Bundestag VP Claudia Roth:Women’s Rights,Global Feminism & Sustainable Development:Time for a Change


– Excellencies, colleagues, students, welcome and thank you for attending today’s
In Conversation event. The format of today’s event
is geared toward allowing plenty of time for
questions from the audience. I will introduce our special guest who will give initial
remarks on women’s rights, global feminism and
sustainable development. After which we will open up the floor for questions from the audience. So it is my pleasure to
introduce today’s guest, the honorable Claudia Roth, Vice President of the German Bundestag, the National Parliament of the
Federal Republic of Germany. As one of five vice
presidents of the Parliament, she represents the Greens, which stands on a platform. (cell phone rings) Nice music. Quite appropriate I think. The Greens stands on a
platform of ecological, economic and social sustainability. Ms. Roth comes from a
theater studies background. Having worked at several
theaters in Germany before managing the pioneering
German political rock band, Ton Steine Scherben, is
that correct pronunciation? I read German, but my
pronunciation is not very good. From there Ms. Roth went
to become a spokeswoman for the first parliamentary group of Alliance 90/The Greens
in the German Bundestag. This party was formed when the Alliance 90 from East Germany joined the Greens from West Germany after the
fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. A panel of which we are proud to have on display in our atrium. And thus she witnessed
both the rise of the party and helped to negotiate
the countries unification during this critical time. In 1989 she was elected
to the European Parliament and remained a member until 1998. Presiding the Greens from 1994 onwards. In 1998 she was elected
to the German Bundestag where she chaired the
newly formed committee on human rights and humanitarian aid until March 2001, when she was elected
chairwoman of the Greens. Between March 2003 and October 2004 she acted as commissioner
for human rights policy and humanitarian aid at
the Federal Foreign Office before being re-elected
as chairwoman of her party for five more two-year terms. She left the position in 2013. Subsequently she was
elected vice president of the German Bundestag, a position that Ms. Roth
has held since then. Ms. Roth, thank you so much for taking the time to visit us today. Our Qatar campus was established in 2005 as an additional location of Georgetown University
School of Foreign Service, and one of the universities
within the Qatar Foundation. Which itself the School of Foreign Service was founded 100 years ago in response to World War One, the
so-called war to end all wars. The role of our school
in the wake of this war, as envisioned by father Edmund Walsh was to prepare students
for all major forms of foreign representation in
the public and private sector, including in commercial, financial, consular and diplomatic fields. Following his vision we
believe that in a global world we have to have people prepared with historical and
cultural understanding, language competency, and business and economic understanding to make lasting ties between countries that will create peace and
stability in the world. Ms. Roth, one of the reasons
we find it so instructive to talk to top diplomats around
the world such as yourself, is that we gain a unique
perspective on the challenges and opportunities facing
policymakers today. Today’s world is so interconnected, the challenges we face are common, and so we must work together to try to find solutions
for these challenges. So thank you again for
speaking to us today, ladies and gentlemen please
welcome Ms. Claudia Roth. (audience applauds) – Doctor Dalal, most distinguished Dean of the University, students, guests, friends,
ladies and gentlemen, my dear ambassador. Many thanks for the
invitation to join you today, it’s an honor, it’s a pleasure to be here. I’ve just come from the inter-parliamentarian union assembly, I would call the United
Nations of parliaments bringing members of Parliament from all over the world together, almost from all over the world. This time not from Saudi
Arabia, not from Egypt, not from Bahrain, not from the Emirates, which we deeply regret
and don’t understand. This conference takes place
in a world in disorder. A world where souls who hold
the rule of law in contempt, the enemies of democracy, and the opponents of
equality and pluralism are growing not only
vocal but also stronger. A world which confronts us
with colossal challenges, a world where there are crises and conflicts wherever we look. A world where 263 million children and teenagers are not in school. And 70 million people
are displaced refugees, and internally displaced migrants. Despite that however, no, precisely because of that, we all have even more
of the responsibility to persevere in making
the world a better place. At our IPU gathering we
talked about the role of parliaments in our
respective political systems. We talked about the catastrophic impact of the ongoing climate crisis. We talked about the brutal war in Yemen, one of the most terrible humanitarian catastrophes in the world. We talked about the implementation
of the Paris Agreement, and how to reach the
sustainable development goals, which were agreed by us,
the international community. But we also talked about
equal participation and equal pay for women, and we talked about LGBTIQ rights. Many of these major social
policy challenges and issues, particularly affect your, I now speak to the students, your generation. And so I’m especially pleased to have this opportunity to speak with you and to discuss them together
with you here today. The word together is
especially important to me, because one thing is very clear. The answer to this difficult questions cannot lie in Germany, in
Europe or in Qatar alone, it can only be found
through global partnership. That however requires a highly
diverse array of players, parliaments and governments, a free and vocal civil society, activists, academics, universities, schools, students and students like you the makers of tomorrow’s world. They must all be able to participate because they all have something to say. Also it may not please the
people who are currently running the show in politics
anywhere in the world. We can see a very very good example of this in Europe right now, first in Sweden and now in countless other countries and cities across Europe, schoolchildren are
demonstrating every Friday under the Friday for Future hashtag. The movement was started by 16 year old climate activist
Greta Tunberg from Sweden, who was no longer willing to accept that also everyone is talking
about the climate crisis, not enough is being done to tackle it. What started as a protest
by a handful of youths, has now grown into a major movement that is putting pressure on
governments around the world and forcing them to justify themselves. These young people are demanding action, long overdue to stop the climate crisis. Because they say our future is at stake. Of course these students
have encountered hostility, they are put under pressure and are criticized for skipping school. Many adults act as if these young people should not be taken seriously, claiming that they are far too young to be doing something like this, and that they lack credibility. But perhaps these young people have a better grasp of the
situation than many adults. In any case, they have already succeeded in putting the issue of climate change, or better climate crisis, which is happening with increasing speed on the European and international agenda. And they have every right to do so. Because they, and by that I also mean
you here in this room, as well as every other young
person around the world, you are the first generation to feel the effects of climate change. At the same time you
are the last generation that can halt the
catastrophic climate crisis and limit global warming at
least 1.5 degrees Celsius. And that’s why you have every conceivable right to criticize and stand up, especially against the people who are blocking your path to the future. So if you have challenging, critical, perhaps even fundamental questions about the future, questions that you would like to ask the generations who placed
this future in your hands, this is only normal and natural. In fact, it is desirable
and certainly not something that should be prohibited
or punished in any way. So I am delighted that we
are engaging in dialogue, that we are coming
together on days like this, and that we are making time
in our very busy schedules to think about the fundamentals, about justice and equality. About tackling the climate crisis, and about the importance of
human rights in our world. That ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, brings us to the actual
topic of my speech. What I would like to do
today is offer you an insight into my standpoints as
a member of Parliament. Into my beliefs and
experiences as a politician. But above all as a feminist
and human rights activist. And I would like to start with
the really quite poetic words of the universal
declaration of human rights, which we, the international community gifted to ourselves exactly 70 years ago. According to Article 1, all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with
reason and conscious, and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. To my mind this is a
wonderfully powerful declaration of commitment that puts people and not governments or states first. It is a statement of commitment that emphasizes the universality, the inalienability and
indivisibility of human rights, and therefore the fundamental equality of every person on this planet. This and nothing less should be our goal. If anything we should
complete the statement, after all there’s nothing
to prevent us from invoking a spirit of sisterhood
as well as brotherhood. You see at least since the adoption of the universal
declaration of human rights, ending violence and discrimination, empowering women, girls
and marginalized groups has become more than simply a
fundamental issue of justice. It is an integral part of the canon of universal human rights. So when I stand before you today and talk about gender equality, it is not a token gesture, or appeasing on to other
supposedly more important issues, such as economy or defense. It is nothing less than a human right, for it goes without saying
that women are humans too. With the same claim to
the same rights as men. This however is far from being reality. Whether we are talking
about Qatar or the US, Bangladesh or Germany, women do not have equal
access to participation and co-determination to the same rights and resources as men. What is more for women, particularly in the global South, the impacts of hunger, and
poverty and armed conflict are especially severe. The effects of climate
change also hits women in these countries particularly hard. This is why we should ask
ourselves what must we do, how do we need to change our politics, our behavior, the actual understanding of ourselves in order to end this injustice, or these abuses once and for all. Let’s return in this context
to my earlier example, the international climate policy. With just one degree of
warming of our atmosphere, the climate crisis is
already a harsh reality in many regions of the world. Extreme weather events are
occurring much more frequently and with greater severity
than in the past. But the climate crisis also
means droughts or floods, like in Mozambique, in
Zimbabwe, in Malawi, like in Iran. It means species extinction. Like in Germany 80% of the
wild beasts disappeared. It means the invaluable loss of homeland, of cultures that are
thousands of years old. In my role as vice president
of the German parliament I recently visited several
regions whose survival is under threat from the climate crisis. Karibas an island state
in the Pacific island, like Fiji is at risk of vanishing beneath the waves of the Pacific, like the Maldives. In Bangladesh entire
stretches of coastline are being swept away
taking peoples livelihoods and life stories with them. Already six million climate
refugees or climate migrants. Vast swaths of Africa, we need look no further than
Tokyo or the Lake Chad region are already feeling the direct effects, partly because climate change is worsening existing conflicts over water, over land and over resources. We just spoke with the students, the Chad Lake had the
dimension of Germany, meanwhile the Chad Lake has
the dimension of Berlin. But there are millions of people around, where they are going to, to Sudan? What is Sudan doing? That’s a discussion and
problems we have to deal with. So when United Nations Secretary
General Antonio Gutierrez speaking at the conference
in the Polish city of Katowice last December
described climate change as a matter of life and death
he was not exaggerating. He was simply making clear the dramatic, the extreme nature of the reality. To reduce the risk of a predicted hot age, to achieve the United Nations target of keeping global warming
to 1.5 degrees Celsius immediate and ambitious action
is needed and long overdue. Yet the exact opposite is happening. According to experts we are
heading for global warming, averaging around 3.2 degrees Celsius above the preindustrial level. If that point is reached, if that point is reached
hundreds of millions of people all over the world will have
to leave their homes for good simply to survive. 30 million people, 30 million people have already been displaced by climate change today. And yet again it is the
developing countries and the least developed countries that are five times more vulnerable to this climate-related displacement than the industrialized nations. So the climate crisis is in many ways also a crisis of global justice. Indeed while the main
contributors to climate change are the industrialized
countries of the global North, including countries like China,
India and the Arab states, the most devastating impacts have been and will be felt mainly by countries and communities in the global South, by the very people that is who from an historical perspective bear least responsibility
for global warming. That however is not all. Within societies of the global South, The people who will be hardest hit are those whose livelihoods are based around natural resources and who have the fewest
options when it comes to coping with natural hazards, droughts, mudslides, floods or cyclones. In other words, the people who climate
change will hit hardest are those who lack adaptive capacities in the form of capital and resources, who have no access to defense mechanism, and who are already marginalized. Once again these people
and this closes my circle are by and large women. The statistics bear this out, more women than men die in
floods or heatwaves worldwide. Women have less access to information, so disaster warnings reach them later. The traditional gender-based
division of roles means that women spend more time at home in an emergency therefore they have to look after the children
and other family members as well as themselves and
I don’t need to tell you that it is far more
difficult for pregnant women, women with children and the
elderly to run for cover. Still there is another aspect to this, indeed the climate crisis
prolongs periods of drought Putting food security at risk. As a result women are spending more hours working in the fields, which means that they have
less time for education, for other paid work,
for political activity. Women are also having
to walk longer distances to fetch water or fuel, which means that they face a greater risk of sexual harassment, assault and rape. Finally, who stays behind in
the under provisioned regions when the men leave home as
a consequence of drought, soil Salinization and rising sea levels? Yes that’s right, women. Who are left behind to contend with growing social economic challenges. All of this leads us to one
conclusion dear friends, the climate crisis presents
challenges on a vast scale, particularly for women
and marginalized groups. On the one hand it reinforces
existing discrimination on the other hand this
discrimination itself result in women being particularly disadvantaged in terms of their adaptive capacities and their response to emergencies. It is a vicious circle which
we urgently need to break, we can only do so however if we recognize that climate policy cannot
and will not be successful without gender justice,
without equality for women. So this is my message today, if we want to improve
our strategic position, if we want to mitigate the
impacts of the climate crisis as effectively as possible, this cannot happen without equality. And it cannot happen
without women’s expertise, knowledge, women’s skills
and a female perspective. A feminist climate policy
therefore thinks big about these two areas. It involves women as well as men in negotiations and decision-making, and it systematically
addresses the question of how future decisions
or developments impact on women and girls. Because of course women’s
rights are human rights, because women especially
in the global South are particularly impacted
by climate change, because women at the
same time are key players in efforts to tackle the climate crisis, are agents in shaping sustainable change. Ladies and gentlemen, students, In all of this however the work starts as always in our own backyard. There is nothing wrong
with criticizing others for not doing enough
to protect the climate, to promote equality, to support our equitable
and sustainable development, but this criticism is only credible if our own policies lead by example. So let’s work together
in Qatar, in Germany, in Europe and around the world for coherent international policies that no longer turn a blind eye to the fact that our exports, our growth, our consumption are leading to poverty, the ruthless exploitation of nature and a lack of a future elsewhere. For that is exactly what happens when we decide not to Care
about the climate damage caused by our energy policy when we are not really bothered about the conditions
endured by the workers who make the clothes on our backs. When we tacitly accept that women still have fewer rights than
men all around the globe. Therefore, let us work
for international policies that actively promote gender justice, that include women and marginalized groups instead of perpetuating and reinforcing discriminatory structures. After all, society is more likely to achieve development progress if it embraces the opportunity for free and open debate about political, social and economic visions. If this is the case however, all key stakeholders must have
the chance to be involved, and that is not the reality at present. Also around 52% of the
worlds population is female, we still mainly find men in control in politics, business,
academia and the media. If only the male perspective
is represented however both in terms of the
people and the agenda, not only is this unjust, not only does it conflict with the universal and
indivisible human rights, not only does it (mumbles) affect reality, it also leads ultimately
time and time again from generation to generation to decisions which mainly benefit those who sit around the table. Men. Many women’s rights activists and feminists around the world, myself included, have therefore set ourselves a goal. We shall not rest until equal
participation is achieved. For me, though it is
not only about counting the number of women around the table, it is about ensuring that women count. That people find themselves
in the center of politics, not states or armies or companies, that we do not put our country
but human dignity first. That is what has always inspired me and many others to work
for a different politics. (audience applauds) And I am grateful for any support, however there is considerable resistance. I still recall very
vividly that when I was a German government
Commissioner for human rights, I often heard doubts and
objections being voiced, especially here in the so-called
Arabic or Islamic world, but also from the Vatican
and other parts of the world. These human rights I was
told are a Western concept, so they don’t apply to anyone else. In fact the opposite is true, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its follow-up resolution capture the essence of human dignity, and dignity transcends
any nation or culture. Dignity does not depend
on a persons gender, on their identity, on their sexual orientation, on their assigned origin. Dignity does not depend on
a persons income or faith. Human rights are rights that
every individual possesses simply by virtue of being human. No matter where they live, everyone has a right to food, everyone has a right to
a life without torture, everyone has a right to live in freedom. So it is not unlawful interference in a countries internal affairs for human rights
organizations to campaign, but only right and logical. It is only right and logical
for Amnesty International to argue for the release of (mumbles) and other good
friends in Saudi Arabia. It is only right and logical
to argue for the release of Nasrin Sotoudeh, one very famous prominent great human rights
lawyer in prison in Iran, and there are other examples. And I think it was important that the International
Labor Organization demanded that the rights of migrant workers on the construction site for the football or soccer World Cup in
2022 is fully respected. And you can see the progress, you can see that Qatar now meanwhile can be a role model and a
pioneer in the Gulf region, if for example, and I do hope it will happen, it already happened more or less, that the Kafala system is passed, it will make pressure on all the others. And this is important, this is important, and it’s only right and
logical to come back to our main topic for the Egyptian writer, Nawal El Saadawi to
emphasize that women’s rights and advocacy for them are universal. When she writes feminism
is embedded in the culture and in the struggle of all
women around the world. The logical consequence then is solidarity that transcends all borders. No movement, no country, no continent can achieve complete
gender equality on its own. Likewise, we will only
safeguard the survival of humankind on this
wonderful planet of ours if we take action together
against the climate crisis, against patriarchal
structures of exploitation, and if the advocate for a world
of gender justice together. We must stand together,
make our voices heard, share our knowledge, no matter how diverse the challenges at the local and at
the regional level are. And we must stand together
across all sectors, across all layers of society too, including the less well
off classes of society for the struggle against
discrimination and oppression cannot only be waged in
circles with some women already enjoy better conditions than many other of their
female compatriots. To me feminism is not something
that we should endorse and promote only when it
happens to be convenient, when it offers us some kind of advantage or does not involve much effort. To me feminism is the liberating vision of a world without
violence and oppression. A world where everyone can live in freedom from discrimination, a world where everyone is equal and can participate actively in society, and this ladies and gentlemen, friends, brings me to my final point. When I talk about everyone, when I talk about the liberating
vision for our society, this always involves much
more than gender issues. Put differently, feminism and its critique of the prevailing system
should not be reduced to a simple man versus woman dichotomy, because it does not go far enough. The color of someone’s
skin, their education, their sexual orientation and especially their financial status have a major influence on
their pathway through life and their experiences of exclusion. A Southeast Asian domestic worker experiences different
forms of discrimination than you do as female students
at Georgetown University. And as female students, you yourselves have different
experience of discrimination than your male classmate. What I am saying is this, everywhere in the world what we are dealing with in almost every case is a synchrony of multiple
forms of discrimination. And I also include my
country, I include Germany, women are excluded and treated
unequally in Qatar or Germany simply because they are women, but also in many instances
because they are poor, because they are from
a different background or from a different faith. Because they are disabled, young or old. That is why a progressive intersectional feminism as we call it sees women’s lack of empowerment as interlocking with other
forms of discrimination, and packages the major justice
issues of our time together. This is why it comes as
no or little surprise that it is often the feminists
who are most consistent in resisting the resurgence
of authoritarian, or nationalist or extreme
right-wing politics, racism and human rights
abuses in their countries. And that is often the feminists
who counter these abuses with policies based on justice, human rights and cooperation. These feminists then, and I say this quite
deliberately, are men and women, these feminists are men and women. The fact is, and this goes out
to the gentleman in the room, the fact is that you
don’t have to be a woman to know that the systematic discrimination against women in our society, the violence against women, the oppression of women are wrong. Man can and should campaign for equal treatment and
equal rights as well. There is nothing weak about
it, all to the contrary. Dear friends, dear students, Dean, there is one fundamental conclusion to be drawn from all of this, and it is this: our world, our society needs
radical structural change and it needs to come from us. Discrimination and exclusion
are the products of structures that have existed for centuries. So if we want to cure the symptoms, if we want to guarantee equal
rights for men and women, if we want to grant women
equal decision-making power in the family, in land
rights, in inheritance law, if we want to end other forms of discrimination and exploitation then there is much that we need to change And there is still a lot
of work for us to do. Particularly for you
and for your generation. I’m convinced however that a more diverse, and more just, a more peaceful world a world in which men and
women meet on equal terms is worth every effort. Thus, now more than ever self-confident and courageous voices are needed, especially women’s voices, to advocate for a
society in which everyone can live in freedom from
violence and oppression. Let me therefore appeal to
the students among us today, male and female alike, let us move forward together, learning from our diverse perspectives, from our different experience, let us show solidarity in our engagement for a more just and peaceful world. Above all though, let us
be honest with one another, voice criticism, ask questions, for only through dialogue can we build better mutual understanding. Except new viewpoints
and learn new lessons. So I am very excited about
the discussion with you all, and please don’t go easy on me. No, be open and honest, don’t hold back, after all dialogue and discussion are what universities are for. Before that however I
have one last request from an elder stateswoman to
you young students as it were. Please always take a stand, dare to embrace change trust yourselves to doubt and make mistakes, make your way through
life with a listening ear and an open mind with
an abundance of empathy. Take as much inspiration as many ideas and as much knowledge as
you can from your studies, and share your thoughts with others. Support each other, especially
those who need it most. Bring yourself and your
ideas to the table, for this world needs people like you. People who are smart who are visionary, it needs people who
challenge and criticize, who do so I hope with a feminist mindset. It needs young women and men with the courage to think differently, to step out of line, think outside the box, and it needs them now more than ever. In Germany, worldwide
and in Qatar of course, thank you very much. – [Natasha] Thank you Ms. Roth for gracing us with your presence here today. My name is Natasha and I am
a second year student here. You mentioned the critical-ness of youth empowerment to various views, such as women empowerment
and climate change, however would you not agree that there is actually something
that is quite idealistic, I really do appreciate your passion, but as a student, and I think many of my classmates
can also agree with me, coming from countries where we do not necessarily have democracies, we do not even have freedom
of speech in my country, what kind of leverage the
youth actually have then, what kind of influence can we really make, and how should we approach citizen engagement in that regard? – I don’t think that it’s idealistic to insist that we have to take action. It would be a crime really to say okay they don’t have democracy,
there is no civic society, let them continue like this, let us continue like it is. For example, to Tuvalu,
I met a person in Tuvalu, a former president of Karibas, Karibas is bigger than
Europe from the size, and he said, the former president, why don’t you build us an island, like Hong Kong is now
building a new island, and he said like, where is
it in Dubai, I don’t know, and the person of Tuvalu said no, because then you continue like
you did all the time before. So I do think our responsibility, especially together with
the developing countries, or the least developed countries is to support civic societies, to support the real development, to meet them on an equal level. Not to say we give them
a little bit of this, but really to help them
and to give them the means to do something against the
climate crisis that’s happening, in Bangladesh it’s really dramatic. If we have this 3.2 degrees then Bangladesh will no longer exist, and this is not idealistic or
romantic or something crazy, it is reality. And I think our task as human beings is to give this universal declaration the importance that it has. Very often one is
celebrating it in December, but it must be every day
it must be celebrated, so even in the least developed country children should have their
rights, should go to school, should have education. So I don’t think it’s idealistic, some might say it’s romantic, but I think it’s realistic. If we do not do anything in this world, then we have already lost. And yes it’s true what you say, it’s not only in some parts of the world, if I listen to the new
elected president of Brazil, sorry this is not democracy, it’s the fourth largest
democracy in the world, but the president is antidemocratic, he’s humiliating women, he’s ignoring the rights of indigenous. He wants to cut the rainforest, so he is a danger for the whole world if it comes to climate crisis. So I think if you would
say it’s idealistic, then be idealistic. If one would say it’s
romantic, then be romantic. I’m sure this is the most
realistic approach to this world. Once again Gutierrez said
it’s a question of surviving, whether we survive or not. And the basis of everything
I’m convinced is democracy. – [Student] Thank you Ms. Roth for the very inspiring speech. My question is that
what advice do you have for feminists who live
in patriarchal societies. When they go back to spread their message, how do they convince people
that feminism is a movement that does not necessarily have to happen at the expense of men, especially in the economic sector? – Yes, I think it’s a
very very good question, so I define feminism, what I said is its men and women. Because I think if it comes to economic interests or economic growth, I think no industrialized country, no country at all can have success without the competence of women. We have the best educated generation, we have very competent women, we have the best university
degrees of women. I hear it from teachers,
from university teachers, they say women are better than men. Okay, that’s sometimes easy, but it would be crazy if
our industry for example would say no, no, no we
don’t want to have them as a part of our industry
of our enterprises, and so we have a long
debate on introducing quotas to open doors for women
and Norway introduced a quota, it was 40%, but they were so successful, especially in the field of economy, that meanwhile they are more than 50, I think around 60% of women in the high levels of
also big enterprises. I think we must make clear
it’s in our own interest, it’s in a common interest, it’s not only our right as a woman, but it’s an interest, it’s in the interest of economy, but it’s also in the
interest of living together. Therefore I always think it should also be the fight of the men, that they think it’s a better life if we meet ourselves on the same level. If women are not considered
to be second-class. It takes quite a long time,
it takes quite a long time. I grew up in a rural area, and when I was 10 years old other parents, oh this girl, is it worth it to send
her to a high school, she will be married, so
it’s not worth it to do it. But it changed, it really changed, and we should take men in our arms, take them in their arms
and make them clear that it’s a better life and that we are all human beings, equal. Different but with equal rights, and in economy it’s quite clear, it’s quite clear that women are so good and that they have so many competencies, emotional intelligence, social competence if you would say it’s not
necessary you would lose, it’s always what we
are arguing in Germany, because we are really
behind, we are really behind, be it University, be it the economy, be it our Parliament. We have only 30% in our Parliament, this is really not good, it is bad, it’s very bad for the
atmosphere in the Parliament, is very bad in some committees
you have only a few men, but it’s important that also men are working in a committee for family, or for family, youth and family affairs, I don’t know exactly the title. But the only man in this
committee in the German parliament is a Green man, but it’s important that it’s also from the man perspective
one is discussing it, and it’s really a bad situation that we have less women
in the German parliament, with 709 members of Parliament, only 30%, its less than, we are now in the year 1998
and it is bad for the quality. We have to make clear that
it is our proper rights, yes, but it has also to do with quality. And also in politics and
the diplomatic field, and all the fields, in sports, we have wonderful representative
of sports in Qatar. So this is important, and
it’s also good for the men. – [Student] So thank you for your speech. You mentioned that most of climate change comes from the global north, and it’s true that large corporations have a larger role to
play in climate change. And without denying the individual action can cause a change, what do you think governments
can and have to do In regards to limiting the
power of large corporations to contribute to this large climate change that’s happening right now? – I think we had three years ago a really, really successful
conference in Paris. And only a few thought it
would have a positive end. Probably it was influenced, I was there, it was influenced by this
terrible terrorist attack where many people were killed in Paris, so the atmosphere was
not crying or fighting, other people were very touched. It was a very good atmosphere. And for example, I’ll
give you one example. He’s an actor, I don’t think
he’s a very good actor, sorry but I don’t think
that Schwarzenegger is a very good actor. And he is a member of the Republican Party in the United States of America. It was amazing how he
addressed this conference. It was really very, very important. He was so credible, he spoke about his grandmother in Austria, in the mountain area in Austria. He described the situation
in the mountain area, I’m coming also from a
mountain area in south Germany, and he described how there the situation is meanwhile changed. And then he said and now in California we have no water any more, we are running out of water, and on the other side of
the border it’s even worse. So this was very successful, and we have it, we have
the Paris Agreement, everything is in it. We will do it even more, we would ask for more as a Green party, but everything is on the table. But it’s not enough to discuss it, it’s not enough, you have to implement it. And the same successful multilateral agreement are the sustainable
development goals. And what is new and what is radical with the sustainable development goals is it’s not like the
millennium development goals which were addressed to
the developing countries, or the least developed countries, but the sustainable development goals asked us to start in our own backyard. So energy policy, use of water, which of course is a problem in Qatar. I can make speeches like
this but you need water, and it’s not so easy if you
want to have green areas, of course you need water. So I’m not here to finger-point, but we have to start, we have to start in our own background. And unfortunately many, many governments also parliaments did not understand that the sustainable development goals is not something the African countries have to do or to fulfill. Also in our meeting there are so many representatives of Africa. No, we have to do it, we
have to start with it. And it’s not only energy, it’s not only to phase out of coal, which is of course difficult if you have many people working in the field of coal, which is in Germany still a problem. But we have to phase out, if not how can we ask India or Bangladesh? The people in Bangladesh have
a right for economic growth, I spoke to the Prime Minister, and she said we have been
the least developed country, now we want to become a
middle income country, but we need energy. So how can we help a
country like Bangladesh not to build many, many,
many new coal plants, because the most modern
one is bad for the climate. So we have to start at home, we have to help others to mitigate, we have to help to compensate. But concerning for example the islands, the islands in the Pacific,
what can I tell these people? What can I tell the people of Karibas? The highest place in
Karibas is three meters. So when we went there our
appointments were only possible when one knew whether
the tide is high or not, if it’s high then the whole
island is over flooded. Three meters. If we have a warming of two degrees we are now on 3.2, the way of 3.2, but if we would have two degrees the water level would
raise by seven meters. So it probably, or realistically Karibas
probably will disappear, but what will happen to the people? All these questions we have to discuss. For example, the former
foreign minister of Australia, he said okay let them come to Australia, let them become Australians, we will give them the citizenship, they can become Australians. The people of Tuvalu told me,
but we are not Australians, we are the people of Tuvalu,
Tuvalu is our nation. So if we have to relocate as a nation, how can we keep our status
as being a citizen of Tuvalu? All these questions arise. You have a good friend here,
student, she’s from Sudan. What can I tell the ambassador of Sudan when he told me Mrs Roth
we are a poor country, we are a country with the
necessity of reconciliation, of political reforms. We want to become a country
with good infrastructure also on a political level. Can we receive millions
of people from Chad and from other regions in the Sahara. So this is our responsibility, and I’m really very disappointed what happened in the last conferences, in the last conference
in Poland, in Katowice because okay, there is now a rule book, we have now a rule book but
there was nothing decided what to do with those countries who are already affected
in the most terrible way. And what’s happening in Mozambique, what’s happening in Zimbabwe and Mali, it’s a natural catastrophe, it’s terrible. And it’s not only but also the
climate crisis contributed, so we have to be really responsible. Germany has to be responsible. It’s not only the energy question, it’s not only phasing out of coal, it’s not only having only
solar or wind renewable energy, it’s also the question how
do we deal with traffic, the traffic in the big cities. What are we doing? How can we contribute also
with our kind of mobility. What about agriculture? European agriculture is more
agra industrialized system, it has nothing to do with farming. So it is also contributing
to the climate crisis. So it’s a long, long, long story, and almost everything has to contribute. Also we have to contribute. But it would be very easy, there is one criticism towards the young, the children now in the streets, they always ask now in interviews, what is your personal contribution? Do your parents have a car? Did you go by plane to holidays? Of course you can try your utmost, but the main responsibility does not lie in the families of these children, but it’s the structure, the international structure
and the national structure, it’s our economy, our way of living. – [Man] Thank you very much I don’t like to speak in details because of time, But you made a lot about
what sustainable development and global warming, but you forget something which must be adopted in the APU. This which I call satanic
swap between sales of arms to our poor
countries to make prosperity and jobs in the advanced countries, and destroy our countries. Instead of sending to
us technology machines to enhance living standards that we can get rid of terrorism
and illegal emigration. The second thing, why you support advanced countries our dictator’s totalitarian regimes which killing us by sending to them and selling to them equipment of torture. (mumbles) – Not myself, but others. So Ali can you please send
him my speech in the IPU, because exactly that what
you said in other words. I think we should fight
against the causes, I did not speak about the reasons why 70 million people
are already refugees, and why more and more people don’t have a perspective in their home countries. But I spoke about this in the IPU meeting, and I said let’s start with the causes and not fight the refugees. And point number one was arms export. Be sure. And we have a vital debate in Germany, a vital debate, and I’m sure that the
majority in my country and it is not all Greens are against sending weapons
for example to Saudi Arabia. Providing a country with weapons, or any country with weapons who are participating in terrible wars. Like in Yemen or in
other parts of the world. We have strict rules that German arms should not be sent in regions where crisis already or reality. In countries where human
rights are violated. So if our government, now I’m criticizing the government. Governments, I criticize all the government
where the Greens were part, to countries like Turkey
where human rights are systematically violated, then we should not, normally we are not allowed to
send arms to these countries. You are right, arms
export is very malicious, it’s very bad. The problem is that we have meanwhile that arms have now, not only the German citizenship, but also the French and the British, so they are projects and cooperation’s, and we are stronger than the others. So be sure I fully agree that with arms exports
you also be responsible, not the only responsible, but
co-responsible for conflicts. But it’s not only arms export, it’s a kind of agricultural
idea in the European Union, which is producing for example
chicken, chicken, chicken, many more chicken than we can
eat in the European Union, and the parts we do not eat any more, or are no more attractive
in the European Union in our households, we send for example to
Ghana at a very low price, and these low-priced chicken we destroy the regional farmers in Ghana. And then we are criticizing
people to leave Ghana because they don’t have a perspective. So this is also in my speech I will deliberately send it to you, I did it in the name of
the German delegation. And the trade relation, we are arguing since quite a long time that we need fair trade, fair trade, not war on trade and things like this. You are right. But of course there’s also the necessity that in many, many countries there must be democratic reforms, there must be a recognition of
declaration of human rights, of international law. We are co-responsible, but not the only.

3 thoughts on “Bundestag VP Claudia Roth:Women’s Rights,Global Feminism & Sustainable Development:Time for a Change”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *