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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  October 3, 2015 4:00am-6:01am EDT

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make our choices. i'm sorry to hear that mr. trudeau thinks we're talking about his father in a negative way. i'm talking about historical fact, that the only party that stood up for canadians' rights and freedoms was the ndp. the only party that stood on principle against bill c-51 was ndp. he said he was against it but afraid of mr. harper making political -- >> that's not -- >> you have to have the courage of your convictions. >> you said we could speak individually. >> go ahead. >> on mr. trudeau's other complaint, which he throws out there very lightly at every occasion, there was a check of mr. trudeau's complaint, where he says i've said one thing in french and one thing in english, they said it's total malarkey.
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i say the same thing. i'm very proud to know and understand quebec and have strong support there. but i know that an ndp government will represent canadian values across the country. >> it's very clear, we saw it again last week, in the french debate you were happy to talk about your decision to make it so that separatists could break up this country on a single vote, even though the supreme court of canada said no unanimously. but you won't talk about it with peter mansbridge in english. you wouldn't talk about it at the mcklain debate. the fact is you carry two different discussions at the same time. and that is not responsible. the other thing, however, that mr. mulcair has done on c-51 is exactly what so many of us deplore that mr. harper has done, which is to play the politics of fear. now, mr. harper, we all know, on c-51, wants us to be afraid there's a terrorist hiding
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behind every leaf and rock behind us and we all have to be afraid and that's why he's there to protect us. [ applause ] >> fortunately the podiums are transparent. mr. mulcair is playing a similar politics of fear, trying to say that because of c-51, we have been very clear that we have reservations, but there are elements in that bill that protect canadians and we're working to bring in protections to get that balance right, but mr. mulcair is playing the politics of fear and division, fear that we're suddenly in a police state, fear that we've suddenly ripped up the charter of rights and freedoms. and we know that that's not true. the liberal party has taken the responsible position of saying we need to do both security and defend our rights and freedoms together. and that is what my father and liberal governments have always understood. [ applause ]
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>> sharing information on peaceful protests? that's fair? you want to stand up for that? you voted for that? going against basic rights and freedoms, you voted for that, mr. trudeau? i stood on a question of principle. i'm not afraid of stephen harper. i voted against c-51. >> mr. mulcair, in committee, there was a concern that people had around lawful protests. it's a concern we had. we heard many committee members point out that this was something that needed to get changed. the liberal party put forward amendments. they were voted down. the conservative party put forward the same amendments and passed it. every single proposal or amendment that was put forward to improve at committee c-51, the ndp voted against. people playing politics, talking about police states and
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taking away our rights are the ndp on this. i am not apologetic in the least about taking a strong stance. >> we're down to the final moments of the segment. i want to give the last word to mr. mulcair. >> that is completely false. i've never used the term "police state." i have confidence in quebecers that the normal rules of democracy apply there. >> translator: that's exactly what i said at the debate last week. i trust quebecers as to respecting rules in a democracy. mr. trudeau does not respect them. >> this government is fully committed to protecting both our freedoms and our security, both of which are under attack from the group isis. the threat we face today is isis. and if we look at -- [ applause ] the provisions of the bill that
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mr. trudeau actually well-defended, give our security agencies powers that are similar across the western world, for example the ability of security agencies to share information on security threats, to intervene directly through a warrant if there is a need to, if there is a plot actually unfolding, the ability to take down websites that attempt to recruit people to terrorist organizations in canada, these are all important matters, overseen by a retired judge. these are not the only things we've done. there's many other steps we've taken on anti-radicalization and some other things that have been in the news recently, including the fact that this government is clear, we will and have revoked the citizenship of people who are convicted of terrorist offenses who do not need to remain to be our citizens. there is no reason why we would not do that. [ applause ] >> first of all, mr. harper talks about oversight of our security agencies.
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he put arthur porter in charge of overseeing our security agencies. what our other allies do is ask elected parliamentarians to oversee those agencies. canada is the only one that does not do that. it is about ensuring that police powers aren't overused and abused, that we are upholding the charter rights of every individual. but it's also holding police to account to make sure they are actually protecting us in every possible way. we need to trust elected parliamentarians to do that job, not just appointed people answerable only to the prime minister. that's what the liberal party is committed to bringing in.
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>> translator: bill c-51 is a real threat to our rights and freedoms. once again, these are the false choices of mr. harper. do you want security or freedom? the same way as when he says do you want good economy or dealing with the environment. it's not a matter of choosing between one and the other. both can be dealt with. and he's trying to justify bill c-51 while the ndp took a position on principles against this bill, because it attacks very seriously our rights and freedoms. it's been for a very long time in our anthem. we must protect at the same time our rights and our freedoms. and this is a pretence of being a progressive matter. but we should have seen that
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this was putting in danger our rights and freedoms. bill c-51, mr. trudeau, you were afraid of, mr. trudeau, that's what you said at the university of british columbia. you know very well that what i think about all this issue is that this is a choice anchored in security. canadians are worried about their jobs, about infrastructure, about help to the middle class. and that's what we should talk about in these elections. and we took a balanced position, like the liberals always did, to protect both our rights and freedoms at the same time. >> despite ten years to do something about it, he just revoked someone's citizenship in the past days, convicted of terrorism. and he's right that the liberal party takes issue with that. because quite frankly, it
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worries me when the first response is not this person needs to be in jail, but it's this person should be given a two-tiered citizenship, that we recognize that someone can be judged differently by our system of laws and rights, because their parents were born in a different country. that is not canadian. particularly from this prime minister, who has made a habit of calling out first nations groups, environmental groups as terrorists. we should be very worried that any prime minister would have the ability to revoke citizenship for people. it's slippery slope. >> mr. harper, please come in. we'll add a minute to the clock. >> the individual in question is already in prison and we'll be able to remove him from the country after he is released. are you seriously saying, mr. trudeau, we should never be able to revoke citizenship for somebody? we can revoke the citizenship of war criminals. why would we not revoke the citizenship of people convicted
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of terrorist offenses against this country? this was a -- [ applause ] >> this was a bill put forward by a member of parliament who is himself an immigrant. all of us here expect that we would have a minimum bar that people who come here would not be guilty of trying to plan terrorist attacks against this country. >> you devalue the citizenship of every canadian in this place and in this country when you break down and make it conditional for anyone. we have a rule of law in this country. and you can't take away individual rights. you can't do that. >> the individual in question is convicted of -- he would have detonated bombs. >> this is the politics of fear.
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we are not a country dominated by fear. we are a country of laws and rights. >> we're out of time for that segment. lively as it was. we appreciate it. i now want to change gears and move to the first of our three rapid reaction sessions. mr. mulcair, the ndp is a strong proponent of spending more on foreign aid. many canadians want to know why we should spend billions more when we have urgent problems here at home. make that case to the country. >> i think it is a fundamental canadian value to do more, help on issues like international cases of poverty, help build democracy in the world, help defend women's rights. those are core canadian values. and don't forget, we've dropped by about half the percentage of our gross national income that we're dedicating now to foreign
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aid. we're down to under 0.25%, which is lamentable compared to other countries. i mean, david cameron's conservative government has brought that country up to the 0.7% that will be the goal. we'll set a timeline for that with an ndp government, because canadians understand that it's only by investing that we can help democracy, help alleviate poverty, but importantly as well, we can help build canada's standing in the world. >> i want to stop you there because this is a rapid reaction session. gentlemen, let's have a three-way debate. >> translator: who will start? >> i'm going to start. [ speaking french ]
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[ speaking french ] [ speaking french ] [ speaking french ]
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>> of course one of the things we have led on, we're very proud of, is our child, maternal, and newborn health initiative. we have been able to assemble an international coalition of countries and private foundations, frankly with often minimal investment, to dramatically reduce child and maternal mortality in the developing world. this is something as canadians, we're a very wealthy country, we know we can do. it's effective, and we're very proud of doing it. we have needs of our own but it is in our broader interests to help people around the world when we can and when we know that aid will be used responsibly and effectively. that's what we're committed to. >> mr. mulcair? [ speaking french ]
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[ speaking french ] >> translator: this government does very general health services. but we want to -- >> you can't go out in the world and unite the range of countries that we have, and the ngos that we have, and get into that kind of debate. you need to get to it on things that unite people. saving the lives of mothers and newborns around the world is something that we've made real progress and we need to keep going in that direction.
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>> the last word to mr. trudeau. [ speaking french ] >> translator: all over the world, canadians are involved. there is doctors without borders, engineers without borders. we must get engaged all over the world, because it's to our benefit. and that's what we are going to do. that's what we must do in order to increase the fate of the most vulnerable in the world. thank you. >> our second rapid reaction topic, mr. harper, the question is to you. you've made the point of visiting the arctic every summer as prime minister. under your leadership, not one new deep water port has been built, at a time when you know the russians have 40 icebreakers
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and as many as 14 planned. what will you do to reassert canada's interests in the north? >> in fact the work has begun on the deep water port at nanasivic. we have increased our ability through purchases in the air force to reach the entire north. we're investing to make sure we have better coverage. we've expanded the canadian rangers, who are our eyes and ears in the north, and they patrol for us. i should be clear, these are not the only investments we're making. obviously we're making sovereignty investments, the expansion of the nahani national park, economic investments like the building of the highway system to the arctic coast, social investments in adult education and housing, and investments in governance.
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we signed an historic agreement to bring governance closest to the people. we're going to continue to make investments across a range of areas. of course we'll continue to respond to the threat and to the risk that russia in particular -- >> translator: thank you. mr. trudeau, it's your turn to talk about this matter. >> in january this past year i went up to the arctic with my son xavier, the way i had been able to do as a child. in talking with communities and seeing how people are struggling through the winter with inadequate food security, challenges around infrastructure, the one thing they keep saying about you up there, mr. harper, is you are big sled, no dogs. the challenge, to have sovereignty over the arctic, we have to support the communities, the people who live there, who have lived there for millenia.
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obama just convened the arctic summit last month and canada was almost completely absent on that. we need to start once again investing in science and research, not to find ships, but to actually detect what's going on with the fragile arctic ecosystems and make sure we're serving the needs of our country. >> translator: thank you, mr. trudeau. kindly get involved in the discussion, mr. mulcair. >> arctic strategy has to begin with the people of the north. >> translator: i am very proud to be able to say that tomorrow i am going back to caluit, to baffin island. it's a great opportunity for us to see everything in what mr. harper has failed. we have seen the results.
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>> comments about people going into garbage cans to find food in the north. his minister sat there in the house of commons reading the newspaper. we have to show more concern for people in the north. we should also understand that the north is the front line in the battle against climate change. we're letting go of methane, 20 times more powerful than co2. it's a catastrophic climate driver. we'll have to start dealing with this issue seriously. mr. harper, of course, doesn't agree. he doesn't think there's a problem. that's why he's made us the only country in the world to withdraw from the kyoto protocol. i know it's a pressing issue that required something from the prime minister. >> i've given a very partial list of the range of new investments in the arctic. these are frankly without precedent in canadian history,
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across social sovereignty, governance dimensions. that's why northerners have responded so positively. this kind of attention was never paid before. if it now awakens the attention of the other parties, i'm happy about that. it's about time it got support from all parties. i'm particularly proud that we have a remarkable inuit woman who sits in canada. that's a sign that the inuit has arrived in our country. >> mr. harper talks about icebreakers. the fact is we are underfunding even the military procurement for our navy that we need to have right now. which is why i alone have made the decision, of these gentlemen on stage, to cancel the expensive f-35s, to plunge any extra money, so we can get better planes at a better price, and plunge the money into our navy so we can once again
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protect two thirds of our country that is in the arctic. canada needs to reengage and fund it properly. >> translator: thank you, mr. trudeau. >> $35 billion weren't going down at all of our shipyards. we do that, mr. trudeau, without promising to run deficits and without hiking people's taxes. >> translator: there is no time left. in the canadian north, as we were able to see it recently with my friend, there is a particular crisis as to housing. i saw houses with 18 people in two rooms. how can a child do his homework? this is a social and economic crisis that is destroying the next generations. this is a state obligation. it reflects our deep canadian values.
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and i will tackle that when i become the prime minister. it will be an opportunity to tackle the housing problem for our first nations and inuit. >> you're all aware, i'm sure you've thought a lot about this, that the biggest foreign policy challenge of the moment surely is the aggressive and unpredictable behavior of russia on the world stage. mr. trudeau, if you become prime minister, how will you deal with vladimir putin? >> i think there's no question that we have to recognize that russia has become, as you say, a destabilizing force around the world. he's destabilizing eastern europe with his unacceptable incursions in ukraine. in blocking the achievement of cease-fires and stabilizing and to stopping the barrel bombs in
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see ya. and he's being a provocative agent in the arctic, which requires canada to stand firm with our multilateral partners to push back with strong sanctions and as a strong partner of nato to that. mr. harper has made a big deal of talking loudly and strongly to mr. putin. but the reality is canada has such a diminished voice on the world stage that mr. harper hasn't noticed that vladimir putin didn't listen to him when he told him to get out of ukraine. unfortunately that is a reflection that we don't have the impact that we used to have to push back against bullies like vladimir putin. >> it's fascinating to hear these other parties talk about their fears and their concerns about mr. putin. for years they accused this government of being alarmist, as we pointed out to the world the deterioration of democracy and human rights in russia under his rule, and his increasingly destabilizing behavior internationally. i have met with mr. putin many times.
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i made it very clear to him that this country will never tolerate under any circumstances his occupation of the baltic territory. it was annexed by the soviet union in 1939. we held to this position with our allies since then. i've said that this country will continue to work with our allies to make sure we never any way recognize or accept russian occupation any square inch of ukrainian territory. [ applause ] >> the ndp stands four square with the people of ukraine against this russian invitation. and we will stay there for the long term. but it's interesting to hear mr. trudeau say what he's going to do with mr. putin. mr. trudeau, you can't even stand up to stephen harper on c-51. how are you going to stand up to putin?
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mr. harper talks a good game with regard to dealing with mr. putin. but the fact is there are two people, yakunin and sechen, who are on the list of some of our closest allies, including the americans. mr. harper has refused to put them on the list of sanctions for canada. you know why? because they have important business dealings here in canada. he's going to tell us he's got a longer list than anyone else. the rest of the people on that list don't matter much. but these two count. they should be on canada's sanctions list. they're not, because mr. harper talks a good game about dealing with putin, but two of his closest allies, two of his closest buddies, are not being sanctioned. mr. harper is protecting them, not sanctioning them. >> canada has the largest sanction list.
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it's not just in russia but in crimea and ukraine. if anybody is listed by all of our allies, they're of course listed by canada. mr. mulcair claimed in the previous debate that these two individuals are listed by everyone. they're not. we want to make sure the sanctions are effective, that they punish russians and not canadians. we continue to review that particular -- those particular cases. >> they're listed by the americans. >> but no one should doubt, and i think the world has recognized that the ukrainians have recognized it, no country has responded more comprehensively to ukraine's needs, whether they be nonlethal military aid, training, financial assistance. i've been to ukraine, met with president boroshenko. no country has stood with ukraine more than this government has. >> and canada will continue to stand with ukraine. when i chatted with president boroshenko, we have seen
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tremendous impact locally. but at the same time, we are a country that used to have a lot more influence. and when canada said something, we were listened to on the world stage. and that has been diminished over the past years because of our withdrawal from international consensus building, from working with multilateral partners as a positive, constructive actor in our national interests. and that's what we need to get back to so we can make a difference in holding our ground against putin and against bullies around the world. >> thank you, gentlemen, for three very good rapid reaction discussions. let's now return to our longer format exchanges. i want to begin by focusing on the topic of canada-u.s. relations. mr. harper, you were unable to convince barack obama to build the keystone pipeline. what does this failure tell you about how we should manage the
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canada/u.s. relationship going forward? >> barack obama and i have discussed this particular matter. he says there's nothing he's asking canada to do, he's going to make the decision based on his own assessment of american interests. this government has worked with two radically different administrations in the united states. and we have worked productively with both. we're working together with the united states against the so-called islamic state. we're working closely with the united states in our response to the crisis in ukraine and in reassurance to our eastern european allies and nato. we've worked together on the ebola crisis. we've had a clean energy and climate change dialogue. we've worked with the united states on joint regulations in that particular area. we have a project of unprecedented scope called beyond the border in which we are doing more to better
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integrate our security and try to thin border processes between canada and the united states, vitally important to our trade. we're working together, sometimes not always agreeing, on international trade negotiations. but look, canada has a good relationship with the united states. we work productively overall. at the same time, the responsibility of the prime minister of canada is to stand up for canadian interests. where it's necessary to take a position different from the united states, we do that. >> mr. mulcair? >> very difficult to see how canada's superior interests were being served when prime minister harper said to president obama that it was a complete no-brainer that the americans had to approve keystone xl. i know that keystone xl represents canadian jobs because that's what mr. harper said. i want to create those jobs in canada. i think mr. harper takes a wrong approach when he says things like that.
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he informed americans that the keystone xl, this is a direct quote, i won't take no for an answer. guess what, the answer was no and you weren't able to do anything about it. now every progressive in the united states is against keystone xl. mr. trudeau and mr. harper are in favor of keystone xl, just as they're in favor of c-51. it's time to start dealing with these issuing seriously. both mr. harper and mr. trudeau have failed on keystone. >> i look at the facts of the keystone xl pipeline. i'm simply citing the report done by the u.s. state department itself, which actually did an independent analysis of this. it creates jobs on both sides of the border, of course, as exports always do. i understand the protectionists in the ndp don't recognize that, but it's a fact. it displaces oil from foreign countries that are security risks to north america.
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it is by far the best environmental solution in terms of moving product to market. also point out, the reason i say this will be adopted eventually is through the efforts of our embassy and this government, we have created overwhelming public support in the united states for this position on both sides of the aisle in congress and clear majorities in public opinion. and it is my view that when something, the logic of something is overwhelming on an environmental, economic, and energy security sense, that its adoption is inevitable. we will continue to make the cases and make the case aggressively. look, as i say, we far more often than not agree with our american friends. but when we do not, we have to be vocal in pushing for canada's best interests. >> that's a wonderful idea. but when you actually need approval from your colleague for something you're pushing for, the last thing you should be saying is that it's a complete no-brainer or you won't take no
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for an answer or to tell the american administration of president obama that if you don't get it in this administration, you'll get it with the next administration. you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. i think you're pouring vinegar by the gallon on the americans and it's not a surprise they said no to you. you're right, though, there are times when our approach will be different from that of the americans. our job is to stand up for canada. on issues like trade, like climate, like security overall, we're going to be in agreement with them. we do have to stand up for canadian values. but what's the canadian value in exporting 40,000 canadian jobs to the u.s.? it doesn't make any sense. >> mr. mulcair, this is fundamental. it is amazing that the ndp actually believes that because we export our products and that helps create jobs elsewhere, that's somehow bad for canada. the reason trade is so important is it creates economic opportunities on both sides of the border. i personally have people,
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friends who work in this industry, ordinary families who depend on the revenue from this industry. the industry and labor organizations in both the united states and canada are supportive of this. labor unions in alberta say the ndp's position on this is wrong. we cannot take, in the modern, global economy of the 21st century, an ideological opposition to trade, being able to sell our energy products, our our products around the world is a good thing for canada. >> this is a very old hat approach from the conservatives. this is the same approach that's failed in the past, where we rip and ship our natural resources in as raw a state as possible and send them to another country. the way to build for the future, sustainable development of our resources includes basic principles like polluter pay, which mr. harper has never applied, which includes putting the cost to the environment, the
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climate, the cheap greenhouse gases, into your evaluation. we don't have a complete, thorough environmental assessment process left in canada. and by the way, mr. harper has failed, not only in the united states with keystone, but on his watch there's not a single kilometer in ten years of pipeline that's been built in canada. and there's a reason for it. you can force the matter and gut environmental legislation like you did, fisheries. but unless the public is on your side, it's not going to get built. mr. harper has only himself to blame. we have to start adding value to our resources here in canada. >> mr. mulcair, we've gotten off topic. i would like to bring in mr. trudeau on the canada/u.s. relationship. that's what i want to focus on. >> our relationship with the u.s. is the most important foreign relationship that canada has. how the prime minister can work with the president is at the top of the list of what a prime
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minister needs to get right. they're our most valuable and trusted ally. they're our nearest neighbor and our most important trading partner. and how we engage to ensure that there are jobs for canadians and economic growth is deeply wrapped up in how we're getting along. unfortunately, mr. harper has narrowed the entire relationship with the united states to a single point around the keystone xl pipeline. he went to new york and criticized and harangued the president. that is not the kind of relationship that we need, because not only does it not get the outcome that was desired of getting an approval for the keystone xl pipeline, it also interferes with our capacity to deal with other issues, because it's quite frankly all mr. harper and his ministers wanted to talk to the u.s. about, whether it's buy american, whether it's the auto sector and the tpp negotiations going on, whether it's just jobs and
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growth for canadians. the fact is that canadians are sitting around worried about their jobs because we have a prime minister that doesn't like barack obama. we need to do much better than that. and that personal relationship that mr. harper has had a difficulty creating, not just with the u.s. president who doesn't share his ideology, but with premiers across the country and municipalities and a wide range of people, is hindering these relationships that mean jobs and growth. >> mr. trudeau, let's bring in mr. harper to reply. >> we have a great relationship with the u.s. administration. i have a great relationship with president obama. by the way, the americans have never said otherwise and neither have we. this is just an invention. what we've actually been able to do is stand up for our interests on things like keystone while pursuing a broad range of initiatives with our american partners. i ask you to look at the alternative. imagine, our first day of office, that we would have a
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prime minister who would say to the united states, we are pulling out of the joint military mission against the islamic state, and why? because you, mr. obama, are continuing the policies of george w. bush. seriously, if you want to poison the relationship, that would be the way to do it. >> i want to ask mr. mulcair to respond to that, because it goes right to the heart of his policies regarding the islamic state and the international coalition. so please. >> and our relations with the united states. >> exactly. >> it's interesting to hear the prime minister cite our allies only when it suits his purpose. it's not based on a question of values. with the islamic state, he says, we have to do the same as the americans, the british, the french, because they're involved in the combat mission. when it comes to the deal that france, the united states, great britain, helped ensure that iran's nuclear ambitions were
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peeled back, mr. harper attacks that as being wrong headed. it's not a question that some of our allies agree and some don't. we just said the same thing, mr. harper, that when it's not in canada's interests, we'll stand up with canada's needs. i know that canada can get back to being a voice for reason. i want to put canada on track. i want us to be able to fight the flow of arms, fight the flow of money, fight the flow of foreign fighters. but i also know that an independent canadian foreign policy means that fundamental canadian values, like fighting harder for peace than for war, is what i will bring to my tenure as prime minister of canada. >> you have a minute left. i want to give you the last word on this topic because you came in first. mr. harper, please. >> we have congratulated our allies on working to get a deal with the iranian regime. the proof of that will obviously be in the implementation of that deal. we will believe iran's words and not its actions. i think our allies will take a very similar position.
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i fully admit that we don't always take the position of our allies. sometimes we take our positions based on what we believe are principles. let me give you a clear example. this government has been perhaps the most unequivocal in the world on the fact that when it comes to the middle east, we are not going to single out israel. it is the one western ally, threats directed at that threat is on the front line of threats directed against us. >> last word. >> the issue of israel, where we most disagree is liberals with mr. harper is he made support for mr. harper a domestic political football.
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but on the question of -- [ applause ] -- of the u.s. relationship. what we need to make sure is that we continue to engage as a robust member of the coalition fighting to defeat isis. there are many countries that don't have a direct combat role and canada has proven time and time again that we can contribute. and for our closest friend and allies in the u.s. to relaunch u.n. peacekeeping today and not have canada stepping up to say yes this is a canadian thing that we can do well and we will support is yet another missed opportunity to have that positive relationship that ultimately means more jobs and more growth for canadians. >> thank you, gentlemen. we'll move on to our next topic. in a matter of weeks we know world leaders will gather in paris to negotiate a new global climate change agreement. mr. trudeau, liberal and conservative governments alike have failed to meet their international commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. why should canadians believe that your government will be any different? >> translator: we recognize that
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the challenge that people are expecting us to face as a government is to understand that the environment and the economy go together. we can't separate them anymore. in fact, when we enacted to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, this harms our relationships with the united states, our relationships all over the world. so what the liberal party is saying, what i say now is let's put aside this political game to give optimistic targets without having a plan to implement them. what we are choosing to do is to invest very much to reduce emissions. we're talking $20 billion over ten years of the investment on public transportations. we're talking $20 billion on -- over ten years for sustainable infrastructure to reduce our impact on greenhouse gas
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emissions and we are going to invest billions of dollars to develop green and clean energy and we're going to do that with the provinces because the reality is within the ten years of mr. harper the provinces were alone and four provinces did carbon pricing and we must have a federal government to support them and to present a united front in a few months in paris to show that canada is going back to the good way. thank you mr. trudeau. i can say for the first time in history that canada has had economic growth, reducing at the same time greenhouse gas emissions. >> we've had economic growth but we've also had a reduction in
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global greenhouse gas emissions. as pertains to the conference coming up in paris, when we came to office a decade ago we took a position that was considered very radical, opposed by the other parties and many in the international community. we said that an effective international protocol had to include targets for all major emitters. the chinese and americans who were not a part of the previous protocol are now committed to moving forward with that and i am very optimistic. we've established targets very similar to our major partners, we're working with the united states and others in the united states on regulatory systems on greenhouse gas emissions and i am very optimistic we will reach a historic accord in paris this year. >> translator: you know, he says that. he talks like that all the time as if canada was a leader in matters of environment. [ laughter ] i think he's even starting to believe himself. the reality is that everybody knows that mr. harper has not understood the very basic
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element whereby the environment and the economy go together if we are going to create a future jobs, economic prosperity that will be sustainable for our children and grandchildren we must do our home work. we have to protect our soil, our waters and unfortunately mr. harper given that he did nothing about the environment in ten years is harming our economy. we can't export our resources in the market. we are being treated as a people who harm because we are destroying negotiations in climate change. the reality is that everybody knows we are nowhere as to the environment. canadians are frustrated, the whole world is frustrated. concerning canada, it's time to have a prime minister that will stand up and understand that the
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environment and economy go together. [ applause ] >> translator: the first thing we have for the first time is a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. you must understand that the record mr. trudeau is talking about is from the previous government that was the first one to increase greenhouse gas emissions. >> greenhouse gas emissions have gone down under our government. under the previous government, they established the toughest standards in the world and missed them by the most of any single country. they were 30% over their targets and when we got to office they didn't have a single plan to achieve anything. >> that's not true. you know that's not true. >> we have moved forward on regulatory matters and the transportation sector and electricity sector. we'll continue to move forward. we have a real plan, we're taking actions and we're doing
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that without imposing carbon taxes on the canadian population. [ applause ] >> translator: what you don't recognize is that they have already 86 of our economy they have they have announced a price on carbon. despite your inactivity in reducing the greenhouse effects and you have put targets that would not be met, that's why we'll put money in front instead of anything else. you have four different provinces take the leadership which columbia has a carbon tax well done. your province has done the same thing ontario and quebec will have a reduced carbon. we have real leadership from the provinces that for the federal government to support them and we have work to do together.
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but you, you prefer to sit down and not do anything and reality is that we are losing our international representation. in 2008 when barack obama came to ottawa the first time he talked exactly about an integrated continental approach. you have done nothing since that time and the united states are going alone because canada is not part of the solution, would not engage the united states, mexico, to have approach that is integrated on the energy, on environment, on the growth, this is what the leadership that you didn't have within the last ten years. we cannot -- cannot take lessons from the liberal party of canada that has the worst targets.
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>> we have embarked on a system, what we are doing in our government is we are not -- we are making sure we know exactly where we'll reduce emissions in a way that preserves jobs and doesn't impose costs on consumers. we're proceeding with a sector-by-sector regulatory approach and the transportation and other sectors, methane and oil and gas, for example, we're proceeding in collaboration with the united states. in the electricity sector, we've proceeded in collaboration not with the united states but our provinces on a position that is frankly going farther and faster than the united states. we will be the first country in the world to effectively shut down traditional coal-fired electricity. the biggest single source of emissions on the planet are being eliminated in canada. we're going to have the cleanest energy sector and we're doing c. we're going to have the cleanest energy sector, and we're doing that without imposing taxes on the people.
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>> you somehow supported and aided the closing down of the coal fire plants here in ontario, you and your government fought tooth and nail begins the on the government, as it was demonstrating that it could reduce its emissions by the most significant degree of any jurisdiction in the country, by making a simple policy decision that you were no part of, and even blocking and ridiculing from your gang in ottawa. and that's, at the same time, now taking credit for it. >> that's just factually untrue. [ applause ] >> these people know better than what you're trying to say. >> we have put in place at the national level a binding system of regulation in collaboration, not just with the province of ontario, but alberta, nova scotia and saskatchewan. you talk about the united states and emissions from their coal fire electricity sector are bigger than emissions from the
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entire canadian economy. we're leading the world on this factor. [ speaking in french ] >> translator: thank you, mr. harper, please get involved in the conversation. >> translator: in fact, you know that mr. harper is totally right when he says that the liberals use their kyoto signature as p.r. deal. and he's right when he said that the liberal government had the worst record except for kazakhstan. that doesn't mean that we have to continue not to do anything. >> those figures were published every year that i was minister in quebec. i was able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. we had a plan to do it. we're going to be basing ourselves largely on the successful cap and trade model that we used in canada and the u.s. to reduce so 2 emissions
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that was causing acid rains. we're not going to be imposing the details of the means to get there. what we're going to be talking about is the can combiombined on of result. no more excuses possible. no more fake stuff from theas:f liberals. >> $40 billion in infrastructure isn't fake. >> the ndp will get it done. i have that track record. we have that record. these are hard caps, there are limits, and they will be enforced. >> he is making the kind of announcements that aren't followed up by any real plan to achieve this. because he has taken the decision that what he has to do at all costs is balance mr. harper's budget. he cannot make the kinds of investments that the liberal party is choosing to make in the kinds of things that canada needs right now, because, yes, we have chosen to run three modest deficits to balance the budget by 2019, because the time to invest is now.
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the time to take action on climate change is now. these are the choices that we've made that you quite frankly cannot make. and even, as you approach, as you announce with tremendous strength and pomp your climate change. >> not as much pomp as you. [ applause ] >> we have your friend and ally, the ndp premier of alberta who said, you know what, she's not so crazy on your approach to client change reductions. when you can't even get an ndp premier to endorse your plan, you know you are in trouble. >> alberta is of one mind with us on the obligation of result, but this is about sustainable development. and when you say that your only way of governing is going to be to dump a massive economic debt on the backs of future generations, are you correct.
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because mr. harper has left a debt on future generations. the ndp has the best track record of any party in canada for balanced budgets. when we tack over for saskatchewan. there was one exception, but it turned out that favre was a liberal. [ applause ] douglas took over saskatchewan that the liberals had left in bankruptcy. ran 17 balanced budgets in a row. when we bring in $15 quality child care, it will be on the solid foundation of balanced budgets. >> this is a foreign policy debate. we had an economics debate the week before last. let's recenter the discussion in our remaining moments. mr. harper, back to you on climate change. >> they will never lay out rye
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si -- precisely where it is you want to lay out cuts. we're investing $1 billion a year, have been, for ten years on green energy. the only real policies ever proposed by either of these parties are effectively carbon taxes where we would hit consumers. and carbon taxes are not about reducing emissions. they're about raising revenue for the government. it's already been rejected by an ndp government in alberta. >> completely false. >> we're going to wrap up that topic and move on to our final long-form discussion. your party is opposed, publicly to making concessions on supplying aspects of ought/manufacturing in the context of the current trans-pacific partnership negotiations. does this mean under an ndp-led
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government canada would be locked out of some of the world's fastest growing markets? [ speaking in french ] >> translator: thank you very much. this week i had an opportunity to talk with the president of farmers and -- we must commit ourselves to defend in integral way our system, which is a very important dist system that make very bright. we have no excuses to explain our system of supply and quebec and in on tontario. people are worried because three weeks prior to the election everything is allowed. >> mr. harper went public and said if you're in the auto the sector you should be worried about what he's promoting in the trans-pacific partnership.
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we've already lost jobs. when president obama wanted to discuss this this week, this is how good the relationship is, he phoned the president of mexico. we were frozen out. i'm quite concerned about what's being left on the table by the conservatives. and our dairy farmers have every right to be concerned. i think supply management is on the table. and mr. harper doesn't keep his word on these things. ask anybody in newfoundland. it was on the table to give them money to compensate what they were giving up in terms of processing of fish and you know what? he broke his promise. >> translator: mr. trudeatrudea? what is your opinion about the matter? well, it's certain that we could have signed many agreements internationally without endangering our farming system. but the reality is that the gentleman is showing the lack of
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transparency. he doesn't want to talk about what he's doing. and like mr. mull care is underlining, he's not fulfilling his promises as concerning international trade. we absolutely must have free trade agreements we know is good for jobs. and we need those investments. that's a reality, and we cannot pretend, either, that the world is free trade world as to agriculture. we have a system that works. we signed very important agreements without putting ourselves in danger, but we need to attract foreign investment. we need to create jobs here in canada. you know that the sectors, the manufacturing sectors and exporting sectors pay higher salaries to canadians from the middle class. and international trade is
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essential for canada. mr. harper does like to talk about his support and the agreements he signed, but our exports had the worst growth rate under his government that we have had since the second world war. he hasn't performed in that sense, and i want to say that when we see the record of liberals in that matter, remember the junket he had promised in his red book to finish the gsp. do you remember his red book. we must be very careful before signing, because once that is signed, it's very difficult to touch. there are aspects as to the state as to protecting health.
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chapter 11 is a true challenge, and mr. trudeau said that he agreed with europe, with this nafta matter. it went to the house of champions. mr. harper has an agreement with europe, and there are aspects, like investments, for example, that concern us and concern other countries in europe. so even if he announced 12 times that he's going to make an agreement, there isn't one yet. we can't pretend that we are growing while we are slowing down. i will never accept as the crucial environment or health or other matters to be nondefined, to international experts decide what i have the right to decide for the public. that's a basic canadian value. to keep the authority of the state, to take one's own
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decisions in the interest of the public. you know, mr. mulcair is trying to change the ndp to improve his image. the reality is that there are enormous difficulties to understand. we need free trade agreements to create a better future for our jobs and our economy. the ndp does not support any free-trade agreement that night have been signed in the last few years. oh, no, there is one. the one with jordan. that's the only one he accepted. the reality is that this is a party that has never understood for canada, to have markets to be engaged with growing economies in asia. we must be, yes, the liberal party agrees very seriously in international agreements.
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we believe it's essential for economic growth, to give jobs to canadians, and that is why we agree with the canada/europe agreement. but mr. harper has not performed yet. we are not anywhere with china and australia. we're just at the beginning with india in spite of that that mr. harper tried to do with the prime minister and with the united states, we are not yet with international free trade, but yes, there is an issue there which mr. mulcair was to enter into an exchange with the united states, that this bulk water exports. >> proposed that we export bulk water to the united states. you gave a speech on it. >> that's false. >> you compared it to forestry. >> that's false. >> mr. mulcair. are you willing to sell our
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water to the united states. >> an accusation's been made, we'd like you to respond. >> first of all with regard to trade deals, it was a trade deal with korea that was backed by the ndp. the important thing to look at is what we decided. i decided to shut the door. both water exports would have been a terrible idea. and we made sure that we shut the door and locked it tight. but there was a good public debate. mr. trudeau doesn't understand debates, because he's used to having people write his lines for him. with regard to korea, it is a representation of what the ndp knows how to do. we are looking for an even playing field. we are looking for trade agreements with countries that share our values. whether it's the protection of the environment or the protection of workers' rights. this is an even playing field. this can be about reciprocity. but what we won't do as mr.
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harper's done is sign deals with honduras, so right after a coup, that's a country that doesn't respect workers' rights we're communicating that we find it okay. same thing with our trade deal with colombia. there are times when you have to stand up and say canadians expect you to respect our values. >> mr. mulcair and mr. harper. >> in the 21st century, the creation and retention of good-paying jobs are going to depend on having trade access to the major economies of the world. we've been able to achieve with the republic of korea, we're working in the asia pacific region. every time we have done so in making sure we also protect our vital interesting, protect the interests of our automobile sector, advance the interests of canadian agriculture.
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look, there's always a reason to walk away from the table. there's always a reason to be against agreements. these parties oppose the original u.s./canada agreement. but the reality is we have been able to do these agreements. we will only sign a deal if it is in the interest of the canadian economy, but we're going to sit at the table and make sure we're there and advance and defend canadian interests. >> mr. harper talks about how many deals he's signed over the past years. but canada has the worse rate of export growth -- sorry, the prime minister, this prime minister has the worst rate of export growth of any prime minister since world war ii. so if this is your best efforts, mr. harper, we have to worry about what will happen if you get reelected. because the fact of the matter is, canada needs to engage positively on the world stage, and our diplomacy, our cultural,
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changes, our engagement in humanitarian efforts all feed into how we're able to engage in the kinds of trade deals that are going to bring good jobs to canadia canadians. >> look, we're in a decade of global economic instability with increased exports 50%. we're not living in a different era. we're living in an era that's been very difficult. we need to continue that by taking forward-looking actions. that includes the historic steps we've taken to conclude trade deals in this continent, to conclude trade dials in europe and also work to try and get trade deals in the asia pacific region, and you don't get those deals by coming up with a million reasons why you're against them before you even get to the table and why you should walk away once you're there. we're there. we've had a successful record of
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making sure we defend the broad interests of the canadian economy, open up our markets, and that is what we're going to continue to do. >> mr. harper. [ speaking in french ] >> i have been asked to ask you a question. it is the president of the union of agriculture. if you will defend, integrate wholly the system of management, supply management. we have always defended supply mana management, and we defend the agriculture when they are outside of the system, and we defend all of the sectors, and the engagement is to conclude an agreement that is to the interest of the canadians. >> how we build a stronger and
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brighter future for us all the liberal party has put forward propositions, and you've heard about them on deficits to invest in our industry and infrastructure. but we understand that creating trade and good jobs is at the heart of what every good canadian prime minister needs to do. we are too big a country with too few people to be able to do it all on our own. we need trade with the u.s., with countries around the world to actually grow our ceconomy, o create good jobs for canadians, and the fact that mr. harper hasn't been able to get it done on the big file, and mr. mulcair continues to obstruct and deny the importance of trade, the choice is clear to pick the liberal candidate. >> 99% of the free trade access has been from the liberal party. you don't have the vision, and you don't have the determine's as you sit at the table to make the tough decisions to get the deal. that's what we're doing
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>> very brief. [ applause ] >> finally objection by mr. mulcair. >> the question to ask is who do you want representing canada at the climate change conference in december. who do you want sitting across from angela merkle as we try to get a deal that suits all of our purposes. who represents canadian values on all of the issues we're discussing tonight? for 150 years we've been told we have no choice but to alternate 2009 the senate scandal in the conservatives and the liberals. this time there's a forward-looking choice for kraend values. >> translator: thank you, mr. mulcair. ladies and gentlemen we have arrived to the end of our debate. [ applause ]
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>> all of us here hope that that debate has helped inform the vote that you the viewing audience, eaveryone here in thi auditorium will cast in three weeks time. let's be sure regardless of our view, the party, to head to the polls to vote. for those of you watching online right now, our post-debate panel begin, coe hosted by facebook canada and the "global mail." >> translator: thank you for having followed us. >> bonsoir.
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>> translator: good evening. ♪ student cam is c-span's annual documentary for students in 6-12. it's an opportunity for students to think critically about issues of national importance by creating a documentary in which they can express those views. it's important for students to get involved because it gives them an opportunity and platform to have their voices heard on issues that are important to them. so they can express those views by creating a documentary. we do get a wide range of entries. the most important aspect for every documentary that we get is going to be content. we have had winners in the past created by just using a cell phone. and we have others that are created using more high-tech equipment. but once again, it's really the content that matters and shines through in these documentaries.
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the response from students in the past has been great. we've had many different issues that they have created videos on there important to them. we have topics ranges from ed characteristic the economy and the environment, really showing the wide variety of issues that are important for students. >> having more water in the river would have many positive impacts to better serve the tulsa community and the businesses around it. >> we have definitely come to the consensus that humans cannot run wrought food. >> prior to the individuals with disabilities education act or the idea, children with disabilities were not given the opportunity of an education. >> this year's theme is road to the white house. what's the most important issue you want the candidates to discuss in the 2016 presidential campaign. it is full-on into the campaign season. there are many different candidates, discussing severing different issues. one of the key elements in creating documentary is to include some c-span footage.
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this footage should compliment and further show the view. it's a way to include video that further shows their points. >> the first bill is the water, resources and development act. >> we've all heard the jokes about school meals and certainly growing up, the burnt fish sticks and mystery mate tacos. >> there's a vital role that the government plays. it's especially vital for students with disabilities. >> students and teachers can go to our website. student cam.org. and on that website they will find more information about the rules and requirements, but they'll find teacher continues, rub rix and ways to contact us if they have any further questions. the deadline for this year's competition is january 2016. which is exactly one year away
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from the next presidential inauguration. next, a senate hearing on syrian refugee crisis. they discuss the impact refugees are having on host countries. russia's military presence in syria and the potential for a no-fly zone. this is just under two hours. the former relations committee will come to order. i want to thank our witnesses for being here. nancy, as i understand it, is tied up in traffic and will be coming in a few moments, so we're going to go ahead and get started. we have a vote later.
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we want to make sure we get the full benefit of your testimony. i want to thank the members for being here. today's hearing is the second in a series of hearings examining the role of the united states in the middle east. this hearing will focus on the immense humanitarian crisis emanating from the region. the images of hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children fleeing for safety should challenge every moral fiber within us. these are people just like us oñ that want only to be able to raise their families in dignity and cherish the same values and things that we all care about, and yet we watch them on television in these desperate circumstances. we all know that the scale of this tragedy, but it is worth, again, outlining the numbers. in syria, a country with population of 22 million in 2011, more than 4.1 million have fled the country and more than 7.6 million are displaced inside
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the country, so half of syria's population is not at home, not living in their hometowns, but in some other place. some estimates put the number of deaths in syria over 300,000. the assad regime responsible for over 100,000 civilian deaths. let me say that one more time. the assad regime responsible for more than 100,000 civilian deaths. in iraq, 8.6 million are in need of humanitarian the assistance 3.2 million displaced. solutions must address while people are fleeing. i look forward to hearing the views of our witnesses today, but i believe after four years of war there is a perception that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. as assad continues to barrel bomb his own people, the
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russians and iranians continue to ensure that he has the means to do it. more than one year after establishing a global coalition to counter isis, we learned that the main beneficiary iraq has allowed iran, russia, and syria to establish their own coalition within a cell in baghdad. it appears that our administration is seriously debating some type of an accommodation with the russians in order to fight isis. it's difficult to understand how working alongside the backers of assad could in any way stem the flow of refugees that are fleeing the barrel bombs. it is important to remember that the war in syria began with assad and he's still doing the same things today on a daily basis that he was doing at the time. i do want to digress and say that i know david miliband took
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a very opposing view to most of the labor party when he at one time served in the parliament and felt that interaction inside syria should be taking place by great britain. many of us felt the same way. and as crass as i may sound, i think all of us, all of us, today as we watch what is on television and see these refugees in the circumstances they're in, all of us are reaping what we've sowed. we didn't get involved at a time when we could have made a difference. i hope our witnesses can help us understand the scale and effect the humanitarian crisis the united states and others should be taking to mitigate it, but i would like to again stress we cannot simply rely on humanitarianism alone in this crisis and that is incumbent upon us to work towards realistic policies that would bring back the hope of a normal
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life to those in need. thank you again for appearing before our committee, and i look forward to your testimony. with that, i'd like to turn to our distinguished ranking member. >> well, mr. chairman, first let me thank you for convening this hearing. you and i talked awhile back as to what we can do. this committee works in a bipartisan way in order to advance our foreign policy objectives, and i congratulate the chairman for his leadership in that regard. we talked what we can do in regards to the refugee crisis globally in recognizing that syria is an immediate concern. it's a humanitarian crisis as well as a problem of conflict that needs a solution. it's complicated, of course, by isis presence in syria, so i want to thank you for the manner in which we were able to convene this hearing to see how the
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united states senate, the congress, can advance the goals of the united states in dealing with this international crisis and how we can take a look at our traditional tools and perhaps refine them. look at new ways we can energize the united states' involvement and the international community to deal with the humanitarian crisis, and i would agree with you. we also need to deal with the political underpinnings of why people have to flee their homes. for the first time since world war ii, almost 60 million people have been forced from their homes and displaced in their own countries and are forced to flee abroad. we're seeing more conflicts that do not end and result in exponential increases in need. the magnitude in syria is most shocking. the situation is increasingly desperate for both the refugees and host countries like jordan,
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lebanon, turkey, and northern iraq because syrians are finding increasingly difficult to find safety. they are forced to move further afield. that's why so many are risking their lives to cross the mediterranean. there are 7.6 million internally displaced syrians suffering and into need of humanitarian assistance. more families are forced to send their children to work or marry off their young daughters. it is hard to comprehend the impact of millions of refugees on lebanon, jordan, and turkey. the number of refugees in lebanon would be equivalent to the united states receiving 88 million new refugees. that's a shocking number for that country. turkey has already spent $6 billion in direct assistance to refugees in its care. that's a huge part of the turkish economy. at the same time, we in the west until very recently have been
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reluctant to admit even the most vulnerable syrian refugees. while contributing john wrus -- generously to humanitarian funding although the white house announced it would admit 10,000 syrians. we know that the syrian humanitarian disaster, which has destabilized an entire region, is not the accidental by-product of conflict. instead one result of the strategy pursued by the assad regime. the united nations commission on inquiry of syria has documented that the assad regime is using barrel bombs, bombardment of homes, hospitals, and medical facilities to terrorize the civilian population. as millions of families are displaced multiple times and as the chairman pointed out with the casual numbers now approaching 300,000 syrians that have been killed, the number of people fleeing the country will
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only rise. mr. chairman, i agree with you. the ultimate solution here is for assad to leave. we know that we need to have -- and i believe he should leave for the hague and be held accountable for his war crimes. so we need to work on a political solution. i know the president is in new york today meeting with world leaders to talk about a political path forward, but in the meantime we do have the humanitarian crisis and there is no end in sight to people trying to flee, as you said. what everyone would want, a safe environment for their families. syria's neighbor next door iraq, the people requiring assistance has grown to 8.2 million people. 3 million have been forced from their homes. half of the displaced are children. to the south, yemen is on the brink of humanitarian catastrophe. that country was vulnerable even before this convict.
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now civilians throughout the country are facing an alarming level of suffering and violence. an estimated 20 million people are afflicted by war and humanitarian assistance. 1.5 million people have been forced from their homes and are now living in public schools or other empty buildings along highways. the global refugee trends are indeed alarming. the international assistance being provided is not keeping up with the scale of the problem. the united nations has only been able to raise 38% of the $7.4 billion it needs to care for the syrians. we need to ask ourselves hard questions about how we can increase the effectiveness of assistance. with many refugees displaced on average 17 years. let me underscore that point. our refugee program is aimed at looking at refugees as being a temporary and how do we get them back safely to their homes. that's what a refugee was always thought to be, but if you're in some other place for 17 years
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the chances of you going back to your native country is remote. in syria, some of the communities don't exist where the people have left, and many others have been transformed to a point it would not be safe any time in the future for syrians to return to their home environment. we need to rethink our refugee laws to recognize that a large number -- there's about 20 million refugees worldwide. a large number are not returning to their native countries. the united states needs to look at a refugee policy that is sensitive to the new norm, which is a number much larger than the caps we have to deal with the realities that people need to find new homes for their families. i believe strongly we need to use the humanitarian dollars more skillfully so we can provide solutions. in closing, we must recognize as that has conflicts proliferate,
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no corner of the world will remain unafflicted. we mufs must recommit ourselves to work harder and smarter. as we seek to win the hearts and minds in this region, our effort to provide real tangible humanitarian assistance to people will be more effective than sending more military assistance or more weapons into a conflict where there's no pathway for success. our humanitarian engagement is a moral and political necessity. >> thank you very much. thanks for a lifetime of effort ensuring people have appropriate human rights. >> can i had one thing, if i like, mr. chairman? our chairman who is always even tempered and in a good mood is particularly proud today. he became a grandfather for the first time.
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i know our committee offers their congratulations. [ applause ] >> thank you. no doubt an incredible experience. the only wish people were talking about today have similar experiences. so thank you again for your comments. our first witness is the honorable david miliband, president and ceo of the national rescue committee. he had a distinction wished career in the u.k. he served as foreign secretary. thank you for being here. our second witness today is michelle gabaudan. thank you for being here, sir. president of refugees international. michelle spent more than 25 years at u.n. hcr. our third witness that we'll hear from today is ms. nancy
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lindborg, president of the united states institute of peace, someone who we also have seen many times and thank her. nancy has served as president of mercy corps. thank you for that service. thank you all for being here. i know you've been here many times. if you could each spend five minutes giving your positions, we'll obviously, without objection, your written testimony will become a part of the record. if you can go down the line and give your testimony, we appreciate it. we look forward to your questions and certainly your comments. thank you. [ inaudible ]. >> the humanitarian situation in the middle east. >> hold on, sir. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i think you probably heard, but i want to say thank you and i'm honored to be here. i want to congratulate you on not just holding a hearing on the humanitarian situation in the middle east, but recognizing
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the lengths between the humanitarian situation and the geopolitical situation. my organization has a unique perspective on the crisis because we're working in the conflict zones of syria, iraq, and yemen. we're in the neighboring states that you referred to both. we're in greece where half of the refugees arriving in europe are landing on europe soil and we're active in the united states. resettling 10,000 refugees in 26 states in this country every year. the conflicts in the middle east present the most challenging, dangerous, and complex humanitarian challenge in the world today. and i think they present a
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pre-emminent moral case for renewed engagement. i want to confine my remarks to four areas that more or less follow my written testimony and focus less on our analysis of the situation but what might be done. first, inside syria there is a war without law and there is misery without aid for the millions of people you referred to, senator. it's driving people to risk life and limb to get to europe, and almost worse than the numbers you recited is that there's no structured political process at the moment to offer hope of an end to the war. the number one priority that we would present to the committee is to turn or help turn the words of u.n. resolutions, which are good words into actions. supported by all members of the security council into action. we advocate as a practical measure the appointment of humanitarian envoys, distinguished political or diplomatic figures that are able to work on the ground on the
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local access that is so essential to helping the humanitarian aid reach where it's needed. the neighboring states are coping with unprecedented numbers of refugees. it's worth noting a world food program voucher is worth $13 a month for a middle-class family in lebanon or jordan that's fled its home in syria. for us, the priority must be for these neighboring states a multiyear strategic package that recognizes that these people are not going home soon. these refugees are not going home soon. in written testimony, we compared the packages needed to the martial plan, a multiyear plan which is not just an aid package, but aligns private sector effort with public sector effort and addresses the economic conditions people face, not just the social conditions. third, i'm just back from the island in greece where half of the refugees are arriving. i won't dwell on the
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responsibilities of european leaders and european citizens suffice to say they need to show both competence and compassion, both of which have been sorely lacking over the last few years. the three priorities in europe are first of all to establish safe and legal roots to become a refugee in europe. without those safe and legal routes, you empower the smugglers. who are currently charging 1200 euros. secondly, to improve reception conditions notably in greece and on the roots into northern and western europe. thirdly, to implement a robust program in europe. to share the refugees between the different european states. finally, it is worth pointing out that european aid for the neighboring states does exceed american humanitarian aid. was announced last week that european lead, so to speak, which is $200 million, will stretch to $1.2 billion.
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finally, there is an important symbolic role for the united states in resettling refugees. ioc has been doing this for 80 years since albert einstein came to new york to found the organization in 1893. so far just over 1800 syrians have been admitted and with the greatest respect, the respect of someone who is a visitor to your country, even though i work here now, this 1800 figure is not fitting for the global leadership role the united states has played over a very long period in refugee resettlement. the administration's commitment to take 10,000 citizens is a limited contribution to the global effort. we recommend three steps. we want to raise the ceiling for the number of syrians allowed in. i hope we get to explain why the figure of 100,000 has been reached to be admitted over the next year and how that speaks to the global need. secondly, to fund that drive
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properly, including in the department of homeland security where we strongly support effective security screening and can speak to that. thirdly is this scope for expanding access through family reunification schemes for syrian american communities who are in this country across the country and have grandparents, cousins, relatives in syria who want to come and join them. this is a dna-based family reunification scheme that could offer a practical and short-term way of circumventing delays that have plagued the problem. i very much look forward to a real dialogue. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> mr. chairman, ranking member cardin, and distinguished members of the community, thank you very much for holding this hearing.
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and we certainly subscribe to the way you have framed the question of the syrian crisis. the chaos and distress and drama we have seen over the screen the last few months, reflect -- over the past year, despite the tremendous amounts of funding that have been provided. i want to thank the u.s. for being a leader in humanitarian funding to the syrian crisis and certainly congress for having made the right appropriations. we have undertaken 12 missions in the last three years. in all the countries holding syrian refugees and ones inside syria. we have looked at how displacement has evolved, how the situation of refugees has changed over time, and importantly how the funding has been drying up. the drivers of displacement are multiple from the actions of the shia militias at the beginning to the development of a
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tremendous military operations by the assad regime to the rise of extremist groups, but also to the tremendous deteriorating social economic situation in syria, which makes life unsustainable for people who would cross outside to find some ways to sustain themselves. however, when you talk to refugees in southern turkey, in jordan, on what is the primary reason why they move, they all have the same answers. it is the barrel bombings over markets, over schools, over medical facilities. ngo has reported the month of august saw the largest number of medical personnel killed by these shellings and barrel bombs. the response to the crisis in neighboring countries has been i must say remarkable. we've seen very few crises in the world where borders have remained open to long, where governments have accepted the refugees spread out amongst the population.
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there are very few refugees in camps. most refugees are living in an urban setting mixing with the local population. services have been accessible to refugees. national services, medical and school have been accessible to refugees. quite remarkably, in all the interviews we had with refugees, there is a rather low reporting of abuses by authorities. this is not something we experience in my places where refugees seem to be targeted much more than we have seen. we all have to recognize turkey, lebanon, has done tremendous work in welcoming refugees. the international response has adjusted to the urban nature of the refugee situation. however, that urban nature creates some particular challenges because the impact of refugees on host communities is much stronger than when you have refugee camps, which are easier to manage. we're seeing now there's some erosion of the tolerance of local population when they see
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the schools overburdened, access to medical facilities dependent on very long queues, the rise in price of apartments or wherever they live going up and the price of basic food commodities going up, so there is an impact on the local population that after four years starts to generate reaction of rejection or tension with the refugee community. the humanitarian needs remain because many refugees are poor. what we have seen over time is refugees being pushed from poverty to misery. more begging is happening from istanbul. there are children working because their parents are not allowed to work. they do send their children to work. it's easier for children to work illegally than adults.
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we have seen the lowering of early age for marriage for women. we have seen an increase in what we call sex for food in basically the trading of the young ladies to just be able to feed their family. all these are trappings of the popularization of the refugee population. there were not many indications that people wanted to move until the end of 2013. when we talked to people in the first years, they say we go back to syria as soon as we can. it's only at the end of 2013 that the mood started changing. in 2014, they moved through egypt and libya trying to get these smugglers' boats to italy. the numbers remain sort of tolerable, perhaps, compared to what we have seen in 2015 where smugglers moved their routes
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through greece. the poverty they have suffered as their own resources were depleted over time certainly a main factor. for many people, the lack of education for children is also a motive for trying to move forward to europe. but also as i mentioned, the fact that they're welcome is drying up. governments now realize that they have a huge amount of people that are getting poorer and poorer and being like a lead bull on their own developments. and local populations are starting to react. we had riots in different countries against the refugees. that outflow will not stop because either the europeans get their act together, which we hope they will, or it stays as it is now. we have seen the difficulties they have faced to date have not really staunched the flow. unless we go back to the root causes, which is how we address the situation of refugees, i
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think the region's stability will keep on. we have to look at increasing support to humanitarian funds. it is true that funds have been available over the years in larger quantities, but they have not kept up with the needs. what we have seen is the proportion of u.n.-funds programs has been cut down. food rations have been cut in half in the last few months. we look forward to u.s. leadership in this field. but we need to activate a much stronger response to the development needs of neighboring countries. most of the challenges they face are -- cannot be dealt by humanitarian agencies. they need development money. they need bilateral aid where the key drivers of development are the development banks. the high commission has done due
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diligence in trying to approach the banks, but i think it's time to look at ways for the governing bodies of these banks to put this sort of situation as part of their regular mandate. it's not just a question of humanitarian response. it's a question of guaranteeing the stability of neighboring countries to syria. i think this is why we see these host countries becoming extremely nervous. however, even with the highest number we can dream of, it's going to touch a small percentage of the refugees. and it cannot leave us neglecting the needs of development in our humanitarian aid. finally, mr. chairman, we hear there are some attempts to reinvigorate the peace process. we have always believed there was no real military solution to the conflict. i think it is very important that the people who come to the
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development negotiating table must make a much stronger commitment to protection of civilians and we must stop seeing the barrel bombing of civilians. if this does not happen, we will not see at any time any possibility of return. >> thank you very much. ms. lindborg. >> thank you. good morning. thank you, chairman corker, ranking member cardin, and members of the committee. i know a number of you have traveled to the region, and i greatly appreciate your attention and focus on this humanitarian crisis. i testify before you today as president of the united states institute of peace, which was founded by congress 30 years ago specifically to look at how to prevent, how to mitigate and recover from violent conflict. and we do so by working in conflict zones around the world with practical solutions, research, and training. there's a deep connection between what we're seeing right now in the humanitarian crisis and conflict that has spun out
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of control and become very, very violent throughout the region. i agree wholeheartedly with both of my colleagues. both of you, i think, have aptly described what is a starkly terrible crisis, numbing statistics, and heartbreaking stories through the region, so let me use my time to look at four recommendations i would make as we look forward. and most importantly even as we seek solutions for the crisis in europe and the resettlement that michelle and david have talked about, i urge that we use this moment to expand our commitment to providing assistance in the region and look at solutions ultimately in the region, because even if europe and the u.s. take the most generous number of refugees possible, that will only scratch the surface of this crisis. so first of all, we absolutely
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must sustain and increase our collective commitments to meeting the most immediate needs. as we've heard, the number of commitments have decreased against the needs. thank you to all of you for having supported a very generous u.s. commitment. about $4.5 billion to date since the syrian crisis, but this is against a global backdrop of 60 million people currently forcibly displaced from their homes. there is a global burden that is stretching the humanitarian system, straining it to its limits, and we need to ensure that not only does the u.s. continue its commitment but that we get a larger collection of countries to help shoulder that burden. it consistently falls on a small number of countries. we need to expand the number of people -- the number of countries that are providing
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assistance. secondly, we also need to ensure that that assistance is as effective and as efficient as possible. we have seen, as senator cardin noted, we continue to treat the problem as if the refugees will go home when there's a 17-year average rate of displacement. we are often constrained by our institutional mandates, and the stovepiping from doing the kind of assistance that enables refugees not only to survive but to look for some sort of sustainable future as well as providing support for the host communities who are heavily burdened by the huge numbers that are among us. i've recently returned from iraq where i met with a number of civil society organizations and kurdish officials in iraqi where one in five among them are now
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displaced. they have some 3 million displaced iraqis who fled isis over the last year, and despite a huge mobilization to provide assistance to these folks, their infrastructure simply can't cope. their water systems, electrical systems, schools, clinics, so you have people who are sitting in camps in containers in squatting apartments, studies interrupted, no way to make a living, and they don't see a future for themselves. a number of displaced iraqis, they want to go to europe because they do not see a future for themselves. as one civil society activist told me, we have seven camps. inner, in erbil. that's seven time bombs. this is something we need to look seriously at, and it is far worse as you move into lebanon and jordan and turkey in terms
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of the burden, the stretch on their infrastructure. so our assistance needs to focus more on education, on employment, on the kind of trauma counseling that can help people recover and on helping the communities bear the burden more effectively as we ask them to continue hosting. thirdly, we can start now to help people return. in certain places in iraq there are opportunities to return, but we need to ensure we're helping communities deal with what could become cycles of conflict because of the mistrust that now exists between communities in the wake of isis. and so by working with communities to have the kind of facilitated dialogue that builds bridges, reduces tensions, and builds social cohesion, we bring people a better opportunity to return home without repeated cycles of conflict. then finally in addition to
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pushing hard on the kind of diplomatic solutions that get at the roots of the conflict in syria, i would also urge us to look more broadly at how to increase our efforts to provide the kind of development assistance that focuses on those places that are most fragile whether they're weak, ineffective, or illegitimate in the eyes of their citizens that are the source of the flow of refugees, not just syria and iraq, but afghanistan, yemen, somalia, places where you have a web of hopeless born of conflict, oppression, and poverty. and by focussing more on those areas, we have a better chance of managing conflict. at usip, we say conflict is inevitable. how do you manage it? so that it doesn't become violent. it doesn't end up pushing people out of their homes and into the kind of crises that we see today. i look forward to your
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questions. thank you. >> thank you all very much for not only what you do, but for being here today. senator cardin has a conflict, so i'm going to let him ask questions first. >> the conflicts are all over. not just the -- >> as long as you manage them. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate the courtesy. let me thank all of our witnesses not only for being here and what you do to help in regards to this humanitarian international challenge. u.s. leadership is so desperately needed in multiple strategies. yes, in the geopolitical landscape to deal resolving these conflicts so people can live safely in their homes. that's obviously where the united states must put a great deal of attention. as has already been pointed out, a lot of these refugees are going to be in border countries for a long time, and the cost is tremendous not only the dollar
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cost, but as it effects the stability in that country. and there are an international responsibilities. and united states must be in the leadership. we are significantly below what the united nations indicates it needs on the dollars. lastly, the resettlements. i just want to talk a moment about that because for 20 million refugees, we know 4 million are from syria. most of these refugees are not returning home anytime soon. some are not going to be able to return home, and our refugee policy numbers caps were based upon the philosophy that refugees would be returning to their host countries. that's not the real world today, so for the united states to have a cap at 75,000 or 85,000 or 100,000 recognizing there are 20 million refugees worldwide, many of those are not going to be able to return safely to their homes, many of whom want to resettle in a place where they
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can have a future for their family that lived 17 years as a refugee on average. does not give you a future for your family. i guess my first question, should we be reevaluating not just the united states, but also europe, i understand, is changing their numbers on resettlements, but should we be looking at the 20 million differently and determine how many of these individuals need permanent placements, particularly those who are recent and don't have roots in the border country but want to reestablish roots for their families? should we be looking at these numbers more realistically today? >> let me say three things in response to what i think is an excellent question. what we all face is these 20
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million refugees and 40 million internally displaced people. the central question is is this a trend or is it a blip. those numbers were a world record last year. more than any time since world war ii. my thesis to you is this is a trend and not a blip. your question is right. i think three things are important. refugee resettlement is important for the substantive help it offers to the 100,000 people that you mentioned, but it's also a symbolic value of standing with the countries that are bearing the greatest burden. no one can pretend that refugee resettlement is going to quote/unquote solve the problem. it's a symbolic as well as a substantive show of solidarity. the vast majority of refugees live in poor countries neighboring those in conflict. at the syria case is a prototype. local integration is going to be the solution either because we acknowledge it or embrace it or it happens de facto.
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i think what michelle gabaudan was saying is we have to embrace this point that there are going to be the majority of refugees in neighboring states. do they become economic contributors or are they an economic drain? the world bank isn't allowed to work in lebanon and jordan because they're considered middle income countries. it has to be a central part of the world bank's modus operandi that fragile states where the extreme poor now live -- it's got to be a central part of the philosophy of the world bank that fragile states are its business. that its got to be a point of reflection for the ngo and humanitarian movement. economic interventions need to sit alongside the traditional social interventions we've done.
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the third and final point is that already in the course of the 45 minutes we've been together it's evident that the words humanitarian and the words development don't do justice to the policy problems that are faced here. i would submit to you that the budget headings don't do justice. and the institutions we've got, some of them working on humanitarian crises and some on development, that separation doesn't do justice. just to give you a figure. in the 20 crises last year, 28 billion was spent on development interventions. now the truth is they have to work together, and that is a major challenge to the international system, which i think it will be tremendously positive if the committee was able to engage with them. >> let me change gears for one moment. the united nations estimates there are over 400,000 people inside of syria that are
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besieged, that cannot be reached as far as humanitarian help. they're saying there's another 4.8 that are hard to reach. do we have a strategy for dealing with that vulnerable population that we cannot effectively establish through conventional means, help who are displaced within syria? >> well, the u.s. government was the leader in providing assistance that was going across borders, across the turkish and jordanian borders to reach those who could not be reached through the u.n.-damascus-based efforts. many courageous ngos were a part of that. that has been curtailed by the incursion of isis into some of those areas. although the work continues and there continues to be an extraordinarily courageous
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efforts to reach those folks, the barrel bombs are equally a problem, as my colleagues have noted. and despite the provision of a u.n. security resolution that david mentioned, there is not a serious effort to provide civilian protection. so as we look at resolving this conflict, civilian protection has got to be chief among the goals that we collectively put in front of the international community. in the absence of that, people are just being pummelled by both sides. by assad's people and by isil, and that further curtails ability to reach them with assistance and if you did, they are threatened with death. >> the short answer to your question is no, there isn't a good strategy for reaching these besieged areas. those people are in a worse position today than when the u.n. security council resolutions were passed. our proposal for the
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humanitarian envoys who will be on the ground who will be there to name, shame, organize the delivery of the aid is one idea to try to break this terrible deadlock that was at one moment once a month. the u.n. secretary general reports that medical aid is being taken off lorries and dumped and there is no accountability for that kind of abuse of basic morality, never mind in international humanitarian law. i think your focus on this and your demand, or the implicit demand, this has to be at the absolute center of any approach to the humanitarian approach in syria is absolutely right. >> there's no question that these vulnerables that we cannot reach or are hard to reach are going to add to the numbers of casualties and the number of people trying to exit syria for a better life. it is going to add to the number of refugees. it's going to add to all the numbers we're talking about. it's just a matter of how quickly they can find a safe place or exit for their families or they become casualties of the
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war. >> thank you. thank you very much. dr. gabaudan, i think people in our nation get confused. we allow about 70,000 refugees into our country right now each year, and i know the administration has talked about raising that to 85 and then to 100 over the next couple of years. there have been statements of adding 100,000 syrians into our country immediately not by the administration, but by others who are advocating for that. i know we have the chairman of the homeland security committee here, but is there a way to actually screen and deal with that or is that a number that's not realistic relative to our ability to screen those coming? >> senator, in terms of the capacity, the u.s. has shown in the past it can admit large numbers. this
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country. there is a question of resources, of course. i think that the u.s. system has the most serious vetting system in the world. if you look at what other countries that resettle refugees, they don't come half the way the u.s. does in vetting the people in which it meets. the u.s. resettlement program has a tremendous quality, which is it chooses people on the basis of the vulnerability. when you look at people who suffer torture and the sort of criteria the u.s. uses, i think you already have a filter that is then deepened by the work of homeland security. so i think there is certainly the technique and the capacity. for syrians, i do understand it wille

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