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"

Nuclear Security Summit 2014: How to Make Progress Even After Ukraine

by Stewart M. Patrick
U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are seen in this combination photo as they attend the opening ceremony of the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in The Hague March 24, 2014 (Yves Herman/Courtesy Reuters). U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are seen in this combination photo as they attend the opening ceremony of the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in The Hague March 24, 2014 (Yves Herman/Courtesy Reuters).

Coauthored with Claire Schachter, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program.

Today, fifty-three countries and four international organizations are gathered in The Hague for the third Nuclear Security Summit. Russia’s annexation of Crimea has cast a shadow over the biannual meeting, threatening to distract delegates from the critical task at hand: following through on their commitments to lock down the world’s unsecured nuclear weapons, fissile material, and related technologies. The summit’s success will depend on whether the participating countries are willing to move beyond the harmonization of national pledges to construct a strong framework for nuclear security, undergirded by more powerful conventions and institutions. Read more »

The Global Response to Armed Conflict: From Aleppo to Kinshasa

by Stewart M. Patrick
IIGG announces updated Global Governance Monitor (Yurri Erfansyah/Courtesy Reuters). IIGG announces updated Global Governance Monitor (Yurri Erfansyah/Courtesy Reuters).

As the civil war in Syria rages on, and the United States and its international partners appear unable to mobilize a collective response to stem the bloodshed, CFR’s International Institutions and Global Governance program has launched an update to its Global Governance Monitor: Armed Conflict. The revamped multimedia guide uses a new technology platform to track and analyze recent multilateral efforts to prevent, manage, and respond to armed violence around the globe. Combining stunning images and compelling narrative, it identifies the major successes and failures in global conflict mitigation during 2013. Read more »

Geneva II: The Diplomatic Headaches Have Just Begun

by Stewart M. Patrick
Leader of Syria's opposition National Coalition Ahmad al-Jarba and Badr Jamous, secretary-general of the coalition, arrive for the Geneva 2 talks on Syria, at Geneva International airport January 21, 2014 (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Courtesy Reuters). Leader of Syria's opposition National Coalition Ahmad al-Jarba and Badr Jamous, secretary-general of the coalition, arrive for the Geneva 2 talks on Syria, at Geneva International airport January 21, 2014 (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Courtesy Reuters).

Coauthored with Claire Schachter, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program.

How to interpret the diplomatic kerfuffle over the United Nations’ decision to invite—and then disinvite—Iran to the Syria peace conference, scheduled to begin tomorrow in Montreux, Switzerland? Read more »

The Realist Idealist: Obama’s UN Speech

by Stewart M. Patrick
U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the 68th United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, September 24, 2013 (Mike Segar/ Courtesy Reuters). U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the 68th United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, September 24, 2013 (Mike Segar/ Courtesy Reuters).

President Barack Obama stuck to the anticipated script in his UN General Assembly address, focusing on diplomatic openings in the Middle East. He outlined U.S. hopes to: Read more »

High Stakes UN Diplomacy on Syria and Iran

by Stewart M. Patrick
New York police officers stand guard in front of the U.N. headquarters ahead of the start of the U.N. General Assembly in New York September 22, 2013 (Eduardo Munoz/ Courtesy Reuters). New York police officers stand guard in front of the U.N. headquarters ahead of the start of the U.N. General Assembly in New York September 22, 2013 (Eduardo Munoz/ Courtesy Reuters).

Two issues will dominate this week’s annual summit of world leaders as the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) kicks off its sixty-eighth session in New York. The first is Syria, whose government must begin to deliver on commitments to eliminate its chemical weapons, even as its civil war grinds on. The second is Iran, whose new president, Hassan Rouhani, has signaled a potential deal with the West over his nation’s nuclear program. Read more »

Russia’s Syria Initiative: Beware Strangers Bearing Gifts

by Stewart M. Patrick
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (R) after delivering opening remarks to the media before their meeting to discuss the ongoing crisis in Syria, in Geneva September 12, 2013. Syria applied on Thursday to sign up to the global ban on chemical weapons, a major first step in a Russian-backed plan that would see it abandon its arsenal of poison gas to avert U.S. military strikes (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters). U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (R) after delivering opening remarks to the media before their meeting to discuss the ongoing crisis in Syria, in Geneva September 12, 2013. Syria applied on Thursday to sign up to the global ban on chemical weapons, a major first step in a Russian-backed plan that would see it abandon its arsenal of poison gas to avert U.S. military strikes (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters).

Moscow has seized the initiative in the increasingly dizzying diplomacy over Syria’s chemical weapons (CW). By picking up on Secretary of State John Kerry’s offhand remark—that Damascus might avoid a U.S. military strike by eliminating its CW stockpiles—Vladimir Putin has offered a lifeline to a beleaguered White House. Bereft of domestic and international support for a hard line against Bashar al Assad, Barack Obama must be sorely tempted to make this new initiative work. After all, by disarming Syria of chemical weapons, he can declare “victory” without dragging an exhausted American public into another Middle Eastern quagmire. But before making this leap, the President needs to take a hard look at the political as well as technical requirements for an effective inspection regime. Read more »

Obama and Syria: Insights from the President’s G20 Press Conference

by Stewart M. Patrick
U.S. President Barack Obama departs a news conference at the G20 Summit in St. Petersburg September 6, 2013. Obama said on Friday that most leaders of the G20 countries agree that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is responsible for using poison gas against civilians as the U.S. leader tried to rally support at home and abroad for a military strike (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters). U.S. President Barack Obama departs a news conference at the G20 Summit in St. Petersburg September 6, 2013. Obama said on Friday that most leaders of the G20 countries agree that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is responsible for using poison gas against civilians as the U.S. leader tried to rally support at home and abroad for a military strike (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters).

In his revealing press conference closing out the G20 summit, President Obama provided the clearest summary yet of his thinking on Syria. Perhaps the most significant points were the following: Read more »

Pluralism, Peace, and the “Responsibility to Innovate”

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
Former President Ronald Reagan addresses a crowd at the opening of the Reagan Library in Simi, California, November 4, 1991 (Gary Cameron/Courtesy Reuters). Former President Ronald Reagan addresses a crowd at the opening of the Reagan Library in Simi, California, November 4, 1991 (Gary Cameron/Courtesy Reuters).

Below is a guest post by Mark P. Lagon, adjunct senior fellow for human rights at the Council on Foreign Relations and professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Read more »

Customary International Law: Can UN Guidelines Affect Domestic Laws?

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
In 2004, people line up for entry into the U.S. Supreme Court where justices determined that executions of teenage killers are unconstitutionally cruel and unusual. In their decision, the court took into account the practice of countries around the world (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters). In 2004, people line up for entry into the U.S. Supreme Court where justices determined that executions of teenage killers are unconstitutionally cruel and unusual. In their decision, the court took into account the practice of countries around the world (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters).

Below is a guest post by Martin Willner, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program.

More often than not, when we think about customs and laws, we think of them as two distinct categories. Customs are encouraged, but optional: replying to an RSVP request, writing a thank-you note, shaking hands. Laws are mandatory: stopping at red lights, paying taxes, going to jury duty. As Kipling might put it, custom is custom and law is law and never the twain shall meet. Read more »

Regional Organizations and Humanitarian Intervention

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
Arab foreign ministers attend a meeting on Syria at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo June 5, 2013 (Asmaa Waguih/Courtesy Reuters). Arab foreign ministers attend a meeting on Syria at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo June 5, 2013 (Asmaa Waguih/Courtesy Reuters).

Below is a guest post by Andrew Reddie, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program.

The UN Charter advises that “the Security Council shall, where appropriate, utilize such regional arrangements or agencies for enforcement action under its authority.” The degree to which regional cooperation represents a sine qua non for international action was made abundantly clear in the recent uprising against Muammar al-Qaddafi, as the Arab League sanctioned a no-fly zone over Libya, followed promptly by UN Security Council Resolution 1973. But are regional organizations the future of humanitarian intervention? Read more »