Stewart M. Patrick

The Internationalist

Patrick assesses the future of world order, state sovereignty, and multilateral cooperation.

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Podcast: The Next Director-General of the World Health Organization

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan leaves the podium after her speech at the sixty-ninth World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, on May 23, 2016. World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan leaves the podium after her speech at the sixty-ninth World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, on May 23, 2016 (Denis Balibouse/Reuters).

The following is a guest post by my colleague Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations.

The term of the current director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) ends around July 1, 2017. The leadership transition comes at a pivotal moment for global health and the WHO itself, given criticism over the agency’s handling of the West African Ebola epidemic, its years-long “reform” process, dwindling finances, and the growing threat of Zika virus. This election also marks a departure for the WHO: amid calls for a more democratic election process, the WHO executive board will narrow the field to three candidates, to be voted upon through secret ballots by the May 2017 World Health Assembly, the organization’s decision-making body consisting of all 194 member states. Read more »

International (Non-)Cooperation in a Changing World Order

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
U.S. President Barack Obama extends his hand to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 28, 2015. U.S. President Barack Obama extends his hand to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 28, 2015 (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters).

The following is a guest post by Terrence Mullan, program coordinator of the International Institutions and Global Governance program at the Council on Foreign Relations. Read more »

Somewhere Beyond the (South China) Sea: Navigating U.S.-China Competition in Southeast Asia

by Stewart M. Patrick and Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
Philippine Military Academy cadets leave their boat and go ashore during a joint field training exercise at a training center south of Manila, the Philippines, on May 29, 2013. Philippine Military Academy cadets leave their boat and go ashore during a joint field training exercise at a training center south of Manila, the Philippines, on May 29, 2013 (Romeo Ranoco/Reuters).

Coauthored with Daniel Chardell, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program at the Council on Foreign Relations.

As the international tribunal at The Hague prepares to issue its much-anticipated ruling on the legality of China’s claims to nearly the entire South China Sea, Beijing and Washington have already begun lobbing rhetorical shots across the bow. “We do not make trouble but we have no fear of trouble,” warned a senior People’s Liberation Army official at the Shangri-La Dialogue earlier this month, in reference to U.S. freedom of navigation operations (FONOPS). U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, for his part, cautioned China against “erecting a great wall of self-isolation” as it continues to construct, expand, and militarize artificial islands in the disputed waters over the objections of its Southeast Asian neighbors. Read more »

Multilateralism is Hard to Do

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
U.S. President Barack Obama addresses attendees during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. Headquarters in New York, September 28, 2015. (Mike Segar/Reuters) U.S. President Barack Obama addresses attendees during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. Headquarters in New York, September 28, 2015. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

The following is a guest post by Naomi Egelresearch associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program.

From the lack of any substantial outcome at the World Humanitarian Summit to the failure to reform the UN Security Council (or even the World Health Organization), multilateral cooperation often seems more an aspiration than a reality today. To assess looming challenges to the liberal world order and how the United States should respond, the International Institutions and Global Governance program last month cohosted the Sixth Princeton Workshop on Global Governance. The conclusions were far more somber than last year’s event, where participants anticipated that international cooperation might get messier, but would surely continue. This time around, the assembled academics and policymakers fretted that rising geopolitical competition abroad and surging domestic populism posed grave threats to multilateralism. Read more »

Let the Sunshine in: Increasing Transparency in UN Elections

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
A United Nations flag flies on a mast at their European headquarters in Geneva. (Denis Balibouse/Reuters) A United Nations flag flies on a mast at their European headquarters in Geneva. (Denis Balibouse/Reuters)

The following is a guest post by Megan Roberts, associate director of the International Institutions and Global Governance program at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Sunlight is the best disinfectant, or so the saying goes. While New York and Washington, DC, have been drenched with rain over the past month, the sun is beginning to shine again in both cities. Light is also beginning to shine inside the United Nations, at least when it comes to high-level appointments.  For the first time, the next UN secretary-general (SG), director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), and nonpermanent members of the Security Council will all be selected through more transparent procedures. Read more »

World Humanitarian Summit: One Small Step in a Long Journey

by Stewart M. Patrick and Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon shake hands following the closing news conference during the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, May 24, 2016. (Murad Sezer /Reuters) Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon shake hands following the closing news conference during the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, May 24, 2016. (Murad Sezer /Reuters)

Coauthored with Theresa Lou, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program at the Council on Foreign Relations.

The first-ever World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) concluded this week in Istanbul with mixed results. Although a few significant initiatives emerged, including on financing and education, the summit made little headway on other urgent priorities. These include mobilizing a new crop of humanitarian donors, ensuring compliance with the 1951 Refugee Convention, and getting states to uphold international humanitarian law, including the safety of relief workers. Progress on these fronts will await the opening of the seventy-first session of the UN General Assembly in September, when world leaders convene for real intergovernmental negotiations. The Istanbul summit was merely the first step in mobilizing global attention and political will on the need to rescue a world in flight. Read more »

Why the State of the World Is Better Than You Think

by Stewart M. Patrick and Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
A podium is pictured at the World Climate Change Conference (COP21) is pictured in Paris, France, on November 29, 2015. A podium is pictured at the World Climate Change Conference (COP21) is pictured in Paris, France, on November 29, 2015 (Christian Hartmann/Reuters).

Coauthored with Megan Roberts, associate director of the International Institutions and Global Governance program at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Given global headlines, you might think the world is terribly off course. Geopolitical rivalry threatens stability from Eastern Europe to the South China Sea. Jihadi terrorists sow mayhem throughout the Middle East. A scary virus emerges in Latin America, spreading across borders. A Brazilian president is brought down, as the Panama Papers expose corruption in other lands. Publics everywhere, alienated by yawning inequality and anemic growth, vent their frustration at a system rigged for moneyed elites. Populist politicians, sensing the sour mood, promise to reverse globalization by building walls to keep out foreigners and abandoning trade agreements. Read more »

Thy Neighbor’s Keeper: Improving Global Humanitarian Response

by Stewart M. Patrick and Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
Migrants and refugees sit on a railway track at a makeshift camp at the Greek-Macedonian border near the village of Idomeni, Greece, April 3, 2016. (Marko Djurica/Reuters) Migrants and refugees sit on a railway track at a makeshift camp at the Greek-Macedonian border near the village of Idomeni, Greece, April 3, 2016. (Marko Djurica/Reuters)

Coauthored with Theresa Lou, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program at the Council on Foreign Relations.

A record-setting sixty-million individuals are currently displaced due to violent conflict. While the world’s attention has been gripped by the million who have reached Europe’s shores over the past year, the global crisis of displacement is vastly greater in scope. In anticipation of the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey in May 2016, the International Institutions and Global Governance program held a workshop to diagnose shortcomings of the current humanitarian regime and propose recommendations for its reform. Here are five important takeaways. Read more »

The Peace Imperative: Creating Sustainable Peace through Gender Inclusion

by Stewart M. Patrick and Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
Democratic Forces of Syria women fighters gesture while riding a pick-up truck near the town of al-Shadadi in the Hasaka countryside of Syria on February 18, 2016. Democratic Forces of Syria women fighters gesture while riding a pick-up truck near the town of al-Shadadi in the Hasaka countryside of Syria on February 18, 2016 (Rodi Said/Reuters).

Coauthored with Erin Sielaff, intern in the International Institutions and Global Governance program at the Council on Foreign Relations.

The United Nations is attempting to restart yet another set of peace talks in Syria and Yemen, two deeply conflicted states. After years of struggling to foster a negotiated peace, hopes are high that these latest rounds will be successful. The more likely scenario is that they end like their numerous predecessors—in failure. Read more »

A Brighter Future for the Planet

by Stewart M. Patrick and Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
A photo taken by Expedition 46 flight engineer Tim Peake International Space Station shows Italy, the Alps, and the Mediterranean on January, 25, 2016 (Reuters/NASA). A photo taken by Expedition 46 flight engineer Tim Peake International Space Station shows Italy, the Alps, and the Mediterranean on January, 25, 2016 (Reuters/NASA).

Coauthored with Naomi Egel, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program at the Council on Foreign Relations

This year, the global environmental outlook is sunnier than last Earth Day. Read more »