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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  October 1, 2015 6:00am-8:01am EDT

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many u.n. security council resolutions that have been adhered to. when they're not adhered to, we just change them to something that can be adhered to. so i'm sorry, i'm a skeptic. but dr. gavinon? >> i fully subscribe to what david was saying, regarding the source of the main drivers of exxodus. of course, there are changes. clearly driven by the isis offensive. if you speak to refugees on the border, the majority will refer to the barrel bombing. this is the story we get on and on and on. syrian doctors who work for ngos who have a 501-c3. i'm not talking about wild groups, et cetera. and my fear is that any attempt at peace that does not immediately have an impact over how, in this case, barrel bombing are being used against
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civilian are going nowhere, will be -- >> if i could, unless the barrel bombing stops, the refugee crisis will continue to get worse. and just in closing, i apologize to my colleagues here, are any of the arab countries, saudi arabia, some of those that are working to unseat assad in certain ways, are they taking any refugees at present? >> they're not signatories to the 1951 convention. they don't recognize the status of refugees. they would say there are 500,000 syrians living in saudi arabia and 120,000 syrians living in the united arab emirates. some arrived recently, others have been there for a long time but their status is not as refugees but as migrant workers. >> thank you. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you. i would like to thank our witnesses today, not just for
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being here today but what you're doing in the middle of a huge crisis. we all empathize. i would like to start with you. in 2011, u.s. created a vacuum in which isis began to grow. they needed land to legitimize the caliphate. they've done that. now we've seen in the last few weeks the formalization of russia's presence there with military troops and so forth. in the last five years especially, we've seen iran and russia supporting the assad regime, which we've been talking about today. my question is what complication does russia now showing up with military presence and do you have any perspective, being in the region -- you talk about development and humanitarian help coming together. i would like to know how this development and the lack of a u.s. strategy in the region complicates your ability to deal
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with the ongoing crisis. i have a couple of follow-up questions about that on prevention. >> thank you very much, senator. i should say that every time the senators applaud the work of our organizations it's very reinforcing for our staff out there in the field in really the most dangerous places doing extraordinary work i want to thank you very much for what you said, which i see as a tribute to their work. i think that in respect of the complication, i think you said, that's been inserted by the russian moves over the last two or three weeks, i have to defer to those who are privy to the intelligence and to the military option making that's going on as the leader of a humanitarian organization, what i have to keep on stressing is that all the decisions, both military and political and humanitarian need to be made with the needs of the
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citizens at the heart. what i would point to the last five years is the extraordinary fragmentation and complexity that's developed both within syria and within iraq as well. and that complication makes it doubly difficult for us to do our job. the negotiation that's necessary to have local consent to deliver aid depends on engaging without building an array of local actors whose power changes sometimes on a weekly basis. the wider point about the russian role, i think, has to be split into two parts until the passage of the u.n. security council resolutions, there was no cover for the cross border work that we and others were trying to do. and so the issue then is trying to get that cover. since the passage of the resolutions, however, we haven't actually been able to do more work. we found our situation constrained in part by the position on the battlefield but also the lack of official backing from those who supported the resolution. that's why the emphasis that
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nancy has put on turning those words and that resolution to action notwithstanding the history that the chairman referred to remains very, very important. security council resolution is only as strong as the nation states who back it and their willingness to see it through. >> you know, yesterday -- and i want to move this question now to assad and putin's relationship with assad. yesterday made a comment, and i quote, refugees undoubtedly need our compassion and support. the only way to resolve the problem is to restore statehood. my question, and i'll start with dr. gavinaw, can we solve this problem as long as assad is barrel bombing his own people, targeting open markets and children? the question before us is can we solve this? one level is obviously the immediate crisis and then the long-term solution. as you said, this is no longer a
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blip. it is a trend. if that trend is there, going back to what senator cardin mentioned earlier, we have to develop a different strategy. this is not just about feeding people for a few weeks. it's about educating, training. in trying to prevent this now, at least getting at the immediate crisis, how should we look at putin's comments relative to assad and what iran's position has been over the last decade with regard to bashir assad? >> i can only answer this from the perspective of what i heard from refugees. i hope you'll take my answer in this context. i certainly think that if negotiation takes place with assad and has to be credible with a large number of people who fled the country, they should be an immediate stop to the deliberate attack against civilians. any process that does not control that from day one will
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be doomed. it will not lead anywhere in terms of satisfying. it's very violent. whether he is prepared to do that is a precondition for getting into peace negotiations, i don't know, to be honest. and i'm not anywhere close to this discussion. but i think it's essential that people are going to be associated through a peace settlement, have to make a commitment to stop immediately the sort of deliberate attack on civilians. in a conflict there will always be civilian casualties by the very nature of the contact. but the deliberate attacks on civilians is something that is far too egregious to sustain a peace process. >> we've all traveled to the region. senator card sbinin and i were this spring. if the united states had accepted refugees that would be the size of england, for example. they're overwhelmed. we see that. what i'm really concerned about long term are the children. we talk about it being half the
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problem basically today. will you speak to that and elaborate a little bit more about what we can do in the immediate future and what the long-term implications those are? it looks like a breeding ground for dissent. will you speak to that and what we need to be doing now in order to prevent further exaggeration of this crisis in the future? >> yes. you're absolutely right. there is an enormous population of children who are out of school, both from the syria crisis and iraq and through the region who are the next generation growing up without a future, without a sense that they have something positive to connect to. and so as we look regionally at this whole issue of how to counter violent extremism while at the same time we are not, as a global community, enabling these displaced kids to connect to education and something more positive in their lives, we are
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absolutely creating, as the activists in iraq told me, you know, seven hot spots. seven time bombs. and so there was a very important effort launched two years ago cold no lost generation, an effort to gather focus across the humanitarian and development community on education and on enabling there to be fuller support for kids. and one of the challenges that we have -- and david spoke to this -- is that we get trapped inside the differing mandates and stove pipes of the way in which we deliver humanitarian and development assistance. and so my hope is that this current crisis will really catalyze us to move further and faster on some of the innovative ways that we know we can use to provide more appropriate assistance that gives people a chance to have a living, to get the kind of help they need to
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recover from trauma, to get their kids educated. that is one of the most important things that would enable people to not leave the region because they have a sense that only by going to europe or the united states will they have an opportunity for those basic ways of having a more dignified life. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. i might just point out that barrel bombs are being delivered by air. i think everybody understands that. i can't imagine what these many refugees and people around the world are thinking about nations like the united states and others that know this is happening as we're sitting here in these nice circumstances and are continuing every day to allow that to happen. plus the torturing of people in its prisons yet we're going to the u.n. security council and talking about hollow, hollow
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resolutions. anyway, senator menendez? >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you all for your testimony. let me just briefly join the chorus of voices that have recognized the international rescue committee. i've done work with them. it's extraordinary work and should be incredibly proud to lead them. as someone who comes from a community that were refugees to the united states, i have a very strong appreciation of the willingness of the country to accept those who are fleeing for whatever the reasons. so i'm a strong supporter of broadening our response. but i also understand that at the core of the problem, as miss lindbergh said in her testimony, that the most generous contribution of the united states only scratches the surface. at the end of the day unless we get to the root causes, we are treating symptoms but not the causes of what makes people flee from their home. and in this case and in the case
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of syria, the ongoing conflict. the barrel bombing, which unfortunately is in and of itself a horrific act, is also exacerbated by the use of chlorine gas in violation of international standards as well as my thought was that when this committee passed an authorization for the use of force to stop assad's use of chemical weapons against its people that we would be looking at a permanent stoppage of chemical weapons against its people. and while i certainly rejoice in the fact that we did do a lot to relieve the risk to the people of syria by a variety of chemical weapons, we have not relieved them from the total risk at the end of the day. and so at some point, it is hollow if you don't follow through.
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so what i wanted to get a sense of, first of all, on your statement the most generous contribution of the united states scratches the surface. maybe plrks millibrand, you can help me with this, too. in other countries, the number of refugees flowing into them, what would be the percent, vis-a-vis, taking place? >> one-fourth of the jordanian population. in occurred stan it's one-fifth of their population. these are unimaginable numbers. >> 20% to 25%? >> 25% in jordan is syrian refugee right now. lebanon, sorry. >> just to follow that, 85% of the world's refugees are in developing countries. the european comparison would be germany has agreed to take 500,000 refugees -- accept
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500,000 asylum claims over the next year and each of the next three years, a population of 90 million. italy, population of some 60 million, has taken in each of the last two years 120,000 refugees. the uk prime minister has pledged they'll take 4,000 a year in a population of 60 million. you can see the variation there and the big gap between the neighboring states in the middle east and the european government. it's worth saying the u.s. at its peak was taking about 180,000 refugees a year in '89, '90, '91. >> so 85,000 total refugees, that is not necessarily syrian refugees, that would be about 2% of the american population. so i say that in the context of
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understanding the challenges of other countries here compared to what the united states is looking at. and i say to myself in that regard, you know, we are either going to choose to help countries where, in fact, refugees are flooding to in the first instance and to -- well, we are, to be more robust about it. or we have to think about what is a number that is acceptable here in the united states as part of an international commitment. but i want to go to the core question, which is how do we stop at -- i would assume -- correct me if i'm wrong for the record but none of you advocate that in order to stop the refugee crisis that we should accept the violation -- the violent
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violators of human rights and core principles as a way to solve that. is that right? you're nodding, if you could say yes for the record. >> yes. >> okay. if that is the reality, in the case of syria moving away from assad, even in transitional -- but at the end of the day moving away from assad. i only see the circumstances getting worse, not better. we're doing nothing to stop the barrel bombing, including that with chlorine gas. we have russia, that is now sending all types of military hardware and creating an air base for itself in syria. i see at the end of the day that they have been a patron of assad and will continue to be a patron of assad until they see a solution that protects their interest at the end of the day. so, in the interim, i see them using that force.
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and whatever entity they are using that force again -- let's say isil, inevitably in a circumstance such as this, it will create more refugees. and i see iran that has continued to support assad. so, i don't see a lessening of the refugee crisis. there are still, as i understand it, millions displaced, who have not become refugees. at some point their displacement is going to lead them to be refugees. when it leads them to be refugees we'll have an even more significant crisis. so at the end of the day, isn't our goal while in the interim doing everything we can for those who sought refuge to really dedicate ourselves to ending the violence, stopping the barrel bombing and getting a transition in syria? because if we don't do that, there isn't enough space, time,
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money to ultimately meet the crisis of the lives of these people. >> senator, you spoke very powerfully about symptoms and causes. and you have to treat the causes as well as the systems, i think you're saying. you're absolutely right. the way i would put it for my own organization's work, we can staunch the dying but we have to stop the killing. staunching the dying is very important. we could be doing much, much better. we could also be doing more than staunching the dying. we could be staunching the radicalization, the misery by much more effective work by both inside syria and the neighboring states. if your question is, are there true limits to the effectiveness or impact of humanitarian work in the absence of peacemaking of a serious kind the answer has to be unequivocally, yes. until we stop the killing we're
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not going to be able to be doing justice to the people on the ground or the values that we all stand for. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. senator gardner. >> thank you, mr. chairman. miss lindbergh i have a couple of questions for you. security council resolutions in 2014, couple of security resolutions passed, in february 2014, you mentioned demanded parties promptly allow humanitarian access and resolution 2165, calling upon notification. >> i think as david mentioned there is a monthly report on progress and there is a routine where lack of progress is reported and there isn't any teeth in the resolution to do
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anything about it. hence, senator corker, your skepticism. you know, there isn't a chapter seven provision because there isn't agreement among the security council members. and for a number of years there was a bit of a charade where there was not even full belief by all the security council members that we had a humanitarian crisis going on inside of syria. i think what is going on globally today makes that a very difficult case for people to still make, for countries to still make, that we don't have a humanitarian crisis of truly epic proportions. and it does provide one tool for forcing the conversation and forcing the agreement that the killing is at the root of the crisis. >> in terms of 2139, what ought we be pushing in terms of -- >> i'm sorry? >> 2139 in terms of what we're
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pursuing. >> there's no enforcement built into the current resolution. it was a hard-fought effort to get the passage of it the way it was and it is without teeth. >> okay. you talked a little bit about -- in response to the chairman's question, a little bit about barrel bombing and isis and the movement that you described, what would change if the refugee crisis if barrel bombing were to be stopped? how would that change the refugee situation? >> well, it would certainly decrease the deaths as we've heard the targeting is often of medical personnel, of clinics, of markets. we've seen the utter destruction of cities like aleppo. people are fleeing often because their lives are just literally in shambles. and their loved ones killed.
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there is still obviously the threat of isis and of other armed groups. it's a very chaotic situation. and yet in pockets there are efforts to still maintain a life. and there are efforts to still have local administration in parts of syria. and so i would add that we also need to continue and double our efforts to support those who are on the ground, who are seeking to create some sort of ongoing stable lives for their communities. >> would you like to talk about that in terms of putting an end to the barrel bombing, what that would do? >> as it continues with isis and others? >> there are two ways of looking at it. one is obviously on the more political side and that's something that you'll be thinking about as you contemplate your views about the ultimate resolution of the conflict. but there's no question of the position on the battlefield. it creates traction on the wider
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diplomatic and political front. and i leave that to you. on the humanitarian front, there's no question that the daily humanitarian abuse -- someone said to me aleppo is hell. i had to escape from hell. it's as blunt as that. frankly, we've had our own people who are not actually our staff but were benefiting from our services go home. we lost seven of them. barrel bombed. now, this is a daily reality for people who are, to pick up something the chairman said at the beginning -- giving up hope. at the moment they say their chance as putting their fate in the hands of smugglers and criminals who say they'll get them to europe as offering them more than staying in their own
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homeland, in their own country. and that is obviously an indictment of the global response over the five years of the conflict. >> now stretching across the swath of war-torn countries. as we continue this conversation i want to make sure we're providing the most effective support possible. humanitarian aid refugee aid in the united states, europe, isn't going to solve the problem alone. we have to get to the bottom of the barrel bombing and continued drivers of this conflict. because we can open up as much as we want but the crisis will still exist. >> thanks to the witnesses for
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the work and your testimony. just to explore, the u.n. security council resolution, what it called for, has been incredibly disappointing. i know everybody worked hard to get it passed in 2014 originally. that wasn't easy. the fact that it was brought up in the middle of winter olympics in russia probably made it harder for them to throw the veto in with they have in the past with the eyes on them during the olympics. senator mccain was probably the first in this body, beginning really in the fall of '13, to start to talk about the notion of the no-fly zone, some military force to save space and most likely in the north of syria, turkish border where people could go if they're fleeing assad. they could go and the thought of that creation of that zone and protection of it with military force would allow the cross-border delivery of aid
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under circumstances where the aid workers and others wouldn't be jeopardized. i was originally not a fan of that proposal. by probably february 2014, seeing the numbers dramatically increase, my first visit was at a time when there was 750,000 refugees and now it's 2 million. other countries are seeing the same thing. now we're seeing it spread through neighboring nations and throughout europe. it's not easy. i'm assuming that they're -- i assume there's a whole lot of challenges in doing that. but to me, it just seems like if we don't go upstream and try to create some safe area, with an additional nearly 8 million displaced people within syria, that the crisis is going to continue. and even if we wave a magic wand and say the u.s. will take ten times the number of refugees we said we would take, it's a drop in the bucket that compares to the challenge that is likely to
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come. am i wrong? is that a strategy that's the wrong way to go about it? i'm not sure you would get a majority of votes in this body for it. i think the vote we had about using military force against the use of chemical weapons against civilians barely got a majority in this committee and likely will not get a majority in the senate or in the house. still if the administration were to advocate strongly for it, there is some bipartisan support for the notion. as folks who do this work, am i looking at this wrong? >> senator cain, i have long wrestled with this question through this crisis. you know, the history of safe zones and no-fly zones for humanitarian purposes is fraught with cases where it didn't work well and it's filled with moral hazard. and at the same time i think that as the crisis progresses and the level of killing continues -- that is prompting this level of crisis for us to
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continue to not take some action that is forthrightly about civilian protection creates enormous tragedy for the people of syria and it's not at all consistent with who we are as a country. and it seems to me that as we did in places like kosovo that it warrants a very, very hard look that with our allies or through concerted diplomacy with other actors who claim to be interested in putting solutions on the table that we look very closely at how to provide civilian protection. what is the best way of doing it and have that be the joint concerted goal of our actions and look at what the military means might be required for no-fly zone or security area. >> other thoughts? >> i say two things, senator, about this. first of all, i think it would
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be very welcomed if the debate about no fly zones moved from slogans to details because the details really matter. >> uh-huh. >> secondly, i think ngos like ours can offer the benefit of experience of different ways in which governments around the world have tried to deliver no-fly zones because we've suffered from the details being got wrong. and i think that immediately you see that a safe area which is designed to protect some people in some part of the country immediately creates the moral hazard that nancy referred to because, for us, barrel bombing any part of the country of syria is an affront. not just in parts of it. but that only is to make the point that, obviously, the debate about safe areas engages other questions and merely syrian protection, proposal for safe zones as recently in the armed services committee last week was for reasons beyond the
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humanitarian. and that's why i think our best contribution is to advise on the humanitarian impact of different models of military and other action to protect civilians. on that basis i think we've got something to say without taking away from you the ultimate judgment that you have to make about who to put at risk and in what ways. >> but clearly we're all in a position here where the existence of a u.n. resolution that calls for cross border delivery of aid without the consent of the syrian government and the stopping of border bombing, that that resolution now a year and a half old with zero enforcement of it -- i mean, the impotence of that and the message that sends and the willingness of the members of those nations to do anything to back up their word is incredibly destructive not noenl this circumstance but generally. wouldn't you agree with that? maybe this is the wrong panel to
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ask this. but is there a legal precedent for a group of nations taking action to enforce a u.n. security council resolution that the u.n. is unwilling to enforce? >> the closest precedent would be the kosovo experience. where obviously there wasn't a u.n. security council resolution and the u.s. administration at the time decided not to put a vote in the u.n. it didn't want a russian veto. but the action took place. i can't think of an immediate precedent at the time of the kind you describe. >> looking back on that action, what is the humanitarian sort of ngo's conclusion about that in retrospect? was that a good thing to do or not? >> having been with an ngo at
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the time, i think there was widespread concern that kosovo was undergoing the beginnings of mass atrocities and that without the campaign, there would have been terrible, terrible loss of life in kosovo. and with some mixed feelings, there was gratitude that action was taken that saved so many lives. >> uh-huh. so action taken to save lives in an ethnic cleansing situation even without the predicate of a resolution council calling precisely for delivery of aid in this area. i know you can make mistakes and there's risks and mixed feelings about it. the general sense was gratitude that the actions were taken. what projections have your organizations done -- i'm about done but what projections have your organizations done about the likely pace of continued
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migration out of syria the next year or two if sort of status quo continues? >> just to finish off on your previous question, the other relevant example would be the raw a. ndan genocide earlier in the '90s than kosovo, of which people have very strong opinions. >> and on that, just -- was there a security council resolution but no international action was taken or it was taken horribly late so that the -- you know, the slaughter was just dramatic levels before anybody did anything? >> i want to go back to your first question, senator, projections and outflow. i don't think we have numbers in mind. certainly the people leaving now, certain level of education and who have the resource to pay the smugglers. that is going to dry off. >> yeah. >> and the people staying in turkey, lebanon, jordan, et cetera, are those who are
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getting to the levels of absolute misery. these are those we have to retain. >> i'm sorry, i didn't answer your question. we didn't make any -- none of our projections included a scenario where the german government would say three weeks ago anyone from syria can claim asylum in germany. and so the truth is what projections have we done? they need to be revised in a very substantial way. now i think it's only fair to the committee to say both within -- from within syria and from within the neighboring countries there's been a significant uptick in the last month or two months of people leaving, including people who are staff members and others. undoubtedly there's not just a movement inside syria, there's also a movement from people from syria and the neighbors are leaving. the second piece that's very significant is the number of
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people we anticipate crossing the agean during winter we anticipate to be quite high. i was told that the u.n. are projecting 20,000 people to cross the agean in december, which would be unheard of. obviously, the dangers of hypothermia and other health hazards are very large. if where you're going with your question is do we have to prepare for very, very significant numbers, leaving syria and leaving the neighbors in the next year, the answer would be yes. and, obviously, what's happening in europe shows the difficulty of playing catch up on this. europe has had its eye on the euro crisis and the ukraine crisis. it hasn't had its eye on the refugee crisis and playing catch-up is in a much weaker position. there's a warning there about what might happen in the next year. >> i've gone over my time. thanks, mr. chairman. >> before turning to senator reyes to clear something up, senator cain mentioned the ethnic cleansing taking place in
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kosovo. for what purpose is assad barrel bombing clinics and others? it's not a military strategy there. for what purpose would he be barrel bombing his own citizens? >> i've been interested in my two colleagues. there's two ways of seeing this. assertion of strength, display of strength and certainly he is engaged in using air power, the only force, syrian belligerent with air power to attack some of the rebel groups. and he is not taking any care as to where the mortars land. >> senator rich? >> thank you, mr. chairman. you know, when you look at this, this is a pretty depressing
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situation because the solutions that are on the table, as i understand the u.s. policy, is that number one, the policy is to return people back to where they came from. that's the first objective. that doesn't work, number two, that they be kept safely in the areas where they're housed and only thirdly do you look at resettlement. if you look at those policies, you wonder if that really works under the present situation. i think the description of this is epic. certainly is an understatement probably. but these people that now have -- the number is about 20 million, as i understand it, worldwide. is that a fair number that you work with? you talk about 20 million people who have left their homeland and essentially people who maybe wouldn't have left under normal circumstances but now have been forced out -- once they've been
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forced out and they see what the rest of the world is liked they aren't inclined to go back, as is the number one policy, supposedly, that we have, of seeing that they return to their homeland. so when you're talking about 20 million people, i mean, that number is staggering. what troubles me is after this has happened -- and people have watch this had with the internet we have now, the communications that we have now. what's going to continue to happen in the future to people who look at this migration that has taken place and have said, you know, i'm tired of living where i am. this isn't good here. i'm going to move on. even though they're not forced out that they are going to make that move and as you noted, the woman you talked to said look, there's only two places to go, the united states and europe. this is a challenge of staggering proportions. what we have now, which most
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people don't realize -- but i think what's coming in the future when people see that this migration takes place -- and you can do it. you can become a citizen of another country by simply packing up and moving. how do you see this playing out? this is a problem that looks to me like it's just going to overwhelm the planet. anybody want to take a run at that? >> just to make you more depressed i think the relevant number is 60 million, the number of people forcibly displaced right now. 20 as refugees, 20 as displaced within their own countries. >> but probably subject to the same thought process i just went through. >> absolutely. >> we've left our home. why stop here when we can move on to -- >> i think we've talked a lot about some of the urgent,
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shorter term solutions that one might employ in dealing with the roots of the syria conflict, which is this raw, bleeding conflict that is driving a lot of people through the region. i would put a couple of other considerations on the table. one is that in iraq where there is movement right now to cle clear -- we have the urgent opportunity to help people return where they're able to and where they would like to. and usip has been working with communities on the ground in places like takrete. you really need to work on a concerted dialogue process that gets rid of the mistrust and rebuilds the social cohesion so they can go home and live side by side with neighbors who might be different from themselves. and as we look at investing in our military action in iraq, we
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need to ensure that we are investing in all of those solutions that do enable people to go home so they don't join that migration that you've talked about. among the syrians who are going to europe these days, among the 20 or 60 million, almost everybody is from a country that one would term as fragile. weak, ineffective or -- and/or illegitimate in the eyes of its citiz citizens. these are the countries that have the billion people living in poverty. they are the ones that have that mixture of owe pregnancy, of violent conflict and poverty that are driving people to seek better lives. longer term, we collectively need to refocus how we think about development programs, moving development, humanitarian assistance to work hand in hand
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with security and diplomacy. we just had new, sustainable development goals passed in new york this week where there was the historic inclusion of something called goal 16 which basically calls for inclusive democratic societies with accountable justice for all. which sounds very polyanna-ish but every nation has signed off on this, giving us a platform for insisting that we not continue to have these kind of bleeding sores around the world that create these kind of humanitarian crisis. and keep so many people in misery and poverty. >> can i briefly address -- i think a very important point that senator rich has made, which is to understand the distinction between someone who is fleeing for economic reasons and someone fleeing for reasons of political persecution, which is what defines a refugee. it's a world on the move. there are 200 million people moving around the world for
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economic reasons. and i think one of the lessons of this crisis is it's very important, indeed, to maintain the status of a refugee, well-founded fear of persecution and the erosion of that status has damaging implications for the politics of this issue and policy of this issue. the truth is, it's harder to reach america as a refugee than any other way short of swimming across the atlantic. the checks, the vetting, et cetera, are far, far tougher to arrive in the united states as a refugee than under any other visa or other regime. in a way you can understand that. because there are rights associated with refugee status that are earned. if you have a well-founded fear of persecution that you have rights and the state has obligations to you. i think it's important that we don't allow that status to be undermined. when it becomes part of a simple migration debate -- in honest truth that's what's happened in
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europe. for the confusion of the migration debate with the refugee debate it's very, very hard to hold the public never mind to run the policy. >> interesting. thank you, mr. chair. >> before i turn to senator markey, to put things in context, our staff looked up the numbers relative to the yugoslav war of a decade. there were 148,000 people that were killed and 4 million people displaced. if you look at the scale, this one causes that to pale. and yet no real action relative to the barrel bombing. senator markey? >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary milliband, i have been and remain a skeptic of policy recommendations that increase the risk of americanization, westernization, of the armed conflicts in iraq and syria. i would much rather see us work
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to influence parties toward internal compromise as necessary to end violence and work together to establish governments that fully represent and fairly treat all people. most recently, we have heard that u.s. policy may be moving toward creation of so-called safe zones. protected by coalition air power where a moderate sunni force could be supported and where additional forces could be trained, internally, displaced persons could find refuge and syrian opposition could organize. but on september 16th here in the foreign relations committee we heard testimony who told us that such zones cannot be considered safe. i have been advised that there are three requirements for true,
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effective humanitarian safe zones. one, parties to the armed conflict must agree to the creation of the zone and to respect it. and it is critical that this force not be a party to the conflict or supporter of any party to the conflict. thr three, the zone must be demilitarized meaning it must not be a base for any military activity or operations by parties to the conflict and this must be rigorously enforced by the impartial security force. in august, the u.n. special envoy for syria, stefan mistora completed a round of sanctions that the u.n. has endorsed.
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could you provide your opinion on how diplomatic support for his efforts could be increased? how might a process create true humanitarian safe zones in syria that meet the criteria i just mentioned? >> thank you, senator. i would say two things. first of all, your skepticism about military engagement is widely shared and. >> the greater the responsibility to act on the humanitarian and the political. secondly, i said earlier that i thought that in the debate about safe zones, no fly zones, it was important to move from slogans to details, which is what you've done, and also learn the lessons of history. because all of us actually, my colleagues here, with far more personal experience than me, can speak to the different ways in
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which different tactics for the establishment of safe zones have worked or have not worked. where i can comment and the well-known example of the kurds who were protected, in the way one of my frustrations is that we've got to go beyond just using those two examples as clubs with which to beat the argument. we need to get right underneath the details. the truth, to my mind, is that the situation in syria and iraq at the moment is unlike anything else we've seen before and we need to learn from history but not be imprisoned by it. you asked about the diplomatic engagement. the statement that is to look not just at the numbers but the
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absence of engagement. ongoing engaged backing on a day-to-day basis. and that contrasts with the situation of the balkans where there was accepted content of formations by the security council and others to put.
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it does. and the humanitarian crisis is an important way in. it is not the leading edge of this crisis as it presents globally. secondly it's very dangerous to conflate military approaches with civilian protection. and any approach that conflates those goals, i think, is a perilous way forward.
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so i think that's a contrast with general petraeus and think it's important to put that out here on the table. i think that's central to this issue. mr. chairman, i wanted to ask an additional question about yemen. >> sure. >> that can wait. is that all right? >> just out of curiosity, since we understand your point of view -- and i think david milliband does, too. are you saying on the other hand that you would support u.s. intervention to stop the barrel bombing if it was not about military activity taking place within that safe zone but
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protection of civilians? >> are you asking -- >> no, i'm asking you that just out of curiosity. because that would be a breakthrough. >> i think the breakthrough, honestly, has to be obama and yeltsin -- i mean obama and putin sitting down and reaching an agreement on this i think that's the only way it's going to happen. any other intervention, i don't think, will be effective in the long run. we need a political resolution of this and everything on the table. and we need the major powers to get this back out of the cold war framework. that's my view. >> thank you. >> and i apologize. >> mr. chairman, for the record, before i get or my organization get signed up to propose -- >> no, no. can i say you did not answer. >> i just want to say that none of these points of details really matter. let's take the point of a
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demilitarized zone. in an area of a country flooded with arms of all kinds is a nice aspiration, but doesn't speak to the detail of the situation on the ground. and i would suggest that the imperative is to look at what a detailed proposal actually is and then measure it against the situation on the ground and the objectives for it. in the end the application of the principles is what's going to matter. frankly the devil is in the detail. my goodness, we've seen that in the last few years. >> frankly, miss lindbergh, looking back to last winter and spring, it seems we were on autopilot to support a decision to intervene in yemen without a full examination of alternatives. what are your thoughts on this? what do we need to do to assess what we might have done differently last winter and spring? particularly diplomat icadiplom?
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>> well, i would answer it this way. we're seeing where the military intervention is preventing humanitarian assistance from reaching populations that were very, very vulnerable to begin with. and we are already seeing the beginning of pockets of famine in yemen. and if there isn't an ability to provide assistance on
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>> we start the meeting of today, i would like to invite the secretary of the united nations to present a short video . >> mr. president of the general assembly, distinguished head of state and government, it's my great pleasure to introduce a short film marking the 70th anniversary of the united nations. this film depicts our organization's work and shows why the united nations is
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inindispensable home and home of human kind. thank you. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> we the peoples of the united nations determine to defend from war. [speaking in spanish] >> [inaudible]
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>> accordingly our respective governments through representatives
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>> the united nations. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> the meeting of the general assembly is called to order. in accordance with the decisions taken and its second meeting on the 18th of september this year the general assembly will hear annual report of the organization and agenda and
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secretary general of the united nationses ban ki-moon. >> president of general assembly, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, the general assembly has opened with a powering achievement. agenda including 17 inspiring sustainable goals. our enemy is clear, our mission is possible and our destination is in our sight. extreme poverty by 2030.
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a life of peace and dignity for all. what counts now is translating promises in paper into change on the ground. we want this and much more to the vulnerable, forgotten people in our world. we out this for -- [inaudible] >> and impatience with the leadership can be seen and felt. we out this to succeeding generations in the memorable words. in this year we mark anniversary of the united nations, we must adhere to the call and share the voices of we the people.
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this is how we can overcome the realities of the present and seize opportunities of our era. [speaking in native tongue] >>
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[speaking in native tongue] >> and to reach those behind first. we can build on the momentum this december in paris with the robust agreement on climate change. remarkable changes are underway to reduce harmful greenhouse omissions. we have seen and visited vast
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solar power installations bringing a new energy future into being. there is wind in the sails of climate action, it's clear that the national targets submitted by the membered states will not be enough. we face a choice. either raise ambition or risk raising temperatures above the 2-degree celsius threshold which science tells us we must not cross. reaching our sustainable development goals means organizing ourselves better. let there be no more walls or boxes, no more ministries or
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agencies working at cross purposes. let us move from silohs to synergy, let us do so by data and long-term planning and let us have a will to do things differently. i welcome the agenda and new stretch by the developing countries to invest 2.0% of gross national income in official development. few countries have met its target. i salute those that have and
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urge others to follow their examples. climate change will be crucial. i encourage the developed country to build $100 billion for year by 2020. we must also get the green climate up and running. the word continues. trillions in wasteful military spending. why is it easy to find money to destroy money? it is to protect them. generations fend on us to -- depend on us to get priorities right. agencies, head of state and government, ladies and gentlemen, suffering today is
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generation. 100million people require humanitarian assistance. at least 60 million people have been forced to flee their own countries. the united nations has asked $20 billion to meet this year's needs, six times, six times a decade ago. humanitarian agencies to reach people. members have been generous but demands continue to our funding. the humanitarian summit in may in estambul is a critical movement to how better --
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[inaudible] >> the system is not problem, it is broke. we are not receiving enough money to save enough lives. we have about half of what we need to help the people of iraq, south sudan and yemen and for syria. our response from ukraine is 39% funding and one in four children suffers from something has been met with a silence. numbers raise suffering for due high. people need emergency assistance, but they want even more is lasting solutions.
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they deserve -- our enemies is not just to keep people alive but to keep them for life, distant life, lebanon, jordan, turkey, several million syrians refugees and iraqi refugees. countries of developing world continue to host and receive large numbers of refugees despite their own limited means. people are on the move as never before. in the americas, in the med -- mediterranian. human rights and basic
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compassion. [inaudible] >> i commend those in europe holding values and provide asylum. i encourage europe furthermore. it was the europeans seeking assistance. a high level meeting a day after tomorrow aimed to a comprehensive approach to the refugee and migration crisis. we must combat discrimination.
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the 21est -- 21st century. we should not be building walls. ladies and gentlemen, syrians leaving country and homes because extremism and destruction and fear. four years of diplomatic by the council and others have allow it had crisis to spin out of control. the responsibility for ending this conflict lies first and foremost with syrian parties. they are the ones turning their country to ruins. it's not enough to look only to syria for solution. it's being driven by vision of powers and rivalries.
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money to countries are fueling the fire. it is time now for others primarily the secret council and actors to step forward. five countries hold the key. the russian federation, the united states, saudi arabia, iran and turkey. but as long as one side will not compromise with the other, they expect change on the ground. syrians have paid the price of bombs and terrorism. there must be no impuntive for
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crimes. in yemen, 21 million people, 80% of the population need humanitarian assistance. all sides are showing disregard for human life but most of the casualties has been caused by air strikes. i call for end to the bombings which are also destroying yemen cities, infrastructure. i once again urge the parties to return to the table, negotiate in good faith and resolve crisis through dialogue. let me be clear, there's no military solution to this
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country. we must also guard against the dangerous in the peace process. [inaudible] >> provocations on the rise, it is essential for israelis and for the international community to pressure the parties to do so. the war can no longer wait for leaders to finally choose a path to peace. they remain major threats specially to yemen who have been targeted. the word must unite against brutality of these groups. we must conquer and hopelessness
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on extremism defeat. moreover states must not violate . only next year i represent general assembly of plan of action, how to counter violent extremism and terrorism. ladies and gentlemen, i command the nuclear agreement between the republic of iran and p-1 countries, patient and diplomacy has paid dividends. i hope peace among council can be demonstrated in other countries areas such as syria, yemen, and ukraine.
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let us build on the recent agreement in south sudan, finalize the agreement in those countries furthest suffering. now is the time for dialogue to address continuing tension on the korean peninsula. the parties to refrain from taking any action that may increase mistrust and urge them for reconciliation and peaceful denuclearized peninsula. we also need to step up for the people of democratic people's republic of korea. i'm deeply troubled by growing restrictions on freedoms and society across the world.
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it is not a crime for journalists, human rights defenders and others to exercise their basic rights. we must preserve the space for society and without fear of attack and imprisonment. democratic backsliding is a threat in too many places. we see rallies, we see rallies and petitions being engineered to look like the spontaneous of the people. those manufacturing of support only lay the groundwork for instability. i urge leaders to abide by the constitution limit on their terms.
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[speaking in native tongue] >> humanitarian response. earlier this month, i put forward my vision for strengthening united nations peace-keeping operations building on the recommendations of an independent panel. our peace-keeping and political missions need enhanced capabilities and clear objectives. what we need is a renewed commitment to prevention and
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sustained engagement on peace building. and we must also unlock the potential of women to advance peace as in resolution 1325 of the security council. i hope that the general assembly will take early action at the signal of its commitment to this effort. people today and succeeding generations need us to make the most of this rare opportunity for comprehensive progress. >> mr. president of general
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assembly, distinguished head of state, ladies and gentlemen, founded the united nations brought hope that collective action could avoid another global catastrophe. over the past seven years, we have had to liberate billions of people and successful struggle against appetite. [inaudible] >> the rule of law. this and more we have done, but that is far from enough. we are leaving to a time of test but also one of great opportunity and today we are more connected than ever, better than ever and have better tools than ever, to recipes are in our
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hands. we know we must do much more politically. we still need to step it up for equality. i'm inspired by young people who make half of the world's population and whose voices we must integrate in decisions, making everywhere. i'm impressed with the way all of us can unit. one year ago where we gathered for the general debate, the
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ebola crisis in west africa was claiming lives daily. families devastated. frightening losses in the month ahead. today thanks to collective action by communities and their governments and others all around the world cases of ebola have declined dramatically. the outbreak is not over and we must remain vigilant. when we stand together, there's no limit to what we cannot change. three days ago, young people from many nations stood together in balcony of this world, they asked for one thing about war,
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change, change. there's nothing we can say to the words of children. that can convince them the world needs to be the way it is. that means we must do everything we can to cross the gap between the world as it should be. that is the mission of the united nations. ladies and gentlemen, let's work together to make this better for all where everybody can life with human dignity and prosperity. i thank you for your leadership. thank you very much. [applause] >> the secretary general of the united nations for his presentation. the general assembly will now
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turn to agenda item 8, general debate and i will now deliver in capacity as president in the session of general assembly a statement. heads of states, heads of government, distinguished ministers, mr. secretary general , delegated ladies and gentlemen, friends, on friday you heads of states and governments had 23rd-year agenda . a decision that once again proved universal relevance and value of the united nations. now we face the daunting task of
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transforming our vision into action. our ambition will only be realized in a world of peace and security and respect for human rights, not in a world where investment in wars more and more absorb and destroy a huge share of the resources we have committed to invest in a sustainable development, not in a world where poverty, hunger, inequalities, governments are drivers of refugees and uncontrolled human migration and count heavily also among the causes of conflicts which in turn affect many more people. governments will only succeed in implementing this great agenda
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with continued and expanding participation of all stakeholders, leaders of cities, communityies, business and academia worldwide. and the great goals of the united nations will only be fulfilled when we realize that it's more dependent. the development goes we have over the last 15 years caused the number of extremely poor people by half.
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it's only possible with a much more complex transformation of the entire global economy. .. for sustainable future everywhere your we recognize that each and every person has the legitimate demand for life,
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but that as the number of people on our planet has tripled since i was born nearly 70 years ago, we must meet the demands without further depleting the natural resources that we pass on to new generations. we acknowledge also that people in developed countries cannot continue to consume and produce in the manner they are used to. and that billions of hard-working people elsewhere should not simply adopt the same behavior. to build a sustainable global infrastructure over the next 15 years, trillions of dollars needs to be invested. the least developed countries can only do this when which
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countries live up to their long-standing commitments of a minimum of 0.7% of their national income in development assistance. national governance can only find their share of the investment required by fighting corruption and building efficient state tax systems. and a most -- much stronger international corporation must ensure which companies in which individuals pay taxes where they earn their money and are no longer able to evade payment in tax havens. finally, we must realize that a huge share of investment and a better future must come from private sources such as companies, capital investors and pension funds. therefore, it is crucial that
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governments create a framework for markets that makes the green investment, the obvious, safer and better investment. not only for mankind, not only the longer perspective, but for business here and now. excellencies, it is the time for far-reaching decisions to bring an end to devastating conflicts and to start investing pecan sustainable development. action is needed now. if we fail, we run the overwhelming risk of unmanageable and inescapable damage to the political, social, ecological, and climate balance of our planet. if we fail, they will never be
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reached because the resources needed will be swallowed up in addressing crisis and complex. if we fail to stop climate change, the consequences would be catastrophic. hundreds of millions of people will be forced away from their habitats. historically migration has brought huge benefits for the growth of community, a large-scale of uncontrolled migration has the potential to destabilize societies, leading to complex, conflicts far more damaging than those we are not able to do with an orderly and a humanitarian fashion today. excellencies, we live in paradoxical and transformational times. never before has such a large
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share of humanity enjoyed so good a life. yet never before have we been at greater risk for fundamentally disrupting that basic living conditions of our small globe. and while a larger share of humanity lives in peace, and has done so for longer periods and earlier in human history, or in self-destruction have increased in the middle east come in parts of africa, and once again in europe. creating unfathomable humanitarian catastrophes and more refugees than at anytime since the end of world war ii. tension between major powers increase as into investments in all kind of armaments. vast arsenals of nuclear am a
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chemical and biological weapons still exist, and disarmament negotiations in geneva have installed four years. for weeks ago i visited hiroshima, and was once again confronted with the horrors of nuclear war. we must remember that at this very moment still all too many nuclear warheads are on high alert, and we have not eliminated risks of nuclear conflicts by mistake. first of all, therefore, we need to rebuild confidence and scale back these risks. excellencies, we must here in the united nations, here in this very hall, macon extraordinary
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effort to break all the vicious circles. we must act in accordance with the agreed understanding behind the 2030 agenda by recognizing the strong linkages between development, peace and security, and respect for human rights. and take specific actions to make progress in each of these areas. this will be the central focus of the 70 the session of the general assembly, and my cpu the i will offer my strong support for new ideas, how to strengthen the global peace and security from the role of women to conflict convention with settlement from the u.n. peace operations to the old peace building architecture, and security council reform. it is my sincere hope that the u.n. will develop a more direct
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role in reconciliation and peace building, including and complex where we have failed until now. and that we will move forward in our common efforts to prevent vicious radicalization and fight the evil of terrorism. with party living up to the promises for nuclear agreement between iran and the five permanent numbers of the security council, germany and the european union, and be a very important country vision to avoiding nuclear proliferation. and patiently we await the day when major and regional powers also joined forces to stop the senseless and horrifying bloodshed in and around serious, and in doing so address the root causes of the refugee crisis.
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i'm sure we all wish that the state comes very soon come and once to contradict to such an outcome, the most we are able to. i am sure that member states will be out our great 2030 agenda will increase efforts to make human rights a reality for all people without discrimination from fundamental rights, such as safe access to food, clean water, quality health, education, decent work to civil and political rights such as freedom of expression and association. from the rights of migrants and indigenous peoples, to those of women, children and persons with disabilities. we must also advance efforts to strengthen good governance and the rule of law.
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as president of the general assembly i will support a member states in their ambitions for revitalization and reform, including a new modern transparent process for selection of the next secretary of the general assembly. excellencies, this 70th anniversary of the united nations must be a defining year to conform, to confirm and invigorate the universal values that we the peoples agreed upon in the charter. no one should be left behind. because as the norwegian order wrote, no book is mankind, earth is reached. if there is need and hunger, it
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is by to see. i think you. [applause] >> is when the punisher benjamin netanyahu addresses of united nations general assembly this point previously his remarks later in the day on the c-span networks as well as speeches by other world leaders before the u.n. on our website greek prime minister alexi cpars will also address the united nations general assembly today. is expected to discuss the economic situation increase in the syrian refugee crisis in your. follow our coverage of the usb just anytime on >> the latvian president is in washington, d.c. today for speech at the national press club. he will talk about the geopolitical situation in eastern europe, the syrian
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refugee crisis and his countries increase in defense spending. live coverage at 12:30 p.m. eastern on c-span3. >> will ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ many happy returns ♪ ♪ to mamie with the music ♪ >> first lady mamie eisenhower knew how to manage a large staff and demanded nothing short of excellence in the white house. her favorite color of pink which was reflected in her wardrobe and coordinate with accessories.
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she was voted one of the nation's best dressed for clothing and hats. mamie eisenhower, this sunday night at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span's original series "first ladies: influence and image" examined the public and private lives of the women who fill the position of first lady and their influence on the presidency from martha washington to michelle obama sunday at 8 p.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span3. >> at the u.n. general assembly tuesday, ukrainian president poroshenko spoke critically of russia's aggression in crimea and urged members to put pressure on russian authorities to release ukrainian citizens. and his 25 minute speech he also asks for peacekeeping a to resolve the conflict in ukraine's eastern region.
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>> distinguished mr. president, dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of ukraine, i sincerely congratulate distinguished mr. mogens lykketoft on election as president of the 70th session of the u.n. general assembly. i wish you, mr. president, every success in your activity in this crucial historic moment. our future will largely depend on the outcomes of this session and our collective decisions, whether we will choose to follow the path of peace, security and human rights, or will plunge into the turmoil of new hybrid wars, chaos and sufferings. mr. president, at the moment of the organization's anniversary i'm proud to speak on behalf of
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one of the u.n. founding members. the state, which back in 1945 took an active part in the san francisco conference, contributed to the establishment of the organization and laid down the foundations for its activities. the state, which added a lot in san francisco to shape the heart of the u.n. charter, its purposes and principles. regrettably, i am also speaking on behalf of the u.n. member state, which is now suffering from a brutal violation of the fundamental norms and principles of the u.n. charter. the statement on ukraine's joining to the united nations as one of the founding members, which was delivered at the san francisco conference,
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emphasized, i quote, ukraine has repeatedly been the subject of bloody invasions by aggressors that for centuries have sought to capture its territory, end of quote. it has been a long time since that landmark event. but today, i have to recall that my country has become the object of external aggression. this time, the aggressor is the russian federation, neighboring country, former strategic partner that legally pledged to respect the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of the borders of ukraine. this country used to be a guarantor of ukraine's security under the budapest memorandum, whereby security guarantees were provided to my country in exchange for a voluntary
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renunciation of the world's third nuclear arsenal. moreover, this state is a permanent member of the u.n. security council, which is entrusted by the u.n. charter with maintaining international peace and security. in february 2014, russia conducted an open and unprovoked aggression against my country, having occupied and annexed the crimea. bluntly and brutally violating the international law and shocking the whole world community. i am deeply grateful to the delegations of the majority of our organization's member states, that last year supported the resolution of the u.n. general assembly entitled territorial integrity of ukraine, which condemned the russian illegal annexation of
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crimea. it is regrettable that after this clear verdict of the international community, russia did not return to the civilized international legal field. moreover, moscow started a new military reckless gamble, this time, in ukrainian donbas region. despite the fact that until now russia refuses to officially admit its direct military invasion, today there is no doubt that this is an aggressive war against my country. to mislead the world community, russian leadership orders to take off insignias of its military servicemen and identification marks of its military equipment, to abandon its soldiers captured on the battlefield and cynically use
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mobile crematoriums to eliminate traces of its crimes in ukrainian soil. i would like to stress, it is neither a civil war not an internal conflict. ukrainian territories occupied by russia in the crimea and donbas region constitute approximately 44 thousand square kilometers. millions of ukrainians have found themselves under occupation. the goal of this war is to force the ukrainian people to give up its sovereign choice to build a free, democratic, prosperous european state. all this takes place against the backdrop of traitorous rhetoric about brotherly peoples, common history, related languages and predestined common future. in fact, we are dealing here with a desire to return to the
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imperial times with spheres of influence, a desperate attempt to obtain self-affirmation at others' expense. for over 20 months, russia's aggression against my country has been continuing through financing of terrorists and mercenaries, and supplies of arms and military equipment to the illegal armed groups in donbas. over the last few days we have heard conciliatory statements from the russian side in which, in particular, it called for the establishment of anti-terrorist coalition, or warned of fire danger to flirt with terrorists. cool story, but really hardly to believe. [applause] how can you urge an
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anti-terrorist coalition, if you inspire terrorism right in front of your door? how can you talk about peace and legitimacy, if your policy is war via puppet governments? [applause] how can you speak of freedom for nations, if you punish your neighbor for his choice? how can you demand respect for all, if you don't have respect for anyone? the gospel of john teaches us, in the beginning was the word. but what kind of a gospel do you bring to the world, if all your words are double-tongued like that? back to the situation in donbas i have to state that here we are forced to fight proper, fully armed regular troops of the armed forces of the russian federation. heavy weaponry and military
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equipment are concentrated in the occupied territories in such quantities that armies of the majority of u.n. member states can only dream about. these are, in particular, the state of art samples of military equipment of russian production, which are unlikely, according to the well-known assumption of the russian president might be purchased in an ordinary army store. unless, of course, such a wholesale store, with free shipping, is from the russian federation. during this period, more than 8,000 ukrainians, of whom about 6,000 civilians, died at the hands of the russian backed terrorists and occupiers in donbas. more than 1.5 million residents of donbas were forced to flee their homes and became internally displaced persons
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moving to other safer region in ukraine. i would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the international community for the considerable efforts in providing necessary assistance to the people in need. at the same time i call upon the united nations and all other international actors to continue to pay special attention to this very important issue. i would like to draw your attention that it is not for the first time that the permanent member of the u.n. security council is undermining peace and security at both regional and international levels. for over 24 years that have passed since the questionable procedure of transfer of the permanent security council membership of the former soviet union to the russian federation,
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it is not the only hybrid war that russia has unleashed. in fact, in order to preserve its influence in neighboring countries, russia for decades has deliberately created around itself the belt of instability. these are nagorny karabakh, transnistria, abkhazia, south ossetia, crimea and donbas. all of these are protracted conflicts, which supported by, or directly related to russia. but the kremlin goes further on. these days the russian men in green tread on syrian land. what and who is next? mr. president, in every democratic country, if someone stole your property, the independent court would restore justice, in order to protect the rights, and punish the offender. however, we must recognize that
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in the 21st century our organization lacks an effective instrument to bring the aggressor-country to justice, which has stolen the territory of another sovereign state. 70 years ago the creators of the u.n. charter have envisaged the mechanism of the u.n. security council sanctions to be one of the restraining tools applied in response to the breaches of peace and acts of aggression. however, they couldn't even imagine that this tool will be needed against the aggressor state that is a permanent member of the u.n. security council. since the beginning of the aggression, russia used its veto right twice, while the u.n. security council was considering questions related to ukraine.
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at the outset, russia blocked a draft resolution condemning fake referendum on crimea's annexation in march 2014. me personally as a ukrainian member of parliament was exactly at the time when they said that it was voting on the announcing of his faked memoranda. there was no member of parliament. it was just russian soldiers surrounded the parliament of crimea. the second time russia put its shameful veto on the draft resolution on establishment of the international tribunal to investigate and bring to justice all responsible for malaysian mh17 plane crash. by imposing its disgraceful veto on this draft resolution, russia clearly demonstrated to the whole world its defiance in establishing the truth. not just the truth about
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perpetrators of this terrorist attack and arms, used to shot down that plane. what is most important is the truth about those who organized this crime and from which country the mentioned arms have been transported. i think everyone in this hall clearly understands real motives of russia's veto on mh17 tribunal. moreover, the establishment of an international peacekeeping operation which could lead to the stabilization of the situation in ukraine and stop the bloodshed has been also blocked because of the potential threat of russia's veto. abuse of the veto right, its usage as a license to kill is unacceptable. [applause]
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collective voice of our organization should be clear. ukraine stands for the gradual limitation of the veto right with its further cancellation. veto power should not become an act of grace and pardon for the crime, which could be used anytime and pulled off from the sleeve in order to avoid fair punishment. in this context i welcome the initiative of my french colleague president hollande, supported by president peña nieto of mexico, on the political declaration to restrain from the veto right among the p5 members in case of mass atrocities. primary attention should be given to the modernization of the u.n. security council, including enlargement of its membership and improvement of methods of its work. the membership of the u.n.


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