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Video Brief: United Nations

Speaker: Stewart M. Patrick, Senior Fellow and Director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program, Council on Foreign Relations
March 15, 2012

Navigating the United States' "tricky" and "ambivalent" relationship with the United Nations will be one of the biggest foreign policy challenges for the winner of the 2012 presidential election, says CFR's Stewart M. Patrick.

The U.S. president will continue to rely on the UN to accomplish goals the United States can't achieve on its own, to share the burdens that might otherwise fall entirely on the United States, and to win legitimacy for U.S. efforts, Patrick argues.

Patrick identifies several major challenges that the president will face in dealing with the UN, including ensuring Security Council attention to Iran's nuclear program, bolstering UN peacekeeping, transforming the Human Rights Council, furthering global development, and reforming the UN's management and budget.

"The United States must take a more vigorous stance on the expansion of the UN Security Council by advocating a modest enlargement of the permanent membership based on transparent criteria," he says. "Making this change is essential if the Council is to have the political support and power it needs to defend peace and security in the twenty-first century."

This video is part of Campaign 2012, a series of video briefings on the top foreign policy issues debated in the run-up to the 2012 elections.

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