Stewart M. Patrick

The Internationalist

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

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Showing posts for "United Nations"

The NPT Review Conference: Setting Realistic Expectations

by Stewart M. Patrick and Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
A mushroom cloud rises over Nagasaki, Japan, on August 9, 1945. A mushroom cloud rises over Nagasaki, Japan, on August 9, 1945 (Ho New/Courtesy Reuters/U.S. Air Force).

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

Earth Gets Its Day: When Will It Get Its Due?

by Stewart M. Patrick
A photo of Earth—dubbed "Earthrise"—taken by U.S. astronaut William Anders during the Apollo 8 mission in December 1968. A photo of Earth—dubbed "Earthrise"—taken by U.S. astronaut William Anders during the Apollo 8 mission in December 1968 (William Anders/Courtesy NASA).

Earth Day 2015 finds the planet in dire straits. Future generations will mock the inanity of designating a single day each year to honor the Earth while despoiling the planet on which human well-being depended.

The World Bank warns that temperatures will almost certainly rise by 1.5 degrees Celsius by midcentury. The consequences will be dramatic and likely devastating. Glaciers will disappear,ice sheets will melt, sea levels will rise, oceans will acidify, coral reefs will die, fish stocks will collapse, droughts will intensify, storms will strengthen. Global averages, moreover, will conceal dramatic local swings in temperature. Under current climate scenarios, global warming will make many current population centers uninhabitable, causing mass migrations. According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ office, even by the most conservative predictions, extreme weather will displace up to 250 million people by midcentury. Read more »

The Odd Couple: Democrats, Republicans, and the New Politics of Trade

by Stewart M. Patrick
A policewoman removes a man protesting the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) as U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman testifies before a Senate Finance Committee hearing on January 27, 2015. A policewoman removes a man protesting the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) as U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman testifies before a Senate Finance Committee hearing on January 27, 2015 (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters).

Politics, as the saying goes, makes strange bedfellows. This is certainly true in today’s fast-changing U.S. trade debate. The Obama administration has counted on strong GOP support for the centerpiece of its second term agenda: the Transpacific Partnership (TPP). Suddenly, right-wing Republicans are making common cause with left-wing Democrats, attacking the proposed twelve-nation blockbuster deal. The reason for this odd coupling? A little thing called sovereignty. Read more »

The State of Global Governance: A Conversation with Joseph Nye

by Stewart M. Patrick
A view of the United Nations Security Council during a meeting on the Ebola crisis in October 2014. A view of the United Nations Security Council during a meeting on the Ebola crisis in October 2014 (Eduardo Munoz /Courtesy Reuters).

Last month, at the International Studies Association 2015 Annual Conference in New Orleans, I had the pleasure of moderating a discussion on the state of global governance with Joseph S. Nye Jr., Harvard University distinguished service professor at the Harvard Kennedy School and author of the new book, Is the American Century Over? Read more »

Limiting the Security Council Veto in the Face of Mass Atrocities

by Stewart M. Patrick
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius speaks at a session of the UN Security Council on September 19, 2014. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius speaks at a session of the UN Security Council on September 19, 2014 (Shannon Stapleton/Courtesy Reuters).

PARIS — The veto held by the five permanent members (P5) of the UN Security Council is one of the most contentious rules of the United Nations. It was included in the UN Charter of 1945 as the explicit price for agreement among the P5—the members that bore the greatest responsibility for maintaining world order—to establish the UN in the first place. However, the veto has repeatedly stymied the Security Council in the face of mass atrocities, despite unanimous endorsement by all UN member states of their individual and collective responsibility to protect (R2P) all people from crimes against humanity. Read more »

The Arms Trade Treaty: Time to Celebrate?

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
An activist campaigning for the global arms trade treaty holds a placard during a protest in New Delhi (Adnan Abidi/Courtesy Reuters). An activist campaigning for the global arms trade treaty holds a placard during a protest in New Delhi (Adnan Abidi/Courtesy Reuters).

Below is a guest post by Naomi Egelresearch associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program. Read more »

No Blue, No Green: Climate Change and the Fate of the Oceans

by Stewart M. Patrick
A Chinese fishing vessel that ran aground in Tubbataha Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is pictured in Palawan Province, west of Manila. A Chinese fishing vessel that ran aground in Tubbataha Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is pictured in Palawan Province, west of Manila (Naval Forces West/Courtesy Reuters).

Coauthored with Alexandra Kerr, assistant director of the International Institutions and Global Governance program at the Council on Foreign Relations. Read more »

A Massive Humanitarian Failure in Syria

by Stewart M. Patrick and Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
A Syrian girl carries bread in the Bab al-Salam refugee camp in Azaz, near the Syrian-Turkish border, October 27, 2014. A Syrian girl carries bread in the Bab al-Salam refugee camp in Azaz, near the Syrian-Turkish border, October 27, 2014 (Hosam Katan/Courtesy Reuters).

Coauthored with Shervin Ghaffari, intern in the International Institutions and Global Governance program at the Council on Foreign Relations. Read more »

African Union Peace Operations: From Rhetoric to Reality

by Stewart M. Patrick
An African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) soldier stands guard atop an armored vehicle in Mogadishu, Somalia, November 2013. An African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) soldier stands guard atop an armored vehicle in Mogadishu, Somalia, November 2013 (Siegfried Modola/Courtesy Reuters).

—Djibouti, East Africa

The slogan of “African solutions to African problems” has long been a seductive mantra, attractive to African and Western governments alike. The phrase suggests a new era of continental responsibility in which African countries themselves—rather than former colonial powers, the United States, or even the United Nations (UN)—play a bigger role in delivering regional peace and security. The vision of a self-confident, united, and capable Africa has obvious attractions on the continent. But it also appeals to Washington, which increasingly views instability and violence within Africa’s many fragile states as enabling conditions for terrorists and violent extremists ranging from Boko Haram to al-Shabab to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Read more »