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Fareed Zakaria GPS

Interview With National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan; Interview With Copenhagen Consensus Center President And Founder Bjorn Lomborg. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired June 04, 2023 - 10:00   ET



FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN ANCHOR: This is GPS, the GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria coming to you from New York.


ZAKARIA (voice-over): Today on the program, I have an exclusive interview with President Biden's National Security adviser Jake Sullivan. We talk about Russia's war in Ukraine, threats from China, and America's role in a new world.

And it is GPS's birthday. This week we mark 15 years of the GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE. It's astonishing how much has happened in a decade and a half. And we will bring you the highlights.


ZAKARIA: But first, here's "My Take."

As I was following Turkey's recent general election, I was stunned to hear one of the country's top officials, then Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu speaking to a crowd from a balcony, jubilant, he promised that Erdogan would wipe away whoever causes trouble for Turkey and that includes the American military. He declared earlier that those who pursue a pro-American approach will be considered traitors.

Keep in mind that Turkey has been a member of NATO with American military bases in the country for about 70 years. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan often uses strident, anti-Western rhetoric himself. Before the election's first round, Erdogan tweeted that his opponent won't say what he promised to the baby-killing terrorists or to the Western countries.

Erdogan may be one of the most extreme representatives of this attitude but he is not alone. As many commentators have noted, most of the world's population is not aligned with the West in its struggle against Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

And the Ukraine war itself has only highlighted a broader phenomenon. Many of the world's largest and most powerful countries in the developing world are growing increasingly anti-Western and anti- American.

When Brazil elected Luis Inacio Lula Da Silva to the presidency last October, many heaved a sigh of relief that the mercurial populist Jair Bolsonaro had been replaced by a traditional and familiar left of center figure. Yet Lula has chosen to pointedly criticize the West, raged again the hegemony of the dollar, and claimed that Russia and Ukraine are equally to blame for the war.

This week he hosted Venezuela's president Nicolas Maduro whose brutal reign has led millions to flee his country. Lula lavished praise on the dictator and criticized Washington for denying Maduro's legitimacy and imposing sanctions on him.

South Africa's president Cyril Ramaphosa had a reputation as a practical business-friendly moderate who has strong ties with the West but South Africa under him has veered closer into the Russian and Chinese orbit. The country has refused to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine, has hosted the Russian and Chinese navies for joint exercises, and now stands accused by the United States of supplying arms to Russia, allegations that South Africa has denied.

And then there is India, which has made clear from the start of the Ukraine war that it had no intention of siding against Russia which remains the chief supplier of advanced weaponry for the Indian military.

Indian statements about their desire to maintain a balance in their relations between the West and Russia and even China have been so numerous that Ashley Tellis, one of the most respected scholars on U.S.-India relations, wrote an essay warning Washington not to assume that New Delhi would side with it in any future crisis with Beijing.

What is going on? Why is the United States having so much trouble with so many of the world's largest developing nations?

These attitudes are rooted in a phenomenon that I described in 2008 as the rise of the rest. Over the last two decades, a huge shift in the international systems has taken place. Countries that were once populous but poor have moved from the margins to center stage.


Once comprising a negligible share of the global economy, the so- called emerging markets now make up fully half of it. It would be fair to say they have emerged. As these countries have begun economically strong, politically stable and culturally proud, they have become more nationalist and their nationalism is often defined in opposition to those countries that dominate the international system, meaning the West.

Many of these nations were once colonized by Western nations and so they retained an instinctive aversion to Western efforts to coral them into an alliance or grouping. Reflecting on this phenomenon in the context of the Ukraine war, Russia expert Fiona Hill notes that the other factor in this distrust is that these countries don't believe the United States when they hear it speak in favor of a rules-based international order.

They see Washington, says Hill, as full of hubris and hypocrisy. America applies rules to others but violates them itself in its many military interventions and unilateral sanctions. It urges countries to open up to trade and commerce while choosing to violate those principles when it chooses.

This is the new world. It is not characterized by the decline of America, but rather the rise of everyone else as I wrote in 2008. Vast parts of the globe that were once pawns on the chessboard are now players and intend to chart their own often proudly self-interested course. They will not be easily cowed or cajoled. They have to be persuaded with policies that are practiced at home and not just preached abroad.

Navigating this international arena is the great challenge of American diplomacy today. Is Washington up to the task?

Go to for a link to my "Washington Post" column this week. And let's get started.

I want to get straight to my interview with Jake Sullivan. He is the National Security adviser to President Joe Biden. He sat down on Friday at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building right next door to the White House.


ZAKARIA: Jake Sullivan, pleasure to have you have on.


ZAKARIA: Tell me, what do you think about this problem that by some accounts 60 percent, 70 percent of the world's population is not part of the group of nations aligned with Ukraine against Russia, is not participating in the sanctions?

It feels like it created a practical problem which is a large part of the world economy where Russia can swim freely but also a kind of problem of legitimacy. How do you see the situation and what is your strategy?

SULLIVAN: Well, first, I would say that the United States' relationship with those countries is not just about Ukraine. It's about the full range of issues that we are working on together including solving major problems like climate change, future economic growth.

And so take India, for example. It's true India hasn't joined the sanctions. At the same time Prime Minister Modi will be coming here to Washington in a couple of weeks for a state visit. And the U.S.-India partnership has actually never been stronger across technology, defense cooperation, and in important terms the ties between our two peoples, of the two democracies.

So as far as I'm concerned, the big thing the United States needs to do is not have a debate with each of these countries about Ukraine, but rather meet them where they are in terms of what they're trying to accomplish. And that is to deliver for their citizens, to build infrastructure for clean energy transition, to deal with major debt challenges coming out of COVID.

And President Biden has an affirmative agenda to do all of those things. When he was at the G7 in Hiroshima, he was joined there by the leaders of Brazil, India, Indonesia and other developing countries.

They had a robust discussion about Ukraine but they also talked about this broader range of issues where I think the United States is now on the front foot in terms of trying to deliver global public goods that help the lives of people among that 60 percent to 70 percent of the world's population.

ZAKARIA: When you hear the Turkish minister of the interior say the kind of fairly strong anti-American things he said, when you see that Turkey is buying Russian defense systems, I mean, this is a member of NATO. Is Turkey fundamentally reassessing its pro-Western foreign policy?

SULLIVAN: Well, first of all, we all know politics. Turkey is a democracy. They just had a presidential election and strong rhetoric, including anti-American rhetoric, has been a feature of Turkish presidential elections for as long as I can remember.


So I don't think we should over-weigh that particular comment. And then when it comes to Ukraine, think about what else Turkey is doing. They're providing material assistance to Ukraine. They are engaging at every level with Ukrainian in support of their efforts to defend themselves. They're voting at the United Nations General Assembly on behalf of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

So like always, the picture is more complicated than this idea that Turkey has moved into some other column. They're charting an independent foreign policy but one in which we can have a constructive relationship with them even in the defense space, where President Erdogan's major request to President Biden is for the U.S. to provide F-16 planes which President Biden has said he would like to do.

So the president just spoke with President Erdogan a couple of days ago to congratulate him on his election and looks forward to working with Turkey in the years ahead as a strong NATO ally and as a partner on that same set of global issues that you and I were just talking about a moment ago.

ZAKARIA: When I talk to leaders, with officials in many of these countries, and European countries and Canada, one of the things that keeps coming up is American protectionism, nationalism, mercantilism, the idea that the United States is now just looking out for itself and why shouldn't these countries do the same?

SULLIVAN: Well, first of all, the United States is some of the lowest barriers to access to our market of any country in the world. Much lower than the set of countries you were describing in your opening statement. Secondly, we're looking to in fact enhance the ability of many countries to invest in the United States, to join clean resilient supply chains as we make this transition -- clean energy transition and deal with the climate crisis.

And we're also looking to deliver for them on their needs. As I was saying before, the two biggest things we hear from emerging economies are, one, mobilized public investment through the World Bank, the IMF and directly from the United States, for our infrastructure, our digital infrastructure, our physical infrastructure, our energy infrastructure, and we are doing that at scale.

And second, help us deal with our debt burden. Make sure that we are able to get out from under the kind of debt that is holding down our ability to deliver for our people. And the United States is in the lead in trying to provide debt relief to emerging economies.

You put those things together and I think the story we can tell about a positive sum approach from the United States, that we are actively trying to look out not just for the needs of the American people, though of course the president is focused on that, but for the needs of people everywhere because we're all in this together.

That's at the heart of how Joe Biden looks at his presidency and it's the approach that he's taken and we've really begun to put points on the board.


ZAKARIA: Next on GPS, we'll dig deeper on the war in Ukraine. Can Ukraine win? Can it win back all of its territory from Russia?

Jake Sullivan's thoughts when we come back.



ZAKARIA: In the not-too-distant future, Ukraine will mark 500 days since Russia's invasion. The Ukrainians are fighting for their life but many wonder if and when Kyiv's Western backers will get war fatigue.

Jake Sullivan oversees America's role in the war in Ukraine. More now of my interview with him.


ZAKARIA: Jake, when you think about the Ukrainian counteroffensive, what are you looking for to see that, in fact, the massive investments the United States has made in helping Ukraine are paying off?

SULLIVAN: Well, first, this is not an exam. We're not grading Ukraine's counteroffensive and saying, you know, you did you well based on what you gave you or you did poorly. What we want to do is support Ukraine to make as much progress as possible on the battlefield so that it is in the strongest possible position at the negotiating table.

And we do believe that this counteroffensive will allow Ukraine to take strategically significant territory back from Russia, areas occupied by Russia that are rightfully sovereign Ukrainian territory.

Exactly how much, in what places, that will be up to developments on the ground as the Ukrainians get this counteroffensive underway, but we believe that the Ukrainians will meet with success in this counteroffensive and we will continue to support them as they seek to defend themselves against Russia's ongoing aggression.

ZAKARIA: But as you imply in your answer, the success you hope will then get translated into a strong negotiating position. So you do expect maybe by the end of this year that there will be negotiations about some kind of armistice or deal of some kind?

SULLIVAN: Well, I'm not going to put a time table on it because as you know war is unpredictable and how developments on the battlefield unfold will have a major impact on how developments at the negotiating table unfold. But what I will say is this, President Zelenskyy himself has said that this war will end ultimately through diplomacy.

And as you heard from Secretary Blinken in a speech he gave this week, the United States believes that any just peace must be based on some foundational principles. One of those principles is rooted in the United Nations charter and it is the principle of sovereignty and territorial integrity.

And by the way, the countries that you described in your opening statement, whether it's India or Turkey or Indonesia or others, they have all spoken out about the need to protect the principle of sovereignty and territorial integrity.


Brazil, for example, has voted for U.N. General Assembly resolutions that uphold Ukraine's territorial integrity. Other countries have indicated both in public and in private that that is the (INAUDIBLE) of a fair and just settlement here. So that's what we will be driving forward.

ZAKARIA: Do you think that China now seeming to want to enter into the Russia-Ukraine negotiations, sending an envoy, Xi talking to Zelenskyy, are all -- are these significant moves that suggest that China will put some pressure on Russia to back off in some way?

SULLIVAN: Well, we believe that China should play a constructive role in helping bringing about an end to the war in Ukraine. And that comes back to that same principle I was talking about a minute ago. The principle of sovereignty and territorial integrity.

And in fact if you look at the 12 principles China put forward in its peace formula, the first principle was that. It was about the inviolability of a nation's sovereignty, and the fact that borders should not be changed by force. So it really is up to China to make its determination as to whether

it's going to lean in here to support that principle of sovereignty and indicate to Russia that it will stand behind an outcome in which Ukraine gets its sovereignty back. Whether China does that or not is unclear.

They've been tentative so far. I think they're still trying to decide how they want to proceed. But we support the PRC playing a role, a constructive role in a just peace based on the principles of the U.N. charter.


ZAKARIA: Next on GPS, I'll talk to Jake Sullivan about the biggest rivalry in the world today. It is the one that could lead to a cold war or even a hot one. All about the U.S. and China when we come back.



ZAKARIA: More now of my interview with President Biden's National Security adviser Jake Sullivan. He met last month in Vienna with his Chinese counterpart, Wong Yi. It was the highest level meeting between officials of the two nations since the Chinese spy balloon incident. The White House said the talks were candid and constructive.

So where does this most important relationship in the world go from here?


ZAKARIA: Jake, Henry Kissinger, who turns 100 or has already turned 100 this year, gave an interview in "The Economist" in which he said that he thought that U.S.-China relations were in the classic pre- World War I situation when neither side felt they had any political room to make concessions or to make overtures and that the implication was we're sort of stumbling our way into something that could turn into a very serious conflict. Do you agree?

SULLIVAN: I sat in the room with President Biden when he met with President Xi in Bali last year, and that was not my experience. I saw two leaders who are actually trying to reach understanding even if we have different points of view and even if we are in a deeply competitive relationship on some of the fundamentals in this dynamic, and the desire on both parts to put a floor under the relationship. To manage the competition responsibly. To ensure that competition does not become conflict.

And there are a number of different elements to that. But one of the key ones is that as we have intense competition, we also have intense diplomacy. So I just sat down for two days with my counterpart Wong Yi and talked through all of the strategic issues in our relationships and we will I hope soon see American officials engaging at senior levels with their Chinese counterparts over the coming months to continue that work. And then at some point we will see President Biden and President Xi

come back together again. So as far as I'm concerned there is nothing inconsistent with on the one hand competing vigorously in important domains, on economics and technology, and also ensuring that that competition does not veer into conflict or confrontation.

That is the firm conviction of President Biden. That is how he will responsibly manage this relationship, and we believe there is nothing inevitable about some kind of conflict or cold war between the U.S. and China.

ZAKARIA: So the United States and China did $700 billion of trade with each other in the last year. Is it your goal to allow that trade to expand and for the both sides to participate in a kind of a growing pie, or do you think that there needs to be more decoupling, that those numbers need to stay stagnant or maybe even go down?

SULLIVAN: Well, at the G7 in Hiroshima, the major Western democracies came together around a simple formula. We are for de-risking, not for decoupling. We are not looking to decouple our economy from China. We are not looking to end trade between the United States and China. But we are looking to de-risk.

What does that mean? I mean it's three things. First, it means that we need secure resilient supply chains in critical goods like clean energy technologies and semiconductors, so that we're not reliant on any one country. Second, it means that we need to protect our most advanced technologies especially those with military applications so those technologies cannot be used to harm our security.

And third, it means that we need to fundamentally invest in the sources of our own industrial capacity here at home so that we have the ability to grow and produce some of the critical goods that we are going to need to rely on in the years ahead, whether that's in the field of technology or health or clean energy, and that is what we intend to do. Not to decouple.

ZAKARIA: The most dangerous spot in the world perhaps is Taiwan right now. And there is some contradiction in the administration's strategy. You say and keep -- you're saying that policy is unchanged.

You believe in the One China policy, the Shanghai communique, all the various declarations after that. And then President Biden has four times now said unequivocally, the United States will come to Taiwan's assistance if there is a Chinese attack on it.

What -- is President Biden trying to alter the policy of strategic ambiguity about what the United States would do in this circumstance and be very clear about it, and if that is the case, is that not a change in policy?

SULLIVAN: So, President Biden has answered this hypothetical question on multiple occasions as you say. He has also on multiple occasions including in the very same breath said that our policy toward cross- strait relations towards China and Taiwan has not changed. That it is rooted in the One China policy, three joint communiques,

the Taiwan Relations Act. That remains the fundamental foundation of our policy. The president himself has said that. He said it directly to Xi Jinping --


ZAKARIA: But there's a contradiction there.

SULLIVAN: Well, first of all, the entire Taiwan policy of the United States is built on a series of internal tensions. The One China policy, if you begin to unpack it, you will recognize that it is about dealing in a world of internal tension within the policy and trying to manage those tensions effectively to ensure peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

This is not a model of clarity, the One China policy. That is not a Biden administration issue, that has been true from the moment of the Shanghai communique.

But the thing is what it lacks in clarity the One China policy has succeeded in actually achieving the practical objective of decades of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. That is why our policy hasn't changed. That is why we believe the One China policy should continue to ensure that there are no unilateral changes to the status quo from either side and that we maintain that peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait for decades to come.

ZAKARIA: So if the DPP candidate becomes president and take some steps toward Taiwanese independence you would oppose that?

SULLIVAN: We have been public in saying we do not support Taiwan independence. What we support is an effort to ensure that there are not unilateral changes to the status quo by Taiwan or by the PRC.

And I was equally clear with Wang Yi that some of the actions China has been taking in terms of its military buildup, its aggressive posture towards Taiwan are themselves challenging that status quo in ways that undermine peace and stability.

What we are looking for is the continuation of that basic stable cross-strait dynamic that has allowed both the PRC and Taiwan and the people of those two territories to do well, and for the rest of the world not have to deal with a conflict that would end up cratering the global economy.

ZAKARIA: Jake Sullivan, always a pleasure to have you on.

SULLIVAN: Thanks for having me.

ZAKARIA: And we will be back.


[10:37:30] ZAKARIA: In 2015 at the 70th session of the general assembly in the New York, the United Nations formally adopted a list of 17 sustainable development goals. These were no modest proposals. They included ending poverty globally, ending world hunger, and ensuring the health and well being of every global citizen.

They are worthy goals but as you can imagine we are way behind on achieving them. My next guest has written a book with some very good ideas on how to actually tackle the most pressing of these problems. Bjorn Lomborg heads the think tank, the Copenhagen Consensus Center. His book is called "Best Things First."

Bjorn Lomborg, pleasure to have you on.


ZAKARIA: The good news here is that there are actually lots of -- there's a lot of low hanging fruits. There's a lot of stuff you can spend a certain amount of money that would not be difficult for countries and achieve a lot.

LOMBORG: Absolutely. The bottom line in the book is we could spend $35 billion. That is not nothing. I mean, I don't think neither you or I have that. But, you know, in the global scheme of things that is really couch change.

Thirty-five billion dollars a year and you could save 4.2 million lives each and every year and make the poor half the world $1.1 trillion richer each and every year. That is almost $1.00 per person per day in the entire poor half of the world. This is just phenomenal stuff.

ZAKARIA: So explain to us what is -- you know, what is the biggest bang for the buck you can get?

LOMBORG: Let me just give you one example for maternal and newborn health. So, one of the things that surprised me is that a lot of moms die in child birth. So, about 300,000 moms die each and every year. And 2.3 million kids die in the first 28 days on the planet.

If we invested about $5 billion per year in basic -- you need to get women into facilities to give birth, and you need to have basic obstetric care there. If you have that, you could save 166,000 moms each year. You could save 1.2 million kids. Overall every dollar delivers $87.00 of benefit for the world. That is an amazing investment.

ZAKARIA: What about education?

LOMBORG: Everybody agrees we should have great education and education really is the key. We estimate that, you know, if countries would have the same educational achievement as Great Britain, for instance, they would be, you know, 30 -- 40 percent richer.

[10:40:02] The problem is that we've now gotten all kids into schools but they're not learning. So, there is almost half a billion kids in the lower half of -- poor half of the world and they're almost all in primary school but they're not learning. The real problem here is when you're in school, we put all of the 12-year-olds in one grade, all the 13- year-olds in one grade and so on. But actually these 12-year-olds are wildly different.

What we need is to have a way to teach each one at their level. One teacher can't do that. But what can do this, and this is just one of the solutions, is you put them in front of a tablet, one hour a day. That tablet has educational software. That tablet obviously costs money but it can teach that kid at her or his exact level. You know, very quickly figure that one --

ZAKARIA: This has been tried and proven?

LOMBORG: This has been tried and proven in a lot of different trials. We estimate spend $30.00 because this tablet will be shared with at least seven other kids over the day. If you do this over the year it will cost about $30.00 per kid per year. And it simply leaves the world much better off. We estimate for every dollar spent you will do $65.00 of social good. Fantastic.

ZAKARIA: Now, you do have a couple of very traditional issues like a lot of people die of tuberculosis, still.


ZAKARIA: What can we do about that?

LOMBORG: So, tuberculosis -- it used to be the world's biggest killer. Tuberculosis in the last 200 years killed a billion people. Every fourth person in the 1800s you've ever heard of died from tuberculosis. But we fixed it. We know how to deal with it.

So, we don't think about it anymore. But it killed -- last year in 2022 it killed more people than COVID. So, you know, it is one of those things that hit a lot of poor people. But, you know, most people in the rich world don't care.

It is very simple, you need treatment but it is hard to do because you actually need treatment for half a year. You need to take the pills for a full half year. You need to have help people remember to do that. Because if they don't, they'll probably revert and possibly even have drug resistant tuberculosis.

We know we spend about $5.5 billion a year and you could save about a million people each and every year through 2050. Again, if you spend that amount of money, you do $46.00 of social good for every dollar spent.

ZAKARIA: Now finally, how are you going to get countries to do these things? You pointed out, they do have the money, this is not crazy amounts of money by any stretch for them. Why do you think they're not doing it? How do you change that? LOMBORG: So the reality is, rich countries don't do it because we think about other things. But for poor countries, of course, the rich people in poor countries don't get tuberculosis either. It is, you know, migrants. It is in slum neighborhoods and all kinds of other places.

The rich people's kid in poor countries go to good schools. And so, you know, in some ways this is the exact same thing, it is very often people without a voice. But the point here is to say if you can show people you can do this so cheaply, so effectively for this little money, you know, us having this conversation is a way to get the message out.

But at the end of the day it has to be politicians. It has to be normal people who say I actually want to do something about bad education in the world. I want to do something about tuberculosis. But now we've given the case that this is both incredibly cheap and incredibly effective.

ZAKARIA: Bjorn, great to have you on.

LOMBORG: Thank you.

ZAKARIA: The book is "Best Things First." Next on GPS, this program launched 15 years ago this week. We'll look back on the highs and lows of the last decade and a half and the extraordinary people we met along the way.



ZAKARIA: And now for last look. This week marks a special anniversary here at the GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE, 15 years ago, on June 1st, 2008, this program had its world premiere on CNN.


ZAKARIA: Welcome to the very first edition of GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE. I'm Fareed Zakaria.


ZAKARIA: It is astonishing how much has happened in the decade and a half since.


ZAKARIA: I can't remember a more event filled 24 hours since the end of the Cold War.

Donald Trump made history on Tuesday becoming the most anti- establishment candidate, as he calls it, to win the presidency.

The roiling revolutions in the Arab world continues.

The coronavirus outbreak has the potential to become a global pandemic.

Two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston marathon.

The gruesome death of George Floyd.

The riots in so many American cities.

After many years of ignoring the ever growing tide of desperate refugees flowing out of Syria and the greater Middle East, the world suddenly sat up and paid attention.

In dozens of cities across Iran protesters led by women are angrily rising up against the government.

The leader of the world's largest nuclear power, publicly threatened to use nuclear weapons.

The Supreme Court's decision on Roe v. Wade has brought the public's confidence in that court to an all-time low.


ZAKARIA: When this show began, George W. Bush was the American president, Lehman Brothers were still in business, Britain was part of the European Union, and the iPhone was still on version 1.


ZAKARIA (voice-over): We've seen wars erupt and cities fall. There were earthquakes, and oil spills, protests and populous movements.



ZAKARIA (voice-over): Terror groups were formed and terrorists were hunted down.

(on camera): The killing of Osama bin Laden, how has it been perceived around the world?

(voice-over): We saw shootings in Sandy Hook and Las Vegas, and sadly way too many more to list. There was the stunning insurrection on America's Capitol. The economy crashed, grew again.

(on camera): Let's turn now to the outbreak that has wide swaths of the world on edge.

(voice-over): And a global pandemic changed the way we lived and work.

(on camera): To help us understand it all, I've been joined by guests from around the globe. We've sat down with an American president on the roof of a hotel in New Delhi and inside of the White House.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I always tell my daughters, treat people kindly, be useful, use your time well. But remember, you're part of a larger sweep of this big story that brings us all together.

ZAKARIA (voice-over): And had a rare interview with a Chinese premier.

(on camera): There is a very famous photograph of you at Tiananmen Square in 1989. What lesson did you take from your experiences in dealing with that problem in 1989?

(voice-over): We explored democracy in America --

MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: And I do think that one of the incredible quotes is something that Mussolini said. You pluck the chicken one feather at a time and people don't really notice. And so that is what concerns me because it is not some overt overthrow.

ZAKARIA (voice-over): -- and around the world.

(on camera): Prime Minister, the issues is not a democracy, it is what kind of democracy Israel will have. Will it have a kind of liberal or an illiberal democracy?

(voice-over): We talked with dictators --

(on camera): Will you be back in New York soon?

PRESIDENT MUAMMAR GADDAFI, LIBYA (through translator): Why not?

ZAKARIA (voice-over): -- and autocrats --

PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIA (through translator): I wouldn't want to think that we are going down to some sort of a Cold War. And I'm sure no one is interested in that.

ZAKARIA (voice-over): -- a king --

KING ABDULLAH II OF JORDAN: I believe that we could come together.

ZAKARIA (voice-over): -- and a queen --

HER MAJESTY QUEEN RANIA, JORDAN: Islam in and of itself does not subjugate women and does not hold them back.

ZAKARIA (voice-over): -- environmentalist --

JANE GOODALL, PRIMATOLOGIST AND ANTHROPOLOGIST: And we're still stealing the future of our children as we go on destroying the environment? We depend on the environment.

ZAKARIA (voice-over): -- and human rights defenders.

AMAL CLOONEY, HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER: If we can't, as an international community, prevent the crimes, the least we can do is try to punish them.

ZAKARIA: Mahbouba, I don't think I've ever offered prayers on television, but I pray that you will be safe and I hope it with all of my heart. Thank you.


ZAKARIA (voice-over): -- giants in their field --

(on camera): There is a line you used that -- and it's also in your memoirs. It is also a line Martin Luther King used in the -- in the -- in his great speech. That unearned suffering is redemptive. The idea that unearned suffering is redemptive -- I mean that -- does that come to you from the Bible, from your spiritual background?

REP. JOHN LEWIS (D-GA): It comes to me from the Bible, from the teaching of Jesus, but it also comes from the teaching of Dr. King and Gandhi. That you come to that point where you believe in something that is so right and so necessary as you prepare to die for it.

ZAKARIA (voice-over): -- and those just getting started.

GRETA THUNBERG, ACTIVIST: The climate crisis is the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced and if we don't do anything right now, we're screwed.

ZAKARIA (voice-over): We sat down with inventors --

ELON MUSK, FOUNDER AND CEO, SPACEX: If you haven't thought until your brain hurts, then you haven't tried hard enough.

ZAKARIA (voice-over): -- musicians --

BONO, LEAD SINGER U2: The great songs kind of write you.

JON BATISTE, MUSICIAN: When I move my body just like this I don't know why but it feels like freedom.

ZAKARIA (voice-over): -- filmmakers --

JAMES CAMERON, ACADEMY AWARD-WINNING FILMMAKER: I also am very visual, right? And, you know, I get a lot of ideas from dreams.

ZAKARIA (voice-over): -- and brilliant actors.

HELEN MIRREN, ACTRESS: As night follows day, as the roles for women in real life change, they will change in drama.

ZAKARIA (voice-over): We travel the world.

(on camera): Coming to you today from Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Live from London.

High atop Amman, Jordan.

Tahrir Square in Cairo.

From Davos, Switzerland.

I'm Fareed Zakaria in Rome.


(voice-over): We met extraordinary people from nearly every continent in close to 750 shows.



REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Diversity is our strength.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: And we had better get back to that unifying idea or we are going to be in very big trouble.

HARRY BELAFONTE, SINGER: Dr. King once said, we are the only hope that America will realize the better part of itself. And I'm on that mission.

ZAKARIA: It's been an adventure.

So let's get started on what is going to be a hell of a ride.


ZAKARIA: And I thank all of you for being a part of my program this week and for these last 15 years. And I will see you next week.