tv Amanpour on PBS PBS May 4, 2018 6:00am-6:30am PDT
♪ welcome to "amanpour on pbs." tonight, i discuss the world's biggest diplomatic challenges with the new british ambassador to the united nations, karen pierce. from racing to save the iran nuclear deal to the impending nuclear summit between the united states and north korea. also ahead --. ♪ ♪ >> musical prodigy and l.a. philharmonic superstar venezuela's gustavo dudamel joins me. good evening, everyone.
and welcome to the program. i'm christiane amanpour in london where today the u.n. secretary-general antonio guterres warned president trump if he pulls out of the iran nuclear deal, the whole region will become much more dangerous. my first guest tonight is a vocal proponent of the deal. she's karen pierce, the uk's new ambassador to the u.n. of course britain was one of the main parties along with the united states, china, france, russia, and germany. last night the iranian ambassador here told this program if the u.s. pulls out, the deal is dead. and today, from his office in tehran, the foreign minister zarif seemed to put it in terms that president trump might appreciate. >> in real estate terms, when you buy a house and move your family in, or build a skyscraper, you cannot come back
two years later and try to renegotiate the price. >> so ambassador pierce joins me here in london to discuss the fears of more, not less, nuclear proliferation if the deal goes south. ambassador pierce, welcome to the program. i think really very front and center on your plate must be what's going to happen with the iran deal. united kingdom is a main signatory. you are personally very committed to it. you believe this is a deal that should remain in place. sum up why, given that it's so under assault by the trump administration and by israel. >> i think it's centrally important for the nonproliferation regimen as a whole. npt is being under threat from countries that have pursued nuclear weapons outside it, north korea left it, here is one agreement, jpcoa, that has, if you like, reaffirmed the importance of global nonproliferation. >> sorry, the in. pt is the
nonproliferation treaty. president macron famously went to washington, i called it a touchy-feely summit, trying to influence the president. not sure he succeeded, he's not sure he succeeded. what is the effect of coming out for the world? >> if america comes out, i think the first question is does xi pull out and reimpose sanctions? if xi reimposes sanctions on iran as originally, it's hard to think the deal would survive because there comes no benefit to the iranians staying in it. xi could come out and not reimpose sanctions, in which case if the other five members said, we will carry on, iran would have a choice. >> wow, so there is an option of america, as you call she, america, not reimposes sanctions even if they withdraw from the deal? >> my understanding is that they -- sanctions do not come back automatically on withdrawal, but the president of course has a number of instruments and mechanisms that
he can use if he wants to have sanctions reimposed. >> i spoke t the iranian ambassador here to the uk. they are quite upset that the europeans don't seem to have been able to intervene with president trump on this. >> we also shared with them the concern that we agree on the strategy but not the tactic. they should not be in fact, waiting to see if they can apieapee apiece president trump by giving him more concessions. >> stark accusation, they feel having an additional deal or side deal as president macron proposed is appeasing and would never work, they would never agree to a conditionality. how difficult does that make it? >> i won't pretend it isn't, but there are a number of scenarios, not all of which i think were addressed by the ambassador. if the price is right for iran,
then my best estimate is that she would be prepared to negotiate a side deal. but it will critically depend on what is on the table for iran. and that, in my experience, is the way the iranians do business. i don't think, if i may say so, they really understand the united states. there's a lot of wanting to stand up to the united states. they're a very proud people, a very proud country, they want respect. i wouldn't necessarily stake their advice on tactics. >> what is the price being right? >> when you have the original nuclear deal, of course, one of the aspects of it, central aspects for the iranians, were the lifting of economic sanctions. not all of them. but sanctions were lifted. it is possible, but only possible, that one could have a conversation with iranians about the sort of sanctions that would need to be additionally lifted to get a broader deal.
but i don't want to give the impression this is in prospect. it might be a scenario in certain circumstances. >> can i ask you, because you are in the security council on a daily basis with all the important global challenges. you sit there, of course, with the u.s. ambassador, nikki haley. you must have conversations with her. why is it so difficult for europe and for china and russia and all of those who sign on after these years of negotiation about what was then considered the most serious challenge and problem, which was iran's potential nuclear weapons breakout? why is it that you haven't been able to convince president trump yet, as far as you know? >> i think that's quite a hard question. because we do, as you know, the europeans do believe in the value of this deal. both in itself, it stops iran getting a nuclear weapon, and in respect of the global nonproliferation regimen. the americans see it very differently. i think the biggest difference,
perhaps, is we treat the nuclear agreement as a discrete entity. we agree with president trump on the iran's destabilizing behavior in the region and her use of ballistic missiles. >> you have a really contentious relationship inside the security council right now. mostly russia, which has vetoed endless resolutions to deal with syria and other such things. give me a sense of what it's like to be in security council. we see the u.s. ambassador holding hands, kissing on the cheeks, presumably you have fairly decent -- look at this. then we hear the most pointed, almost violent verbiage coming out of both of them. and i assume some of it, i hear you being very pointed as well about russia's record. what is it like in the security council, trying to get these resolutions passed and having
this sort of war of words? >> well, i can see that when you're not in the security council, from the outside, it looks frankly bizarre. that one should go into battle and then off the pitch, as it were, have these sorts of relationships. but on the whole, what happens at the security council table in the chamber is a professional exchange on behalf of your government. and what we do outside of that is try and have the most productive relationships possible. because although the council's knocked on syria, on some other things, like democratic republic of the congo, on north korea and the nuclear dossier. >> on iran. >> on iran, and hopefully also on myanmar/burma, the council can be united. you want to keep your relationships in good repair for those times when you can have a breakthrough. >> how frustrating is it, th basic humanitarian issues,
and indeed the use of chemical weapons? >> well, it's appalling. because these are people's lives. and there's no need to play these games with ordinary civilians' lives just to prop up president assad. so it's incredibly frustrating. it's disappointing. it makes the security council look bad in the eyes of the world. so it doesn't do anybody any good. >> one of the really tense moments was, in fact, about nuclear war, accidental or whatever, between the united states and north korea. i mean, there was a lot of loose nuclear talk that was being flung around. and now we've moved several mo later to the possibility of a summit between the united states and north korea. i just want to play you a sound bite from president trump when he was asked at a rally last week when the south and north were getting together, how did this come about? >> one of the fake news groups this morning -- [ booing ]
now, they were saying, what do you think president trump had to do with it? i'll tell you what. like how about everything? >> what do you make of that in the world of diplomacy? >> i don't think president trump's a diplomat, and i don't think he'd mind me saying that. the nuclear deal, if one is emerging, has been really good example of american leadership. and the security council has followed that leadership and helped pile up the pressure with the sanctions. so actually, i think it's a very good model of what can be achieved when the council's united and it unites behind american leadership. >> you mentioned myanmar. you've just come back from a trip to myanmar with other members of the security council. heartbreaking situation, refugees in bangladesh, then you went on to myanmar. how did you find at this point aung san suu kyi, the de facto
leader of the country, who's come under enormous criticism for failing to stand up for the rights of the rohingya, the muslim minority there? >> we had an hours-long meeting with her, the state controller, as she is. she has now said that the burmese government will allow in the u.n. agencies. because only they can really deal with the scale that's required. and they also are very used to assessing what sort of things would help the refugees go home so that they can live safely, they can live securely, they can pursue their livelihoods. it's not something that can be done without the u.n. >> did you find her receptive? i ask you because we interviewed the former ambassador to the u.n., bill richardson, on the special committee looking into this, who basically resigned because he said he could not get through to her, that she wouldn't listen to any of the kind of representations that you're talking about. this is what he told us.
>> what led to my resignation was a perception i had that aung san suu kyi did not want to listen to frank advice. that she needed moral leadership to show to the military and her government that these human rights abuses, these refugee abuses, were wrong. she's unwilling to speak out. she wants to be re-elected. >> has she changed, in your view some does she show different tone when you talk to her? >> she was more -- i would say she was more constructive. and i think the statement she just issued yesterday about letting the u.n. in and understanding that violence has no place in burmese society, that would seem to me an evolution of what ambassador richardson has just been shown saying. >> she was one of these great democracy icons, and of course an icon of female leadership. you are the first female british ambassador to the united nations. what brought you to the diplomatic world?
when you were little, you always wanted to be a diplomat. how did you even decide to get to this point? >> i think it sounds very strange if you've always wanted to be a diplomat. i went via the cause of being a nuclear scientist and jet fighter pilot. but i was interested because i'd seen an article in the sunday supplement, an american diplomat, an african-american diplomat. when i was 11 years old. there was this fantastic photo of her color-wise wearing a white suit, going on board an aircraft carrier. i thought, that sounds like a great job for me. >> and again, personal question, when you joined the foreign office, certainly in the '70s, there was a dictum that women, if they got married, had to resign. >> i can't remember whether that was still in force when i joined. if it was, it went quickly afterwards. it did mean for a while there were no married women in the pipeline. but that's not the case now. we have some targets that we try and meet.
we want 30% minimum of all our senior jobs to be women. and we try and expand that target every year. it not always easy because peop have many motivations for not wanting to travel abroad. but we do try. the u.n. told me that they thought we were the best diplomatic service around the world, of the big players at the u.n., for employing senior women. >> wonderful. ambassador karen pierce, thank you for joining us. >> thank you very much. in a world of turmoil, music can be a welcome relief from politics, an antidote, if you like. this is the core belief of my next guest, the classical music reigning maestro gustavoduhamel, leader of the los angeles philharmonic orchestra, selling out concerts all over the world. ♪ ♪
dudhamel is also the product of an incredible experiment called el systema, venezuela's famous program for disadvantaged youth. for years he walked a fine line, refusing to get political about venezuela's increasingly authoritarian regime which funds el systema. recently with mass protests, deaths, and venezuelans on the brink of humanitarian catastrophe, he has said that enough is enough. i sat down with him during a break in rehearsals here in london to discuss politics, prodigies, and the redemptive power of music. gustavo dudhamel, welcome to our program. >> thank you very much. >> both of your parents are musical. >> yes. >> and you -- that was sort of part of your dna growing up? >> yes, yes. i think, you know, listening -- latin music at home was my --
the genesis of my love to the music. i was listening mostly salsa. >> mostly salsa? >> yes, because my father played in a salsa band. and my mother was singing at a choir. so i have that kind of combination. >> and i heard, i read that actually -- you actually used to line up your toys and pretend conduct? >> yes. and it wasn't a very good orchestra. >> it didn't answer back this. >> no, no. you know, it was such a serious and fun game for me. i put my orchestra, i put the recordings, and i was stopping, rehearsing. and i did my concerts for the family. so it was serious. it was very -- >> practicing with your toys? >> practicing with my toys. >> all lined up? >> all lined up. a beautiful orchestra. i was playing with my toys, i was playing baseball, i was playing soccer, i was doing -- i
was swimming. i did everything. i was doing karate. and at the same time i had the music. but music was something very important for me. i remember telling my grandmother one day, i was in a karate class. and i said, grandma, i want to do music. this is what i want to do. i have done everything till now. i want to do music. then immediately i became conductor of the youth orchestra of my town. i was 11 years old. >> so then describe how you came up through the system. literally el systema, which as state-funded -- venezuelan state-funded orchestra for disadvantaged children. >> yes. >> the maestro, maestro abrho, who recently died, created something unique. >> unique. >> what did it do for you? >> well, everything. everything. you know, i started in el systema because my father was
founder of el systema in our town. he was one of the first musicians, young musicians, that played in the orchestra. and elsystema is a family. it's a kind of educational system where you enjoy. you go, you have a discipline, but it's the discipline of joy. and you are creating, you are touching beauty. ♪ ♪ i cannot see myself right now being an individual conducting. even if it looks very individual. you are on the podium, it looks like you are the boss. but no i grew up with my players, my friends, playing music and having fun doing that. because that is the truth. and that is why connection that i made is so natural.
because i understand what they think. but also, we inspire each other. and that is what el systema is about. when you go to a place where, you know -- with problems, it can be whatever, in my case in venezuela, it saved my life. >> what is the philosophy behind it? is it to raise the kids up? is it to make them musicians for life? is it to give them the idea of belonging, family? what is the philosophy behind el systema? >> it's access to beauty. you know? imagine, classical music is a very elitist -- >> it's very elitist, you know. >> art. but what maestro abhro thought, this have to be part of the -- of the evolution of a child. it have to be part of their
life. as normal as it is to it or to go to the school or to breathe. so when you go to the orchestra, you have the chae to grow up together with other children, creating beauty, having access to that. and you cannot imagine how powerful it is. because it's more than a language. it's more than telling something. playing beethoven's fifth. playing the first notes, bump bump bump bump. no one was telling us how to do that. we were creating, recreating that moment. that is the power of music. sometimes you don't have to say anything, you only play and the message is there. >> you just mentioned your country. and it's been through many ups and downs. it's in a serious downright now. there's so much political upheav upheaval. people have been killed. there are protests. there's a lack of food, electricity, water, medicine, everything. and in fact, in one of the
recent protests, somebody who had come up through the el systema process was killed. >> yeah. >> what did that mean to you? was that a bit of a turning point? >> look, it's very difficult always to talk about politics, especially in my country. because it's so polarized. so yes, it touched my life. because, you know, i'm a father now. and you know, you know how painful it is, or how beautiful at the same time, to have your child, to take care of him, and then suddenly he gets killed, you know. the first contact that i had with the family was very -- was -- i don't know. it was very difficult. it was very difficult. but at the same time, it was a moment to say, look, it is enough. it's enough, this fight. this isot taking us to
anywhere. >> you were very clear in the beginning, because clearly hugo chavez proted el systema and it did a lot of good for the people who came up through it. your position was that, i don't need to be political, i work through my music, my music talks for itself. now you've become a more political because of the death and the violence. and it's rebounded on you. maduro has canceled some of your international tours and trips. you haven't been back for a long time. how does that affect you? and the music. and your relationship with venezuelan musicians. >> my relation with the musicians is still the same. last saturday and tomorrow i would have -- i had a rehearsal with them through facetime. and yes, for two hours, we were working with the national youth orchestra. and tomorrow we will have another one with the national choir and the national youth
orchestra. and i have meetings every week, you know. with the people working there. so my connection is still the same. >> that's incredible. so you're conducting the l.a. philharmonic. you're touring. and you were still training the musicians through facetime. because you can't get back to venezuela. >> because that is my life. el systema is my life. you know, i have -- i made that commitment since the beginning. from the beginning i started in el systema. and when i -- when i did the statement about all of the situation, it was as a citizen. i have the right to say what i think. not being political, talking to politician yes. but being political? no. and i didn't want to get in a
fight. i was only making my opinion. and you know, i have the freedom to do that, you know. that's it. and i said what i thought, what i think. and i think that the situation is unsustainable. but i think also that the main key to get out of this situation is to unite the people. you know, that is my goal. if you ask me what to do, what you will do to do something, to help, you know, we have to build bridges. because people keep building borders between us. all the time, all the time. >> let me ask you a final question, then. because you've talked about soul, family, beauty. but there's something else that a lot of people are talking about as well. that music, perhaps more than any other art form, is really
restorative for mental health issues, for all sorts of issues. do you agree with that, and why do you think that is? >> music have the power. it's this beauty -- it's this invisible beauty. it's this -- this sound. you cannot see the music. you see the musicians playing but you don't see the music. this vibration is energy. and that harmony creates something. you know, i'm the most privileged guy in the world because i do music. but when i see another that doesn't have, you know, that same abilities, let's say, or the same circumstance, not abilities, circumstance. he'll develop better abilities to be a musician, and that is the most beautiful thing. when music encourages people to be better. that is what el systema does. as a citizen, as a member of an
orchestra, as a member of this world that we live, you know, we make these -- because we want to share beauty with the people, and we believe in the power of the music, you know. >> gustavo dudhamel, thank you for bringing the joy. >> thank you, christiane. ♪ >> gustavo dudhamel, who has played at the super bowl, on "sesame street" and inspired the lead of "mozart in the jungle." that is our program tonight. thanks for watching "amanpour on pbs." join us again tomorrow night.