tv Inside Story 2019 Ep 148 Al Jazeera May 29, 2019 3:32am-4:01am +03
the 1st trial in the us against drug makers blamed for contributing to the opioid crisis is under way in the state of oklahoma it's a test case to see if individual states can hold pharmaceutical companies responsible for widespread addiction the state's attorney general accuses johnson and johnson of greed which led to an oversupply of the drugs the company denies any wrongdoing. process leaders in sudan are increasing the pressure on the military to hand over power to a civilian one administration that sees a nationwide strike as a huge place and protesters hope it will force military leaders and so a new round of negotiations. that see up to date the news continues here in al-jazeera after inside story.
what's the price of peace keeping united nations is running out of money to pay for the blue helmets who operate in more than a dozen of the world's conflict zones so who should foot the bill to protect the world's vulnerable this is inside story. hello everyone i'm come all santamaria welcome to inside story they keep the pace but what cost as the united nations marks the international day of u.n. peacekeepers we're looking at the undoubtedly vital role peacekeepers play but also perhaps the flaws in their mandate and the shortfalls in funding that make their
jobs that much harder it's what started with the basis of exactly what a u.n. peacekeeper is you might know them as the blue helmets for obvious reasons but it's not some sort of u.n. army as such peacekeepers are actually provided by member states with most coming from africa it has to be said and they are deployed on missions authorized by the security council and they follow the 3 basic principles that they are deployed with the consent of the main parties in the conflict that they are impartial and that they only use force as a last resort and this is where they are around the world as of april last year in fact 14 active operations 7 in african countries the rest in the middle east india pakistan plus cyprus cost of oh and 80 those operations served by around 88000 peacekeepers and nearly 13000 severe. it's from $122.00 different countries but the un's budget for peacekeeping it's just $6700000000.00 which is less than half of
one percent of global military spending the us pays almost 30 percent of the bill china and japan are the next biggest contributors with 20 percent between them and there is the problem the un is now short on cash to fund its peacekeeping and some missions are now threatened so what can be done is that simply just a need for more money and fast discussion in a moment after this report from al-jazeera is diplomatic editor james bass. the u.n. is holding its annual events honoring the work of its peacekeepers around the world they serving some of the most volatile places on earth last year 98 were killed while on g.t. increasingly they also operate in a very difficult financial environment funds a tight with some budgets being cut or peacekeepers need better training and better equipment and their men to be realistic and adequately supported with both
resources and political will for many years un peacekeeping has been based on a grand bargain western countries the e.u. and the u.s. providing specialized equipment and troops and the vast bulk of the money while most of the troops come from asia and africa. but the system is breaking down many countries but most notably the us are not paying their share un peacekeeping is owed a staggering sum over $1900000000.00 the countries providing the peacekeepers countries like pakistan which has over $5000.00 men and women serving around the world are the ones currently having to pay most of the costs so here we are $2.00 contribution countries making sacrifices losing lives in order to maintain international peace and security and facing budgetary challenges so i think we need to fix this it needs to be fixed because this removes the most successful
enterprise of the united nations and it should be adequately resourced the us owes way more than any other country to un peacekeeping that's been the case for many years but under president trump the size of the arrears has swelled to over $1100000000.00 a former obama administration official says it would make real sense to pay up now it's a little confusing. the united states side the u.s. cares about peacekeeping we see it in our interest u.s. is a larger training training country for peacekeeping missions and our diplomats work worldwide to help them succeed because we see the value of these missions so some of this can and should be sorted out with congress so they fully fund the amount that the u.s. owes and we can resolve this short from the u.n. secretary general knows he must tread carefully president trump doesn't take kindly to demands for huge sums from international organizations even though in this case
it's money that everyone agrees the u.s. is james al-jazeera of the united nations. all right let's bring in our panel today to discuss u.n. peacekeepers we are starting in denver in the united states with mark goldberg he's the editor of un dispatch a u.n. and global affairs news website on skype from florence. is a former african union commission official now a specialist on peace and security in africa and running up the panel from kiel in the u.k. he is our will arlo senior lecturer in law at kiel university and a specialist on human rights international law gentlemen lovely to have all 3 of you with us as we look at marking international peacekeepers day mark goldberg i'll start with you and i feel we should really before we get into any of the controversies look at the importance of peacekeepers there are 14 missions in place all over the world if they were not in place tell us about the sort of vacuum that
that might leave. sure so as you noted there are 14 peacekeeping missions around the world deploying about $100000.00 peacekeepers by and large these peacekeepers are deployed to places that if they weren't there there would be a security vacuum and conflict that they are there to keep a damper on would fester and would result in all sorts of human rights abuses around the world you know in different places peacekeepers serve different functions in south sudan for example as that country descended into a really brutal civil war a few years ago people from surrounding peacekeeping bases flocked to un peacekeeping compounds to seek protection so that was a very direct civilian protection mandate that those peacekeepers were acting against and there are several different examples like that around the world in which if those peacekeepers weren't there a vacuum a security vacuum is what international relations scholar call it would form and
conflict would just metastasized perhaps spread to other countries so there there really as a lid to keep. the conflict in check i'm interested in some of the specifics and i did some research on those individual 14. missions now for example the one in india pakistan kashmir which was established way back in $199117.00 personnel there now so i would be interested to know what you think about sort of the importance of that but then something like kosovo is still got 5000 people there 20 years after the war how important is it to keep 5000 largely troops there i should add uniformed peacekeepers there in a place like kosovo sure so there are several legacy u.n. peacekeeping missions which i call them which were set up you know decades and decades and decades ago that are there for 2 main reasons 1st the presence of international troops still decades later acts as
a deterrent for for. foreign governments for the parties to overrun and capture the territory and you see that also in that to a certain extent in the golan and in the sinai where there are still a small number of international peacekeepers kosovo is a little bit of a different story it's still. it's a middle aged peacekeeping mission let's say but it exists there much like the missions in kashmir exist because there still lacks a political will to bring the conflict to a resolve and these peacekeepers their main function is to give international diplomats and politicians the breathing room they need to bring that political will to the table to finally resolve a conflict unfortunately in a case like india pakistan that political well you know decades and decades and decades later is still not there but you've seen other examples for example liberia is a good good one in which you know 15000 peacekeepers were deployed there 15 years ago
this year they left because they were able to give that country and the political factions in that country the breathing space they needed to come together and let the conditions for peace take hold. to that a motor in florence let's bring you in as i pointed out out of the 14 missions that there are active around the world 7 of them are in african countries i'll ask a similar question to you specifically on africa just how important are the peacekeeping to overall peace and security in many parts of africa thank you come on i think. mark was on the spot when he say. we have to use counterfactual. assessments usefulness of peacekeeping mission to syngenta. mutely. the fundamental question is why do we need peacekeeping and. the the answer is because.
look and national political systems that are broken and they have to be fixed and the fixing is done by the national and regional and all tossed them time local political activists peacekeeping in general provide decide the environment for these activists to bring some balance of systems to be restored. unfortunately many of the peacekeeping that kind offer a sort of normalcy is not possible because not enough money. missy and will spend on bringing scholarship so the counterfactual is actually peacekeeping. missions have contributed significantly in reducing does and all saw fight as
a. scholarship of conflicts and devise stations in national systems local areas and so on and so on all between countries but a sim time. at this juncture we have to look at that they are fulfilling the kind of function they are supposed to to perform and here. the kids of kashmir or kosovo. congo or les bierria the main issue that comes to mind is the idea that peacekeeping out of back up generators like. they don't have to stay a long time because you cannot france is on backup generator that they are supposed to be for short time to kick in the main source of. legitimacy and political process in some cases unfortunately that's not the case ok so let's bring in our
low and get his thoughts as well as has made a very good point there we shouldn't well ultimately you don't want peacekeepers there you don't want to have to keep the peace but by the same token it's hard to imagine a place like let's say darfur or south sudan or central african republic without these peacekeeping forces at the moment what in your opinion might be going wrong that they have to keep them there for so long so in most cases peacekeepers are deployed in one of the most stable highly fry jail or in some cases failed states where government institutions state structures are simply not there to provide the kind of peace and safety that vulnerable populations need and also even for different parties that are suppose to come together and have that dialogue and conversation about moving the country forward situation doesn't exist so peacekeepers are there primarily to provide that kind of environment basic protection for vulnerable groups and also
a conducive political environment for the vice president's office to come together or out a deal to take countries forward so that is their primary object if there are a certain peacekeeping missions that have been in force meant to mandate in the sense that they can actually participate in fighting us well again as one of the part. things that are that are involved and the types of peacekeeping missions are somewhat complicated in terms of their legitimacy elsewhere but overall i agree with. both of you guys that peacekeeping missions that peacekeeping genda of the united nations house continue to significant to be in terms of maintaining international peace and security gentlemen i want to look at the composition of these peacekeepers as well because i think this is interesting that the bulk i mean we're talking $100000.00 plus peacekeepers around the world most of them from africa and asia 7 and
a half 1000 from ethiopia alone around 6000 from india 5000 from the poll and then you look at the quote unquote developed nations 752 from france 572 from the u.k. 34 from the united states mark i'll come back to you why the disparity there if this is a quote unquote united nations why is there is such a disparity between where the peacekeepers come from is it just because that that's where a lot of the conflicts are yeah well in the case the united states it's a political question in general american troops and american military officers don't want to put troops under you know of the so and so control of foreign military officer but it's sort of a grand bargain though when it comes to the united states because you know as the introduction of this episode noted the u.s. has the bulk of the cost of peacekeeping missions around the world the united states is still the global leader when it comes to efforts to maintain international peace and security around the world so it does see value in funding
developing countries from sending their troops to hot spots around the world and the developing countries themselves get a lot out of this not only do they get their training and prestige and political power that comes from being what's called a troop contributing country they're also compensated to the rate of about 1400. there's per troop per month when they send their troops these missions so the grand bargain is working it breaks down though when the funding isn't there and those troops that are deployed don't have the equipment and the personnel and the logistics backups that they need to effectively carry out their mandate which is where a lot of the problems are seeing in u.n. peacekeeping comes today i'll come back to the issue of funding in a moment but mccurry can i ask you do you agree with that the idea that for ethiopia for example to have around 7 and a half 1000 peacekeeping troops as part of the u.n. force is it is good for them as it is
a potentially positive outcome. well. the virus countries have different kind of or valid kind of justification for participating in peacekeeping in general in the case of specifically ethiopia has historical background where collective security was critical in this history you recall the invasion of you 30 off ethiopia long time ago during the 2nd world war and before egypt i was seeking for collective security and the league of nations 1st and when that illegal for nations failed under the u.n. so that is historical just sufficient for that and it informs their foreign policy of the country that out of many countries similar to that like rwanda and others who have historical justification for involvement in peacekeeping but generally speaking the category i that exists is countries. sacrifice in blood
and rich countries contribute in financial terms that is a kind off just expression that is commonly used so that is not really a significant problem in general but it shows also the sacrifice is higher for the peacekeeping troops which have. shot on the ground and other countries not willing really to comment to to put troops on the ground our loyal thoughts on the way the way my hurry described that it's sort of it got to me a little bit he said you know developed nations paying money and developing nations play in blood it doesn't it doesn't seem right that way that that sort of imbalance . i think my views on this are more aligned with dr malise point because if you actually look back there is no explicit constitutional mandates or question
to be is is for peacekeeping operation in the. united nations charter although it is widely accepted as one of the most a novel kind of innovation of the united nations in terms of keeping international peace and security one of the reasons why a peacekeeping mission of the sort is invented is precisely because that is an excellent and also you know apparently get me a way of distributing responsibility for maintaining international peace and security for well the country so they can simply put in resources which they have which they can also benefit from the existing international order and pay into the system and poor countries who don't have the resources would basically contribute. troops so in a way is really a reflection of how messed up the international legal order is and i also disagree with the point of mark made which is. that the united states continue to be
a global player in the international legal order and i think the u.s. certainly was bad over the last few years where we see is the 3 treaty of the united states from the multilateral international organizations and also form the kind of rule of the international legal order in which it's played a very critical part in establishing so so you know there is there is that but again certainly but i think there are very serious moral issues in terms of how that responsibility mark that retreat is quite significant isn't it and i'm reading an article which you wrote where you said well 1st of all antonia the terrorist says that is a $2000000000.00 arrears if you like in payments to the peacekeepers but also you said the problem is the trouble ministration hasn't been paying its dues in full and as racked up a reserve about 7 $150000000.00 why yeah that's right well it really comes from a quirk in u.s. policy making towards the united nations in which american diplomats and diplomats
from around. in the world negotiate amongst themselves on what's called a scale of assessments this is how much each country will pay into un peacekeeping every couple years they enter these negotiations in the most recent $1.00 resulted in the us diplomats at the un agreeing to pay a little over 28 percent of the un peacekeeping budget however us congress refuses to pay that amount they have imposed an arbitrary cap of 25 percent of un peacekeeping budget that they will allow the u.s. to pay into a un peacekeeping that gap between what the u.s. is assessed and what congress allows it to pay results in these accumulating a rears at the un on top of that you have the trouble ministration that makes a budget request to congress that significantly under funds un peacekeeping is owed so the result is us that's not paying its dues on time and in full and that
results in missions that are not able to effectively carry out their mandates no hurry could it be also for talking about funding and funding shortfalls that some of the controversies involving un peacekeepers have an impact the fact that between 242016 there were 2000 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse there was a child sex trafficking ring and have it in haiti there has been a lot of negative news associated with the peacekeepers well i wonder if that affects their funding i very much dot com that would be the main reason for so far like the speakers guests mentioned the erosion of that our lives and international solidarity that the center. in ward looking in the u.s. and also in europe they are facing serious crisis internationally that makes it difficult for them also to come out and show international solidarity i think the
obvious where there. even more before this changes in the international landscape kim but let me repeat the 1st point i brought earlier. the reason why we need peacekeeping in the 1st place is to serve the backup generator for short time to sustain support local solutions national solution is to political conflict is the primacy of politics in the important eve generators out of a back up generator for a long time they will fail so peacekeeping failing be called that is fatigue there is a resource exhaustion political will and legitimacy even offer local communities perception of peacekeeping is changing seek to significantly earlier in your introduction and also you know to be discussion we excluded the i mean the so my mission because it's not considered as peacekeeping but increasingly in africa or elsewhere
peacekeeping is going to be changed drastically because of the kind of challenge you have to face and the kind of challenge to address in terms of political solutions bringing. the fragmentation political fragmentation to a local level is becoming a challenge so in my opinion is a mix of many reasons partly because the international community is failing its monday it and or all because countries that are supposed to lead this kind of initiative solder into mali embroiled and there are really 3 things like that have been saved from there they are on and i simplify the functionality and if it gets you off peacekeeping is cost it from legitimacy perspective from local communities all or even in terms of being exhaustive you know india went to school for the last 20 years even before we had un mission india to see where are we now how much did
we spend in these peacekeeping. more than $20000000000.00 us dollars the past due to the kids are soft and $20000000000.00 means 40 years just off in union or 5 years but just off the shelf and this could have brought a lot of change in the political landscape if it was used for the long term solutions on the ground gentlemen i hate saying this because i've really enjoyed this discussion but we're out of time going to have to leave it there so mark goldberg in denver to the other matter in florence and i will alow in kill thank you so much for joining us and thank you for watching plenty more few online it down to 0 dot com you can see this program or any of our other editions by visiting inside story in the show's menu where facebook dot com forward slash a.j. inside story for further discussion we're on twitter at a.j. inside story i'm at kemal a.j. e if you want to tweet me directly thanks for joining us so you can send.
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