This Tuesday, Eric Schwartz came to St. Olaf to speak to students about the refugee crisis and humanitarianism. Eric Schwartz, a graduate of Binghamton University, has an impressive career. Before taking his current position as Dean of Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, he worked for several organizations: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Ford Foundation, and the Human Rights Watch to name a few. Schwartz’s public career took off when he worked with Bill Clinton during his presidential campaign and Schwartz was eventually given work on the National Security Council. He worked with the Clinton administration for eight years and even spent some time under President George Bush. As a humanitarian, he spent time in Congo and Pakistan and was the United Nations Deputy Envoy for the Tsunami Crisis of 2004.
Eric Schwartz discussed humanitarian topics such as the 2005 UN policy of “The Responsibility to Protect.” In short, this policy claims state sovereignty entails the ability to protect its own citizens. If a state is unable or unwilling to protect its civilians, then international powers can intervene. The action of intervention requires a unanimous vote of approval from the UN Security Council.
Eric Schwartz ended his talk by addressing the refugee crisis and exhorted students to advocate for humanitarian issues. He claimed we must practice at home what we preach abroad.