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"

UN Peacekeeping: A New Leader for the Blue Helmets

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) peacekeepers meet women and children on their path during a patrol near Bentiu, northern South Sudan, February 11, 2017. (Siegfried Modola/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. Read more »

Trump’s Misguided National Security Budget: Every Problem is Not a Nail

by Stewart M. Patrick
U.S. President Donald Trump's overview of the budget priorities for Fiscal Year 2018 are displayed at the U.S. Government Publishing Office on its release by the Office of Management and Budget in Washington, U.S. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

President Trump’s unapologetic “hard power” budget reveals an alarming ignorance about the threats to U.S. national security and the instruments needed to advance U.S. global interests. The document would slash already-modest outlays for U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance, while increasing the current gargantuan Pentagon budget by ten percent. The result is a fundamentally unbalanced national security budget that guts the State Department and USAID on the erroneous assumption that the U.S. military alone can somehow meet America’s foreign policy needs. If approved as drafted, Trump’s budget would signal the definitive surrender of any pretense to U.S. global leadership. Read more »

Trump’s UN Executive Order Would Cut Off America’s Nose to Spite Its Face

by Stewart M. Patrick
A United Nations logo is seen on a glass door in the Assembly Building at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

As first reported in yesterday’s New York Times, President Donald J. Trump’s White House has prepared two executive orders that would slash U.S. funding for the United Nations and place a moratorium on any new multilateral treaties. Both of these draft documents (which this author has seen) are consistent with Trump’s hyper-nationalist, “America First” agenda. As such, they will play well with his populist base. But they reflect a short-sighted conception of U.S. national interests and signal a reckless abdication of U.S. global leadership. Read more »

UN Peacekeeping in South Sudan: A Kiwi Comes to Juba

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
A United Nations peacekeepers ride in their armored personnel carrier (APC) as they patrol the perimeter of the protection of civilians site hosting about 30,000 people displaced during the recent fighting in Juba, South Sudan, July 22, 2016. (Adriane Ohanesian/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. Read more »

Steering a World in Disarray: Ten Summits to Watch in 2017

by Stewart M. Patrick
Leaders pose for pictures during the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China. (Damir Sagolj/Reuters)

After a tumultuous 2016, the world holds its breath for what the coming year may bring. Angry populism is on the march. Great power relations are tense. The Middle East has imploded. Meanwhile, President-Elect Donald J. Trump proposes to upend U.S. foreign policy in areas from trade to climate, alliances to nonproliferation, terrorism to human rights. In a world in disarray, can multilateralism deliver? Ten major summits during 2017 will help provide an answer. Here’s what to look for at each. Read more »

Future of U.S. relationship with UN in Doubt

by Stewart M. Patrick
Antonio Guterres, then high commissioner for refugees, pauses during a news conference at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland on December 7, 2015. (Denis Balibouse/Reuters)

Among the many foreign policy uncertainties created by Donald Trump’s election, there is one prediction we can take to the bank: The United Nations is going to get hammered. An unapologetic nationalist is bound for the White House, Republicans are in control of both houses of Congress—and the world body is in their crosshairs. Read more »

The UN’s Ninth Secretary-General is António Guterres

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
Nominated U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres attends a news conference at Necessidades Palace in Lisbon, Portugal October 6, 2016. (Rafael Marchante/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. Read more »

Obama’s UN Address: An Enlightened Man in an Unreasonable World

by Stewart M. Patrick
U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the United Nations General Assembly in New York September 20, 2016 (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters). U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the United Nations General Assembly in New York September 20, 2016 (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters).

President Barack Obama used his eighth and final address to the UN General Assembly to share his noble vision of a world order in which equality, liberty, and unity trump injustice, oppression, and division. Part sermon, part pep-talk, the speech exuded an unflinching faith in liberal ideals and a progressive optimism that humanity can surmount any economic, political, and ecological challenges it faces. All that is required, the president suggested, is that leaders and citizens listen to the better angels of their nature. The big-picture speech contained little guidance about how to resolve intractable problems, from mass migration to North Korea’s nukes. But it was an eloquent effort, delivered by a reasonable man living in unreasonable times. Its biggest flaw was in ignoring the practical difficulties and inherent trade-offs of applying such high-minded ideals to a fallen world. Read more »

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 »