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CNN 30: Three Decades That Changed Our World; Imagine a World. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired October 30, 2015 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Good evening, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour and welcome to CNN 30: THREE DECADES THAT CHANGED OUR WORLD.
This is a special show celebrating 30 years since CNN went global, looking back at the big events and how they will shape the next 30 years. With me
here in the McLaren Thought Leadership Center, an audience most lucky enough to be under the age 30, who've grown up in a momentous period of
world history, including, of course, 9/11, the first mobile phone, the famines that devastated Africa and Ethiopia and Somalia, and the first
black president of South Africa and the United States of America.
Joining me on stage to discuss all of this and much more, an esteemed panel: former French Foreign Minister and the co-founder of Medecins Sans
Frontieres, Bernard Kouchner; neuroscientist and British peer, Baroness Susan Greenfield; Elif Safak (sic), the best-selling Turkish novelist and
writer on the Middle East; and Ekow Eshun, the British-Ghanaian cultural commentator.
Welcome to you all.
AMANPOUR: And we're going to get straight to our first film, which starts by taking you back further to 1989, when the Berlin Wall actually came
down, freeing Eastern Europe from Commission's iron fist while, at the same time, in China, that same year, Beijing's bloody Tiananmen Square crackdown
sent a deep chill through geopolitics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The government has ordered us to shut down our facility.
We are shutting down our facility.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've heard the orders. We have our instructions from headquarters.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Goodbye from Beijing.
RONALD REAGAN, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are moving ever more swiftly.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The skies over Baghdad have been illuminated.
AMANPOUR: Ethnic cleansing goes on within view of United Nations' patrols.
MAGGIE LAKE, CNN HOST: More explosions have rocked Baghdad after an unprecedented barrage just a few hours ago. U.S.-led forces have unleashed
their long-awaited and punishing air assault.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: War separates yet simultaneous explosions, striking the transit system there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is one pocket of turmoil in the center of the Egyptian capital. But it is throwing the entire country into a political
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Protest is taking place as pro-Russian forces (INAUDIBLE) on this territory (INAUDIBLE) 24-48 hours.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN HOST (voice-over): The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, a breakaway Al Qaeda group, to establish a caliphate across --
HOLMES (voice-over): -- Syria and Iraq and beyond.
AMANPOUR: It is incredible to see with your own eyes a boat like that, not big; it's being crammed with 290 people and of them 21 are children.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So plenty to discuss and distinct themes emerging.
What one big moment really stands out for your over the last 30 years?
Let me go first to you, Bernard Kouchner.
BERNARD KOUCHNER, FRENCH POLITICIAN AND PHYSICIAN, FORMER FRENCH MINISTER OF FOREIGN AND EUROPEAN AFFAIRS: 9/11: I was Minister of Affairs in that
time and, suddenly, the world has changed completely.
It was one that certainly most people took moment of all these three decades.
AMANPOUR: We will carry on discussing that over this hour.
You come from that part of the world which suddenly became suspect after 9/11.
But what part of the last 30 years in terms of momentous events stood out for you?
ELIF SAFAK, TURKISH AUTHOR, COLUMNIST, SPEAKER AND ACADEMIC: Well, there's so many and I think they were interconnected in many ways, but particularly
the fall of the Berlin Wall, people taking down entire walls that were previously impossible to go over. It was very, very big, the impact.
AMANPOUR: And we'll continue that as well because walls are being built even as we speak, whether they're physical or psychological walls.
Ekow Eshun, what was the most important, the biggest moment, of the last 30 years?
EKOW ESHUN, GHANAIAN-BRITISH WRITER, JOURNALIST AND BROADCASTER: It's not necessarily the biggest, but for me personally the most impactful was
probably Obama, first black president in America if only because, up until a short time, one, two years before he became president, pretty much
consensus that that was impossible.
Obama's election didn't change America, but it does suggest new sets of possibility for America and for the world. And for me that's a great
AMANPOUR: New possibility. That's a really optimistic view of the world; that's really important.
BARONESS SUSAN GREENFIELD, BRITISH SCIENTIST, WRITER, BROADCASTER AND MEMBER OF THE HOUSE OF LORDS: Am I allowed to copy one of the other
AMANPOUR: You can.
GREENFIELD: Because 9/11, I think, is so obvious. Why I remember it was just trying to fathom what has happened and why and who.
AMANPOUR: And, at the time, we didn't know --
AMANPOUR: -- how much it would impact and change our world.
So plenty to discuss and distinct themes emerging.
The idea of the wall coming down and the crackdown at the same time, we saw it in pictures right there, that iconic picture of the Chinese man in front
of that tank still sends chills down my spine.
So I want to ask you first and foremost, Bernard Kouchner, to paraphrase Martin Luther King, is the moral arc of the universe bending towards
justice or not?
KOUCHNER: That is very difficult to balance. Less wars but not less misery.
AMANPOUR: -- less war, but not less misery.
From the Middle East, we have seen the Arab Spring, so much hope, people thought it would be another Berlin Wall moment and, instead, the vacuum was
filled by the worst of the extremists and nobody saw that coming.
Is the story over?
Or is it just the first center of the Arab Spring?
SAFAK: Everything's changing very fast. Unfortunately, at the moment, it's, you know, the developments are incredibly negative for minorities,
for women, particularly for Muslim women. They're very, very concerned; the rise of extremism.
On the other hand, when you look at the flow of history, year after year, turbulence after turbulence, as you said, there's now less wars.
I think, however, even the violence maybe is relatively less when you have a larger scope. What is bigger now is our disappointment because we should
know better. We should have a better memory of history, the atrocities of history.
So what frustrates me immensely is the way in which we are drawing circles and circles and the way in which nationalism and extreme religiosity have
made a very strong comeback.
This was not the expectation of intellectuals a few decades ago. They thought both nationalism and religiosity were going to disappear from the
surface of the world. But that has not been the case --
AMANPOUR: -- so interesting as well, because to paraphrase and to quote some commentators, now we are being hyperpoliticized; everything is
political echo and, for instance, in the United States, they say that the establishment parties, Democrats and Republicans, are more divided and more
partisan than at any time since the Civil War.
ESHUN: One of the things that's happened is that we've had profound disappointment but also, I think, overall, I think our expectations have
actually increased. I think our hope for a better world has depend inasmuch as we see something like the Arab Spring and there's a hope that
out of that still there will be something good.
And I think when I talk about race expectations, I mean there are expectations for better -- for a better life for women, for a better life
for minorities of all kinds. I think having proved we don't accept --
ESHUN: -- I think collectively we accept less this idea that some people will simply deserve to exist in one place, to deserve not to be hurt.
And I think one of the significant things that's happened over the last 30 years is that more voices are being heard around the world. That doesn't
necessarily make the world a better place at all. But it makes the world in some respects a richer place and certainly a more complex place.
GREENFIELD: Yes, I'd like to pick up on that because I think 30 years ago the world was simpler. When I was growing up, we knew who the enemy was.
It was the Cold War. And, yes, we might be facing nuclear annihilation. But if that didn't happen, you didn't have to have your bags checked. You
didn't have to stress about security.
The word "terrorism" was hardly used, I believe, you know. But I think what happened over the last 30 years is we now have an anxiety of when's
the next strike going to be. When's the next victim going to be?
AMANPOUR: We heard, "Never again," after the Holocaust. And yet certainly my whole last 30 years of being a correspondent for CNN has been looking at
"never again," happening again and again and again. And it's happening in Syria today.
How far have we been able to take this idea of humanitarian intervention that you so prominently launched?
KOUCHNER: I believe that history has no memory. That's unfortunate but that's true. We founded Doctors without Borders in '79 -- '21 (sic),
And in that time, indignation existed. And we were militant in that time. We are no longer militant.
AMANPOUR: So in other words, in that time, people were prepared to go out onto the street and say, no, we -- "not in our name."
KOUCHNER: They were a level to oppose to cruelty or to misery. But they reacted against and this is no longer true.
ESHUN: I think things have been so colored by the last 10 years, by the Iraq War, by the disappoints of American-Western intervention, very
difficult now to look at Syria and find a path through.
AMANPOUR: So one of the themes, obviously, that's come out of 9/11 and everything we've been saying is this inexorable rise of extremism.
It's something that, as yet, we have not been able to stop.
Where do you see the light at the end of this particular tunnel?
SAFAK: There's one thing that worries me immensely and I think after 9/11, this worsened. Our flight, you know, escape from heterogeneity, escape
from "the other," you know, fear of diversity, this is becoming bigger and bigger.
Many people and good hearts and good willing people started to think that if we are surrounded with likeminded people, we will be safer --
SAFAK: -- to think that there is safety in sameness is an illusion. There's no such thing. No country, no subculture, no nation lives in
isolation anymore. We're all in this together.
ESHUN: One of the significant shifts that's happened is the (INAUDIBLE) bipolar in a unipolar world anymore but actually I think all states have
had a taste of powerlessness in ways they didn't have before. So America doesn't have the power it had before; small actors, terrorist groups can --
AMANPOUR: Or it's not wielding the power it did before.
ESHUN: -- it's not -- which is, in a way, the same thing; it's not manifesting the power it had before.
But on a personal level, even in American terms, it means -- Susan was talking before about you have to get your bags checked and so on, there's
very -- there's less space now for one to assume this kind of autonomous role in the world.
AMANPOUR: OK, we're going to take a break.
And coming up next, it may seem hard to believe but there was once a time when we all managed without a mobile phone. I don't know how we did.
And, next, we take a look back at how advances in communications have quite simply rocked our world.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back, welcome back.
AMANPOUR: This is CNN 30: THREE DECADES THAT CHANGED OUR WORLD, developments of communication have changed the way we all live, the way we
work and even the way we love.
Internet search engines, what did we do without them?
We all remember those big brick mobile phones, right, well, I'm not sure our audience does because they are 30 and under. The launch of the cell
phone here in the United Kingdom was actually in 1985. Cast our minds back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE JOBS, FOUNDER, APPLE: We are so thrilled with the success of the iPod. We had a really successful holiday quarter with the iPod.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Even before Hosni Mubarak had stepped down from power, the Egyptians were already hailing the decisive role social
media had played in their uprising.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): The largest IPO in tech history was summed up in a succinct status update on Nasdaq.
Snapchat: being called the hottest new app in social networking. This is via Snapchat. It's simple. You take a picture, write a message and send
it to a friend.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: What a major revolution this has been. And I'd like to think that CNN 30 years ago was the major disruptor in what has been state
control and state monopolies of information around the world.
All of that has changed now and now at an exponential rate with social media. So let's see what our panel all make of that.
Just a few quick statistics: this country, for instance, there are more mobile phones than people right now, 7 billion mobile phone subscriptions
worldwide, which is up from 1 billion back in 2000. And more than 3 billion people around the world use the Internet. That is 43 percent of
the global population.
Is the change, Susan Greenfield, in the way we communicate?
Or is the change in the nature of our communications and the nature, therefore, of our society?
GREENFIELD: That's a very big question.
And as someone once said, for every complex situation, there's always a simple answer. And it's always wrong.
So just to unpack that, as a neuroscientist, what concerns me is that, given every experience is leaving its mark on your brain, if nowadays you
can get up and you can go shopping. You can work, you can go dating and you can play games all without communicating face-to-face with another
What every neuroscientist would agree, it's inevitable that's changing how you think and feel.
We have learned to use eye contact and body language or very kindly nodding at me now.
But on the computer that doesn't happen. So you're --
AMANPOUR: So the whole empathy-sympathy --
GREENFIELD: -- you have it less. You haven't got the handbrake that nature has developed of body language, which enables you only to open up to
AMANPOUR: So that's for the individual brain.
What about the body politic?
Because it is a valid question today, Elif, to ask whether the Internet has freed and liberated our world towards democracy and freedom or whether it
is becoming paradoxically a --
AMANPOUR: -- tool for repression and unacceptable intrusion into our private businesses.
SAFAK: For me, the Internet is a bit like the moon. It has a dark side; obviously, it is a medium in which misinformation, slander, hate speech,
particularly hate speech against individuals or minorities, is immense.
But on the other hand, I am optimistic when I look at the other functions of the Internet because, just to give you an example, all across the Middle
East, you will see more and more women are being pushed to the private space.
When you look at the social media, more than half of the users on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms are women.
And when I look at Turkey and other countries, in places where media freedoms have been unfortunately increasingly curtailed, where the media is
under pressure, the social media has become more and more politicized.
So for many people in Turkey, Twitter is a political platform. And I find that difference very important.
AMANPOUR: Ekow, I want to ask you about Africa because people like Bill Gates have said, if it wasn't for the basic cell phone, where you can text
and put your little salary into a bank account, which is what many subsistence wage earners now are doing, you know, this has been a
revolution for them.
How has -- forget social media but just the basic cell phone changed lives in Africa?
ESHUN: I think you look at Africa, you look at other places, where people have had less opportunity to communicate, less opportunity to connect. And
it opens up business; it opens up communication.
But I think one of the fundamental things also that it does in Africa and elsewhere, I would suggest that it also opens up empathy. It also opens up
an opportunity to connect with people you don't know, to hear voices you've never heard before, to share experiences all the way around the world.
For me, that is possibly the most powerful element of what we've seen over time. We can hear and experience and understand how people live in other
parts of the world on an intimate level. And, as well as all the dark side, that, for me, is a very, very powerful thing.
AMANPOUR: We are going to move on. There's a lot more to talk about.
And coming up, the dangerous game we've been playing with our planet over the last 30 years has been powerful and devastating.
As we look towards what some are calling a last-ditch effort, a U.N. climate change conference in December in Paris, how will our environment,
our home, cope over the next 30 years?
That will be our discussion next.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to our special program, CNN 30: THREE DECADES THAT CHANGED OUR WORLD.
And we turn next to a big theme, the environment. The Indian Ocean tsunami, the Haitian earthquake, some of the pictures are iconic. They're
etched into our memories. Let's take a look back starting with the famine in Ethiopia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The most recent camp established to help Ethiopian starvation victims. Many more will be needed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Engineers at the Chernobyl nuclear plant near Kiev were preparing for an experiment at Number 4 Reactor when it overheated,
causing a huge explosion and fire.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eleven million, three hundred thousand gallons of crude oil are (INAUDIBLE) the calm waters of Prince William Sound off of Alaska,
25 miles outside the Alaskan port city of Valdez.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hundreds are reported dead in Sri Lanka as a powerful earthquake off Indonesia triggers devastating waves across parts of Asia.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now another major story developing in the Gulf of Mexico, 11 people are missing after an explosion and fire on an offshore
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was the neighborhood of Port-au-Prince with apartment buildings. Now it is the worst devastation I've ever seen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fifteen-day-old baby (INAUDIBLE).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: It is actually tragic. It seems endlessly that our planet, our home, our Earth is being assaulted.
So let me turn to our panel to talk about how we turn this around.
Do you believe that the vital conference that's happening in your country in December will bring on the heavyweights, not just the United States but
China, India and others?
KOUCHNER: Should be like you said and they will sign. But we are selling cars to China. We want to sell more cars in China and everywhere. And in
the same time, we want to talk about CO2 and to suppress the use of oil and diesel, et cetera. This is a real contradiction and you're not talking
Can we double the number of the people on the Earth? Triple, or what?
So there is a lot of question; easy to sign a document but to explain to the people and to tell them, if you want not to be reelected, it's good for
you in democracy.
AMANPOUR: And Ekow, there are refugees from war, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, who are coming to Europe right now.
But there are also climate migrants and other economic migrants that are coming because their countries are no longer able to sustain them.
How does this play out?
How do you see this playing out?
ESHUN: All of this is about a vision of actions that have been put in place in the West over the last 200 years, Industrial Revolution. These
are the children of Empire, these are the children of industry that are arriving here as a consequence of actions that have taken place here over
AMANPOUR: Why do you think -- and maybe, Susan, too, that so many powerful people are out-and-out deniers?
ESHUN: Because it's easy.
ESHUN: It's easier to embrace conspiracy than complexity. And as a consequence, it's easier to hide behind that narrative because that
narrative also hides an ideology. That ideology actually is about contempt for the other.
GREENFIELD: It's also easy to say that the science isn't sufficient. And you look at scientists who have in the past over the last 30 years
disagreed with each other, so you point to that dispute and you say well, of course, it's still not settled, it's still not established.
Establishing in science an absolute truth that everyone buys into is much harder and one can exploit that if one perhaps doesn't want that truth to
be the case.
SAFAK: I think there's also a lot of willing ignorance, willful ignorance. Many people, especially again in many parts of the world, they tend to say,
OK, this is a reality, it is happening but it's not our main issue, it's not urgent. We have much more urgent issues.
AMANPOUR: How urgent is it in Turkey, for instance, in the Middle East?
SAFAK: Well, unfortunately, unfortunately it's not urgent at all because the nation state is so dominant, because nationalism is dominant and
identity politics is so dominant. We are not teaching our kids or ourselves that we are also global souls, world citizens. We don't have
that recognition that we share the same identity.
We're so badly divided into categories of us versus them that we think it's not going to affect us, what's happening elsewhere. That illusion is very
AMANPOUR: These are vital, existential --
AMANPOUR: -- questions, this, our planet, the environment, people have identified as one of the really, really major issues of today and for the
next 30 years for sure.
And you are watching our special show, celebrating 30 years since CNN went global.
Coming up next, faith, the rise of radical Islam, the election of Pope Francis, the Dalai Lama winning the Nobel Peace Prize.
Will faith and religion continue to have such big influences on our world?
We take a look at that coming up.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to CNN 30: THREE DECADES THAT CHANGED OUR WORLD.
We are looking back at the big events in this pivotal period of history and how they might shape the next 30 years.
Together with an esteemed panel, we have covered international politics, communications and the environment. Next we're going to turn to faith,
which over the years has been both a cause for celebration and persecution.
We start by taking you back to 1989 and the controversy surrounding Salman Rushdie's book, "The Satanic Verses."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SALMAN RUSHDIE, AUTHOR: It's much more of an autobiography than that because what I think for readers, what's interesting, is the personal.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): The Dalai Lama has led the struggled against Chinese control of Tibet and a decision to award him the Nobel
Peace Prize is, for the government of Beijing, a slap in the face.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rabin and with PLO leader Yasser Arafat --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- handshake. And there it is.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not going to be a question of winners and losers but really the church coming to a decision and discerning God's will.
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN HOST (voice-over): Praying for peace at a time of conflict, orthodox Christians gather in Damascus for their Easter
celebrations, overshadowed by Syria's civil war and the kidnapping of two prominent archbishops.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) the tens of thousands of people who are in St. Peter's Square, they can now tell their children and their
grandchildren they were there when the new pope was elected.
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SR. INTL. CORRESPONDENT: Gunmen masked and wearing black broke into the headquarters of the newspaper --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Pope Francis, we will start there. He has not only sort of captured the attention and the imagination of his Roman Catholic flock but
of Christians all over and of Muslims and of Jews. He really has had a crossover appeal. I'm going to go straight to --
AMANPOUR: -- Elif about that.
What do you see as the result in terms of maybe harmony between the religions?
Some way of getting back at or healing the divisions that have cropped up since 9/11.
Can this pope do that?
SAFAK: Some of the messages that he has given had huge repercussions, positive repercussions across the world, not only in the Christian world
but among other congregations and people as well.
But I think faith in general is going to be one of the major questions of this century. I think opening up a very, very new zone of conversation is
what we need and also bringing more women into this debate.
AMANPOUR: This last 30 years, Bernard Kouchner, has been sort of noted by the use of religion as a political weapon or a political implement.
KOUCHNER: Absolutely. I was involved as a medical doctor and a humanitarian volunteer in more than 40 wars. They were all based -- not
completely based but mixed of religion and fight in between religion.
ESHUN: One of the things that very often happens is that religion is another badge, it's another way to discuss power. It's another way for
groups to form. It's another way for men to assert control over women.
KOUCHNER: -- (INAUDIBLE) power also. You are right on power.
ESHUN: I'm fairly distressed by the role that organized religion has had in the public sphere. Post 9/11, I think it's increased separation. I
think it has marginalized the role in the voice of women more than it needs to have.
I think one of the things that's happened is that religion, not faith but religion, has kind of entitled a discourse of privatization, of privileged
feeling, of a kind of separation. And I can't help feeling that's a terrible, terrible shame.
AMANPOUR: Elif, will this still be such an operative religion as a political implement?
SAFAK: Well, I think it will be with us for many decades, unfortunately, the way religion will be used. However, there are also interesting changes
happening in that area, particularly across the Muslim world, particularly among Muslim women.
I think more and more Muslim women are speaking up, asking questions. They're upset about so many things, the way they are being regarded, that
kind of xenophobia or Islamophobia that they are facing is, of course, criticized by them.
But also the level of misfortune in patriarchy, in their own communities. So all these questions are asked by Muslim women. And I think we will see
them becoming much more politicized in the next decades and hopefully speaking up louder. We need to speak louder and bolder.
AMANPOUR: All right. So much to discuss on this topic and the others coming up next: in many countries around the world, we're all living
longer; 30 years ago, here in the United Kingdom, the average life expectancy was 74. Now it's 81.
What does that mean for our world, what does that mean for us?
We consider that next as we look at the medical discoveries and the challenges of the last 30 years.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the special show celebrating 30 years since CNN went global. The last 30 years have seen medical battles and breakthroughs
around the world, from the global HIV/AIDS pandemic to the first full face transplant. 1985 is where our film starts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Future treatment of AIDS will focus on ways to slow the disease's development, people diagnosed as being HIV positive but not get
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Scientists unlocked the human genetic code opening the door to the detection and prevention of now fatal diseases.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More than a dozen large studies in prestigious medical publications, like the "New England Journal of Medicine," finding link
between vaccines and autism.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As the media reports about the deadly H5N1 virus increase and as the virus spreads, infecting birds from China to Romania,
the big fear, of course.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a disarming idea, living without a face. Imagine it. Your identity, your portal to the outside world, gone. Then imagine
that doctors could intervene, give you another face, one not your own, but a face nonetheless.
AMANPOUR: The worst case scenario fortunately did not come true. But nearly 10,000 people did die of the disease. And totally eradicating Ebola
may still be out of reach.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: These last 30 years have seen the most unbelievable advances in science and in medical discoveries.
As a neuroscientist, what is the most important advance in this topic over the last 30 years?
GREENFIELD: OK, I think for neuroscience, the advance has been technical ones, such as brain imaging, where now you can, in a non-invasive way,
detect issues that are going on in the brain. But all that said, the technical advance pales by comparison with the real-life star challenge.
And I think there's two broad ones, if we just think about the brain. One is of course Alzheimer's disease and the related degenerative disorders.
There's also depression, which people tend to overlook but increasingly, with our raised expectations, the raised stress, our lifestyle -- which we
can discuss later -- clinical depression is a real issue. And there is no satisfactory way, to the best of my knowledge, for handling either of those
very major diseases.
AMANPOUR: We're going to get back to that.
But first I want to ask you, Bernard Kouchner, as a medical doctor, before you became a foreign minister and founded Medecins sans Frontieres, when
you look back, for instance, at HIV/AIDS and you think, my God, all those years ago, people thought you could catch it from just about anything;
nobody thought it could be controlled.
Now we have advances in malaria, HIV/ AIDS and all these major diseases. That must be a source of great optimism.
KOUCHNER: Yes, tremendous progress, research first and also public health.
It was impossible in my country 30 years ago, before AIDS, or 35 years ago, to talk about public health. Public health didn't exist really. So, OK,
tremendous progress. You are completely right.
But look, Ebola came and we didn't know. HIV/AIDS --
AMANPOUR: But we did contain it. And the world stepped up.
KOUCHNER: Yes, because after --
AMANPOUR: And it didn't go all over the world.
KOUCHNER: AIDS was a shock and we reacted. All the research people, marnet (ph), government, it's how they reacted, in a good way, and research
was coming out tremendously everywhere. But not the political concern about disease in a miserable world.
AMANPOUR: And to pick up on what Susan started with, the idea of Alzheimer's and lifestyle and depression, I want to ask these two young
people to weigh in on this idea that we are all going to live --
AMANPOUR: -- many decades longer than our parents.
How does that go down in Turkey?
What kind of expectation is there for life that's so much longer than they ever envisioned?
SAFAK: In Turkey we're not a very optimistic society. So I think depression -- this is something that we don't usually talk about. But it
is the direct outcome of politics and political turmoil.
More and more people are becoming worried about the future, young people as well, so not only of our certain age. But coming back to our discussion,
to me, it's very interesting, despite all the technological advancements and developments, the brain itself, it's still such a big mystery despite
everything that we have.
One of the developments that excites me personally is this emphasis on the plasticity of the brain, that it can be rewired, it can be changed. This
is a very, very new development and I wish there would be more of that knowledge, expanding not only in academic circles or scientific circles but
more people joining that --
AMANPOUR: Are we more accepting of old age?
What do you think?
ESHUN: We are living longer. But the hope and the expectations that we should also be living better, that we can all wear Fitbits and that's the
stuff that keeps us fit, exactly.
And I'm quite interested in the disparities of expectation that take place. So in the West, I think we have all these ideas that, yes, we will live
longer, we will live better. Actually that's not necessarily shared in other parts of the world because we're not dealing with equal opportunities
And I think our ideas about health, I think we can't end up getting too caught up in this notion that somehow everything is better, because,
actually, for a lot of people, for environmental reasons, political reasons, they're not necessarily.
GREENFIELD: I take on what you say but I think we owe it to society and we owe it to people to try and give them a clear-minded old age, where they
can recognize and play with their grandchildren and be with the people that they have been --
AMANPOUR: So this country, Great Britain, has staked out a platform and its place on a platform of trying to be the best country in trying to
figure out old age and quality of life.
GREENFIELD: So the issue there, I think, is that, although that's very well-intentioned, what we need to do is let 1,000 flowers bloom because, at
the moment, there hasn't been a new treatment for Alzheimer's for over 10 years.
And if one carries on doing the same thing and everyone uses the same dogmas, it's very interesting in human science, then we're not going to
have the innovation that's needed. And we're great champions. I think we should championing different ways of approaching this problem.
AMANPOUR: And coming up, on that note, remember Nelson Mandela walking to freedom?
Who are the giants striding the Earth today?
What will the next 30 years bring our global society?
That is just ahead.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to CNN 30: THREE DECADES THAT CHANGED OUR WORLD.
The last 30 years have been influenced by some remarkable people.
And within some societies at least, big strides forward in equal opportunities for all. A famous walk to freedom kicks off our next and
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): After 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela is now free.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The French government has informed all of us that Princess Diana has died.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: CNN can now project that Barack Obama, 47 years old, will become the president-elect of the United States.
MALALA YOUSAFZAI, EDUCATION ACTIVIST: I must stand up for my rights.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): The story of Malala is that of an ordinary girl with extraordinary gifts.
YOUSAFZAI: (INAUDIBLE) number they have made 280-plus.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Fierce intelligence, grace and poise far beyond her years.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Supreme Court recognized that the Constitution guarantees marriage equality. In doing so, they have
reaffirmed that all Americans are entitled to the equal protection of the law.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bruce always had to tell a lie. He was always living that lie.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Caitlyn Jenner talking about her former self, Bruce Jenner.
LAKE: It is a big night for Greece's anti-austerity party. Exit polls show they have a large lead in the country's parliamentary elections.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So much change.
Who would have thought some of those societal diversions would ever have happened?
So let's turn to our panel now.
First and foremost, I want to ask you, who is today's Nelson Mandela?
Who are today's shining leaders?
KOUCHNER: Pope Francis: he represents something more than a religious --
AMANPOUR: A moral beacon?
KOUCHNER: -- moral.
AMANPOUR: A moral light?
KOUCHNER: He's certainly not the only one.
AMANPOUR: Susan, to go all the way back to 1997 when Princess Diana died, we thought that this really had shaken the world. You were here.
How did it affect you as a British woman?
GREENFIELD: I remember it really clearly, it was literally unacceptable that someone who was such an icon, not just in the U.K. but worldwide,
could suddenly have died. It didn't -- I just -- it really didn't make sense. I remember spending the whole day just trying to get that syllogism
in my mind.
AMANPOUR: It was the first time in this society that there had been that kind of public outpouring of grief. It changed the perception of Great
What for you has been the societal change that you feel is so. ?
You did mention at the beginning the election of President Obama. We have also got gay marriage. We have got all sorts of fundamental changes.
ESHUN: I would say it's these things. It's gay marriage. It's Obama. It's debates about transidentity that we're having right now. In each of
those instances, what you see beforehand is this wave of resistance, insistence that a president or gay marriage will change the world,
fundamentally wreck civilization.
Always, always, always what happens is very little. Broader society is forced to make an accommodation and the world doesn't end. The world
AMANPOUR: And I think that's the antidote to a lot of what we have been talking about, a lot of the pieces that have caused so much antagonism then
sort of get flipped.
AMANPOUR: It actually has a positive impact.
ESHUN: It turns out the world can carry on without drama. That for me is one of the most hopeful and optimistic things possible, that difference can
be accepted, that otherness can be embraced.
AMANPOUR: And social justice -- and to that end, we have the issue of people like Malala, who exemplify not just her gender but a whole
generation of hope and great sacrifice.
SAFAK: I agree. I totally agree. I mean, I'm more optimistic when I see people like Malala because what we are witnessing at the moment is so-
called ordinary people because nobody is ordinary, there's no such thing as ordinary people but individuals playing enormous roles and giving hope.
So the impact of that is very important.
Another thing that gives us hope today is how fast, in a way, in a decade, things can change. I come from a very homophobic society, from a very
So seeing same-sex marriage being legalized in many parts of the world give us -- gives us hope everywhere.
But what worries me, what makes me hopeless and sick is again this inequality, this huge inequality. So even as we are making huge progress
in many issues, in some parts of the world, elsewhere, we're sliding backwards very fast. And how are we going to bridge these two worlds is a
AMANPOUR: I think it's really important to keep that --
AMANPOUR: -- in mind as we come to the end of this program, that there has been so much that has challenged us over the last 30 years, so much that
has turned the world into a dark, dark corner.
But by the same token, so much that has leveled the playing field but as it has been since the dawn of history, there have been these inequalities. I
guess our challenge is to see whether the next 30 years will continue that moral arc going towards social justice.
Do you think?
GREENFIELD: I think another big difference, though, is we now can live longer in certain societies.
So what are we going to do for the second 50 years of our life?
This is a question that people haven't had to pose.
AMANPOUR: But it's very exciting.
GREENFIELD: But for certain privilege society, we can pose this. We should start to have discussions about what kind of society -- what kind of
lifestyle would be your ideal.
AMANPOUR: OK. Lightning round. And you have had your lightning round.
What would be your ideal for the next 30 years, Bernard?
KOUCHNER: I'm a bit pessimist.
AMANPOUR: All right.
KOUCHNER: OK. We will all live longer and a life expectancy and, of course, our cyber, et cetera, OK. But basically -- this is a bit difficult
to accept, the way we are turning more nationalism, racism, et cetera. Don't forget that it exists.
AMANPOUR: Oh, yes. We don't forget it. We see it every day.
Your ideal for the next 30 years?
SAFAK: Clearly we are being pulled into very opposite directions, nationalism, the emphasis on the nation state, also internationalism and
global source, world citizens, so that tide is also that we are at a crossroads. It's our choice, how are we going to increase empathy?
The ability to look at things from the other's perspective, how can I lessen the distance between me and the other?
I think it is an important question for all of us.
ESHUN: Very, very simply, yes, a more complex, contradictory, crossed- over, connected world is not a bad thing. It's only a good thing because it forces us to accept more than one position, more than one set of ideals,
more than one identity at the same time. That, for me, is a positive step forward for the world.
AMANPOUR: Fantastic. Well, thank you all so very much for being here.
That brings us to the end of this hour-long fascinating discussion all around of global whirlwind of events, issues, views and predictions.
But that is sadly all the time we have for tonight. And we have a big thank you to all our panel, to Bernard Kouchner, Baroness Susan Greenfield,
Ekow Eshun and Elif Safak. Thank you so much.
And of course, to our audience here at the McLaren Thought Leadership Center, as we mark 30 years since CNN went global. Thanks so much for
watching. And goodbye from here and from all of us tonight.