What’s Wrong with the UN Security Council

Here’s another article about the UN I wrote for the magazine Impakter under my real name: (published on 9 June, 2014) – after all, after 25 years of service in the United Nations, I believe I know a thing or two about it! Enjoy and let me know what you think!

What’s wrong with the UN Security Council

To an idle observer dropping in from Outer Space, the UN Security Council is the strongest organ of the United Nations.

Tasked with maintaining peace among nations, it has been given weapons of war. When it passes a resolution, it can send troops, the blue-helmeted UN peacekeepers or “blue berets”, and force peace on belligerents. Blue berets belong to member nations’ armies, but taken together, they constitute a hefty, permanent UN force.

At this point in time, over 110,000 military personnel are permanently deployed around the world in “hot spots”, currently in 15 “missions”.

This level of intervention dates to the collapse of the Soviet Union (1988): the number of resolutions doubled, the peace-keeping budget increased by a factor of ten. So far, there have been eight major missions, with only two notable failures, Somalia and Bosnia. A respectable record nonetheless. The biggest failure however was caused by lack of intervention. This happened in 1994, when one of History’s worst genocide was perpetrated in Rwanda.
UN Security Council debate on Rwanda, June 1994. Photo credit UN photo Milton Grant
UN Security Council Meets on Rwanda 08 June 1994

The Security Council can do more than send troops….



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