n Conflict Trends - Where US unilateralism meets UN-centred multilateralism - : feature

Volume 2004, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


The United Nations (UN) has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. But the vision of a collective security system proved as Utopian and unattainable after the Second World War as it had proven after the First. Peacekeeping emerged somewhat haphazardly and untidily, as a halfway house between the pacific settlement of disputes under chapter 6 of the UN Charter and collective enforcement under chapter 7. Africa has been the setting for some of the most challenging missions. Some were largely successful, as with the emergence of an independent Namibia in the late 1980s; others were shambolic, as with Somalia in the first half of the 1990s. The Congo operation in the early 1960s anticipated to a remarkable degree some of the structural dilemmas inherent in the more muscular peace operations of a generation later.

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