Skip to main content

tv   U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. on Global Cooperation  CSPAN  April 14, 2022 12:15pm-1:00pm EDT

12:15 pm
kept their economies functioning and were rational about getting kids back in school as quickly as possible -- some of my liberal friends talk about how important education is. absolutely. it's critical. we learned that lesson about how important it is that kids get access. there is a big movement where we are trying to get governors like governor ducey in arizona to say that if a school shuts down, a school district shuts down for any reason whether it is a viruslike covid, a natural disaster, a school strike. let's give the money to the parents so they can find a school that is
12:16 pm
>> she was nominated in president each bite of january last year and confirmed by the senate bipartisan support. she was sworn in november 24 of last year. she is one of the most distinguished u.s. diplomats. prior today, united nations she has been at the department of state, including serving as
12:17 pm
secretary of african affairs from 2013 to 2017. her distinguish foreign service career in switzerland, pakistan, kenya, nigeria and jamaica. after retiring from the state department, she let the practice at the bridge group and was distinguished in the african studies of diplomacy at georgetown university. she it is a recipient of rewards, including the harvard humphrey leadership award. also, the humanitarian service award also the achievement of local affairs. she is also referred to as the
12:18 pm
people's ambassador and known for her trademark in diplomacy in reference to her ability to break down barriers and connect with her counterparts by a human level first by inviting them over. madame ambassador, thank you for joining us. we know that you have a extremely busy agenda, particularly with the crisis in ukraine. we appreciate you taking the time to deal with us today. >> thank you. thank you for the kind introduction. thank you for inviting me and giving me the opportunity here working with extraordinary work on global economic development issues. i have engaged with you in the past and i am delighted to be a part of the discussion today. >> thank you. before we start, i would like to take a moment to pay our
12:19 pm
respects to one of your predecessors in the united nations and the first woman secretary of state, ambassador right. if my memory serves me correctly , with you in your office before the pandemic. she was a strong believer in international cooperation. as you correctly pointed out, she has definitely left a permanent mark on united nations. >> her legacy is seen everyday in the united nations when she passed. we were considering a resolution on ukraine. every single ambassador got up
12:20 pm
and commented about her extraordinary career and the impact she had on their lives. it was a great moment for us to hear about her legacy, although it was extraordinarily sad that she is no longer with us. yeah. >> the world is a much better place because of her service. perhaps, we can start today with the ukraine crisis and some of the implications of the future of international of her operation. i think the one we have come to is conflict since world war ii. many view as a turning point as a beginning of a new world order. first, how is this approach to the resolution of the war,
12:21 pm
ukraine being played out in the ukraine? then second, what you see it is the main implication, is this war telling us? >> let me start by saying, the united states worked diligently prior to the start of this conflict to help find a diplomatic solution to avoid this unconscionable war that the russians had taken against the ukrainian people. those efforts included president biden reaching out to president putin, meeting with him directly in months and weeks ahead of this. there were several meetings and
12:22 pm
discussions between secretary blinken and his counterpart. we had discussions here in the united nations. to avoid what we are experiencing right now. those efforts failed. what russia had succeeded in doing, they felt in bringing down ukraine, but they succeeded in uniting the international community who may have succeeded in and it unified and given curved the ukrainian people to fight back. they have succeeded in uniting nato. the international community has stepped strongly in isolating russia as the united nations had two votes, in fact, votes in the
12:23 pm
general assembly. one for condemning russia which we had 141 not to support. the second, calling for humanitarian assistance for the american people. we got on 40 votes that. just recently last week, we succeeded in suspending russia from the human rights council through the general assembly. they are isolated here at the united nations. while they do have a veto, there veto has not been effective in vetoing our voices and vetoing the condemnation, vetoing the unity of the international community and calling russia out. you mentioned that there are some countries -- i can explain the reasoning behind other countries decisions about their votes. we have heard different
12:24 pm
explanations being given to us. countries think abstaining is neutrality. it is not neutrality. we know that russia has started and unconscionable war. they have committed war crimes. they have committed human rights violations. if can't be neutral in the face of those times -- types of events. we know other countries have been written by the russians, that is the question to voted against them. they want to take action against those questions, economically. countries made the decision unfortunately in the face of intimidation. but all said, we have been successful in isolating russia here in the united nations. they heard clearly, loudly at
12:25 pm
the international community that we condemned their unconscionable war against the ukrainian people. >> thank you. i think in the efforts to suspend russia from the human counsel did not go unnoticed. what would cause them to reverse, especially in powers of the security council? is the u.n. running out of options at this point? madame. lisa: the u.n. is still the best tool that we have. we have not run out of . we continue to ramp up our efforts. we continue to build our
12:26 pm
coalition of the willing against russia. united states has increased our sanctions against the russians. we have continued to put pressure on the russians. we have a build a strong coalition of support for the ukrainians here at the united nations. madame. linda: again, the russians are fully isolated. they are not attending meetings at high-level spirit they are using information that is not believed in the united nations. they spoke to congress, temporary military action. we see what their military action could lead to, it lead to a destruction of a country. we are also raising the voices of ukrainians. i traveled to algoma and romania two weeks ago and had the opportunity -- maldova and
12:27 pm
romania to ask ago and had the opportunity to hear their sense of terror, worry about their family members. those voices will continue to be raised. i had the opportunity to see what the united nations is doing on the ground to support those people who have been impacted by this war. those who have crossed the border into neighboring countries. more than 6 million who are still living inside of ukraine who have been enforced for their homes. more than 10 billion people have been forced totally. 4.3 billion have crossed the border in neighboring countries. we are working with those borders, united nations systems to provide support. >> i think you mentioned this.
12:28 pm
also, the private sector doing everything they can to do to --. by the same time, the question is on the commitment of some countries in the democracy what was supposed to have a reverse course. if i can now think of reference in ukraine and discuss u.s. relations with traditional partners at the human, i believe that the previous administration has turned its back to some extent and with federal ties with national corporation. i think there's some confusion about traditional partners. i think you would support u.s.
12:29 pm
leadership. to get news, the administration began a reverse course since of the first day of office. madame. linda: certainly, giving the fact i am running on a treadmill 20 47 we are back. i will tell you when i arrived in new york on the 25th of february, if you hours after i was confirmed for this position, i really did hit the ground sprinting. within two days -- four days of arriving here i became president of the security council on march 1. i think there were some doubts about we were truly.
12:30 pm
re-engaging in multilateral system. we immediately noticed we were rejoining the who. we announced rejoining of the human rights commission. we started to work on the rejoining of the paris agreement. we really did move forward, almost like a bulldozer. getting back into the multilateral system. there is no doubt now we are back. our leadership has been asserted in all these forums. we have taken the leadership reign in addressing the covid pandemic. we have delivered the
12:31 pm
president's -- the president noted we can't address the pandemic alone by just dealing with the consequences in our own country. we have to address this in a global way. we have led the global pandemic response. we have delivered more than 500 million doses of covid vaccine. i have made sure wherever i travel that i highlight those efforts, including receiving and delivering doses, watching doses be administered to frontline health care workers, watching those being delivered to ordinary people. we really reinvigorated our long-term alliances and partnerships. we have created new opportunities for cooperation. i have been traveling.
12:32 pm
i -- and the one year i have been here i have traveled to ecuador, haiti, to thailand, japan, niger and mali. it goes on and on. i mentioned romania this past week. all of that is part of our effort to again reengage. i have tried over the course of one year to meet with every permanent representative in new york. i have hit 117 as of today. i'm disappointed because my plan had been to meet with all 193 in my first year. i realize they cannot be in two places at once. i am being missed at the security council as ethiopia is being discussed. i do try to be in two places at
12:33 pm
one time because i know how important our presence is on the multilateral stage and how strong our voice is when we speak in multilateral forums. >> definitely no one could have predicted the you can crisis. -- the ukraine crisis. achieving 117 is impressive in this context. in terms of u.s. leadership, you would agree it is about traditional partners but also about nontraditional partners. if the u.s. will lead effectively on a global stage then how do we engage with the nontraditional partners? especially the ones that are influential in their own right on the global stage? among the nontraditional partners, none is perhaps more influential than china. some observers are concerned we
12:34 pm
could end up in a bipolar world order with the u.s. and china leading two distinct blocks, similar to the cold war era. competition is inevitable but cooperation is necessary to address global challenges. how are you navigating this complex relationship with china? where do differ the most with your chinese counterpart? amb. thomas-greenfield: you know, our relationship with china is probably the most complex, the most complicated and the most consequential relationship that we have here in new york but also around the globe. the president has been clear that we are going to compete with china. we have a profound stake in ensuring the values and the institutions the united states
12:35 pm
believes in, the institutions we helped create and we have invested in continue to deliver. we are not always -- clearly not always in sync with the chinese as we approach them here on the international stage. but they are a permanent member of the u.n. security council. we deal with them on a daily basis. i deal with them consistently as a member of the p5. members of the p5, including russia, have a responsibility to hold foundational principles of the united nations, of the charter and encourage others to do the same. this is why we have been so strong in pushing against russia , with responsibilities, who has broken its commitment to the
12:36 pm
united nations by invading another country. we have put pressure on china to join us in condemning the russians. we put pressure on china to join us in holding the dprk accountable for the recent -- the test of icbms they have done over the course of the past few months. we have put pressure on china to work with us in areas where we do have commonality. to work with us on delivering humanitarian assistance. to work with us on climate change. that said, we continue to hold them accountable for their own human rights violations. we don't shy away from raising those concerns. we have made clear what we see happening is a crime against
12:37 pm
humanity. it is genocide. we have called it out for what it is and we are committed to -- the administration is committed to can consistent -- to consistently calling the chinese out on this issue. they clearly don't like that. they have made the unfortunate decision of aligning themselves with the russians on ukraine. i don't think it is a comfortable place for them, because they have indicated they do believe in the charter. they do believe in the sovereignty of nations. they do believe in the integrity of borders. if they believe in those three things, the charter, sovereignty and integrity of borders, they cannot become double supporting russia's unconscionable attack on the ukrainian people. >> that's a very compelling point. speaking on how the u.n.
12:38 pm
functions, if we can switch to the u.n. reform agenda, i think there is broad agreement that since the u.n. was created it has served a useful function. however it is increasingly evident it could use more reforms to respond more effectively to the challenges of the 21st century. you have echoed some of these sentiments during your confirmation hearing when you stated we must have courage to insist on reforms. that would make the u.n. more efficient and effective. having observed how the u.n. operates from within over the past year what do you see the highest priority areas for reforming the u.n. system that
12:39 pm
could make it more efficient and effective? host: this is -- amb. thomas-greenfield: this is a complicated bureaucracy. it is a huge bureaucracy that is not just how we operate on the security council with the specialized agencies that are operating out there as well. our approach to the u.n. has been deliberate. it has been strategic. we have tried to be complicit in terms of extending the u.n.'s system to countries and people who have been historically marginalized and include racial and ethnic and religious minorities, persons with disabilities, those marginalized due to sexual orientation. we lead in the u.n. and push reforms in the u.n. and recognize the basic rights of people. this is not about just members states rights.
12:40 pm
it's about the rights of people. we have worked to push use reforms in terms of the advancing gender equality and participation of women within the u.n. system. we are working to tackle global challenges that require member states to actually be part of the u.n. system. as you know, there is a slew of reform efforts out there, including one most recently we support that has been led by lichtenstein that requires a resolution passed that permanent members of the security council come to the general assembly and explain why they use their veto. >> more accountability basically. amb. thomas-greenfield: yes. we are ready to explain why we
12:41 pm
use our veto and we want others to explain when they use their veto as well. we need within the system to ensure the integrity and effectiveness of the u.n. itself. we are working to stamp out sexual abuse, exploitation. we are pushing the u.n. to become more efficient. we are working with other countries to support those efforts as well. there are lots of discussions when you talk about u.n. perform, security council reform. what that will mean in terms of adding elected members as well as adding new permanent members of the security council. we have been clear that we are prepared to engage in those discussions and see where they lead us. >> you have been doing work looking at this and brought
12:42 pm
together scholars from global north and south to discuss how the u.n. system can be reformed and what he reform system could look like. we have some ideas that have been put into a collection of essays. amb. thomas-greenfield: i would love to see this. please share them with me. >> definitely. i think the secretary-general has mentioned the upcoming summit of the future to agree on common agenda and a package of reforms. we know previous efforts or attempts to reform the u.n. system have faced significant obstacles. what can we expect from the upcoming summit? that was before the russia and ukraine -- the dynamics have changed. are you optimistic if it does go through that this time it could
12:43 pm
be different and we will see a more meaningful reform of the institution, including to the u.n. security council itself? amb. thomas-greenfield: we stand ready to partner with the secretary-general and the united nations and member states and other stakeholders on many of the elements of the secretary-general's agenda. particularly in the area of climate change, human rights, public health, sustainable development goals and the u.n. reforms. i think this is a work in progress. we look forward to seeing where it leads. just to be clear, something we will partner with the united nations on, partner with the secretary-general to work on making this organization we all contribute to -- contributed to
12:44 pm
building to make it more efficient, more effective, to make it deliver on what people expect it to deliver on. particularly as it relates to the security council. that our job is to save the world from the scourge of war. we should be promoting peace and security. we have to make sure that is front and center of what we do and what the secretary-general does in his efforts to push forward his own agenda. >> the results from the research. i think we mentioned the u.n. specifically, but i believe other multilateral institutions, the imf, world bank, they could
12:45 pm
bring reforms to the 21st century. the u.n. can inspire other institutions to undertake those meaningful reforms. if i can now talk about the sustainable development goals, which have now been seven years since the countries have come together to establish those sustainable development goals. it was in 2015 with a target date of 2030. progress has been slowing in many countries. many are off-track. covid has likely even set some countries back. the ukraine crisis is not going to help either. as we approach the midpoint of the target, how do you assess the progress on the agenda
12:46 pm
globally but also in the u.s.? it's about developing countries. it is relevant for the u.s. what additional efforts and steps do you think are needed to accelerate the progress question mark -- progress? amb. thomas-greenfield: we have made clear from the start we are committed to accelerating the limitation of the 2030 agenda and achieving the sustainable development goals. there are some that are higher priorities for us than others. i will start with spg 4. it focuses on quality education. 10 u.s. agencies, including the letting him challenge -- millennium challenge partnering with countries to improve education systems at all levels.
12:47 pm
we have divided $1 billion. the covid crisis set us back significantly on that. suddenly it is not just about providing books and teachers. it is providing technology, which, you know, was clearly something we should have been doing but we had to speed up providing the technologies so kids could learn from home. it was easier here to do it in the united states and in the developed world then in the -- than in the developing world. the developing world has fallen behind because of the pandemic. i think we will see we will fall behind on other goals as well. spg 5 on women's empowerment, our view on that is simple. women's political participation
12:48 pm
supports peace. i talked about that today within the council on yemen. we talked about the importance of having yemeni women engaged in the peace talks and the newly formed government. we see that even ukraine where the vast majority of the refugees across the border are women. women have to play a significant role. of course across africa we have seen the importance women have played in peace and security. i always take the opportunity when we are talking about women's engagement, president johnson's early -- in liberia after 14 years of civil war. climate change. we have to address the
12:49 pm
protection of our natural resources, our ecosystems. that's a top priority for the united states. we have strongly supported the u.n. launch of negotiations for global agreement on ocean plastic pollution. closer to home we have endorsed conserving at least 30% of land and water rights by 2030. we are making progress for sure as are others trying to address these goals. we have to be realistic that the contingencies of today's crises set us back in ways none of us could have projected. ukraine, none of us could have projected the pandemic. we are beginning to see more and more the impact of climate change increasing having an impact on our ability to
12:50 pm
actually achieve these goals and the timeframe we have. we have not pushed them back or depart your them. we are accelerating the achievement. >> stronger u.s. leadership on the issue is very important in pushing the agenda forward. here at brooking we do work with the leadership of the u.n. on those sustainable development goals and have launched a center in late 2020 which will signal our commitment to this agenda, including on the u.s. leadership on the agenda as well. certainly a better place in 2030 if all countries were able to declare victory in terms of switching their targets.
12:51 pm
one more question and then we can turn to some cuban day -- q mandate --q&a. what are the priorities going forward? when you took office the world was and still is facing significant challenges from living -- a looming crime it places -- climate crisis, yemen, ethiopia. in the face of these numerous challenges and new ones that spring up how do you prioritize? amb. thomas-greenfield: i think i heard you use the phrase, a party within the party. that is basically what we have had to do.
12:52 pm
i used the hear talk of the priorities. you don't always get to define what your priorities are. if i could define a priority it is always to be ready and flexible to address whatever priority we have in front of us. to do that you have to do what we have done over the course of this year. rebuild our alliances. engage with everyone in the u.n. so you understand their priorities and they understand our priorities so we are not calling on them the day we need them. we have developed those relationships. we have done the policy needed to engage with people so when we need their support they are there for us. when they need our support, we
12:53 pm
are there for them as well. i think among many other priorities here for us we lead with values and human rights at our core. we cannot ever again nor the importance of human rights in these crises we have engaged in over the one year i have been here. from ethiopia to yemen to sudan, to libya, you name it. it is about the impact on ordinary people. i tried to the extent i can to engage with ordinary people so i can bring their voices to the security council when i speak of the security council. the other issue i think is really important and i think you and others in the audience will appreciate is that we have made
12:54 pm
it part of our priority to ensure ngo's and civil society have a voice at the united nations. we push regularly and constantly for civil society voices to speak. when we spoke yesterday about the issues of sexual violence against women, we had three extraordinary women, for the council to speak. two speaking from the context of syria and one from ethiopia. those voices matter. they matter more than our voices matter. that is a priority for the uss we deal with these areas of crises, having civil society there, having human rights at the center of our policy and bringing our partners and alliances together to partner on
12:55 pm
issues of common interest to the globe. >> thank you. i can't emphasize the importance of what you just mentioned on the way the u.n. has brought in civil society organizations into the discord. it is crucial. it will remain an important part in the future of the system as we envision it. with that i can turn to some of the questions we have received. the first one is from sarah griffin from the u.n. population fund. her question is, how do we ensure that the unique needs of women and girls, particularly protection from sexual violence are prioritized in the
12:56 pm
humanitarian crisis? amb. thomas-greenfield: thank you so much for that question. i will recommend you go back on the u.n. net and listen to the discussion yesterday in the security council, because every single member state indicated how important it is that we prioritize women and girls in every activity the united nations is doing, wherever they are in the world. and that we hold countries and the u.n. agencies and even the ngo's we find accountable for -- fund accountable for the needs of women and girls. it is unconscionable today we are still dealing with the issues of sexual exploitation of women and girls.peacekeeping
12:57 pm
forces are even within the humanitarian community. it is unconscionable that today we are still dealing with rape as a tool of war. i shared with the group that in the 1990's i was working with somali refugees who escaped somalia and work in refugee camps. somali women were -- we were dealing with issues of women that were victims of violent. we had a program. how do we address rape as a tool of war, in the 1990's. it did not start then. it has not ended now because just yesterday we were talking about ukrainian women who have been the victims of rape in this unconscionable where that the russians are carrying out
12:58 pm
against ukrainian people. we heard an ethiopian civil society advocate talk about in ethiopia women who were victims of rape in that work. it continues today and we have to be prepared to address it wherever we see it and we have to call it out. we have to call out countries. partially out of embarrassment or whatever they deny, they cannot deny it. what they have to do is hold their people accountable for engaging in these actions. we have to hold countries accountable for holding their people accountable. wactions. and we have to give voice to the women who have been big dams of the -- victims of the issue. this is an issue that is truly something that is important to me. we have to give these women
12:59 pm
their voices and not let them be victimized twice by not allowing them to hold their perpetrators accountable. brahma: yes, thank you for that. and the next question is from the director of -- who said, why is the u.s. condemning russia and enforcing strong sanctions, because of ukraine while turning a blind eye on israel despite the atrocities committed against palestinians? amb. thomas-greenfield: we condemn atrocities wherever they happen, but we also support israel's right to exist. and the unfair targeting of israel within the united nations and across the world.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on