tv United Nations 21st Century LINKTV November 7, 2015 2:00pm-2:31pm PST
james: keeping the peace amid conflict, one of the u.n.'s toughest challenges. is the u.n. doing enough to try to prevent conflict around the world? ivina: we as the united nations to around to the world and say that there is now hope. what else, i mean you must have hope? that's our job. james: and can a new set of goals spearheaded by the untied nations transform the world? [music] welcome to this special edition of 21st century celebrating the 70th anniversary of the united nations, i'm james bays. founded after world war two, the u.n.'s remit to make the world a better place by promoting peace and security, defending human rights and fostering developement. near
the top of the organization's agenda this year is a massive human rights crisis. the highest number of refugees in the history of the planet. our first story is of people in flight, and no where are the number more overwhelming than in the east where wars are raging in syria and in iraq. [music] refugee: this is the biggest influx that turkey has seen so far.
the needs are urgent, needs are so big. most of them are women and children. [speaking in foreign language] ivan: what is shocking is that 2014 was the year of the highest number of forcefully displaced persons ever recorded with 60 million all together. and it definitely is an escalating crisis. fighter: alluhu akbar! [gunshots] antonio: things really are getting out of control simply because these worlds seem to be a world at war. ivan: they flee from persecution, from human rights
violations and from the crippling poverty. [speaking in foreign language] ivan: it definitely is a human rights issue. the core of human rights is freedom from fear and freedom from want. and those are triggers of immigration. antonio: the international community seems not to have capacity to prefvent conflicts and to timely solve them. some of them get totally out of control. if you get syrian and iraq now, we have 50 million people displaced in and from the two countries. [chatter]
ivan: they have their human rights that have to be respected which means that they should have an opportunity to apply for asylum. david: you've got a swarm of people coming across the mediterranean seeking a better life, wanting to come to britain because britain has got jobs, it's got a growing economy, it's an incredible place to live. but we need to protect our borders. irina: tens of thousands of people have come out on the street to protest what they call essentially an invasion. ivan: it is a very dangerous and
unacceptable to portray migrants as people who are invaders, who are threatening culture of the host countries. in lebanon, it's over one million refugees, so if tiny little country can take care of over one million refugees, well i think europe can take care of 200,000. investing huge resources in additional patrols and raids in identifying migrants will not stop migration. if you seal the door, people will go through the window. antonio: we don't have the resources to support all the victims of conflict around the world and to provide them with the very minimum level of protection and assistance.
the world became a mess and if people think that humanitarians can clean up the mess, they are wrong. we no longer have the capacity to pick up the pieces. ivan: do not try to prevent migration by killing a dream of having a safe haven of having security and having economic prospects. try to provide for better protection of human rights and for freedom from fear and want.
james: well u.n. agencies do feed, house and educate the exploding number of displaced persons, as you've heard, their funding is falling far short of demand. [music] james: now to the central african republic, a nation consumed by violence, hatred and instability. in this largely forgotten crisis, restoring peace seems an almost impossible task but that's what u.n. peace keepers are striving to do. here's our story. [gunshots]
james: since the end of 2012, the central african republic, a small and very poor landlocked country of 4.5 million, has been convulsed by civil war and sectarian violence. a struggle over political power, land and resources now sees mainly christian militia groups known as anti balaka, pitted against a mostly muslim militia known as ex-seleka.
the government has very limited influence beyond the capital, effectively much of the country has been divided up into lawless fiefdoms controlled by local militias with criminality driving much of the violence rather than religion. for many, the only protection comes from the united nations. u.n and other international peace keepers were deployed after the current crisis erupted. james: watching our report with me is ian martin who's head of the influential publication, security counsel report. and also used to head u.n. missions in east timor, nepal and in lybia. and we'll talk about central african republican in a moment, but let's talk about the whole of the peace keeping system because there's a record number of peace keepers right now over a 120,000, is the system cooping or is it creaking? ian: it's suddenly facing unprecedented challenges and that's true not only in the sense that there are multiple crisis, which is reflected in those numbers. but is also true
in terms of the complexity and the difficulty of the situations into which peace operations are now deploying. peace keeping started off classically in maintaining cease fires, maintaining a line of control between formerly waring parties. it went on to support the implementation of peace agreements, when they'd be negotiated usually between two parties, one government, one rebel uh, faction. but now the context in which peace operations are operating are much more messy than that. and they also pose increasing security challenges to united nations personnel as well as to the civilians caught up in those situations. james: so tell me a little bit more about the complexities of some of the current peace keeping operations. ian: well if we take mali for example, it's a situation that is also deeply penetrated by al-qaeda, but violent
extremists, committing acts of terrorism. [gunshots] that means the peace keepers are facing what are called asymmetric threats which is resulted in extremely high levels of casualties, death and injuries amongst peace keepers deployed in northern mali. i think there's a pretty general agreement that the u.n. blue helmet forces are not suitable to do counter terrorism. but nonetheless, peace keepers are in a context where they're subject to terrorists attack. so one can't draw a simple line between a counter terrorism operation uh, and trying to maintain the peace in the context where, where there's a serious terrorist threat. james: let's look at the central african republic and that report. well that's a place where u.n. peace keepers were sent to protect people and instead there've been some hideous allegations of sexual abuse by u.n. peace keepers. how do you change the system to stop this sort of thing happening? ian: yes, that's quite right.
the united nations has not done enough to prevent and perhaps the most important form of prevention is the swiftest possible investigation and punishment of those found to be responsible for sexual exploitation and abuse. uh, a number of reports uh, are pressing in that direction, the secretary general is acting upon that. having said that, i think we should also say that the troops deployed to the central african republic have undoubtedly saved the lives of a lot of civilians. so i don't think anybody should think that it was not important for there to be a deployment into the central african republic when there were terrible massacres uh, taking place. but in no way is that any kind of an excuse for some of the crimes. james: we talked about the central african republic, we talked about mali, the two most recent peace keeping missions, is the u.n. doing enough to try to prevent conflict and looking a early warning systems to try to see where, where there are problems ahead?
ian: the u.n. is certainly doing a lot. uh, and it's efforts are effective in some conflict prevention and of course, one doesn't here about successes in conflict prevention. but i think it's also not doing enough and i think the security counsel isn't ready to apply it's political pressures early enough. there are still strong national sovereignty concerns, countries don't like being talked about early on as the crisis grows. james: there are appalling conflicts where there are no peace keepers. first of all, syria, where so many people have died, but also iraq, yemen, lybia, where you used to be based. do you think if there was more unity on the security counsel, there would be more success in stopping these conflicts? ian: certainly, they require unity in the security counsel and that's obviously been a major problem in the case of syria. and not only in the security counsel, they also require a genuine common effort by regional countries that have a lot of influence. the current conflict in south sudan and certainly the conflict in lybia
is made more complex if countries in the region support one side or another. or rather than give united support to the efforts of the united nations or whoever is mediating the conflict to bring about a peaceful power sharing outcome. james: 70 years on. let's look at the wider picture. is the u.n., given the problems we've seen with peace keeping and whatever, is it still the right model for dealing with conflict around the world? ian: i don't think there's any alternative to a fully multi- -lateral framework. um, it's very important that the u.n. works with regional organizations, it's important that powerful countries, those who have power internationally or in their regions uh, take efforts to resolve conflict. but ultimately, one requires the degrees of impartiality and common effort that i think only the united nations can bring. james: and martin, we'll have to leave it there. thanks very
much for joining us. now at the turn of the millennium, world leaders set targets to make the planet a better place by 2015, the results have been mixed, extraordinary progress, along side some significant failures. and now the united nations is looking at new ways to make sure no one is left behind. [music] avina: over the last 25 years i'd say the biggest impact that we've made it reducing those that are living in poverty, particularly extreme poverty, by half. uh, we've seen more than 90 percent of children get into primary school for basic education. and we have reduced the rate of children who are dying before their fifth birthday by half. these are remarkable progresses. however, there's still much to do. we're developing a new set of goals. they're universal, they're integrated and they're over a period of time that we think that we can build on what we have done with the last set of goals.
what hasn't worked with the uh, first set of goals that we had was that we really didn't look at the root causes. it was more of addressing some of the symptoms. [music] announcer: in the two decades since mozambique's civil war ended, the country has made an amazing recovery. but not all citizens are participating in the country's new opportunities. 15 year old, ilsa guambe, is one of them. announcer: ilsa, then just 13 years old was unable to continue school. in rural mozambique, moving in with a boyfriend's parents constitutes a marriage. more than half the girls the country are married
before the age of 18, one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world. avina: well the story of this teenage girl is of course so sad in a country that has so much hope, um with their new dawn, that she doesn't have an education. that perhaps the family doesn't have an education which in turn would have made her better and more equipped to deal with relationships and not end up in the situation that she did. this is part of what we are trying to promote is that everyone gets an education. um, and therefore, are empowered to take the decisions that they need to. uh, but also to move governments to put in legislature that actually protects girls. malala: let us pick up our books and our pens, they are our most powerful weapons. one child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world. education is the only
solution. education first, thank you. [clapping] avina: it reminds me not so long ago where i had my first cousin who went to school with me and we were growing up together quite happily uh, until my grandmother came to take her away one day and we couldn't quite understand. we just knew that my grandmother was one of those pillars in the family that you didn't argue with. um, and she took her back to the village, she married, six children later. and, and when we sit down to reflect on our lives where i am today and where she is and we know quite clearly, had she had an education, she probably would have done much better than i've done because she was so much smarter. [music] announce: another major challenge is the rise of violent extremism, both a
symptom and a cause of lagging development. boko haram are still active in northeast nigeria and nearly 60 million nigerians are affected by food insecurity, malnutrition, epidemics and conflict. including these refugees who fled to neighboring chad after boko haram attacks. avina: well countering violent extremism around the world, i think we do have to address the root causes, i hope that we don't make this a case of a band aid because it will only fester and that means that everyone is insecure regardless of the country that you're in. i can take examples from my own country, the northeast of nigeria, maiduguri, i went to school there. the young men are not born terrorists, it's an environment that creates that. um, and we need to look at what happened. how were they so excluded they saw no hope and they became easy fodder for people uh, to use in the way they have done and that becomes a tragedy for everyone. [music]
announcer: the pacific ocean occupies nearly one third of the earth's surface and contains one of the planet's most diverse eco systems. thousands of species thrive in these waters. pacific coral reefs and the marine environments the sustain provide food and livelihood for over 120 million people, including the inhabitants of a tiny cluster of islands known as the cook islands. and for one cook islander, the ocean has a deeply personal meaning. kevin: at a young age, seven or eight, i'd spend everyday, you know in the sea and uh, in the oceans fishing and uh, out on boats. it just becomes part of you. announcer: though his career as a rugby player took him away from his native cook islands, kevin returns as often as he could. each time he noticed alarming changes in the ocean. fishermen catching fewer fish,
dying coral and growing commercial interests pursuing resources around the cook islands. avina: i hope for the sake of small islands like that, and and vulnerable communities, even on the oceans, the coastlines that we talk about, we see so much investment going in there because trade is important and so ports are being built where infrastructure is happening. but you know, the rising sea levels are going to take away a lot of those investments that um, that we're putting down and that'll be gains that are lost. [music] without hope, what else is there? i think that, you know, we as united nations, that's our job. we can never turn around to the world and say that there is no hope. what else? i mean you must have hope. [music]
♪ max: hello everybody, welcome to "focus on europe." showing you the human stories behind the headlines. kw my name is max hofmann and here are the topics for today's show. slovenia -- refugee trek in a race against winter. moldova -- boxing for a better future. germany -- cemeteries for humans and their pets. tens of thousands of refugees are still on the move. st