United Nations Essay Research Paper INTRODUCTIONTHE ISSUESThe

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United Nations Essay, Research Paper INTRODUCTION THE ISSUES The United Nations turns fifty-five this year and, like many individuals facing middle age, it worries about the future. Created as a bold experiment in collective security amid the ruins of World War II, the U.N. has many accomplishes to its credit, from successfully mediating numerous peace accords to the countless ways it has improved economic and living conditions in less developed countries. When the leaders toasted the U.N.’s past accomplishes in 1995, the primary topic behind the scenes was what was to be done about the U.N.’s current travails in the former Yugoslavia. As they celebrate this year, might the topic be on how they failed and had to have the North Atlantic Treaty Organization take over the

peacekeeping forces and bombing raids? The civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina is now over, but the U.N. peacekeepers were powerless to stop the aggression of Bosnian Serbs against the majority Muslim population. Images of blue-helmeted U.N. solders taken hostage by Serb forces have cast a pall on the world body’s anniversary events. The failure of the U.N. peacekeeping mission to Bosnia has called into question the very heart of the organization’s mandate. It also had precipitated a political crisis in Washington. Neither Congress nor the White House wanted to send U.S. ground troops to Bosnia. But Congress had approved legislation requiring that the president unilaterally end U.S. participation in a U.N.-imposed arms embargo against all parties to the conflict in the former

Yugoslavia. (1) Congressional supporters said that the policy sift was needed to permit the beleaguered Muslims to defend themselves against the well-armed Serbs. President Clinton vetoed the legislation on August 11, 1995, saying it “would intensify the fighting, jeopardize diplomacy and make the war in Bosnia an American responsibility.” The Bosnian crisis had reinvigorated a longstanding debate in the United States about using the United Nations to achieve U.S. foreign policy goals. The Clinton administration, through its policy of assertive multilateralism,” has tried to increase American participation in the U.N. Clinton argued that the U.S., as the world’s sole remaining superpower, cannot afford to assume the role of global cop and must act in concert with other

powers in the multilateral body to keep the peace. (2) Supporters of a strong U.N. agree with this assessment. “You may not like the U.N., but the truth is that some kind of organization of this kind is absolutely vital,” says Brian Urquhart, a British scholar at the Ford Foundation in New York who began his forty-year career as chief aide to U.N. secretaries-general at the organization’s founding in 1945. “We really don’t need a third world war the prove that.” Supporters say the crisis in Bosnia should not detract from the U.N.’s successes. “There is a lot of shared embarrassment in the mess that is the dormer Yugoslavia,” says Edward C. Luck, president of the United Nations Association of the United States, a New York-based research and educational

organization. “But no one is paying attention to the new U.N. peacekeeping operations in Angola and Haiti, which are unfolding on a very businesslike basis.” For U.N. peacekeeping to work, Luck says, “you have to have consent and cooperation” from all parties, which is the case in Angola and Haiti. In Bosnia, however, “everyone thinks they have more to gain on the battlefield, and no one is really ready for peace, so [peacekeeping is] just not going to work.” Even some of the U.N.’s harshest critics think the international body is being blamed unfairly for the failure to bring peace to Bosnia. “In some ways, the strongest supporters of the United Nations have been the organization’s worst enemy,” says Ted Galen Carpenter, director of foreign policy studies at