Crisis in Global Governance: A Conversation With Richard N. Haass and the Council of Councils

Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Toby Melville/Reuters

President, Council on Foreign Relations

Michael Fullilove

Executive Director, Lowy Institute for International Policy (Australia)

Sook-Jong Lee

President, East Asia Institute (South Korea)

Amos Yadlin

Director, Institute for National Security Studies (Israel) 

Marcus Mabry

Managing Editor, TwitterMoments

Experts discuss the mounting challenges to international cooperation today, and the launch of the Council of Councils (CoC) Report Card on International Cooperation, which evaluates multilateral efforts to address pressing global dilemmas, including nuclear proliferation, transnational terrorism, climate change, pandemic disease, mass migration, financial volatility, and cybercrime. This Report Card surveyed the Council of Councils, a CFR initiative connecting leading foreign policy institutes from twenty-six countries around the world, to provide a benchmark measure of international cooperation year after year, and to help policymakers prioritize among today’s critical issues. The event will present the findings of the 2016 Report Card and discuss implications for global cooperation.

PATRICK: Welcome to the Council on Foreign Relations. My name is Stewart Patrick. I’m a senior fellow here at the Council, and I have the privilege of directing the program on International Institutions and Global Governance and of working closely with the members of the Council of Councils.

I’m here this morning to kick off a very brief overview of the Report Card on International Cooperation, which is the second installment of this annual product that we’ve launched. And then we’re going to have a discussion of—with leaders of four members of our think-tank network, moderated by Marcus Mabry, who is the managing editor of TwitterMoments. He’ll engage the four members of this network in a discussion about the findings that we’ve had and their implications.

Before we get to the main event, though, I want to give you just a quick run-through about the major components and the major findings, the headlines of this report card.

The Council of Councils was created in 2012, and it brings together 26 of the world’s leading policy institutes to seek policy solutions to some of the world’s most pressing transnational problems. Its composition—that is, of the Council of Councils—is roughly equivalent to the Group of 20 in terms of national representation. And its rationale is similar. What we try to do is bridge gaps between established and emerging powers on the requirements for effective multilateral cooperation in the 21st century.

Now, we’re all aware of how urgent this goal is. Wherever we look, we see transnational challenges and problems that defy purely national solutions. These range from climate change to financial volatility, nuclear proliferation, to jihadist terrorism.

One of the most poignant that we saw over the last 12 months, obviously, is the global migration crisis and refugee crisis. Now, this is something that’s been going on in other parts of the world, but it washed up on Europe’s shores last year and suddenly there was lots of international attention about it. But around the world, for the first time, more than 60 million people are displaced, either as refugees or as internally displaced people.

Now, all of these international problems are occurring at a time of surging geopolitical rivalry, anemic global growth, state failure in many parts of the world, and frankly an angry populism that has affected this country and many other countries. Yet despite these challenges and these negative trends, the 2016 edition of the report card offers a few glimmers of hope.

In the last year, the world took promising signs—promising steps to mitigate and adapt to climate change, most obviously in the Paris agreements in December of this last year. It also took steps in nuclear proliferation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to limit Iran’s nuclear capability. And also in September at the U.N. General Assembly, the world ratified or endorsed the sustainable development goals, which are designed to help organize the fight against global poverty and improve human well-being around the world through 2030.

Despite these bright spots, there are a number of weaknesses, however, in terms of our approach to global governance. It’s clear that international institutions have not kept pace with fast-changing global—excuse me—with a fast-paced global context, including the emergence of new powers and the rise of new threats.

Since the year 2000, the world has arguably experienced the fastest and most dramatic redistribution of world power in modern history. Established and emerging powers often see the world in very different ways. They have different values, and their interests are often colliding. We see this geopolitical rivalry from Eastern Europe to the Far East to the Middle East. And we’ve seen that get in the way of handling some of the most intractable territorial and other disputes in those regions.

Meanwhile, creaky international organizations, from the United Nations to the IMF to the World Health Organization, are having a difficult time adapting to this new world. There’s been no change in the composition of the permanent membership of the Security Council since 1945, and no change in its membership at all since the early 1960s.

With respect to the International Monetary Fund, it took five years after a modest agreement on the—when so-called Chairs and Shares at the International Monetary Fund was negotiated in 2010 for finally the U.S. Congress to pass that legislation almost at the end of this last year. And we’ve seen the World Health Organization struggle mightily to respond first to Ebola and now to try to get on top of the Zika virus.

Mitigating the downside of globalization and taking advantage of its upside requires new and creative approaches to cooperation amongst the world’s most influential governments. But that cooperation can only occur if countries agree on where we are and where we might be going. And that’s where the report card comes in.

As you can see in this slide, we asked the heads of the Council of Councils institutions to assess international cooperation on 10 critical challenges. They include preventing nuclear proliferation, managing the global economy, mitigating and adapting to climate change, advancing development, promoting global health, expanding global trade, managing cyber-governance, combating transnational terrorism, and preventing and responding to violent conflict, both between states and within states.

In each case, we asked the think-tank heads to do three things: First, grade international cooperation in 2015, both overall and in each issue area; second, to rank these challenges on the basis of their importance; and third, to assess opportunities for breakthrough in 2016.

So what did we find? Overall, the world made important progress in the past year, buoyed by some of the positive developments that I described previously. The COC awarded an overall—overall efforts a grade of “B,” a full letter-grade improvement over the previous year. At the same time, there was significant variation across issue areas.

In terms of grades, as in last year’s edition, the report card gave the lowest grades to violent conflict between states to efforts to resolve issues related to transnational terrorism and to efforts to resolve or prevent internal violent conflict. All of these are obviously intertwined in the situation in Syria, which, as we all know, has now entered its sixth year of civil war, with apparently no end in sight.

Now, with respect to importance, you’ll notice that the lowest performers are also the biggest areas that the Council identifies as the highest priorities. Also the uneven economic recovery prompted the COC leaders—the uneven global economic recovery prompted COC leaders to put managing the global economy right after those—that cluster of conflict issues in terms of importance, in terms of what the international community needs to focus on.

In terms of opportunities for breakthrough, mitigating and adapting to climate change registers first here as countries begin to implement their Paris pledges. The report card was also optimistic about advances in global trade, notwithstanding the complications of trying to get agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership in terms of its ratification and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the negotiations of which continue. Once again, you’ll see that conflict and terrorism cluster together as representing the poorest performers in terms of opportunities for breakthrough.

I’m coming to the end of my allotted time, but I want to point out that both the hard copy that you all have had distributed to you and also the interactive Web-based version contain a number of other compelling features. Each issue description—that is, each description of the 10 issue areas—includes several components. One is a section we call By the Numbers, which you’ll see down below, which has revealing statistics about that particular issue area. Then there’s more in-depth analysis that has been written by Council on Foreign Relations staff that places the grades and rankings that you see into a broader context, an analytic context.

We also have a graph that shows how many of the respondents assigned each grade for each particular issue area. And then finally we have comments and policy prescriptions by each of the heads of the Council of Councils network.

We also have an interactive map that displays comments from the heads of the Council of Council member institutes. And you can filter these by both country and issue area. We encourage you to explore the Report Card on International Cooperation, both in its paper and its online form. We’d love to hear back from you as to what you think about it, where you think we might be able to improve its presentation or its analysis. And we look forward to your comments as we try to make this product as useful as possible in the years ahead.

Before closing, I do want to thank three people whose work was indispensable in bringing this product to fruition. The first is Megan Roberts, who’s my associate director down in Washington. I’d also like to thank Terry (sp) Mullan, who is coordinating our work with the Council of Councils membership, and also Theresa Lou, who has been assisting us in these—in this process.

Now it’s my great privilege to introduce Marcus Mabry of Twitter. Marcus is going to introduce his fellow panelists and lead them in a discussion on the contemporary crisis of global governance. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

MABRY: Thank you, Stewart, for that introduction and for that overview of the report.

Let me start off with some announcements. Welcome to today’s Council on Foreign Relations meeting. This special event is part of the 2016 Council of Councils annual conference and is the launch of the Council of Councils Report Card on International Cooperation.

I’m going to start off by—we’re going to talk first up here amongst ourselves for about half an hour, and then we’ll toss it out to the members and to any press to get your questions asked directly to the Council of Council leaders.

This is obviously an incredibly august body, both physically here in front of us and intellectually and visually on the report that’s in front of you and the one that’s online; 25 think tanks on foreign policy, with some of the greatest minds on our planet, tackling the issue of global governance at a critical time. So I think we’re all very privileged to be here this morning.

I’m going to very quickly do some brief introductions, bios. You have them in front of you, so I won’t go at great length. But immediately to my left is Dr. Michael Fullilove, who is the executive director of the Lowy Institute for International Policy. He has been a visiting fellow in foreign policy at the Brookings Institution and an adviser to Prime Minister Paul Keating and is the author of “Rendezvous with Destiny: How Franklin D. Roosevelt and Five Extraordinary Men Took America Into the War and Into the World.”


FULLILOVE: Thank you, Marcus.

MABRY: Dr. Richard Haass, many of you may know, is the 13th—in his 13th year as president of the Council on Foreign Relations, which is extraordinary for those of us who’ve been here this whole time—(laughs)—it happened fast—and is the author—and is, of course—was the senior Middle East adviser to President George H.W. Bush and was a principal adviser to Secretary of State Colin Powell under President George W. Bush and also was a—the U.S. coordinator for policy toward the future of Afghanistan, amongst a whole bunch of other roles. Richard is the author or editor of 12 books on U.S. foreign policy.

To his left is Professor Sook Jong Lee, who is the president of the East Asia Institute, an independent nonprofit think tank based on Seoul. She is a professor of public administration and holds a number of advisory positions in the South Korean government, including in the Presidential National Security Advisory Group, the Presidential Committee for Unification Preparation, and since 2015 she has served on the Steering Committee of the World Movement for Democracy. Welcome.

Finally, and certainly last but certainly not least, is General Amos Yadlin, who has been the director of Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies, Israel’s leading strategic think tank, since November 2011. He served for over 40 years in the Israeli Defense Forces, nine of which he served as a member of the IDF General Staff. Amongst many other appointments, he has been the IDF’s chief of defense intelligence. He has accumulated about 5,000 flight hours and a few more than 25—more than 250 combat missions, including during the Yom Kippur War and Operation Tammuz, which destroyed the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq.

As I said, a very distinguished body. Thank you all. Please welcome them all for me. (Applause.)

Now, since the meat of our body before us—obviously, as a journalist, it is—we’re usually a cynical body, and so you might be—I might be forgiven if I were to say, given the state of the world and the general pessimism that many of us feel about it—(chuckles)—and pessimism is not a light word; despair, great fear, and dread—a “B” is a really surprising grade from your report. So I’m going to start—I’ll ask Richard this question, out of fairness to our guests: Is this a subject of grade inflation, or how did we get this “B”? (Laughter.)

HAASS: The conclusion I’ve reached is that a lot of my colleagues are aiming to become professors at Harvard. (Laughter.) They have understood the culture there, where it’s very hard to get below a “B.”

So I think this is a glass-half-full sort of take on the world. It’s taking certain developments at, if you will, face value and putting the best possible face on them, saying what was accomplished is a good baseline and it will lead to better things in the future. I think that’s the way that—at the risk of speaking for my two dozen colleagues—one would interpret something like the Paris accord on climate change, the Iran agreement, what was achieved with the Development Goals, and trade with TPP. So all of these things were achievements on the surface, in the sense that they got done.

Where I think the glass is half-empty in every case is that, also referring to Harvard, we used to teach at the Kennedy School that 90 percent of life was implementation, and this leaves the 90 percent. So there’s the real question about, in each one of those things: Will the Development Goals become reality? Will TPP and other trade agreements ever come into effect? In the case of climate, which I’m quite skeptical about, you had aspirational goals at the national level. The collective goal, what the effect would be on temperature, even if implemented would fall way short of what the declared aims would be. But again, a lot of the goals were simply aspirational. The Iran agreement, I expect Amos and others will talk about it in great detail, but I would—I would simply say that it left unanswered at least as many problems as it purported to address.

So I actually think the grade is quite generous, even overly—even overly generous. But I would simply, you know, put that out there, if you will, as a—as a starting point.

MABRY: Excellent. Thank you for that context.

Professor Lee, one of the areas in which—a region which we have not seen, perhaps with the exception perhaps of the TPP, real progress toward this governance, even the jaw—someone might call it the jawboning progress of the agreements, inasmuch as they were agreements, is your part of the world. So in a world of increasing tension, certainly in the South China Sea—certainly one of the areas in which the report was, indeed, pessimistic was proliferation issues, North Korea’s nuclear capabilities—what are the steps that could be taken, as far as international governance, to put us in a better position in those issues—those regional issues in Asia?

LEE: Marcus, as you have mentioned, we have very challenging issues, especially in East Asia. We don’t have a Pan-Asia governance system to respond to these territorial issues. So, therefore, and especially in South China Sea, you know, China has drawn unilaterally nine-dash line, and then there is a lot of disputes with—especially with the Philippines in Spratly Islands and Vietnam in the Paracel Island(s). As you know, the Philippines brought a case to the Permanent Court of Arbitration, and is under the UNCLOS, the U.N. Convention on Law of the Sea. So the court is looking at the case. And as far as I know, by the end of July their conclusion will be drawn among—from the five judges. So that would be a great blow to China.

China, of course, don’t respect or don’t believe the international maritime law, even though they are a member of UNCLOS. And they believe this maritime governance was kind of dominated by the Western interests, and they like to come up with the alternative norms to deal with these complex issues.

And NPT-wise, of course, despite the successful deal between USA and Iran, if you look at North Korea, it’s a terrible situation. And North Korean tested nuclear weapons 2006, 2009, and 2013, and January this year. So they detonated four times. And as you know, the U.N. Security Council responded to this force claiming to be hydrogen detonations with a strong Resolution 2270, covering the cargo inspections and the banning inflow of airplane fuel, and also banning the trading the minerals such as gold and titanium.

So this time it’s lucky that China is more willing to cooperate with this resolution. However, there are many loopholes, you know. For example, it was (lively for the purpose ?), you know, that North Korea can export coal through Dandong city. So we’ll see. Because this resolution was drawn in March 2nd, I think the kind of monitoring report will come in June, as far as I know.

MABRY: Do you think there’s a chance that any of these international—this international intervention, in terms of norms and laws and constrictions, will stop North Korea? It hasn’t yet. Will it stop North Korea’s nuclear program?

LEE: It’s very difficult because there is no good options, you know. And this young leader, Kim Jong-un, who tested twice after he succeeded his father, defy this international law and governance. And in recent Workers Party Congress two weeks ago, he declared that North Korea is a nuclear state. So I don’t think he’s going to give it up. But, you know, this time it is a very strong resolution, so we have to—the international society—have to work together to exercise diplomatic pressure and in sharing information. But there is a kind of—it’s very difficult to coordinate sanctions among the major stakeholders—USA and China and Japan and South Korea.

MABRY: And that continues to be a weakness of international governance, in fact.

LEE: Yes.

MABRY: General, obviously, in your neighborhood, we have the kind of—again, what even the report acknowledges is the most despairing situation on the planet right now with regard to conflict, both internally displaced and trans-border conflict. Do you see any international governance hope? Because, again, it seems we’ve failed massively with regards to Syria, and even in some degree with regards to ISIS. Do you see any hope for international governance having any successes in that realm? Or is all lost, and must we appeal to something other than transnational institutions?

YADLIN: Yeah, I want to first refer to the report optimism, because there are a saying that a pessimist is an optimist with experience. (Laughter.) So you see that the head of the think tanks are quite optimist even though they are very experienced, or they gave the job to their young research assistant. (Laughter.)

Albert Einstein was asked by one of his students about the coming examination. And the student asked, are the questions going to be the same like last year? And Einstein replied that the question will be the same question, but the answer is going to be different this year. (Laughter.) Which means the world is changing, and changing fast.

And if you take my region, there are like five states that, when we went to high school, they were states—Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Lebanon—not anymore. There are new states that we never recognized, but they are there on the ground: Kurdistan, Hamas-stan, the Islamic State. So it’s a different world. And sometimes we are judging it with rules and norms and international governance that belong to a different period.

I think the grade here is reflecting a very short-range looking at the world. And maybe for 2016 it’s the right view, but my concern is for the long run. And I think think tanks should look at the long run.

And there is a methodology issue here, that the most important problems are on the lowest grade. So somebody has to do the balance and to give it some—in the final grade, how come the most important issue get the lowest grade, and they are the most difficult to deal with? This is very important finding of the report and need to change the final score.

So, on proliferation, I think Iran is a wonderful example, because my grade to the Iranian deal was not “F” like my prime minister, which says this is a new Holocaust. It is not a new Holocaust because Israel is very strong and Israel can cope even with nuclear Iran, even though nuclear Iran is a very, very grave and bleak development. It is not a diplomatic achievement that will bring another Nobel Prize. No, it’s in the middle. In the short run, it’s “B.” It’s “B” because Iran is rolled back a year. And if—and this is a big “if”—if they will keep the agreement, they will stay there for 10, 12, 15 years. Depends on what area of the—of the agreement.

However, it is not “A-minus.” “A-minus” was three years. “A” was, you know, no nuclear capabilities in Iran. So still very close to the bomb upon this issue.

But the “F” is in the long run. The “F” is in the long run, because in the long run this agreement gave Iran a legitimacy to have an unlimited nuclear program with 200,000 centrifuges if they wish, 30 nuclear reactor(s) if they wish.

MABRY: How do you define the long run? What—

YADLIN: Ten to 15 years. This is the agreement.

HAASS: When the ceilings expire.

YADLIN: And if we are at that time with the same regime that called to the elimination of my country, this is a big problem for the world security and safety. And then you take North Korea, that basically signed the same agreement in the ’90s and violated after a couple of years. So I think the main challenge for us is not to argue about how good is the deal, it’s to look into the future 10 years.

And here are very shortly three scenarios. One, optimistic: the Iranians are changing, the young generation, the Facebook generation, the Twitter generation—

MABRY: Thank you. (Laughter.)

YADLIN: —is coming forward and taking over from the mullahs. OK, this is an optimistic scenario: the Iranians become Norwegians, wonderful. (Laughter.) Percentage, Richard?

HAASS: Approximately 5 percent.

YADLIN: Five percent. Amazing, my number as well. (Laughter.) Even though many Americans say, “General, 0.5 (percent).”

But, second, North Korean scenario. After three years, four years, they got all the money, they built a better military, and they violate the agreement. So North Korea scenario.

And there is even more dangerous one, which is the Iranian scenario: strategic patience, and within 10 to 15 years—and this is not General Yadlin; this is President Obama saying—zero distance from the bomb. So it couldn’t be an “A-minus.”

MABRY: On that question, and I have to ask you as such an informed source, is it not inevitable, though, that Iran will be a nuclear state? And therefore, is not the “F” inevitable?

YADLIN: It is—it is possible to stop them, as some other countries were stopped. Iraq, you mentioned the case. According to the international media, Syria 2007. Think about Syria today. Al Kibar, where the nuclear— the North Korean nuclear reactor, which has only one use, for military war, is in the hands of—this is a territory now occupied by ISIS. Think about it. And ISIS hasn’t attacked Israel. London, Brussels, Turkey, Syria, Iraq. So I think Iran should not have a nuclear program. And they can be stopped if the countries that—by the way, this is the only point that President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu agrees—only point—which say that Iran will not have the nuclear bomb. So let’s hope that the two gentlemen will, in case of the two bleak scenarios, not the optimistic one, will do what they have to do in the next—if Iran will violate the agreement.

HAASS: Marcus, if I could say one thing, it wasn’t inevitable that North Korea reach this point. The United States and others made decisions in the early 1990s not to act when there were military options to do it. Now we’ve got to live with the consequences. And there are still options if the United States and others want to put them on the table to force North Korea out of the nuclear business, particularly if China will cooperate.

MABRY: Military options, you’re talking about.

HAASS: Or even short of military options, if China will cooperate. If China were to ramp up sanctions against North Korea, I don’t think the country could survive for more than a matter of weeks. So there are options against North Korea. There are options against Iran. There were historically options against others. Nuclear proliferation is not inevitable. What it is is, yes, you’ve got countries that are determined to go down that path, but the United States and other countries have made political calculations, weighing their opposition to nonproliferation against other interests. And we have often been prepared to essentially life with certain outcomes because we had competing interests—whether it was cooperating with Pakistan in certain contexts or what have you. So there’s very little that’s inevitable. Most of what happens is the result of a conscious or in some cases unconscious choices.

MABRY: And as you know better than probably anyone in the room, the calculation there, the means interest calculation—the interest calculation—the competing interest calculations, are sometimes political and sometimes economic. Sometimes it’s a loss of life that is not considered to be politically viable.

HAASS: These are tough choices. I don’t mean to sit here and be glib. And in the early 1990s, for example, the United States, when North Korea’s nuclear program consisted of rods and cooling ponds, before they moved them there was a major debate in the Clinton administration and beyond whether that was the moment to attack North Korea. Now, it could have been done and we could have stopped their nuclear program. North Korea could have retaliated in many ways. There probably would have been a war on the peninsula. It would have been extreme consequential for South Korea, for Japan and the United States given our treaty—

MABRY: How many losses in South Korea?

HAASS: Pardon me?

MABRY: How many losses—

HAASS: Well, we don’t know. Again, you can play—we can’t say for certain how it would have played out militarily, how long it would have gone on, and so forth. But obviously given where Seoul is, given North Korea’s conventional military might, you have to assume it would have been consequential. So I’m not saying that the—I’m not saying the alternatives were cheap or easy. Again, I’m not being glib. I’m simply saying that choices not to act against proliferation, for legitimate reasons, had tremendous consequences. And we’re living with them today.

And quite honestly, I would think one of the next great foreign policy crises, that is quite possible the next occupant of the Oval Office will face, is what to do if and when the director of national intelligence waltzes into the Oval Office one morning and says: North Korea can now put a number of small nuclear warheads on missiles that can reach California. Are we prepared to tolerate this? If not, what are you prepared to do, Mr. President? Here is a set of really unattractive options. And that day is likely to come about somewhere within the next five years.

LEE: Marcus, can I add?


LEE: You know, President Obama has been taking strategic patience to North Korea with the availability of missile and lightening the nuclear warhead. And now there’s serious worry about North Korea’s nuclear threat, right? So I think that they will engage. However, whatever mode of engagement will be—and it’s very offensive for South Korea to calculate how many South Koreans can die if they take military options. So I would strongly oppose any military strike because in the Korean south is too close to Pyongyang. So any damages are, you know, sacrificing our own citizens is not negotiable.

MABRY: It’s excellent to have the very hard choices to talk about here on the stage this morning.

Dr. Fullilove, thank you for your patience, and I turn to you for—

FULLILOVE: Strategic patience. (Laughter.)

MABRY: Exactly. Exactly. I do like that strategic patience thing from now on. I’m going to use that, with regards to my six-year old twins, because I have no strategic patience. I’m going to have to develop some.

Dr. Fullilove, in this context right now, we’ve heard about national interest. And we’ve been talking for a few minutes, you know, competing national interests among the closest allies. In this world, what hope is there—I turn that same question—for transnational, international governance? I mean, on a bilateral situation we can’t agree. So internally the states are falling apart that barely ever existed and new states are coming into being which are not recognized as states, or as actors even. What hope is there for any of this governance issue?

FULLILOVE: Well, let me make a few introductory comments, if I can. First of all, can I thank Richard and his colleagues at CFR for hosting us at the Council of Councils. And can I commend Richard for his vision in establishing the Council of Councils. I know it sounds a bit like the Illuminati—(laughter)—or I’m always reminded of—you remember the commission in the Godfather movies, where the heads of the different families come together to solve their problems?

HAASS: You really have to go down this path? (Laughter.)

MABRY: What does that make Richard? Who does that make Richard?

HAASS: My Twitter feed now will—(laughter)—

FULLILOVE: I’m trying to help Marcus with company. (Laughter.)

MABRY: And we appreciate it.

FULLILOVE: Yeah. No, but seriously, I think the Council of Councils is a very powerful organization with a great deal of potential. And I find it incredibly valuable to get together every year with my counterparts. And I want to thank the Stewart in particular, and his team, for putting together this report card. And I think we’ve had a great conversation. Everybody’s going to disagree with the report card in some way, and I’m going to pile on. But it’s getting us talking about what the issues are.

I’m a historian by training. And so why these grades seem odd to me is that, as Amos says, when you look at the long view you end up much more pessimistic about it. You remember when Dean Acheson wrote his memoir of his time as President Truman’s secretary of state, he called it present at the creation. And indeed, Acheson’s generation did create the post-war world. They rescued Europe from financial ruin. They created the institutions that we’re talking about.

But now, 70 years later, Acheson’s creation is beset on all sides. The liberal international order is less liberal, less international, less orderly. The United States is inching back from the world, or has inched back in the last few years. Other challenges are inching forward, which are making resolution to some of these questions like North Korea more difficult. The Middle East, as Amos said, is—the old state system is a state of collapse. The planet is heating up. There are more refugees—we haven’t touched on this—there are more refugees and asylum seekers than at any time since the end of the Second World War.

So it feels to me more like we are present at the destruction of an order that was created at the Second World War, and one that has been remarkably congenial to the interests of the countries represented on the stage. So I think it’s a bracing moment. How do you square that historical perspective with the grades, apart from the fact that my colleagues on the Council of Council are optimists? I think in a couple of ways. One is that these grades I think are a reflection of current performance, in a way, relative to last year’s performance. I think there’s also a sense, as Amos says, that the rankings are as important as the grades. It’s striking to me that these three conflict issues are ranked by everybody as the top global challenges, the bottom of current performance, and the bottom of the rankings in terms of opportunities in the future.

But you asked me about where—what we can do differently and what is the hope for global governance. Well, it’s an impolite thing to say at a conference on global governance, but to me the role of the United States and the U.S. allies is much more important in preserving international order than the United Nations or other institutions. That’s not to say those institutions aren’t important. They are. But in terms of the underlying power dynamics of how the world works, I think these big nations led by the United States is the most important issue.

And so to me, what can we all do? Well, we would like to see a United States that is engaged in the world, that steps back into the world, that leads. I would like to see a Western bloc that picks up, that recovers its mojo in a way, that focuses on its external obligations, as well as its internal debacles. You know, I sometimes feel at the moment that we in the West are a bit like the priest and the Levite in the parable of the good Samaritan. We come across something unpleasant—an unpleasant scene, like a neighbor being set upon by an aggressor, as in the case of Crimea, and we prefer to pass by on the other side. And that’s last year’s news. We’re not talking about Crimea anymore, even though when Russia invaded Crimea it breached the central tenet of the state system on which our international system has been based for 70 years.

So I’m an Australian, therefore I’m more on the pessimistic side naturally than the optimistic side. I’m an historian, so I’m a bit concerned about where we are. But in terms of a positive vision, it’s not so much, I don’t think, about tinkering with institutions, although that’s important. It’s about first of all the United States and how it sees its role in the world, and secondly how those of us who are allied with the United States and friendly with the United States, and like-minded, how we feel we can contribute to solving some of these awful, bloody challenges.

MABRY: Well, that being the case, and given your own role and history as a scholar of the United States, a student of the United States’ history and its politics, do you have any cause for optimism, given what’s happening in the United States? (Laughter.)

FULLILOVE: Look—(laughter)—look, I would say this, that there is obviously a circus atmosphere in your politics at the moment. Like kind of a Coney Island sort of feel. And I’ll be honest, there’s something to that in my own country’s politics at the moment. And it’s one of the things we were discussing at breakfast that sort of underline the drooping confidence in the West is that in so many of our countries there is a disaffection with elites, there is a growing populism, there’s a lack of—there’s a lack of patience in the public. I mean, in my own country, for example, we had 25 years where there were only two governments. So in other words, governments could consistently articulate a vision, win reelection, and then prosecute those changes.

And so we had three prime ministers in 25 years. And in the last six or seven years, we’ve had five prime ministers. We’re the Italy of the Pacific. Actually, Italy is much more stable now than we are. (Laughter.) So I’m not really in a position to lecture you about your politics. But I guess to me, it’s—I mean, we can criticize individual politicians, like Mr. Trump. But I think actually we need to look at ourselves as publics and say: When did we lose the patience? When did we lose the ability to make long-term decisions, to see the long term, not to judge in terms of our—not to give way to our own prejudices and our own instincts, but to sort of apply some critical reason to it?

I think Australians need to do that. And I’d respectfully submit that if Americans do that, then I think there is some room for optimism, because I think the general perception is that although President Obama has been a terrific president and the right president to come after President Bush, that perhaps America has overlearned the lessons of the Iraq War, and inched back a little bit more from the world than it should have. And it’s time for the United States to step back in. So fingers crossed.

MABRY: Do you want to?

HAASS: Two reactions. One on the U.S. I thought the most interesting thing in the last few months was the Pew poll that came out recently. And what it essentially said is that a majority of Americans think that we’re spending too much, as a country, of our resources and attention on the world and much more concern with things going on here. I think the obvious frustration with that is they don’t see the connection between what’s going on out there and what’s going on here. But I actually think it is reflective of where the country is. There is a pushback against what are the perceived effects of globalization, against trade. There’s still the intervention fatigue after Iraq and Afghanistan.

So I think it goes far beyond any personality or candidate. I actually think this is something of the zeitgeist of the country, and I think it’s a reality that any person who, you know, comes into office this, you know, and takes the oath of office in January is going to have to—going to have to contend with. So I think Michael’s going to be a little bit disappointed if he expects to see a tremendous revival. There may be some inching back, and I think that’s probably likely. But I don’t think you’re going to see anything fundamental.

Secondly, I think, in terms of the world—and it’s implicit in what I think you’ve heard up here—is—I think the quickest way I could summarize it is that there’s few phrases in our business that are invoked more often than “international community.” And I think part of the underlying reality is there is very little international community. There isn’t the consensus about what ought to be the rules. There isn’t a willingness to act on their behalf. So the phrase is invoked as though it were a reality. And while there’s elements of it in certain areas, and we see it in the report—there might be elements of it in the economic, or elements of it particularly in principle in certain areas—what there are are very few elements of it in practice. And indeed, in some cases there’s downright opponents of it.

So you can’t speak of an international community in the Middle East when you have countries like Iran or various groups pursuing their goals. Or you can’t speak of an international community when it comes to the Asia-Pacific, given some of the behaviors, obviously of North Korea but also, say, China, or what Russia’s doing in Europe, or in cyberspace. There isn’t a community of thought about what the role of governments ought to be in setting the norms, much less what the norms ought to be.

So I think that this report is taking place in a—in a context in which the realities are in many cases far, far south of what the hopes are. And I think, again, that’s what we’re capturing in the report. The report is upbeat. I think the reality is considerably less rosy than that.

MABRY: Oftentimes in the American polity we talk about this as a challenge of leadership, and if the right leader came along, they could make it all change. Is that reasonable?

HAASS: I think that’s exaggerated. If I could ban certain things in writing, one would be the last paragraph of virtually half the articles and books I read: “but if there’s the adequate amount of political will and leadership, all will be solved.”

Well, look, leadership also depends upon context. It depends on followership. So leadership can basically point in certain directions. But again, leaders can’t choose their inbox. They can’t choose their context. They can shape it. They can have a difference on it. You know, human agency can matter. But it’s not simply about leaders. I think that’s—and that’s true within the United States, and it’s true within the world given the role of the United States. It’s more than simply of some abstract measure of leadership, as though that were that you—if you only had the leadership, solutions would follow. If only it were so.

MABRY: At this time, I would like to invite members to join our conversation with their questions. A reminder that this meeting is on the record, and please wait for the microphone. Speak directly into it. Please stand. State you name and affiliation. And please limit yourself to one question, and keep it concise to allow as many members as possible to speak.

OK, so right here in the first table. Right here. Here ma’am, here’s the mic.

Q: Nan Keohane, Princeton University.

I was thinking about your grading system, and I wanted to ask a question about the conditions for grade improvement. In climate change, you have a move from a “C-plus” to an “A” in one year. As a professor, I regard that as amazing. And I wanted to ask you all, whoever would like to answer, whether there are any lessons to be learned from the climate-change area for other problems that we face? I know it’s mostly Paris. We can argue about how effective Paris is or was, but it’s clearly significant for bringing people together. What can we learn from Paris?

MABRY: Are there lessons from the other areas? Richard?

HAASS: I think there is a big lesson. The reason you had some—at least the appearance, and perhaps the reality of progress of Paris this year was in no small part because Paris represented a fundamental departure from previous efforts to come up with a global agreement on climate change. So, gone was the idea of a top-down market, you know, approach—so, cap and trade, where everyone was assigned market shares with some kind of a trading system. Gone was the idea of creating a carbon tax. It may make the most sense in purely economic assessments, but it simply can’t be negotiated.

So, what did Paris do? Paris was actually a big idea. I was skeptical a few minutes ago, but I do think there’s a nugget of a really big and intriguing idea in Paris. What you basically did was had countries show up and say, here’s our expression of our commitment, what we used to call in the foreign aid business “best efforts.” Here’s what we’re going to commit to doing. It’s not legally binding, but we’re, in many cases, going to state it: by so and so date, we’re going to try to peak our output at this amount. Some countries would simply say, like China, by 2030, we’re going to peak; we’re not going to tell you what it is. India wouldn’t even go that far. But many countries did say, here’s what we aim to do.

This, to me, is potentially a new form of multilateralism. Rather than having binding, legal, top-down agreements, what you have are essentially coordination of national policies. I can imagine it in the health realm. I can imagine it dealing with—we’re already seeing it—in some ways the Financial Stability Board is an example of it in the monetary and banking regulation realm. So it’s a less-binding, less-classic form of multilateralism.

But what it—where it might make the most sense—and I think you’re onto something, Nan—is in those areas of behavior which are fundamentally domestic, but which have international consequences, I think the Paris approach represents an intellectual breakthrough. And I think it’s not as ambitious, but it’s a far more doable and realistic approach to building international support. You don’t require consensus. What you require is domestic best efforts, and then it becomes additive. So, I actually think Paris is an intriguing way in certain areas of, you know, that’s being looked at in this report card to go about the business of making progress on specific issues.

MABRY: Excellent.

Yes, right here. Sir.

Q: Ettore Greco, Institute International Affairs in Italy.

The report gives a relatively optimistic grade on the efforts to expand free trade. But we are now witnessing a mounting resistance and opposition, both in U.S. and Europe. Perhaps the grade given by the report reflects the successful negotiations on the TPP. But now, for instance, in the U.S., both presumptive nominees are campaigning against the transatlantic pact, the transatlantic treaty. So, could you please comment? Perhaps this is the type of difference between shortsighted and longsighted view? I don’t know. So could you please comment on this problem?

MABRY: So, who’d like to handle that? Because you also talk about the TTIP as well and its possibility of coming or not. Professor Lee, would you like to?

LEE: Yeah, OK. If I talk about Asia-Pacific region, you know, there is a very interesting movement. This is because different mode of regional economic trade organizations or the cooperations. Of example, the ASEAN-led 16 countries RCEP, I think in September they’re going to end up the 14 rounds of negotiations. And then we have also TTP, with 12 signatories, and—

MABRY: And South Korea not a part.

LEE: South Korea like to enter the second round. But with this difficulty of the ratification in Washington, we’ll see. (Chuckles.)

MABRY: (Laughs.)

LEE: And at the same time, you know, there is interesting AIIB, the Asia Investment Infrastructure Bank, initiated by China. So in Asia, we thought there is a coming of a kind of competition between China-led economic and trade or even investment organization versus U.S.-led TPP. But I see this is not a good idea if the economic, you know, cooperations should be work together. So, I think it’s more rational for USA to be a member of AIIB rather than just to, you know, vetoing AIIB. So, by participating in AIIB, you know, we can make the governments more democratic and transparent rather than by (conflict ?).

HAASS: I’ll talk about trade. Just on trade very quickly, world trade has not been growing for about the last five years—very little. And, you know, more than anything it’s because economies aren’t growing. But also, it’s now been, what—I lost count of the years, but since, what, 15 years ago, the Doha Development Round. Global trade talks are going nowhere. It’s not clear they can revive given, you know, any time you try to get agreement with 190 countries, good luck. And that’s the old-fashioned legally binding approach, very, very tough.

So what we’re seeing is the proliferation of regional, and bilateral, and various types of multilateral trade agreements, which are at best second best. There’s people like Jagdish Bhagwati who think they’re actually quite, on balance, bad. But I would simply say I think they’re second best in what issues they can handle, and I think it comes up against now also the domestic pushback. So I think it—I think it has been a rough time for trade. And I think more than anything it’s—at the global level you can’t get it negotiated, and at the domestic level it’s not clear you have the support.

FULLILOVE: Can I just add one—

MABRY: Sure.

FULLILOVE: Can I just pick up something Professor Lee said about the Asian Investment Infrastructure Bank? Because one issue we haven’t—we haven’t talked too much about China so far, and everybody in this room knows that one of the features of international relations is that sometimes established and rising powers collide. And this relationship between China and the United States is going to be very important to many of the global governance challenges that we talk about in the report, not just the ones in Asia but globally.

And it seems to me that the United States and like-minded countries need to get the right balance of engaging and hedging with China, and sometimes we get that balance quite wrong. For example, on the AIIB, I didn’t understand why the United States was so negative about the—about that particular initiative. Because if we’re not going to allow China the ability to set up some kind of infrastructure investment bank in Asia, where it’s required, then what prerogatives are we going to allow China?

On the other hand, I would be—so I think, in a way, we were—I think the United States was hedging too much in relation to China. But then on other issues—and we’ve mentioned the South China Sea—I would say that President Obama has been too soft. I would say he’s been too down the engagement end.

So this is going to be, this relationship—these are just examples of this, but this relationship between the United States and China is going to be so important. Can the two countries come up—arrive at an order, a new—a new modus operandi where each of them can achieve their objectives, but allow the other side to exercise its prerogatives and allow everybody else in Asia to also exercise their prerogatives? Can they get that balance right? And the importance of statecraft, and leadership, and getting the right mix of engaging and hedging, and choosing where to engage and where to hedge is so hard, which does come back to leadership.

MABRY: Mmm hmm. Excellent.

At the very back there.

Q: Thank you. Hi, my name is Venk Lal. I’m with EverKey Global. We’re part of Wells Fargo Asset Management. Thank you very much for all the observations thus far.

My question relates to some of the recent commentary you’ve all been making about trade and coordination. If we step back even farther and look at broader capital flows around the world, and we look at all the volatility—particularly in currency markets which really demonstrate, some would argue, diverging economic interests between different parts of the world—how does the Council view prospects for coordination, whether it’s in the reform of Bretton Woods, as there was some mention of in this report, or other policies that could very well take place? Or, alternatively, is it just a matter of two or three or four central banks at a time coordinating policy and sort of running away with the show?

MABRY: Thank you. Want to take that?

HAASS: Well, I don’t think you’re going to get, you know, formal or collective reform of the Bretton Woods institutions, particularly the IMF, which would be the most relevant one. I think in some ways—I think it was Tim Geithner who called the rise of the FSB—the Financial Stability Board—sort of the fourth pillar now joining the original three.

And when—I think if you look at informal central bank consultations, you look at essentially the de facto norms and rules which argue against certain types of government or central bank intervention, there’s been a bit of progress. I think there’s tension between what you need to do domestically and its consequences internationally. That’s true for everybody; it’s particularly true for us, since we happen to operating, the last time I checked, the reserve currency. So we do quantitative easing and we set rates based upon domestic projections. Obviously, though, they have tremendous consequences for the role of the dollar internationally.

And there’s a—there is a tension there. I’m not sure you can solve it though institutional fixes, but it seems to me one of the things that we’ve got to be sensitive to the consequences, and you have to have all sorts of formal and informal conversations. And increasingly, those are taking place.

I think one of them, I mean, Dan Drezner and others have written about it, but if you look at how the world has evolved, say, since 2008-2009, I think there’s been probably more progress. If I were going to grade—put this on the report card, there’s arguably been as much actual progress in dealing with the issues you’re raising—the monetary arrangements, banking, questions of domestic regulatory reform, increasing—reducing the gaps between countries and increasing the de facto or informal coordination—I would think there’s probably been as much progress there as there been in any other—any other area of, quote unquote, “global governance,” which is not to say it’s perfect, but I do think there’s been some meaningful progress.

MABRY: Professor Lee?

LEE: Can I add? Because there is a regional effort, as you remember, for the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis. Many Asian member countries think they need a kind of regional cooperations in addition to IMF. So at the time, you know, Japan initiated Asian Monetary Fund, but it was opposed by Washington.

So ever since then, at least with the Chiang Mai Initiative, at least we set up the kind of currency swap mechanism. Now—used to be a bilateral, but now multilateral-like. So, there is a kind of currency swapping. You know, when you have a liquidity problem, we can lend each other. So, that’s kind of progress to—from the region to reinforce some weakness that the global organizations such as IMF cannot provide, and at the right time.


We’re going to go right here, and then we’ll go back there.

Q: Rita Hauser.

I find it a little depressing or shocking that, in your list of items, you have not listed the grave humanitarian problems that are facing the world for last two years: migration, displacement being among them, but massive violations of human rights, all of which the entire world community is dedicated to dealing with and working on a global basis.

We tend to talk about the refugee crisis, oh, it’s in Syria and Iraq, but it’s all over. It’s in Asia, it’s in Latin America, it’s in Australia, it’s everywhere. Why wasn’t it listed, Patrick? And what do you guys think about it? (Laughter.)

MABRY: So, we’ll go—are you game?

MR.     : Let’s go to Patrick. It’s OK.

HAASS: Stewart, you’re—

PATRICK: That’s a very good question, Rita. We did incorporate it as a spillover consequence of violent conflict and both interstate, obviously.

Although people don’t pay attention too much to the displacement in Ukraine, there’s been over a million and a half people in Ukraine that have been displaced. And obviously most of the folks, although not all of the folks fleeing into Europe and elsewhere, or in the 500,000 in the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, the world’s largest refugee camp, are obviously victims from displacement of violent conflict in Somalia, primarily.

Arguably, it should be added as another category. And the—one of the difficulties, of course, is that there’s—there are different categories of international threats and problems. And parsing between refugees and migrants, those are both two issues that conceivably we could add to this. But they increasingly overlap, and it’s actually one of the things that we discussed in one of the sessions at our workshop yesterday.

HAASS: I also think, Rita, in defense of what we did, you can deal with refugees and people on the move either within or across borders as an issue in and of itself, or you can deal with it mainly as a consequence of bad governance and internal conflict or interstate conflict. And this report largely deals with it in the latter.

So there’s not going to be a solution, ultimately, to problems of displacement or refugees through some kind of a global legal mechanism dealing with it. What we’ve got to do is deal with the root causes that’s generating the situations where these people are forced to flee from their homes. So I think the emphasis in this report is more on what’s leading to it, rather than the results of it.

MABRY: Of course, there are international institutions and legal institutions. There is transnational government supposedly around human rights.

HAASS: It’s got to be—no—

Q: Yes, there are legal institutions.

HAASS: I understand that, but all I’m saying is the principal driver of this is—and the way to resolve it is not going to be whatever comes out of the U.N. this year dealing with refugees. And “global governance,” quote/unquote, is not going to resolve it if we don’t do something on the ground in places like Syria, in parts of Africa, in the Ukraine.



Q: Hi. Can you hear me? Giacomo Landi with DNB Bank.

I think we got a good idea of the Israeli-Iranian situation over the next 12, 15 years, and maybe some hard lines that Israel has.

I was struck by the response on North Korea, and I can appreciate the geography of Seoul. But where does South Korea see the North-South situation developing over the next 10, 15 years? Obviously, extremely harsh rhetoric from the North directed toward the United States. At some point, we may need to act. But is there a situation where the South actually would take the lead on this?

LEE: Actually, any president of South Korean government has tried to persuade Pyongyang to improve the inter-Korean relations, like opening up the Kaesong Industrial Complex, and then also Kumgang Mountain, many things, and also tried to set up some economic cooperations. But, you know, Pyongyang has responded with a continuous nuclear threat. It was very difficult, for example, the current government tried to prepare in a unification is whole packages of investment, infrastructure, and trade, and port development, but they all stopped after the fourth nuclear test in this January. So even Kaesong Industrial Complex was shut down. Too bad, right?

So, it’s very difficult for Seoul to take in the driver’s seat because if Pyongyang ignore Seoul, and they like to talk with Washington to get Washington’s attention to normalize the relations, they hope. Of course, but Washington will need to – the Pyongyang’s sincere attitude of engagement to dismantle the nuclear programs.

HAASS: I’ll just say what worries me—and I think your question gets at it—is there is potentially a significant tension, or gap, between how Seoul and Washington view North Korea. If Seoul’s priority is at virtually any cost to avoid another war on the peninsula, which is understandable; and if Washington is increasingly concerned about, among other things, North Korea’s nuclear reach, whether it goes on the market or has missiles that can reach the United States; you can imagine where suddenly the coordination of this alliance becomes extraordinarily difficult. And I think that’s quite a possibility over the next decade, as North Korean nuclear capabilities grow. At the same time, their conventional capabilities are also considerable. I think they’re—the Washington-Seoul bifurcation, potentially, is a—is a real challenge.

MABRY: General Yadlin, if I can ask you a question with regards to that coordination idea amongst challenges. When it comes to your neighborhood—and especially I’m thinking of the fight against Islamic State—is this going to be—is this an issue of transnational governance, or is it actually an issue of bilateral or even unilateral action on the part of great powers or regional powers?

YADLIN: Unlike like the view from Washington, which look at the Islamic State as the most dangerous phenomena in the Middle East, we still think that the most formidable threat to the Middle East—maybe the Saudis are thinking alike—is the Islamic Republic of Iran. And when you look at it from an Israeli perspective, Daesh is not a threat to Israel today. If you put it on a scale of how many tons of explosive our enemy can launch to Tel Aviv? So, the Iranians, hundred of missiles with heavy warheads. Hezbollah, maybe thousands. Some from Hamas, not too many. Daesh, with all due respect, they are fighting with Hezbollah as we speak. And if I want to be cynical a little bit, I wish success for both. (Laughter.) So Daesh is not our main concern. It’s still Iran that basically the threat to the Middle East.

And when you look from perspective in Tel Aviv, all the world is fighting Daesh. Two very respected coalitions. One led by the president of the United States, even though he never called the 65 countries to his headquarters to talk to them seriously, but it’s a serious coalition. And there is another, more ugly coalition, led by Russia, and Iran, and Syria, and Hezbollah. And all of them fighting ISIS. With Iran, unfortunately, we were left alone. So we take it much more seriously.

MABRY: Your other earlier answer about Iran, and kind of what happens in the 12 to 15 years, and the hope, basically, of those who supported the agreement, hoping that Iran will change—that Iran’s on a course toward change—reminded me of kind of the lessons that we also may have learned, I don’t know, maybe too much, from the Cold War: the U.S. facing its greatest adversary in the Soviet Union. There was—there was certainly containment, and there was certainly military power involved, but also there was waiting through a containment of Russia while Russia crumbled. The hope that internal dynamics will mean that we won’t have to act militarily with regard to Iran, do you think that’s silly, not possible? Is it possible? Might it work? Might Iran be on the road to change? Might there be a way for the international community to help that along?

YADLIN: See, the art of using your political and military instrument is when to use them and when not to use them. And I think it was already mentioned in this panel that the U.S. demonstrated the two extreme: overreaction—two wars, $2 trillion, a decade long, not achieving the objectives; and there was another demonstration of inaction—the Syrians crossed the red line, used, by the way, if we speak about proliferation, chemical weapon—a very dangerous chemical weapon, sarin, 2013, and nothing was done.

By the way, I don’t know if you are aware, but a month ago they used it again, even though there was an agreement, international cooperation between U.S. and Russia to take the chemical weapon from Syria. A small stock was left and used last month. It was published in Haaretz in Israel by a very respected reporter. Nobody pay attention. Nobody pay attention. Most of the people didn’t want to pay attention. So, what are the consequences of using chemical weapon?

So, going back to your question about cooperation, what’s really interesting in the Middle East is that the interest of all the players are (interwoven ?). And there is a new term there, which called “friendemy.” It’s not “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” In the same time that I’m fighting my enemy, I’m also cooperating with him. In the same time that the U.S. and Russia are fighting ISIS together, they have different interests. In the same times that Assad fight ISIS, he is buying oil from ISIS. And both of them fight, unfortunately, the oppositions that is supported by the U.S.

Our enemy is Hamas. Who is giving Hamas materials to rebuild Gaza? Is it Saudi Arabia? Is it Turkey? No, it’s Israel. And we are playing with the tensions that we want Gaza to reconstruct and to rebuild, but we know that a high percentage is going to build an attack tunnels for the terrorists. So it’s a complicated area.

There is a lot of convergence of interest to Israel with countries that in the past we didn’t see as friends. Because when I meet some of my friends from Saudi Arabia—not officially, not on the record—the basically—the basic argument is, look, on Iran, we are on the same page. Unfortunately, the Americans are here. On Egypt, we are on the same page: we both support Sisi. Unfortunately, we are not sure that the Americans are not supporting Muslim Brotherhood. On Assad, they know that I personally think that he is a war criminal and should be removed, so we are on the same page. Unfortunately, on the Palestinian-Israeli issue, we are not on the same page. So my Saudi friend will say, only solve the Israeli-Palestinian issue and we will be brothers in the open.

So there are some new opportunities here for Israel, because when you look at the region, we have a lot of interests that converge with the pragmatic Sunni Arab countries which are the majority in the Middle East.

MABRY: That is going to have to be our last word. Please join me in thanking the panel.

And please look at the report. (Applause.) I’m sorry, I’ll just say one more thing before I go. Look at—look at the report, because it does lay out prescriptions of how we can change what, as Stewart said at the beginning, is a creaky international institution system to help us further along the road toward progress on all these issues.

Thank you. (Applause.)

FULLILOVE: Thank you, Marcus. (Applause.)


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