United Nations Peace Keeping in the Post-Cold War Era

United Nations Peace Keeping in the Post-Cold War Era

Author: 
O'Neill, John Terence
Place: 
London
Publisher: 
Routledge and Taylor & Francis Group
Phys descriptions: 
xi, 228p.
Date published: 
2005
Record type: 
Responsibility: 
Rees, Nicholas, jt. author
ISBN: 
0714684899
Call No: 
341.123 ONE
Abstract: 

The main aim of this study is to examine those activities carried out by the UN in the period 1946 to 2003 employing military and police personnel and coming under the rubric 'UN Peacekeeping'. In particular, it seeks to ascertain whether those operations which took place in the period following the improvement of relations between East and West in the late 1980s were markedly different in terms of their nature and objectives from those which had gone before, and the impact upon operations of the changes in the international system post-Cold War. Certainly, the late 1980s witnessed a number of successes in peacekeeping, including the successful resolution of conflicts in Central America, Africa and the Middle East, while the early 1990s were marked by a significant increase in the number of authorizations of new missions. The diversity of missions and the range of new requirements seemed to fundamentally change the nature of peacekeeping; yet was this actually the case, or are many commentators guilty of over-simplifying the type of operations undertaken in the past while assuming new operations were of a more complex nature? Did the end of the Cold War explain the transformation of peacekeeping, or are there broader developments associated with globalization that help to account for the growing demand for peacekeeping. During the Cold War, the UN's ability to engage in collective action was seen to have been impeded by East-West divisions which effectively limited the possibility of cooperation in the UN Security Council. The end of the Cold War was to have introduced an era of peace with an emphasis on the rights and privileges of human rights. However, expectations of more effective peacekeeping post - Cold War proved misplaced. As early as 1994, Adam Roberts described UN peacekeeping as 'in crisis'. Tried and tested principles and practices had been modified or abandoned and the distinction between peacekeeping and various enforcement activities had become blurred. UN efforts in Bosnia had exposed the organization to accusations of weakness and the initially successful UN operation in Angola had been followed by resumption of warfare. The UN role in these states seemed to do little to address the underlying causes of conflict. These problems and failures had arisen at a time when, Roberts claimed, there was a widespread feeling of optimism that the UN could have a more central role in international security and that peacekeeping could tackle a wide range of international problems.

Language: 

CITATION: O'Neill, John Terence. United Nations Peace Keeping in the Post-Cold War Era . London : Routledge and Taylor & Francis Group , 2005. - Available at: http://library.au.int/united-nations-peace-keeping-post-cold-war-era-3