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tv   [untitled]    April 10, 2012 2:30pm-3:00pm EDT

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shipment that was discovered in west africa over a year ago. so we encourage first of all reporting, investigation, and accountability and certainly this is an issue that we are watching very carefully and trying to ensure that iraq is meeting its international obligations. >> thank you. ms. lowey. >> thank you again for your service. and i just want to applaud the administration's decision, which was greeted with some opposition during the last few years, to become a member of the human rights council again. and we've seen in the last few days the impact of that decision on policies regarding israel. certainly i'm just seeing in the news u.n. cancels hamas official visit to human rights council after israeli complaint. ishmael al ashkar was scheduled to appear before the u.n.'s human rights council in geneva. israeli ambassador says al ashkar advocating violence against israel.
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if we had not been part of that council, again, which many people objected to, we wouldn't have been able to have taken that action. also u.s. -- in another news report, u.s. ambassador to the u.n. -- human rights council eileen chamberlain donna who said, took a strong position, and she made the statement, "the united states on monday urged the united nations human rights council in geneva to stop its biased treatment of israel." it took particularly issue with agenda item 7 on which -- and this is something i've been complaining about. as long as i've been on this session. every single session the united states council has put an item on it, on their agenda with regard to israel, and, she said, the united states continues to be deeply troubled by the council's bias and disproportionate focus on israel, as exemplified by the standing agenda item.
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i think it's very important that the united states became part of this council, and i want to applaud the secretary of state and yourself for taking that position. but i want to reference one other issue, and that is women and michel bachelet and what we're doing with the u.n. efforts to address women's concerns. i've fought my entire life, as you have i know, to raise the status of women. and we see, and i've heard the secretary of state say this many times, in countries where women are in positions of power there are much more peaceful situations. in most countries. >> in this committee. >> and in this committee. that's right. we may be the only bipartisan committee around here. but that's what happens when women are in charge.
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well, we'll let that go. let me just say, i am very concerned about potential cuts in the operation of u.n. women as it moves forward with its work. president obama requested 7.9 million for u.n. women for fy 2013. i'm hoping that number stands or increases. could you share with us how that funding will be used? and does it include a contribution for the u.n. trust fund to end violence against women? i am so interested in the work of this committee. i can remember visiting kenya with secretary of state clinton. and as we visited the micro enterprise projects, which were really important to the individual communities, nurturing families in the entire
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village, some of the men with all due respect to the good men on this committee who are in positions of power, whether they're a councilman or a governor, would come by and collect their share. so after these important investments in these micro enterprise programs there was very little left for the women who shared their resources with the entire village. so if you could just tell us about this program, what do you expect? is the money enough? how will it be used? thank you. >> thank you very much. let me try to do this quickly. first of all, i appreciate your comments on the decision to join the human rights council. i share your view. it has benefited u.s. interests and advanced u.s. values. we remain outraged and appalled by the continuation of agenda item 7, which is the serial bashing of israel at the human rights council. we continue to fight against it. and you heard ambassador donahue's statement yesterday. and we'll be doing that throughout the duration of the week. but let's look at what has been accomplished under u.s. leadership.
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for the first time ever a special rapporteur on iran. several strong resolutions on syria including the establishment of a commission of inquiry that has revealed so much about assad's abuses. kicking libya out in a special session. and there too an important commission of inquiry that has shed the light on gadhafi-era abuses. important resolutions on sudan, burma, north korea, democratic republic of congo, et cetera. a new rapporteur for the first time on freedom of assembly and association. and a working group of experts to prevent discrimination against women. among many other positive steps. with respect to u.n. women, let me say we very much strongly supported the establishment of u.n. women. we supported its growth and development. the challenge now is for it to become a presence in the field and provide tangible support to women on the ground. our resources, our 7.9 in the request, is meant for the core budget to do just that, to help it establish programs in the
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field. we think that's the most important step that we can take in this early time. it doesn't include money for the violence against women trust fund, although we recognize that that's an issue of importance to this committee and congress and a goal we very much share. we've been leading on a whole panoply of women's issues at the united nations, and it's been an loner to do so. we just passed a resolution with huge support on maternal mortality at the commission on the status of women, and we champion isn't the general assembly last fall a resolution on women's political participation. i could go on and oh, but let me just say that what we have been able to do ta support women at the united nations has been a source of great pride for secretary of state hillary clinton and meep as well. >> thank you. >> thank you, madam ambassador. you mentioned the north korean
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situation. three weeks ago secretary clinton came before this subcommittee and discussed the fact that the north koreans were going to implement a moratorium on future launches and other nuclear-related issues. and then, of course, said we're going to judge them by our actions not by their words. last week the north koreans announced their intention to conduct another missile launch, which i guess the state department said directly violates various u.n. security council resolutions, 17, 18 -- 1718 and 1874. so i guess the real question is -- what actions should the u.n. and other organizations take if north korea launches a missile as they have promised in the next few weeks? what should we do? >> well, in our view if north korea in violation of its existing obligations under the two resolutions you cited, in violation of its commitment made in the february 29th agreement, goes ahead with this satellite launch, it would be a very grave
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situation, a very grave provocation, and we would aim for and expect very strong response from the security council. >> thank you, madam chairman. madam ambassador, dr. rice, thank you again for standing up so strongly for the united states' interests at the u.n. your leadership has been outstanding. you are here, after all, to ask for the president's budget for the u.n. what in your view are the major issues that relate to u.s. national security interests that are served by our membership at the u.n. and the funding that you seek, and what -- i know the administration, the obama administration has been involved in u.n. reform efforts. so those two aspects, what are the national security interests of the u.s.'s continued involvement at the u.n.? and what reforms are still
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needed? >> thank you very much. there are so many ways in which the dollars we spend and the programs they support at the united nations advance u.s. national security interests. let's begin with one of the largest elements of our request, which is funds for international peacekeeping operations. the u.n. is present in some 14 countries and engaged in important life-saving missions to protect civilians in places like darfur and the democratic republic of congo. to help build the capacity of fragile states in which we have an interest in their success in places like south sudan and haiti and liberia. it is keeping the peace in fragile places from the golan to kotivore.
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these are places where we have an interest in security and stability, in protection of civilians, in helping to foment and stabilize fragile democracy. if the united states were to try to support this on our own rather than at a relatively better deal of burden-sharing of 27%, the cost to us would be enormous. or were we to leave these situations to fester, without the benefit of international peace-keeping presence, we would be suffering the longer term consequences, as these places unravel and we have seen what that looks like in various parts of the world, for example at different times over history in haiti. so it is a cost-effective way to share the burden of peace and security in a manner that serves our interests. we've talked a lot about sanctions this morning. iran and north korea are among
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the many sanction regimes which the u.n. supports, but they don't just vote the resolutions, they actually monitor their implementation and build the capacity of member states to enforce their sanctions and that is another thing that our money goes to. in afghanistan and iraq where the united nations, now libya, has a very important political mission as opposed to peace-keeping missions. they're building democratic capacity. they're assisting the governments. they are coordinating donor assistance, they are helping refugees. they are doing a wide range of functions that support our military missions now in afghanistan, formerly in iraq and help ease the transition as our personnel withdraw. the humanitarian work of unicef, of the world food program, the development work of undp, the health surveillance work of the world health organization. iaea which is crucial in monitoring the nuclear program in iran, all of these are critical programs.
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that manifestly serve u.s. interests. i could go on all morning but i won't. you get the point. with respect to u.n. reform -- we have made very important progress over the last few years in terms of improving transparency. i've talked briefly in my testimony in my written testimony longer about increasing access to audits. bolstering the u.n.'s investigative arm and its oversight arm, the oios. we have actually, as i mentioned, succeeded in garnering savings when that historically has been all but impossible. usually u.n. budgets go up 5% a year. we managed in december to get it to go down previously 5% which is arguably 10% over what we would have otherwise ended up with. so we are working on efficiency, we are working on effectiveness, we are working on transparency and also working to promote the principle that countries that by their behavior are
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reprehensible as we soo seen on instances on the human council and elsewhere don't deserve to be in positions of leadership and responsibility. and it's been our efforts that have yielded success, for example, behind the scenes. we were able to work to ensure that iran was not elected, as it was supposed to be, to the board of u.n. women in u.n. women's first year. they were going to get on there simply through a clean slate of a regional subgrouping of the u.n. so we are working in ways that you may not even read about to try to ensure that excellence and integrity is part of not just the u.n.'s founding values but the way it acts on a daily basis. obviously there's a long way to go. >> thank you very much. mr. austria. >> thank you, madam chairman. let me follow up on the sanctions. i know a lot has been said but in particular iran, you've talked about enforcing the
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sanctions and how important that is. it's been more than 20 months since the passage of u.n. security council resolution 1929. for those 20 months, iran has continued to ignore the demands of the security council and the iaea. earlier you mentioned that we've increased pressure on iran successfully and that they're feeling this pressure. you also mentioned that the security council i think tomorrow will assess -- >> quarterly review. >> quarterly review. you know, we're hearing reports that the security council may be divided on, you know, additional sanctions against iran. you know, what's your thoughts on that? and what are you doing, if anything -- or what can be done, if anything, at the u.n. to raise pressure on iran? or you mentioned taking the next step as far as putting more pressure on iran.
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can you help the committee understand what you mean by that? >> well, in the wake of the passage of 1929, which raised substantially the baseline of global sanctions against iran, we, the united states, our european partners and a number of other countries, japan, south korea, some of the gulf countries, canada, australia and others implemented additional sanctions using 1929 as a legal foundation but raising the national bar for each of these countries even higher. the cumulative effect of those decisions as well as what we have seen most recently with respect to the central bank of iran sanctions, the eu decision to embargo oil that we were discussing earlier with respect to swift has been that the global pressure on iran is mounting enormously. now, do i see an immediate prospect in the security council for a new round of sanctions on iran?
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i think frankly the answer to that is not immediately, no. i think that many countries are rightly focusing on what they can do within their national and regional authorities to step up the pressure. and it's indeed the major trading partners of iran that have the most impact and leverage, and they're the ones on which our efforts have been most focused and where we're seeing positive results. in the meantime the u.n. context, we are working to increase the pressure by maximizing the effectiveness of enforcement of existing measures, building capacity in countries to do that enforcement and at the same time not just leaving it to what the security council can do with sanctions to increase the pressure on iran but using other elements of the u.n. system so that the united states general assembly last fall passed a resolution condemning iran's human rights abuses by the largest margin in history. similarly we've used the human rights council to put in place a special rapporteur. we believe able to get the
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general assembly to condemn the plot to assassinate the ambassador so in every turn we're trying to ratchet up the pressure on iran with success. >> and i appreciate that. let me jump over to a question i asked earlier, and we ran out of time, and that was security council resolution 1701 with hezbollah and the rearming there. what has been done to help stop hezbollah's rearming or can you brief the committee regarding the latest on security resolution 1701? >> yes. of course. 1701 is a resolution that established a renewed mandate for unifil on the border of southern lebanon with israel. its mandate is to prevent the flow of personnel and weapons into a zone adjoining the israeli border. it has been relatively effective in doing that.
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it is a mandate under chapter 6 of the u.n. charter rather than chapter 7, which would have been our preference, being the more robust enforcement chapter of the united nations charter. it wasn't possible to obtain that because it didn't have the consent of the lebanese authorities. but i just was meeting yesterday with the israeli chief of defense staff, general gant. we talked about the role that unifil is playing and his view was, and i was gratified to hear that on balance what they are contributing is important and valuable. it's not air tight, it's not foolproof. there are continued weapons flows indeed to hezbollah from elsewhere, but that is in a fashion a different challenge than the one that resolution 1701 with its presence on the border was designed to deal with. but our view on unifil is it's
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doing a solid job. it's limited by the confines of its mandate. and it's not all that we would hope it could be -- >> is it possible to strengthen unifil? >> unfortunately i don't think it is politically viable, as much as we would like it. >> thank you very much. mr. diaz-balart. >> madam ambassador, i recognize it's a very difficult place you're dealing with and probably one of the most difficult places. one of the frustrations i think that we all have and i'm sure that you have as well is the fact that after all is said and done with the u.n., there's usually very few actual concrete results. you were mentioning some of those results being, for example, the fact that news there's the recognition of a violation of human rights in syria or libya. you know, i'm glad. but i guess next they'll recognize that the pacific ocean has lots of water and we should be really excited about that. but let me go into some areas where i think we can agree.
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going back to mr. dent's question about north korea and he asked you if they do launch their missile what, would the united states attitude be in the u.n. their missile what would the united states attitude be in the u.n. you mentioned -- i just want to clarify that. you would not be recommending, if they do move forward on that launch for the u.s., us, our position, to backtrack on our position regarding north korea, right? >> no. i mean, let's be clear. he asked about the security council and what our posture would be. such a launch would be a clear cut violation of resolutions 1874 and 1718. there's no difference of view among members of the council on that assessment of that being a violation. we would seek a strong council response. >> again, so the attitude would not be the same as unesco, it would be to continue our position on north korea. >> we do not agree on how you characterize our position on
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unesco, so i'm not going to buy into that. >> i understand that, but i think it's pretty clear. now, again, another area that i think we may be able to agree is the following. some nations, such as china and russia, have been pushing to reverse this consensus -- the internet, which basically has not been regulated internationally. now china and russia are trying to give the international telecommunications union regulatory jurisdiction over internet governance. the itu is a treaty-based organization under the auspices of the united nations. putin, prime minister putin said last june is that the goal of this effort is to establish international control over the internet using the monitoring and supervisory capabilities of the itu. has the administration taken a position on that or will the administration come out in opposition to protect the internet from, you know, global control? >> i'm happy to take that question and get back to you.
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>> great, because i think that's one hopefully we can agree on. third, another one that i think we might be able to agree on is an issue dealing with the residents of camp ashraf. they've moved to camp liberty. they are under constant surveillance. they have listening devices installed i believe by the iraqi government. you know, that's supposed to be a home, not a prison. is there anything that you can do to ensure that the cameras are removed? pressure to see if those cameras can be removed? what pressure is being placed on the iraqi government to guarantee the security of those iranian dissidents who live there, and what's also being done by this administration or by the u.n. to make sure that those residents are not moved to iran where they would obviously suffer pretty serious consequences. >> let me address the role the united nations has played and the role we have played in support of that process.
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first of all, the arrangements that were negotiated between the iraqis on the one hand and the residents of camp ashraf on the other were the product of, we think, some very important and impressive and successful diplomacy by the united nations special representative martin kobler who with great sensitivity has negotiated arrangements and overseen this beginning of this transition of residents from ashraf to liberty. the united nations is in there monitoring the situation 24/7 and providing a degree of oversight and independent eyes and ears to ensure that the residents are treated in a manner that is acceptable and up to international standards. the unhrc, the high commissioner for human rights is beginning the process of screening those
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who may wish to move on and is doing that also in accordance with international standards of the sort that we respect and apply around the world. so this is an instance, sir, where a difficult problem we think has begun to be addressed and mitigated by the constructive involvement of the united nations. >> great, thank you. i think my time is almost up, but i'll respectfully again -- you and i have obviously agreed to disagree on the unesco thing. i for one think we need to shea lot more firmness, in the only to unesco because of their attitude but also the member states need to understand that there are serious consequences, but, again, we'll agree to disagree respectfully. thank you for your service. >> if in are any additional
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questions for the record, the subcommittee on state foreign relations operation stands adjourned.
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indiana senator richard lugar is running for a seventh term, and he owes being challenged in the republican primary by state treasurer richard mourdock. can you see that debate live from indianapolis tomorrow on c-span starting at 7:00 p.m. eastern. just over 30 years ago, president reagan nominated sandra day o'connor to be the first woman on the u.s. supreme court. tomorrow on c-span 2, justice o'connor, now retired, talks with the three women who followed her on the court, ruth bader ginsburg, sonia sotomayor and elena kagan. that will be live on c-span 2 from the supreme court historical society starting at 6:30 p.m. eastern.
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the environmental protection agency is seeking $8.3 billion for next year. that's a 1% decrease over this year's budget. e.p.a. administrator lisa jackson recently testified about the budget before the senate environment committee. >> good morning. i'd like to begin by welcoming administrator jackson to this oversight hearing on the 2013 budget for the epa. epa is charged with implementing critical public health and environmental protections, including programs that address children's health, safe drinking water, water quality, america's lakes and rivers. epa's mission is to protect the public health, including children of families. the agency was established with bipartisan support as demonstrated repeated success in
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improving our family's health and in keeping the nation's air and water clean and safe. the president's budget makes tough choices, some of which i don't agree with, but i believe overall it maintains a strong commitment to epa's mission. for example, the president's budget would make investments in enforcing our nation's public health laws, including assisting state and local efforts to reduce dangerous air pollution. the budget also maintains a strong commitment to protecting children by requesting an increase in funding for the office of children's health, something that's extremely near and dear to my heart. the budget proposes reductions in the clean water and safe drinking water revolving loan funds. in recent years, congress and the administration have supported significant investments in clean water and drinking water infrastructure, and i don't believe we can stop now. recent studies highlight the need to maintain robust funding for these infrastructure programs. the american waterworks association estimates that drinking water systems will
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require at least a trillion dollars over the next 25 years and the american society of civil engineers anticipates a water and wastewater infrastructure funding gap of $126 billion by 2020. i'm also very concerned about a proposal to phase out epa's beach protection program. this small but important investment helps states to monitor water quality at public beaches and protects the public from sickness caused by water pollution. the budget asks to eliminate $8 million for state and tribal programs that reduce health threats caused by radon as well as to end funding for epa's regional work to reduce the risk of radon exposure. according to epa, this radioactive gas is the nation's second leading cause of lung cancer, and i'm concerned about these budget cuts. given the continuing need to address the serious health threats posed by radon. as we examine epa's budget, we must keep in mind the positive


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