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tv   Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright Discusses Strengthening...  CSPAN  January 9, 2020 6:13pm-7:13pm EST

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david y: i want to thank all of you for taking time to be here and participate in these discussions. i wnna thank thank the state of iowa historical museum for sponsoring this. i'd like to thank c-span for covering this event. i'd like to thank all of you in this audience for spending time with us today. thank you all for being here. we are adjourned. (applause)
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>> good afternoon. i don't want to interrupt your lunch so feel free to keep eating, but as promised we are going to have a really good, important discussion that will help to draw on what we heard this morning and build by thinking a little bit about how do we set a strategy strategic frame to
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support good governance. think about all the things we heard this little bit about how do we set a strategy strategic frame to support good governance. think about all the things we heard this morning about some of the problems, some of the challenges that need to be addressed in fragile states. governing institutions need governance. think about all the things we heard this morning about some of the problems,
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some of the challenges that need to be addressed in fragile states. governing institutions need to become more accountable. we have to work on ways to build inclusiveness. tackle the problem of marginalization and exclusion. figure out how to empower youth. to take leadership roles. the importance of enabling civil fortunate to have three superbly tours, from the governance world with us. two of them are members of the task force on extremism in fragile steaks recommendations, on with a set of recommendations on tackling the problems of fragility, the challenges of stricter fragility, would be a long term solution so we couldn't be more fortune, so, we could not be more fortunate with the, sky to help us with a discussion, caution to moderate the discussion, i really delighted to introduce district to you, mr. nikki schiff
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threaten affairs is the foreign affairs and defense correspondent. was it pbs news hour and i couldn't be happier started over and over -- painted over tunic to start the conversation you're. >> thank you very much. i appreciate that. nick: let me introduce the people you are here to listen to. you are not here to listen to me. needs no introduction, but i will just briefly welcome secretary madeleine albright, 64th secretary of state, chair of the board of directors at n.d.i. chair of albright, stone bridge group, and capital madgement. president and c.e.o. of usip and derek mitchell president of n.d.i. it seems to me to give a frame for this in 18 years we have spent a lot of time defeating terrorists, terrorism has increased. we targeted extremists, but extremism has grown. we have overthrown governments, but governance has not been improved. we have won battles, but certainly not won the
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peace. how do we create a way to do that? how do we reduce personal and financial costs? it's been $6 trillion, 5,000 10,000 americans dead, 50,000 americans wounded. hundreds of thousands of iraqi and afghans who have been killed. how do we protect the country? how do we create a >> more sustainable and successful strategy? how do we prevent extremism from taking root. how do we deneat today's and tomorrow's terrorists. nancy, can you give us a sense how we think we can do nancy: nick, you did a great lay down of the problem set. and to take a hard look at the solutions congress asked usip to convene a host, a task force, bipartisan, high level task force in 2018 to create a comprehensive plan for how
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should we address extremism in fragile states. it was based on more than a decade of thinking and lessons that had identified the fact that it's the conditions in fragile states where you have a weak or nonresponsive or illegitimate or all of the above governments, and a broken social bond between people and their government. that gives rise to a host of conditions that can enable extremism to take root. violent congressman lee hamilton and governor tom cane, they considered this to be unfinished business because one of the three recommendation of the 9/11 report was to adopt to adopt a policy of prevention. that recommendation was never taken forward. so that became the touch stone of the task
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force recommendation that is we need a polcy of prevention. and they thought about it in terms of really focusing in on addressing the conditions that give rise to fragility and therefore extremism. by the way civil war, extreme poverty, forced migration, a host of ills more coordinated, comprehensive strategy across our u.s. government. to just quote senator, one of the many bipartisan co-sponsors of the global problems, and d.o.d. is playing football, the state department is playing soccer, and the usaid folks are playing lacrosse. and nobody is the coach or the quarterback. so of course we are not going to make the progress that we must make to tackle this more effectively. three main
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recommendations, more coordinated strategy. longer term approaches that require a different kind of mechanisms, legislatively. and coordinate more effectively with international partners. to do so as you heard from joe, against principals for longer term, locally led, it aive programming. nick: coordinated strategy to create that strategy is always a challenge. coordinated strategy. >> think of it long term. think of long-term coordination from the u.s. with partners in local countries. >> and make it international. even create a fund. we talked
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that people everywhere want to be able to make decision abouts their own lives. one of the things that i resented when i was in office was people saying that asians aren't interested in democracy. or whatever. i on purpose made my assistant secretary for democracy a korean american. but i do think we are all the same and we do want to be able to make decisions. and the question is, how is it done? it is more difficult. we are proving it ourselves right here. and i think that the question is, how to have that perseverance. just listening to nancy and to you initially is, i have been at this a very long time. i was trying to do it when i was in office, and then when we came out, what happened was, for instance, billon, the former secretary of defense and i, did
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a task force on the prevention of genocide. it was the overwhelm task force except for this now that you were talking about, nancy, that had an effect and president obama named something, created, there was a presidential decision on having a prevention board in order to be able to get a group of people in the u.s. government looking ahead, trying to figure out what might be happening to prevent it. we also, i have been did work in order to try to get the international community involved in it through this concept of responsibility to protect. any number of different ways. i was happy to be asked to be on this task force because i do think it addresses the major problem which is that we have to spend a long time on it. i have said by the way i am no longer a diplomat, but i have said that nick: you don't have to be diplomatic. secretary albright: americans are the most generous people in the world with the
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shortest attention span. i think that part of the issue here is how to give it that strength, both institutionally and morally, that is going to take a while, and it does take this new statement whole of government, which is very hard. it always is hard. but seems to be particularly hard at this time. and the other part is to fully understand what are the conditions that create fragility, or what are the negative aspects that make sure that fragility continues? what are the positive aspects that have to be taken care of in order to be able to be supportive of it and understand that democracy is not a spectator sport. not in the united states, and not anywhere else. it has to we have to find the partners in these various countries that want to be a part of this and not have us be patronizing about it or say it has to be only american
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democracy. we have to recognize that there are other aspects in the way people are able to make their voices heard in society. that would be the larger nick: let's zoom in. there is a lot that secretary gave us. zoom in as you experienced in burma. talk a little bit about the conditions on the ground there. specifically what secretary albright was saying the conditions you saw that create fragility, some of the solutions to try and take away that fragility, and were there partners, are there partners to work with as you >> saw? >> you are asking how we solved burma while i was there. clearly there is a long way to go in burma. i have lessons learned, but i can tell you at least how we went it about it. the lessons get to what we heard in the previous panel, i think. to some degree. first of all the really important idea
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of context. of understanding intimately, doing your tome homework and understanding every context is very different. derek: burm why to folks in the west is easey. it's always been black and white issue. you get now into the nitty-gritty of that country you realize just how incredibly complex. by their own count 135 different ethnic groups. 20 or so were involved in peace. context is essential and is essential and doing homework. the most important thing to get involved is do no harm if you are working outside. you can step on a land mine figuratively every step you take. number one. number two, the importance of building trust. if we are going to be in there, working on this stuff, they want to know that you get it. and the only you have to prove that. but then you have to build a relationship. that's where the time really takes in.
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the effort of peace takes time. the building the relationships painstakingly, demonstrating you get it, that is a long-term effort which means you have to work at this and they need to know you are at that. there is someone you can count on. but third, and i say this maybe self reverentially, as ambassador, the ambassadors are very important in this. that is one focal point on the ground when we say the point of the spear in the country that brings it all together. you have a mission where you have different components. you have defense, you have a.i.d. others there. it is up to the ambassador as the operational person on the ground to bring this all together. i was very lucky because hi a president, obama, who really cared about burma and people in the white house and state department and hillary clinton and john kerry, that's extremely important back in washington to get the importance and put the resources and the time into it. but absent that, you still need ambassadors and people on the ground who work on this issue,
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understand the importance of coordinating all those instruments. and thinking in terms not as we heard in the last session, do an explicit formal program on inclusion or on whatever it is on peace, but integrating it to everything you do. so that i would get asked, tell us about your democracy program. or your peace program. i would look and i'd say, everything we are doing is a democracy program. everything we are doing is a peace program. because it's the how we do it. not just what we do. if we do a health program or agricultural program, we are bringing people together across ethnicities and building that trust and interaction that creates peace bottom up. is it working? also in the buddhist-muslim side. we did a lot of work there. is it working? it's painstaking, takes time and there are lots of spoilers who will be there >> trying to make it not succeed. i think it's worth the effort. i do think it's what is
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required for sustained stability in fragile environments. nick: nancy, you worked in so many fragile places. we just heard derek go through how important it is >> to know from the u.s. perspective, know the country, avoid land mines, create trust in relationships, and have an ambassador, diplomats who are both wise and also backed from washington. what's your experience been in these places? what are these places looking for to best make them a little more resilient? a little less fragile? nancy: first of all i think every country will be different. but some of the core principles were embedded in the task force recommendations which have now been enshrined in the global fragility act. as
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you heard from raj at the last panel, we have this unbelievable moment right now where a decade of lessons, hard earned lessons, data research, the task force, putting that into recommendations, a lot of organizations, many of you in this room working on it. has translated into the global fragility act, which requires the government to have a coordinated 10-year strategy for working along some of those core principle approaches. in answer to your question what do we need, and you said it already, nick, we need to have a longer term commitment, less focused on pushing enormous amounts of resources in right away, and rather sustaining over time and doing so in partnership with local actors, with local civil society, and where you can local governments. so they are in the lead. we heard a beautiful summary from sampson at the end of the last panel who talked about, if you are looking at
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what are the core issues that represent the breakdown between governments and their people, you need to hone in on those. how do you enable more engaged citizenry to hold their own government accountable? how do you enable a different kind of leadership to emerge as all of the previous panelists discussed? and along the way what are maybe some quick wins that you can help foster to keep the confidence of people as you go through what is necessarily a very, very long term? we don't often have the political patience at this end. there often isn't the patience for people who are very hungry and very much in danger, so sometimes you need to work on getting emergency food in and getting security, greater security in, but do it in a way that doesn't smother the other elements to emerge. so that you don't not pursue education. or that you don't prioritize
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short-term security that is repressive, and that is often a mistake we make. so, it's having all of those elements thought through together in a coordinated strategy. >> nick: how often have people like me accused the u.s. government of pursuing short-term counterterrorism gains at the expense of long-term stability? secretary albright, one of the fun things about being a journalist, don't have to have solution, he i can point out criticisms here. it seems to me what nancy just called political patience, what i would call long-term patience, or long-term strategy, or long-term notion that things like development, education, in places like pakistan, afghanistan, sudan take not only one presidential cycle, two president decks cycles, but
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decades. is it really possible for the u.s. governmetn to have a strategy that looks out beyond one presidential cycle? secretary >> albright: i think difficult, frankly. because an awful lot of the campaigning and the carrying out of policy is in opposition to what the previous people did. it seems to be a regular act. and so i think that what has to happen is since we are a democracy and democracy is based on, as i said, not a spectater sport, people are participating, and they are open to pressure from the public, i think it is worth very much thinking about what our role is for the people that are not in the government. and i think also, in a strange way, congress, senators, are there longer than a cycle, and i think that i have been saying at the moment for any number of reasons that this is article 1 time, which is the first article of the constitution is about the power of congress. i might not have said that when i was in the executive branch, but i do think that part of the
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thing that has to happen, it has to be part of our d.n.a. that we understand that this is going to take time and that it really requires a group of people from a variety of different parts of our society to keep saying this is going to take time, and also, i think for a little humility to say it's taken us time, and so it is difficult. i am very worried generally about the kind of four-year cycle of foreign policy, even when it's by the same party, because i do think that there is kind of a sense we have to do something totally different, whereas i think picking up a project is a good idea. the other part that i have to say, and i -- certainly was true when we were in office, is when you do something, people want to just check it off and say, ok, we have now done bosnia or whatever. and it
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takes time and we are not a patient people. there has to be nancy, i think this is something we have to work on with the fragility act, is to actually report certain deadlines that have been met. or certain accomplishments so that it doesn't just seem that it's sunk into the bureaucracy and that we're not keeping track, and that -- and set up some kind of reporting system to the american people on this. but patience is not our best suit. and i do think that is something that we have to work on. >> nancy: nick, can i just add from what madeleine just said, the task force on extremism and fragile states sunsetted, but everyone but one of the task force members asked to continue on. so the task force is continuing and specifically we'll be looking at those kinds of reporting. >> nick: derek, it seems like we have a problem, we being the
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united states, and people who care about strategy, have a problem thinking long term, but also thinking even short term and coordinating between agencies and departments and people. so talk about that. how can the u.s. develop coherence across development, diplomacy, defense. is it even possible to do that? >> derek: it is very, very difficult. madeleine was just talking earlier over lunch about how trying to do this across different agencies is just very, very difficult. i think it is -- i think of a couple things on that. one, do i think it does -- if you have a particular challenge, you can work at working levels. there are working groups. there are people at operational levels, and assistant secretary levels, even undersecretary, who can come together and think this through if there is a commitment. i think what is critical -- we talk about the 3 d's, i'm not sure we act on the
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3 d's. we educate people on the 3 d's. we bring people and train them through the foreign service institute to operate according to the 3 d's, and if i may add to that, i think there should be a fourth d which we have been talking about which is democracy, which should run through all of this. i had coffee late yesterday with a former colleague of mine, senior strategist in the pentagon. who worked in the counterterrorism center. he said that he did a study of all the counterterrorism work, the problems of terrorism around the world, extremism, and he came to one conclusion. the one biggest weakness in all this, the biggest challenge we face is governance. so, the pentagon, at least there are some in the pentagon, he said, there are not many people who get this, i bet you there is not many people in states who completely
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get it, there is great that mark green got it. but run cross these different divisions there has to be a recognition that governance, the how we do this, is absolutely important to the success in fragile environments or any transitional environment. i think what's good is that i think the development world, the traditional development worlf is staerting to get this. as they start to get this, it starts to get easier to talk about these things. the governance side. more needs to be done through think tanks, through the institutes, through training, and through the operational levels even get down to the bloodstream of the foreign policy community so that we are operating day-to-day like this and hopefully that also transcends into congress, etc. so resources are coming behind it. >> nick: on that -- sorry, secretary. did you -- nancy, i want you to take that ball and run with it a slightly different way. part of good governance is governments responding to their people and part of that of course is the
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democracy movements, protests we have seen around the world. and civil society in general. talk about the importance of that. how can we, how can in the context of creating this long-term strategy, support civil society and support these people who are trying to make governments more accountable and improve governance. >> nancy: one quick footnote, usaid was a global leader in establishing democracy as a part of a development agenda almost 30 years ago. the problem has been, a, it has never had rich amounts of funding. and two, is aid sometimes gets leery of jumping into situations that seem political. and a lot of times it's the politics that need to be understood in order to get the democracy and governance right. the civil society -- movements of people, these are some of the ways that the
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politics gets addressed, particularly in more repressive societies, and the ability to support that, i -- i have gone in and out of iraq for a decade and a half and one of the best investments we've made there has been the development of civil society, such that earlier this year you saw people in the streets demonstrating for -- not for their sectarian or religious issues, but for more accountable, nonsectarian government, as well as less iranian influence and so -- i mean, that wouldn't have happened under saddam. and that was an extraordinary development that came about through support and investment of the international community and there are a number of countries where one could talk about that. so we can support civil society, we can support governmental institutions. we can support elections. there's
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a long list. we need to do so in concert with an overall strategy, as derek said, and we can do this. we often do it in fits and starts, and we often do it in ways that don't listen enough to the local leadership and we can smother those very important efforts with too much donor love and attention at the same time. >> i think there is an awful lot of goodwill in what you were talking about, smother, i think we we need to coordinate more among ourselves, not so much the government. but the nongovernmental sector. and try to figure out where we should
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be working together. and i'm not sure people know what the word civil society means. they think it's being nice to each other. who are the what are we talking about when we are talking about getting people involved in the project? then understanding what you were saying, governance, some kind of rules. and what is the relationship between the people and the government? and the social contract has been broken. i think this is something, generally, where all of a sudden the government feels that it doesn't have the responsibility for helping the people and the people say to hell with this, i don't want anything to do with the governmentm and i think we need to kind of think about a little bit more on where the social contract has broken down, some of it due to technology and a number of different aspects. i think we also -- and i feel more and more strongly about this, we need to get the private sector involved. i believe that democracy has to deliver. i think that we need to understand -- i think many of us, when we were in college,
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or graduate school about what comes first, political or economic development. they go together at the same time because people want to vote and eat and so i think that what we need to do is get the private sector involved more in helping and in some kind of a coordinated way that it will result so you have a rule of law that allows there to be a commercial code that pool will come in and invest in x and hire local people. we were
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talking about the youth. coordinate not necessarily just by the u.s. government but by some kind of organizational aspect. >> nancy: can i add a p.s. on the issue of people power we have here at usip under the leadership of maria a whole practice area that's looked at, what are the tactics and strategies of these movements. in a year where we have seen movements across the globe really make an effective difference. there is there are specific strategies and disciplines that adhere to nonviolence and that enable these movements to be more effective. and we can continue to support that. >> nick: derek, can you talk about examples where we have seep that work? nurturing that civil society that's so important? >> just to build on the motion of the movements in the past year. the theme of the past last year was all these movements. all these street demonstrations. you can go a list of dozens of these activities in hong kong or colombia or wherever. it is that frustration that people's voice are not being heard, they have no place in politics or in governance. and the challenge is what n.d.i. does these are inchoate movements of anger and frustration, but that's not democracy. i got very frustrated when mark zuckerberg, in his speech -- i was there in
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georgetown and he tried to wrap himself in the cloak of human rights and democracy and saying free speech is democracy and what we do is democracy. no. yes, facebook does allow people to have a voice. people in the streets a voice. that's not the end-all and be-all of democratcy. that's just an inchoate voicing of people saying listen to me or us. but democracy and governance is about that prosaic building of institutions and harnessing of that in a constructive political direction, you know, building political parties. channeling, becoming civil society. ensuring that elections are managed fairly and effectively and on time. all of this is what n.d.i. does. so you ask for examples, the challenge we face now in the aftermath of these movements around the world is, how do we then channel that inchoate rage and anger in constructive directions? so we had a panelist on the earlier
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session about tunisia. she talked about the transition going on there. we have been very active. this is a critical moment there in transition because they have had a few cuts at this and they have had the latest election, and i think if this doesn't go well, this latest round of elections and party activity and -- then people will get very frustrated and they'll see democracy deliver. are we getting economic benefit? do we have jobs? a voice? place. same in nigeria, there was a step back in the recent election there is. we have plan. we are looking at strategy. we call it nigeria 2023. that's the next elections. what will we do from now until then working with as many folks as we can. a.i.d., partners on the ground, partners development partners, how do we get from here to there so the next election goes better and people feel that the process is working and responding to the need, because that was a step back. if we don't, then it starts to unravel even with the work we do. >> nick: it is a decade that we are ending or have ended,
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depending how you count it, that started with arab spring and that sending or ending next year, just ended, with a real level of global unrest, i think we can call it. secretary albright, as we talk about what we try and do talk about what the west tries to facilitate, there are actors out there who are trying to thwart some of those efforts. the trump administration has mostly gotten credit for this part of their national security strategy, which is, calling china a rival, a threat. some of the officials here have used that. certainly the return of the idea that there is great power and competition, and particularly china, is a long-term threat to the united states. when you look out at the promotion of democracy, what we need the be doing, how much are ahina and russia doing to try and thwart that, and how do we answer them?
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>> secretary albright: i do think they both in their own way are trying to have their influence which undercuts us, but also in terms of the belief that is behind it. i think that the chinese -- maybe we have not paid enough attention to the economic part of building new societies. they have only paid attention to that. and through their belt and road projects projects, they are really, in many ways trying to buy up or get -- i have been saying the chinese must be getting very fat because the belt is getting larger and larger. and they are everywhere. and what they do is go in and say that they will provide some project that theoretically is good for the country, and for instance, one -- i remember being in kenya where there was some discussion about building a road and, was it going to harm the serengeti? and the american contractors were very conscious of that. the chinese said, where do you want it? so they've done it in
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a variety of different places. and they don't -- they actually are not very patient, either, but their initial aspect, their entry point, is something that is very attractive and they don't care what the government is. the russians have a different goal. they're trying to undermine anything that we do and are trying to separate us from our allies and our various ways, and they don't have any money internally, so they are not going to be doing that, but they are trying to resurge as a major power and so they are saying that what the americans are doing is something that is contrary to what the country wants. it's very interesting to see them resurge in the middle east and in egypt, specifically, when you were talking about the arab spring. so they are our there. it would be better if we all worked together, but that is not how it works. but the chinese are the ones that are the strongest in terms of trying to separate us from trying to develop the kinds of
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issues that we're talking about because they do take longer. it's easier to build a road than create the various institutions that we are talking about. >> nick: we have about five more minutes before i turn it open to the audience. you both engaged with that question. derek, first, you serving in southeast asia. obviously the part of the world that china believes it needs to have primacy and reduce u.s. influence. what was your interaction with china and how can we respond to some of their challenges? >> derek: secretary albright talked talked about public-private partnership. i grabbed on to that very early as ambassador, certainly, in part because, as people may rememberm we had comprehensive sanctions. so companies could not invest, couldn't trade for many years. in my first day as ambassador was basically right
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after the lifting, easing of investment sanctions. i had in my residence all the companies who were interested and i challenged them. i said look, we are now counting on you now to bring those values with you in what you do. understanding the chinese do it differently. chinese bring their values or lack of values, whatever their values are. but the values that we bring of openness of transparency, i challenged them, you must demonstrate that you are operating in a different way, and if you do, you will get the full support of the u.s. embassy and u.s. government in that effort. because i iced to say in burma that when we come, i challenge my companies to do this, and they would, we really invest. we are there to invest in every sense of the term. we'll invest in local communities, we'll train people, we'll give back, investing in the people. we really care about the success of that country. because the success of that country is in our interest. other countries extract. others are there because we want their resources,
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we want to export our workers, excess capacity, whatever it is. there's a different mindset. so there is certainly an advantage to our work. if we're smart about this century, i would say, being the fundamental is not about china, per se, it's about what are the values, what are the norms, what are the rules, that will govern the system in the 21st century. we had a certain rule base and norm base that followed world war ii we were the head of the free world and hyper power for a while. but that's now in challenge. who is going to shape that? how will it be shaped? we need every resource we can and the private sector is a very strong resource, very powerful internationally. they could be an ally in this. we should challenge them to be an alely in this, and i think we should engage them more actively, that includes the tech sector. >> nick: and nancy, this is not
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only about values but as the secretary said, results. democracy needs to actually produce results. how do you see that balance? how do you see the u.s. answering those, perhaps, dual challenges of spreading our values, continuing that spread of values, confronting the chinese spread of values, but also just delivering some results on the ground so people can actually think that the u.s. version works? >> aancy: a couple of points that i would add, the first is we see that the more fragile a state is the more vulnerable it is to the influence or the predayses of regional or great powers who want to interfere. particularly we are seeing that with china and in select cases, russia. so fragility matters as we look at creating a world that is more committed to prosperous democracies. secondly, i worry a lot that even as our national security
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strategy focused more and more on great power competition, and there's good reason for doing that, but these issues of fragility are not gone. at some peril, do we risk shifting all of the attention away from addressing the kind of state fragility issues that lead to violent conflict, violent extremism, extreme poverty, and significant migration? and thirdly, that to do all of this will require the kind of resources and longevity that we are seeing enshrined in the global fragility act, so i take great heart, we now have the path, thanks to the effort of a lot of people in this room, the global fragility act that is a binding commitment to create these long-term strategies with 10 pilots out of the box that we need to look at, because we really risk losing focus right at the time that we've got these lessons and these ideas, these recommendations, some
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high-level validation that this is important. we could easily wander off field because we are distracted, and so i hope that we can really take the global fragility act and use that as a momentum for putting these ideas into action, and it will be hard because bureaucracy is a hard thing to move, so that's what we got to deal with. >> derek: very quickly as well, the danger of making this anti-china or anti-something is very what we don't want to be is instrumentalize. what we are all about i would say in this room and those who care about this, we care about these countries. we really care about their success. it's heartfelt. if we instrumentalize this only in certain cases because it's a foreign policy strategy or geopolitical, value then we diminish it. we diminish it strategically because countries see this as a u.s.-china thing,
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or geopolitical. you don't care about us. you are trying to challenge china. this is not about china. it is about in some way what china is bringing to the world or what it represents. that's why i say the notion should be, affirmative. we're trying to affirm and trying to promote because it's important for a stable world, secure world, and secure united states but also because we truly do care. nick: i will turn it over to the audience at this point. i think we have about a little less than 20 minutes. let me just go around the room and first hand i saw was on this first table here. i believe there's a microphone coming around. yeah, the front table. woman in purple, please. please, i want to get through quite a few people here. so identify yourself and just as simple and direct a single question as you can. >> hi, no speech. i'm indy, vice president of global peace services u.s.a. for secretary albright, the word united nations hasn't been mentioned
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much today and i'd like the secretary to say a word about where she sees our international organizational infrastructure? seems to me the impact of the u.n. has diminished. i think attention by various governments is not where it once was. the w.h.o., the i.l.o. -- where can we strengthen those organizations? what future do you see for them given the subversion, if i could use that word, that certain other countries might be inflicting on this international structure? >> secretary albright: i have been very concerned about the fact that the international structure is weakening. and the truth of the matter is that people and organizations at age 70 need a little refurbishing. and so i think we need to see where the weaknesses are. and whether one strengthens w.h.o. or various parts of it, i think is very important. and that a
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cliche frankly, if it didn't exist, we would invent the u.n. now. but i also do think what we need to do is look at what has happened positively in terms of ad hoc operations like the g-20 or various other smaller groupings and see what can be done through them. and use them, because i do think that there needs to be some kind of structure in order to do some of the things we are talking about, to have some organizational part, so i wouldn't totally disregard the organizations that are coming in where the u.n. is weak, but i also think we need to be more supportive of the u.n. >> nick: i saw a few hands in the back table. the gentleman with the hat, please. thank you. >> thank you. i'm from british southern cameroon. i really thank the last speaker for raising the issue of diminished
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status of the united nations and its agencies and the way they function. my question is going to be directed to secretary albright. i heard a top u.s. diplomat say that -- in a conversation, that the united states policy has shifted from considering sub-saharan africa as the backyard of europe. i mean, they are thinking direct presence there. i was very excited, but i want to find out from you based on your own experience, how do you feel about what comes out of that statement with respect to the destructive presence of france in west africa and in central
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africa which has permitted even russia to get planted there, and most of the fragility we are talking about is not unconnected with the french-sponsored international economy in this sub-saharan africa. >> albright: i think that there has been more attention. i do think the following thing, it would be very useful as more americans understood that africa wasn't one country. and that there really are differences among the 54 and that there are some good stories and some very difficult ones, but i think that there has been more interest, some of it that has not been useful, frankly, but i do think that on the whole, there is beginning to understand the diversity and the power of africa and the potential of africa and the positive aspects, and not just some of the negative things, and what is the role of the u.n. and peacekeeping
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operations and a variety of how the w.h.o. is dealing with ebola or any number of different things, so there needs to be some understanding of where a multilateral approach works and other times where we need to pay specific attention to the good stories of africa and then hope it spreads to the other countries. but there really -- i hate to say this, but there are political figures who just say africa. and they think it's one place and i think we need to understand more about the history, some of the colonial history, but also some of the history since that period has been over. >> nick: the gentleman in the suit right in the middle there. thanks. >> thank you very much for your presentations. mike mccabe from usaid. in the year of so many protests and social movements as you mentioned, young people are often on the frontline. as we heard from sampson and others this morning, it's not
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only that sense of exclusion, but how do we build a set of capacities and build upon that interest of emerging young leaders at a time where we see a lot of our investments in emerging young leader programs either flatlining going down? for example the chinese just launched a major news initiative for youth, peace, and security bringing thousands of young people to china. what should we be doing better around supporting emerging young leaders? >> nancy: well, first of all, we should look at all the ways that we can increase the funding for that. as we heard, i think the panel that we heard from for young leaders was very encouraging about the kind of leadership that can make a real difference in some of these more fragile environments. they have ideas. they know the context. they are the next generation that will make the difference. this this really
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goes -- sorry to keep harping on this, but this goes to the heart of the global fragility act and heart of the task force recommendations that says we are not going to solve these critical issues through military or kinetic means, that we need these longer term solutions that are working in concert and certainly developing youth leadership in all the ways that it enables youth to play a more active, positive role is key. so keep continuing to bring that forward and with the hopefully less directed funding that is available through these 10 pilots, that needs to be a priority. and it's how you get movements out there to provide the strategic tactical training for that. all the ways you train leadership and provide
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support. i would also go back to what i said earlier and that is we have to be careful that we're not doing it in a way that it becomes about us. it's got to be in a way that is puts the young leaders out front. nirk: yes ma'am, right here in the front table. we'll do two on the front table here. >> thank you. i'm from south sudan. i just wanted to pick up on the aspect of locally-led processes as one of the pillars of the act, and the current understanding of locally-led is looking more like programs and projects designed in the west and then taken to the global south and dressed in local faces to look like they are locally-led, and what that does to the concept is they come prepackaged with very minimal
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room for flexibility, so in most cases they end up not responding to issues as they have to stick to the objectives that were predesigned to be achieved through that process and also most of them happen to be really short-term. you have three months, six months, one year and we are looking at, for example, a country that has been in conflict for decades, and people are looking toward transforming a conflict. i never see how a three month project, six months, one year, can transform or create a positive impact that is actually going to be sustainable, and the other aspect or challenge around that is also the lack of sustainability that comes with that and because it comes as a support, it comes as funding, it's creating a lot of dependency syndrome within the communities that people are always looking to receive instead of utilizing the local resources that they have. and
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that also comes with a lot of accountability from the civil society to the west as opposed to their own people and the local governance or the local leadership. my question is, how will this locally-led pillar of the act be any different from what we are already experiencing in our various contexts? >> nancy: you raise -- the heart of the question that we will need to figure out. there will this goes to the difficulty of change. and what you just articulated, i think everybody agrees, but how you do that will not be the first way that it happens with this new approach. my hope is that the global fragility act will push us to think differently to try differently, to really understand if we want local leadership, we can't be doing
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it from washington. it has to happen in full partnership in the field with mutual accountability, and there will be a process. there will be a process for getting that right. but i don't think it will happen right out of the box. > nick: there was another question right here. and go back. two more. quick questions. >> i'm from tunisia. my question is about proventing violent extremism in tunisia, at least in north africa, what we saw is that narratives of violent extremism were more attractive for young people. my question for you and for especially for mrs. albright, is when will we start working on counternarratives that can
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make democracy more attractive for these young arab muslims, at least in north africa? since 2011 i have been suggesting that the old democracy is very important. it brought in my country free election but it's not enough. we should work more on prosperity, but also on something very important for me as woman, freedom, because it's still difficult, even though we are on a good path, it's difficult for me, for example, to say that i'm nonreligious. my country, the democracy, the emergent democracy, doesn't protect me from violent acts. so every day we are working, but we are in a way feeling alone. we should work together on making democracy more attractive with other narratives. thank you.
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>> albright: i have to say the national democratic institute has taken a particular interest in tunisia. we had our board meeting there this last year. and really looked at a lot of things. but this is also applicable to other places. we can't just operate in capitals. we have to get out of the capitals and it has to do with what you were talking about, local aspects and working with people that are not part of the government. but are the civil society, and especially some of the young people and the womenm and that is one of the things that we have been concentrating on. and asking a lot of questions when we were in tunisia to how is it going locally? what was going to happen? and i have to say it may not seem that sexy to people to go to some small town somewhere, but in many ways it is more important than being, though tunis is beautiful, but very important to get out of the main cities and deal with people that are not used to hosting foreigners all the time. >> nick: there are more
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questions. unfortunately, i think we don't have the time, unfortunately. i'm very sorry for all of you who still have your hands up, but please join me in thanking secretary albright, nancy limborg, and derek mitchell. thank you very much. >> thank you. that brings us to the close of the program this morning. and a little bit this afternoon. let me just begin as we close just again to thank our excellent partners at the george w. bush institute, the national endowment for democracy, and at the national democratic institute. they've been fabulous partners in putting all of this together. usip will continue to work with these partners to continue focusing on these critical issues. we've had a number of sweeping conversations today and many of you may be eager to drill down in more detail. we are going to work with our partners to schedule in the
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very near future a set of round tables where we'll really focus on trying to be a little more concrete about what kinds of solutions we can start to identify. as we stay to make things dramatic, watch this space. in the meantime, let me wish you-all a very happy and peaceful new year and ask you again to please join me in thanking this superb lunchtime panel. have a great afternoon.
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