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tv   Ambassadorship Confirmations  CSPAN  June 27, 2018 7:51am-9:14am EDT

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with the question. first of all the point of order they will lead you had been watching at the the prime minister's question time. a quick reminder that you can see this week's session again. and for more information go to c-span.org to view every program that we have aired since october of 1989. we invite your comments about the prime minister's questions.
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the house is back at 10:00 a.m. eastern. at noon more work on 2019 defense apartment spending. there also expected to work on immigration legislation this week that's on c-span. the senate continues to be on the form bill. ceo of delta airlines speaks at the national press club. at 230 eastern. about actions taking by the fbi including the clinton e-mail investigation listen
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with this free c-span radio app. she details there been exposed to lead poisoning. what the eyes don't see. a story of crisis resistance and help in an american city. she is interviewed by michigan senator gary peters. let's talk about your reactions. you heard that there might be lead in the water. when that happened and what were some of the first actions you took. >> the point that i realized that. you have to be at my house over a glass of wine who happen to happened to be a water expert. when they went through a similar crisis.
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have you heard about the water. she said everything's not fine. it's not being treated properly and because it's not been treated properly there will be let in the water. and that was a moment that i realized i needed to take action. i tried to get children's blood levels. that's something that they have surveillance programs for. dislike we tracked the flu and hiv and other epidemics i could get the government data so i did my own research at our public hospital to see what was happening to our children's levels and it was really the easiest research project i've ever done looking at that change in children's vels. and what we saw was alarming. watch afterwards sunday night at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span two. book tv.
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next to the senate confirmation hearing for the president's nominees to represent the u.s. and the european union and belgium. the senate foreign relations committee is one hour and 20 minutes. >> good afternoon. this minimal come t order today we gather to considered four nominations the honorable brian nichols. mister gordon sunland. with the rank of ambassador. the u.s. ambassador to belgium. and the norman chalet. to the sessions of the united nations general assembly. that's a mouthful. i want to welcome nominees and their families and opening
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statement i hope you will introduce your families and your friends. to this committee and i can gradually all of you on your selection by the president for these positions and i want to thank you for your willingness to serve. before moving to opening statements. i would like to welcome several distinguished colleagues if you would like to begin. thank you mister chair. and members of the committee it is by great privilege to introduce mr. gordon sunland has been nominated to serve as ambassador to the european union. he was born in seattle washington and as a first-generation american his family history is both fascinating and instructive as to why he has experience and understanding to serve as u.s. ambassador eu. his rents were born in
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berlin germany and were married in 1937. they were forced to escape the nazi regime in germany his mother was able to escape because her father was russian and those with russian passports could leave. mister sunderland sister was born. his father was not so fortunate. he have to be smuggled out of germany. he actually rounded up in france and fought in north africa. he was put in a concentration camp where he was rescued by a british army. being fluent in german. after eight yearsy moved to seattle in 1953. work order was born or years later. and began his business career in commercial real estate before managing the aspen group and investment group for more than a decade. the founder, chairman and ceo of providence hotels he
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originally purchased the bank what hotel. and also manages hotels across the geographically diverse environment in the united states. in addition to his great business experience. he's been heavily involved in a number of activities. his is cofounder of the katherine j durrant foundation. which strives to help families and biz communities. he is also served on a number of local state and national boards. including u.s. bank corporation washington state advisory board sanford school board of visitors oregon health and science university foundation and the george w. bush center. his family history and the contextual understanding that comes with it combined with
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extensive business experience in negotiations and market and problem solving and managing competing interests. they sued him for the task. i like to tell you he is a man of greatharacter and a great mentor to two of his kids who have a good sense to go to a north carolina school they are at duke university. it's a good plan be. so mister chair thank you so much for holding this hearing i cannot think of a better person to take that to the basset or of the eu. senator wyden. thank you very much mister chairman and let me make this a filibuster free zone and perhaps had my remarks put in that record and give you a sense of why i'm here. i had known gordon sunland. as gordy for a while over a
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quarter of a century. how does that come about. does he want to play in the nba also. his basketball what did it. there's a really small jewish community in oregon and we pretty much know each other. .. .. . >> sunland and i, we are the children of german parents. and both of our families fled the nazis in the 30s.
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gordon's father used his foreign language fluency to help the british army during the war. my dad, who lived for a while in ridgefield, connecticut, wrote the propaganda pamphlets for our army that we dropped on the nazis. and i'm telling you, those i mean, it basically told the nazis they were going to freeze if they didn't pack it in and give up to the white and blue. so both gordon's family and mine ended up in the united states as refugees. and i think we all know americas have always called to our shores from every nation on earth the industrious and the creative, the steadfast and the devout. and in effect we had a constant infusion of individuals who share red, white and blue values
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of hard work and love of country. the very core of our greatness. and my senses, and gordon and i have kind of touched on this over the years, that families like ours and kids like us who are really first generation kids of refugees, there's a word for it called atuna lum where you try to perfect the world. but i think what i'd say is gordon and families like ours, we always thought it was our job to give back. always try to find a way to give back with the way people talked about it in jewish families in oregon. gordon and his wife katie have been supporters of so many causes.
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one of the things that i especially like about the family is they've been very generous to the portland art museum. and as a result now, kids can go to this terrific museum in oregon, over 3,000 miles away from what people think of is the museums of new york and washington dc. but now because of the sunlands, kids get to go to an art museum for free. gordy has also been involved in other things that i feel i kno both the chair and the ranking minority members care greatly about health care. gordon has been involved in the oregon health and sciences foundation where we're doing with their good work and phil knight as well who made a very generous donation recently, some cutting edge work to deal with cancer. so i'll just close by way of saying that i think if you look
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at the totality of the experience that the sunlands bring to this post at a time when lots of politics is polarized and divisive, gordon sunland is a really good step. and i'll close with just one kind of comment about our state. what i come to feel is we sort of have an oregon way about us. and it's not like written down somewhere. it's not, you know, in our pioneer square in downtown portland. but it's all about -- take a good idea wherever you can get it caring about people, having a good heart. our late colleague here in the senate mark hatfield really practiced the oregon way. our late narn portland practiced the oregon way. i tnk when gordon sunland assumes this post, and i'm going to say i really hope he is
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confirmed, he's going to speak with real impact. with an oregon way type impact for problem solving, for values that we hold dear, particularly on issues like anti-semitism, respect for human rights. and it's a pleasure to be able to be, i guess, part ofhe oregon caucus on behalf of the nominee gordon sunland. >> thanks, senator wyden. without objection, your statement will be entered into the record. >> thanks mr. chairman. thanks for holding this hearing. let me welcome first, though, christina goodwits to the committee hearing. nominee ambassador to belgium as love of ron's life. i don't know if i'm supposed to say this, but i'm going to say it anyway and ask for forgiveness afterwards. n didn't get married until his 40s because he spent all of the time before that trying to convince christina to say yes. i think that's t story, correct? but i also want to welcome scott
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wh is here today. his son and new fiancee, as in the last week, and alexander his son who is i australia welcome to the family and for being here today. thank you. the first time i met ron, i knew immediately that i was going to get along great with him. walking into his office in chicago, there was a picture, a poster on his warm. a piece ofarm equipment. and as somebody who grew up in a very small town who sold farm equipment, i knew a heck of a lot about an equipment called rod weeder and didn't think anybody else in america off of the farm would know about it. until i met ron. and we had a long conversation about midwest companies that have a legacy presence in colorado and beyond. there was ron that morning talking about all of these household names that helped my community, my home town thrive that he was a par of. of course, there is his resume, which we can talk about today. and it shows he's more qualified
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to serve our great nation in is capacity than anyone else. decades of business experience leading recognized brands and companies of he's been a national leader for national security, a leader of the boys and girls clubs across the nation. it didn't take long to recognize he was a business leader or political leader. his biowas filled with far more than experience. he's a community ader, he is deep into leadership of the arts and the in skredible -- incredible field museum in chicago. he lives up to the adage much i expected. they champion and inspire as much as christina and ron. the list of their generosity goes on and on to health care, welfare of children, support for our military, national security, veterans and, of course, education. none of it is done seeking recognition or asking anything in return. it truly is to live up to that commitment, much as expected. and they have lived up to this. the family has never stopped
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leading champions other. and today's new mission is one more step in giving back to his country, to our country. i know that this is why some of those closest to him call him father ron. he is one that serves everyone. people come to him for wisdom, ce and when needed some hard truth telling. ceo to ceo or each young leaders or students. in the words of some of his closest friends, he serves as a source of strength or wisdom for all who seek him out. his greatest impact is not how much he has given but how much he has inspired all of those around him. the mission in belgium is more important than ever. whetr it's addressing the issue, he will be a beacon of american values and a point of pride and diplomacy that will give come forted to all of -- comfort to all of us. the value of selfless leadership. i'm hon tord to be here today -- honored to be here today supporting ron and his family, and i urge my colleagues to do
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the same. congratulations. >> thanks, senator gardener. senator durbin. >> thanks. it's great to be back. i'm on leave of abscess. i promise some day i'll return. just likecarthur. but i wanted to be here especially because of the nomination of ron goodwits to be our next ambassador. i won't replicate the kind remarks of cory gardner from colorado. ron and i share something an experience that goes back a few years. we were both interns working for the same senator. a congressman said if you have politics in your bloodstream, only embalming will replace it. in the internship i got politics in my bloodstream and i never quite left capitol hill since. ron took a different path. he went back to chicago into the business world.
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successful in that world with private business as well as with his investments and other endeavors. did well for himself. but as corey remind us, he didn't just sit on that success and bank the money and walk away from his responsibilities to many ot. and i've known that for a long time. where an area -- era, i shod say, where there's arguments made about hyperpar tanship. but i know he was stepping up to serve democratic mayors as much as his republican friends. he shared duties under the mayor. he chaired the colleges of chicago under mayor daley. and then the illinois board of education. and served as well as chairman emeritus for the boys and g club of america which played a leading role for 30 years. over and over again he stepped up for public service.
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he'll do it again. belgium is an important ally of the united states. the european union's future is an important question for the united states. the future of the nato alliance is one that we have to address on a regular basis and should remind everyone. it's been peace in the world for a long perd of time. n is the right person to serve as america's face and america's voice in belgium. and i'm happy to endorse his nomination. >> thanks, senator. i want to thank all of our senate colleagues for coming here. i think the bipartisan support for these nominees speaks well of them and of this process. so as chairman corduroy says, you're welcome to stay, just not sitting there. we really do appreciate you making those introductions. i want to thank my other colleagues for attending and i want to be respectful of their time. so rather than reading an opening statement, i'll just ask for consent to enter into the record. i'll turn to senator murphy.
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>> i will take your queue and we can get right to the minees. >> well, good. so let me, again, begin by thanking our nominees, your families for your willingness to serve in these very important capacity. these postings have always involved significant sacrifice, not only from just you, but from me personally but also for your families. the positions you are in are going to be extremely important from the standpoint of representing america to your countries, your institutions. but rep alsosenting those countries and institutions back to this body. and i'm sure you'll do a great job. so we would like to start with the honorable brian nicholls. brian nicholls is ambassador to zimbabwe. he served as u.s. ambassador to peru from 2014 to 2017. his prior postings include principle deputy assistant secretary of state for international narcotic law enforcement affairs from 2011 to
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2014 and deputy chief from 2007 to 2010. ambassador nicholls. >> chairman johnson, ranking member murphy and distinguished othe committee. it is an honor to appear before you today as the present nominee to be the next united states ambassador to the republic zimbabwe. i'm profoundly grateful to have the confidence of the president and the secretary of state. as i approach 30 years to foreign service, serving at some of the most challenging missions, it's a humbling experience to appear befor the senate as the second time as a nominee to serve the american people as ambassador. my professional achievements owed to the wonderful women who join me today. my beautiful wife jerry, also senior foreign service officers, and my daughters alex and sophie. they have all pushed me to be a better person, sacrifice for my career and newer tured me with their love and support. i would also like to recognize my older brothers david and keith for the powerful example
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that they have set for me. they could not be here today. i have had the good fortune to represent the country that i love and fascinating countries around the world. i have advanced american values of respect for democracy, human rights and the rule of law throughout my career. those are centrvalues that my l father instilled in me and my brothers. my mother has served the people of rhode island promoting higher education, vocational training and charitable programs to lift people out of poverty for 50 years. should i be confirmed, i will draw up on those values and my experience to strengtn our relations with zimbabwe as it reforms, promote american principles and help the people of zimbabwe build a better future. as iave in all of my previous assignments, i will have no higher priority than the welfare and security of american
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citizens. zi as cross rs of independence, ros. the government and people of zimbabwe have the opportunity to follow a new path. to become a stable and democratic country while returning to the prosperity of the past. this is what zimbabwean people need and deserve. to fulfill the goal, the government should intensify its effort to carry out governance, electoral, human rights and economic reforms. an absolutely critical test will be the authorities to deliver on july 30th a free, fair and credible national election. given zimbabwe's enormous potential, genuine reforms can and will yield great benefits for her people. if confirmed, i look forward to close and continued collaboration with our congress to help zimbabwe along a path of positive change. as we continue to support zimbabwe's democratic
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development, we must also continue to invest in the people of zimbabwe. in health care. people to people exchanges. humanitarian aid. to preserve the human capital needed to grow and improve zimbabwe in the future. today zimbabweans can look back at a creative and influence an entire continent. i have faith that with our support, once given the opportunity tcommunity, organize and express their will, the people of zimbabwe will find the best path forward and pursue it successfully. my recent foreign service assignments provide rich experience should the senate confirm me to serve as ambassador to zimbabwe. as ambassador to peru, i led a large mission that focused on improving the rule of law, fighting crime and corruption, strengthening our host nation and promoting respect for human rights, particularly of women, girls in disadvantaged groups.
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i promoted american businesses and grow american jobs, earning the department's cob award for those efforts. prior to that, i helped direct the state departments rule of law anti-crime and counter narcotics programming around the world, including in africa. as the principle deputy assistant secretary for international kogs and law enforcement affairs, i directed a team of nearly 7,000 professionals who work every day to expand access to justice, protect civilians and combat crime around the world. i am especially proud of our efforts to expand our partnerships in africa, to combat wildlife trafficking and build more professional police and prosecutors. in those positions, as well as deputy chief, i shaped organizations that were more diverse than ever in terms of background and expertise, improved morale, insured tight management controls and effectively advanced our nation's policies and priorities. should the senate confirm me, i will aim to exemplify the
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highest standards of our great nation while doing so. i look forward to partnering with you and stand ready to answer your questions now and in the future. >> thank you, master nicholls. our next nominee is mr. gordon sunland, the president's nominee to the u.s. representative to the european union. i think after the introductions by senator wyden and senator until list, i don't think any other introduction is necessary. so, mr. sunland. >> before i begin, i want to thank both senators tillis and wi wyden for the introduction. good afternoon. it's an honor to appear before you as the president's nominee to serve as the united states ambassador to the european union. i'm grateful to president trump for the support for me and i'm very grateful to you for your consideration of my nomination. >> before we begin, please allow
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me to introduce my family all here in attendance with me. first, my wife katie without whose intelligence, kindness, patience and wit i might have achieved very little. certainly not a place at this table. she's a success in business, as well as in our home. and she's been an enduring source of strength and humbling smart advice since the day i was fortunate to meet her nearly 30 years ago. sitting next to katie are our two proud est accomplishments, our children max and lucy. both of whom are undergraduates at duke and departed challenging internships to be here with me. absent are my parents. having immigrated here in 1953 after so many years of extreme tre veil, they adopted america, and america adopted them with a passion unrivalled by anyone i sense encountered. theirs was a story of intense sacrifice, hard work, good luck
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and a deep commitment devoted in equal parts to the united states and to each other. having met and married in berlin in 1938, begun they are and free da and my sister lucy unlike so many of their less fortunate relatives were able to flee the surge of naziism. they found safe haven in south america while gunter promptly volunteered to take up arms against the murderous authoritarian regime from which ust j escaped. first with the french foreign legion in africa. world war ii came to a close and two years later so did gunther and freida's separation. along with tens of thousands of other jews, surviving family had sought shelter in shanghai. soon they found fortunate permanent refuge in seattle, washington, on the northwestern
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edge of our great country. here they raised two children, including me, but first of my family ever to claim national citizenship in the united states. here they embarked on their own american dream. american citizens eventually starting and r a small successful dry cleaning business for the next 30 years. here they labored, loved, made many friends and had a positive impact on their community. here they never ceased to be great to the country that had given them hope, safety and a new beginning. they fought hard for their american citizenship. they cherished it and nurtured it. they bequeathed neither riches or property. but something better determination and self sufficiency. finally the certainty that self governance is for true liberty. denied so many of these for so long, they embraced these
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american values with fervor. if confirmed, everything i say and will be in advancement of american interest and these principles first and foremost. they are certainly the principles that guide me throughout my life. most of them, of course, comprise the foundational western principles that undergird the usce relationship that has endured since 1951. between us the united states and the eu member nations wield the largest economic and military power in the world. they dominate global trade and they lead an international political development. it is why our unique relationship with europe must only be strengthened and protected. as president trump said last year in his warsaw speech establishing the preservation of the west, as his primary foreign policy goal in europe, "there is nothing like this community of nations. the world has never known anything like it. we must have the desire and the courage to preserve it in the
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face of those who would subvert and destroy it". as you know better than most, there are many challenges that confront us. trade, security, the migrant crisis, brexit. but no one should doubt that the eu has an essential role in perpetuating our shared values of freedom, peace and prosperity across europe and around the world. to the benefit of our european friends but also to a vast swath of american people, the 5.5 trillion in annual commerce we share is just one compelling testament to that. finally, while much has been said about the tensions that currently exist within the useu partnership, it is important to remember historically these ups and downs, these instances of public posturing have been the norm. that's just the nature of complicated relationships. while it won't be always easy, our shared goals and values will triumph over our differences.
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i believe that my professional experience over the last several decades are instrumental in preparing me to lead the mission at the eu, should you confirm my nomination. i'm gratified to have launched a hospitality in real eate company, larger than iou ever imagine, and sustaining individuals and families from all walks of life and places. i've also traveled extensively throughout the world, including across europe, and have a knowledge and deep respect for european culture and politics. while i've been fortunate to visit the vast majority of the eu countries, i look forward to visiting them all. i look forward to conversing to our friends without europe in english but also in german where it's spoken. during the course of my life, i've had experience in policy making, working with lawmakers from both parties and every level of government in negotiating business deals across borders and advising
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several large companies with both domestic and international operations. i've always been comfortable working on a bipartisan basis. if confirmed, i can assure you that i will bring my life's experiences and skills to represent the united states at the european union. thank you for your consideration, and i wld be pleased to answer your questions. >> thank you, mr. sondland. the next is mr. nomwits. following the introductions by senator gardener and durbin, i don't think we need any further introductions. >> thank you, mr. chairman. ranking member murphy, distinguished members of the committee, it's a tremendous honor to appear before you today as president trump's nominee to be the united states ambassador to the kingdom of belgium. for me, it's humbling that the president and secretary pompeo have the confidence in me, hopefully with your approval, to represent the american people in engaging with the critically
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important ally in the key center of europe. i would particularly like to thank senator durbin and gardener for speaking on my behalf today. i would also like to thank several members of my family who sit behind me. first and foremost christina to who i've been married for almost 41 years. alexander who is here and scott who joins us today. marlene recently gave birth to our first grandson christopher. scott is accompanied by his newly mentored fiancee mallory dehaven. my families love and support has been a constant in every phase of my life. during my career, i've had a multiplicity of experiences in government service in the private sector as well as extensi extensive sxoers -- exposure to the not for profit. i have had the pleasure of mark ter. when i took over the company, it
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had sales of just over $100 million. when the business was sold 17 years later, the company was closing in on 1.5 billion and was on fortune -- the fortune 300 list with 40% of its sales coming from outside the u.s. i've also served on a number of private board of directors. one of note among them was american national can, a subs dairy of the french aluminum company. in the public sector, i was a founding executive committee member for employer support of the garden reserve and served in that capacity for ten years. in addition, i was the chairman of the economic development of the city of chicago at a time when the midwest was under great stress. i also served as the chairman of the city colleges of chicago, the second largest community college district in the country. as well i served two terms as the chairman of the illinois state board of education. i was appointed to these and other public service positions by both republicans and
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democrats. i believe the record will show that i can work well and lead organization, no matter their political strive. in the not for profit arena, i worked in many kinds of establishments, from social service to cultural institutions to education organizations. i served in virtually every position over my 44 year tenure with boys and girls clubs of amera, including sharing the national organn. i seras chairman of the field museum of natural history. in short, i have lead large organizations and small ones, public and private and not for profit. i feel confident my past experience in government, business and ifphilanthropy has prepared me to lead the united states commission in belgium. if confirmed to serve as u.s. ambassador, i will work closely with the teams across the government to strengthen our relationship and focus on the following areas of our alliance.
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first and foremost, i will work with belgium officials at all levels to advance american interests, protect american ns and promote american democratic values, the freedom of speech, press and religion are ones that cannot and should not be comprised. if confirmed, i will work with the belgium government to work collective security concerns. i will encourage our belgium partners to move aggressively to fulfill their whales declaration commitment to spending 2% of gdp on defense by the year 2024. working together, we can enhance nato and further global security. if confirmed, i hope to advance our economic interests. more than 900 american companies are represented in belgium. in 2017, u.s. exporf goods
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and services to belgium were 34 -- $35.5 billion. imports from belgium were 20.4 creating a trading surplus of $15.1 billion. we are belgium's largest trading partner outside the european union. if confirmed i will further an already robust partnership. and finally i'll work to deepen our historical alliance with the belgium government and the belgium people. mr. chairman, ranking member and members of the committee, i thank you for the honor of appearing before you today and i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you, mr. gidwitz. last but not least, u.s. representative of the united nations. management and reform and
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ultimately of the united nations assembly. she has served since 2014 as the deputy counselor from 2012 to 2014. she also served as a special advisor to the u.s. mission from 2008 to 2011, a senior advisor of the state department bureau of legislative affairs from 2007 to 2011. prior to working at this department, she was a staffer in greenville, south carolina. miss chalet. >> thank you. i am honored to appear as the nominee to serve as the representative to the american for the united nations for u.s. management and reform. i'm grateful for president trump and ambassador haley for their confidence and this opportunity. i'm joined here today by my
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husband george who has represented me for the last ten years. and my oldest child nicholi who is already a mini diplomat. my other two children, my daughters kara and madelyn unfortunately could not join me here, as i am not sure i could contain their enthusiasm during the hearing as they are 3 and 1. i am also joined by my family, my parents scott and mary lee norman whose love and support provided the foundation that led me here today, as well as my sister peggy and her daughters shana and annabelle and my brother-in-law eli. enabling the united states to maintain international peace and security, address human rights and development needs is no simple task. the united states continues to be a champion for greater effectiveness and efficiency by emphasizing the need to show tangible impact and results.
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and by encouraging better ways of working. president trump, secretary pompeo and ambassador haley have all prioritized showing the ofhe u.n. to the american taxpayer. this falls squarely on my shoulders if confirmed as the u.s. representative to the united nations for management and reform. through my experience as the u.n. management reform counselor for the united states mission to the u.n., i have seen firsthand the value of positive reform and the good that can be achieved through an effectively managed u.n. but also the consequences when it is not effectively managed. for amplex when we hold peace keepers accountable for their performance, we see better results for the intended beneficiaries. i will assume the job if confirmed at an auspicious time as secretary general gutierrez planned to reform the u.n. system is under way. this presents real opportunities
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to align u.n. work on social security, development and internal management with u.s. values and priorities. i am honored to work alongside ambassador haley and under her leadership to expand our reform efforts, including greater accountability and transparency, fiscal discipline and making the u.n. fit for purpose. if confirmed, i intend to work closely with other member states in the general assembly to advance these priorities and other issues related to sound management and reform. thank you for this opportunity to appear before this committee today, and i look forward to taking your questions. >> thank you. there has been a vote call. senator murphy has gone to vote. as soon as he comes back, i'll even vote. at this time i'll turn it over for questions. >> thank you. i want to congratulation you all and your families. it's a tremendous sacrifice for families to have you serve like this. ron, it's good to see you here in this capacity. and i know of your good work in chicago.
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ambassador nicholls, we had a good visit in my office yesterday. we all know, and if you don't, zimbabwe is going through an election for the first time in about 40 years. a free and fair election after the departure. so it's an important time there. can you talk about the importance you're hoping to get there. i think by the 17th of february -- i'm sorry, of july. why is that important? why is it important for us to have an ambassador there for the election time? >> thank you, senator flake. it's an honor to talk with someone who has such deep experience in the continent and in zimbabwe in particular. the voice of the united states in calling for a free, fair, credible election that gives the zimbabwean people greater confidence in their leaders and the forcefulness with which we
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consider democracy important in zimbabwe is a priority for me and for the united states government. having a person on the ground with the full force of the president of the united states as his personal representative is vitally important to advance our interests. and having had the honor to serve as an ambasr in the past is something that someone who does not have that investiture can't match. and i hope i can receive you and your colleagues in the future if confirmed. >> well, thank you. i spent time in the 1980s in zimbabwe, and i look forward to this day for a long time when they would have free and fair elections and maybe have a post robert magobe area. it's important to say we have a good team there. you'll find when you get there. but we need an ambassador. and so i'm glad that hopefully
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we can get this process done and have you there. congratulations for this. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator flake. let me just kind of ask a general question of all of the nominees. i know you covered to a certain extent this in the opening statement. toone in on wha each one of you views your top one, two, three priorities. you don't have to have three. just maybe one. give you a chance to expound a little more. i'll start with you, mr. sondland. >> thank you, senator johnson. i think it's an understatement to say that the relationship currently between the united states and the european union is tense. and one of my top priorities is to do a listening tour of all 28 member countries to bring the temperature down a little while these very delicate negotiations are going on over trade. once i'm through with that, one
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of my greatest priorities is to, once again, reestablish the close relationship that the eu and the u.s. have on a whole host of issues. when we work together, we're almost unstoppable as a team. and i would like to get us back to that place. >> ambassador nicholls. >> thank you, mr. chairman. as alluded to earlier, the july 30th elections will be a crucial moment in zimbabwe's history. an opportunity to have free, fair, credible elections will be my earliest and top priority there. but there are many other challenges that zimbabwe faces. profound reform to its institutions to ensure the rule of law, to promote a private sector-led economy. to encourage transparency and respect for human rights in its governance. and to give the zimbabwean people the opportunity to succeed through the work of
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their own labor. these are profound challenges. these are challenges that did not arise over night. and they will not be solved immediately. but we must work together. and i look forward to working with you, sir, and your colleagues to advance american interests in zimbabwe. >> miss chalet. >> senator, i'm looking forward to building on the reform efforts that have beennder way for a few years, particularly in right sizing the organization and continuing to instill fiscal discipline, but also increasing the accountability and transparency. i think it dove tails very nicely with the secretary general's efforts under way now, and we need to be sure that becomes a reality and we do increase that accountability, be it through strengthened whistle blower protection or addressing the terrible skurj of exploitation and abuse they have committed. i look forward to continuing those and ramping up those efforts. >> mr. gidwitz. >> thank you, senator.
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given the difficulties of the last couple of years with respect to the tax that occurred in belgium, one of my top priorities, in fact my top priority is to ensure the safety of the 23,000 americans that are living in belgium, plus the many tourists that come through the country on an annual basis. secondly, to work with the belgium government and the belgium agencies to strengthen the relationship and the multi-lateral programs a organizations that we share together. and then, thirdly, given the fact that there are 900 plus american corporations, define ways that we can build stronger -- build on that strong relationship to bring jobs both to our country, as well as to the country of belgium. >> thank you very much. i'll go vote and i'll walk as fast as i can. >> thank you very much, chairman.
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thank you to all of you for joining us here today. let me just get my bearings here. running back into the room. i'm not actually sure what senator johnson asked, so i will hopefully not cover the same territory that he did. but let me start with you, mr. gidwitz. i don't know to what extent you ta about some of the work we have done with belgium and our multi-lateral relationship on counter-terrorism. this is a very sort of fractured country from a governance standpoint, which makes it hard often to communicate with them about what they know regarding threats against their country and with the visa waiver program. those are obvious immediate threats to the united states. in prepping for this job, what have you learned about the ways that we can work with the government to try to enhance counter-terrorism cooperation? >> well, a good news -- thank you, senator, for the question. the good news if confirmed, i
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will certainly work with our intelligence and military folks to strengthen what already an ongoing program. prime minister michele undertook a study several years ago once after the -- several of the attacks took place in belgium. and as a result, many programs are currently under way. we -- if confirmed, i work with the u.s. government agencies, the dea, the fbi and others to see if we can't continue what is an o pgram to make belgium a safer place for all of us. >> great. mr. sondland, thank you very much for spending some time with me. we were able to talk privately about the mission that you're about to undertake. i'm going to be very supportive of your nomination.
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i thank you for taking up the job. but as i mentioned privately, and i'll just say it publicly, you are going to be asked to carry out a policy which speaks to dissolve the transatlantic alliance. and you may have different views and mr. gidwitz, you may have mr. view, and there have been many others that have gone and served in europe sitting exactly where you're sitting that have had different views than that. but you're going to find out the only views that really matter is the president's. and the president has carried out a pretty intentional and consistent policy of trying to undermine our alliance with europe. each country try to leave europe. he uses social media to publish really terrible, awful nation nationalist anti-europe propaganda. he wants russia to be back into the g7 without having done their part with respect to the
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agreement. and so i appreciate everyone that goes into this administration, especially those parts that serve the u.s.-europe alliance thinking they can change the president's mind. no one has been successful yet. and so let me ask you, mrmr. mr. sondland, a little bit about this issue over russia. you're even preparing for this job, a ndoubt have been briefed over what the policy is. i assume the president is for russia to be admitted back into the g7 and you will be sent to europe to work with our g7 european partners to get russia back in to the g7 given the president's comments from a week ago. do you understand that to be the policy and do you understand that to be your mission? >> thank you. i heard the president's comments
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in canada. and i don't necessarily know if it is set u.s. policy. i haven't discussed it with the president. if it were to be u.s. policy, then i would work to further it. without minimizing the many, many other issues we have with russia, including a lot of the activities over which we disapprove. so, you know, it's a walking and chewing gum at the same time issue. and, again, i haven't been briefed by the president on what his actual policy is, vis-a-vis the g7. >> do you -- obviously you're not going to create distance with the president. but talk to the committee a little bit about how you plan to approach this question of the planned tariffs against the european union and the retaliatory tariffs that they have aounced and are putting
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togetherst the united states. how do you plan to approach what right now is an escalating trade war between the two countries. you said, i think, as i'm reading, your top priority is to bring the temperature down. how do you do that if the president isn't committed to that? in fact, maybe committed to the opposite. >> well, i disagree with the premise that the president is trying to unwind the alliance. the president has a very unique negotiating style. and it's -- it's now becoming well known around the world how he does negotiate. i think that the president is also mindful of the importance of the relationship and the many, many other things which we share with the eu. and i don't agree that the president's goal is to unwind the relationship. i think the president's goal is to bring about free, fair and equitable trade. >> so if his goal isn't to unwind the relationship or the
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european union, then what do you make of his very close association w tho tha led the brexit campaign and his continued association with the elements inside britain that were seeking to bring that country outside of the european union? that to me would seem a pretty deliberate attempt to use his power, both as a candidate and as a president to try to cheer on countries that no longer want to be part of the european union and, thus, be part of the organization to which he'll be our representative. >> i think the people of the united kingdom made their own determination as to where they wanted to go, vis-a-vis the e relationship. i don't know that i would characterize the president's actions as cheerleading. and i also don't believe that the president is necessarily hell bent on dissolving the rest of the union. >> i hear you taking issue with
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some of my opening comments to you. i will in turn take some issue with the way in which you framed your opening comments. categorizing the president's relationship with the european union and europe over the last year and a half a being part of the normal give and take. i don't actually think that you can find a period of time that rivals that last year and a half with respect to the u.s. relationship with europe and the post world war ii era which i think fairly categorizes the modern relationship between the continent and our country. and i really worry about nominees that come before this committee and try to normalize what is not a normal time in american foreign policy. at the same time, i do agree that it would be great if you could take the temperature down a notch. let me ask you a question on a subject that i think we agree on, and that's the future of energy security in the region.
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nord stream two is a project that wouldllow for russia to be able to push an enormous nt of fossil fuel product into europe by passing ukraine. it's bad news for ukraine. in the u.s. viewpoint, it's bad news for europe to be more heavily reliant on russian gas. what's your view onord stream 2 and what do you understand is going to be your mission representing the united states before the union? >> well, my primary mission, senator, is to make sure that -- and it's, again, in our selfish interest to see that europe is not heavily dependent on one source of energy. putting europe in the hands of one supplier of energy who could at will disrupt that energy flow would not be in the united states interest. i also believe there are very member countries of the eu that
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want to participate with various other suppliers of energy, including the ugts and want to do it through contractual means rather than through political means, which give them some form of security if those contracts are braeched. >> thank you, mr. sondland. mr. nicholls, can you talk a little bit to us about the role of china in zimbabwe. china has developed a very close relation and been a big investor in the cry for a long time. it hosted zimbabwe's news leadership for their, i think, first state visit. obviously china is playing a bill role throughout the kont nenlt. but talk a little bit about this and seek to continue in
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zimbabwe. >> thank you, senator, that's a good question and a crucial issue for us. china has invested heavily in the extractive resources sector around the world. and zimbabwe with its extensive mineral wealth i certainly no exception to that. i believe that private sector-lead group for zimbabwe is important, but i also think it's important that the people and government of zimbabwe receive fair and equitable treatment for their resources. and i hope that they are entering into a trade relationship with china with their eyes open. and certainly insisting that all countries that invest in zimbabwe respect the worker rights, respect environmental
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regulations and do not allow the resources that they have to be taken without proper compensation. and i believe that it's incumbent upon the united states and our representatives around the world to insist on a level playing field for trade and engagement and to make sure that we have an opportunity to succeed as well. >> and the reason that china has been such a big player, at least part of the reason has been because the united states and many other countries like us have had a series of sanctions on economic participation in zimbabwe and aid. and yet many of those other donor governments are gradually scaling back their sanctions during this period of transition and congress is set to consider legislation that might modify conditions for assistance that were set out in zimbabwe democracy and economic recovery act back in 2001. so as we start to consider
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legislation that may scale back some of our restrictions and as you're sort of learning about some of the ways in which we might better engage, do you have any thoughts or recommendations for how we might go about passi passing legislation or drafting legislation that would start to lighten up -- start to modify those restrictions? >> thank you, senator. i think it sends an important signal that the united states remains committed to democracy, human rights, economic freedom, rule of law and anti-corruption efforts. the importance of our engagement is that we are doing so in a principled way. the specifics of the legislation i don't think i can comment on, but i do believe that it sends a message of continued interest and prioritization of our
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relationship with zimbabwe. i think it's very important also, senator, to note that we do not have comprehensive sanctions on zimbabwe and that the problems in attracting foreign investment from zimbabwe are driven by the economic conditions there and the economic policies that their government has. we don't have restrictions on investments in zimbabwe but rather dealings with specific individuals and entities. >> thank you very much. just a couple questions for you and then i'll turn it over to senator markey as we await chairman johnston's return. i want to talk to you about peace keeping for a moment. trump administration has communicated its intent to reduce u.s. peace keeping or peace keeping assessment, 28%, 25%, depending on what legislation is operative from the united states congress. it's really interesting report that gao published earlier this
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year in which they compare the cost of the current u.n. peace keeping mission with a hypothetical undertaking that would be done by the united states military. and overall gao found that it would cost the u.s. more than twice as much to carry out a versus our participation in u.n. peace keeping. so how do you translate to us what the trump administration plans are on peace keeping. and in their desire to reduce the american commitment, there was some suggestion that there might be peace keeping operations that could be wrapped up without -- or scaled back without any security detriment to the united states. any clue as to what those operations may be? have they been identified? and what do you make of that gao report? you're nodding like you might be familiar with that report. >> thank you, senator. i think it's a series of -- you captured quite a number of initiatives that we are
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undertaking. i think that the commitment to u.n. peace, especially is very much there by the united states. and we feel it is -- it's absolute critical to our national security. in terms of looking at our assessments, we have said and the president has said that we would like to see increased burden sharing by other member stat. and the u.n. shouldn't be overly dependent on one single donor. and this congress, like you said through its ever operative language is there has established 25%. and we feel that that is an adequate assessment rate and we still maintain our largest contribution. i think equally important to looking at the assessment rates and what the u.s. should pay is looking at the missions themselves. and are they designed to -- to promote local solutions and the ambassador haley did outline several principles in that regard. i think there are missions that
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are currently under review that fit that bill that could look at that. imean, right now that's under review and we're continuing to look at several missions with those lenses. but i think we, coupled with looking at the efficiencies that the u.n. and making sure that peace keeping missions themselves are operating in the most effective manner is critical. and i think the gao did point out the value of u.n. peace keeping to the u.s. and our national security interest. >> thank you. one final question, mr. chairman. to you, miss chalet. the bureau of international organizational affairs state department is obviously one that you will work very closely with as the liaison office between the state department and the united nations. last week foreign policy reported that a former food and beverage lobbyist who was appointed as a senior advisor there, mari stall, american
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employees of institutions to determine whether they are loyal to president donald trump and his political agenda according to nearly a dozen u.s. officials. according to the account, miss stall is making lists a gathering intel reports are in the new york times and washington posts are also working on filling in further details on this story. two questions, one, are you personally -- have you been personally aware of miss stall's activities to apply what looked to be loyalty -- political loyalty tests within the state department and international organizations, and whether or not you have personal knowledge of that, what is your opinion of -- what is your thoughts on these reports and whether this activity is appropriate? >> senator, thank you for that. i am not personally aware of those charges. and i would refer you back to the state department for that.
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what i will say is that the united states has long looked -- or provided american citizens emoyment at the u.n., and we feel it's an absolute priority given our investment. but also for the american values that we can bring to the u.n. in the ways of working. and so if confirmed, i will continue to dothat. i will also -- i think these are serious concerns that have been voiced. i'm aware of the articles and the content of them. and i will work with the international organizations bureau to ensure that we are promoting the most qualified. because we are running up against countries who are putting their best forward as well, and we want to ensure that we're adequately represented. >> i guess the question is do you believe it's appropriate for the administration to provide a political loyalty test to u.s. employees, either at the united natis or within the state department? >> senator, no, i think it's -- we should be looking at the most
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qualified canndidates, regardles of party. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman, very much. >> mr. sondland, north korea is ow hoping that they'll be a relaxation of sanctions upon them. i know they're visiting china and ultimately that will be their goal. how can we ensure that we work closely with the eu to make sure that not only the existing sanctions are, in fact, enforced and remain in place, but that we also put additional pressure on countries who have yet to participate in that sanctions regime? >> good afternoon, senator markey. thank you. >> i think your microphone is not on. >> yes, it should be. . . .
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priorities would be to enlist the cooperation even more strongly of the e.u. and its member countries in that regard. >> as you know, the e.u. new privacy regime went into effect about three weeks ago. and they now essentially have a privacy bill of rights for everyone in the e.u. and american companiesoing business in europe have to comply with that standard, which is an opt-in standard that the data that is collected behind
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companies not be compromised without getting permison from those consumers. if a company is requested -- required to get consent in order to share european data and also required to tell european consumers exactly how the data is being used, should that company provide american consumers and those who need protections? >> i believe it should. >> you believe it should. and i agree with you. that is where we are heading. through the german invasion, the occupation and ultimately the subject union occupying much of europe as well. and i was very important during that time, which is why there is a heightened sensitivity in each one of those european countries
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they have to basically on identity and the online information is absolutely essential. with regard to terrorists, mr. mr. tree into and president trump's criticism of the dataset with the e.u. in march at the trump administration would impose tariffs on imports of steel. 25%, aluminum 10% from u.s. trading partners following the department of commerce termination of steel and aluminum imports from the u.s. national security and on june june 1st those tariffs went into effect. can you talk about those tariffs and relationship with the e.u. natisnd how you would
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suggest this rift that is building based upon these tariffs. >> senator, and may experience the private sector is economic negotiation between t arm's-length parties can often create a rift. it doesn't mean it's an irreparable rift. it just means that you're engaged to some high-stakes bargaining and i refer you back to my earlier comments where i believe the president values the e.u. relationship. i believe that the united states and the e.u. share a multitude of values and a multitude of other relationships unrelated to the tariffs and that's one very discreet segment of our relationship that is not going to be easy to resolve, but that is one of the jobs if i'm confirmed is to work on that. >> you agree.
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it is getting longer. climate change, the iran deal from a european privacy initiative, terrorists, just building issue by issue into a situation in my opinion is unnecessary, but ultimately it is a great cause for concern because europeans are closest allies and we need them on other initiatives as well. thank you all for your willingness to serve our country and thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. i'm going to follow up on my first round. any further questions. let me follow up on my first round with the top one, two, three priorities for you and your new post. mr. trained to come you talked really visiting all the members going on a listening tour, which is completely appropriate. it's vitally important to understand other nations tears.
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it will be a give-and-take. >> her message, senator while you value the relationship -- problems that the relationships that need to be resolved and can be respectful and appreciate those areas in which we agree. there's some tough conversations tended to to be hard to advance the american interests. that is part of the discussion. >> i know for my part, senator murphy as well we meet with representatives from individual companies and we certainly are reinforcing the fact that the relationship is strong and will remain strong as far as the eye can see from our standpoint.
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the importance of reform and rule of law in our dealings in eastern europe overcoming legacy with the corruption of the soviet era. it's very difficul to do. what do you think is the greatest risk to zimbabwe in establishing the rule of law? thank you, mr. chairman. the president has talked about the need for profound reform in this country and he's absolutely right. in terms of the challenges there are many. it's hard to signal just one. clearly the professionalization and transparent the is very important insisting on the rule of law, looking at the path corruption in the country,
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dealing with the human rights abuses over truth and reconciliation process are just some of t issues that need to be addressed for zimbabwe to be able to move forward. across zimbabwe in society, people understand and are talking about those issues and moving in that direction. both president mnangagwa bacillus oppositn alliance candidate signal goes as priority ones. we look forward to looking after zimbabwe is a free transparent election to address those challenges. >> it's really an optimistic time. how many optimistic are you? >> many of the right things and some of the right things. i believe we have to be clear on it in our approach and hold them to their own comtmts and
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standards. the 2013 constitution, their commitments regionally with their commitment to respect human rights and democracy as well as commitments with the union and broader international community. i believe this is a great opportunity and i hope that the government of zimbabwe live up to its commitments. >> we've been talking about u.n. rerms. obouyhat is your to priority. what do you think is the single biggest impediment to reform the u.n.? you talked about rejections, but problems? >> to say the single most impediment ithe political will of other countries. the common understanding and agreement on those reforms. within a u.n. bureaucracy and just changing mindsets and
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showing that business has to be done differently and i think those are primarily the impediments that i face on a day-to-day basis. >> in a short period of time, how do you overcome that? >> its constant engagement in promoting what our position is and our values and priorities that we place. i think that the rising -- interestingly, the rising rate are contributions of member states to change the mindset in the sense that has been seen more countries that are more attuned to budget discipline that may have been int. so t will be differces of agreement but if confirmed i will continue to work promoting those on human rights and other areas that fundamentally and philosophically will have differences of some countries. >> as we scussed in my office, the power of an anecdote and examples is powerful. i want to work with you wheth
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in this community for homeland security to highlight those examples of corruption or waste, fraud and abuse they need to be reformed. that's probably the best way to try and overcome the impediments. finally, mr. gidwitz come you said your top priority of americans i agree with and senator murphy talk to you about counterterrorism programs. i would kind of like to hear your awer. talk about how important it is for us to cooperate with dull gem. they sat down not because of the terrorist act, but the threat. >> thank you ver much. since 2014, troops on the street and the police force because of the concern that they thought. the good news is theaken significant military forces in the last few months. but it remains to be a problem,
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but it's a problem in which is diminishing in the sense that the working of the intelligence services together seems to be bearing some fruit. there's a couple of short-term serious problems. we've got an embassy, for example as well as the e.u. embassies. and so, from a relatively tactical issue, we need to better protect people that are working directly for the state department and other agencies. that is the short term that needs to be addressed. senator murphy had suggested, how do we get there is intelligent agencies in several levels of governmen, the belgian government is relatively complex at decisions being made. to get that coordinatedes a
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lot of engagemeny a lot of pelend thas one of the things should i have the privilege of representing the rd tget it done. >>in, ito tha all the nominees for your testimony, thank your families for their sacrifice as he worked in these very important positions. the record will remain open for statements or questions until the close of business on friday, june 22nd. this hearing is adjourned. [iible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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