Kofi Annan

  • Aired:  09/17/12
  •  | Views: 18,441

Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan implies the Russians and Chinese aren't the real impediments to effective international action in Syria. (5:24)

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )

>> Jon: WELCOME BACK.

MY GUEST TONIGHT, HE WAS THE 7th SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS.

MOST RECENTLY THE U.N. AND ARAB LEAGUE ENVOY TO SYRIA.

HIS NEW BOOK IS CALLED INTERVENTIONS, A LIFE IN WAR AND PEACE.

PLEASE WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM KOFI ANNAN.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )

>> THANK YOU, SIR.

NICE TO SEE YOU.

>> Jon: HOW ARE YOU?

THANKS FOR JOINING US.

THE BOOK IS CALLED INTERVENTIONS.

LET ME ASK YOU THIS.

HOW'S THE WORLD?

>> MESSY.

Jon: IT IS MESSY.

IT IS MESSY.

Jon: YOU HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING THESE EVENTS FOR A VERY LONG TIME.

WOULD YOU SAY IN YOUR ESTIMATION ON THE KOFI ANNAN SCALE OF PEACE IN OUR TIME TO "OH, MY GOD, RUN!

"WHERE WOULD YOU SAY THE WORLD IS RIGHT NOW?

>> YOU'RE CLOSE TO RUN.

Jon: REALLY?

MORE THAN IN PREVIOUS TIMES, EVEN THE BOSNIAN CONFLICT, PEOPLE WERE INVOLVED IN

>> TODAY WE HAVE SYRIA'S PROBLEM IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND THE WHOLE REGION.

IF SYRIA HAS A MISCALCULATION CAN REALLY CREATE A PROBLEM, WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO HANDLE.

SYRIA IS DIVIDED.

WE KNOW CIVIL WAR IS GOING ON.

THE REGION IS DIVIDED.

AND THE SECURITY COUNCIL, THAT SUPPOSED TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE IS ALSO DIVIDED.

THIS MAKE IT VERY DIFFICULT TO TRY AND BRING A SOLUTION.

THAT'S WHY I'VE BEEN ENCOURAGING UNITY OF THE COUNCIL, FOR THEM TO MAKE AN EFFORT AND REALLY WORK IN A VERY VOLATILE REGION

OF THE WORLD

>> Jon: LET ME ASK YOU THIS.

THE SECURITY COUNCIL, TWO QUESTIONS.

WHO IS TO BLAME?

I WANT NAMES.

(LAUGHING) TWO, EVEN IF THEY WERE UNIFIED, WHAT WOULD THEY DO?

WHAT COULD THEY DO?

COULD THEY DO ANYTHING OTHER THAN ISSUE A PROCLAMATION TO SYRIA TO SAY, COME ON.

>> I THINK THERE IS QUITE A BIT THEY CAN DO.

IF THEY WERE TO COME TOGETHER AND BEGIN TO PUT PRESSURE ON THE GOVERNMENT IN THE REGION TO WORK WITH THEM, TO PRESSURE BOTH

SIDES AND PUT A PROPOSAL ON THE TABLE THAT THERE HAS TO BE A POLITICAL TRANSITION, POLITICAL SETTLEMENT AND REALLY GIVE THEM

AN IDEA OF WHAT THAT WOULD ENTAIL.

WE TRIED TO DO THAT IN GENEVA ON THE 30th OF JUNE WHEN WE HELD A MEETING WHERE THE FOREIGN MINISTERS OF THE PERMANENT

MEMBERS OF THE U.N. WERE THERE.

SECRETARY CLINTON WAS THERE.

RUSSIA, ALL OF THEM WERE THERE.

WE AGREED ON PRINCIPLES AND GUIDELINES FOR POLITICAL SETTLEMENT WHICH I HAD EXPECTED THEM TO COME TO NEW YORK AND ENDORSE.

IT HASN'T BEEN ENDORSED UP TO TODAY

>> Jon: WHY IS RUSSIA RELUCTANT TO ENDORSE?

>> I THINK ACTUALLY ON THIS ONE THE PROBLEM WAS NOT ON THE RUSSIAN SIDE

>> Jon: LET'S JUST BLAME THEM.

(LAUGHING) Jon: OBVIOUSLY THE SHOW IS ON AMERICAN TELEVISION.

I'M SURE WHEN YOU VISIT THE RUSSIAN TV SHOW, YOU CAN LAY IT AT OUR FEET.

>> WE COMPLAIN THAT THE RUSSIANS AND THE CHINESE HAVE VETOED AND BLOCKED US FROM TAKING ACTION

>> Jon: THAT'S RIGHT BUT I STILL DON'T KNOW WHAT SPECIFIC EFFECTIVE ACTION WE ARE GOING TO TAKE ON THE GROUND THAT

THE RUSSIANS AND THE CHINESE BLOCKED.

IF TODAY THEY WERE TO SAY, OKAY, WE HAVE NO OBJECTIONS, WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?

AND THIS IS THE QUESTION

>> Jon: OKAY.

BECAUSE IF YOU'RE ASKING ME, WE HAVE A TERRIBLE PROBLEM HERE.

BUT HAVE WORLD EVENTS GOTTEN OUTSIDE OF THE CONTROL OF THE LEADING POWERS OR DO WE HAVE A MISTAKEN NOSTALGIC VIEW OF WHAT

COUNTRIES WERE REALLY ABLE TO DO AND INFLUENCE EVEN IN THE PAST?

HOW DID THESE ALWAYS... HAVEN'T THESE ALWAYS ARISEN?

>> I THINK YOU'VE ALWAYS HAD THAT PROBLEM BUT DURING THE COLD WAR THE COLD WAR, THE TRUE POWERS COULD INFLUENCE COUNTRIES.

THERE WAS SOME CONTROL.

AT THE COLLAPSE OF THE SOVIET UNION, THE COUNCIL BECAME A BIT MORE HARMONIOUS AND THEY COULD TAKE POSITIONS.

SO THE U.N. AND THE PEACE-KEEPING FORCES BEGAN BEING INTRE DEUCED INTO CIVIL WAR SITUATIONS

>> Jon: IN SOME WAYS THE DEMOCRATIZATION OF THE REGION, THE RISE OF DEMOCRACY, THE COLLAPSE OF THE SOVIET UNION,

HAS CREATED MUCH OF THIS UNREST.

WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO PERHAPS LIVE WITH THE VOLATILITY UNTIL THE NEXT WORLD WAR.

>> AND WHEN IS THAT GOING TO BE Jon: BELIEVE ME, I'VE GOT THINGS IN MIND.

WILL YOU STICK AROUND SO WE CAN TALK A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT THE BOOK AND YOUR RISE TO THE TOP OF THE U.N. AND ALL THAT?

IF YOU WOULD.

I'D APPRECIATE THAT VERY MUCH.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

"INTERVENTION: A LIFE IN WAR AND PEACE" IS ON THE BOOK SHELVES NOW.

WE'LL HAVE MORE WITH KOFI ANNAN ON THE

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