Return to Transcripts main page


U.S., Afghanistan Announce Peace Talks With Taliban; Largest Protests In Brazil In 20 Years; Leading Women: ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar

Aired June 18, 2013 - 16:00:00   ET


MAX FOSTER, HOST: Tonight, talking to the Taliban. After a decade of war in Afghanistan, the U.S. looks set for peace talks with its bitter rival.

Plus, as unrest spreads across Brazil, a protester tells us why he's so angry.

And, making a silent stand for peace in Turkey.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN London, this is Connect the World.

FOSTER: So after more than a decade of war in Afghanistan, the United States will begin direct peace talks with the Taliban within days. The first meeting is expected to take place on Thursday in Doha, Qatar where the Taliban announced it had opened an office. And it'll focus on setting the agenda for future meetings.

A spokesman for the militant group told reporters that the office was meant for forging true security for Afghanistan.


MOHAMMED NAEEM, TALIBAN SPOKESPERSON (through translator): The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, in addition to its military efforts, also has political goals and strategies related only to Afghanistan, which does not intend to cause harm to others and will not allow anyone to use Afghan soil to threaten the security of other countries because it wants as a part of the mutual respect to establish good relations with all world countries, particularly with neighboring countries.


FOSTER: The announcement comes hours after Afghan forces officially took over security duties from the NATO-led mission. A handover was marked with a ceremony at a secret location in Kabul.

But plenty of doubt remains on whether Afghan troops are up to the task and if the talks will actually achieve anything at all. We'll get to our world affairs Jill Dougherty in just a moment who is live in Washington. But first, let's bring in Reza Sayah who joins us from CNN Kabul.

So, we're getting a real sense, Reza, of the next phase in Afghanistan's future?

REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, at least in talks. We don't know how these peace talks are going to play out, but certainly the first step has been taken by the Taliban followed by U.S. officials and Afghan officials recognizing this new Taliban office and acknowledging that they're going to meet the Taliban later this week.

But this was a remarkable scene today, this Taliban press conference. I'm not sure how many U.S. military and NATO officials back in 2001 would have predicted that after 12 years of fighting the Taliban, they would end up seeing them in a press conference, very confidently talking about their demands in these peace talks.

They also sounded diplomatic. They said they want to get along with the world. They want to improve relations. They want a peaceful end to this conflict, an end to the occupation. They also said some things Washington wants to hear. Washington doesn't want Afghanistan soil to be used as a launching pad for attacks against the west. And as we heard in that earlier sound bite, the Taliban spokesperson said they're ready to comply -- Max.

FOSTER: So, Jill, what do you think the Americans are going to want after this? What's going to be on the table?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Max, I think the most important thing is to go beyond that step and for the Taliban to be very explicit in renouncing al Qaeda. That's the ultimate goal. Whether they'll get it in these talks, it's unclear, but at least they're on the road. And I think that's what you have to say based on the briefings that we've been having here at the State Department, they're on the road.

What the next steps are, aren't clear, but they definitely want to make sure that they get, I would say, three other things. They want a renunciation of al Qaeda. They want a renunciation of violence. And they also want the Taliban to sign on to the constitution of Afghanistan, and that includes women's rights. And right now it's not clear whether they will do that.

But at least they're talking. They will be talking.

FOSTER: And Reza, it was interesting, wasn't it today, that they all seem to come together, because this overshadowed what is a historic event as well in terms of the handover of security duties?

SAYAH: You know what, lots of wheels in motion here in Afghanistan that on the surface seem like progress, but the problem is, there's so much uncertainty and so many unknowns surrounding them that we don't know what the outcome is going to be. And one is this security handover to Afghan forces.

In a ceremony today, NATO officials handing over the lead role for security to Afghan officials, many coalition officials say that this army is improving, but this army has its critics. Many say they're poorly trained and that there's no way they can defend this country by themselves against the Taliban. Ready or not, they're in the driver's seat right now. For the next 18 months, they'll have coalition forces, U.S. forces as backup and support, but they'll be in the driver's seat. And of course 18 months from now they'll be on their own -- Max.

FOSTER: Rexa in Kabul and Jill in Washington, thank you both very much indeed for joining me.

So, so many questions still remain regarding these talks. And the U.S. and Afghanistan have set several conditions the Taliban must meet before peace can be reached or a deal can be reached. They include breaking all ties with al Qaeda, ending all forms of violence, and accepting the Afghan constitution, including sections on human rights.

But are the Taliban really on board with the talks? Earlier, I put that question to Michael Semple. He's a senior fellow at Harvard University's Carr Centre for Human Rights Policy. And believe 2004 and 2007, he served as deputy to the European Union special representative for Afghanistan. Here's what he had to say.


MICHAEL SEMPLE, HARVARD UNIVERSITY, CARR CENTRE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS POLICY: I've actually been paying attention to word by word to the statement which the Taliban have put out. They found a rather clever formula for it, which they've sat on for awhile. They have reaffirmed that they do not want anybody to use the territory of Afghanistan to cause harm to other countries. And they've said a few nice flowery things how they want good relations with the rest of the world.

They have not -- they haven't taken the name of terrorism, but of course, you know, optimists will read into this their renunciation of terrorism. They say quite clearly that our political objectives are restricted to Afghanistan and we do not want to let anybody come to Afghanistan and use our country for nefarious purposes.

So, yes, they've ticked off -- they've ticked off a very big box.

FOSTER: And they've always refused to deal with Karzai, seeing him as a western puppet, haven't they?

So, they're recognizing the administration somehow in Kabul?

SEMPLE: Again, they've gone for clever wording. They've committed themselves to a process of dialogue. And in one of the sort of bullet points they've said that that dialogue will be with other Afghan's. Karzai is an Afghan. His government are Afghans. His high peace council are Afghans. So now they've given themselves wiggle room to be able to sit down with President Karzai's representatives.

FOSTER: And I presume we're not going to get anything major out of this to begin with, because it's baby steps, if you like just having the meeting in itself is the main event. And then they'll build from there and it's going to be a, you know, years and years as a process.

SEMPLE: Yes, but it's not a single meeting. I mean, they now have a platform from which they can do this. And, of course, they -- you know, the outcome is far from guaranteed. Of course this could be the process which leads to an end to the hostilities, because to a large extent the war in Afghanistan for Afghans no longer makes sense, because the Taliban are supposedly fighting against foreign occupation and no foreigner has any dream of occupying Afghanistan.

The Taliban -- you know, the Taliban realize this. But it's a question of can they come up with a formula which they can sell to their membership, which actually allows people to feel they've got a certain amount of honor and they can go home.

They're going to be very interesting discussions amongst the Afghans. We don't know whether they'll reach agreement on that. There's -- but this has got to increase the hope that that will happen.


FOSTER: Still to come tonight, Syria's new minister for national reconciliation tells CNN why thinks peace is still possible in his country (inaudible) war.

Then, we'll take you to Istanbul. Why anti-government protesters are vying to be seen and not heard.

And the fight to end child sex abuse online, what some of the world's biggest tech companies are doing. All that and much more when Connect the World continues.


FOSTER: Leaders of the world's richest countries wrapped up a two-day economic summit in Northern Ireland that was at times dominated by discussions on how to end Syria's civil war.

Members of the G8 adopted a joint communique calling for peace talks and a political solution to end the two-year conflict, but it made no mention of what role, if any, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will play, or when those peace talks would indeed take place.

Russian president Vladimir Putin clashed with other leaders over what course of action to take. The disagreements were on display in statements made at the of the summit.


DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We have not made a decision to arm the rebels, we made a decision to lift the arms embargo because it had a moral equivalence between Assad on the one hand and the official Syrian opposition on the other and we thought that was wrong. And we thought it was important to send a message that that was wrong.

I think it is unthinkable that President Assad can play any part in the future government of his country. He has blood on his hands. He's used chemical weapons.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The bloodshed has to be stopped. And this is what we called for. This can be achieved only by political and diplomatic means. We take the view that any weapons provision in -- to the opposition and as a resulting measure for chemical weapons use can only exacerbate the situation.


FOSTER: Well, the discussion surrounding Syria take place as the relentless fighting rages on. This video appears to show the aftermath of an explosion near a strategic military airport outside Aleppo. Key parts of the city could be under rebel control for about a year, but it's believed regime forces are gearing up for a major assault on the country's commercial capital.

Despite the violence, Syria's new minister for national reconciliation still believes there's a political solution to the conflict. He sat down with CNN's Frederik Pleitgen for this exclusive interview.


ALI HAIDAR, SYRIAN RECONCILIATION MINISTER (through translator): We believe that it is very important for the international community, instead of talking about chemical weapons, to see how we can reduce the level of violence and stop violence, before going into a political process.

As you are aware, in the past there were talks about arming to take over the country and to remove the regime. Today, the talks are to arm the opposition to reach balance. But we can go to a political process even before achieving this kind of balance.

The talk about chemical weapons is only for political reasons. So far, no one has proven anything about who used them and where they were used, and who was behind using the chemical weapons.

FRED PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You say that negotiations should start without preconditions and that the whole political structure needs to be up for negotiations. Is the current government willing to do that as long as its winning on the battlefield? Why should they?

HAIDAR (through translator): The military problems on the ground only deal with the problem of violence. It does not resolve the political crisis, the political issues. So we do believe as a member of the opposition and as a minister in this government, that the only solution is a political one, not a military one.

The best compromise that we can achieve today is that the regime and we as a part of the homeland peaceful opposition agree to the negotiating table without any preconditions, without excluding anybody from the opposition, which means everything is subject to discussion.

PLEITGEN: Everything.

HAIDAR: Everything.

PLEITGEN: Even the office of the president?

HAIDAR (through translator): The office of the president is a matter related to the whole political structure of the country. We are the first ones that have talked about a deep structural change. And we believe the shape and structure should be discussed among Syrians and should be decided by the Syrians in a referendum, because only the Syrian people can decide what happens. And it cannot be a precondition for anybody.


FOSTER: Well, Mali's government has signed a ceasefire deal with the country's Tuareg separatist rebels. The deal paves the way for government troops to reenter the rebel held town of Gadal (ph), and enables nationwide polls to take place in next month's presidential elections. The agreement was reached after nearly two weeks of talks.

Let's turn now to Turkey, though, where anti-government protesters are using a new strategy to get their message across. It all began when a single man stood in silence for hours on Monday night. Now, he's inspired a wave of similar demonstrations.

Crowds of quiet protesters stood in Istanbul's Taksim Square today enraging police. Karl Penhaul has more.


KARL PENHAUL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It was a silent challenge to the government crackdown on protesters. Turks dubbed him standing man. Photos of his action went viral.

A handful of others came to stand alongside dancer Erdem Gunduz (ph) in Taksim Square, then police in overwhelming numbers stepped in to remove the silent few.

The standing man who started it all was not among the detainees. There was no word on his exact whereabouts Tuesday.

(on camera): That first individual act of defiance has inspired a new tactic by protesters throughout the day. They've been popping up in ones and twos ready to stand firm, ready even to face arrest.

(voice-over): Supporters protected the standing people with sunblock.

BURCU, ENGINEER: I think it irritates them now, because they don't know how to act on this. But, yeah, the violence is -- I mean, they can always take us away.

PENHAUL: After days of fighting police at street barricades, the protesters now opted to hold hands.

BATUHAN, STUDENT: We don't have any violent intentions. We -- we want to show that.

PENHAUL: The standing man photos may have gone viral in the virtual world, but in reality the number of protesters in the square has been thin.

BURSA, STUDENT: I think they are afraid. The government makes them afraid.

PENHAUL: This student from Finland didn't seem that perturbed.

INGA, STUDENT FROM FINLAND: I'm not afraid of being arrested, because we are not doing anything wrong. I'm afraid if somebody gets hurt, or somebody gets killed.

PENHAUL: Standing man may be more poetic flourish than push to bring a government to its knees, but it's a sign resistance remains.

BURCU: If we want to live together here in freedom, and if we want to be respected, we have to try this.

PENHAUL: And so they stand and sometimes hold hands and dream of a new Turkey.


FOSTER: And we're going to speak to Karl now.

Whether it is intentional or not, Karl, it's a very clever move, this, isn't it? Because it puts a real challenge to the government and the police, how they deal with it, because it's in a way easier to deal with violence?

PENHAUL: Yeah, that is the case. Although, in the past few hours we have seen police weighed in periodically and simply detain the people who are standing it seems, suddenly to have become a crime in Turkey to stand up in silence. But that's not only the aspect of -- the only aspect of reorganization that the protest movement is going through now, that is one important, let's say symbolic aspect.

But possibly on an organizational level, what is equally important is what we are seeing now in the neighborhoods around Istanbul, the protesters they've obviously left their encampment that they had for more than two weeks in Gezi Park and in Taksim Square and as they've gone back to the neighborhoods what they started to do now is start nightly forums and that literally means hundreds and in some cases thousands of people meeting up in neighborhood parks and standing in the middle of the park with a microphone and holding talks that often go on for hours and hours to discuss what do to next, to discuss the shape of a country that they would like in the future, discussing fundamental problems that they believe that need to be changed.

And so, for instance, we're in one forum now. They held the same forum last night. It's 11:00 pm, past 11:00 pm here in Turkey ow. And this meeting last night, for example, went on in the wee small hours. It went on until about 3:00 in the morning. And this is really how they're doing democracy at the grass roots level.

But what they want to try and do now is then see what they're going to have to see is how these neighborhood forums then come back together once again to form a nationwide protest movement, Max.

FOSTER: It's fascinating stuff. Karl Penhaul, thank you very much indeed.

Now the director of the U.S. National Security Agency is defending surveillance programs, saying they keep Americans safe.

General Keith Alexander testified today that more than 50 attacks were thwarted using information gathered from the program. Among them, plans to bomb the New York Stock Exchange.

Alexander tried to quell the uproar over surveillance information leaked by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.


GENERAL KEITH ALEXANDER, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY: In recent years, the information gathered from these programs provided the U.S. government with critical leads to help prevent over 50 potential terrorist events in more than 20 countries around the world.


FOSTER: The husband of celebrity chef Nigella Lawson told a London newspaper he went to police voluntarily two days after an inflammatory photo was published. The photograph appears to show Charles Saatchi grabbing Lawson's throat at a restaurant. He says it was a playful tiff.

But Lawson and her children have moved out of their home.

Saatchi says he accepted a police caution for assault after getting advice from his lawyer.

Live from London, this is Connect the World. When we come back, what started as a protest against a 9 percent hike in bus fares has turned into a wave of demonstrations across Brazil.

Internet's giants are pledging millions to stop child pornography online, but can the underground industry be controlled? We'll be discussing after this short break.


FOSTER: UK is getting tougher in its fight against online child pornography. Politicians and tech giants met in London today to discuss ways to find and block sexual images of children on the internet. And the summit follows two child murder cases in Britain. In both cases, the killer had viewed child pornography beforehand.

Firms such as Google, Microsoft and Facebook attended the meeting as well as Britain's top internet service providers. They're committing to a zero tolerance policy. Google will spend $7 million towards wiping and preventing indecent content on the web. And the top four UK internet providers will commit $1.6 million.

Websites will also now tell users why an indecent URL has been blocked instead of the standard error 404 Page that we're used to seeing.

Now our next guest says that the actions that these big tech companies are taking aren't nearly enough to stop rampant child abuse online. Jim Gamble is former head of the child exploitation and online protection center. He joins us now from Belfast.

And the argument is, Jim, that we've been waiting for these companies to do something about this for such a long time, it's a major step. So why the negative?

JIM GAMBLE, FORMER HEAD OF CEOP: I mean, I'm not blaming the companies. Google, Microsoft Bing and others have been blocking known child abuse images for years. And this has come about, because of the terrible murder of two young children. And the confusion and the misinformation that has been spun since that.

The true pedophiles who went online and looked for images didn't become pedophiles because they're on the internet. They had a deviant sexual interest in children before they did that. So blocking is actually managing the symptoms.

What I'm saying is the government while they're holding the internet industry to account need to be held to account themselves, because they only invest $6.4 million in the Child Exploitation Online Protection Center. That is not enough to deal with the tsunami of images. And the fact of the matter is, it's about finding the children in those images. That's the most important thing. And that's what's not being done.

FOSTER: Isn't it just a case, though, of taking these images down? I mean, that is a big part of it. I know you're saying there's more to it, but getting rid of the images is a big part of it. And surely those billions we were mentioning is a large enough sum to do that, or do you not -- are you a bit cynical about the figures?

GAMBLE: No. I mean, I think what the internet industry is doing, you know, led by Google in this case is great. They're investing some of their money. The problem is this isn't about, you know, getting images on Google. There are -- people are confusing adult pornography with child abuse images. The fact of the matter is, pedophiles watching the TV tonight will be laughing, because they don't use Google to find child abuse images, they are in the web and nesting in peer-to-peer sites. They're in the deep, deep dark web where they've used things like the onion router where they can hide.

You're not getting there via Google. These people don't need to get images that way. They create them by assaulting children, by raping and abusing them, by taking pictures and sharing it with their deviant community.

There are 10, 20, and 30,000 online at any one time using peer-to- peer.

FOSTER: So, in terms of the government regulation you want here, you're looking for the biggest investment on the policing side so they can then go to the source of these pictures?

GAMBLE: The police need an investment that will allow them to work across border, globally, to infiltrate these peer-to-peer sites so that they can identify and arrest the people who are the cause of this. The symptom is images, the root cause is pedophilia and the sex offenders that hurt our kids.

So let's applaud Google. What they're doing is great, but you know what, they've been doing that for years quietly in the background. The government have diverted the conversation either because they don't understand or they went to weather the media storm on this.

Real action is real investment in policing. And that means identifying, locating and rescuing those kids.

If you're a father, would you rather they block the image or find your child so that they were no longer being subjected to this nightly abuse and the ritual of being filmed and that being shared.

We're missing the point. And the prime minister's advisers are not expert in this field. They have a veneer like understanding. And this is a simple choreographed announcement by government to get us through a particularly difficult time, but it's not good (inaudible).

FOSTER: Jim Gamble, thank you very much indeed for your time tonight.

The latest world news headlines are just ahead. Plus, they are Brazil's biggest demonstrations in decades, so what's bringing so many protesters to the streets? We'll have a live report from Sao Paulo coming up.

And fighting for an education when everything seems against you. We'll bring you a preview of CNN's Girl Rising just ahead.


FOSTER: This is Connect the World, the top stories this hour. Washington has agreed to direct peace talks with its longtime nemesis in Afghanistan, the Taliban. The meeting is scheduled to take place on Thursday in Doha, Qatar. Just hours aerlier, NATO officials held a ceremony to hand over Afghanistan security duties to Afghan forces.

G8 leaders wrapped up their two-day summit in Northern Ireland without any concrete agreements towards ending Syria's civil war. They did call for a peace conference to be held in Geneva, but there was no mention of the future of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, or when that peace conference will take place.

You're looking at live pictures coming to us from Istanbul and the new type of protest underway there. Hundreds of silent demonstrators are gathered in Taksim Square. They're following the example of the standing man who remains like this in the square for hours on Monday night.

It's not been as quiet in Brazil, meanwhile. These are live pictures from Sao Paulo where more protests are expected in the coming hours. Demonstrations are fueled by anger over high taxes, corruption and government spending. Brazil's president has responded saying her government is committed to reforms.

Well, they are the largest protests in Brazil for more than 20 years, or around 20 years at least. On Monday, demonstrators took to the streets in cities including Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia. Thousands attempted to storm government buildings and rush the national congress building in the capital.

Shasta Darlington is live in Sao Paulo and joins us now.

These pictures, they seem very dramatic. How widespread are they? Give us a flavor of how big a protest this is in the conscience of the country?

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDENT: Well, Max. Right now this evening the main protest that's going to be in Sao Paulo, it's the only really big protest that's been called. It just started, so it's really hard to say where it's going to go from here, but certainly we expect thousands.

As you said, last night was -- we saw the biggest protests in Brazil in more than two decades. 200,000 people across the country in a number of demonstrations here in Sao Paulo alone 60,000 people took to the streets. And here, I have to say, the -- it's been a very positive, a very festive environment with people singing and chanting. And part of the reason is because the police want to show that they can handle these demonstrations.

Last week, there was a harsh crackdown. They cam under criticism. So they're really sort of taking a backseat and letting these demonstrators go wherever they want to go up until at least the moment they try and storm government buildings and then they do step in.

So this evening we're expecting again thousands more people. This time, we're in downtown Sao Paulo, kind of a seedy area as opposed to the financial district where things got started last night. We never know ahead of time where they're going to go. They just take to the streets and we have to run after them, Max.

FOSTER: And would you say this movement is building momentum, is it getting bigger very day?

DARLINGTON: Absolutely, Max.

This started as a student protest about 10 days ago when governments across the country decided to raise the bus and subway fares. So this really started as a very specific focused protest demanding that the government revoke that hike.

It's turned into something much bigger. We've seen workers, teachers, commuters just pouring in and showing their support also to denounce that police violence that we saw last week.

But what they keep telling us is they feel the government is no longer responding to their needs through high taxes, through transportation fares they're paying into a system that they say doesn't give them anything in return. And that's what we're hearing across all classes, across all sectors of society.

And what we don't know is whether or not this will sort of fizzle out like the Occupy Wall Street protests, or whether this has got legs to go someplace further, Max.

FOSTER: Shasta, thank you very much indeed.

So as Shasta said, what began as a protest against a hike in bus fares, has turned into a much larger issue.

It started more than a week ago over a 9 percent fare increase for buses and subways in Sao Paulo. Police used tear gas and rubber bullets in violent clashes and arrested at least 120 people.

It has since swelled into a broader demonstration against the government. Among other things, protesters are angry about the vast amounts of money spent on the World Cup when they say money is needed to improve health care, education and other social programs.

In a nationally televised today, President Dilma Rousseff said her government was listening to the people and was committed to social transformation.

For more analysis, I'm joined by protester and iReporter Fernando Jones and Brazil's deputy sports minister Luis Fernandes as well.

Let's start with you, Fernando, just tell us, try to explain exactly why you're protesting. Is the World Cup too simplistic a way of looking at it? Or you're talking about your economic lifestyle and the problems you've been facing?

FERNANDO JONES, PROTESTER AND CNN IREPORTER: It's all about national priorities. We want health. We want education. And we want all of that to FIFA (ph) standards, you know, we can't stand it anymore. It's like, you want to give us something that we actually deserve? We pay the highest taxes in the world, in the world it's like factual.

So why can't we have what we pay for? Why can't we have education? Why can't we have the health care we need? You know, there are people dying when I was there, there are federal hospitals that are being torn down so they can be rebuilt. They have been rebuilt in two years.

So where's all this money going to? You know, the Maracana Stadium in Rio, it took a billion (inaudible) to build it. And it was estimated for I think 400 million. You know, it's overspending. I don't know where they get all the money to go, you know.

FOSTER: Just to mention, though, the pictures that we're seeing of these large demonstrations right now on air, they're actually of Sao Paulo, whilst you're in Rio.

But perhaps there's something bigger here out of the government's control. Brazil had this booming economy for many years. And there's been a big bite into that this year and things are suddenly taking a turn for the worse. A link to the global economy, link to the American economy, and that does happen. You've had a good time and now it's going a bit negative. So it's not necessarily the government's fault.

JONES: Well, it's the government's fault if it takes 15 years to get to this point, you know. It's like, no one really -- no one really spoke out about this until this 20 cent thing for the fare hike, because nobody had the time to do it. And now the people are just fed up. It was the last straw, you know. It wasn't just eight years of this government or the other government, it was every government since 1994, you know. And people can't take it anymore.

FOSTER: Let's speak to the minister, there, Luis Fernandes. Thank you very much indeed for joining us.

You've got a real problem on your hands, haven't you, because this is a protest that started over a relatively small thing, a mundane thing some people would say. But it's tucked into a national nerve and suddenly got this sprout of opinion expressing itself in the most extraordinary way.

You've lost control of this now, haven't you?

LUIS FERNANDES, BRAZILIAN DEPUTY SPORTS MINISTER: I wouldn't place it at a loss of control. First of all, Brazil is a democratic country. And we recognize citizen's rights to freedom of expression. And that includes the right to organize whatever demonstration they want to organize in peaceful terms, to voice whatever grievance or demand they have.

So, first of all, I think it's a basic democratic right, it's a constitutional right that has to be respected.

I would like to separate the demonstrations which are peaceful demonstrations from acts of violence which are committed by a small minority. And the acts of violence have been condemned by the demonstrators themselves. So I would think that is part of our vibrant democracy.

FOSTER: As our reporter was saying in Sao Paulo today, there's quite an upbeat mood actually. And the police are standing back. You're talking about how you're listening to these demonstrators. It's pretty clear what they're saying. They're not happy with the way your government is handling the economy. So how, then, are you going to respond when they're talking about specific things -- schools, hospitals. You need to give them a response. You don't seem to be giving them anything specific.

FERNANDES: Well, first of all, I think the demonstrations up to now they have been very diverse. They started as a protest against hikes in transportation fares and also due to the quality of the transportation wasn't seen as good.

But they've taken on a huge array of items and topics without a clear focus. And they're directed not only against the state government or the city government which is responsible for the fares themselves of public transport, but they've taken up a number of issues related to topics that are in discussion in congress related to the role of media in Brazil, critical of the role of media in Brazil.

So there's a very broad array of questions and themes that are brought together by a thread of dissatisfaction with a number of issues.

So we have to listen to these demonstrations, to their messages, when they are organized peacefully -- that's part of our democracy -- and we have to try to incorporate those grievances into public policies, to deliver to these people.

So that's -- we understand this as the natural democratic process.

FOSTER: Let's talk about your specific brief, because the World Cup is something taht keeps coming up. As you say, it is a diverse range of concerns here. But it all comes down to the World Cup for many people, because the amount you're spending on that, and the Olympics is unacceptable when the country doesn't have the basic means of going about life, that's what they're saying. So how are you justifying these huge costs?

FERNANDES: Well, first of all, I'd like to qualify they. There's widespread support in Brazil among the population for our organization of the World Cup (inaudible) 2014 as well as for the Olympic Games in 2016. All opinion polls point into that direction.

I would say there's widespread support amongst the demonstrators themselves of Brazil hosting these events.

Now Brazil is a developing country. So what we have planned is to incorporate into the opportunity of organizing the World Cup and the Olympic Games, basic investments in infrastructure that specifically address a lot of the grievances that are being put forward by these demonstrations.

For example, for the World Cup, our budget is -- total budget for World Cup preparations are around 33 reals, that's close to $16 billion. The main item of investment of that budget is investment in public transport -- subways, bus systems. So that's addressing through the World Cup one of the main grievances that has been risen in these demonstrations.

And the same with health and education. There's absolutely no contraction between organizing a World Cup and investing in health and education.

On the contrary, the opportunity, the historical opportunity of organizing the World Cup have permitted us to step up investments in health, in education in a number of areas, very diverse areas. We've been investing in qualification of people that will be working in the tourist sector for the World Cup. We've already qualified more than 120,000 workers, manual workers. And we will -- and service workers that will be stepped up to 500,000 for the World Cup. I'm giving you just one small example.

But our basic of concern in the World Cup is to leave a lasting legacy for national and regional development in Brazil guaranteeing social economic and environmental rights to our people.

FOSTER: Minister, thank you very much indeed for joining us. We're joining us. We're just going to go back to Fernando now just to get your response from that. Because the World Cup will have an economic benefit. And you are going to see that. But it is a long-term investment.

JONES: Well, it's kind of a long-term investment if you look at it that way, but ask him what is the legacy of the Panamerican Games. Every single structure that was built practically for the Panamerican Games was destroyed for the Olympics. Nothing was reused, you know.

I don't see differences in education. I don't see differences in health. I can still -- you know, if they're being invested in, I don't see them. I only hear complaints. I only hear people say that their children are being put through school and they're being graduated illiterate, you know.

It is not...

FOSTER: What did happen to the investment in those games and the promises the government made around them?

FERNANDES: Well, basically I think there's a lot of misinformation around the organization of the World Cup and the Olympic Games. It's not true that the structures that were set up for the Panamerican Games as a whole are not being used for the -- will not be used for the Olympic Games. Just to give you two very concrete examples, one of the stadiums -- the athletics stadium that will be used for the Olympic games was built for the Panamerican Games and is now under scrutiny to correct some of the design problems that happen for the Panamerican Games.

The Maracana Stadium was used for the Panamerican Games and it is being used both for the Confederation's Cup and the World Cup and will be used in its new modern form for the Olympic Games.

Now the basic...

FOSTER: We do have to leave it there, but thank you very much indeed.

Also, Fernando Jones, it's a good debate. And thank you very much indeed for joining us. I appreciate your time.

Live from London, you are watching Connect the World. Coming up after the break, she's the first female CEO of one of India's largest banks, Chanda Kochhar tells us the secret to her success.

And she barely has access to the basics, but she's fighting for an education. We'll bring you the inspiring story of Sena (ph) as part of CNN's groundbreaking film Girl Rising.


FOSTER: Now let's introduce you to Chanda Kochhar. She is chief executive of India's ICICI Bank and one of the most powerful figures in the industry. Poppy Harlow has her inspiring story.


POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Mumbai, the financial capital of India, home to the country's major stock exchanges, brokerage firms, and banks, including ICICI Bank, headed by a woman named among India's most powerful business leaders.

Chanda Kochhar became ICICI's first female CEO in May 2009, right in the thick of the global financial crisis, not an easy time to be the boss of a bank.

(on camera): Let's go back to when you took over the helm at the bank. And some call it a baptism by fire for you. Was it?

CHANDA KOCHHAR, ICICI BANK CEO: Well, in a way it was. But I think what is really important at that time was communicate, communicate and communicate. And, you know, tell the people what our plans were.

HARLOW (voice-over): It was Kochhar's calm presence under pressure that many say helped reassure rattled customers and prevent a run on the bank.

If she's satisfied by that success, though, she's not showing it.

KOCHHAR: No, I think it's not correct to be, you know, ever satisfied and sit back and say that everything is done. I think it's important to celebrate your successes. It's important to feel happy about them. But it's equally important to look forward to the next big move.

HARLOW: You've been called extremely focused and poised under extreme stress. Is that true?

KOCHHAR: Yeah, that's true. That's true. And I think that is in a way the job of a leader, that is when there is stress the leader has to maintain all the poise, and the leader in a way has to be like a sponge that has to absorb the stress, because you know if you just allow the stress to filter through and pass to your team, then you're not doing a leader's job.

HARLOW: Kochhar is responsible for a bank with assets of $93 billion and more than 3,000 branches in 19 countries. All this for a woman who never dreamed of a career in banking. She gives credit to her mother for teaching her tenacity.

KOCHHAR: What we were told, and what I was told by my parents was that, you know, take this inhibition out whether you're a girl or a boy, basically pursue your dream, and as long as you are capable and a hardworking human being, you would be able to, you know, follow and fulfill your dreams.

HARLOW: Even with the challenges and uncertainty in these still economically troubled times, Kochhar says nothing scares her.

KOCHHAR: You know, two eyes are given for a reason. One eye to always look at the opportunities, the second eye to always keep looking at the challenges, because if you don't balance both, it's very easy to get carried away one way or the other. And it's when you balance the two that you find the most sustainable model.


FOSTER: Well, coming up after this short break on Connect the World, we're heading to Peru to meet Sena, a girl who is challenging cultural barriers in the fight for an education. We'll bring you a preview of CNN's Girl Rising just ahead.


FOSTER: When you have no access to the basics of life such as plumbing and sanitation, getting a good education may seem more like a luxury than a necessity. But that's what life is like in a small mining town in Peru. And it's even harder for girls trying to get to school. Hear a Peruvian writer shares her experience meeting Sena (ph), one of the girls featured in the new CNN film Girl Rising.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): My name is Sena (ph). La Reconada (ph), this is not a good place for kids.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: La Reconada (ph) for me was an absolutely breathtaking experience. I felt I was stepping back in history. Something very medieval about it. The misery of life, the lack of water and sewage. Education is really very low on the sense of priorities.

In the case of Sena (ph), her father was such an inspiration. He said don' be like me. I never stepped foot inside a school. You can.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I found out that my father was dying. I cried and I cried. And I told my mom, mom don't cry. I will succeed with or without my father.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In a place that is stark and ugly in so many ways, this child has such a great appreciation for words.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): My peom would be like an acrostic. It would be, "I dream of being an engineer. I'm excited to grow. I will never let my dad down. And I will never fall behind."


FOSTER: Well, Sena (ph) is currently enrolled in high school and on track to go to college.

You can see a special presentation of CNN Film's Girl Rising Saturday night June 22 at 9:00 in Hong Kong and 8:00 in London right here on CNN.

Here is what some of our iReporters had to say about girl's education.


MEERA VIJAYANN, NGO WORKER AND WRITER: (inaudible) despite coming from a small town where so many young girls like me face so much difficulty to just go to a school and get a good education. I still need my (inaudible)

ANDREA BARR, STUDYING TO BE A TEACHER; Do what pleases you, because only you can decide what is important to you. If I had not followed my own heart, I may not have ended up going to college to become an elementary school teacher with a concentration in math and may not have been happy with my career or life decisions.

OMEKONGO DIBINGA, MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER: So if you've been denied education throughout your life, don't be sad, don't be depressed, be motivated, because now is your time. This is the reason why girls are rising across the world, because we need you now more than ever. You are going to help us change and heal this world. So go out, get that education. It is your time to shine.

VERONICA LON, TEACHER: Hello. To all the girls out there, I want you to know that education is your right. You work hard for it. You acquire it. Once you have it, nobody can take that away from you.

VIJAYANN: Accept education, but embrace knowledge. Always be open to learning even if you are away from the classroom, because it's only then a world of opportunity opens up for you. And never, no matter how hard, stop trying.


FOSTER: Again, CNN Films showing that on June 22.

What do you think about all of this? The team at CNN and Connect the World wants to hear from you. Do go to to have your say. You can also tweet us at Becky's hashtag -- is that the right word? @BeckyCNN and @CNNConnect as well, of course.

So join the debate there.

I'm Max Foster, that was Connect the World. Thank you very much indeed for watching. Your headlines coming up.