Stewart M. Patrick

The Internationalist

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

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UN Peacekeeping: Challenges Loom Ahead of London Summit

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
UN peacekeepers stand guard during a visit by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to an internally displaced persons camp in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan  on May 6, 2014.  (Andreea Campeanu/Reuters) UN peacekeepers stand guard during a visit by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to an internally displaced persons camp in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan on May 6, 2014. (Andreea Campeanu/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.

Later this week, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and his counterparts from around the world will gather in London to assess the state of UN peace operations. The meeting is a follow-up on a summit hosted by President Obama on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in 2015. At that event, nearly fifty world leaders committed to modernizing UN peacekeeping, pledging over 40,000 troops as well as critical enablers such as helicopters and hospital units to missions around the world. Coming on the heels of a seminal review of UN peacekeeping, the conference also generated a new optimism that after years of inaction, member states were finally prepared to close the gap between the expanding mandates of and the resources and capabilities devoted to peace operations. Read more »

Podcast: An Assessment of Former WHO Director-Generals and Previous Rounds of Director-General Elections

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
A delegate walks past portraits of former WHO Director-Generals Lee Jong-wook of South Korea (2003-2006), Gro Harlem Brundtland of Norway (1998-2003) and Hiroshi Nakajima of Japan (1988-1998) (L-R) before the opening of the World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board meeting on November 6, 2006. (Denis Balibouse /Reuters) A delegate walks past portraits of former WHO Director-Generals Lee Jong-wook of South Korea (2003-2006), Gro Harlem Brundtland of Norway (1998-2003) and Hiroshi Nakajima of Japan (1988-1998) (L-R) before the opening of the World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board meeting on November 6, 2006. (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.

Since 1948, seven individuals have served as the WHO director-general. Each was elected through a process that involved alliance formation and deal striking, and after election, each achieved varying degrees of success in terms of reforming the organization and fulfilling its mandate. If we agree that the DG’s leadership capabilities impact the performance of the WHO as an organization, and that what happened at an earlier point in time will affect the possible outcomes of a sequence of events occurring at a later point in time, it will be interesting to see what implications past experiences have for the upcoming DG election and the future of global health governance. Read more »

An Ever Closer (African) Union

by Stewart M. Patrick and Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
Women stand in front of some of the flags representing the 54 sovereign states that are members of the AU, at the end of the 25th African Union summit in Johannesburg, June 15, 2015.  (Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters) Women stand in front of some of the flags representing the 54 sovereign states that are members of the AU, at the end of the 25th African Union summit in Johannesburg, June 15, 2015. (Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters)

Coauthored with Drew D’Alelio, intern in the International Institutions and Global Governance program at the Council on Foreign Relations.

The rise of populism has been widely interpreted as a global phenomenon, from Donald Trump’s surge in the United States to Brexit in Europe to the election of Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines. At last month’s African Union Summit in Rwanda, however, few gave integration a bad name. Heads of state lavished praise on the African Union’s (AU) efforts to develop a common passport, while subregional blocs made advances toward a single currency. Having seen the downside of decades of fragmentation and severe restrictions on the free movement of people and goods in Africa, leaders appear determined to buck the trend. Nevertheless, the anti-globalization wave across the West ought to give Africans pause as they speed ahead in their quest for a unified continent encompassing twice the population of the European Union. Read more »

Help Wanted: Staffing the Next Secretary-General’s United Nations

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
Candidates vying to become the next United Nations secretary-general debate in the UN General Assembly in New York on July 12, 2016. From left to right are Natalia Gherman, Vuk Jeremic, Susana Malcorra, António Guterres, and Vesna Pusic. Candidates vying to become the next United Nations secretary-general debate in the UN General Assembly in New York on July 12, 2016. From left to right are Natalia Gherman, Vuk Jeremic, Susana Malcorra, António Guterres, and Vesna Pusic (Mike Segar/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.

This week the UN Security Council will conduct a second straw poll in the race to select the ninth secretary-general (SG) of the United Nations. António Guterres, who recently stepped down from a ten-year run as UN high commissioner for refugees, emerged as the surprise early frontrunner after the first poll. However, the Council’s final choice likely won’t be known until the fall, and those watching the race should expect many twists in between. More important than who is selected is whether the process paves the way for real reform in how the UN chooses its senior leaders. Read more »

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 »