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Global Governance Update: Brexit, NATO, South China Sea

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August 2016

Global Governance Update

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Brexit, NATO, South China Sea, and WHO

U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA HOLDS A NEWS CONFERENCE AFTER PARTICIPATING IN THE NATO SUMMIT IN WARSAW, POLAND, ON JULY 9, 2016. (JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS)

U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA HOLDS A NEWS CONFERENCE AFTER PARTICIPATING IN THE NATO SUMMIT IN WARSAW, POLAND, ON JULY 9, 2016. (JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS)

Dear Colleague:

It has been a busy summer for the International Institutions and Global Governance (IIGG) program at the Council on Foreign Relations. In the wake of The Hague ruling on the South China Sea, the IIGG program released a new report on how Southeast Asian nations view U.S.-China regional competition. Following the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in Warsaw, Adjunct Senior Fellow Esther Brimmer appeared on PBS NewsHour to examine the alliance’s enduring relevance, and I argued in a blog post that Brexit is not a crisis for NATO. In the latest installment of the Council of Councils (CoC) Global Memo series, Igor Yurgens of the Institute for Contemporary Development offers a Russian perspective on the future of NATO-Russia relations. In a new podcast, CFR’s Yanzhong Huang and Laurie Garrett discuss the election process for the next World Health Organization (WHO) director-general with the Rockefeller Foundation’s Michael Myers. Finally, we are pleased to publish the summary report on the CoC Fifth Annual Conference, which took place in New York earlier this year.

As IIGG continues to develop new ideas, publications, and tools to illuminate contemporary global issues, we invite you to read our newsletter, explore our website, read my blog The Internationalist, follow me on Twitter, and “like” us on Facebook.

Sincerely, 

Stewart M. Patrick
Senior Fellow and Director, International Institutions and Global Governance Program

Read more about IIGG »

 

Southeast Asia Beyond the South China Sea
 
PHILIPPINE MILITARY ACADEMY CADETS GO ASHORE DURING A JOINT FIELD TRAINING EXERCISE AT A TRAINING CENTER SOUTH OF MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES, ON MAY 29, 2013. (ROMEO RANOCO/REUTERS)  

PHILIPPINE MILITARY ACADEMY CADETS GO ASHORE DURING A JOINT FIELD TRAINING EXERCISE AT A TRAINING CENTER SOUTH OF MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES, ON MAY 29, 2013. (ROMEO RANOCO/REUTERS)

 

Tensions in the South China Sea have thrust Southeast Asia into the spotlight as the United States and China ratchet up rhetoric and naval operations in the region. However, U.S.-China competition in Southeast Asia extends well beyond the South China Sea, permeating everything from trade and investment to the politics of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the region’s premier intergovernmental organization. To acquire a more nuanced understanding of Southeast Asian views of U.S.-China regional competition, IIGG joined with the Australia-based Lowy Institute for International Policy to convene a workshop in Singapore. For more, read the workshop report »

 
NATO and Russia After Brexit
 
POLISH, U.S., AND BRITISH FLAGS ARE SEEN DURING THE NATO ALLIES' ANAKONDA 16 EXERCISE NEAR TORUN, POLAND, ON JUNE 7, 2016. (KACPER PEMPEL/REUTERS)  

POLISH, U.S., AND BRITISH FLAGS ARE SEEN DURING THE NATO ALLIES' ANAKONDA 16 EXERCISE NEAR TORUN, POLAND, ON JUNE 7, 2016. (KACPER PEMPEL/REUTERS)

 

Relations between Washington and Moscow have reached their lowest point in decades, and NATO announced at last month’s summit in Warsaw that the alliance will deploy new battalions in Poland and the Baltic States to deter Russian aggression. The fortified military presence on NATO’s eastern flank signifies the alliance’s return to its original purpose, explained CFR Adjunct Senior Fellow Esther Brimmer on PBS NewsHour. Moreover, she argued that fears that Brexit will undermine NATO unity are misplaced because the United Kingdom has demonstrated that it intends to continue playing a leading role within NATO. In fact, writes Stewart M. Patrick on The Internationalist blog, it would be a mistake to view the European Union’s crisis as a threat to NATO. If anything, he argues, the EU’s travails reinforce the alliance’s centrality as the foundation of Western liberal order.

Meanwhile, in the newest installment of the Council of Councils Global Memo Series, Igor Yurgens of Russia’s Institute of Contemporary Development examines how Russia’s domestic politics affect its posture toward NATO. Although it remains possible that relations between NATO and Russia will improve, particularly if Russia and the United States are able to rebuild confidence and trust after the U.S. elections in November, Yurgens cautions against excessive optimism. Read the Global Memo »

 
Choosing the Next WHO Director-General
 
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION DIRECTOR-GENERAL MARGARET CHAN LEAVES THE PODIUM AFTER HER SPEECH AT THE SIXTY-NINTH WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY IN GENEVA, SWITZERLAND, ON MAY 23, 2016. (DENIS BALIBOUSE/REUTERS)  

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION DIRECTOR-GENERAL MARGARET CHAN LEAVES THE PODIUM AFTER HER SPEECH AT THE SIXTY-NINTH WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY IN GENEVA, SWITZERLAND, ON MAY 23, 2016. (DENIS BALIBOUSE/REUTERS)

 

From its botched handling of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to the emergence of new threats like Zika, the World Health Organization has come under scrutiny in recent years as it struggles to reassert its leadership in global health. But next year offers the WHO an important opportunity to chart a different course, as it selects a new director-general to take the helm. In a podcast, CFR Senior Fellows for Global Health Yanzhong Huang and Laurie Garrett discuss the election of the next WHO director-general with the Rockefeller Foundation’s Michael Myers. With the WHO’s credibility at a historic low, it is vital that the next director-general transcend traditional health boundaries, says Myers. However, Garrett notes, despite hopes for a more transparent process, the election is conducted by secret ballot and there is no cap on campaign fundraising. Listen to the podcast »

 
Council of Councils Assesses the Future of International Cooperation
 
U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA EXTENDS HIS HAND TO RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN DURING THEIR MEETING AT THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN NEW YORK ON SEPTEMBER 28, 2015. (KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS)  

U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA EXTENDS HIS HAND TO RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN DURING THEIR MEETING AT THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN NEW YORK ON SEPTEMBER 28, 2015. (KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS)

 

As geopolitical rivalries heat up in the South China Sea and Eastern Europe, populism surges in Western nations, and new powers rise to assert themselves, the landscape of international cooperation is shifting in unforeseen ways. Against this backdrop, the Council of Councils held its Fifth Annual Conference in New York. With delegations from more than twenty countries in attendance, participants discussed some of the day’s most pressing challenges—notably, managing flows of refugees and migrants, preventing the next global economic crisis, ameliorating the Syrian civil war and its spillover effects, improving internet governance, and stabilizing Asian security. Despite the challenges posed by geopolitical tensions, diffusion of power, and populism, the conference underscored that countries are still finding ways to cooperate through more flexible and informal channels in parallel with long-established institutions. read the workshop report »

 

ABOUT THE IIGG PROGRAM

The International Institutions and Global Governance (IIGG) program aims to identify the institutional requirements for effective multilateral cooperation in the twenty-first century; propose reforms to strengthen or replace international institutions; and promote effective responses by the United States and its partners to today's daunting global challenges.

 

Stewart M. Patrick
@StewartMPatrick
Senior Fellow and Director

Miles Kahler
@MilesKahler
Senior Fellow for Global Governance

Esther Brimmer
Adjunct Senior Fellow for International Institutions

Megan Roberts
Associate Director

Terrence Mullan
Program Coordinator

Daniel Chardell
Research Associate

Naomi Egel
Research Associate

Theresa Lou
Research Associate

 
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