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U.S. Speaks Out Against Human Rights Abuses in Russia; Royals Take on Causes to Make a Difference

Aired October 18, 2009 - 00:00:00   ET


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, HOST: Today, U.S. foreign policy and human rights. The United States has always led the charge, but is President Obama, with Nobel prize in hand, softening America's position, putting pragmatism in the driver's seat?

Welcome to our program. I'm Christiane Amanpour. Today we're exploring the rising tension between President Obama's foreign policy and human rights. We also look at people's rights in modern monarchy. We have a special interview with Jordan's Queen Rania, the crown prince and princess of Norway, and two leading activists as we zero in on policy and principle.

Right now, Mr. Obama is under pressure to fire his special envoy to Sudan for proposing incentives as a way of dealing with the government of an indicted sitting president. Activists have been worried since Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seemed to move aside human rights in favor of a more engaging pragmatism with China. And one of the world's moral champions, former Czech president Vaclav Havel has just criticized President Obama for not meeting the Dalai Lama until after his China summit.

While visiting Russia last week, Secretary Clinton did speak out against human rights abuses to students in civil society groups, but not publicly during a news conference with her counterpart Sergey Lavrov. We start this hour with the U.S. dilemma over Russia's failure to find, let alone prosecutors of the murders of activists and journalists.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Anna Politkovskaya was known around the world as a journalist holding Moscow accountable for alleged abuses against civilians in Chechnya until she was gunned down in the elevator of her Moscow apartment building, a murder still unsolved three years later.

Her daughter, Vera, says those close to her feel betrayed by the official investigation.

"Our family is losing hope," she told the news conference, "that people involved in the crime will ever be found and convicted."

Human rights group say Russia has an appalling record of failing to investigate these kinds of crimes. Human Rights Watch says that, in 115 cases, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Russia was "responsible for extrajudicial executions, torture, and enforced disappearances" and for failing to properly investigate these crimes.

In 33 cases researched by Human Rights Watch, Russia has still not brought a single perpetrator to justice. The rights group says that failure fuels ongoing abuses.

It seems almost every few months in Russia a prominent activist, lawyer or journalist is killed for their work. In January, Stanislav Markelov, a lawyer who worked with Politkovskaya, was shot dead in Moscow. Journalist Anastasia Baburova was gunned down at his side.

In July, rights worker Natalya Estemirova was abducted and killed. She was one of the few activists brave enough to actually live in Chechnya, holding authorities to account for the alleged widespread abuses there. There have been other killings since.

The head of the group Estemirova worked for, Memorial, accuses the Kremlin- backed Chechen leadership of ordering her killing. Russia's aggressive tactics, he says, are counterproductive. And many rights workers believe that approach is fueling a vicious circle, driving civilians into the arms of radical groups.

(on-screen): The Kremlin has refused to comment on the specific allegations made by Human Rights Watch and by Memorial. Though in recent comments publicly, the country's president, Dmitry Medvedev, described the human rights situation here as "far from perfect." Rights, he said, should be protected by the legal process.

Still, many critics have very little faith that this country's leadership is really ready to change.

Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.


AMANPOUR: And joining us now, Sarah Mendelson, director of the Human Rights and Security Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch in Washington.

Welcome, both of you, to the program.

If I can start with you, Sarah, this business of human rights and whether the Russian authorities are really being pressed to do all they can, are they?

SARAH MENDELSON, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: I don't think they are being pressed to do all they can. I think it's very imperative at this moment to shift the burden from the very brave human rights activists on the ground and the journalists who were recording abuses to the policymakers both in the Kremlin, but also in the United States and in the European Union.

If the U.S. and the EU together have one voice on this, I think it will have more of an impact in encouraging President Medvedev to address these issues.

AMANPOUR: Now, one of the things you've written is that, in fact, western policymakers don't seem to have any idea how to do this, and particularly because most of it springs from the problem and the violence in the north caucuses, particularly in Chechnya.

MENDELSON: That's right. There's been a tremendous spike in the summer of 2009 in violence in the north caucuses. But for over 10 years, it's been an issue that's really dogged administrations in the United States.

And I think, you know, we're so focused on a conversation about counterinsurgency in Afghanistan. What you're seeing in the north caucuses, in many ways, is bad coin (ph). It's bad counterinsurgency. And for that reason, it's a security issue for Europe and for the United States, as well as, obviously, for Russia.

AMANPOUR: I want to talk about the civil society meeting that went in on Moscow that Hillary Clinton went to. I believe both Tom and you were involved in a civil society group over the summer.

MENDELSON: That's right.

AMANPOUR: And we've got this Wordle thing which makes a word cloud of words that are used in various speeches. And so the one that is representative of what happened in Moscow, it does mention things like "accountable," "governance," "human" and "rights." There were maybe about three mentions, but not a huge number.

You have been in touch with your colleagues out there. Are you pleased with the tone that Secretary Clinton took?

MENDELSON: Well, Secretary Clinton really had three opportunities to engage human rights and civil society. One was a meeting at Spaso House, the ambassador's residence. One was on a progressive radio station. And one was to students at Moscow State University.

In every case, she talked about the impunity, the culture of impunity that these journalists and human rights activists are under siege. I think that's very important. What we really want to see, I think, eventually is a whole package of ways in which the Obama administration is making this a critical component of how they engage Russia and Russians.

And I think there's a role for my colleague Tom and I to play in that, and others as well.

AMANPOUR: So, Tom, what is -- Tom Malinowski in Washington of Human Rights Watch -- what is the advice to the Obama administration, a key thing to the very committed rhetoric that certainly was floated during the campaign for the presidency, the human rights rhetoric?

TOM MALINOWSKI, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: Well, the president has continued that rhetoric, actually, in the speeches that he's given around the world -- in Egypt, in Moscow, when he was there over the summer, in Ghana. And most recently, speaking to the U.N. General Assembly.

But there's sometimes a tension between the extraordinarily powerful convictions that he has expressed, and the equally strong desire and understandable desire of the administration to rebuild America's diplomatic relationships around the world that were frayed during the Bush administration. And I think...

AMANPOUR: So, building those diplomatic relationships are obviously something that everybody can agree with is vitally important. But let's take a few issues here, where perhaps there's a collision between that and some of the human rights promises.

Let's take Burma, the idea that the administration wants to engage with Burma. The military junta still has Aung San Suu Kyi in prison.

Let's take China, where we already mentioned that Secretary Clinton seemed to push human rights aside in favor of the much more pragmatic engagement on the economy, nuclear proliferation, climate change. Let's even take Sudan, which is run now by a president who's the only sitting head of state indicted by the war crimes tribunal.

What is the administration getting in return? I mean, this seems to be a pattern. Why in these countries is engagement being touted without a return.

MALINOWSKI: Yes. Burma is one, I think, they've gotten the balance right. You know, all engagement really means is that you talk to governments, and that shouldn't be controversial. They've maintained sanctions on Burma. They've maintained the paramount goal of freeing political prisoners and moving towards democracy.

China, I think, is a different matter. And that's where we've seen the tension play out in the most acute way, with several signals that have been sent suggesting that the administration is putting human rights issues to one side. And most recently, the, I think, symbolic mistake of the president declining to meet the Dalai Lama before his own visit to China later next month.

I think if you were to ask President Obama about this, he'd say, you know, what matters is it's not the symbolic events and the statements that I make. It's -- it's the substance of what I can achieve on the issue of Tibet, for example. But I think symbolism matters tremendously, and I think that symbolism sent a message to the Chinese government that perhaps this isn't as high a priority for the United States as it has been in the past.

AMANPOUR: You're nodding your head, Sarah. Symbolism matters?

MENDELSON: Symbolism does matter. I mean, if it were up to me, I would have preferred Secretary Clinton to meet the human rights activists on their turf, that is, to go to Memorial or maybe the Sakharov Museum in Moscow. But I think it's very important to recognize, it is in the U.S. national security interest and the Obama administration's interest to have these countries, whether it's China or Russia, be ruled by law and be compliant and be reliable partners.

And what you see happening for sure in Russia is this culture of impunity - - really, it calls into question our ability to do things together that are in our national security interest.

AMANPOUR: So we're going to play something that President Medvedev said about Natalya's murder just in the summer. Listen.


DMITRY MEDVEDEV, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): The murder of our human rights activist, Estemirova, is, of course, a very sad event. For me, one thing is absolutely clear: Her murder is linked to her professional activities.


AMANPOUR: He's also stepped out and said that these things need to be -- need to be addressed. Is this a chance? Is anybody actually jumping on this? And is this a real chance to get the authorities to do something about it or not?

MENDELSON: It is a chance, but the investigation needs to stay at the level of the prosecutor general. It needs to never drop down to the regional level. And what he did after that statement was to impugn the integrity of people who suggested there might have been regional authorities involved. There needs to be an absolutely open investigation into all possibilities.

AMANPOUR: Well, I'm going to show you, when I was in Moscow and we were also investigating the human rights, the murders of a lot of journalists and activists, we went to the Glasnost Institute and we spoke to the director there. And he walked me along a wall -- that's the memorial for - - at the funeral -- but he walked me along a wall showing me, one by one, so many photos of journalists and other activists who've been killed, more than 200. And I asked him, "How many have been brought to account?" He said maybe five that had even been investigated.

MENDELSON: And this is a real hook which I think President Dmitry Medvedev could be convinced is important. He is very much about anti-corruption, at least rhetorically. You can't, in the modern era, combat corruption if you don't have independent investigative journalists doing their jobs.

AMANPOUR: We will continue this discussion.

And we'll have more on Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir's indictment on war crimes and what the Obama administration's special envoy is saying about it when we return.



BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Women gang-raped while gathering firewood is wrong. Silence, acquiescence, paralysis in the face of genocide is wrong.



AMANPOUR: That was Senator Barack Obama in 2006 when he was a candidate.

Can I turn to you, Tom, and ask you about Sudan, which I briefly mentioned? Look, Sudan -- the president, al-Bashir, has been indicted by the International Criminal Court, and yet President Obama's envoy has been talking about cookies and gold stars.

Let me just quote what he was quoted as saying: "We've got to think about giving out cookies. Kids, countries, they react to gold stars, smiley faces, handshakes, agreements, talks, and engagement." I mean, what is that?

MALINOWSKI: It's a really dumb thing to say. I mean, to be fair to the administration here, they're undergoing a Sudan policy review, and they haven't announced their policy. I hope...

AMANPOUR: What do you think the policy will be?

MALINOWSKI: I hope and pray it's not...

AMANPOUR: And what kind of signal does that kind of -- of rhetoric from an envoy give?

MALINOWSKI: It's very unfortunate. First of all, he's wrong. Governments like this are not children, and they don't react to cookies and gold stars. They act on their interests.

And -- and historically, as -- as you know from experience from Bosnia to, you know, all the places where we have successfully defeated this kind of violence, governments respond to pressure.

And, you know, so it sends a signal that he sort of doesn't get that. It also is something that I think the government in Sudan would have been profoundly offended by. You know, no one wants to be called a bunch of children. So he offended everybody by that statement, and I hope that the -- the administration, when they announce their review, is -- the policy is more mature and more grounded in realism than the envoy has suggested it might be.

AMANPOUR: What do you think it will be, incentives without -- without pressure?

MALINOWSKI: Well, incentives without pressure don't work...


MALINOWSKI: ... because, of course, the -- the -- the ultimate incentive, the incentive that matters, is that pressure will be relieved. And for that incentive to be strong, the pressure has to be strong. That's the logic of that equation.

So, absolutely, we should be talking to the Sudanese, we should be offering incentives, but they're not going to take it seriously unless the sanctions and the diplomatic pressure are particularly strong.

AMANPOUR: You both worked on Guantanamo Bay. You both had a lot to do with -- with -- with the solution or trying to find a solution to all of this. You've spoken about how President Obama has tried to regain America's moral standing.

And yet Guantanamo Bay is not closed, and there's no date for it to be closed, and certain aspects of it continue. What is going to happen there?

MENDELSON: Well, we -- Tom and I think both agree, as everybody does who's looked at this closely, it's an extremely difficult issue. And when we advance the idea of a 12-month calendar, we meant 12 months. We meant 12 working months.

It was wonderful that President Obama signed the executive order on January 22nd, but then the idea was that they needed to focus all attention on that and get good progress. I mean, it wasn't until May when we had Ambassador Daniel Fried, the diplomat who was going to go out and negotiate the release and transfer of various detainees who could be released.

So, they got a big bang, good approach in the beginning, and then it was a slow start. So, it's not terribly surprising that we find ourselves eight months in and we're all hungry for more.

AMANPOUR: Tom, we talked a little bit about realpolitik pragmatism. We've talked today, just now, about Russia and China. Obviously, those are countries that the Obama administration wants to bring in to help it with issues -- for instance, Iran.

And yet, are they getting bang for their buck?

MALINOWSKI: Well, not that much yet on Iran and a lot of other issues.

I would argue to them that you can get bang for your buck on the diplomatic issues where you need their support and still maintain a principled position on issues that the United States has cared about for a long time, and that there is a core national interest with respect to each of these countries in moving them towards greater respect for rule of law and accountability at home. We've got huge issues inside China, for example, on the environment. Well, good luck getting progress on environmental issues with China if regular people in China don't have the ability through free newspapers and other free institutions to press their government to clean up its environmental promise.

AMANPOUR: Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you so much.

Sorry to interrupt you, Tom.

Thank you so much, Tom Malinowski and Sarah Mendelson.

AMANPOUR: And any minute now, it will open up. There we see it, 12 tons of aid is coming to the ground.

Reflections from a refugee camp in Darfur when we return in a moment.



AMANPOUR: Those as badly off as Hamdi (ph) don't have long to live unless they keep fluids and formula done. Hamdi should be sent to the nearest hospital. The problem is these parents -- this is in fact the grandmother -- are reluctant to send them to the hospital in town because it means having to leave their other children who are here in the camp. They're worried about who will look after them, they're worried about their safety, and this is all complicating the issue of trying to save lives.


AMANPOUR: That was Darfur in 2004. The impact of inaction was on full view. Today five years later nearly 3 million people still live in camps for the displaced there, and another 200,000 refugees remain across the border in Chad. The war may have subsided somewhat for now, but there's still no resolution in sight. And it is a long way from campaign promises of no-fly zones and tough action.

Next, we turn from the poverty of Darfur to the privilege of modern royalty and the responsibilities that come with it and how some royals are trying to use the social Web for social good. That's when we return.


AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program. There are, of course, many who believe that royalty is an outdated model of good governance. But then again, is it? Many who were born to rule are also determined to use their unique positions to make a difference.

Queen Rania of Jordan, for instance, believes that children have rights, and so her mission is to improve their education. And in Europe, the heirs to the Norwegian throne -- which, by the way, was voted in by referendum more than 100 years ago -- are working to improve education, to find solutions for HIV/AIDS and to try to make a dent, as they all are, in extreme poverty that stalks more than a billion people around the world.

Let's start now with this report from CNN's Phil Black.


PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The glamour is still there, even in 50-year-old silent black-and-white images, the fairy tale wedding of American movie star Grace Kelly to Monaco's Prince Rainier. But after the wedding, Princess Grace learned to use her royal star power in new ways to help the International Red Cross get attention and money.

Decades later, another much loved princess set a new royal standard for work to make the world better, here in Bosnia pushing to get rid of land mines.

RICHARD FITZWILLIAMS, ROYAL COMMENTATOR: The Princess of Wales was the world's most glamorous woman and she used her profile to further the causes in which she believed.

BLACK: Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams says Diana is the best known royal to become a dedicated international social activist. But she had role models.

FITZWILLIAMS: If you look at Queen Noor, this is fantastic charitable achievements.

BLACK: Queen Noor, the widow of Jordan's late King Hussein, continues to work for a long list of causes, from land mine removal to education. So does Jordan's current queen.

RANIA AL ABDULLAH, QUEEN OF JORDAN: ... because education is more than just a right. Education is a remedy.

BLACK: Queen Rania has embraced new technology and social networking to get her message out. YouTube...

QUEEN RANIA: All Arabs are not terrorists. Muslim women are not downtrodden.

BLACK: ... Facebook, and on Twitter she has more than 870,000 followers describing herself as a mom and wife with a really cool day job.

In Norway, the marriage of Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit was initially unpopular partly because she had a child out of wedlock and a party girl past. But they're now known as hard-working global activists. He is an ambassador for the United Nations Development Program. She works for the U.N.'s effort against AIDS.

Other royal families, including those of Spain, Thailand and Japan, are respected for charitable works in their own countries.

(on camera): What do you believe has started this trend towards activist royals?

FITZWILLIAMS: I think particularly significant individuals, people with imagination, people also who feel very deeply for humanitarian causes.

BLACK (voice-over): In an age where are monarchies are rarely responsible for leading their nations, many royals work to find purpose and meaning in trying to change the world. Phil Black, CNN, London.


AMANPOUR: Joining me now, Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan. Welcome to the program, Your Majesty. Thank you for joining us here. I want to talk a little bit about what you're doing here in New York right now. You went up to visit a school in Harlem. What's your main mission now?

QUEEN RANIA: The cause that I've been working on most is global education. I've been working on it at home in Jordan and around the world because today there are 75 million children who are still out of school, and it would cost the world $11 billion to get them into school. And although that sounds like a lot of money, when you really think about it in global terms, it's how much the war in Afghanistan and Iraq cost in one month.

AMANPOUR: That's true.

QUEEN RANIA: It's how much Americans spend on their pets in three months. It's how much Europe spends on ice cream in one year. So this is actually...


QUEEN RANIA: ... it's actually loose change.

AMANPOUR: So let's show your promo because you do the One Goal precisely for this reason.


AMANPOUR: Let's just look at what you're saying about the need for education.


QUEEN RANIA: One Goal. Education is a human right. It's a path out of poverty. It's protection from disease. It's a life saver.


AMANPOUR: How do you do it? I know you're partnering with the Clinton Global Initiative. You're partnering with many other individuals and groups. How do actually do it?

QUEEN RANIA: Well, first of all, as I say, we have to add a sense of urgency. Everybody agrees that education is important, but we need to add action to that, and to understand that education is a lifeline, it is a matter of life and death. It does save lives. So for example, a girl who goes to a school, for every five years of schooling, her child survival rates go up by 40 percent. A child who goes to school is 50 percent less likely to die of HIV/AIDS. So it does save lives.

So with One Goal, there's the World Cup that's taking place in Africa next year, the world's most popular sport. So we want fans of football to really chant and cheer and demand for world leaders to fulfill the commitments that they made to children of the developing world.

AMANPOUR: You said this shocking statistic, 75 million children are not in school or are denied education. But how difficult is it? Look, the UNDP comes out regularly with reports. They've done about five on the Arab world, and the latest one is just as damning as the previous ones, in other words, saying that despite the wealth and the human potential in the Arab world, the Arab world has still not made its people free, still not made its people rich, still not made its people safe.

How do you think that can change? And can this education -- education goal that you have change that?

QUEEN RANIA: Well, actually, in the Middle East, North Africa region, we're probably one of the highest spenders on education. And as a result, we've achieved very high -- very good results in terms of gender equality in education and enrollment, total enrollment.

But what we have to focus on is the quality of education. It's not enough to get children into school, it's what they get out of school that matters. And we have to prepare them for the workforce. So the challenges, I would say, that we face in the Arab world are more about creating jobs for the young people. You know, we have to create about 5 million jobs a year, and youth unemployment is costing us around $25 billion in all of the 11 Arab countries.

AMANPOUR: It's about 50 million new jobs have to be created by 2020. That's in 11 years.

So you talk about a social reform and hope. You are now a big presence on social media, whether it be Twitter, whether it be Facebook. I heard you have something in the region of more than 800,000 followers. We're just going to show some of the pages of Facebook and Twitter and the things that you're doing on there.

What are using those particular networks for? Why? Why on Twitter and Facebook?

QUEEN RANIA: Social media is great for social change, and it's a great way for me to really reach out to people, to raise awareness about certain issues and to really rally support, so...

AMANPOUR: Do you know who you're reaching? Are they people in your own country? Are they people in the Arab world? Are they Western?

QUEEN RANIA: Well, it depends which the media I'm using and...

AMANPOUR: Your Twitter account?

QUEEN RANIA: Well, the Twitter, I can't -- I mean, I can't tell exactly where the 850,000 people are from, but you know, most of these issues require global awareness anyway. So it's really given me an opportunity to look into people's minds, to see what -- to gain insight on and perspective on how people are thinking, and also to really make these issues that matter to me known among people, so that you can galvanize people towards action.

AMANPOUR: You know, when I first met you, we did a profile when you were -- it was more than nine years ago. And I remember jumping in your car that you were driving to go and pick up your son, who's now crown prince of Jordan, from his school. We're going to show this picture that you put out, one of the pictures on Twitter. There's your son between you and your husband. He has grown!

QUEEN RANIA: He has. He's almost taller than me.

AMANPOUR: Well, you did say on that picture that as long as you have a little height over him, you remain the authority.

QUEEN RANIA: Right. And I'm losing that authority very quickly.

AMANPOUR: So how do you teach a young boy who's going to be king about social reform, about equality with women, about all the social change that you want to bring?

QUEEN RANIA: You don't necessarily teach, but you demonstrate. You know, I think it's important for him to see us living by these values, to incorporate those values in our everyday lives. For me, you know, it's not a preparation course, it's a way of living. When we talk about women's empowerment, that's a very compelling argument. Not only is it moral and human, it's also an economic argument.

You know, in the Arab world, we're sailing at half-mast, you know? We are underutilizing one of the most important resources that we have. So you know, if he sees the argument and why we need women to be in the workplace, then he'll be one of the biggest supporters.

AMANPOUR: You know, on this social media, you have a different profile than often you have when you speak about some of the other crucial issues in the world. I just want to show another picture that you put up. It was you and your husband, King Abdullah, and you said, OK, I'm biased, but you have to admit my king is kind of cool. That's on Twitter.

QUEEN RANIA: He is, isn't he?

AMANPOUR: Who are you telling that to? What are you trying to say?

QUEEN RANIA: You know, for me, it's not just about -- there's obviously the issue of rallying people behind causes, et cetera, about the I feel I'm part of a community. You feel like you make virtual friends.

AMANPOUR: Do you feel isolated?

QUEEN RANIA: Sometimes. Certainly, it's not easy for people to speak their minds because they feel they have to be formal with me or they don't want to really tell me what they really think, you know? But being on a venue like Twitter allows you to really hear information, hear what people have to say unedited. I feel like I'm part of a community and I'm making friends with these people.

AMANPOUR: Is that personal aspect and you trying to make friends?

QUEEN RANIA: There's an personal aspect to it and work aspect to it.

AMANPOUR: Now, there's also the more political but also concerned about the people aspect. We're going to show what you said about the people of Gaza in January of this year.


QUEEN RANIA: The children of Gaza, the dead and the barely living, their mothers, their fathers are not acceptable collateral damage. Their lives do matter. Their loss does count. They are not divisible from our universal humanity. No child is.


AMANPOUR: So that was about the war in Gaza earlier. Do you think -- and I'm going to switch now to hard politics -- that the new administration of President Obama -- you've just been at the U.N. -- does it have a chance to re-inject life into, really, the dead peace process between the Palestinians and the Israelis?

QUEEN RANIA: The question is, Do we have a choice not to? I mean, can the world afford for this conflict to keep the way -- I mean, it is a disgrace to humanity that there's still this occupation, that there's an entire population that's still dehumanized, that's still under occupation and suffering.

AMANPOUR: Do you think -- for instance, the Jordanian monarchy has traditionally been in the forefront of the peace process. Do you think -- do you and your husband, after 10 years now being king and queen, feel that there's any chance for progress to relieve this?

QUEEN RANIA: You know, the longer this process takes, the more determined we are because we understand that peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians is in the national interest not only of theirs but of ours and of the United States and of the whole international community.

And what we saw from President Obama yesterday was a reaffirmation of the United States' engagement and commitment to the peace process. And he very clearly said that we need to move beyond just starting peace negotiations, we need to move towards final permanent status negotiations. And it's the sense of urgency that we need. The peace process cannot remain hostage to short-term politics, personal agendas.

We really need to look at the long-term future of our region. Where does Israel want to be in 10, 20 years' time, you know? What's the situation going to be for the Palestinians? We need to address the concerns of both sides. And Israel's security ultimately depends on it be accepted into the region. It does not come from armed force or from barrier walls. It needs to be accepted, and for that to happen, you know, the right of Palestinians for statehood has to be achieved.

AMANPOUR: What do you think that you have learned and achieved in 10 years on the Jordanian throne?

QUEEN RANIA: Well, there's -- I've been exposed to so many things, and you know, so many issues. My main concern now is the development of human capital. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to reach people's not only hearts but their minds.

And you know, when I look at some of the radicalization in some of the Arab countries and some of the Muslim countries, it's because extremists maybe do a better job on acting on their beliefs than we do. Moderates can tend to be complacent, so they ventured into territory that we have left vacant, and that is young people's minds. So we need to really act more on our beliefs. We need to provide content for young people. What is it that being moderates really stands for? What can you get in your future? Can you fulfill your dreams?

And so, you know, education is where it all starts. I think in the classroom is where we need to begin to give our young people an education that prepares them for life, to allow them to be critical thinkers and debaters and creators, problem solvers. Those are the things that provide people with the equal chance to make something out of their lives.

AMANPOUR: And on that note, thank you so much for joining us. Queen Rania of Jordan.

QUEEN RANIA: Thank you.

AMANPOUR: And in a moment, a royal couple who married in a whirlwind of controversy turned fairy tale and who are now trying to transform their own world.


AMANPOUR: Welcome back. Joining me now is the Crown Princess of Norway, Prince Haakon, and the Crown Princess of Norway, Her Royal Highness Princess Mette-Marit. Welcome to the show both of you.


AMANPOUR: Thank you for being here. You know, whenever we talk about the royal families, monarchies, people want to know, Is this still a relevant institution for today, the 21st century? What do you say to them?

CROWN PRINCE HAAKON OF NORWAY: Well, I think -- in the Norwegian case, the monarchy is quite young, started in 1905. My great-grandfather was a Danish prince and was asked to become king of Norway. And he actually asked for a referendum, so the Norwegian people voted the king in.

AMANPOUR: So it was sort of democratic.

CROWN PRINCE HAAKON: Democratic, yes, but it's been a while since the last election, I have to admit.

AMANPOUR: Let me ask you -- because you were not royal. You married into the royal family. And not only that, there was -- you had a particularly interesting background. Having been a single mother, you came to your marriage with a 3-year-old son, and obviously, it was huge fodder for the tabloids. But we're not going to go to the tabloid side of it. There was a certain amount of disapproval, and yet it seems now that the majority of the first-born children in Norway are born to single mothers.

Did you find a connection to the people of your country by your own experience?

CROWN PRINCESS METTE-MARIT: I think the process that we went through when we got married is one of the most interesting periods of my life. And I must say, I think that's -- it's taught me a lot about life and also given me a lot of strength, I think, for -- in my capacity as crown princess.

AMANPOUR: And you've chosen a very dramatic area to work in, the area of HIV and AIDS. You are a U.N. ambassador for that. I also read that, actually, you also work quite a lot on the issue of women and AIDS, the feminization of AIDS. Tell us a little bit that.

CROWN PRINCESS METTE-MARIT: Well, obviously, young women and girls are very vulnerable to this. So I think my role is making sure that those women and young girls get to the table when strategies are laid out. They know what made them vulnerable to the disease, and I think they have the answers for the future. It's very important that we focus on young women and girls.

AMANPOUR: And you are a goodwill ambassador or an ambassador for the UNDP.

CROWN PRINCE HAAKON: Well, the Norwegian government is a long supporter of development and the U.N. and...

AMANPOUR: In fact, it's one of the main contributors to the United Nations in terms of funding.

CROWN PRINCE HAAKON: That's right. And we were looking at the Millennium Development goals and maybe how I could help promote those and halving extreme poverty by 2015, getting more children into schools, gender equality, et cetera. And I find that it's fascinating to work on issues such as that.

And I think one of the stories that are lost sometimes when we see the world is actually how much improvement we have done, how far we have come. There's now millions of people that have been pulled up out of extreme poverty. There's more girls and boys going to school. There's more gender equality, more democracy, et cetera. And we need to be able to also pause for a little while and count our victories.

AMANPOUR: I was struck by your focus on dignity. You've made several speeches about that.


AMANPOUR: And in South Africa, you did say -- you made another speech, and you said that everybody needs to have their dignity. What are you saying?

CROWN PRINCE HAAKON: Well, I'm saying that it's important to do it because it's the moral thing to do, it's the right thing to do. But in addition to that, lifting other people and helping (ph) other people's dignity is actually good for me. And it's, I believe, the only way I can actually increase my own dignity. So this duality that we're all interconnected, we're in this together, and your success is my success.

AMANPOUR: We have pictures of you when you were with your troops, the Norwegian troops, in Afghanistan. Obviously, Afghanistan is a big issue right now. What did you come away with when you visited your troops there? What particularly are they doing there?

CROWN PRINCE HAAKON: Well, I can't get into the politics of Afghanistan. I leave that to the politicians. But I was there to support our troops. But in general, I might say that Norway is a strong supporter of peace and development, and of course, we would like to see that in Afghanistan, as well.

AMANPOUR: The Norwegian troops are actually training, for instance, the Afghan army. I think they're training some of the security forces.


AMANPOUR: And that seems to be a big focus going forward, the "Afghanization" of the situation there.

CROWN PRINCE HAAKON: That's right. Some of the Norwegian forces are training and cooperating together with their Afghan counterparts.

AMANPOUR: When you joined this family, were you concerned? Were you worried? Did you think -- I mean, apart from being in love with your crown prince and this being a fairy tale, as it was written up, were you concerned about what it would do to your life, about how it would change your life? Did you have sort of questions about what you would do with your life?

CROWN PRINCESS METTE-MARIT: Yes. And I think it's been a long process for me. It's been a long learning process, and it still obviously is. And I was very concerned. I was obviously very concerned of the role of my son in the family. But I think these are all issues that seem very different when you're outside of the family. When you come into the family, it's being in a family. I have a very good and close relationship with my parents-in-law. They have a very close relationship with my son. And so I think, all in all, I'm very happy about my life at the moment and (INAUDIBLE)

AMANPOUR: Was it hard to get to that comfort level?

CROWN PRINCESS METTE-MARIT: Well, it took a bit of time. It takes a little bit of time and...

AMANPOUR: For your son?

CROWN PRINCESS METTE-MARIT: For my son, I think it's -- I think the changes in his life -- he was only 3 years old when we met, so he was even younger when we met. So I think it's been for him -- it's just his life, his life, a part of growing up basically.


CROWN PRINCE HAAKON: Can I say something? Well, you know, I found this -- or met this fantastic, interesting woman. I could see all of her qualities, but of course, not necessarily everyone else could see that. So to me, it was, you know, a more matter of taking the time together to -- you know, that you met my family and that people got to know you. And then, you know, it became easier.

AMANPOUR: And what do you see for yourself in terms of issues and the work that you do? Where do you see your work taking you, let's say, in the next year?

CROWN PRINCESS METTE-MARIT: I think I'm going to still focus on youth leadership with U.N. AIDS. I'm going to travel a lot with them. And obviously, I do a lot of things in Norway that I find extremely interesting.

AMANPOUR: Thank you.

AMANPOUR: It was, of course, Norway which awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

And next on our "Postscript," Human rights in Afghanistan, the story of one courageous Afghan MP.


AMANPOUR: And now a "Postscript." Manala Joya (ph), a member of parliament in Afghanistan, is speaking out against corruption by her fellow lawmakers, and she's not mincing her words. She says they are, quote, "no better than animals in a zoo." Her courage has made her enemies, but she's determined to continue pushing for honest government and human rights, whatever the risk, a risk she says that will be so much greater if the Taliban were to return to power.

And this conversation will continue on line on That's it for now. Thank you so much for watching, and we'll be back next week.