The Future of International Relations


In March 2017 I was invited to a place I knew absolutely nothing about – Baku in Azerbaijan. The occasion was the 5th Global Baku Forum on “The Future of International Relations: Power and Interests”.

Present were sixty current or recent presidents and prime ministers; it took me back to the days when I was often the only woman in a room full of male decision makers. My job in this case was to address the question: “Is extremism and populism the biggest threat to international security?” so I drew attention to the major challenges humanity now faces, including global warming, over-population, the rich-poor gap, cyber attack and unprecedented levels of migration. Since none of these ‘threats’ can be dealt with by weaponry or by military superiority, it has become essential for us humans to develop a higher level of intelligence, or consciousness. Key to this, in my view, is the re-balancing of masculine action with feminine intelligence – available equally to women as to men. I really care about this. But it was to say the least a challenging environment in which to raise this, and I’m not sure how many in the audience had a clue what I was talking about…