United Nations Essay Research Paper INTRODUCTIONTHE ISSUESThe — страница 6

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of coordinating economic assistance programs carried out in the field by U.N. agencies. The UNDP also became a vehicle for developing countries to press their case in the deepening dispute over the allocation of the world’s resources between the industrialized countries of the Northern Hemisphere and the developing nations, found mostly in the South. U.N. PEACEKEEPING ROLE Although the term “peacekeeping” does not appear in the U.N. Charter, the goal it envisions – ensuring collective security – has always been the organization’s main priority. (11) U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjod and Under Secretary-General Ralph Bunche, a U.S. diplomat, introduce the term in the 1950s to describe the activities of the first U.N. observer mission, which was dispatched to the

Middle East in 1948. The ongoing operation was created to prevent the spread of hostilities between the newly established state of Israel and its Arab neighbors. While the charter makes no mention of peacekeeping, it does limit the degree of involvement U.N. forces can undertake to ensure collective security. The organization pledges not to interfere in issues that are “essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state.” Based on this premise, certain guidelines have evolved governing the deployment of peacekeepers and rules of engagement. The host government, for example, must consent to any U.N. deployment, as must the countries contributing troops to the mission. Countries with vested political interests in the outcome of a dispute are not allowed to contribute

troops to a peacekeeping mission. Finally, U.N. troops may use their weapons only in self-defense and must remain neutral if hostilities break out between the parties to the dispute. The Security Council deployed the first lightly armed peacekeeping mission in 1956 to create a buffer zone along the Suez Canal and to monitor a cease-fire between Israel and Egypt. That “emergency force” involved as many as six thousand soldiers during its eleven-year mission. During the U.N.’s first forty-five years, thirteen peacekeeping missions were deployed. Only one of these – the 1960-64 mission to the former Belgian Congo, which involved 19,800 troops – approached the size of some present-day missions. A VIEW FROM THE U.S. With all the criticism of the United Nations heard today,

it is easy to forget that the organization – like the League of Nations before it – was largely a product of American initiative. President Franklin D. Roosevelt urged his wartime allies to support the notion that the only way to stop aggression by individual nation was to authorize an international body to keep the peace. If anything, argues Urquhart at the Ford Foundation, Americans were overly optimistic about the chances of the U.N.’s success. “The thing that surprised me most about the diplomats, and particularly the Americans, was that they were absolutely convinced that this was going to work absolutely as written in the charter,” he recalls. When Urquhart, then a six-year veteran of the war in Europe, challenged this view before an American diplomat, he “was

absolutely furious, told me it was skeptical young men like me who caused wars and stamped away. That was very much the view in the American delegation,” Urquhart adds. “They believed they had hit upon the secret of international peace. Within about six months, it turned out they hadn’t because we went plunging into the Cold War. There was a huge disillusionment when that happened.” Despite its leading role in creating the United Nations and high initial expectations for its performance, the United States has always viewed the multilateral organization with ambivalence. Fearful that American troops could be forced into service against the will of the U.S. government, Congress in 1945 strictly circumscribed the Security Council’s reach. The U.N. Participation Act

authorized the United States to commit military forces to U.N. mission only when approved by Congress. The law requires the president to return to Congress for authorization of any additional forces to an existing U.N. mission. Just five years after the law went into effect, however, the U.N. Participation Act was undermined when President Harry S Truman committed American troops to the Korean War without congressional approval. The weight of that law has been in question ever since. (12) POST-COLD WAR UPHEAVAL In an effort to define the U.N.’s place in this changing environment, Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali began his tenure in 1992 with a call to redefine U.N. peacekeeping goals to include humanitarian relief, economic assistance, the reconstruction of institutions