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War of Words at U.N.; U.S. Blames Russia for Syria Convoy Attack; Syrian War Fueling World's Migrant Crisis; Pulling African Continent into the Global Trade Market; Giving Peace a Chance. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired September 21, 2016 - 14:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:05] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN "Breaking News."
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Live from New York, as Columbia's leader marks International Peace Day by presenting his historic peace deal
with FARC rebels to the United Nations, a possible war crime over bombing a U.N. aid convoy in Syria as the United States blames Russia for
deliberately targeting it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: I quote, "Neither Russian nor Syria conducted air strikes on U.N. humanitarian convoy in the southwestern
outskirts of Aleppo." That's a quote.
Anybody here believe that?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: I speak live to the head of "Save the Children," the former Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning Schmidt.
And pulling the African continent into the global trade market. My interview with the host, the former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg and
Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.
Good evening and welcome to the program, live from the United Nations.
Hopes for peace in Syria are slimmer than ever on this International Day of Peace. After four medical workers were killed in an air strike on
yet another clinic near Aleppo last night. Officials said the strike looked deliberately targeted.
This after the apparently deliberate destruction of a U.N. aid convoy and a warehouse, which killed 20 people.
The United Nations says this could amount to a war crime. And the U.S. has blamed it on a Russian air strike, which led to a heated war of
words inside the Security Council between the Russian foreign minister and the U.S. Secretary of State.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: I think we need to refrain from emotional reactions and make comments immediately, public comments,
but first to investigate and be very professional.
KERRY: I listened to my colleague from Russia, and I sort of felt a little bit like we're sort of in a parallel universe here. When you sign
up to a ceasefire and you don't adhere to it, what kind of credibility do you have?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Joining me now to discuss all of this is the head of "Save the Children," Helle Thorning Schmidt.
Welcome to the program.
HELLE THORNING SCHMIDT, FORMER DANISH PRIME MINISTER: Thank you very much.
AMANPOUR: I mean, here we are outside this August Building, and it's really a slinging match in there, it's a real war of words over the
destruction of this aid convoy.
What do you think happened? Do you believe that it was deliberately targeted?
SCHMIDT: Well, first of all, today, I'm completely outraged with that. We are all outraged at "Save the Children," and I think I speak for
all charities globally to say that this is outrageous and it should not happen.
Just over the last few days, we have seen that 18 aid workers are killed. Five last night. These are people who are medical staff. They
thought it was safe to go in and try to help their fellow citizens with supplies, food supplies, medical supplies, services. They are no longer
And if this is true that this has been deliberate targeting, aid workers, or schools, or hospitals, this could be amounting to a war crime.
This is a serious as it can get and it should not happen.
AMANPOUR: The U.N. Secretary General, who is outgoing now, is not known for very emotional outbursts. But he really was angry. He talked
about, you know, Syria and whoever was responsible of this, having blood on their hands.
He talked about the failure of the international community that this whole idea of Syria hangs by a thread right now.
I mean, you're a former prime minister. What is it about world leaders that they haven't been able to get a grip on this issue?
SCHMIDT: What you get today in the discussion is truly shock. We are completely shocked. There was a glimmer of hope last week. We thought
maybe there was a ceasefire. Maybe we can get that much-needed help into the people who have been without help for months in there including many,
many children. So there was that glimmer of hope.
And we are equally disappointed, saddened, by what is happening now. And what world leaders are trying to do in here is to get that ceasefire
coming back. Revived somehow. Get planes to be grounded. So with that we can help these children, these people that are trapped inside Syria.
AMANPOUR: Tell me about the grounding.
SCHMIDT: Well, Kerry has today suggested that planes should be grounded. This is something that we from "Save the Children" would
support. Because the most important thing is to understand that when we cannot get in with this help, millions, hundreds of thousands of people
will be suffering including many, many children.
These are people that there's an outbreak of meningitis we are getting told. They need medicine urgently. We are hearing from health staff that
there's actually bombing of health facilities inside Syria. And they have seen, just the last days, they have been busier than ever in trying to deal
with this. The situation is very, very serious.
[14:05:11] AMANPOUR: This was a U.N. aid convoy that was attacked. I believe under the auspices of UNICEF, particularly for the children.
AMANPOUR: The one that was attacked a couple of days ago.
What does that do to "Save the Children" and other NGOs and humanitarian organizations?
I mean, do you have any hope of going where U.N. can't go?
SCHMIDT: Well, we have worked with partners for quite a long time inside Syria. Fantastically brave people who are literally risking their
lives to bring help to fellow Syrians in Aleppo and other places that really need it.
Now some of them have died, and we have to respect that this is not a right way to do things. They thought they were safe. They thought they
could deliver this help. And as I said, if this is deliberate, this is amounting to a war crime.
And I believe we should start an investigation as soon as possible to find out who did this and who ultimately is responsible.
AMANPOUR: Tell me if you like a little of the humanity.
What stories are you hearing, I don't know, about the desperately needy children? About the mothers, the fathers. Those people -- what do
SCHMIDT: Well, just the other day, a few days ago we got a call from a teacher in Madaya, who is saying that it looks like there's an outbreak
of meningitis. She thinks she might have meningitis herself. We all know what happens if we don't get that medicine in. That could actually mean
that many people could die.
So what we know for certain is that if this ceasefire doesn't come back very, very soon, it will cause many people to die. And, of course,
immense suffering for hundreds of thousands of people trapped inside Syria.
AMANPOUR: I spoke to the queen of Jordan yesterday, and she said that we certainly in that part of the world, we had hoped that the pictures of
these desperate children, like the boy in the Aleppo ambulance that shocked the world in August, like Alan Kurdi, a year ago who turned up this little
boy dead on the seashore, that this would galvanize the world, mobilize the world. But it just doesn't seem to have done.
Yes, we grieve. Yes, there's outrage. But it hasn't really galvanized a sea change.
SCHMIDT: But it should and it did last week. There was a glimmer of hope, and we in "Save the Children," we're just urging world leaders to
understand, that these children, children that are fleeing and are displaced, they have no government to represent them. They have no one who
will guarantee their shelter, their protection, their safety. And that is why it is urgent that world leaders understand they have to come together
and provide just that.
The safety, the shelter, the education, the future to these children. So again, they have no one to represent them. This is why we have the
U.N., and I urge them again to try again, come back together. And at least stop the planes from flying in Syria. That's the first step to making sure
that aid workers are safe.
AMANPOUR: And let me put your sort of elected politician, your prime ministerial hat on. Because you've seen what's happening to a lot of your
colleagues in Europe right now.
You know, the grand dam of the welcoming of the refugees.
AMANPOUR: The German chancellor, Angela Merkel has paid very dearly in local elections.
Even, you know, we saw quite a shocking headline in the "New York Times" just a few weeks ago in Denmark.
You know, some people saying, "I hate to admit it, but I'm feeling a little racist now."
You know the pressure of the Syria war spilling out in terms of refugees and this fear of foreigners, the xenophobia that it's stirred up.
How would you, as a prime minister, how political leaders to deal with this?
SCHMIDT: Well, there is a nervousness in Europe, and I know that firsthand, of course. And that's why we have to step a little bit back.
We have to look at the pictures we are seeing inside Syria. And we have to understand that that is what people are fleeing from.
Some people are staying mainly because they can't get out. That's what they're fleeing from. And that puts an enormous responsibility on us
to come together as European leaders and find solutions. But perhaps first and foremost to remember that these are children. These are children.
They have had nothing to do with this war. And suddenly they find themselves trapped in something they don't understand. A future that just
It is our task to protect them. It is not only because it is the law and legislation that we should protect them. It's because it's our moral
responsibility as well. And right now, we're not doing enough.
AMANPOUR: Well, you say that. In fact, you're right. The U.N. International Law demands that governments give refuge to those who are
fleeing for their lives in war and other such crisis.
You've been at meetings here now with the prime minister of Canada. Again, I spoke to him this week. He has shown a different paradigm. He's
actually shown that you can immediately welcome thousands, 25,000 he did, as a matter of course, and people in Canada are clamoring for their Syrian
refugees. In other words, they're the opposite of afraid. They're the opposite of xenophobia.
Isn't it up to political leaders to sell this as well?
[14:10:11] SCHMIDT: Absolutely. I was in Canada just last week, and spoke to the prime minister as well. And they have had a different
discussion in Canada than the one we're seeing in Europe.
It has to be said that they have less control of who's coming in Europe, and I think that's part of the discussion. But there is lots of
willingness in Europe as well to understand particularly children's needs and understand that we have a moral obligation. So I urge world leaders to
come together, European leaders to come together to understand that. And also understand what happens if these children don't have shelter, don't
have protection, don't have education, are we then not creating new problems for ourselves in the future, in terms of security risk if these
children taken from their homes, having to fleeing their homes, again have taken their future away from them?
So I would also argue that it is in our interest, in everyone's interest to provide the shelter, the protection and the education for
children who are, who are fleeing.
AMANPOUR: Well, we hope your message gets through and they're listening back there where they can effect change.
SCHMIDT: I hope so, as well.
AMANPOUR: Helle Thorning Schmidt, thank you very much indeed.
SCHMIDT: Thank you for having me.
AMANPOUR: The head of "Save the Children" there.
Now amid the horror that is Syria, New York is reminding everyone of another side of its historical beauties. The model reconstruction of
Palmyra's triumphal arch has arrived in this city now after visiting London in Trafalgar Square back in April.
When we come back, stitching the world together, one trade deal at a time.
Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg joins me along with the U.S. Commerce secretary.
Why they are hosting the U.S.-Africa business forum? That's next.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program, live from outside the United Nations.
World leaders there seemed plummet by the groundswell against globalization as the former mayor and billionaire businessman Mike
Bloomberg says, "Here in the West, it is becoming fashionable to blame economic pain on free trade."
That's a mistake, he says, because in fact, it is the key to jobs and growth. So he's doubling down, inviting African leaders to a special
forum, where U.S. President Barack Obama called for more economic partnerships with the continent.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Wherever I've gone, from Senegal to South Africa, Africans insist they do not just want aid,
they want trade. They want partners, not patrons. They want to do business and grow businesses.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So I sat down with summit host Mayor Bloomberg earlier along with his co-host, the U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker to see
what precisely they have in mind.
AMANPOUR: Mayor Bloomberg, Secretary Pritzker, welcome to the program.
Let me ask you because here we are in this beautiful Palm Court at The Plaza and you are hosting African heads of state.
What keeps you up at night regarding trade engagement, why Africa? First to you, mayor.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, FORMER NEW YORK MAYOR: Well, Africa is 1.2 billion people. The size of India or China, roughly. But the land mass, you can
take the entire United States, all of China and all of India and then you've got Africa.
So you have a feeling for what the potential is, raw materials, and numerous number of people who are starting to move up the economic ladder.
It's one of the real markets of the future. And you have to be there.
[14:15:15] AMANPOUR: And why don't we know more about that? Why is Africa just sort of named as one big continent. It's so diverse. It's so
rich. And yet it's always considered, I'm sorry, a little bit of a basket case?
What is the real story as you see it? Why are you engaged as the United States?
PENNY PRITZKER, U.S. COMMERCE SECRETARY: Well, there's enormous opportunity. If you look, you've got three of the 10 fastest growing
economies. You've got a growing workforce. You've got growing wages. And so that's what we're doing here with the U.S./Africa Business Forum.
It's bringing together heads of state with 200 CEOs from the U.S. and from Africa to begin to continue to develop that network. So there's
growing investment, growing engagement. Because the Obama administration has made it a priority to continue to deepen the economic ties between the
United States and Africa. That's extraordinarily important effort.
AMANPOUR: You hear, I've noticed the speakers, some of them are newly elected, Democratic leaders. Others are in more of your authoritarian
vein, let's say.
The president of Egypt, Sisi is going to be here. I think he's going to address this.
Tell me what business likes. Some say business likes authoritarian. Others say no, you need more Democrat. You need rule of law for business
BLOOMBERG: Business likes stability and predictability. It would be better I think if it's democratic. Because long-term, that's the direction
you're going in.
Autocratic regimes tend not to last all that long. Although some of the democracies there haven't done all that well.
I think you've got to understand from a political point of view, it's very difficult to have a democracy when you don't have a long history of
We're very proud of our democracy being able to withstand almost anything. But it wasn't that way when it was founded. And if you go
around the world, you take a look at the Middle East right now, we're trying to push democracy on cultures, it would be great if they could
absorb it and adopt it. But unless you have the sense that if I lose the election, I'll come back and fight in the election four years later, rather
than if I lose the election, I'm going to try to tear the country down. That's the difficulty. And Africa will learn.
AMANPOUR: And what about, you know, further to this issue. Africa does have a very good growth rate.
Again, it's not a story that's often told outside of Africa or outside the narrow sort of business community. But the notion of authoritarian
regime, which keep power to themselves, and not only that, give the power and the economic power to the state, the crony kind of capitalism, how do
you bust through that when you have this captive audience here today.
PRITZKER: We're spotlighting at the U.S./Africa Business Forum three countries, one is Cote d'Ivoire. Fast-growing, has embraced reform. Very
Nigeria, struggling economically right now, but their president is really going after corruption and they've made a budget that's very much
focused on infrastructure. They realized they cannot diversify their economy away from oil unless they invest in their infrastructure. And then
Tunisia, an extraordinary story. 2011, really embraced democracy. But is also made tough economic reforms, really revamped their entire banking
systems and just in the last week has passed an investment code that makes an attractive place for foreign, direct investment.
Three different stories. Very interesting opportunities within Africa.
AMANPOUR: We were told, the world was told that globalization was going to be the cure-all for everybody's economic ills. Obviously, it has
raised so many people out of poverty, put so many people into the middle- class around the world.
What do you believe as politicians and as leaders, has gone wrong? Why is it in your words fashionable these days to oppose free trade, like
the TPP and globalization?
BLOOMBERG: I think you've got to differentiate between fashion and fact. The truth of the matter is while globalization does distort the
economy so somebody may lose a job over here. And two jobs are created on the other side over here. You have to feel sorry and help the person who
lost their job.
But net-net, it's not globalization that's our problem. Our problem is technology. And it means more and more the spoils go to the better
educated and our school systems are falling back rather than going forward. So that's not good.
But it is the fact that machines can do things, can give you better consumer goods, but replace a lot of labor.
And you can see that in stores, the Amazon effect. In New York City, there's lots of empty stores. People are going and buying online. You can
see that if driverless cars and trucks come along. You'll put an awful lot of particularly long-haul truck drivers out of work.
[14:20:06] We phrase it as globalization, because it's a good political thing. But the truth of the matter is desperately needs more
globalization and more trade for America as technology kills jobs.
AMANPOUR: And that is not the story, though, that Donald Trump is telling to the American people.
BLOOMBERG: Or Hillary Clinton.
AMANPOUR: Or Hillary Clinton, who did support TPP.
AMANPOUR: And under pressure from the left and the right, has sort of, has sort of backed off.
But the numbers show that median and middle-class incomes are going up. So -- it's happening.
PRITZKER: It's starting to happen. But we've gone for a very long time where incomes have been flat. And so the fact that they're rising is
very important and good news. But we have to recognize, we have ground to make up, which is very important.
I think the thing to keep in mind about trade, whether it's trade between the United States and Africa, TPP, what's important is the United
States has to lead. We cannot simply rely upon our military or our diplomatic strength or aid. We also have to build upon our private sector
and our commercial presence around the world.
The United States has massive presence. It's well-received. It's well-regarded. Our companies -- I haven't been in over 40 countries around
the world. I have yet to meet a leader who doesn't want more U.S. company investment. More U.S. influence in their country.
AMANPOUR: You have said, Mr. Mayor, that if Donald Trump runs the country as he ran his business, God help us all.
BLOOMBERG: Did I say that?
BLOOMBERG: I did say that.
Look, number one, when you run for office, sadly a lot of people, I'd like to think I never did, but a lot of people say things which they think
will play well with the voters, but which they know that they couldn't possibly implement. They know would be bad for the country and have no
intention of doing once they're in office because then they would bear the burden of a policy, which makes no sense whatsoever, but sounded good on
AMANPOUR: So you think his policy makes no sense?
BLOOMBERG: Well, it makes it to not have trade makes no sense whatsoever. And in all fairness to Obama, he's working very hard to try to
get TPP passed. Maybe we can get that done before the next president.
AMANPOUR: Do you believe it will happen?
BLOOMBERG: I don't know. It's tough lift, but the president is working on it. I was down in Washington. He put together a group to try
to get us to explain to people why TPP is terribly important.
If we don't do TPP, all these countries that we worked with, and who bet their careers on us, will now have to make a deal with China. And
we're going to be left out. And I can only hope that whether it is Trump or Clinton, once they get in office, they will change.
It's disappointing that Hillary has changed her mind. It's disappointing that Donald feels that way as a business person. He should,
I think, know better.
We have to export. And we need to have products from around the world for our citizens. And you don't do those two things if you turn yourself
off, if you close your borders.
In the end, we want to take care of our own families. And so we look for people who have similar values, similar economic status and education
levels and that sort of thing. And sadly because of history here, there's an awful lot of people who did not get an education, don't have
opportunities and that's the challenge that we have to bring them up. Not bring everybody else down.
AMANPOUR: Mayor Bloomberg, Secretary Penny Pritzker, thank you very much for joining us.
AMANPOUR: And when we come back, we turn away for a minute from the numbers, the dollars and cents, and we turn towards people in a world
racked by war.
We imagine a world where peace is possible and the people who are reaping the benefits. That's next.
[14:26:10] AMANPOUR: And, finally, today the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon rang in International Day of Peace in the gardens of the United
While in Assisi, Italy, the Pope brought together religious leaders from Islam, Judaism and Christianity to pray for peace. Now imagine after
half a century, prayers actually delivering peace.
As we mentioned earlier in the show. Both sides in Columbia's vicious war that pitted government forces against the FARC Marxist guerrilla's are
giving peace a chance.
Presenting that gift to the United Nations, which was set up to actually end wars, here's President Juan Manuel Santos.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUAN MANUEL SANTOS, COLUMBIA'S PRESIDENT (through translator): After more than half a century of internal conflict, today, I return to the
United Nations on the International Day for Peace to announce with all the strength in my voice and in my heart, that the war in Colombia has ended.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And with that, literally comes the promise of new life. Not just because thousands will no longer be killed in conflict, but also
because the women of FARC will now be allowed to have children again.
Pregnancies have been largely banned for years because babies did not fit into the guerrilla lifestyle. Now because of the peace deal, Tatiana,
the female fighter that you're seeing right now will be able to carry and raise a child. She's also reuniting with her first-born, a son whom she
hasn't seen in 15 years because the war kept them apart.
That's it for our program tonight. Remember, you can always listen to our podcast, see us online at Amanpour.com and follow me on Facebook and
Thanks for watching and good-bye from the United Nations in New York.