Stewart M. Patrick

The Internationalist

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

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Showing posts for "International Cooperation"

Refugees Take UN Center Stage: But Is It All Sound and Fury?

by Stewart M. Patrick
A rescue boat of the Spanish NGO Proactiva approaches an overcrowded wooden vessel with migrants from Eritrea, off the Libyan coast in Mediterranean Sea August 29, 2016 (Giorgos Moutafis/Reuters).

The annual opening of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) is a noisy affair and, like Churchill’s pudding, often lacks a coherent theme. This year is different. World leaders will convene two special sessions to address the flood of refugees and migrants from global conflict zones—and make promises to alleviate their suffering. Expectations for the first meeting, hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, are low. It will produce no more than a consensus declaration that is long on platitudes and short on action. The second, led by President Obama, is more promising. It should generate meaningful national pledges of aid. But to make a real dent, the assembled nations must get serious about ending chronic displacement, by focusing on cures rather than palliatives. And that, alas, is unlikely to happen. Read more »

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)

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 »

The G20 Hangzhou Summit: Making Globalization Work

by Stewart M. Patrick
Passengers ride a bus near the West Lake, before the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China on August 31, 2016. (Aly Song/Reuters)

On September 4-5 President Barack Obama attends his final annual summit of the Group of 20 (G20) in Hangzhou, China. The event is a fitting bookend for his presidency. The very first G20 summit took place in Washington just days after Obama’s election, meaning that his administration and the G20 have grown up together. The location is also appropriate, symbolizing how rapidly the global economic landscape has shifted—and how the Sino-American relationship, however fraught, has emerged as the fulcrum for progress on the world’s most difficult problems. Read more »

The International Energy Agency’s Hybrid Model

by Stewart M. Patrick
International Energy Agency's Executive Director Fatih Birol looks on during the World Climate Change Conference 2015 at Le Bourget, France. (Stephane Mahe/Reuters)

In an article just published by Foreign Affairs, Naomi Egel and I argue that the International Energy Agency’s approach to integrating rising powers holds lessons for the reform of other global institutions seeking to remain relevant.

International institutions are notoriously slow to adapt to change. Nowhere has this problem been more glaring than in the energy field. Since 2000, surging demand for energy in emerging economies and shifts in suppliers driven by a revolution in unconventional oil and gas extraction have transformed the global energy landscape. Yet the International Energy Agency (IEA), the most prominent energy-focused multilateral institution, has seemed stuck in the past, its membership restricted to states that belong to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a rich man’s club of advanced market democracies. Read more »

An Ever Closer (African) Union

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick and 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)

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 »

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 »

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 Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick and 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)

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 Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick and 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 »