United Nations Essay Research Paper INTRODUCTIONTHE ISSUESThe — страница 3

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future of American involvement in the organization, they will consider the following issues: Does the United Nations have a role to play in the post-Cold War era? For most of its history, the U.N.’s peacekeeping role was restricted by the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. Allies in World War II, the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. became rival superpowers on the strength of their growing nuclear arsenals and created alliances that divided most of the world into opposing camps. While regional conflicts raged throughout the postwar period, it was the dread of tripping a nuclear holocaust, rather than the peacekeeping authority of the U.N., that prevented the outbreak of a third world war. With the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989, the nuclear competition came to an

end –as did the global order imposed by the Cold War. No longer constrained by alliances with one or the other superpower, ethnic and religious tensions flared into open combat from the republics of the former Soviet Union to Africa, while regional powers lashed out against their neighbors. At the same time, the United States was eager to shed its Cold War defense burden and tend to its worsening budget deficit. Under these circumstances, hopes ran high that the United Nations could finally assume the central role its founders had defined for it in 1945—to be the world’s preeminent peacekeeper and a mediator by giving all members a forum for airing their grievances. (3) When Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait on August 2, 1990, the U.N. found an ideal opportunity to fulfill its

mission. Led by the United States, a U.N.- sanctioned multinational force repelled the invaders in early 1991 and oversaw the cease-fire and the restoration of Kuwait’s boundaries. Some critics of the United Nations say the Gulf War represents a rare example of effective U.N. action. “The U.N. had almost no role whatever [in world affairs] until about 1988, and its role lasted until about 1992,” Bolton says. “So it’s not like the organization had a real history of effectively doing what it was intended to do.” Subsequent U.N. efforts, notably the peacekeeping missions to Somalia and Bosnia, have reaffirmed longstanding doubts about the organization’s ability to play a critical role in world affairs. “I would argue that the U.N. foes serve a useful purpose, but in

a limited context,” says Carpenter of the Cato Institute. “It’s worthwhile as a forum for airing grievances and disputes, and it’s useful for the traditional peacekeeping operations, that is to say to police existing cease-fires. It can serve a useful purpose as well as a kind of mediation service to head off conflicts. But it’s not well-equipped or well-designed to engage in nation building projects, as in Somalia, or—even worse—to try to manage civil wars, which it is trying to do in Bosnia. Overreaching in that way discredits the organization.” Peacekeeping is not the only role for which some experts say the U.N. is less suited than many once predicted. The organization includes fifteen agencies working to improve health care, nutrition, human rights, and other

social and economic goals. With the Cold War’s end, it was hoped that the U.N. would be free to concentrate more of its member states’ resources on improving living conditions in the poorest areas of the world. But critics say that the U.N. agencies are too politicized, poorly managed, and wasteful to carry out their mandates. “Whenever possible, I think the U.N. ought to utilize nongovernmental organizations more than it has in the past,” Carpenter says. U.N. supporters say that such diminished expectations for the world body are misplaced. “Clearly, the roles of the U.N. should be changed from time to time, depending on what the international community needs done that require multilateral solutions,” says Luck of the United Nations Association. “But in general

terms, the U.N. should be more needed at a time when there is a multipolar world without a bilateral competition that tends to freeze so much in the security area. There are many, many functional, technical problems in the economic, environmental, humanitarian, and social realms that require very broad international cooperation. The U.N. in that sense should have a major role to play.” Urquhart agrees. “I don’t think it really makes any sense not to make the U.N. work,” he says. “You have to make it work because there isn’t anything else.” Should the United States reduce its support of the United Nations? All members contribute funds to the United Nations, and some of these contributions are mandatory. The amount of each country’s mandatory assessment is based on