Stewart M. Patrick

The Internationalist

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

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Showing posts for "Migration"

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 »

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 »

Thy Neighbor’s Keeper: Improving Global Humanitarian Response

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick and 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)

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 »

Après Paris: Reverberations of the Terrorist Attacks

by Stewart M. Patrick
In a French poster popularized during World War I, a French soldier carries a gun and encourages his countrymen under the phrase "On les aura!" or "We will have them!" In a French poster popularized during World War I, a French soldier carries a gun and encourages his countrymen under the phrase "On les aura!" or "We will have them!" (Abel Faivre/Library of Congress).

Following Friday’s horrific assault on Paris—the world’s most vibrant monument to the open society—there is a welcome global determination to crush the Islamic State. There can be no negotiation with this apocalyptic movement. The international response against the perpetrators must be, in the words of French President François Hollande, “pitiless.” Achieving this aim will require a broad coalition, including not only NATO allies but also strange bedfellows like Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. There will be necessary debates, of course—about whether to introduce Western (including U.S.) ground forces in Syria and Iraq, about whether to treat the Assad regime as an enemy, bystander, or partner in this effort, and about how the West can escalate its involvement without sparking the global religious war that ISIS desires. An effective response will require the Obama administration to be out in front: there must be no leading from behind in this effort. Read more »

The EU’s Migration Crisis: When Solidarity and Sovereignty Collide

by Stewart M. Patrick
Migrants are welcomed as they arrive at the main railway station in Dortmund, Germany September 6, 2015 (Ina Fassbender/Reuters)

The wave of migrants surging into the European Union (EU) poses a historic challenge for European integration. Today in Strasbourg, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker of Luxembourg proposed that all twenty-eight EU member states accept binding quotas for accepting refugees and develop a common European list of safe countries of origin, declaring, “We need more Europe in our asylum policy. We need more Union in our refugee policy.” Read more »

World on the Move: Understanding Europe’s Migration Crisis

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick and Stewart M. Patrick
Migrants gesture as they stand in the main Eastern Railway station in Budapest, Hungary, on September 1, 2015. Migrants gesture as they stand in the main Eastern Railway station in Budapest, Hungary, on September 1, 2015 (Laszlo Balogh/Reuters).

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

The migration crisis of 2015 makes for somber reading. Seven hundred migrants drowned crossing the Mediterranean from war-torn Libya. Last week, Austrian authorities made the grisly discovery of seventy-one corpses in a truck. Most recently, the body of a three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach, sparking international outcry. Read more »