altered.”
“We are coming out of 50 years of history in which we have had a totally mono-polar world, in which every compass needle for or against has to be referenced by its position to Washington — a world bestrode by a single colossus.”
“Up until now, if the West got its act together, it could propose and dispose in every corner of the world. But that’s no longer true.”
“People say to me, ‘The Chinese, of course, they’ll never get themselves involved in multilateral peace-making around the world.’ Oh yes? Why not? How many Chinese troops are … serving under the U.N. command in the world today? 3,700. How many Americans? 11.”
“Now we are intimately locked together. You get swine flu in Mexico; it’s a problem for Charles de Gaulle Airport 24 hours later. Lehman Brothers goes down; the whole lot collapses. There are fires in the steppes of Russia; food riots in Africa.”
“The advent of interconnectedness and of weapons of mass destruction means that, increasingly, I share a destiny with my enemy.”
“One of the great barriers to peace in the Middle East is that both sides, both Israel and the Palestinians, do not understand that they share a collective destiny.”