tv French Embassy Hosts Discussion on International Organizations Peace CSPAN December 24, 2018 2:03am-3:34am EST
holiday as the senate and house have ended their sessions. islegislative business scheduled in either body until next thursday. as always, watch live house coverage on c-span and the senate on c-span two. now, from the french embassy in washington, a discussion on the role of international organizations such as nato and the u.n. in promoting peace. the panel includes former u.s. diplomat victoria nuland and the french abbasid or. -- and the french ambassador. jonathan: hi, everyone. welcome, i'm jonathan tepperman.
editor and chief of "foreign policy" magazine. tonight's panel is a spinoff from the paris peace forum which the french government hosted on armistice day and tonight our mission is to figure out or at least shed some -- shed some light on some very big, very important questions on the theme you see above you. now, i have to start by confessing a failure. i normally like to begin events like this with a joke and i have to say i spent several days struggling to come up with a joke on the theme of how to form multilateralism to form peace and i failed utterly. if any of you have any suggestions during the course of the event, feel free to share. but nonetheless, or perhaps it's because the subject is so important and our mission tonight is a big one. especially because as you all know this is an extraordinary moment in global politics and extraordinary is a very polite word for what's actually going on. multilateralism -- multilateral organizations seem to be
faltering, strong men rulers are rising around the globe, the united states is withdrawing and retreating from its international engagements, the country is now led by a president who is openly scornful of international norms 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 vladimir putin on one side and a hostile donald trump on the other and emerging powers like china and india are demanding changes to international organizations that undergird multilateralism. bodies like the u.n. and the world bank which to be fair to india and china do not reflect power andtries' prestige.
the problem is that all of these things are happening as a long list of global problems from cyber security to climate change and on and on keep getting worse. it is a scary moment and the stakes for a discussion like this could not be higher. to, we are not here tonight wring our hands. the point of this conversation is to try to figure out what we can all do about it. and on that note, we are lucky to have three supersmart experts up to her to help us do all of that. my immediate left, we have victory in , chief executive officer of the center for new american security. she is also a professor at yale. she spent 32 years in government. during which -- >> i started when i was 10, thanks. she served ash state department spokesperson
under hillary clinton and then assistant secretary of state for eurasian and asian department. and a career diplomat from france holding a long list of other impressive jobs many related to security in the middle east. he was the french ambassador to israel and also permanent representative to the united nations. and to his left, you're right, it is do or patrick, director of the international organizations in 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." i was going to say you should all read it, but you should all buy the book. [laughter] let me start with some questions
for the group and then we will open things up to the floor. as we ofse for tonight already established is that multilateralism is essential for peace. but just to be fair, we probably should not assume that. i mean, i can probably guess what each of you thinks on the subject, but i do want to start by asking each of you, do you agree with these fundamental idea that multilateralism is essential for peace and you can have the latter than the former? tory, do you want to start? victoria: i don't know any country on the planet that can make peace inside their own domestic situation and even then that's sometimes hard. if by multilateralism you mean it takes more than one country to settle disputes across borders, of course. beathan: but just to would bilateral is him. multilateralism which is broader. victoria: it's very rare for two
countries to settle it by themselves. often they need a community outside or honest brokers or international organizations. so is it -- is it absolutely death defyingly impossible to make peace without multilateral environment? no. is it far preferable and far more likely to happen in a multilateral context? absolutely. jonathan: do you agree? i assume so since it's your panel. gerard: you know the world, international world, the world is a jungle in a sense there is no judge, there is no \[french -- there is no gendarmes if a crime is committed. so we need to try to civilize this jungle of sovereignties. and the whole organizations are trying to play this role. first, it's sort of a marketplace where ideas are exchanged, where people can really pursue dialogue, and it's those sort of places.
-- and it is healthy to have these sorts of places. secondly, they provide, also, mechanisms, you know, really maybe to avoid conflicts or to solve conflicts. so it is not a nation -- it is not a panacea but it helps. i guess it helps to promote, defend, or re-establish peace. stewart: i would say multilateralism is not a guarantee for peace. it's not always essential. one can think of times where you have a balance of terror, say, between the united states and the soviet union and they didn't necessarily trade military blows. so you could have peace in other ways. but it wouldn't be a just peace necessarily. and it wouldn't be a durable peace and legitimate peace. when you think about that, i think we ignore international institutions at our peril. there's been a major trend in thinking about multilateralism to think, well, it could happen with just sort of a collection of powers, for instance, for
deciding the world's fate. that has been tried historically. when you think of mediating disputes that might be pending between two different countries or much less trying to tamp down internal conflict, it's hard to imagine doing that unless you have standing international institutions that are at least part of the board. the other thing i would say, when it comes to multilateralism we have had experiences in the , last 100 years of the league of nations with efforts of multilateralism that weren't really backed by power and weren't really backed by political will. if you don't have those things then you have to be careful just thinking that this is a technical exercise. we just had the right institutions everything would be fine. you still have to have the big powers to actually get involved and use their weight.
jonathan: point well taken. we agreed i think on the first major premise of the discussion tonight but there is a second. when president macron designed the paris peace forum, or put his support behind it, the idea was that it would address what they have called or he's called a crisis of multilateralism. so the second question is, number one, was, do we need multilateralism? yes. the second is, does multilateralism indeed face a crisis? after all -- and i would urge you all to remember, the system, the global rules-based order, which is now about 70-plus years old which 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 or as if defenders sometimes insist and there were many moments over the last 70 years
when it seemed to have broken down entirely or at least frozen in space whether it was during the cold war when at the u.n., for example, the security council was almost permanently deadlocked between russia and the united states. or in 1999 during the kosovo crisis when the united states and its new supposed friend russia under boris yeltsin almost came to blows in the race to the airport. or during the iraq war debate in 2003 when the united states couldn't get the support that it wanted and declared that europe was divided and the whole world was divided between friends and enemies and those who were with us and those who were against us. there were lots of crises in the multilateral order in the past. is this one worse? is this one special?
victoria: i mean, i think whether you call it a crisis or not, it's 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. so i think if i had to guess, that's what prompted president macron to try to rally the world. i do want to pick up on one thing stewart said, though. he was equating multilateralism with the institutions, and i think there is a distinction in the sense i think gerard and i have been involved both in plenty of negotiations toward peace that involved a constellation of nations but not necessarily the institutions. it's always best if you get institutional support or if you use the tools of the institution but it doesn't necessarily have to be for multilateral success, i would say.
gerard: you know, i think if we have to look at multilateralism, we have to get rid of any inside naivete. we have to be realistic which means the great powers are not going to really submit their vital interests to multilateralism and that's the lessons learned from the league of nations. that's the reason why there is a veto right within the security council. and actually, in a lot of conflicts, neither the u.s. nor china nor russia has accepted that the security council end all these conflicts. you know, iraq, but also the israeli-palestinian conflict, for the u.s., for russia. you have ukraine and syria, for china, you have mynamar and sri lanka, for instance. so our politics are here, they
were here yesterday and there will be tomorrow. we can regret it but that's the real world. the second point is also we have to be flexible and i really agree with what victoria said. multilateralism, it's the institutions, but it's also coalition of willing and even we have to be more creative going beyond the states. i think the 21 which was formed in paris, and also one formed on veterans day, today there are so many issues where we need to work beyond the states with civil society, with the business community, the territories, the cities. and that's also, i guess, a new prospect for multilateralism.
stewart: yeah, just to pick up on that. i agree with what's been said about the proliferation of sort of multilateral vehicles that are out there. you know, we live in a world with i think one called it the world of multi-multilateralism where it's not the formal institutions. the only point i would make the ad hoc stuff is not enough. we need both -- when it looks at international institutions, we need prefixe and a la carte and also the charter of the united nations and the universal organizations but then we also need these coalitions and some flexibility to them. beyond the two causes of the current crisis of multilateralism that tori and the ambassador mentioned, the u.s. abdication and in a sense, the persistence of geopolitics. i just want to mention a couple of others. one of them is i think what we've seen, particularly in the
wake of the global financial crisis, is an enormous disillusionment and it's the rising populism and it's led to rising populism and the institutions that we actually have, appear to have some societal breakdowns associated with them that have left people behind. i think there's that in and of itself is making it much more difficult. we see this, of course, in france with the yellow vest phenomenon where there is on the one hand the big multilateral agreement that's out there, the most important multilateral agreement of the 21st century is the paris climate accord. on the other hand people, again, as the saying goes, they want to get to the end of the month. even while people are talking about the end of the world. the other issue i would just want to point out, two -- jonathan: i want to stop you there because there's a lot in -- stewart: sure. that is a rich vein we should
tap. stewart: we can get together. jonathan: what you're saying is very important. that is, one of the critical reasons that multilateralism is under so much pressure today is because politicians are under tremendous pressure at home. from people who are dealing with so many individual pressures. economic and social. that they're far less interested in helping other people elsewhere. and appeals to international cooperation do not resonate and -- and abstract arguments about how international cooperation may or will indeed end up benefiting us personally, are too many steps removed from the way people think about. i heard a few years ago the great psychologist daniel connaman talking about climate change and he was pessimistic because he said the human brain is really not designed to deal with a problem like climate
change. there are several problems with it. one is the scale is beyond our reckoning. two is the time frame is too long. and third, the obvious ability of any individual act to impact what's going on is so unclear that it's just something we human animals, our brains are not built to cope with. there's some analogous happening with multilateral cooperation where especially where the payoffs are indirect and not immediate. especially at moments like now when the pressures and the challenges that people face at home seem so pressing and so real. now, this sentiment has been exaggerated and manipulated by unscrupulous populists in this country and elsewhere, but it's not just subject for
manipulation. it's not illegitimate. there's a real core there that everyone is paying attention to, and this is why it was the obama administration was also very worried about this or shared the concern, which is why it focused very hard on retrenchment or at least limiting u.s. obligations abroad after the imperial overstretch of the bush administration and it's why clinton made a very thating remark in europe europe needs to get a handle on its migration problem or the populism problem there is going to get even worse. so the question is -- given all of this intense pressure, which makes it harder than ever for internationally minded politicians to sell international politics at home, how can they -- how can governments reconcile these
legitimate domestic concerns with the ongoing need for international cooperation? how can they persuade their very internally focused and sovereignty minded publics that it's better to hang together than it is to hang separately? and that it's in their immediate interest to cooperate internationally, not just in their abstract long-term interests? gerard: you know, when i was at the u.n., the united nations, when i was the french rep to the u.n., there was a great democracy which basically you had voted against human rights or resolution on human rights and defending a country which was not defendable for democracy. and i asked the question, why
did you do that? the answer was a bit surprising. you know, gerard, we are not on the board and i think it was unusual what you said is our institutions are not reflecting the world of today. and that's also an important element. if you want to have brazil or india, you know, as responsible as we hope, it's also, i think, necessary to give them the responsibilities to be on the board and we are talking about the reform of the security council, reform, also, of the i.m.f. we have to bring this country to the board. france and u.k., we are advocating the reform of the security council for some time. the u.s., russia, china, are much more reluctant for very different reasons, by the way. but, again, we have to do it because the security council is reflecting 1945.
i think that's an important element. the second element where i would say you're right, as george said, you have a populist -- populist wave. they are going in the direction of nationalism. but we don't have to forget that the populist, however nosy they are, they are still a minority in sore sites. all part of our societies which are oriented to internationalism and you also have the fact that a lot of issues we are facing by definition, international, and are requesting that the world answer. you are talking about climate change. there is the cyber world. how to govern or how to -- cyber world which means cybersecurity but also privacy. it's very prizing there is a
-- surprising there it is not the same in france as it is in the u.s. you have the taxation of the high-tech companies. you have the future of the survival of the oceans, you know, so there are a lot, a lot of issues which by themselves demand a world answer. jonathan: you are taking a technocratic approach. fair enough. victoria: the answer goes to your question which is 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.
and a lack of confidence, i would argue, in our ability to do what we've always done which is to innovate, reinvent, to be ahead of more closed societies in creating more prosperity, etc. we're not going to do better for our working men and women by trying to roll back the economic clock to the 1950's or re-establishing mercantile tariff systems. we are going to do better by working together to keep the system open to innovate together to solve problems like cyber predators, etc., together. and by pooling 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 too state controlled and because they control the minds and activities of their citizens so we can compete. we need to be confident in that but we also need politicians who
go into communities and remind folks how many of their jobs depend on exports, how many of their jobs depend on the ability to trade freely, not just with canada and mexico, but with the whole world, and it's not true only on the u.s. coast. it's true in the middle too. you know, europe is the largest trading partner for at least 30 u.s. individual states. jonathan: 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 downsize would be? and then not doing enough work to buffer the public from the inevitable disorienting shifts that are occurred?
stewart: if i might pick that up. they bear a bit, you know, i think on the one hand, bill clinton was somebody who had enormous empathy and communicated that empathy and had sort of a populist or a popular common man sort of ability to communicate with people but i think there was an element of sort of go, go, globalization that sort of turboed globalization that took hold. capital has done very well and i think to some degree i'm in favor of openness but i feel like -- at least in some cases when it came to labor and employment and ensuring that there's a lot of talk about
skills and retraining and trade adjustment assistance and things like that, but in many of our countries, frankly, and certainly in the united states, the sovereign space that countries retained, including for the united states, to actually pursue those policies despite promises on both republican and democratic sides were not necessarily fulfilled. 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 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 try to change some of the rules of the w.t.o. so you can deal with some of the things with respect to china that it's not doing. jonathan: i want to try to break down some of these answers more by asking -- 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
and norms that would need to underpin a multilateral system? ambassador araud: the immigrants 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, the wars in africa, four or five 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., that's a miracle. 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 dominate also the 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 democracy, you see there is an 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. jonathan: the question is whether the problem is mechanical or philosophical. to apply it to what you just said, is the solution required merely a manner of adjusting the current institutions to make more room for new entrants? or is there a deeper problem are countries like china actually revisionist powers, who don't want a seat at the table but change the rules of the game? if it is the latter, how do we construct a new order along those lines? that suits us as well as them? stewart: i think that actually, unfortunately there are philosophical 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. what the tragedy is the way the united states is behaving, as if it doesn't 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 defended at all what was 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 or cyber security, there are even differences between the united states and europe on a number of different things, but a big difference are between sovereign control over the internet with constant surveillance and monitoring and violation of people's civil rights, as you have in china, versus at least in 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 do you get or what's your share in trade, or really the philosophical questions about the way the world should be organized. victoria: i think that we are in now, again, a major ideological challenge to the openness and freedom of 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 , individually, and our nations to 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 allow you the autocrats to either brute their way into greater leadership position, or ooze their way as
another autocrat does, into a greater leadership position while we're 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 e.u. itself, or transatlantically in terms of reviving a new economy for our citizens in the wake of that. jonathan: to follow up on that by trying to make things still more concrete, we have done a really good job of laying out the current threats and the looming dangers, aim 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, with a breakdown in multilateralism? can you think of examples? or 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 -- the united states is paying the price by deciding to take on china's trade by ourselves, rather than accepting the european and north asia offered to get into this business together, we're having to exact a greater price on china by ourselves than we would have had had we 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 secure the process and keep moving, but it's not necessarily clear. jonathan: you follow this stuff closely, do you see other 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 try to go against this trend and not to welcome, for instance, a very devastating report by the intergovernmental panel on climate change about the dire straits that we're in. that slows down not only with -- what 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 tore an integrated defense entity. in some way that's a good thing. taking more responsibility for 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.
in an effort to make sure if war does come to the korean peninsula, troops from the republic of south korea are actually ok under control, no longer under u.s. control. and i think that there are other countries beginning to hedge against the unreliability of the united states. jonathan: i want to ask you-all and the audience to start thinking about your questions. i have one more i'll ask myself and 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 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 three threats i just enumerated among many others weren't 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? ambassador araud: what was done is 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 forum, because the idea is to have this -- this peace forum every year, in a sense it's what you want to do, it's 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. so it is also -- our society is pressed to invent new mechanisms to try to respond to these challenges. so again, of course the
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. what victoria was referring to, but also new systems like the club 21 were in a sense an example of what we can do. stewart: i think that just to pick up on what the ambassador was staying, there are, fortunately -- though i do think things within international law, for burden sharing over the long term, i do think that the club 21 experience was a good example of these work around, 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 is it 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 incredibly 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 much less than what it's going to do for employment. it's coming down the pike so fast that our lumbering institutions by and large have 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 thing. it's the states of the u.n. that make these choices. i think it really comes down to national will. in the first instance. then the national will to act together. that is what is fraying. 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 emphasize this point. when people say the u.n., it does not exist. it is member states that have decided or not decided. and the eu, really it is these members that have chosen brussels as their whipping boy, but brussels doesn't decide, it's 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. please identify yourself. >> 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 in
security, this president who we may not love, but he said the same thing that the last four or five presidents have said. he has not renounced article five. we are not out of nato. we're not moving away from that. certainly the pentagon is not. you look at energy and we are so dumb we are closer to the kyoto requirements than the people who signed up. germany has gone in the opposite direction. france continues to sit on its nuclear electricity, 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 with the oecd for many years and trying to coordinate 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 in employment is productivity. everything the chinese are doing, it has had no effect on us. but if you look at the analysis, it's certainly not the case. what you might imagine is a president who put 10% 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 i.m.f. reformed and laid the basis for the w.t.o. so, you 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. the greece, 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 what we're saying is we're missing opportunities to tackle these global challenges more effectively because we're 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 due to automation, 2 million due to competition from china. i would not suggest there is no impact all with respect china. i think that donald trump has put his, put more muscle behind confronting the chinese on things that are well known in terms of their predatory behavior. i have a little bit more qualms, less qualms with the fact he is doing so than the means and his blunder bust approach to things that could have probably tried to find common cause with the europeans if he wasn't spuriously 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 in terms of either hindering or making it easier to get to those, to the paris climate's
commitments. jonathan: the one thing on china, part of what is said -- so concerning about it is we don't even 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 so that u.s. supply chains are no longer reliable on china, which they deem to be 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. and has done it. and people forget that under the 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 criminal court. it was under clinton. because the country was, i quote 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 force, you when you have power, you are using it. and the u.s. has always been using it. the u.s. needs a cloak of decency, but what they are doing, they are not doing what any power has been doing for thousands of years. jonathan: this reminds me of reading de gaulle's memoirs when he talks about f.d.r.'s plans for the post war world, and de gaulle writes -- as was only human his will to power cloaked itself in idealism. jonathan: next question, please. yes, the woman in the middle. >> thank you. i'm collette, a french-american,
and i have had a career in foreign affairs focused on international development. i hope i can formulate this question and perhaps bring us down a little bit from geopolitics and power situations to how -- well, do you see a connection between populism, which i will define as great discontent by the massive people that feels they have been neglected and rejection of multilateralism? >> it's been making it difficult for politicians who otherwise would be inclined to push -- for
new international corporations or invest in existing ones. to do so. because they worry about a lack of necessary support. stewart: part of it is the other part of the question may be well are we more populists in part because of the perceived failings of international institutions or multilateral institutions? two things there, i would say one they are often held up as scapegoats for failures of sort of necessary governance and policy choices. but then there is also the other aspect which is if people feel like many institutions, like their own governmental institutions, but also even maybe worse more distant international institutions are rigged for, say, moneyed interests or corporations, etc., then it can become pretty easy to be cynical about globalization and -- for instance and to be -- to believe
that inequality or the fact that you get left behind is a result of what these different institutions are doing. that may get to part your question. ambassador araud: there is also something striking when you look at all 8 western countries, you see the conservative parties are moving into a new direction. and this direction is basically nationalism. about borders, about immigrants. we see it here, which is striking of course, but for me that the french conservative have been moving into exactly the same direction. you see it also in all the european countries. apparently -- personally i'm convinced we're entering a new era. after the 30 or 40 years of liberal policies by reagan-thatcher, we entering into a new era, which means new ideology. i suspect that on the right
there is already a shift. shift to nationalism, borders, identity politics doesn't lead you to be internationalist, obviously. it's very funny, as you know mr. bannon is trying to create an association of nationalists, but it doesn't realize that -- by definition nationalists don't like each other. for instance, really between austria and italy, there is a border problem. and they are squabbling already. so that's -- i had as a food -- i had as a footnote if you see the shift on the right, it's still a question mark on the left whether the left is trying -- the left is adjusting to the new situation. when you look, for instance, at free trade, whatever we think of free trade, saying it's good and so on, i'm ready to bet that there won't be a free trade
agreement ratified by europe and parliament for the coming 20 years. we like it or we don't like it, but our citizens are really simply saying no way. really, even the canadian won't be satisfied. it's the most friendly europe and friendly agreement that you can imagine. jonathan: i also think that internationally minded politicians now face a real problem with rhetoric and with messaging. there are several things that are contributing to that. first, it's no longer bipartisan issue. because of the other disappearance of internationally minded republicans on the national stage here in the united states. so what -- there was ones a very broad -- once a very broad bipartisan consensus in favor of deep international engagement in the united states, it's now
become effectively a left wing or a democratic priority. that creates a problem because it's now identified with one particular camp. if you are in the other, then you are automatically disinclined to support it. the other problem is that because people feel like they have been sold a bill of goods that the old rhetoric in favor of internationalism didn't deliver the things that it was supposed to deliver on trade, etc., some of that is not true, but some of it is true, and because, again, the problems that people face or feel so immediate and the promises or the benefits of internationalism, multilateral cooperation, can often feel so abstract and so long term, politicians need to come up with a new way of selling the benefits to ordinary people, to
nonpoliticians, in a very immediate sense that they can understand. so that they feel like they are being sold a package that will make their lives better in a very real way. and it's not just the preaching of aloof, elites who aren't concerned about their day-to-day existence. victoria: i think the problem is different in europe and the united states. i don't think it's the same issue. maybe there are similar strains, but i think in europe you have 20 years' of politicians when they had to do hard things blaming the e.u. rather than taking responsibility and not touting the successes of the e.u. appropriately. combined with the fact that when the e.u. makes these moves to pull sovereignty on things like currency on the one hand, borders on the other hand, but doesn't complete the process so
that the holes in that sovereignty create the banking crisis. and there aren't the resilient multilateral tools or the refugee crisis and there is no common approach because you did it without coming up with a common refugee immigration policy, then people feel doubly let down. i would say you have either got to go in the direction of more europe or less europe. and you have to defend it regardless. i think on the u.s. side maybe it's 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 aren't putting the money out there, you would have more of it here. and the failure to make that connection that we made so successfully in the 50, 660's, 70's, if we didn't manage the
global economy, our own wouldn't grow. if we didn't maintain freedom of the commons in national security terms, we wouldn't be able to grow and prosper and we would be dragged into more wars. somehow we lost the bubble on that one. i feel that on both sides of the atlantic, the nationalists -- i'm a believer you can be a nationalist and multinationalist at the same time, don't like the word, but they are offering negativity, they are not offering positivity in either case. they are not going to come up with answers, either. and this will eventually cycle back around. don't know how long it will take. jonathan: gentleman in the red sweater. >> thank you. my name is a matthew, a local washingtonian. and i spent my career in the american labor movement. i had a question about multilateralism and peace. which is how do you see
multilateral institutions working or not working in terms of the crisis, the humanitarian crisis in yemen, which is arguably tied to a proxy war? stewart: i'm take a first stab at that not being a middle east expert. i think generally speaking the u.n. 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 is involved to say the least. i think that that -- the peacemaking there was complicated by the fact that it was a proxy war obviously between the saudis and the iranians.
and obviously the united states being pretty much in bed with the saudis, and some of the europeans as well in terms of selling weapons to them. i think that the u.n. and the international community continues to play extraordinary role with respect to humanitarian assistance and dealing with internally displaced at a time when the displaced are greater in numbers, like 68 and a half, maybe 69 million people than at any time certainly in decades. the difficulty is as we saw you in syria as well is that if the great powers are -- major regional powers are at loggerheads and not willing to put major pressure on the combatants to come to the bargaining table, it's not necessarily going to do anything except put a band-aid on that problem. so end up dealing with the symptoms rather than the causes of it. that's my first reaction. ambassador araud: on yemen, as soon as the americans have signaled their will to put an end to the conflict, you know there was the speech by
secretary mattis, especially maybe it's not totally by chance that actually there was a negotiation in stockholm and the edges of the united nations and have reached an agreement. now to see whether this agreement would be implemented is another problem. but i think it's -- it's really exactly what was said. that the conflicts that -- is not able to serve the conflicts where major powers are involved or considered of interests are at stake. so far you can sense yemen was in this case. jonathan: i'll talk about syria. but it has implication force yemen as well. this is a classic example of a case where the u.n. gets blamed for things unfairly. the u.n. has now had -- three special representatives for syria?
and they keep quitting because they have an impossible job. the reason is because they have civil wars never end when the combatants are getting significant support from players outside their countries. until that support ends, until the countries on the periphery that are all involved in syria's civil war, russia, iran, the gulf states, turkey, until they make a decision to end their support or roll it back as part of a deal or unilaterally, the best u.n. negotiator in the world won't be able to accomplish anything. next question. right here in front. >> i'm james. long ago retired career diplomat. i was waiting for the word migration, which only ambassador
arnaud mentioned. it seems to me we're talking about reform of multilateralism to support peace. there should be more attention paid to the migration problem. that's what really is the determining populous politics in europe. it's one of the major reasons that president trump is where he is today. it seems to me that by just saying we're closing our borders, doesn't solve the problem. it seems to me this is something that the international community should be paying attention to. stewart: i am -- if i may, i very much agree with you. something like one out of every 37 people in the world, i believe that's the figure, is a my grant -- migrant. living in a place where they were not born. this doesn't include refugees. it's a huge proportion of humanity just in overall
numbers. and there are --there has been an effort as you may know over the last two years for global compact of migration and we just signed in marrakech last week or the week before, last week, and what was interesting was that the united states towards the end of last year decided that it was not going to participate in that. and nikki haley, the u.s. ambassador to the united nations, did this because she said that we retain the sovereign decisions as to who enters our country. not just alighting the fact that the convention has nothing of the sort about any sort of -- 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 in the u.s. context. it's an indication of how the nationalist passions on this concept, or this phenomenon run
incredibly hot. i couldn't agree more that just building up walls given the economic and other incentives for people to be leaving their own countries, there needs to be more regular, orderly, and rules about it. whether or not the global multilateral level is the place to actually come up with major regimes i think is a big question, because many of these phenomena tend to be regional so there will probably be an arrangement between sub-saharan africa and the european union and central america and the rest of latin america and the united states. there is no question there needs to be more regularly governed. it was the reason why in many ways 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. jonathan: europe shows the need
for greater and more equitable burden sharing among countries because the burden of dealing with migrant populations has fallen in such uneven ways so that some countries like italy have 2450es enormous population -- and greece, to deal with. and despite pledges of assistance from countries further away, hasn't gotten the help. certain individual countries like germany and sweden have stepped in to help. others haven't done their fair share. you have these wild disparities in the numbers. ambassador araud: what happened with the migration pact is an extraordinary example of what is populist politics. actually the u.s. has been -- really has been followed by several countries, which are countries which it's not by chance actually have populist governments.
decided not to sign this pact. the belgium government has fallen on that. it has been one of the elements behind the riots in france. because there was a sort of incredible fake news about the pact saying to accept -- it doesn't fall under millions of immigrants. that it would be impossible to stop migrations and so on and so on. and it has been a major, major issue. and the worst part has been that conservative parties, which i mean respectable parties, actually have served and used the same arguments against the fact of marrakech. it was signed in marrakech. so migrations now is a toxic -- very toxic topic in our democracies.
even if you consider -- we're living democracies. it means even if you don't -- that actually -- there are too many migrants, these people obliged to leave, any democratic leader is now obliged to take into account the feeling of the citizens. europe 70% of the europeans consider there are too many immigrants. so that's one of the challenges that we're facing all the more because the populists are playing very effectively on this issue. jonathan: next question, please. the gentleman with the glasses. >> good evening. i'm a medical student. what could you think -- do you think can living more broadly, what do you think is the roll of
organizations such as the united nations, international -- in the coming years and decades, to build or maintain multilateralism? victoria: i think as we have all been saying there is no such thing as the united nations without the nations, right. there is no phone number you call and things happen. if the countries don't have the will. first and foremost what are the problems that are best addressed at that large global table? often the u.n. works best when a small group of countries agree that the tools and the legitimacy of the u.n. are best used against that issue. if you think about the trump administration's sole success
with the u.n. was strengthening multilateral economic sanctions against the dprk when they were launching missiles at their neighbors and into the sea. that was an issue that threatened lots of countries where everybody at the big table was unified that it had to be dealt with. when the big countries are unified about a problem with a smaller country, the u.n. is often the best vehicle. but the other piece that's important to remember about the u.n. are the u.n. agencies where our pool funds actually do a huge amount of good. where would we be on the migration crisis without unicef, without the world health organization, without all of these great pooled development and mitigating institutions? we shouldn't only think about the security council, we should definitely think about the fact that it is a place for
collective poverty and suffering alleviation that is extremely important and without which all of us would bear a greater burden. ambassador araud: in a way, if i may, i would say that there is also the fact that today we're back to power politics, which means we're back to several big powers. and the fact is we don't have a concert of nations, which means that these countries have not a common language the way they had before 1914. really basically you don't have russia, the u.s., china, really having between them sort of what you can and can't do. and that's the problem that we will have in the coming years. is it possible to have a sort of understanding between the major powers about what are the red
lines, what are not the red lines? what are the vital interests of each country and whether it's possible to compromise between the vital interests between these vital interests? and in a sense ukraine is a good example. obviously there is a disagreement, major, vital disagreement, between powers. so we have also to go back to this notion of conservative nation that is we could get rid of because of the cold war, because of the western triumph, but unfortunately we'll be obliged to do it. jonathan: maybe on the far a left about five rows back. >> thank you. kelly jane, up until four days ago from "the weekly standard." victoria: foreign policy a hiring i hear. >> i'll have to chat with you.
mr. patrick, you mentioned in passing about how the migrant agreement, for example, was nonbinding. and of course the paris agreement was also nonbinding. we hear a lot of the importance of these multilateral agreements like the paris accord on climate change, but can such agreements really be effective if they are nonbinding as it often seems they are? stewart: that's a very good question. i think that for some of them the proof remains in the pudding. there are reputational aspects of some of these agreements, particularly in their naming and shaming as well. particularly when the -- there are supposed to be a mechanism set up under the paris agreement where not only were there -- recently just was agreed in terms of how countries will be monitoring and how they will be recording these things. so it does allow -- it does provide some incentive.
i think it probably would be unrealistic to think there would be certain penalties that -- at least in this current iteration that would be imposed on countries that don't live up to their commitments, but at least it does create some political momentum and also allows advocacies organizations and those who care about the climate within those countries to actually take action. i think another thing that would be very useful going forward is to try to do something within the world trade organization, which actually allows -- would allow -- there is room for this within the rules of the w.t.o., to allow climate waivers to be integrated into the global trading system that. would permit countries in principle to discriminate against, in terms of tariffs or others, in terms of border adjustment measures, for countries that are actually not making progress on their climate agreements. it would be highly controversial as you can imagine, but i think
it could be one way of moving towards putting some force into these commitments. victoria: i think this stuff is great because often as we have talked about, the politics in individual countries, if you have to have a binding agreement within the nation and it has to go to parliaments, the standard is going to be really the minimum that you can agree to. so having aspirational goals, which you might actually be able to reach or at least work towards, often allow you to get a better outcome and 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 ships at sea that were suspected of carrying nefarious stuff, no one parliament would
agree to that. then it actually became a competition among us to see who could do bert, and it worked better than any treaty oriented would have worked. i think we should be flexible and take it where we can get it. jonathan: all the way in the back. dark sweater, glasses. >> hi. i'm wondering if you could talk a little bit about peacekeeping forces. specifically of haiti. and the role of multilateralism, international institutions of improving the force -- the presence of these peacekeeping forces, making them iterative, responsive, and less prone to impunity. jonathan: let me take one or two more questions because we're almost out of time. the woman in the second row here.
wait for the microphone. >> hi. just want to thank the panel. you guys are doing an amazing job. my name is isa. i'm from the mali republic, west africa. and i know we have a big issue in mali right now and the united nations and the international community has as a whole have been working all this past year to bring back peace and security in the region. i wanted to have your perspective on how do you think we can tweak a little bit multilateral cooperation? because right now from day one to today, it seems to me that the violence has increased and insecurity is greater than ever. jonathan: one more quick question if we can. you, sir, towards the right.
please keep it quick. >> hi. my name is blake, currently government consultant. i used to work for the u.s. missions to the u.n. in geneva. i was wondering, we talk a lot about reforming multilateralism, but in regards to international organizations, what alternatives are actually there to reform these institutions and work with the current context of the world? jonathan: why don't i give each of you a chance to wrap up and you can comment on which ever the three questions you'd like. we have two a questions about peacekeeping, one relating to haiti and impunity. the other relating to mali. and then a question about reforming international organizations and what's possible and what alternatives exist. start with you. stewart: make a short shrift
because i haven't been following mali closely enough. perhaps our french representative, might be a able to respond to that. with respect to peacekeeping, very interesting question. there is an ongoing reform effort that antonio gutierrez has launched with respect to peacekeeping. 100,000 blue helmeted soldiers deployed around the world. second largest deployed force -- group of forces of the world. after the united states. the military forces. and doing incredible things. and for a great deal for american taxpayers. we pay 25 cents on the dollar for what the effort we get. a lot of issues still remain in terms of being able to mobilize troop contributors that are professional. that are willing to conduct themselves and are punished when they do not conduct themselves well and too often have spent times committing crimes against the people.
they have been charged with protecting. going forward it will be interesting to see how the peacekeepers that are u.n. peacekeepers relate to the increasing capabilities of for instance, regional organizations not the least african union. i spent time in haiti and one of the things about it is it's a really -- it's a dire country in many ways that has -- dire circumstance that is has had too many peace operations over the years. so understandable desire to wind it up. it's a country also that has become overly dependent in a pathological way on international assistance. the winding up of the peace operations has to be part of that. quickly on the international organizations how to reform. geneva-based organization, the world health organization, one of the problems there is their funding as been up and down and
disease specific versus strengthening the overall agency. i think that one way to reform would be to sort of balance the relationship between headquarters in w.h.o. and its rather strong regional offices. i think that could have helped the response to the ebola crisis. i think there may need to be further reforms in the w.h.o.'s international health regulations to deal with some of the biosecurity threats coming down the pike. i don't think -- i think it's a possible reform at a place like w.h.o. if all of the major stakeholders, countries that actually get behind that reform. we have seen it before in the wake of the ebola crisis. jonathan: ambassador. ambassador araud: on the forces i could talk hours because it has been my problem during five years. first, you have to -- the u.n. basically doesn't have a military structure. so there is no strategy command in new york.
the forces which we send our forces, which are very likely armed, the western powers are not providing soldiers, which means that this contingency very often is not very good quality, because some countries are making money by providing helmet. each one is paid $14 a month and some countries are paying their soldiers in foreign dollars, keeping the money. last point, these sorters are not sent to fight, they are sent basically to stabilize the situation after a peace agreement. themu don't have to expect to be fighting forces, risking their lives. they are coming from foreign countries that don't have any,
basically they don't have any stake in the country, very often they don't speak the language of the country. they are very much checkpoint forces. they are stabilizing the situation. the problem that we have now is that under -- especially in france -- we voted robust ,andates, especially for mali but also for the central african that thesehich means forces may actually -- they are allowed to move, and the mandate. is to be robust but they still don't have the capabilities to do it. again, once more, it's not the u.n., it's the member states. u.n., when youhe say we should have a strategy, -- whynot going to build
not put officers in new york? 20,000 blue helmets supplied in the world, it's amazing. it doesn't make any military sense. but when you want to create a real headquarter, the uncertainty of the member state, it will be dominated by the western powers, because they are the only ones who are able to provide the capability is necessary for command. so once more we have the contradiction, which is very often the case in international organizations, between the political goal in the means that you are putting in place. , the problem we are facing, it's typically a robust mandate with peacekeeping forces who don't have the means to
implement the mandate, which means that french forces are in support of the u.n. force, but at the end of the day, the solution will be political, and it's up to the authorities of the macro to reach an agreement with the population in the north. as you know, there is a problem between the south and the north, and we need a political agreement, a political compromise. is other part of the issue libya, because you have regularly terrorist groups which are going from libya to mali, and they are stopped by the french, but it is endless. that's the second problem. malik is also a victim of the situation in southern libya. >> any last words?
>> on u.n. reform, i don't think that one should have hope for you and reform unless and until the united states has the leadership and the will to take it on as a major endeavor, and that's not the case right now. >> we haven't solved the world's problems. i'm not even sure we've conclusively reformed multilateralism to support peace. but i think we've made a lot of progress, and with great people like this working on these issues, i can't help but feel hopeful. please join me in thanking our fabulous panel. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017]
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