On Wednesday 1st March, we were delighted to welcome the Rt Hon Baroness Ashton of Upholland GCMG PC, Cathy Ashton, back to GSF to talk about her new book. And Then What? Inside Stories Of 21st Century Diplomacy draws on her personal experiences as the European Union’s first High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy from 2009 to 2014 and thus the EU’s most senior negotiator for some of the seminal international agreements of the early 21st century, including the 2013 Serbia-Kosovo settlement and the lead-up to the Iran nuclear deal.
In conversation with GSF Advisory Board member, the Rt Hon the Lord Campbell of Pittenweem CH CBE PC KC FRSE, she gave a masterclass on the effective use of international diplomacy, filled with unique insights into the often-closed world of modern diplomacy, how it works, and the tools needed to tackle the many challenges and crises we face today.
BARONESS CATHERINE ASHTON GCMG PC served as the European Union’s first High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy from 2009 to 2014. She now holds a number of portfolios in foreign and security policy. She is a Distinguished fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars in Washington DC, a Senior Policy Advisor to Chatham House and a consultant to the Geneva-based Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue. On behalf of the UN Security Council, she chaired the negotiations that ultimately resulted in the agreement with Iran on its nuclear programme. She also worked with the Prime Ministers of Serbia and Kosovo leading to the Brussels agreement, for which they were all nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Previously, she was the first female EU Commissioner for Trade. Prior to becoming an EU commissioner, she was a UK government minister in the House of Lords. She served in the Education and Justice departments, before being promoted to the Cabinet as Leader of the House of Lords. She is the author of And Then What? Inside Stories Of 21st Century Diplomacy, published February 2023.