tv French Embassy Hosts Discussion on International Organizations Peace CSPAN December 18, 2018 6:07pm-7:39pm EST
the and they will move into internet of things, which is to say we will be talking to our refrigerators, toilets, cars -- and our cars will be talking to us. in piece is about how we are the first stages of bringing these things into our homes and where it goes from there. >> who is most likely to buy these things now, and how are they being used? tobasically, people who tend be adopters of technology are the first to buy them. but quite a few young families are buying them. my own daughter-in-law bought one. she has a two and a half-year-old at home, and she is very strict about technology. i asked, why do you do that? she said, because it allows me to play music without opening my computer. >> i am the editor-in-chief of
"foreign policy" magazine. tonight's panel is a spinoff of the paris peace form which the french government hosted on armistice day. tonight, our mission is to figure out, or at least shed some light on some very big, important questions on the theme you see. i have to start by confessing a failure. offensely like to begin like this with a joke, and i have to say it has been several to come upuggling with a joke on the theme of how to reform multilateralism to support peace. i failed. if you have any, feel free to share. nonetheless, it is because the important, and our mission tonight is a big one. especially because, as you all
know, this is an extraordinary moment in global politics. extraordinary is a very polite word for what is actually going on. multilateral organizations seem faltering. strawman rulers are rising around the globe. the united states is withdrawing and retreating from its international engagements. the company is now led by a president who is openly scornful of international norms and visions -- and institutions. meanwhile, the u.s. and china are locked in a trade war. locked in brexit negotiations and an ugly budget battle with italy. nato faces a hostile putin on one side and a hostile trump on the other. an emerging powers like china and india are demanding changes to international organizations unilateralism, bodies like the world bank,
which, to be fair to india and china, do not reflect these new countries' power and prestige. all of this is happening as a long list of global problems, from cyber security to climate change, and on and on, keep it a worse -- keep getting worse. it is a scary moment, and the stakes could not be higher for a discussion like this. but we are not here tonight to wring our hands. the point of this conversation is to figure out what we can do about it. on that note, we are lucky to have three supersmart experts to help us do that, starting from my immediate left, we have victoria nuland, the chief executive officer for the center for new american security. she is also a professor at yale. she spent 32 years in government, during which --
>> yes, i started my was 10. [laughter] which she served as a state department spoke person under hillary clinton and as secretary of state for eurasian affairs. , who hasft is our host been france's man in washington since september of 2014. he is also a career diplomat and held a long list of other impressive jobs, many of them relating to security in the middle east. he was a permanent representative to the united nations. and to his left, you're right, is the director of the international institutions and global governance program at the council on foreign relations. he is also a state department veteran, and he is the author of several books, including most recently the very good "sovereignty wars: reconciling america with the world," which you should all buy.
let's start with some questions for the group, and we are going to open things up to the floor. the premise for tonight, as we have established, is multilateralism is essential for peace. but to be fair, we probably should not assume that. guess which each of you thinks on the subject, but i want to start by asking each of you, do you agree with the fundamental idea that multilateralism is essential for peace, and that you can have the latter and not the former? of any countryw that can make peace alone inside its own domestic situation, and even then that is sometimes hard. if by multilateralism you mean it takes more than one country to settle disputes across borders, of course. jonathan: but just two would be
bilateral as him, not multilateralism, which implies broader international cooperations. >> it is also very rare for two countries locked in conflict to .ettle in by themselves they often need outside brokers or international organizations. is it just a finely impossible to make peace without a multilateral environment -- deaefying -- th-defyingly impossible to make peace with on a multilateral environment? no, but -- >> the world is a jungle in the sense that there is no judge. civilize this to jungle orders sovereignties.
multilateral organizations are trying to play this role. first, it is a sort of marketplace where ideas are exchanged, where people can really pursue a dialogue. it is healthy. secondly, they provide also mechanisms to avoid conflict or two solved conflict -- or to solve conflict. it is not a panacea, but it helps to promote, defend, or reestablish peace. multilateralism is not a guarantee for pace, and it is not always central. one can think of times where you have a balance of tariffs between the united states and the soviet union and they did not necessarily trade military blows. you can have peace in other ways, but it would not be just, necessarily, and not durable and not legitimate.
when we think about that, i think we ignore international institutions at our peril. there has been a major trend in taking multilateralism to think it can just happen with a collection of great powers deciding the world's fate. that has been tried historically. but when you think of mediating disputes that might be pending between two countries, or trying to camp down internal conflict, it is hard to imagine doing that unless you have standing international institutions. the other thing, when it comes to multilateralism, we have had experiences in the last hundred years with the league of nations, with efforts in multilateralism that were not really backed by power or political will. if you do not have those things, then you have to be careful just thinking that this is a technical exercise. if we just had the right institutions, everything would be fine.
you have to have the big powers get involved and would -- and use their weight. >> there is a second premise we should discuss as well. macronesident ,esigned the paris peace forum or put his support behind it, the idea was it would address what he has called a crisis of multilateralism. the second question, number one, do we need multilateralism? yes. the second, does multilateralism indeed face a crisis? after all, and i would urge you , theo remember, the system global rules-based order which is now 70 plus years old that emerged after world war ii and has been responsible for the creation of so much peace and
prosperity, never worked quite as well as we sometimes like to pretend today. there were many moments over the last 70 years where it seemed to have broken down entirely, or at least frozen in stasis, whether writ was during the cold war, where at the u.n., for example, the security council was almost permanently deadlocked between russia and the united states. in 1990 during the kosovo crisis, when the united states and its new supposing friend russia under borat yeltsin almost came to blows in the race to the airport. or during the iraq war debate in 2003 when the united states could not get the support it that europeeclared was divided and the whole world was divided between friends and enemies, those who are with us and those who are against us. in there lots of crises
multilateral order in the past. is this one worse, and is this one special? i think whether you call it a crisis or not, it is certainly special when a founding and foundational member of the two most important multilateral organizations, the u.n. and nato, the united states is calling into question whether either of those institutions is of particular value in solving global problems. if i had to guess, that is what cronpted president ma to try to rally the world. i want to pick up on one thing stewart said, equating multilateralism with the institutions. i think there is a distinction that gerard and i have both been involved in plenty of negotiations to settle peace or conflict.
it is always best if you get institutional support or use the tools of the institution, but it does not have to be the center of multilateral success, i would six -- i would say. ambassador araud: if we have to look at relativism, we have to get rid of any naivete. we have to be realistic, which ares that the great powers not going to submit their vital interest. that is the lesson i learned from the league of nations. conflicts, neither the u.s. nor china nor russia have accepted that the security council end all these conflicts.
you know, iraq, but also the israeli-palestinian conflict, ukraine and syria, miramar in sri lanka. they were here yesterday and they will be here tomorrow. that's the real world. the second point is we have to be flexible. multilateralism is the institutions. creativeve to be more going beyond the states. i think the forum in paris -- there are so many issues where we need to work the aunt the states -- work beyond the states with the business
community, the territories, the cities. for is a new prospect multilateralism. i agree with what has been said about the proliferation of multilateral vehicles out there. we live in a world that was called multi-multilateralism , where it is just not the international institutions. the point i was going to make is that the ad hoc stuff is not enough. when we look at international [speakingns, we need french] the charter of the united nations and the universal organizations, but we also need the coalitions and some flexibility to them. of thethe two causes current crisis of ori andteralism that t
the ambassador mentioned, that is u.s. application and the persistence of geopolitics. what we haves, seen in the wake of the global financial crisis is an enormous disillusionment -- and it is the rising populism -- enormous disillusionment with globalization and the institutions we have that appear to have some societal breakdowns associated with them, and that have left people behind. that is making it much more difficult. we see this in france with the yellow vest phenomenon, where on the one hand, the big multilateral agreement that is out there, the most important of the 21st century, the paris climate accord. on the other hand, people want to get to the end of the month. while people are talking about the end of the world.
the other issue i wanted to point out -- jonathan: actually, i want to stop you there because there is a lot that we should tap. stewart: we can get to the other stuff. jonathan: yeah. what you're saying is very important. one of the critical reasons that multilateralism is under some much pressure today is because politicians are under tremendous pressure at home from people who are dealing with so many , economic pressures and social, that they are far less interested in helping other people elsewhere. an appeals to international cooperation do not resonate. abstract arguments about how international cooperation will end up benefiting us personally are too many steps removed from the way people think about it.
i heard a few years ago the great psychologist daniel kahneman talking about climate change. he was has a mystic that anything whatever happened about climate change because he said the human brain is not designed to deal with a problem i climate change. there are several problems, but one is the scale is beyond our reckoning. long.he timeframe is too obvious ability of an individual act to impact what is going on is so unclear that it is something we human animals, our brains are not built to cope with. there is something analogous happening with multilateral cooperation where the payoffs are indirect and not immediate, especially at moments like now when the pressures and challenges that people face at home seem so real.
has beeniment exaggerated and manipulated by unscrupulous populists in this it isy and elsewhere, but not just a subject for manipulation. there is a real core that everyone is paying attention to. -- the obamat was administration was also very worried about this, which was why it focused very hard on limiting u.s. obligations abroad after the imperial overstretch of the bush administration. that is why even hillary clinton made this striking comment in europe a couple weeks ago when she said that europe needs to get a handle on its migration populismor the problem there is going to get even worse.
given all this pressure that makes it harder than ever for internationally-minded politicians to sell international politics at home, how can they, or how can government reconcile these legitimate domestic concerns with the ongoing need for international cooperation? persuade their internally focused and sovereignty minded public that it is better to hang together than separately? that is in their immediate interest to cooperate internationally, not just in the abstract long-term interest. ambassador araud: when i was at day theed nations, one representative of a great democracy, which basically he had voted against human rights, or a resolution on human rights,
and defending a country which was not defendable for democracy . i asked him, why did you do that? his answer was a bit surprising. he said, you know, gerard, we are not on the board. i think it was an illusion about , our institutions are not reflecting the world of today. that is also an important element. if you want to have a brazil or hope,as responsible as we it is also, i think, necessary to give them the responsibility to be on the board. we are talking the reform of the security council, reform on the imf. we have to bring this country to the board. u.k., we have been advocating the reform of the security council for some time.
the u.s., russia, and china are much more reluctant, for very different reasons. again, we have to do it because fromecurity council is 1945. that is an important element. the second element, which i would say you are right, that you have the populist wave going in the direction of nationalism. but we don't have to forget that are still asts minority in our western societies. and you also have the fact that a lot of issues we are facing by definition are international. we were talking about climate change, but there is the cyber
, how to manage the cyber world, which means cyber security, but which also means privacy. it is very surprising that there that isld of privacy not the same as the u.s. you have the taxation of the tech companies. you also have the issues issuese the survival of the oceans. so there are issues which by themselves demand an answer. mywart: my question was -- question was as much about politics, because that is inescapable. >> i think the answer goes to your question, we have a failure of politics. we have a failure of leaders on both sides of the atlantic to connect the daily life of citizens to the need for the
democratic world to protect and preserve open markets, peace between great powers, to solve problems together. , i a lack of confidence would argue, in our ability to do what has always been done, to be ahead of more close to societies in creating prosperity. we are not going to do better for our working men and women by trying to roll back the economic club to the 1950's, or reestablishing mercantile tariff systems. we are going to do better by working together to keep the system open to innovate together and solve problems like cyber predators, et etc., together. and by pulling our innovative knowledge and getting ahead of these countries that are never going to do as well as we are if we release our energy, because
they are state-controlled and because they control the minds and activities of their citizens. we can compete, we need to be confident in that, but we also need politicians that remind folks how many of their jobs depend on exports, how many of their jobs depend on the ability not just withy, canada and mexico but with the whole world. it is not true only on the u.s. coast, it is true in the middle too. europe is the largest trading partner for at least 30 u.s. individual states. >> do you think that politicians like bill clinton bear some of the blame for the current crisis by overselling the benefits of trade, or at least not being completely honest about what some of the downsides would be and not doing enough to buffer the public from the inevitable disorienting shifts that occurred? >> no, i think that they bury the.
-- bear a bit. i think bill clinton had anonymous and that they and communicated that empathy and had a populist, or popular common man sort of ability to communicate with people, but i think there was an element of sort of go go globalization that turbocharged globalization and took hold. i think that what capital has been -- it has done well and i think to some degree, i'm in favor of openness but i feel like at least in some cases when it comes to labor and employment, and ensuring -- there is talk about trade adjustment assistance and things like that -- but in the u.s., the sovereign space the country has retained to pursue those policies despite promises on both republican and democratic sides were not fulfilled.
i think the leadership is the big issue, i think our biggest leaderships can communicate some painful truths, one is that yes competition has taken away jobs, but most of the jobs in the manufacturing sector has been a result of automation. so what are we going to do estimates that policy to deal with those things? i think you need to show people that as victoria said, look at how many exports from our county or state are actually going into the international trade, because we have a stake in this. this is what new mexican and canadian governments did, they started getting on the phone with a border state governors and the farm state governors and manufacturing governors, and they tried to help push the administration forward on this. so you have to -- you have to show that these institutions are capable of reform. for instance, you can sympathize with donald trump and say the wto is not doing anything to
deal with china, but the reaction is not just a bilateral trade war, it is to get together with the europeans and changed some of the rules, so that you can deal with some of those things with respect to china that it is not doing. >> a was not trying to break asking, answers -- by how much do you think the current crisis is a mechanical failure due to the fact that these aging structures are no longer responding very well to present threats? and how much of it is philosophical, which may represent a bigger problem, a reflection of the fact that there is no longer anything like a global consensus on the rules need tos that would underpin a multilateral system? the immigrantsd: don't like the idea of power
politics. so there is an idea about liberal order, and frankly i have never seen liberal order really, because during the 70 years, you know there is a book about the killing fields of the cold war, basically saying millions of people died during the cold war because there were the wars in korea, vietnam, india and pakistan, four 45 wars in the middle east. millions of people really died. what we are seeing today -- and what you call liberal order was more or less western europe and the u.s., usually western europe was good at creating wars, usually world wars, and really we avoided them. victoria: and democratic asia. ambassador araud: exactly. you had a lot of wars in asia, the killing fields of indonesia
in 1965, millions of people. so what we have is what has changed the balance of power, we are doing the cold war, we have two camps that dominated, the u.s. and ussr. after the collapse of the communist bloc you had what the french called a -- power. the u.s., and it was the triumph of the west. and the last decade you have emerging powers like china, russia, but also india, who are simply telling us that enough is enough. so the new balance of power, this new balance of power is at the expense of the west. and we domine also institutions. so frankly, the u.n. is dominated by the west, not only the security council, but if you look at all the people in the anocracy, you see there is
overwhelming majority of western officials. so we have a new world and new age where we are less powerful in relative terms. so for me that is the problem that we are facing. >> again, the question is whether the problem is mechanical or philosophical, so to apply at what you said, is the solution requiring yearly a manner of adjusting institutions to make new room for more entrance, or is there a deeper problem, are countries like china actually revisionist powers who do not just want a seat at the table or do they want to change the rules of the game? if it is the latter, how do we construct a new order along those lines? stewart: i think that actually, unfortunately there are differences on some areas that will make it difficult. i think we probably are heading
for a world that is a little shallower than we want in terms of the agreement. that the tragedy right now is the way the u.s. is behaving is as if it does not believe in the concept of the west. i would have greater comfort if the u.s. was in that position still. you have to go sphere by sphere in terms of values. one of the disturbing ones, which actually could have better relations with the united states with russia and china, but it is disturbing to me the degree to which this administration has not offended at all what is a core component of the liberal order. we think about collective defense and open economies, but the silence, the virtual silence on the issue of human rights and democracy, which may be got a bad name in earlier administrations, that to me is disturbing because i would not want a world in which nobody cares about the domestic authority structures in other countries, just so they can get
along at the state level. when you think about, i think that there are major normative disagreements. when people talk about internet security, there are differences between the united states and europe on a number of different things, but a big difference is between the sovereign control over the internet with constant surveillance and monitoring and violation of civil rights, as we have in china, versus the western conception of that. there are disputes over issues of humanitarian intervention and what are the boundaries of sovereignty. there are a number of different areas where there are not just distributional questions, like who gets more, how much weight at the world bank you get for your share of trade, or really the philosophical questions about the way the world should be organized. victoria: i think that we are in major audiological
challenge to openness and freedom from the autocratic powers. they are dissatisfied with the order and institutions we have built. they have seats on the security council, but it doesn't change the fact that they are not behaving the way that we expected, which was if we invited them into these institutions, including the wto, they would enjoy getting rich and living within this peaceful system that we were proposing. but instead they are contesting to change, change the rules from within, and undercut not simply our leadership position, but also the system and public confidence in the system that undergirds it. the question is, are we going to be unified in defending our citizens' rights to live freely
and represent themselves democratically, to innovate and prosper together and to defend themselves together, or are we going to fight among ourselves and take action against each other and allowed the autocrats to either brute their way into greater leadership position or -- their way into a greater leadership position while we are squabbling? that is the moment we are in. and i also think we did an insufficient job coming out of the financial crisis and learning those lessons together, whether it was within the eu itself or transatlantic late in terms of reviving a new economy for our citizens in the wake of that. to follow up on that by making things more can create, we have done a good job of laying out the current threats
and a looming dangers, but i am curious -- are we already suffering from the breakdown in multilateralism? are their costs we are already paying in security or economics? or are these hypothetical or improbable problems that loom in the near future? are we already paying the price, living with the consequences, can you think of examples? or is it things -- is it more a matter of things that we fear will come if we continue down this path? victoria: i would argue that we are paying for the united states deciding to take on china's trade all by ourselves, rather than accepting the european and north asian offered to get into this business together, we are having to exact a greater price on china by ourselves than we would have been had we had decided what the costs were
going to be multilaterally. russia in the sea of as off and ukraine, trying to get by see where they cannot get violated, and trying to encroach into neighbors territory is a direct result of us being asleep at the switch and squabbling at each other, rather than paying attention to shoring up the free world. those are doing examples. on climate change, we're hoping we can keep moving, but it is not necessarily clear. closely,low this stuff do you see any warning signs? stewart: the fact that the united states not only has said it will pull out does not happen until i think right after the next president is, whoever that may be, is elected. but that has slowed momentum, that promise to pull out of paris. and as you saw in the recent
coup in poland, you saw the u.s. get together with other fossil fuel exporting countries to basically tried to go against -- try to go against the trend and not welcome the devastating report by the panel on climate change about the dire straits we are in. that slows down not only with the governments are doing, but it takes away market signals that could be helpful to the private sector and makes them hedge a little bit. i think also the u.s., just in terms of hedging, the u.s. has found that it has weakening solidarity with close allies, that europe may be stepping toward a defense entity. that is a good thing, taking more responsible before one's strategic and military sort of self-reliance. but there are some indications that there are questions about
how reliable commitments the u.s. has made. and the south korea, there is trepidation to which the degree the u.s. is reliable. and if war comes to the korean peninsula, troops from the republic of south korea are control, no-- under longer under u.s. control. and i think that there are other countries beginning to hedge against the unreliability of the united states. >> i want to ask the audience to start thinking about pushes. i have one more i will ask, and then i will turn things over to you. i would like you to imagine for a second that the international system was still functioning smoothly and that there still was a general agreement among the major powers about the underlying norms. even under those circumstances, even in the hypothetical, with
the international system, the multilateral system such as it is, be able to deal adequately with the major global threat that we face today, like climate change, like cyber, like inequality, or is the real problem with the international system, not just that because it is seven years old -- 70 years old, it no longer reflects the power map of the world, but is it also because it was designed at a time when those threats i just enumerated were not in anyone's imagining? so is the problem that our tools are not well-suited to the problems that we have to use them for today? donesador araud: what was is in example that -- an example that we can improvise. we can be inventive and bring to the table all the stakeholders to reach an agreement.
and so far, only the united states has left the room. china and india, especially, has been keen on the repeating that they want to stick to the agreement. and when president macron created this peace agreement, because the idea is to have this every year, in a sense it is what you want to do -- it is a call for creativity. obviously, the international system, but also in domestic terms the representative institutions in the country and international systems are challenged. they are challenged by the new balance of power, they are challenged by -- and challenged by also, really the fact that our citizens with the social media have new demands, which are legitimate. our society is-
pressed to invent new mechanisms to try to respond to these challenges. thegain, of course institutions are important and we should reform them. we should reform things in terms of permanent members, but we have also have to be willing to look at other ways of working together. to, victoria was referring but also new systems like the club 21 was in a sense an example of what we can do. just to i think that pick up on what the ambassador was a saying, there are, do i things- although i think should be within international
21er -- i think that the experience was a good example of these workarounds, if you will. you cannot get a formal treaty or multilateral treaty like you would have in the past, so you use individual, nationally determined contributions and then everybody comes to the table with what they got. it is multi-stakeholder and multilevel, so you have localities and states and coalitions of mayors and corporations making their own commitments. i think that is important. that said, you asked if it is enough, even if the u.s. was still in. but the difficulty is only one third of the mitigations, in terms of greenhouse gases, that we need the lowering of the omissions, only one third will be accomplished in the timeframe we need to get to. so even with ratcheting up commitments, it is going to be really hard to get there. the other thing i would say is, i think that some of it, the
difficulty we are running into, is, that the problems particularly those driven by technology, are happening so incredible he quickly. we have no idea what machine learning and artificial intelligence will actually do to global conflict and the balance of power amongst countries. and it is coming down the pike on what it is -- it is coming down the pike so fast that are lumbering institutions are having a difficult time dealing with this. the same thing could be said for the genomics revolution, for the nanotechnology and many other frontier issues in technology. victoria: i want to say that i think that one of the problems of the current debate, and this was reflected in the pompeo speech in brussels, is this false choice between strong state sovereignty and multilateral approaches. any multilateral approaches i have seen succeed are a result
of strong sovereign states choosing to act at home, then choosing to act collectively with others. you know, you do not wake up and say, u.n., do some dancing -- some thing. i think it really comes down to national will. that in the first instance. the the national will to act togethern. and even in the eu context, you have pulled a lot of sovereignty but you made a national choices to do that and national choices to deepen and broaden it. ambassador araud: i want to ever says this point. when people say the u.n., it does not exist. it is member states that have decided or not decided. thesee eu, really it is members that have chosen brussels as their whipping boy, but brussels is not decide, it is the member states which
decide. jonathan: let's open things up. when i call on you, wait for the microphone and tell us who you are. on my left, in the back. yes, the microphone is coming to you. >> my name is charles wesner. i am with, but not speaking on behalf of, of georgetown university. and i am a little troubled, because it seems to me that there is some handwringing here. i am interested in your reaction. in both trade and energy and security -- in secret, this president, who we may not love, he said the same thing the last four or five presidents said. he has not renounced article five. we are not out of nato. certainly the pentagon is not. you look at energy and we are so kyotoe are closer to the
requirements than the people who signed up. germany has gone in the opposite direction. iran continues to sit on their nuclear legitimate, very happily. but we have made more progress than most other countries. perhaps denmark has done a little better. and if you look at trade, uh, when you say that we should coordinate with the europeans. i worked in the oecd, working and coordinating with the europeans in your lifetime is usually a very daunting task. we lost an election because of the trade -- the figures on productivity, yes, maybe half of the loss is with employability. everything the chinese are doing, it has had no effect on us. but you know, if you look at the
itif analysis, that is not the case. what you might imagine is a president who put into percent tariff on all imports into the united states, stopped exporting food to japan, took us off the gold standard, and as a result president nixon, having shaken up the whole system, got the to beauty of -- got the imf reformed and laid the basis for the wto. know, the current system is not working. your observations about china, it is a complete game changer. and europe needs to do something before they are purchased by china. ece, the balkans, as they are already doing. jonathan: does anybody want to respond? victoria: i think we all need to organize better in terms of china and all of those kinds of
things. we are not, not any of us up here, saying the end of the world is nigh. i think we are saying we are missing opportunities to tackle these global challenges more effectively because we are not working together. and those who want to change the rules of the game in a way that will hurt our country and hurt our prosperity and hurt our security are far better organized and have a strategy as compared to us. that is the concern. stewart: i would say that the figures i saw, i have seen on trade from 2001-2010 when the u.s. lost 6 million manufacturing jobs, two thirds dueto automation, 2 million to come position from china. i would not suggest there is no impact all with respect china. i think that donald trump has
behind, put more muscle confronting the chinese on things that are well known in terms of their predatory behavior. i have a little bit more qualms, qualms with the fact he is doing so than the means and his approach that could have probably try to find common cause with the europeans, if he was not slapping them, and the canadians and others with aluminum tariffs and steel tariffs on national security grounds. it is partly style. i will take your point on the u.s. and its greenhouse gas emissions. i do not think donald trump has any claim to credit for that. but i do think that that it is an important point to make.
the question is really whether his climate policy is actually going to be useful going forward orterms of either hindering making it easier to get to those, to the paris climate's commitments. jonathan: the one thing on china, part of what is said concerning is we do not know what the objective of the president's policy on china is, because the white house has not decided what the objective is, and that is because there is a division between those around the president who want to soften china up to strike a better deal, and those who have no interest in striking any deal of the kind, because their objective is to fundamentally decouple the chinese and american economies said that the u.s. supply chains are no longer reliable on china, which they deem to be a fundamental security and economic threat. so there is a lack of clarity about what the ultimate u.s. objective is. and that makes the analogy with
nixon, for all his faults, was a reformer a little bit tricky. ambassador araud: as a non-american i know that the americans have never been shy about using their force. about twisting the arms of their partners. and this president is very good at guessing where is the balance of power. and he is using it. but it has always been the case in any foreign-policy of any country, the u.s. being the most powerful country has always been tempted to do it. that under theet clinton administration the u.s. did not sign the treaty banning the nuclear testing. he did not sign the convention on land mines. did not sign the agreement of the international human court.
it was under clinton. i quotethe country was, the secretary of state at the time, because the u.s. is an exceptional country. it has always been part of the american foreign-policy, again you are using -- when you have the power, you are using it. and the u.s. has always been using it. cloak ofneeds a decency, but what they are doing, they are not doing what the other powers have been doing for thousands of years. jonathan: this reminds me of reading general de gaulle's memoirs when he talks about fdr's plans, he was telling him about his plans for the post world war and de gaulle writes -- as was only human his will to power cloaked itself in idealism. jonathan: next caution, please.
yes, the woman in the middle. >> tte.'m colle i hope i can formulate this question and perhaps bring us down a little bit from geopolitics and power situations. do you see a connection between define aswhich i will a great discontent by a mass of people that feels they have been neglected, and rejection of multilateralism. -- multilateralism? jonathan: i think we addressed this a little bit. i certainly do, in the sense that populism is making it more
difficult for politicians, who would otherwise be inclined to for new international cooperations or two invested and 60 ones -- invest in existing because ofworry lack of domestic support. >> the other part of the question may be, are we more populist in part because of the preferred -- perceived failings of multilateral institutions. they are also in -- often held up as scapegoats because of domestic policy choices, but there is the other aspect, which is that people feel like many institutions like their own, government institutions --
government institutions, are --yed by and to believe that inequality on the fact that you can get left behind as the result of these -- of what these different institutions are doing. >> when you look at all of the western countries, you see the conservative parties are moving into a new direction. this direction is basically nationalism about the borders, .mmigrants we see that the french conservative has been moving in the same direction. you see it also in european countries. personally, i'm convinced we are entering a new era. years of oldor 40
policies, we are entering into a new era, and that means new ideology. i suspect on the right, there is already a shift. that will shift to borders. identity politics. it does not lead you to be internationally -- internationally -- internationality. mr. bannon is trying to create an association of nationalists. nationalists don't like each other. for instance, between austria and italy, their the border problem. add, if you see a shift on the right, it is still a question mark on the left whether the left is adjusting to the new situation.
free-trade,k at whatever we think of free-trade saying it is good and so on, i'm ready to bet that there won't be parliamentt by the for 20 years. we either like it or don't like it. our citizens are saying sick -- are sick of saying no way. we need the most european friendly agreement you can image in. jonathan: i also think that internationally minded politicians face a real problem with rhetoric and messaging. there are several things contributing to that. first, it is no longer a bipartisan issue. that's because of the other disappearance of internationally minded republicans on the
national stage here in the united states. where there was once a very broad bipartisan consensus in favor of deep international engagement in the united states, wing orecome a left democratic priority. that predates the problem because it has identified with one particular camp read if you're in the other, you are disinclined to support it. the other problem is, the as people feel like they have been sold a bill of goods that the of internationalism didn't deliver the things they were supposed to deliver on trade, etc. some of that is not true, and some of it is true, and because the problem that people face or feel so immediate and the promises or benefits of internationalism, multilateral
cooperation, can often seem so extract and long-term. politicians need to come up with a new way of selling the , tofits to ordinary people veryoliticians in a immediate sense that they can understand so they feel like they are being sold a package that will make their lives better in a real way. ofs not just the preaching aloof elites not concerned about their day-to-day existence. >> i think the problem is different in europe and the united states. i don't think it is the same issue. maybe there are similar strains, you have 20 years of politicians where they had to do hard things, blaming the eu rather than taking responsibility and not touching the successes of the eu
appropriately. combined with the fact that when to fullakes these moves sovereignty on things like currency, borders, and then does not complete the process so the ooled sovereignty create the banking crisis and there aren't the resilient multilateral tools to deal with them, or the refugee crisis and ,here is no prominent approach then people feel doubly letdown. i would say you either have to go in the direction of more europe or less europe, and you have to defendant regardless. on the u.s. side, maybe it is a version of the same, but it is this perception that u.s. global leadership has come at the expense of individual americans that somehow, if you are not putting the money out there, you
would have more of it here, and the failure to make that connection we made so successfully in the 50's, 60's, 70's, that if we didn't manage the global economy, our own would not grow. if we didn't maintain freedom of the common and national security terms, we would not be able to grow and prosper, and we would be dragged into more wars. somehow we lost the bubble on that one. i fear on both sides of the -- andc, the nationalist i'm a believer that you can be a nationalist and multi-dance list -- multinational list at the same time, they are offering negativity, not positivity either case. backwill eventually cycle around. i just don't know how long it will take. >> the gentleman in the red sweater. >> thank you. my name is matthew, and i'm a
washingtonian. i've spent my career and the american labor movement. i have a question about multilateralism and peace. how do you see multilateral institutions working or not ,orking in terms of the crisis the humanitarian crisis in yemen, which is arguably tied to a proxy war? stewart: i will take the first abbot that. i'm not a middle east experts, but generally speaking, the un security council in particular tends to work best when one of the perceived vital national interests of the member state is not directly involved. here it would be hard to say a vital national interest was involved to say the least, but peacemaking there, was
complicated by the fact that it was a proxy war between the saudi's and the iranians. in the united states being in bed with the saudi's, and in some of the europeans as well in terms of selling weapons to them. i think the u.n. and international community continues to play extraordinary roles with respect to humanitarian assistance and dealing with it at a time where the displaced are greater in numbers, close to 69 million people, and decades. is thaticulty in syria if the great powers -- major regional powers are not willing to put major pressure on the combatants, to come to the bargaining table, it is not necessarily going to do anything except put a band-aid on the problem.
you'll end up dealing with the symptoms rather than the causes. gerard: on yemen, as soon as the americans are willing to put up and to the conflict, there was issued by secretary mattis. in theas a negotiation united nations and they had reached an agreement. now, to see whether this agreement would be implemented is another problem. exactly what stewart said. that they're not able to solve, the complex or major powers are involved or constantly at stake. yemen was in this case. i'll talk about syria,
but it has implications for yemen as well. this is a classic example of where the u.n. gets blamed for things unfairly. the u.n. has had three special representatives for syria. they keep quitting because they have an impossible job. the reason is because civil wars never end when the combatants are getting significant support from players outside of their countries. until that support and until the countries on the periphery that are all involved in civil war, russia, iran, the gulf states, , make a decision to end their support or roll it back as part of the deal unilaterally, the best you a negotiator want to be able to a cop which anything. next question please. front. -- right here in front.
on james orenstein -- i am james orenstein. i was waiting for the word migration which the ambassador mentioned. it seems to me we are talking about reform, and multilateralism to support feeds -- peace. it seems to me that just by saying we are closing our borders, it doesn't solve the problem. it seems to me this is something the international community should be paying attention to. may, i agree with you. something like one out of every 37 people in the world is a migrant.
this does not include the refugees and idp's. this is a huge proportion of humanity in overall numbers. there has been an effort over the last two years for global compact of migration that was just signed in america -- -- merikesh. what was interesting was that the united states, toward the end of last year, decided it was not going to participate in that. nikki haley did this because she said we retain the sovereign position as two entrants -- as to who enters the country. it was not binding in the slightest. it was an expression of an intent to treat migrants humanely. there was no legal standing that
it would have in the united states and u.s. -- and in the u.s. context. it's an indication on how the nationalist passions run incredibly hot. , givenilding up walls the economic and other incentives for people to be leaving their own countries, it needs to be orderly and regulated. whether or not the global multilateral level is the place to actually come up with major regimes is a big question. many of these phenomena tend to be regional. there probably will be an arrangement with africa and the european union, for instance, but there is no question that needs to be more regularly governed. it was the reason why trump was elected. the migration issue was number
one in terms of why people were attracted to him. there are many reasons, but that was the biggest of the reasons. jonathan: not to step on your toes, but europe shows the need for greater and more equitable burden sharing among countries because the burden of dealing with the migrant populations has fallen in such uneven ways so that some countries like italy have these enormous populations to deal with. despite pledges of assistance from countries further away, have not gotten the help. certain individual countries have stepped in to help. others have not done their fair share. you have these wild disparities in the numbers. gerard: what happened with the migration pact is an unordered air he example for populist politics.
-- by severaleen countries. which are countries that have populist governments. they decided not to sign this pact. government has fallen on it. it has been one of the elements behind the riots in france. a sort of incredibleone of the figures about the pact saying they would be obliged to accept and it would be impossible to stop migrations and so on. it has been a major issue. thatorst part has been conservative parties, respectable parties, actually have a sort of incredible served on the wave and have
>> we see a lot of importance about climate change, but can such agreements really be effective if they are nonbinding as it often seems they are. stewart: i think for some of them, the proof remains in the pudding. there are reputational aspects of some of these agreements. in particular, naming and shaming as well particularly when there is supposed to be a mechanism under the paris agreement were not only it was
agreed in terms of how countries would be monitoring and how they would be recording these. it's unrealistic to think there would be certain penalties, at least in this current iteration that would be imposed on countries that don't live up to their commitments. at least it creates some political momentum and also allows advocacy organizations and those who care about the climate within the countries to take action. another thing that would be would be in forward the wto which would allow -- and tore is room for this -- allow climate waivers to be integrated into the global trading system. countries inrmit principle to discriminate against in terms of tariffs or others.
they are highly controversial, as you can imagine. i think it could be one way of moving towards putting force into these commitments. i think this stuff is great. as we talked about, the often politics in individual countries , you have to have a binding agreement within the nation. and it has to go to parliament. the standard will be really the minimum you can agree to. having aspirational goals, which you might be able to reach or at least work towards, often allow you to get a better outcome. it is far better than doing nothing. also, the advent of voluntary regimes like the proliferation security initiative, which happened under bush 43, where if we had a binding obligation to
interdict shifts at sea that of carryinged nefarious stuff, no parlance -- parliament would agree to that stuff. it became a competition among us to see who could do better, and it works better than anything, treaty oriented, would have worked. i think we should be flexible and take it where we can get it. >> i wonder if you could talk about peacekeeping forces. can you talk about the role of multilateralism or international institutions of improving forest -- improving the presence of
these peacekeeping forces and making them responsive and less prone to impunity. jonathan: let me take one or two more questions because we are almost out of time. the woman in the second row here? >> i just want to thank you guys for doing an amazing job. the malley republic in west africa. know we have a big issue and .alley right now the united nations and international community as a whole has been working this past year to bring back piece and security in the region.
it seems to me the violence has increased day-to-day, and security is greater than ever. jonathan: one more quick question if we can. you towards the right. and keep it quick. is blake. i'm currently a government consultant, but used to work for the u.s. omissions -- admissions in geneva for the u.n.. talk about reforming multilateralism, but in regards to international organization, what alternatives are there to reform these institutions and make them with the current context of the world? why don't i give each of you a chance to wrap up and you can comment on whichever three questions you would like. we have too questions about peacekeeping, one relating to haiti and impunity, and the other relating to molly.
and then a question about performing international organizations, what is possible, and what alternatives exist read stewart: i have not been ,ollowing molly closely enough but with respect to peacekeeping, an interesting question. there is an ongoing reform effort that has been launched toward peacekeeping. 100,000 blue helmeted soldiers are deployed around the world, second largest appoint force in the world. after the united states. they are doing incredible things and a great deal for american taxpayers. we pay $.25 on the dollar for effort -- the effort to get. a lot of issues remain in terms of mobilizing troops -- contributors that are
professional. that are willing to conduct themselves and are punished when they do not conduct themselves , and too often have spent time committing crimes against the people they have been charged with protecting. going forward, it will be interesting to see how the peacekeepers, the u.n. peacekeepers relate to the increasing capabilities of regional organizations. haiti, i spent time in haiti and -- is as ally country in dire circumstances that has too many peak operations over the years. there is an understandable desire to wind it up. it's a country that has become overly dependent on international assistance. the peaceinding up of operations, it has to be part of
that. organization,th one of the problems there is a donor funding has been up and down. more disease specific rather than strengthening the agency. one thing -- one way to reform would be to balance the relationship between headquarters in the uh oh and its strong regional offices. the could have helped response to the ebola crisis. there may need to be fuller -- folder -- further reforms and health regulations to deal with bio security threats coming down the pipe. i don't think it is impossible to get a reform at the who if all of the major stakeholders get behind that's reform. we have seen it in the wake of the of bullet crisis. gerard: on the peacekeeping forces, i could talk during hours, because it has been my
problem for five years. u.n. doesn't have real military structure. there's a strategy command in new york. the forces which are sent are forces that are likely armed. the western powers are not providing soldiers, which means the contingents very often are not a very good quality. .ome countries are making money each blue helmet is paid $1400 per month. themcountries are paying $400 and keeping the money. the soldiers are not sent to fight. they are sent basically to stabilize a situation after a peace agreement. to don't have to expect them
be fighting forces, risking the lives. they are coming from a foreign country, they don't have any stake in the country, very often they don't speak the language of the country. --re are checkpoint forces they are checkpoint forces establish ties -- a stabilizing -- forces stabilizing the conditions. calledaverted what we [indiscernible]which was specially a formality but [indiscernible] which means be allowed toay and their mandate is to be robbers, but they don't have capability to do it. it's not the u.n., it is the member states. is, when you say we
should have a strategy command and there are 100 officers in new york. it's amazing. it doesn't make any sense. when you want to create a real headquarters, the answer is no dictatedse it would be powers.estern they are the only ones to be able to provide capabilities for command. we have the contradiction once between theis wheel, political goal, and means that you are putting in place. molly, -- malley, the
problem we face is the monday to peacekeeping forces -- mandate of peacekeeping forces that don't have the resources to implement the mandate, which means the french forces are in support of the u.n. force, but at the end of the day, the solution would be political. authority toe reach an agreement with the population in the north. knowre from malley and you there's a problem between the need and north, and we political compromise. the other part of the issue is libya. you regularly have terrorists groups going from libya to malley and they are stopped by the french. but, it is endless.
that's the second problem. the victim of the situation in libya. just on you and reform, i don't think one should have hope for reform unless and until the united states has the leadership and will to take it on as a major endeavor, and that is not the case right now. jonathan: we haven't solved the world -- solved the world's problem and i'm not even sure if we -- with great people like this working on these issues, i cannot help feel hopeful. join me in thanking our fabulous panel. [applause]
announcer: when the new congress takes office in january, it will have the youngest, host diverse class in recent history. new congress, new leaders. watch it live on c-span starting january 3. host: judith shulevitz joins us now from new york and she is a contributor for "the atlantic" and explore the technology behind digital assistants. start by explaining what digital assistants are and how prevalent they are in society. guest: my piece was specifically about voice activated digital assistants. digil