tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN April 14, 2016 2:00am-4:01am EDT
>> the resistance mr. chairman control oring up any jurisdiction with respect to how issues of conduct and disciplined our handle -- conduct and discipline are handled. they have resisted our efforts to increase transparency on these issues. out of fear that it would dishonor their troops. it would dishonor peacekeeping. what i can tell you is the dishonor and what i say to them, the dishonor is not being transparent, the dishonor is and not being processed -- not prosecuting credible allegations -- two -- what you're
seeing in a positive way is there is no longer a monolithic resistance on these issues. -- there are to contribute in countries that recognize we face a crisis. they recognize that simply circling the wagon and saying no to transparency and accountability is undermining peacekeeping. it is undermining their own integrity. we have seen some progress on that front. >> i would point out on the list , a large number of people who are violators are in the peacekeeping mission to make money. they are in the peacekeeping mission to make money. sorry. i can't imagine how political resistance can keep us from enforcing against the countries that make money off doing this
in this particular situation. thank you chairman corker. thank you for convening this hearing and your voice, both of you in fighting human trafficking and human slavery and the passion and engagement you bring to making sure we don't just hold hearings. the deplorable conditions around the world, we actually do something and get something done. in this instance today, we're talking about you and peacekeeping. -- you in peacekeeping. last week, i went to the u.n. headquarters to meet with the undersecretary general for peacekeeping operations. i was struck by the challenges , by thecekeepers face
number of countries where we have peacekeepers deployed, and by the possibilities of peacekeeping in terms of protecting fragile countries from falling into being failed states. i have supported peacekeeping efforts in terms of appropriations support and they viewed as a positive way to build peace. acrossegations made dozens of different missions for decades are simply shocking and unacceptable. it is the u.s. that is footing most of the bill for the peacekeepers who are committing these atrocities against men, women, and children. if the people who we are funding and supporting to the peacekeepers cannot be trusted our support for
peacekeeping is at risk of doing more harm than good. listen to act, not just to bring an end to sexual exploitation. simply providing peacekeepers and police does not fulfill a member state's obligation. it is the responsibility of member states to oversee the appropriate units. it is a struggle. contributing countries are deploying in order to get troops paid we are not attracting the best, most capable forces from around the world. before we make progress, we have to institute meaningful accountability for nations and
their peacekeepers that connect these crimes. i've been forward to exploring ways we can help the u.n. push for accountability that is meaningful to and these crimes. crimes.d these ambassador, tell me what training methods have proven most effective so far? all panel members to answer this question. what has been successful to -- is the training of the many of the contributing countries that sexual violence is being used as a weapon of war yet what training is most effective at preventing that he ? if you would allow me to say
i want to reiterate a point that general rothstein made which is that this is not fundamentally about a training issue. there is no training that will guarantee that this will not occur. when you look at the troops committing abuses, some of them are among the best trained. we know that they have explicit components of sexual exploitation prevention in the training methods. ultimately, it is an accountability issue. there is no contributing country that is immune from these abuses, it is how they deal with it that provides prevention. how effective is naming and shaming? a number of implicated countries
are close allies of hours. -- of ours. i think accountability matters before training. how effective is naming and shaming? >> thank you. i like to avoid the phrase naming and shaming because i see naming --n accountability. it really is a watershed for us to be able to identify the countries and to be able to follow directly with them and the passivity that has existed, the sweeping under the carpet. , tolack of accountability not allowed anymore senator isaacson talked about having a big stick and you talked about
money. to be able to say that you will not participate in peacekeeping any longer if you do not all troops accountable, if you do not sit -- report back to the security council, if you do not ,rosecute these allegations that is ultimately the u.n.'s big stick. could she did in countries will overtake jurisdiction over their troops. they can choose to have a full appropriate response or not. if they do not, they should not be part of peacekeeping. >> i could not agree more. i am ashamed that we have been supporting peacekeepers that are doing horrible things. we want to find a mechanism for accountability that is appropriate. what sorts of engagement
accountability are most effective for troops? >> [inaudible] apologize. let me start by echoing what the ambassador said. training is necessary. . do not think it is efficient this is broader than training in a belief we have to train through the training that we provide, we think it is pretty good. what we work to do in our training, we start in a classroom. we moved to scenarios. we moved exercises. we focus on unit leadership. we were closely with the united nations to find the best practices. we make sure they understand the policy. all of that will not be sufficient. i would? what ambassador -- i
would echo when ambassador coleman said. just because you have a rotten individual or unit does not mean you want to disengage from the country. as we remain focused on future outcomes, if that country will every want to effective for the better, we want to be involved in the training to make it better and not walk away. those of the difficult decisions. >> i am looking forward to the second panel where we will hear about you when suppression of whistleblowers and the likelihood that these abuses are more widespread. thank you. there ought toe, be some way for us to figure out a way to surgically deal with this in a bipartisan manner that gets at this issue, not bringing
in other issues. we ought to be on a figure out a way to do it. senator flake will ask senator shaheen to ask her questions. testimonyou for your and for the work you are doing. with whatfollow up you said about how important it is for the u.n. to hold countries accountable and to ask, has ever been done? do we have examples of where that has occurred and we have seen a change in behavior and if that is the case, why haven't we instituted a process whereby that is on a regular basis? >> thank you. u.n. has consistently
followed up with the contributing countries when allegations come to their attention. they have documented and presented evidence. they have followed up with a contributor countries. too often, they are met with silence. withrankly, have acted timidity in pushing back on the tcc and demanding action. >> that is the question i am asking. is there a case, can you cite a time when the u.n. has demanded action is taken to putting country has failed to act where forave denied them funding continuing to contribute to peacekeeping efforts? >> i know of a number of examples. some of them have happened with
u.s. urging. haiti hadyans in sexual abuse allegations. we know about them at the time. there was not a website, this was not published, but we learned about it. we engaged bilaterally. they did take action. they held a public trial. the food victims from haiti to the trial. 80 toy flew victims from the trial. when i went -- they flew victims from haiti to the trial. the u.n. brought it to the highest levels of attention in the south african army in the delicate. .t does happened the issue is that it doesn't always happen. too often, they get no response
from the tcc. when that happens, if we do not know about it, or if another member state doesn't, it falls through the cracks. >> one of the issues raised is that there is no agency responsible just for this. is that the assessment of the panel that if we had a person in charge of just making sure that when there are allegations that troop contributing countries are taking action doll people responsible? would that help solve the problem? reportindependent panel in excruciating detail catalogs how information was diffused, fragmented, the bureaucratic inponse that so appalled us
response the u.n. has appointed a person as a special envoy to deal with the issue of sexual exploitation and abuse and we welcome that appointment right we think that that will help provide a focal point within the u.n. said that there can never again be an excuse that the diffusion of responsibility allowed critical information and -- fall through the cracks to occur. we absolutely welcome that. >> has she taken any action? appointed.ecently right now, she has been in the , theal african republic democratic republic of congo. i think you will see action coming out of her, from her office. sen. corker: the leahy legislation that would have the united states denied assistance.
is this something that has been done in particular instances where there have been documented cases of sexual exploitation and abuse? have we actually seen the united states deny aid to countries you have failed to take action? >> certainly will we have credible evidence, those things that fall under that lady laws level individual unit when we have that information that goes into our database that we work both through the nation in countries when those individuals potentially come of her security assistance with the united states as well as databases back here. specifict have a example that if there is somebody who has credible allegations, they were going the database and we would not work with that unit or individual and that process is in place. >> i am asking a broader
question. have we actually denied aid to countries who have contributed troops to peacekeeping missions who have failed to take action with those troops on allegations that have been shown to be true? at the overall country level, we have not suspended to my knowledge and overall -- country. >> should we? should be considered that action if we see repeated abuses? i would like each of you to respond to that. >> we absolutely have to be ready to consider that. it is important we take it on a case-by-case basis. as i said earlier, from my perspective, it is not so much that an incident happen, it is with the country does about it. if a country lacks the will to follow through on that, because
incidents are going to happen -- and so, if the country takes reasonable action of follow-through, then we probably ought to continue working with him. >> i am actually asking if they failed to take action. should we look at suspending aid? >> thank you. it is an important question because we have to think about the leverage that we have in our relations with countries but i think we have to look at it in a holistic way. most of the assistance we provide to africa is in the health area. we are not in the business of giving out freebies because we want to feel good, we are in the business of providing assistance that meets needs. you have to weigh whether or not it makes sense to cut assistance we are providing to prevent the spread of pandemic disease in response to a countries and ability to deal with sexual
exploitation and abuse. in other areas, we are providing the rulee to support of law system and development of capacity to enforce law. i would want to redirect how that is used. tool, not necessarily the two of first resort. you have to look at what the assistance is directed to you. we are try to do that on a case-by-case basis through our engagement with the countries named in the report and that is an ongoing conversation we will have. just say that if countries are not responding or taking action, they should not be included in a u.n. peacekeeping. therefore our contributions through our peacekeeping assessments should not be going to those countries. that u.s.ly agree engagement to strengthen
are great but if there is a willful nonresponsiveness, they should not be part of peacekeeping. >> thank you all. >> senator markey? >> thank you. can i ask how we deal with the countries from which these soldiers come? we are talking about the but doesof soldiers the country itself need training ? do we need a program that goes to get to thee adults in these countries so that they are taking
intervention steps necessary on to be made accountable? those of the people that we have what ise training to -- that program that we may or may not have in place? thank you. you raise a very hard topic. rule, in my experience, doing tactical training, pre-deployment training is hard but we are pretty good at it as a country. helping to build those backs upons that tactical operations units is more difficult. it is intellectually more difficult. i just came out of a year in afghanistan where my job was to build the afghan air force. now is trying to build their
institution so i have lived a little bit of this myself and it is hard work. wheree programs out there we are trying to get after that. in the state department, we have taking a look is at countries, how we can after the institution building that has to back this up -- the rule of law. the defense department -- i don't want to speak for them because i do not know but i know they are working some of the defense programs. those are the things we are trying to work but it is difficult. it will take a long time because change in our own bureaucracy, think how hard it is to make change happen much less when you are working through a foreign government. we will have to stay at this for a while. >> i do not think you can solve the problem until those leaders in the justice system in the own
countries have the proper training and gumption to enforce the laws. these are just young men on the prowl in a foreign country. that is a dangerous thing without proper supervision back home. what would you like to see put on the books? what would you like to see funded? to teach them with a stick will be could potentially try to have them except as a standard by the proper educational standards. without us having to punish the country. i want to include the thought that we started our effort last month to go to every country on the list, this is part of what we were asking.
we want to make sure they understood the gravity of the allegations. them the to impart on importance of following up. third was to open a dialogue about what the country needs in terms of assistance to build up his own ability to investigate and respond. those conversations are at an early level. we only got the information last month that we are going to build on. those conversations are going to feed back into our decisions about assistance we provide including the law area. we should engage and hopefully we should be funded. where countries are now willing, where they don't have the gumption, those countries should be barred from peacekeeping
altogether. i believe that the resolution in the security council that we fought for provides for that kind of banning from peacekeeping. >> let's talk about the countries you think are the worst. give us the worst three countries. so we can just get an idea of what we are talking about. in terms of their total lack of regard for humans rights violations? worst? give us the three colleaguerefer to my and esther coleman who previously said it is hard to say who is the worst because we are only now in a world movie can identify what countries are doing. --assador: may disagree
congo, morocco, cameroon, tanzania, burundi, nigeria, togo, ghana, madagascar, senegal, canada, germany, slovakia, moldova -- do you want to pick three? if you don't want to put in canada, you don't have to? you might want to give us an idea of where this problem is and it will focus our attention more precisely on what we should start with? we should probably start with the worst in him we can know when we have to have is a project to teach the country how much they should care. would you like to try that, ambassador? what you are saying is important. we need to identify where the problems are.
like alooking at a case democratic republic allegations horrific but we think the secretary general did the right thing by sending them home. they are not in peacekeeping anywhere else. at the same time, as part of this focus on the issues, we have seen that the democratic republic of congo has detained 20 peacekeepers to start trials against them. to the need to see is trials go? several countries you mentioned have started judicial processes or finished them against peacekeepers who were accused. i would say it is too early to answer the question as to who is the worst because we haven't seen -- there you saying congo is
as a country that has already received special attention? are there to bring others you and i to tell us if you are going to prioritize your we should be focusing that have been particularly bad? comment.i can troops were repatriated because of a pattern of abuse. there were so many abuses that they were repatriated. in addition, the republic of troops were also repatriated because of a pattern of abuse. they are two different things going on. one is a pattern of abuse which speaks to a lack of control in the other is a pattern of nonresponsiveness. on that pattern of abuse, has
, itgations become apparent is easy to see when there has been a pattern of abuse, in terms of nonresponsiveness, we are only now understanding which thatries have allegations have been pending for a long time where there has been inadequate follow-up and accountability. lookingprocess, we are at which are those countries and we do not have an answer for you. we will get back to you with that answer. >> it is important for us to .now >> yes. >> you have to narrow it down because senator cardin is saying that we have the ability to think creatively about all of the other relationships that we
have with the country that can help to get the leaders who general austin was sitting are reluctant to have their judicial system fully engaged in nature that they are accountable and that the soldiers are accountable -- the military is accountable -- >> and we look at it in the same way. >> when will you have that list together? that would be a great hearing to just have. those worst offenders focused upon by the committee. >> are you talking about highest incidence or nonresponsiveness? >> it is going to be a combination. i ensure it is one in the same. >> not necessarily. that is what we are trying to untangle.
there are some countries that pretty significant allegations against them. you now see the democratic republic of congo putting 20 people on trial. so taking quite an aggressive action about that. it is very early stages of that. a lot of times it takes in fact quite a long time for these things to work their way through their judicial system. the point i want to emphasize is that having a week judicial system, having a process that doesn't meet our standards, all rule of law is no excuse for not taking action. tcc that hasone deployed to a peacekeeping mission that doesn't have the ability to impose discipline -- >> we are agree with you.
what the chairman is saying is we want to help you. there is no excuse. just tell us who they are, what their excuses are, and we will try to reinforce it because there is the power of the purse which the congress does have to focus their attention. >> thank you. to clarify, this has been helpful exchange. the united nations can discipline a country that doesn't take appropriate steps by denying them the right to be a tcc. the human resolution speaks directly to that. there doesn't appear to be any direct remedy that the united than yourn take other
public information that is made available. that is why we are looking for ways in which we can help in regards to getting action taken in regards to impunity. i just wanted to clarify that. it is unbelievable that we had a report in 2005 and you just now-- not you -- publishing information. it speaks to terrible leadership, lack of concern, toughingness to deal with issues. i think it speaks favorably of the human leadership -- i do not think it speaks favorably of the
human leadership. -- of the u.n. leadership. >> were there provisions dealing with redress of the mru -- redress -- redrafts of the mou's. ? if that is not part of the security council resolution, is that an area we should focus on? >> it is not part of the security council resolution because those decisions are not taken up in the security council, they're taken up in the general assembly. the model mo you on which all of them are based is renegotiated every several years. it will be up for review coming in 2017 and it is absolutely an area that is ripe for review,
for making more explicit actions regarding sexual exploitation. bipartisanon some strategy, you know, strong demand. it is something that i think we would all probably agree with that is the only question i have. i appreciate. with want to follow up this panel? upset --e are all very i think you are too -- i know that typically the administration doesn't particularly appreciate input from folks who sit on the side of the dais. in this case, maybe they would welcome that. i look forward to looking with -- working with members on both sides of the aisle to figure out a way to put additional pressure
on -- i have to tell you, if i had to go to work and deal with nations, i would have to find other lines of work so we thank you for attempting to morass that is so ineffective. we thank you for your efforts. we appreciate your efforts to nature that training is done at a better level, the work you are doing at the state department. we do want to assist you in penalizing countries that tolerate this and do not do the appropriate, do not take the appropriate action so we will be working with you very closely for the next several weeks. with that, we hope you have an .pportunity on the next panel we will all the record open until the close of business on friday if you can respond to questions that may come your way in writing.
>> good afternoon. i am a former australian diplomat. as the chief of the eastern southern africa section in december 2012 and occupied this position until 2014. i have experience reporting human rights violations including sexual abuse in a peacekeeping environment. i will give you an insider's perspective. field, experience in the i know that sexual abuse in peacekeeping missions is vastly underreported. with bottlenecks for reporting and various stages. there are multiple barriers to reporting sexual abuse. the victims, many of whom are minors, no there is a likelihood the perpetrators will go unpunished and fear discrimination, stigmatization, and retaliation.
officers inights peacekeeping missions are usually first responders and hence the internal reporters of the abuse. they have their own fears about their physical safety as well as their job security. there ismy view is significant structural barriers to reporting abuse by peacekeepers and you and personnel. the current set up which relies on humans rights officers assuming the rules as reporters to theequate, poses risk victims, and is inherently biased against reporting. such barriers are exacerbated by the inadequate u.n. internal justice provisions or protections to whistleblowers. an example of these barriers is the case of anders -- who abuses to french authorities on the basis that the abuse was ongoing and the
leadership had not taken any steps to stop it over a period of many months. the abuse continued until two thousand 14 when he disclose it to the french authorities. in 2015, he was suspended and placed under investigation for his disclosure. shortly after, i blew the whistle to officials in geneva about the sexual abuse in the central african republic and the treatment of him. despite the fact that his suspension was deemed unlawful, a panel is automated and. he remained under investigation until january 2016. these actions are having will continue to have a chilling effect on the reporting of abuses in peacekeeping missions and have badly damaged the
reputation his stature of the united nations. why the secretary-general has do notounced measures -- address the structural barriers provideting, nor protections for u.n. staff to report wrongdoing by the institution. these measures do not address the u.n. internal accountabilities for abuse authorities -- and that is referred to just to dishonor not being transparent -- they should apply to the human leadership. many of the measures you have her today should apply to the human leadership because 70 percent of the abusers appear to have been committed by -- by unry nonmilitary personnel. i recommend the committee consider the following from the human leadership demand that all victims of sexual abuse by peacekeepers are offered immediate protection that is not currently the case. recognize and address the
barriers and reporting sexual abuse by peacekeepers and personnel. systemwide procedures that provide meaningful training to all staff working in peacekeeping missions on reporting sexual abuse by peacekeepers and other personnel. institute mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse of the appropriate authorities. and address the inadequate whistleblower protections afforded to u.n. .taff institute zero-tolerance for all officials whose conduct fails to meet highest standards of ethics and integrity and apologize. from the state department, demand reforms from the u.n., calld zero-tolerance and for the removal of all senior officials whose conduct feels to me the highest standards. recognize that the staff are not adequately protected from retaliation for reporting sexual abuses by peacekeepers were
personnel. seek amendment to the u.n. whistleblower protections as detailed in my recent statement. implement the provisions of the u.s. consolidated for appropriations at 2016 section 70481 whistleblower protection and ensure that the next secretary-general is committed to eradicating sexual abuse in peacekeeping and is committed to protecting whistleblowers from retaliation. finally i would like to emphasize that my motives for testifying today for blowing the whistle on abuse of authority and sexual abuses to protect the u.n. as an institution and to uphold the principles on which it was founded. this has come as a considerable personal sacrifice -- i lost my job and i remain hopeful that the high commissioner for human rights will reinstate me in my position. i hope that my testimony today will not impact on the high commissioner's decision. thank you.
thank you for inviting me. i served as the president of the better world campaign which was to promote a stronger relationship between the u.s. and the united nations. havee previous witnesses made clear, there is a cancer within the united nations and it must be cut out. the scourge of sexual exploitation by peacekeepers continues. the victims of this abuse are real and the consequences are as well. ago, a 16 numeral grove was allegedly raped by a peacekeeper from," in the hotel computer what is sickening violation not only of an innocent girl but the trust placed in a peacekeeper by the united nations in the military that sent to help the people of the central african republic. hearing to her ventas reports emanating, it would be natural
to want to withdraw all peacekeepers before more damage can be done. to protectinstinct each be balanced against the good the peacekeepers continue to do. the u.n. mission has played a critical role in the conduct of free democratic elections which have led to the swearing in of a new vision presented committed to rebuilding the war-torn country into successful legislative elections which just concluded. trained nearlyve 200,000 children on avoidance of gift left work -- a by the warring factions. as a result, human rights laws issued a report which indicated that the human peacekeepers will be critical to disarming rebel factions in reestablishing security. the question is, how do we support the fight over being done by peacekeepers in the car and elsewhere d -- inakar and elsewhere -- in dakar and
answer? ensuring justice for victims -- if they are to root out the bad actors with a veil from france, or the developing world militaries that are the backbone of you and peacekeeping, he must show the new policies just announced by the u.n. and endurance by the security council will be implanted with unshakable resolve. tissue byn shameless the secretary-general of countries charged with exploit -- sexual this petition in abuses ground breaking for the first time in the history of you and peacekeeping transparency is now at long last the corner of the un's response. secretary-general has suspended payments to troop contributing countries whenever there is a double allegations against one of its troops. he has repatriated entire military contingents to their home countries where there was evidence of widespread and systematic abuse again a first. so, long overdue these actions of the right course.
even so, it even though they are endorsed by the security council, these measures will mean nothing unless they are actively inconsistently enforced . ' that will render some countries sending on offending contingence's title the a black ae on the global stage but lost important compensation to that conjure that a nation. and for those countries where there is evidence of widespread or systematic sexual exploitation abuse, they should joining newrom missions. the u.s. must say no on deployment until demonstrable progress is made. the secretary-general has the power to do that and he must wield it and the security council must back them up. there are certain to consequences. one year from now, the security council may choose to intervene in a country facing a crisis with lives in a line international communities already went to the u.n. to quickly deploy peacekeepers.
only a few countries will offer treatment of the several will have a checkered human rights record. while there will be justifiable demands to deploy a robust force, the human must hold firm and reject any nation with a record of widespread or systematic abuse. it stands, there is a severe shortage of well-trained troops for a growing number of increasingly complex and dangerous missions. the u.n. is challenged to recruit the best trained and equipped troops. if peacekeeping is ultimately free -- from the stain of sexual abuse, the responsibility must not sit with the u.n. alone -- other member states need to answer the call. last year's peacekeeping summit resulting in pledges of 40,000 more peacekeepers from a diverse group of countries ensuring these places actually materialize in the troops deployed to hardship -- such as instrumental in backing up the denial of certain
countries over the records of sexualized patient and abuse. in conclusion, it is absolutely shameful that it is a high-profile's explanation in a queue's expedition and accuse cases elsewhere to grab the world attention to this crisis and to pull open the curtain to the culture of impunity which exists in the human peacekeeping. the u.n. and members of the security council are now seized with developing and implementing solutions to this crisis. we have to make it right because we have no other choice. i would be happy to answer any questions you might have. -- >> thank you for your testimony. if you could briefly, could you share with us why you are at present not employed? the reason my contract was not renewed was the act of retaliation because i am the whistleblower. you said something that i think we may have missed an opportunity with the last panel to pursue as much as we should.
that 70% of the pieces actually take place by civilians that were directly for the united nations. is that correct? >> that is my understanding it will be useful to check with the yuan on that statistic. if so, i would suggest that all of the measures that are being applied to the troop contributing countries should also apply to the 70% to the u.n. staff as well. did you agree with the order of magnitude taking place at the civilian level with direct -- >> there are definitely cases were civilian employees are engaged in sexual exploitation. the 70% figure strikes me as i been at four to work with you to figure out how that number was determined but i also agree with the doctor's recommendation which is any tools used to investigate the charges of sexualized rotation and abuse involving military personnel should also --
>> i would think that we spent a theof time talking about sovereignty if you will in the countries dealing with the room but the fact is we should spend more time -- we are doing now -- on the civilian side itself. i am looking through the list and i may not be catching every single one that i think i could be. it appears to me that in every single case relative to a civilian that i have access to here is one with suspension but in almost every .ase, it is a pending issue can you share with me why that would be the case and not --? >> i cannot comment on the figure would obviously my suspect is there is a lack of accountability inside the u.n. just as there has been for the troop contributing countries. that does need to be addressed. >> you are out in the field.
you were out in the field. u.n. that at the would cause them with their own employees that were directly for the united nations to tolerate this into not be more forceful in a ensuring that this is not happening? >> i think that wanted to consider here is that but is a level of attention is now being paid notably by police and military contributing countries but also by civilians is unprecedented in part because of their into situations coming out. so we as a major contributor to the regular budget in 20% -- peacekeeping -- need to insist the u.n.employee of the absolutely subject to the same forms of discipline and dismissal in justice as we are insisting upon intercountry bidding countries. >> if i could, why would that be
the case? just naturally, why is it that the united states needs to apply pressure on the u.n. for the u.n. to want to prosecute people who work for them who are involved in sexual exploitation? i do not get it. a couple of factors at work. and of which justifies it. which is one factor is that so many of the appointments within the human system are derivative of specific countries wanting to play particular employees and so that creates this member state politics within the u.n. system -- the 190 three member states -- that sometimes makes it difficult for member states to want their employees to be punished. that is not an excuse. i think of the dynamic is sometime at work and in a very unhelpful and wrong way. >> and that is the same thing that occurs on the troop site, right yeah go they have member
states who do not want actions taken against their own military personnel -- >> for sure. in the case of our to contribute countries, it is more specific because they specifically would not contribute troops to you in peacekeeping missions if they do not have total control of the discipline of their troops so if all discipline cases be adjudicated jointly between the u.n. and the computing countries, then in fact, many nations that are currently the backbone they choose to withdraw. and maybe the price that we have to pay and the security council have to figure out in a more systematic way out of the camera countries into peacekeeping that sure that theake peacekeepers carry out their way in an ethical >> heck of a to>> do otherwise is -- your perspective, why -- why does this culture exist why would the u.n. be reticent to do with? >> i hate to say it but it
reminds be a little bit of child sexual abuse in the catholic church. i think there is only now been a atlization of the problem the senior levels in the u.n.. there have been coverups. i hope that this is an exposure thereesult in changes but needs to be some structural changes particularly in terms of reporting because at the moment, you have multiple conflicts of andrest at multiple levels just collecting the information is problematic. the human rights officers in the field often face pressures on them not to report or for example, they may -- they are having to report in the case of the u.n. staff, they're having to report on colleagues. in the have to report and their supervisors. they are not in place to prevent them from receiving retaliation. most of them are junior staff on short-term contract.
they could be not renewed, they could be transferred, there is no incentive for them to report in a way for them to report under copies. there is no protection. following on from that, the internal structures for example the office of internal oversight services lacks independence. there are so many problems in relation to accountability within the u.n.. these problems can be addressed. i think they can be addressed but in a studio recognition first and that is what i am calling for. there must be recognition by the leadership that there are internal problems that have to in relationcluding to obviously these abuses that are being committed by the staff because of protection for the staff to report the abuses. my time is up, but, are you telling me that with this report
2005 whichut in apparently was somewhat of a chattering at the time -- are you telling me that leadership at the united nations has just become aware of this problem you ?ou >> no. it has taken them some time to actually act on it. i hope they are going to act on it. they must do so. challenge is at the highest levels of the you would have been about this even before 2005. the issue of whether u.n. officials knew about sexual exploitation and abuse in or taking action as the ambassador there is ongoing dialogue for over a decade between the united nations and to contribute in countries about ongoing cases of sexual exploitation and abuse but i case to has taken this
a human can type of a commitment. video thing to consider here, un security council for over a decade in both republican and democratic and ministrations pushing for increasing peacekeeping missions -- increasingly complex, large emissions and as a result, when the u.n. comes back and says, there are not enough peacekeepers in the system, there is a real tension between two we approve larger more complex missions we do not really have enough well-trained soldiers with appropriate command and control to carry out this missions? it is not simply a case of one individual in the u.n. in the whole operation, the security council has been well aware of the situation for over a decade and yet continues to improve larger and more complex missions despite the fact that there are not enough troops in the system. it is complex. >> thank you. anything both of you. dr. brown, i listened to your last comment and i can ensure
you that we take the integrity of our hearings pretty seriously so we will very much appreciate will protecte and the integrity of our process. thank you for your participation. i looked at the information provided to us by the united nations from their public website. they show on civilian episode in did and then in 2015, i some math and they showed 14 which are be about 20%. i don't necessarily believe these are accurate numbers. when you reply i do not know if that is available to us. but we will try. i just had a conversation with my staff and i agree with the senator, we will be asking the first panel additional questions
for the record. dealing with the united nations accountability for particularly civilian issues. there are two parts to the united nations' responsibility. one, how they in fact supervise the activities of the participating countries. what they do with the tcc's to watch their conduct. it is not just a matter of sending them home, it is a matter of making sure that they do not do wrong. that is a supervision responsibility which falls with the united nations. yes, we want to take action against countries that are not responding correctly, but there should be accountability within the united nations itself. secondly, there needs to be certainly responsibility of the united nations to give clear direction to its civilian workforce as to what is expected.
to give them adequate training, but to have adequate supervision, so again, so that conduct is clearly understood and a zero-tolerance is understood. if there are violations, that there is accountability. accountability not only in removing those individuals, but holding them responsible for their actions and that may very well require the united nations to have arrangements with its way that it employs its personnel to make sure that there is accountability for their activities. so i will be asking those types of questions for the first panel in an effort to try to see how we can complete the circle, because i think that you raise a very valid point of, it is fine to say that the tcc's are not doing what they are supposed to be doing, and they should be removed, and i agree with that. but there is also the primary responsibilities with the united nations and those responsible
there with how these missions are deployed, supervised, etc. and how the personnel are expected to behave and making sure that those who are carrying that out are held accountable. so, i guess my point is this. have either one of you seen actions taken to deal with what i just said? is there a clear direction given by the united nations on the civilian personnel? is there clear supervision, clear training, clear ways to get the information on those who are violating, so that they can be removed and held accountable? is there a clear line of responsibility and accountability from the united nations to the civilians that are in these countries in which we have the u.n. missions?
mr. yeo: two quick thoughts. first, it is important to note that the secretary general did remove the head of the u.n. mission when these charges first came to light and i think that is the type of accountability that is long overdue and necessary and will hopefully send a signal to future military and civilian commanders that, when missions that are under their supervision, as you said, they are responsible for making sure that the troops and various contingents are actually performing their duties in a principled way. if they fail to do that, then they need to be dismissed from their job and in the case of the central african republic, that did occur. second of all, in terms of civilian employees, civilian employees that are deployed to all of these missions receive extensive training, human rights training, but as the previous panel indicated, training is not a substitute for appropriate supervision, so in the case of civilian employees we need to ensure that the people who are at the highest levels of each individual mission are fully
responsible for the actions of employees and at the earliest possible moment that allegations are raised, of sexual exploitation, that they are reported to the right authorities in the system and active investigations are taken. in fact, the new immediate response teams that the u.n. has established to make sure this happens within 5-10 days of the occuring, evidence of crimes related to sexual exploitation and abuse are preserved, is deployed in the case of both civilian and military employees. so i could not agree more. mr. cardin: we know that historically, within military command, there has always been a challenge and particularly with colleagues reporting misconduct. we have tried to take action to deal with that. on the civilian side, dr. brown, is there the same type of inherent problems with reporting colleague misconduct?
dr. brown: i believe so, yes. and i believe there is the adage, there is a number of other problems. for example, prosecution would require the lifting of immunity of the staff. also, the way the system is currently constructed it would require the u.n.'s office of internal oversight services to investigate. we are talking there about u.n. staff investigating other u.n. staff. there are inherent conflict of interest within the system that will need to be addressed. mr. cardin: so with the immunity, in other words, they are immune from criminal prosecution in the host country? dr. brown: in theory. mr. yeo: i would like to make a it clear that the secretary-general, in writing, has made it quite clear that no u.n. employee who is subject to sexual exploitation and abuse, if they have diplomatic immunity it will be waived, most civilian employees that are deployed as part of peacekeeping missions actually do not have diplomatic immunity. in either case, the secretary
general and the u.n. team has made it clear that diplomatic immunity will not apply. mr. cardin: knowing the countries in which the peacekeeping missions are situated, the capacity to do with these types of issues are limited. dr. brown: that is correct. and i think the going back to the point of the investigation itself, we have an inherent problem because you have a u.n. investigative body investigating possibly quite a senior official in the country. you have an inherent conflict of interest, and you still have a conflict of interest in my view with the u.n.'s office of internal insight services, investigating tcc, or the discipline and conduct unit investigating it, or even the human rights officer investigating it. when it comes to actually u.n. staff, it is that conflict of interest that is exacerbated and i think that it will need to be addressed. along with the problems inherent
in the reporting lines themselves, because there are multiple barriers to this information, moving up, moving up the chain. mr. cardin: the questions i think i would ask, when asked by the united nations, is that what capacity did they build in countries where there are you u.n. peacekeeping missions, to be able to have the capacity to prosecute those who violate the laws in those countries, on sexual exploitation and abuse? that would be an interesting point, to see how the u.n. is helping the country to be able to hold accountable those who violate these laws. mr. yeo: these employees needed to be repatriated to their home countries and subject to prosecution at home. so there needs to be a prosecution either in country, which is often a challenge, or back home. mr. cardin: but if they are civilians, it would be even more
complicated. dr. brown: correct, i think so. mr. corker: back to the pressure you were talking about earlier, where you have these expanded peacekeeping needs that are complex. you have pressure for more of that to occur. i mean, i look at the types of populations, generally speaking, that are being quote, "protected." and, i mean, is there some institutional disrespect for the types of people that these peacekeeping missions are being sent out to protect, is there something there that we need to understand? mr. yeo: i think the disrespect that occurs is between individual soldiers and the disrespect that comes as a result of individual actions they are taking, the crimes they are committing as a peacekeeper. but having visited many different peacekeeping missions
around the world, i am honestly shocked by the willingness of these peacekeepers to serve away from their homes for some time, maybe months, years on end, protecting people they do not even know. and they are doing it at great personal risk when you look at, for instance, those peacekeepers in mali that are battling terrorist elements in mali. there has been dozens of peacekeepers killed there, three french peacekeepers were just killed yesterday. so, it is a complex situation. i think that most peacekeepers are committed to civilian protection. we had a wonderful american who was deployed to south sudan as part of the peacekeeping mission. and the military showed up at the gates, they demanded that he turn over all of the young men in the camp and he absolutely refused. he stood at the gates and he said, you may not come in. and as a result, the people that day were saved. of course, he from my perspective is a hero. i was in south sudan, there are
200,000 people today living in these camps that largely over we their lives to the fact that we have peacekeepers guarding these camps, trying to do their best to protect the people inside, who would otherwise be killed by other elements in the country. it is very complex. i do not think that there is a culture where they do not want to protect the people that they are supposed to protect. i think that this is a case of individual soldiers doing wrong and they need to be punished for it. mr. corker: let me ask you this, based on what you just said. are we, do you think at this hearing, getting an unbalanced view of this issue? mr. yeo: no, i do not think so at all. i think what is happening in car, what is happening in mali, and what has happened in terms of sexual exploitation and abuse in other countries is absolutely horrific. and it gives the entire concept of u.n. peacekeeping a bad name. this is well-timed, it needed to occur, and most importantly it
needs to occur a year from now, now, this is not going to be fixed overnight and we need to make sure that there is bilateral and multilateral pressure for years to come, so that 10 years from now we are not looking back at this and saying, well, we did this 10 years ago. 10 years from now, peacekeeping needs to be the model for how this is. i know that this is something that jane, who has been appointed by the secretary general and as you know was a former deputy secretary for the department of homeland securities, is looking at. what are the best practices for training and commanding control to make sure the -- how can we borrow from militaries all around the world, including the united states come in to make sure that we can work with the countries that are the backbone of peacekeeping, to improve their performance? it is a long haul and it will require a lot of bilateral and multilateral pressure. mr. corker: let me just ask my
question again. the disrespect i was talking about is, you have the hierarchy of the united nations that has these complex missions and needs more in the way of peacekeepers, yet we are sending out countries that are known to have problems, i'm sorry. where as the senator mentioned, in many places rape is certainly an act of war, it is part of war. i was just in the balkans, it is unbelievable to know and see and understand and meet women who are dealt with their in that way, it was an act of war. part of war. back to the disrespect i am referring to, i am not talking about the soldiers, i am talking about at the u.n. level, is there a sense that there is just so much in the way of need, and these populations him is there thereulations, is
something there that i am missing? mr. yeo: i think there was acceptance of this low-grade, what was viewed at the time as a low-grade problem and that acceptance extended for years on end, not just by the highest levels of the u.n., but also u.n. states, including the security council. i do not think that that acceptance is there any longer. if you look at what has happened, we actually can see for the first time ever, military units being repatriated. for the first time ever, we have a policy endorsed by the security council saying, no more units may be deployed if they have a track record of systematic abuse, or they refuse to get back to the u.n. in terms of what they have done with discipline, or they refuse to investigate. this is the first time they have done this and this is new. we need to ensure that it is enforced, so that units from the congo are not deployed in future missions unless they have fundamentally changed the way that they do business. it has to change and the u.n. is now committed to that, it has been endorsed by the security
council, and i think that acceptance of these practices is over. mr. corker: dr. brown? dr. brown: if i may, i agree entirely with what was said, but i will just add that the u.n. has failed as far as i can see, to accept itself as having a problem. and that is what needs to happen. there needs to be a recognition that itself needs to reform itlf. it needs to recognize that it does not have the accountability structures. and most of the measures that are applied to the tcc's must apply to the u.n. and furthermore, the staff that take great risks in reporting the sexual abuse must be protected. we have had a terrible case which has just sent a chilling message through the system, and that must be rectified, otherwise we are going to find that the staff will something report.y not mr. cardin: well, i want to
thank both of our witnesses. this has been very helpful to us, but it really starts with the recognition that sexual exploitation and abuse is not acceptable. and it has to be carried by the top leaders, so it starts with the top leadership at the united nations and it has to be, not as understood by everyone in the leadership at the united nations, it needs to be enforced by everybody in the hierarchy of the united nations, so that they understand it is different than it has been in the past. it does not mean that people in the past did not look at it seriously, but the institution did not look at it as serious. and that has to change. but it requires a cultural change. and without that, you will not get the type of action that you want to see. and the action that we want to see is that the member countries that are participating in the united nations understand that it cannot be tolerated, said that their leadership
impresses upon their participants that this will not be allowed, and that if you are involved, it is going to be very severe. and that you are bringing disrespect to our country's participation and jeopardizing our standing, and we will not allow that to happen. it is not allowed. that is what you are going to have to have for there to be the type of change that we want to see occur. so, yes we have seen some encouraging signs. you mentioned some of those encouraging signs, including the passage of the security council resolution. but, we are far from declaring that that has been accomplished in the culture of the united nations, that is something that is still a matter that many of us are concerned that that message is clearly being broadcast the way it should be. and that is something that we will continue to follow. in the meantime, i expect that we will take additional action in congress. mr. corker: we want to thank you both, it has been a very powerful hearing.
i think that your testimony, and i hope that your testimony, is going to end up affecting people and that hopefully thousands of people who otherwise would have been sexually abused or raped, whatever, will not have that experience because of people like you who have been willing to testify in this manner. i want to build on what you just said. in essence, because the united nations is providing peacekeepers that in some cases, not every case, it are sexually are sexually abusing people. our citizens here, who work hard every day and raise families, and pay taxes, they are basically sending money, sending their hard earned money to an organization that has been unwilling to deal with a crisis within it. and it taints america, it taints taxpayer money that we are
sending. and i hope that somehow, very soon, the leadership of the united nations will understand that the american people, through their elected representatives, are not going to stand for us sending money to an organization that is unwilling to deal with this moral depravity that is taking place there, but not being willing to own up to a problem and do with it in an appropriate with it in an appropriate way. we thank you and we appreciate very much your time and travel. the record will remain open to the close of business friday and if you could, respond to questions, my sense is you will want to do that. we thank you again. with that, the meeting is adjourned.
this weekend, the c-span cities tour takes you to tuscaloosa, literaryo explore the culture of the city. when at the" history of alabama in the 1960's with the author of "turning the tide." >> what the supreme court was was toto do above all get the university of alabama away from this party school heading in a it new direction to become a viable , academic institution. it took a while to do that. the first thing he had to do was
hire faculty. when he became president, only a third of them had degrees. a few years later, two thirds had them. that made them competitive. we also are attracting students today that could go to harvard, yale, places like that. we lead the country in the number of national merit scholars that come here. >> on "american history tv," we will visit the amount fill archaeological site -- will visit the mountville archaeological site. eyday, it was the largest archaeological site north of mexico. it contains 30, flattopped mounds.
we are standing at hill b. is the largest mound in alabama. this would have been with a structure for the highest-ranking ruler of the highest-ranking clan would have been. thoughtly scientists they were completely build one basket-load of dirt out of time, but recent research indicates that the base of the mound and the sides of them were built with sod blocks which were filled in with clay. this would give a lot more stability to the structure. we know that periodically, after it was built, it would be capped over, so if you sliced in, it would resemble a layer cake. watch the c-span cities tour saturday on c-span2's book tv on sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. tour, workingies
with our cable affiliates and visiting cities across the country. during campaign 2016, c-span takes you on the road to the white house as we follow the candidates on c-span, c-span radio, and c-span.org. democratic presidential candidate bernie sanders received the endorsement of transit workers union local 100, which represents employees. new york will hold its primary on tuesday. the union president and bernie sanders spoke at the event. it is 10 minutes. [applause] [chanting bernie]
>> good morning and welcome to the home of the local 100. today, transit workers are feeling the bern. tw local 100 is a blue-collar transport sector, industrial union. our 42,000 members carry the enormous response ability of keeping new york city and beyond moving every day. we move more than 8 million new yorkers to jobs and schools every day of the week. we are blue-collar new york. [applause] >> transit workers are the backbone of new york's working communities. we live here and we work here
and there are hundreds of workers in every neighborhood across the city, take a look around, this is what local 100 looks like. [applause] >> brothers and sisters, there is no doubt that america needs a jolt. new york needs a jolt, working families made a jolt, and business as usual politics are not going to give us the jolt we need. yesterday was equal pay day for equal work for women across america. women earn $.79 on the dollar compared to american men and here, equal pay is not a question, to be a local 100 women earn exactly the same rate of pay as tw men. and they have the same exact overtime and promotional opportunities. why? because they have a solid trade union contract behind them. [applause] >> the best way to break down
pay disparity for women is to grow the trade union movement in america and that will not happen with business as usual politics, but it will happen with bernie sanders as the president. [applause] >> tw local 100 has been fighting for workers against the powers that be in the city and the state for decades. we have always stood tall for what we believe in, despite the and consequences. in bernie sanders, we see a patriot spirit. bernie sanders has been fighting against the powers that be in this country on behalf of american workers his entire life. [applause] >> that is what this country needs, that is what american workers need, a true champion of our cause. i say, and this union has always
said, if you do not stand up and fight you can never win and bernie sanders fights the fight. [applause] >> so today, i am here to proudly say that new york city transit workers and dw local 100 stand with bernie sanders for president of the united states of america. [applause] [cheering] >> brothers and sisters, i give you bernie sanders. [applause] [chanting bernie] bernie sanders: i am honored, i am grateful to have the support of this fantastic union. thank you so much. [applause] bernie sanders: john said, everything that i believe, and that is at a time when our middle classes disappearing,
when we are seeing all new income and wealth going to the top 1%, when we have the unequal distributional of it income, more than any other country on earth, it is too late for the same old establishment politics. we have to stand together, take on the big money interests, and make it clear that our government works for all of us, not just the 1%. [applause] bernie sanders: and when we talk about the needs of this country, yes, together we will raise the minimum wage to $50 an hour so that nobody works 40 hours and the lives in poverty. yes, we are going to fight to do exactly what your union has fought for, to bring pay equity for workers all over this country, the women that are paid $.79 on the dollar.
together, we are going to end these disastrous trade agreements that have cost us millions of good paying jobs. and by the way, have led for a race to the bottom, where corporations say, we are going -- we are going to create trade policies that work for american workers, not just ceos of large corporations. [applause] bernie sanders: and yes, as john pointed out, we all know in this world you do not have a growing middle class unless you have a
great and growing trade union movement. [applause] bernie sanders: it is no secret that there have been fierce attacks against the trading you movement for the last number of decades. and in fact you could argue that it is -- that it is the trade unions today that are the last lines of defense against a vicious corporate agenda that is working hard to destroy the middle class. [applause] senator sanders: and that is why i believe that we need legislation that makes it easier for workers to join unions, not harder. and we have introduced legislation that's pretty simple. it says that if you are in a bargaining unit and 50% of the workers in that unit plus one sign a card saying they want to belong to a union, they get a union. [applause] senator sanders: if the employer refuses to negotiate a first contract in a timely manner, that employer will be heavily penalized. [applause] senator sanders: and then we come to the issue of the work that the people in this room do. it is no secret to anybody in america, whether you're in the
state of vermont or whether you're in new york city, that our infrastructure is crumbling. and that means not just our roads, which are crumbling. not just our bridges. i was in flint, michigan, several months ago, and what i saw there was unspeakable in terms of a water system poisoning its children. but it's not just water systems, it's waste water plants. but it is levees, it is dams and mass transportation and our rail system and that is why i have introduced legislation and will implement, as president, a $1 trillion investment to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. we need the best mass transportation system in the world. it is essential to our economy. millions of people in this city depend on a high-quality mass transportation system to get them to work. that's what the economy depends upon.
but let me also say this is not just a major economic issue, which it certainly is. i'll tell you what it is also. i'm a member of the u.s. senate committee on the environment and anyone who tells you that climate change is not real, is not caused by human activity, is not already causing devastating harm to this planet, is lying to you. that's the simple truth. we have a moral responsibility to make sure that we leave this planet in a way that is healthy and habitable for our kids and future generations and one way we do that is to radically transform our transportation system, all over this country. we need great mass transit systems. we need a great rail system. we've got to invest in those systems and when we rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, by the way, when we rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, we create 13 million good paying jobs.
[applause] senator sanders: now, i have been criticized by people who say, well, you know, bernie, a trillion dollars, even in washington, that's a lot of money. how are you going to pay for that? let me tell you exactly how we will pay for that. we're going to end the outrageous loophole that allows large multinational corporations to put their money into the cayman islands and other tax havens so that at the end of a given year after making billions of dollars in profit, they do not pay one nickel in a given year in federal taxes. we end that loophole. that's $100 billion a year we put right into our infrastructure so i think it makes a lot more sense for this
country to rebuild our transit system, our rail systems, our infrastructure, than to give large, profitable corporations massive amounts of tax breaks. so after i leave here and i want to again thank you from the bottom of my heart. i believe we're going to win here in new york city. that we're going to win here in new york state. some of you may know we have won seven out of the last eight caucuses and primaries. we started this campaign 50, 60 points behind hillary clinton. in the last few weeks, there have been two national polls having us ahead of secretary clinton so we're on a roll and your support today is enormously important to taking us a step further.
now, interestingly enough, to tell you what's going on in america today -- where's larry cohen? larry is the former head of the communications workers of america. larry, as soon as we leave here, we're going right over to a picket line with the c.w.a. to stand against the greed of verizon who wants to take away healthcare benefits, wants to outsource jobs after making billions in profits. that's the kind of corporate greed together we're going to take on. t.w.u., thank you so much for your support.
>> american history tv on c-span3, this weekend. night, barry goldwater, chair of american institutions at arizona state university, teaches about -- john dean, teaches about the nixon white house taping system. >> i was aware of listening devices. yes, sir. >> what were those devices in the oval office? approximately, the summer of 1970, i cannot begin to recall the precise date. >> the dates are a little bit wrong. ofyou recall, february 16 1971 is. when the system was put in the oval office. the next was the cabinet room. later after that, the d.o.b. office. -- the eob office.
>> one thing that is special about all of our country is we all own an equal part. as you have already said today, tewards,not been good s but we are setting the example to rebuild the government that comes from the owners. >> the 1992 campaign from then candidate ross perot. sunday evening at 6:00 on "american artifacts." pulitzer isce interesting is the things he instituted in newspapers are seen in newspapers today. sensationalism is the one word often linked to a joseph looks are. with think of it -- joseph pulitzer. we think of it today as tabloid journalism, but he was using it to right wrongs. >> discovered facts about newspaper mogul joseph pulitzer
ncaa selection of president photographs and learn the stories behind the images. at 6:30, we continue with the 100th anniversary of the pulitzer prizes. keynote speaker, georgia democratic candidate lewis. the wind may blow, the sun you must not give up. you must not give up. you must hold on. completeh the "american history tv" we can schedule, go to c-span.org. toweekend schedule, go c-span.org.
>> this month we showcase our student cam winners. this year's theme is road to the white house and students were asked, what issues do you want presidential candidates to discuss? one of our surprise middle school winters is from scranton, pennsylvania. fione evans and abbie o'brien. they want presidential candidates to discuss immigration, in their video titled "undetermined." >> i'm abbie and this is fione. we're standing in times square, known as the crossroads of the world. many immigrants who passed through here. >> we need to come up with a plan to solve the current immigration issue. we believe all immigrants should have the opportunity to reach for the american dream. >> what is the greatest benefit that immigrants contribute to
scranton? >> as i said earlier, the best benefit i think is learning about their culture. the ways -- their religions, the way they dress, the foods they eat. it makes us better people. >> on a national level what are your views about current immigration policies for immigrants coming to the united states of america? >> again, you know, we should never, never roll up the welcome mat here to america. this is how this country was founded. it's founded on hope that people can come here and have a better life, a better opportunity. >> as we began our research about immigration issues, it became clear to us that the problems surrounding immigration were complicated. it also became clear that most politicians in washington agree on the following. there are immigration matters that need to be addressed. >> that means we have to finally, once and for all, fix our immigration system.
this is a family issue. it's an economic issue too. but it is, at heart, a family issue and if we claim that we are for families, we have to pull together and resolve the outstanding issues around our broken immigration system. >> my chicogoans have been waiting for congress to act and take action for over a decade. polish, ukrainian, irish, and mexican have been waiting. they're waiting for family members to get visas in backlogs of 20 years. >> we have to fix these broken things in washington, d.c. fix the broken immigration system, both the illegal and legal side. >> as all of you know, we have 11 million people in this country who are undocumented. 99% of whom came to this country to improve their lives.
to escape oppression, to flee desperate poverty, and violence. >> this project has shown us that immigration is complicated, emotional and raises many questions. what should we do about children of illegal immigrants? how do you know if someone is here legally or illegally? [indiscernible] >> jeb bush said when people come in, it's an act of love. it's not an act of love. we need a wall. we need a wall. you see what's happening with
illegal immigration. if it weren't for me, they wouldn't be talking about illegal immigration. >> it's very important that we enforce our immigration law that we encourage people to come here legally, to come through the vetting process, the inspection process. we want immigrants to come to america for that life. that's what america is. a beacon of hope. however, when we allow people to knowingly break our laws, evade inspection, to bypass any type of medical screening, to live here in america and depress the wages of american workers, which we know for a fact illegal immigration depresses wages for american workers. we also know, unfortunately, that there are people around the world that want to do us harm. that hate our way of life. that want to come here and steal
that way of life from us through terrorism. >> i can't imagine our lives without the value they contribute. we have to find a way to address immigration and keep the country safe. [indiscernible] >> the american people support comprehensive immigration reform, not just because it's the right thing to do, and it is, but because they know it strengthens families, strengthens our economy, and strengths our country. >> this is what makes america exceptional. we welcome strivers. we welcome dreamers. from all around the world.
it keeps us young, keeps us invigorated, keeps us striving and pushing the boundaries of what's possible. then we all bind ourselves together around similar ideals. a similar creed. and one generation in, suddenly those kids are already americans. like everybody else. >> how is immigration important to the building of america? >> i think the best way i can answer that question was that in 1954, days after ellis island, they made the announcement it was closing down, that an editorial appeared in the "new york times," i'll share part of it with you. in that editorial it said, immigrants have given to the united states artists, actors, doctors, writers, farmers, philosophers. immigrants have given this nation its teachers. immigrants and their descendants today elect our nation's laws.
programs someday a monument that celebrates immigrants will rise upon an island called ellis. >> we're standing in front of the statue of liberty which was and still is a symbol of hope and freedom for immigrants coming to america. >> we feel 2016 presidential candidates should discuss immigration issues. >> we believe whoever is elected should make immigration issues one of their top priorities. >> to watch all the prize winning entries in this year's kmp decision, visit studentcam.org. >> the new c.e.o. of the washington, d.c. area transit system testified at a house hearing about recent safety lapses and the recent decision to close the subway system for 24 hours to conduct emergency safety checks. this house oversight hearing is 2 hours 15 minutes.
chairman mica: good afternoon, i'd like to welcome everybody to the committee on government oversight and reform. we have, this afternoon, a joint subcommittee hearing. the subcommittees of transportation and public assets, which i'm pleased to chair. and we have our ranking member, ms. duckworth. and then we also have the government operations subcommittee which is chaired by mr. meadows and mr. connolly is the ranking member. i would like to call the meeting to order and without objection, the chair is authorized to declare recess at any time.
i would also like to announce the order of business. we'll first hear from the chairs and ranking members and then we will go to questions and first i will introduce the witnesses and swear them in and we welcome them today. in just a few minutes, we'll get to them. so that's the order of business for the joint subcommittee hearing today and i also would like to note the presence of our colleagues. we have congresswoman comstock of virginia. we may -- i'm not sure if he's going to be here but we would certainly welcome congressman steny hoyer of maryland, congressman sid beyer of virginia, and congressman delaney of maryland. i'm not sure if congressman delaney is here. but i'll ask unanimous consent that they also be allowed to participate and without objection, so ordered.
so while they're not members of the committee, we appreciate their participation. the order of businesses will go through members of the subcommittee and our o.g.r. committee and then recognize those individuals. i plan to yield some of my opening statement time to ms. comstock and we'll proceed in that order. so, today i would like to begin by making some remarks. i'm pleased to welcome everyone. this is not a new kids on the block hearing. this is actually a continuum of hearings that we've held. i had the opportunity to chair transportation committee and we looked at the problems with wmata and washington metro
during that tenure. on the 12th of january, 2015, last year, we had a horrible incident, accident, in which an individual lost their life in the metro system. i called a hearing february 13 of 2015. that was our first o.g.r. hearing to review what had taken place. we personally visited ntsb. we looked at -- we looked at the problem that was identified. we tried to find out what was going wrong at that point, what occurred -- what made that incident occur. and then seek remediation. we did a second hearing and i remind members, july 21, 2015,
and i'm very concerned that after talking with mr. hart -- we'll hear from him in a while, from ntsb -- that some of his recommendations he told me were passed on from the fatal incident. in june, i'm not sure if they were taken care of. we had the latest incident. we had a shutdown of the system, for, what, 29 hours, march 16, last month. i gave enough time for folks to prepare for this hearing. i wanted to do something immediate. we do have some new leadership at wmata and i wanted to make certain everyone had time to prepare for this hearing. we have a metro system in crisis in washington, d.c. and we need to find what has gone wrong, what steps have been taken to correct the problems. we need to look at the management restructuring and we
need to look at the financial structuring that is currently in place. there are few transit systems in the united states that receive the subsidization that metro does in washington so we need to, again, hold people's feet accountable, and see what's wrong, look at what's been done and then look at solutions for the future. that's the purpose of this hearing. that's what we're going to do today. i yield the balance of my time to the gentlelady from virginia, ms. comstock. >> thank you, mr. chairman, thank you for yielding and i would like to thank him for the hearing and allowing us to join. this is a vitally important issue to my district and to our entire region and i appreciate our new manager and i'd like to emphasize for everyone in the audience, that mr. wiedefeld is the new general manager of metro
and we appreciate his work with us. i know when he first game and -- he first came and met with all of the washington area, my colleagues, we all emphasized a cultural change and i appreciate how much you are taking that to heart and really facing a lot of what you have called the hard truths of the system. we were together at an event yesterday in lowden county and i want to say how much people did appreciate, again, you're talking about the many hard truths we have on how we're going to have to deal with the long road ahead to regain public trust given we've had a drop-off in metro ridership because of the lack of reliability and the increased concerns for safety. so i do appreciate the march report where you, yourself, have publicly called on metro to accept these hard truths and you noted that safety, culture at metro is not integrated with operations and is not well rooted at all levels. i know yesterday when you spoke you talked about how you're
already eliminating a lot of the silos because of what was happening with all the direct reports to you, when something went wrong, everyone looked to somebody else. you really did highlight some of those problems well and acknowledged that metro is actually at this time doing less with more, to quote your statement, and in nearly 10 years there have been no significant reductions in work force resulting in redundant positions among back office staff that will be abolished through attrition where possible. it's important to note that you've identified, in the need to modernize this, that the back office staff we might not need now needs to be reallocated. we need to have management changes there or labor changes that we would probably need to change this. we can't have redundant positions that are unneeded soaking up resources we need on the front line and i particularly appreciate that you're putting more safety