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  • Author: Christopher D. O'Sullivan
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia International Affairs Online
  • Abstract: The conclusion of the Cold War between 1989-1991 opened new horizons for the United Nations and created expectations that the UN would emerge from the margins of world events to the focus of world politics. But many events since then -- in Somalia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Iraq -- have undermined confidence in international institutions. A history of the UN's activities since the end of the East-West conflict conjures up names of recent infamy, such as Sarajevo, Mogadishu, Kigali, and Srebrenica, and revisits images of failure and impotence in the face of violence. These crises undermined much of the optimism that greeted the end of the Cold War at the United Nations. The founding dream in 1945 of a community of nations defending human rights and promoting collective security still seems as far from being realized as it did during the height of the Cold War.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Cold War, Politics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Bosnia, Rwanda, Somalia
  • Author: Christopher D. O'Sullivan, M. James Wilkinson
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia International Affairs Online
  • Abstract: The United Nations Security Council has, in the words of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, “come to a fork in the road . . . (that) may be a moment no less decisive than 1945.”i The US Administration precipitated the crisis when, unable to secure Council approval for using armed force against Iraq, it fashioned its own “coalition of the willing” and drove Saddam Hussein from power. The events surrounding the US action and its aftermath have spawned a vigorous debate over President Bush's policies and whether the Security Council in its present -- or any other -- form can play a serious role henceforth in the quest to ensure international peace and security.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia