tv The Stream 2018 Ep 60 Al Jazeera April 13, 2018 7:32am-8:00am +03
china has held what it's calling its biggest ever naval drills in the disputed south china sea and display of military might was attended by president xi jinping more than ten thousand personnel seventy six fighter jets and forty eight warships took part in the exercises. the u.s. president's nominee for secretary of state has faced tough questioning from senators as well as protests at his confirmation hearing senate votes on his nomination later this month at least five people have been killed in somalia following a bomb blast with a packed football stadium the explosion hit a stadium in the coastal town of borrower the armed group claimed responsibility for the attack franken presence of my three civil service center has temporarily suspended the country's parliament until may the move came after the government promised a cabinet reshuffle following an unsuccessful no confidence motion against the
prime minister when ill with a singer. thousands of palestinians are preparing for a third day of protests along the gaza israel border friends. because his health ministry says more than one thousand six hundred demonstrators have been shot by israeli forces so far thirty of them killed local journalists getting ready to cover the latest demonstrations say they fear they're being deliberately targeted there's i had lines heard back with more news here on al-jazeera after the stream. we understand the differences. and the similarities of cultures across the world so no matter how you take it al-jazeera will bring you the news and current affairs that matter to you.
today is the commonwealth relevant tell us what you think the way in. a strange comment in the chat add you to keep in the street. it's interesting. things together i mean it's not. every morning but if. you want to. that was a nine hundred eighty five cape the queen elizabeth discussing her viewpoint on the commonwealth of nations thirty three years later does the organization still have a purpose the commonwealth was formed in one thousand nine hundred forty nine as a loose association of former british colonies and over the years it's grown to include countries that actually have no ties to the united kingdom but these joining nations must agree to the broad principles of the commonwealth development
democracy human rights and peace but this month the u.k. will host a gathering of some fifty three heads of government representing about a third of the world's population all of them members of the commonwealth but does being a member matter joining us to discuss this from london commonwealth secretary general patricia scotland and. a ph d. candidate at the university of nottingham he's also record meter with the commonwealth decriminalisation campaign in ottawa canada thames shop professor and the former director of the institute of commonwealth studies at the university of london and here in our studio is sean theroux or he's a foreign affairs reporter with the washington post welcome everyone to guess there is a seeing a film called. monte python film and it says talking about the roman empire one of the romans ever done for us and it just occurred to me what is the cohen well ever done for the commonwealth members in a sentence they aircraft to make
a positive sentence but in a sentence what would you say. it's given us a platform to be to feed the british professor tim what is the commonwealth ever done for commonwealth memphis. obviously the. more human rights and dina story really should move the religious. it's given to the common platform to discuss their grievances and that just as vital as the positives are taken again are you happy with what you've heard so far well i think there's a real understanding of the common also two point four billion people sixty percent of whom are under the age of thirty and share a common language common law common approach towards democracy and institutions have probably more relevance today than we've ever had and for the reasons given
was a positive and an opportunity for us to share our grievances as well. this organization this institution still relevant you cover foreign affairs for the washington post when you look at it from your perspective outside of a commonwealth country what's relevant well i think it is relevant. for what it culturally represents it represents two point four billion people it represents a shared history of a sort. of shared experience of the sort of the same time the reason why we're really talking about the commonwealth right now this year is that in the shadow of briggs it's been taken on a particular political valence in there in the british conversation you have people who've cheered for britain's exit from the european union talking about reviving the commonwealth building an important empire two point zero the commonwealth has become the standard for britain's new idea new idea of itself in the world is this
way of reviving a british project in the world and that to me is interesting and also a bit delusional. so i think there are a few people quite a few people online within our community that would agree completely with what you said i want to share just a couple of those views this is john on twitter who says the commonwealth is an association of equals largely neglected for thirty years useful every four years when britain wants to be in some imperial nostalgia while exercising its sporting prowess another person equally as harsh here the british put up no indians or dog science clubs across india so why are indians still taking part in things like the commonwealth games the commonwealth is the only club of victims of colonialism that glorifies their tormentors. i'm wondering if you can relate or understand where people like this are coming from because i've got quite a few comments that were in the same being. absolutely and i come from new york
state myself i come from bangladesh and i'm a post-colonial scholar and there is a slightly perverse and. common victimhood that one sees been in the membership of the commonwealth i think what needs to be addressed is whether the camo that actually providing a platform for those kinds of post-colonial and you colonial discussions and in some angles perhaps they actually are and unfortunately the mongols they're not and i think with regards to where the commonwealth is relevant or whether it has potential unfortunately overall it might be seen as not having it but you need to break it down into the nuances of what the individual conversations are i think secretary know these conversations and you can have this quickness about the commonwealth because people realise where it came from it came from the open it's empire and it's not comfortable association for money well i'm really intrigued to hear the perspective that's being given today because i've had the privilege in the
last two years to talk to the fifty three heads of the commonwealth all the democratic representatives of the two point four billion people and they see this in a very different way and i think everyone has got stuck with the construct that's been put on it as a result of that but i want to take us out to sit and look at what we decided what we've done before twenty sixteen twenty seventeen when this became an obsession as to whether the united kingdom is going to come in or go out if we look at the reality in twenty fifteen. the commonwealth came to the decision that they wanted to focus on some clear objectives and remember in twenty thirteen the commonwealth heads of government came together and they agreed upon the commonwealth charter in which our values were inculpated and expressed and those values are a direct mirror of the un sustainable development goals the whole world signed up
to in september of twenty fifteen two years later and that basically demonstrates why the commonwealth is important it brings together an eclectic mix of countries big ones old ones large ones the most advantaged and the least advantage the biggest is one point two billion india some of the smallest in the pacific have only eleven thousand people and that is an extraordinary platform to make decisions and so i think the commonwealth has never been more important in twenty fifteen we discovered that was a nineteen percent trading in advantage from countries who traded one with the other within the commonwealth and why was that because we have we speak the same language we have the same common law we have the same structure and that is going to be exploited in a world where protectionism is becoming increasingly important the commonwealth is
giving every indication that it is anti protectionism and actually understands that will isn't just money it is our values it is our our aspirations and our opportunity to work together as a family and that has now been clearly demonstrated that it has an economic value common rights countries a trading with each other so i understand that people who are looking at the past see this is a construct which is primarily british just ask you to remember. that there are actually fifty two of them and they said this is very differently looking forward back with him and can i reinforce what secretary general said particularly with small island states particularly small communities around the commonwealth has facilitated a range of migrations and the aspirins and i think the association. and
particularly what some of the. discussions of say a couple of. cultures which you can't really put a value. i think what you have i think members of thirty one states are small nation states and there are only thirty nine in the world and says the commonwealth is very much the voice of the small state and is able to put on the platform things like climate change it was the problem in one thousand eight hundred nine in the economy conference and said climate is an existential threat and we need to face it it was the commonwealth in twenty fifteen before the paris agreement said if we want to change climate if we want to tackle that then we have to have an in forcible system we have to have it as two degrees and we have to have it as one point five and the important reason why they were able to come to that
conclusion is because everybody was represented right all six regions and we were able to be the possible way to get out of those. like you know it is also i want to talk to you and i guess secretary general you mentioned the advantage of their relationship and there's a few people picking up on this is hamlet on twitter he says relic of imperial past yes useless no it's good for international relations among nations that alone is accorded the same way it's important to have friends but i will say not all members of the commonwealth nations understand what that relationship is really for and if it is valuing them or benefiting them i want to play a video comment we got from wrong while she is in the u.k. she has that question of how to work. we're technically original we're. married. it's all.
true maintaining relationships we're. great relief individuals who are really trying. the uplifting. in the jews. so it's not her point that well it's not so common in this commonwealth right i mean of course there is that historical legacy of being the the creation of an empire that looted your countries or exploited your nations in various ways but of course moving beyond that now a lot of the major countries in the commonwealth have far bigger fish to fry and chips to eat than them you know thinking about their role within this particular organization you look at a canada it's much more interested in in its dealings with nafta or it's also leading the way revitalizing p.p.p. you look at australia it has a much more complicated and important relationship with china you look at india
this is the great hope of post post brags that britain is a free trade deal with india india is not likely going to give one that i favor will terms to the british they really just have to look at the economics you will have looked at what's happened on world trade we had a real slowdown two point two to two percent growth in g.d.p. it's now going up to three point six three point seven why has the country's benefit done well because they have invested in human capital what is the company has been doing investing in human capital just issued in twenty eight team yesterday at the new twenty eighteen trade refeed which clearly identifies. good imperial cold data the benefit that there is in trade we have a real opportunity to expand it if you look at the grocery level we're going east the development in the past was in the west now it's in the east and the fact that
we share the same common law common structure and means that the whole commonwealth not just the u.k. the whole commonwealth can take advantage of these opportunities and you have to remember we are living in a really changing environment where protectionism is becoming the norm and it's the commonwealth countries who are saying we are open to business and what's really interesting is we are more open to each other because we are a family second. here that's often a mistake economic argument for the value of the commonwealth. right now the games are going on and we just show you this this picture here from perth analysis the same boat who obviously is a very well known athlete he is that out there promoting in australia the commonwealth games twenty eighteen but also on the lead up to the commonwealth games in the gold coast illustrate there were protesters who were upset about being a links as individuals to the commonwealth have
a listen to their protest. bicycling what we want. we want to make the thank you. thank you creative make it quick. and we wish. and we don't want not you know one of the commonwealth. they've stolen away and built this country in stone why do you build this country in the blood and born to be happy if the parents are not used to that knowledge about time then royal families do right where you are responsible for they come down to you don't they ask to be country. if there are some very real issues that the commonwealth as a family of countries having to tackle right now one of the ones which is oh really i think a lot of it's l b t q rights how does fifty thousand citizen countries even begin
to tackle that and they say well into development democracy human rights and pace this is our mission this is a platform how anything. i think with regard to class rights in particular it's a very interesting legacy that's been left behind because the vast majority of the country than the commonwealth thirty thousand of them continue to make homo sexual intimacy a criminal act but the reason they do that is because of a common law that was introduced under british colonialism in eight hundred sixty these are of course post-colonial states and in many cases they are due their own responsibility to change that but the global trend of entrenching homophobia can't be ignored either what's been happening with regard to the commonwealth is a coalition known as the commonwealth equality network which is a coalition of grassroots organizations that are working together and they have a really interesting role because on the one hand many of these groups are illegal
in their own jurisdictions there even in their own home countries they often have to act out an image through discretion but what they also don't want is the case of countries like the u.k. where being homosexual is no longer a criminal offense well they don't want is those countries to come in kind of sweeping and save them that's not the role of the commonwealth and that shouldn't be the role of the commonwealth what the equality you know we're really doing is providing a platform for these individuals in these groups to speak up not as big terms the not as people who are being abused and exploited by historic relic but as individuals that agency and nuance and that is something that i think the commonwealth had to provide a really powerful platform for and i think in a we just yes. and i just reinforce their side i was proud to be part of the commonwealth. them in both trinidad and in gander and in the saeed of those discussions particularly around the commonwealth foundation were indeed important
discussions about these very issues of sexual orientation and i think the commonwealth has likewise they did important role in terms of putting issues of religion and fundamentalisms and socialization on the agenda through its human rights and war and gender connections we haven't yet mentioned all the all the speed with police to have the first female secretary general of the commonwealth has also been the album god in terms of woods issues. i think i think sorry i just want to add that i think it's very vital to take the equality network as a very important model for these discussion if you can with what the quality of work allows for a poor. and a multitude of contacts and sometimes that's left out even in the economic discussion although there is a lot of development that isn't universal across the commonwealth and there's a danger perhaps in saying
a success and saying that across all fifty three countries that's not the case and we would be very very remiss to think of it that way as well as we need to remind ourselves of the context we need to remind ourselves of the pluralism that's at stake here. just jump in for a second just. because. i think that the commonwealth has an incredibly powerful and important story to toe some of the commentators have been saying though there is britain and elsewhere i mean particularly in britain a lot of full understanding of. there's been a lack of recognition in britain lack of understanding right because once you know how. this is going to discussion of pretty hot topic of late that there is adequate understanding of what britain has done in its past in the commonwealth could be a great vehicle of education of information of of are addressing of changing the narrative. and by doing so better integrating these countries so it's interesting you mention that i want to bring this live on you tube. please i need this question
to be answered if a great majority of the commonwealth were developed what the nature of the organization this seems so that's a question that's sort of answered online already here on twitter says that the commonwealth is a gentle or a way of holding on to the empire that was letting the world know those countries game something from britain but one of the benefits for commonwealth countries is the boost they get in the education and humanitarian sectors we actually heard from someone who specifically spoke to us about that we got a video comment harry and he explains how it's been fitted him. of course the street isn't very. nice but i think it's important for us to use those links to create all these countries all across the world and actually how they can be a powerhouse for change and i think it's cool to. just get rid of this concept
because people actually use it as a powerful tool to develop the world. to me he says that in our fall tour you make about. if i may just indicated it's in indicative that there are still countries lining up to join the commonwealth and i think the commonwealth has played an important role in terms of bringing indigenous communities can do australia india etc together these are things that the united nations the e.u. and other communities play a much less creative an important role compared to the commonwealth's second and i just want to play this team this is the in the nine hundred eighty prime minister margaret sat at the time explained how important the queen. to the commonwealth avenue since what she said about that. the interesting thing is as we have a commonwealth conference the queen actually does not attend eyes at the opening or
any sessions and yet she is very much there because the most important thing to many of the representatives here is the audience which each of them gives and has with the queen during the course of the conference and the most important event is when they all get together when the queen gives a dinner in honor of all heads of government and i think with their clothes link with her with the feeling that when each prime minister or president goes into the queen that she knows their problems has knew them over many many years that she's interested that she knows them not only their national problems she knows them in relation to those in other countries of the commonwealth. secretary i'm just looking here on your twitter feed and we recently did the royal family. this is you meeting the queen with according to this state is she still right now in the commonwealth what does she tell you i think her majesty loves the commonwealth that's the biggest kept secret in the world and her dedication that the
last sixty years has been quite remarkable and you have to remember that majesty was a young queen and was perhaps one of the first demonstrations of a young woman leader and people forget that it's been so over the last sixty years and she's been a real exemplar because if you look at what happened over apartheid in south africa majesty was very much the queen of the whole commonwealth and not just the queen of the united kingdom. so this is this is what i'm wondering and to me you can you can chime in here so the queen is very invested she's been very invested in iowa for a very long time who becomes the next head of the commonwealth that is an interesting crystal that not. you know being that yes and i was going to say that she actually became we moved she was in kenya. all sorts of commonwealth connections the commonwealth has its own structures both government
non-governmental and i wouldn't venture to say much more in a question it's not exactly who could be the next head of the come what could be one of the commonwealth countries that have to be a member of the royal family. the decision is made by the fifty three heads of the commons it's their decision interesting douglas on twitter says the commonwealth has the ability to reinvent himself to reflect a changing world do you think that a reinvention is what's needed here or scrapping of the whole thing so i mean i think the eventual be fascinating i think it's a there's no need to scrap the commonwealth it's an important historic institution but to reflect its current moment it would be faster you see it be decentralised from britain see an operation see how quarters in lagos or delhi or wherever. it is in lagos malouda interest and never a dull moment and you know. if this is about two point four billion people shift
the center of gravity east or south or places to places that are part of the as much part of the global conversation as britain if not more so now there will be a great reflection of the twenty first century i have to say thank you to professor timothy shorter ahmed and the sector general of the commonwealth patricia scotland it's been a pleasure just talking about such an old institution and we go next the conversation continues online at hash tag answer watch and take everything.
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