- ticket title
- Libya: Humanitarian Dashboard (Jan – July 2019)
- Libyan Coast Guard picks up nearly 500 migrants in region surrounding Tripoli
- How Pompeo Took Charge of US Response to Attack on Saudi Oil Fields
- Security Council Committee on Libya Meets with Libyan Investment Authority
- Migrant shooting highlights concern about Libyan coast guard
MR KHAN: Can I thank you all very much for coming to this town hall meeting at the best town hall in the world, city hall. This is my living room, and I’m really pleased that we have the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in city hall today. And Secretary Kerry has agreed to take loads of questions from the floor, but those who manage his time say you’re going to get time for three. (Laughter.) So can I have an idea of how many of you have questions? Okay, I was told you’ve got to be young and good-looking, so I’ll do the first one then. (Laughter.) Which is welcome to London (inaudible). (Laughter.)
Secretary, what one piece of advice would you give to the young people who are here today?
SECRETARY KERRY: Listen to you. (Laughter.) No, I – you guys – first of all, you’re great. I’ve heard all about you. Our terrific ambassador, Matthew Barzun, helped to put this whole effort together. And the young leaders of the UK – you’ve already met with the President of the United States, you’ve already had an opportunity to have an incredible intervention, so I don’t need to tell you anything. I think you guys are already writing the path to the future.
I’d like to learn from you a little bit and I’d like to hear from you. Obviously, we can do it by answering some questions or if you have a statement, something you wanted to share with me. But I’d really like to have a conversation more than anything, and we’ll see if any good advice comes out of that. All right.
MR KHAN: Okay, so Young Leaders Program people who are young, good-looking, hands up. Who’s got questions or comments or – okay. We’ll take two at a time. The woman in the third row, you’re going to go first, and then we’re going to take the woman in the second row there second. Okay. So here you are.
QUESTION: Thanks. I’m actually American, by the way. Is that okay? (Laughter.) I’m part of the Young Leaders —
MR KHAN: I say we love Americans.
SECRETARY KERRY: Never ask if being American is okay. (Laughter and applause.)
MR KHAN: (Inaudible.)
QUESTION: I wanted to ask Secretary Kerry how this unprecedented U.S. election has impacted the United States relationships abroad. And if you can’t answer that question, maybe you can just speak about how it’s impacted your job representing the United States abroad.
MR KHAN: Okay, we’ll take another question here as well. And by the way, for those who are Brits, there are very strict rules about what the Secretary of State can talk about vis-a-vis elections. I’ve tried, honest. (Laughter.) But he won’t. Yeah.
QUESTION: Hi. I’m Hannah. I’m actually from Yorkshire, so I’m a bit of – anyway, I’m an exile. (Laughter.) Okay, my question is actually quite long and eccentric.
SECRETARY KERRY: Is there a reason you have to say you’re actually from Yorkshire? (Laughter.)
QUESTION: My accent (inaudible).
SECRETARY KERRY: Okay. All right.
QUESTION: Right. My question is – and it’s actually a London-based question – what do you think London’s —
SECRETARY KERRY: (Inaudible) the mike.
QUESTION: Oh, sorry. What do you think London’s role is in strengthening the special relationship when it’s part of the UK and alone?
MR KHAN: Great questions. Great questions.
SECRETARY KERRY: Well – what was the last part of the question? When it’s part of —
QUESTION: Part of the UK and as London, as a separate —
SECRETARY KERRY: Oh, okay. Well, look, first of all, I don’t think I’m stepping out of line – I’m not allowed to be partisan, so I can’t support one candidate or another or start to draw distinctions. But I can certainly comment on my job as Secretary of State and what I’ve been finding, and I must tell you bluntly this election has been difficult for our country’s perception abroad. There are moments when it is downright embarrassing. There are times when it steps out of any norm that I’ve known, and I ran for President in 2004. I could never have imagined debates that were not focused on real issues, and so it’s been a real change.
And the way it’s made it difficult for me is that when you sit down with some foreign minister in another country or with the president or prime minister of another country and you say hey, we really want you to move more authoritatively towards democracy, they look at you – they’re polite, but you can see the question in their head in their eyes and in their expression. It’s hard. Or when you run in and say by the way, it’s really important you guys get your budget passed, and I can see the quizzical look at us when last time we tried to pass a budget was I don’t know how many years ago. We do a continuing resolution nowadays. We don’t do the normal process.
So this is a difficult moment, and – but the one thing I would say to you is the great thing about the United States is that it has an amazing resiliency. It has an incredible ability to absorb something like this, and it will come out and in my judgment it will come out stronger. We’ll focus, we’ll know where we’re going, and I’m really confident about the longer-term future. But sometimes we go through these really rough moments politically, and you just have to fight through them.
One thing I’d say about that. When you sit around and complain about politics or you complain about public life, which a lot of people do and they have reason to in lots of places, just ask yourself, okay, what’s the alternative? I mean, I have – I meet a lot of people who say well, I don’t really like the way this has played out. But guess what? In a democracy, you can get up on any soapbox anywhere. You almost always, unless you’re disturbing the peace, don’t get arrested for what you say or for the substance of what you were saying. You’re not going to be intimidated and beaten and – for merely participating or criticizing the incumbent government or whatever.
And we’ve tried everything. Every ism in the world – socialism, communism, whatever – and everything that ends in a y – democracy, theocracy, monarchy, you name it – we’ve done it, right? And mostly, people settle on some way to be able to weigh in as an individual to make a difference and have an impact. You can’t do that in every place in the world, certainly not with impunity.
So yeah, it’s messy, and it’s not working as well as it ought to. But that’s because not enough people are holding it accountable. And one could argue that what we’re seeing now in various countries with these populist movements is a moment of accountability where people are saying I’m tired of a government that doesn’t get the job done. And so I wouldn’t be – I’m not down into my cuffs about it. I think we’ll turn the corner as long as we’re offering decent alternatives and as long as you are embracing the system and fighting to change it and make it better.
MR KHAN: Okay, we’ll do another round of questions. We’ll do you at the front here, and then we’ll do you in the back over there next. Yeah. Wait for a microphone to come to you – great.
QUESTION: Afternoon now. My name’s Ammond. I’m sorry (inaudible).
SECRETARY KERRY: Hold it really up close.
SECRETARY KERRY: All right.
QUESTION: My question is: You had a very long and very distinguished career as a public servant. What is the thing you have encountered to be the most challenging that you have managed to overcome?
MR KHAN: Great question. The gentleman in the back there.
QUESTION: Thanks. Secretary Kerry, I’d love to know, when you look back over your career, whether you can tell us something that you really sincerely admired about somebody with whom you’ve had maybe a political difference.
SECRETARY KERRY: Well, that’s a tough one. (Laughter.)
MR KHAN: Well, we’ll do another one and let you think about – that’s a tough question. A third question in this round as well. The woman (inaudible) the woman over here in the second row. Can somebody pass the mike to the second row here? Yeah.
QUESTION: Hello, Senator. Hello, Mayor. My name is Ronnie and I’m a Canadian. I feel like a lone wolf.
MR KHAN: We love Canadians too. (Laughter.)
MR KHAN: You have a great prime minister.
QUESTION: Thank you. I’ll pass the message along. (Laughter.) So as someone who has also lived in America and now Canada and now London, what is your advice that you have for young leaders who are interested in politics but who might be disheartened with what they have to face? And I really like what you said about accountability, but how would you encourage us to be held accountable ourselves and also hold those in power accountable?
MR KHAN: Those are cracking the hard questions. John, over to you. (Laughter.)
SECRETARY KERRY: So he knows how to get the tough issues (inaudible). (Laughter.) He passes them to the Secretary of State. I didn’t answer the London question, and I want to because London is an extraordinary city. I visited as Secretary of State. I’m not allowed to pick preferences among cities, I want you to know, but I’ve come here almost 30 times – (laughter) – almost 30 times as Secretary of State. And I love this city. It’s an amazing city. London is one of the world’s great cities. I’m proud to say that we boast a few of those in the United States – West Coast and East Coast and in between – but this is one of the great cities.
And obviously, my concern – I say – I’m touching a third rail very quickly here, but I’m doing it on purpose. I want to make sure that whatever happens with the Brexit process, that Great Britain and London are strong and remain in a leadership position, because Great Britain’s leadership and Europe’s leadership are essential to the United States, both of them. We want a strong Europe and we want a strong UK, and that also means a strong London. But I think what your mayor is doing, what London has already done, is brilliant in terms of its development. And so much of life in the world is going to take place in cities going forward. This is the place of action. It’s really interesting.
With respect to most difficult thing that I overcame, God, that’s really hard. I mean, a difficult moment which concerned me greatly because of the reasons I ran for President was obviously losing the presidency by one state. And if 60,000 or so votes had changed in a different direction, I’d like to think that things would have been different. But overcoming that, when you put as much into it as you put into it, because it’s tough to run nationwide – it’s tough physically and it’s tough in other ways as anything I’ve ever done – that was hard. I mean, there are other things that I’ve been able to overcome, but I think just deciding I was going to put it behind me and go forward was a basic decision.
With respect to the – what was the question our Canadian friend asked – was advice for somebody who wants to go into politics. Well, let me give you a number of bits of advice.
First of all, don’t think you have to rush it. We live in a world today which is so different from the world of the last century where people could have one career and people kind of headed for one career and that’s how you defined your life. I think nowadays you all are living in a period where you can have multiple careers, and you shouldn’t think about life as being sort of now, oh my God, I’ve got to get into politics now, if I don’t I’m going to miss the opportunity or something. You have time to test things. You have time to go out and try something and fail. And there’s nothing wrong with failure. Remember Winston Churchill said that failure isn’t fatal and success isn’t final; that the important thing is to have the courage to kind of keep going. So my advice to you is don’t think in zero-sum game fashion with respect to the choices you have about what you choose to do.
Now, let me put that in an even more sort of relevant, to me at least, historic place. When I came back from fighting in the war in Vietnam in the late 1960s, I became – we were sort of part of a generation that said we’re going to change things on the environment, on women and women’s rights, civil rights, voting rights, a host of things. And we – maybe we tackled too much at one time, but we got a lot done. And it was young people – almost exclusively students and folks who had just left college – who really made the difference.
When you read the history of Robert Kennedy running for President against the war in Vietnam or you look back at apartheid in South Africa, it was young people who led the protests on the campuses, who built the campus boycotts, who held the system accountable. And indeed, I remember in 1970 I was part of the first Earth Day in America – in the world I guess – in 1970. And we had 20 million Americans come out of their homes and demonstrate on one single day to make the point that people didn’t want to live next to a toxic waste site or a dump that gives you cancer or drink bad water and so forth. And it didn’t stop with the one day is what my message to you is. The movement then focused on the 12 worst votes in the United States Congress – 12 congressmen – and they labeled those 12 “The Dirty Dozen,” and they translated into political action. And guess what? In the 1972 election that followed that Earth Day, 7 of the 12 congressmen lost their seats. And all of a sudden the environment was a voting issue, and young people had translated it into the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Coastal Zone Management Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency for the United States. We didn’t even have one. And Richard Nixon, who didn’t exactly consider himself on the forefront of those issues, signed it into law.
So that’s the difference you can make. And in today’s world right now, we need less shouting, less sloganeering, a lot more thinking, a lot more good ideas that translate into the same kind of political activity, and shame on you if you don’t take advantage of that in a democracy like this where you can go out and run for parliament or say whatever you want and make the difference.
So my message to you is be active, be engaged, give back, make things happen. Do not stand back and pretend you can’t make a difference because you can, and we’ve proven it again and again and again. And the other alternative is simply not acceptable, morally or politically.
MR KHAN: Next round of questions. By the way, Secretary Kerry skipped over the person he most admires who he disagrees with, but I’m too polite to remind of him that.
SECRETARY KERRY: No, but you didn’t – actually, I was asked about the example of something that I could cite in that, and I have a great example I want to tell you about. I ran in a very tough election for re-election in 1996 in Massachusetts against the then-governor of the state, the sitting governor, William Weld. And it was a very hard-fought race. We had 13 or so televised public debates which became quite well known in the state and outside, because we really hewed to the issues. And it was really hard fought.
And at the end, I did win, but he lost with amazing grace and with elegance. And we actually had a bet that whoever had lost would buy the other guy a round of beer at the bar. And literally, two days later we were sitting at a bar in Boston enjoying a beer together in a moment of proving that you don’t have to hate each other and you can get over it all. That was a big moment, I thought, in terms of people standing up under tough circumstances.
MR KHAN: Fantastic. Next round. There’s some people in the back who deserve a question because – okay, there’s a woman there – is your hand up? Yes, somebody’s hands up. Yeah, you first. And then who else has got a question on this side of the room? You second, woman there. Yeah. And we’ll take a third one from the front. We’re taking you third. Is that okay? So one, two, and then three. That order, please.
(Inaudible.) Can you hold the mike close? We can’t hear you.
QUESTION: Sure. Hi, my name’s Fiona. I work for the Zoological Society of London, and my interest is in the ocean. So it’s wonderful to have you here, Senator Kerry, and I’d like to congratulate you on the amazing progress that was made at the recent Our Ocean conference. I wonder if you could reflect on some of that progress, because it’s challenging getting ocean conservation issues out to the general public, especially for those of us that live in a city like London. So reflections would be very welcome, and any encouragement you can give to Mayor Khan and London in terms of what we can do here to help conserve and protect the ocean for future generations. Thank you.
MR KHAN: Fantastic. There’s a woman there. Yeah.
QUESTION: Hello. I was wondering if it’s actually okay to ask yourself a question, Mayor Khan.
MR KHAN: Only if it’s easy. (Laughter.)
QUESTION: My name is Desi Lance. I actually work in immigration so it’s immigration-related. I know there’s been some discussion regarding this, but following Brexit and also the U.S. elections coming up, this is a huge topic for both countries. And I was wondering whether there has been any more thought regarding London specifically and what immigration might look like for it as a region. Obviously, economically it’s so vastly different from the rest of the UK, and I’d be interested to hear if you have any further thoughts about what London’s immigration policies might look like separate from the UK moving forward after triggering (inaudible).
MR KHAN: Sure. And you’re – can we have the mike here at the front here?
QUESTION: (Inaudible). Secretary, I was wondering how your military background influences your views on foreign policy and also on diplomacy.
MR KHAN: Great question.
SECRETARY KERRY: So why don’t you go first, Mayor.
MR KHAN: So I mean, there’s been a lot of talk about us having our own policies on a variety of things. And as much as I love being called “el presidente,” I’m not planning to declare independence from the UK. But there are things we can do in relation to persuading the government when it comes to them negotiating with the EU to make sure London’s voice is heard. And if you look at London’s history, for more than a thousand years we’ve been open to people, to trade, and to ideas. Our campaign, “London Is Open,” is all about reminding the world and ourselves our history.
And so there’s some work being done by businesses – Sigmund Corporation and the London Chamber of Commerce – about regional work permits, about ensuring that we’re able to attract talent. Because if you think about the most successful city in the world – London – the greatest city in the world – London – the richest city in the world – arguably London – our success has been the ability to attract talent. So it’s important government understands that actually we’re dealing with a country, and they need to make sure they allow us to have the tools to do that job. So we’re going to carry on arguing to get those things, so no declaration of independence just yet.
SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you for the question on oceans. It’s really important. How many of you happened to see we have a conference called Our Oceans? Just to be curious, how many people saw that? Very few. That’s what I would have thought.
I’m really grateful to you for raising the question. This is a pet project of mine that I’ve been involved in for some years, and I’ve also been very involved in the climate change issue. I was at the first Earth Summit back in 1992, and I carried the fight in the Senate for a number of years, and we – I’ve been proud to be very much engaged in as Secretary of State. We’ve put climate change four-square on the agenda.
And we just had a huge step forward in the last months with the passage of the Kigali agreement on hydrofluorocarbons, which could save as much as a half a degree centigrade in the warming of Earth; with the Paris Agreement, which is a huge message to the marketplace about clean energy – alternative, sustainable, renewable energy – which is the investment market of the future and it’s here now, so it’s going to change lives massively. And then, of course, we had the airline industry agreement on reducing emissions of airlines. So for those of you concerned about where we’re heading on climate, this has been a enormously important period of time.
But in conjunction with that, the oceans are more than threatened. The oceans are dying. And I don’t know if you just saw the news the other day about the Great Barrier Reef and the coral reef die-off, which is at record levels, but people don’t think about that. Nobody thinks oh, my God, this vast thing called the ocean, which is three-quarters of the surface of the planet, could somehow be threatened. It’s too powerful. It’s too big. It can forever consume whatever it is mankind throws at it. But no, it can’t. It isn’t.
So we’ve actually seen carbon dioxide regurgitated down in the Antarctic, and we don’t know how much carbon dioxide the oceans can hold. But the oceans are the biggest container of carbon dioxide on the planet; and if all of a sudden it starts to come back at us, then global climate change is going to happen even faster, and it’s already happening fast enough.
But here’s the other problem: 50 percent of the oxygen we breathe comes from the ocean, and the ocean is increasingly being polluted by development and spit runoff from gas stations, cities, others, into the rivers, rivers into the ocean.
So we have some 500 dead zones now around the planet where nothing grows because of nitrate overload or other pollutants, et cetera. We have overfishing. We have way too much money chasing too few fish. And so eight – seven or eight of the world’s biggest fisheries are now fully exploited and overexploited, and the rest of the 17 or 18 so global fisheries are at peak or near peak. And with the population growing and the numbers of people who get their protein from fish, that’s going to happen inevitably. I mean, 400 million people in China have discovered sushi. Imagine what happens to blue tuna.
So you begin to add the pieces up here, folks, and then you add to that the problem of acidification. Acidification comes from the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that dump into the ocean when it rains. And so we’re seeing higher and higher levels of acidity in the ocean, and we’ve seen experiments that show, for clams, if you have low acidity, clams grow bigger. The higher the acidity gets, the smaller the clams. Crustaceans as a whole will be affected by the level of acidity in the ocean. And if it continues to grow, then the lobsters and crabs and so forth could all be impacted as a consequence of this. We’re seeing whole species move in the ocean, shift as to where they go.
Every year, more than 100 million sharks are killed. Did you know that? A hundred million. Think of the numbers. And a lot of them are killed just for their fin, and they throw the rest overboard. So we need to hold on to the ocean because the ocean is life itself. And several billion people on the face of this planet depend on the ocean for their food or their livelihood, and this needs protection.
Now, the encouragement is that countries came from all over the world to this conference. In the span of two days we raised $5.3 billion to do set-asides of ocean protected areas. President Obama announced two new additional sanctuaries from fishing in the Atlantic and the Pacific to add to ones we’ve already done. We set aside 6 million square kilometers of ocean for protection. And just last week, with the help of Russia that came to the table to help in this case, we just passed the largest marine protected area in the world, the Ross Sea, which will forever, we hope – well, now for the next 30 years, but we hope beyond that – be protected against any commercial exploitation, including fishing.
So I ask you to think about the interconnectedness of all of this. We don’t live in isolation. The old saying, “No man is an island” – we just can’t exist without thinking about how we’re all connected now to these kinds of issues and to each other.
And the final question was military experience. Look, my service in the military taught me unequivocably that you should never go to war because you want to; you should go to war because you have to. And you should only have to when you have exhausted every other remedy available to you in order to try to see if you can make diplomacy work. War is the failure of diplomacy. And that’s why I pursue diplomacy with such a passion and so much energy, because time is not on our side when you have a Boko Haram doing what they’re doing to people in Nigeria, when al-Shabaab is blowing up people in Somalia, when you have the Taliban in Afghanistan, and various terrorist groups or interest groups waging war in Yemen, in Libya, in Syria, and so forth.
So I think people are impatient to see peace break out rather than another conflict. And it only breaks out when diplomats spend the time and leaders actually lead, and that means having a vision for peace, which is what President Obama had and President Rouhani had when they came together saying we’re going to try to get an agreement on nuclear weapons regarding Iran. And we pursued that for several years and finally got an agreement and eliminated one potential spark of war. But there are a bunch of others out there that are burning. The embers are burning, and we have to stamp those out just as much. And you all need to demand of your politicians responsibility with respect to these kinds of efforts.
And sometimes – the other thing my military service taught me, sometimes you have no choice but to fight for moral reasons, for instance, like President Clinton chose to do with respect to Kosovo or as President Clinton wished he’d done in Rwanda. There are times when morally it is important to be able to take position in order to leverage peace, and that’s something that people ought to think about very carefully.
MR KHAN: Okay. Well, I was supposed to finish at 3:20, so I’m ignoring Secretary Kerry’s staff over there on my right. So one final round. Just don’t let them know that I’m ignoring them. The question has to be – it’s got to be quick. So a quick – so we’ll do – where’s the mikes? So the nearest woman to you gets that first question. Yeah. And the last question – where’s the other mike? Okay, the nearest man to you gets that mike.
QUESTION: Hi, Secretary. I’m Lauren. It’s more of a general question about being a politician in America. Why is it that a lot of people in America seem to sort of dislike intellectual politicians, and have you ever dealt with this?
SECRETARY KERRY: Why do they what?
QUESTION: Dislike intellectual politicians, and have you ever dealt with this or found this difficult?
SECRETARY KERRY: Intellectual?
QUESTION: Yes, you’re very smart. (Laughter.)
SECRETARY KERRY: Yeah. I think I know what you —
MR KHAN: Yeah, you understand exactly what she means, Secretary Kerry. (Laughter.) And there’s one in the back. Where’s the other microphone?
QUESTION: I’m Rohan. I went to New York earlier this year to visit some relatives, and it was shortly after the mayoral election, so you’d just come into here. And everyone across New York who I came into contact with brought up you being mayor and how it wouldn’t be a thing in New York. My question is: Do you see in the near future there being a Muslim or even Asian there in New York or any other major cities in America?
MR KHAN: Okay, I’ve probably offended our U.S. friends by going over, so (inaudible). So thanks for the short questions. Secretary Kerry.
SECRETARY KERRY: I don’t think Americans resent or dislike or reject a, quote, “intellectual politician.” I don’t think so at all. But it’s incumbent on anybody in politics to be able to communicate your ideas and to fight back against the sloganeering that is an insult to everybody by reducing things to be simplistic and sometimes very demagogic bromides. And I won’t get too much more specific about that. (Laughter.)
But I think that Americans are – ultimately, they just want a genuine sharing of real ideas in a way that people can relate to. So if you’re haughty or out of touch or your intellectualism takes you to a place where you can’t talk to people, you’ve got a problem, but you’d have one even if you weren’t intellectual if you were trying to communicate whatever the idea is.
So I think that our politics also is broken in the following way: We have far too much money in the American political system. It needs to come out. I ran for years refusing to take political action committee money and so forth until we had some reforms. We got some but not enough. And then the Supreme Court stepped in and ruled that money is speech. I am a lawyer. I know something about the Constitution. That was a 5-4 decision, and I believe that should be revisited. I think it is just fundamentally wrong.
The Supreme Court traditionally has always held that if there is a showing of potential for corruption, the court has a right or the country has a right through the legislature to limit campaign funding in some way that is fair and appropriate. And that’s my belief. So I think that’s another reason why we’ve had a very difficult time in our elections having legitimate ideas be the dominant theme of a campaign, rather than the sloganeering.
On the issue of a Muslim being mayor of New York, absolutely. We have a Muslim member of Congress. It’s growing. It’s something – there’s an increasing participation in America. One of the things I think that has always defined America, until it has been somewhat challenged in the last few years on the issue of immigration, has been our tolerance. We are an immigrant country. We are defined by immigration, wave after wave from the very beginning. Everybody except Native Americans came over on some boat and then later airplane or boat.
And people are unfortunately capable of forgetting that. I don’t think it’s an American thing that people forget it. It’s everywhere. People have a way of forgetting roots sometimes, and they get comfortable and they turn their back on things. And a lot of people are quick to want to have the ladder to rise up, but once they get up they pull the ladder up behind them. And we have to make sure we don’t do that. But I am absolutely confident that the United States of America will have people of any faith or any background, ethnic, or otherwise, in a position of responsibility. And I’ve seen that change so significantly in so many different ways the last 10 or 15 years in our country.
The last thing I’d leave you with, and I think we share this to a certain measure. You have a lot more history in Great Britain that has been based historically and so a different kind of structure than ours. But America is, unlike some other nations in the world, not defined specifically by an ethnic group or specifically by a blood line or specifically by your culture and your identity. We are defined by an idea. That’s what we’ve organized ourselves around from our founding.
So the idea is that all people are created equal, and everybody has a right to pursue happiness and live in freedom. And that’s the idea that has always held. That’s how we came into World War I, that’s how we came into World War II, that’s how we have always defined our evolving constitutional process, which had to write slavery out of our Constitution after it was in. And we just had to even in the 1960s, ‘70s, even today, still make certain that people have the right to vote and that it’s spread evenly and that everybody can have equal access to the polls and so forth. It’s an evolving process, folks.
And that’s one of the things I’d like to try to leave you with today. Don’t look at it today and say, oh my god, it’s not a finished product, therefore it’s a failure – your system or ours or anybody else’s. It’s always renewing, always changing. And every generation has an opportunity to write that next iteration of whichever country. And your future, you’re going to be the ones who define that. So hang onto that idealism and hang onto that idea, and just make sure you take time in some way in some part of your life to be a citizen and care about your country and give back to it. Thank you. (Applause.)
MR KHAN: Before I ask all of us to share our appreciation again to the Secretary of State John Kerry, I want to say a couple of things. Firstly, you’ll have seen that the special relationship between the U.S. and the UK, between the U.S. and London, is very much meaningful (inaudible) our shared values, our shared history. I’ve got to say one thing: You have a brilliant ambassador here London. I want to say thank you to Matthew Barzun. (Applause.)
SECRETARY KERRY: He’s told me that, but hearing it from you (inaudible). (Laughter.)
MR KHAN: (Inaudible.) This event was over-subscribed and there was a big waiting list because of the demand to hear from you. We’ve had a great time and learned a great (inaudible). Can I ask all of you to show your appreciation for the last time I suspect the Secretary of State will be here in city hall for a public meeting, to the brilliant Secretary of State for the United States of America, our friend, a Londonphile, John Kerry. (Applause.)