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Empowering the United Nations

Author(s): Boutros Boutros-Ghali


Source: Foreign Affairs, Vol. 71, No. 5 (Winter, 1992), pp. 89-102
Published by: Council on Foreign Relations
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EMPOWERING THE UNITED NATIONS


Boutros

Historic

Boutros-Ghali

to Strengthen

Opportunities

World

Body

in the history of the United Nations


CHAPTER
has begun. With newfound
appeal the world or
t
is being utilized with greater frequency
ganization
of the United Nations,
and growing urgency. The machinery
which had often been rendered
inoperative by the dynamics of
at
the center of international
the Cold War, is suddenly
efforts
as
as
to deal with unresolved
of
the
decades
well
past
problems

ANEW

an

array

emerging

of

future

and

present

issues.

new credibility
to the United
The new era has brought
come
Nations. Along with it have
that the
rising expectations
will take on larger responsibilities
Nations
and a
United
cles

in overcoming

role

greater

to peace
and

community

the U.N.

and

pervasive

and development.

Together

Secretariat

interrelated

the
to seize

need

obsta

international
this

extraor

to expand,
the
adapt and reinvigorate
dinary opportunity
so that the lofty goals as originally
work of the United Nations
envisioned
by the charter can begin to be realized.
Peacekeeping

is a Growth

Industry

IS THE most prominent U.N. activity.


The
"blue helmets" on the front lines of conflict on
PEACEKEEPING
four
ment

continents
to

are

international

some 65 countries,

symbol
peace

representing

of

the United

and

security.

more

Nations'
They

commit
come
from

than 35 percent

of the

membership.

It was not specifically


is a U.N.
invention.
Peacekeeping
defined in the charter but evolved as a noncoercive
instrument
at a time when
of conflict
control
Cold War
constraints
the Security Council from taking the more forceful
prevented
steps permitted
oper
by the charter. Thirteen
peacekeeping
ations were established
1948 and 1978. Five of them
between
14 and 44 years old.
remain in existence,
and are between

Boutros

Boutros-Ghali

is Secretary

General

of the United

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Nations.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

90

sometimes

has

Peacekeeping

easier

proved

than

the

comple

This shows that peacekeep


function of peacemaking.
mentary
to a
cannot
the
solution
permanent
provide
ing, by itself,
can do that.
conflict. Only political negotiation
of peace
the Cold War years the basic principles
During
were
and
the
established
gained acceptance:
keeping
gradually
-

?err*!

T7

The former

via

United

Nations'

peacekeeping
ever.
ment

of

the
by

provided

Yugosla-

become

has

consent

troops
states

the command of

^erving und?

the

parties;
member

mini
the secretary
general;
use of force; collective
mum
It was also learned,
financing.
ften the hard wa?'that
,
Peacue"
success
the

largest
commit-

keeping

of

cooperation

requires
the
parties,

clear and practicable mandate,


the continuing
support of the
and
financial
Council
arrangements.
adequate
Security
in
The end of the Cold War has led to a dramatic expansion
Nations'
Since
services.
demand for the United
peacekeeping
have been established,
five of which
1988 14 new operations
their mandates
have already completed
and been disbanded.
In the first half of 1992 the number of U.N. soldiers and police
officers
increased fourfold;
by the end of the year they will
exceed 50,000.
have been of the traditional,
Some of these new operations
to
control unresolved
conflicts
type, deployed
largely military
between

states.

are

the

military

observers

who

Iran and Iraq from 1988 to


the ceasefire between
zone
those who currently patrol the demilitarized

monitored
1991 and
between

Examples

Iraq

and

Kuwait.

have been set up to help


operations
settlements
of long-standing
conflicts,
negotiated
implement
as in Namibia, Angola,
El Salvador and Mozam
Cambodia,
bique. Namibia was a colonial situation but each of the other
albeit with
four has been an internal
conflict,
significant
But most

external

of the new

dimensions,

within

sovereign

state

member

of

the

United Nations.
There
is another aspect to the end of the Cold War. The
has led to the
geography
political
thawing of its frozen
eruption

of

savage

conflicts

in, and

sometimes

between,

newly

states. The
has
former Yugoslavia
emerging
independent
commitment
Nations'
the
become
United
largest peacekeeping
ever. Ethnic conflict across political borders
and the brutal

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THE

EMPOWERING

U.N.

91

of the ordeal that U.N.


killing of civilians there are reminiscent
in
in the then Congo.
the
faced
1960s
forces
peacekeeping
forces

U.N.

are

again

an

taking

level

unacceptable

of

casual

whether
the conditions
ties. It is difficult to avoid wondering
in what was Yugoslavia.
yet exist for successful peacekeeping
another new task: the
The
1990s have given peacekeeping
of
humanitarian
of
the
delivery
supplies to civilians
protection
a
conflict. This is currently underway
caught up in continuing
in

and

Bosnia-Herzegovina

states

member

Somalia,

whose

in a confused
and
have been largely destroyed
of civil conflicts. This
task tests the established
in
the circumstances
of peacekeeping,
especially
practices
which U.N.
soldiers may open fire. Existing rules of engage
ment allow them to do so if armed persons attempt by force to
them from carrying out their orders. This
license,
prevent
used sparingly in the past, may be resorted to more frequently
if the United
is to assert the Security Council's
Nations
institutions
cruel web

over

authority

those

for

who,

personal

Beyond

objectives,

destined

supplies

for

Peacekeeping
NEW

THESE
ALL

far-reaching
are

operations

modes

implications

organized

In internal
one

or war

gain

humanitarian
try to rob or destroy
civilian
suffering
populations.

conflicts,

and

of peacekeeping
have had
for the way in which U.N.

conducted.

or indeed

in interstate

conflicts where

or other

to exercise
in a
of the governments
is not
position
over
not all
under
full authority
its
control,
territory
nominally
are
a result
As
the parties
the
have
governments.
peacekeepers

had
The

to learn how to deal with a multiplicity


of "authorities."
leaders of such groups are often inaccessible
and their
even

identity

chains

unknown;

of

are

command

shadowy;

armed persons who offend against agreements


signed by their
are
or
leaders
is nonexistent
disowned;
supposed
discipline
brutal. And
there is an evil and uncontrolled
everywhere
of

proliferation

Peacekeeping
personnel.

more
help

was

But

important
implement

or

arms.

still

operations
now

the

civilian

role. This
comprehensive

invariably
elements

is especially
and

include

often

true when
complex

have

military
an

even

the task is to
settlements,

as

El Salvador, Cambodia
is the case in Namibia,
and
to
Political
action
is
resolve
Mozambique.
required
disputes

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92

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

between

the parties

and

Information

arrangements.

agreed

them

persuade

programs

to implement
must

the
the

explain

United Nations'
role and advise the people of the opportuni
must be brought
ties the settlement
gives them. Refugees
home and resettled. Elections must be observed and verified or
and conducted
even, in Cambodia,
organized
by the United
Nations.
Local

must

police

to ensure

be monitored

that

carry

they

out

their duties in the spirit of the new order and not the old.
an especially
for human
Respect
rights must be verified,
In the latter
in
El
task
Salvador
and
Cambodia.
important
has
for control
United
the
Nations
also
country
responsibility
structures.
ling the key parts of the existing administrative
All of these tasks, some of them very intrusive, must be
carried out with complete
impartiality by civilian peacekeep
ers. Staff members
of the U.N. system, with policy and election
observers
new

made

civilian

available

by member

states,

have

to these

risen

challenges.

involvement
of such a variety of civilian personnel,
creates a need for tight
their military
colleagues,
alongside
of all aspects of an operation. As a result it has
coordination
become
normal for the overall direction
of a multifaceted
a senior civilian
to
to
be
entrusted
peacekeeping
operation
as
to
of the secretary general,
official
special representative
The

the

whom

force

of

director

elections

Must

Responses

commander,
and other

headlong
to accelerate

need
current

On

finance,
finance,

with

general
operations,
also
general
limits,
The

expansion

report.

learned during
the
of U.N.
peacekeeping

deployment
or four
three

Council's

Security
becoming
operational
fronts:

LESSONS

the

procedures

the

of

new

months

between

of a mission
authorization
in the field. Action
is required

personnel
the member

and
states

equipment.
should

provide

and its
on three

the

a working
capital fund for the start-up
so that cash is immediately
available. They
the

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recent
is the
Under

operations.
can
elapse

so that
financial
existing
procedures
to
within
that
has
cash,
spend
authority
as soon
as the new
is authorized.
operation
more
of
is
question
complicated.
personnel

revise

the

commissioner,

Be Quick

OF THE
ONE

the police
directors

secretary

of new
should

secretary
reasonable

Procedures

EMPOWERING THE U.N.

93

of U.N. staff to new operations


in the field are
more
being simplified for
rapid reaction. But most peacekeep
are made
ing personnel
(troops, police, election observers)
for the transfer

available

by

standing

force, which would

to

but

extend

and

answer

The

governments.

more

make

is not

be impractical
systematic

ments

to create

a U.N.

and inappropriate,
arrange

standby

commit
to hold
themselves
governments
by which
an
at
of
trained
for
units
notice, specially
ready,
agreed period
service.

peacekeeping

A handful of governments
already do this. A recent invita
tion to all member
states to volunteer
information
about what
and
in
would
be
personnel
equipment
they
principle
ready to
if
results. I have
contribute,
asked, produced
disappointing
now decided
to take the initiative and put
to
specific proposals
in
to
order
with
reasonable
governments,
identify
certainty
sources of
and police personnel
and equipment
that
military
would

governments

notice. These
that

could

commitments
be

to make

undertake
when

used,

would
the

at very

available

constitute

moment

building
to

came,

short

blocks

construct

in various sizes and configurations,


operations
peacekeeping
a
small group of military
to a full
observers
ranging from
as

division,

required.

Allied

with this effort will be the provision of more extensive


to governments
on training troops and
guidance
police who
to
contribute
the
United
Nations
for
may
they
peacekeeping
duties.
can

Equipment
can

be

eased.

the United
(vehicles,
always

cause

are two

nel. There

First,

even

complementary
member

states

ways
should

to establish a reserve
Nations
radios, generators,
prefabricated

required

for

a new

than

bottlenecks

greater

in which
it

make

possible

for

stock of basic items


that are
buildings)
Second,

operation.

peacekeeping

person

this problem

states could agree to hold


member
ready, at various locations
around the world, reserves of such equipment. These would
remain their property but could be made
avail
immediately
able to the United Nations when the need arose.
An

even

more

radical

development

can

now

too often
to
that the parties
happens
ceasefire agreement
but then fail to respect
tions it is felt that the United Nations
should
This is a reasonable
if
the
United
expectation
an effective system of collective
security. The
enforcement
units (perhaps they should be
all

be

envisaged.

It

a conflict
sign a
it. In such situa
"do something."
Nations
is to be
of
purpose
peace
called "ceasefire

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94

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

to
units") would be to enable the United Nations
a
to
coercive
enforce
ceasefire
by taking
deploy troops quickly
action against either party, or both, if they violate it.
This concept retains many of the features of peacekeeping:
the operation would be authorized by the Security Council;
the
enforcement

_;_
iTT

U.N.

to use

authorized
to ensure

WOUld

troops

respect

by member

untarily

be

would be under
of the secretary
be
they would

force
for

tween *e

the ceasefire."

be

would

troops
,

tion
them

^?if

only
violated

vol

provided
states;

they

the command
and
general;
impartial be

sides>
one

or

ac;
tak?n?
of
other
cease

the agreed

to the extent
fire. But the concept goes beyond peacekeeping
without
the express
would be deployed
that the operation
consent of the two parties (though its basis would be a ceasefire
reached between
them). U.N.
troops
agreement
previously
ensure
use
to
to
force
would be authorized
respect for the
ceasefire. They would be trained, armed and equipped accord
ingly; a very rapid response would be essential.
This
is a novel idea that involves some obvious difficulties.
considered
But it should be carefully
by the international
as
next
in
of the United
the
the
step
development
community
to
to take effective action on the ground
Nations'
capability
maintain

Unpaid

international

peace

and

security.

Bills

HAVE

BEEN prolonged

THERE states in meeting


peacekeeping
of the
largest

operations.
and most

delays by member

their financial

obligations

For

four

complex

instance,
U.N.

months

operations

regarding
into
ever,

one
only

to the U.N.
states had fully paid their obligations
nine member
in
in
Cambodia.
Transitional
payment add to
Delays
Authority
the
the fragility of an already delicate mission
by hampering
to
in
the
and
United Nations'
causing delays
deploy
capacity
turn
and
timetable
the agreed
in
threaten
schedule. These
a time when the United
At
entire
the
peace process.
jeopardize
than ever, it is being
is being asked to do more
Nations
states who have breached
their
shortchanged
by the member

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EMPOWERING THE U.N.


legal obligations

and deprived

the United

Nations

95

of necessary

resources.1

occur against a background


of dramati
difficulties
costs
for
and
peace
cally increasing
establishing
maintaining
the first half of 1992 there was a
During
keeping operations.
in peace
increase
fourfold
These

some

costs?from

keeping

"The activities

to about $2.8 bil


$700 million
are likely to rise
lion. Expenses
even higher with new and ex
that could
operations
panded
in the coming
be launched
months.

Meanwhile

the

of the

United Nations for

peace and security


should not be carried
out at the expense of
its responsibilities
for

contin

ued failure of most member


states to meet
their financial
developmemt."
to peacekeeping
commitments
and to the United
operations
in general
is a most serious problem. The continued
Nations
as well as the
of
these
of the
missions,
viability
credibility
United Nations
itself, is threatened.

Development

Mounting

Needs

STABILITY
is not an end in itself; it is a
of
economic
and social develop
condition
durable
POLITICAL
ment and the fulfillment
of the human potential. At the same
time inseparable
links between peace and development
need
to be acknowledged
and understood.
The world has seen the
and social conditions
of economic
deterioration
give rise to
political strife and military conflict. The activities of the United
Nations for peace and security should not be carried out at the
for development.
It is essential
expense of its responsibilities
an
in
that peace and development
be pursued
integrated,
mutually
One

supporting
can

point

way.
to a number

of

situations

where

the United

has kept the peace, or at least prevented


conflicts from
but the balance sheet on the development
side is
escalating,
A billion people
less than encouraging.
live on less than one
in many parts of the world are dying
dollar a day; children

Nations

states with the largest arrears,


in both regular budget
five member
and
^Editor's Note: The
as of October
assessments
South Africa,
1992, are the United
States, Russia,
peacekeeping
and Ukraine.
Japan

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FOREIGN AFFAIRS

96

of diseases

unnecessarily

that

could

and
striving to be both breadwinners
tions of intolerable
and
there
strain;
than merely
another
crisis is deeper
familiar disparity between
the developed
South.
and the developing
No such clear-cut pattern offers itself
and

countries

European

the

be

easily

are

in situa
homemakers
are too few jobs. The
of the
manifestation
nations of the North
to our eyes today. East

Soviet

former

women

cured;

are

Union

strug

and market-based
gling in their transition toward democracy
Even the nations of the Organization
economies.
for Economic
and

Cooperation

are

Development

not

to economic

immune

and

social ills. Poverty, unemployment,


inequity and growing
in
exist
of
the globe. Even rich
insecurity
virtually every part
are
turn
to
to
inward
attend to their own
nations
tempted
But today there is no longer any such thing as
agendas.
"someone

else's

the

problem";

communications

our

deepens

of

globalization

economies

and

interdependence.

of the United Nations


in the field of
The
responsibilities
are central to the purposes
social and economic development
of
and principles of the charter: first, because the maintenance
and
is
with
entwined
international
peace
security
inextricably
and social progress
economic
and stability; and second, be
cause the promotion
is a
of social and economic
progress
specific task given to the United Nations by the charter.
Development
policy was significantly
shaped by the Cold
War

and

being

the

at San Francisco

framed

current

world

were

today's
extensive

either
The

empires.

When
were

and

social

issues

charter

colonies,
notion
of

was

of our
most

of
parts
was
un

"development"

from

sprang

created,
or

being
semi-colonies

the concept of the "Third World"


formed;
The
idea that the United Nations
should
economic

the

in 1945, and when most

institutions

economic

states

of

of decolonization.

process

had not emerged.


be concerned with

what

has

been

called

which evolved in wartime planning


"welfare internationalism,"
influence on the Bretton
for the peace and was a formative
Woods
institutions dating from that period.
momentum
in
As demands
for independence
gathered
and Asian

African

cooperation
were joined
no

recent

while

lands,

of

programs

assistance

and

economic

were initiated by former colonial powers. These


established
by assistance programs
by states with
colonial

the World

past,

such

as

the Nordic

Bank was becoming

countries.

the lead institution

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Mean

in the

EMPOWERING
channeling

of multilateral

development

THE

U.N.

97

to developing

finance

countries.

to newly independent
assistance
Provision of development
nations became part of the foreign policies of the industrial
ized countries,
intricately bound up with the global contest for
The
influence.
and
power
its ?nn
United
*.
ir
j
States,
through

for International De-

Agency

a major
became
velopment,
fiof
provider
development
nance and technical assistance

foreign
were

programs
an instrument
Cold

War,

aid

often
of the
remain

and

*?**> <$?** by con


Slderations

?T

?AiS?

Bilateral

was deeply involved with a relof political


states
small
number
of
and
national
atively
power
considered
signifipotentially
policy."
cant in its ideological
sphere,_
tech
substantial
and provided
assistance
nical support for them. In both cases development
was often interwoven with military aid.
the vision of collective
distorted
Just as the Cold War
set
in
it also impaired coop
forth
the U.N. Charter,
security
Bilateral foreign aid programs were
eration for development.
of the Cold War,
and remain deeply
often an instrument
of
affected
considerations
and national
power
by
political
policy.

Multilateral

programs,

development

even

when

man

ethical purpose,
derived from
aged well and with admirable
at
ideas and ideologies
best and in
that proved
inadequate
some

cases

ruinous.

At this time of change in world affairs, when restructuring


the institutions of international
relations is high on the agenda,
there are increasing demands
for action in the field of eco
nomic and social development.
The call for a new unity and
of
from
the
in the field of
United Nations
purpose
clarity
to include
is now commonly understood
development?which
social and economic development
and environmental
protec
come from developing
coun
tion as well?has
and developed
tries

alike.

U.N.
social development
activities have con
the most
of populations.
vulnerable
groups
at
in
countries
efforts
modernization
Increasingly
developing
that hold the social fabric together. Declin
tug at institutions

Traditionally
on
centrated

ing

social

cohesion,

in

turn,

can

undermine

economic

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All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

prog

98

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

ress. The

to take a closer look at


is beginning
organization
social cohesion and to view the
specific phenomena
affecting
of development
social and economic
dimensions
in a more
Issues
of
and
cultural, religious,
integrated way.
demography
ethnic and linguistic diversity are so closely related today to
that
prospects for political stability and economic advancement
in issues of social
the involvement
of the United
Nations
nature.
is acquiring a qualitatively
different
development
If the process of decolonization
is over and the Cold War has
ended, and now that there is no "struggle" or bipolar compe
tition to dramatize
and distract development
efforts, how can
consensus
on
the United Nations
seek
the need for a fairer,
more just, world and focus on the long-standing
needs of the
poor?
a

Today

is

are

the

resource

greatest

around

emerging

that the unfettered

perception
beings

consensus

talents
a

of
can

society

fundamental

human

individual

to bear

bring

on

the task of national development.


But the troubled state of the
we
are still far from achieving
that
indicates
global economy
economic

universal

social

prosperity,

justice

and

environmen

tal balance.
for development
will require
the
Cooperation
as
in
effort
the
ahead
intellectual
because,
greatest
period
not
and applied until now, it has
understood
resolved
the
of
the
of
the
The
need
is
urgent problem
development
planet.
Issues

comprehensive.

tially, now may

Changed

View

once

or

separately,

approached

be seen as essentially

sequen

indivisible.

of Sovereignty

era to
FROM one international
TRANSITION
as
at
is
it
has
been
earlier
another
THE
symbolized
today,
in
the
of
the United Nations,
turning points
history
by a new
states taking their seats in the General
group of member
(Armenia,

Assembly.

Azerbaijan,

Bosnia-Herzegovina,

San
Kazakhstan,
Croatia,
Moldova,
Georgia,
Kyrgyzstan,
Turkmenistan
and Uzbekistan
Marino,
Slovenia, Tajikistan,
all joined in 1992.) Their entrance reaffirms the concept of the
state as the basic entity of international
relations
and the
means by which peoples find a unity and a voice in the world
community.

While
of

the

respect
state

old doctrine

for the fundamental

remains

central,

of absolute

and exclusive

and integrity

sovereignty

it is undeniable

that

the

sovereignty

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centuries

no

longer

EMPOWERING THE U.N.


stands,

and

was

rethink

which
to

the

so absolute

intellectual
of

question
that

as

its essence,

and cooperation,
one

than

to

conceived

of our time is to

to weaken

security

take more

it may

it was

requirement

sovereignty?not

to international

is crucial

recognize

never

in fact

be in theory. A major

99

form

and

but

perform

than one function. This perception


could help solve
states.
both
and
within
And
the
among
problems
underlying
a
of
the
and
of
is
the
individual
dimen
rights
peoples
rights
sion of universal
sovereignty
that resides in all humanity and
". . . the centuries-old
provides all peoples with legit
doctrine of absolute
in issues af
imate involvement
sover
fecting the world as a whole. It and exclusive
is a sense
that increasingly
eignty no longer
in the gradual
finds expression

more

expansion

of

international

law.

to this is the widen


that states and
ing recognition
Related

cannot

their

governments
solve
today's
International
alone.

and was

stands,

never

so absolute

was

to be in

conceived

problems
cooper

or

advancement

and

frustration

of

the United
the significance
setting
can match
evident and accepted. Nothing
of
network
global
information-gathering
which

it

face

quality, extent
the difference

and indispensable.
ation is unavoidable
The
will make
and timeliness of such cooperation

activity,

as

theory."

or

between

in fact

reaches

from

modern

In

despair.

this

Nations
should be
the United Nations'
and constructive
centers

world

of

power

down to the villages and families where people carry out the
of their lives.
irreducible responsibilities
can
At the other end of the scale only the United Nations
convene
or

global-scale

governments

integrated

to

approaches.

meetings
examine
Such

of ministers
complex
gatherings

and

heads

issues

and

can

have

of

states

propose
enormous

on
for the world's
the Conference
good. At
implications
in Rio de Janeiro
in June
Environment
and Development
states obligated
to take global
themselves
1992, for example,
in
into
consideration
their
domestic
decisions.
consequences
a
This is fundamental
philosophic
undertaking
by the world's
one
more
to
the
nations, adding
pillar
gradually growing array
of internationally
of national conduct.
accepted principles

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100 FOREIGN AFFAIRS


the U.N.

Reforming

THE PROMISE
of an effective and coop
in the first instance,
erative United Nations means,
RENEWING
and the broader
reform of the organization
system of special
is much
that can be done
ized agencies from within. There
that this will be an evolutionary
now, but itmust be understood
process. The world is still in some ways in its "Middle Ages"
it comes

when

to international

Centuries

were

and

baronial

cal

required
forces

was

and

organizations
the struggle

before

among
into states

transformed

cooperation.
monarchi
of

capable

in the fields of security, economy


carrying out responsibilities
is no doubt that the institutions of the U.N.
and justice. There
system must travel such a path if chaos is to be avoided.
and a common
resolve by member
Given firm leadership
can be made by
states I am confident
that major achievements
the end of this century.
To initiate reform from within I launched, soon after taking
a

office
iat. My

a process
year ago,
first
short-term

and excessive
This process

redundancy
headquarters.
continue

a coherent

toward

harness

the work
in

preeminence

coherence
the

Bretton

missions
widespread;

of

the

various

the Economic

Similarly,

the

charter,

and form
Woods
and

the

duplication,

strategy.

and
has

to the work

institutions,
of U.N.
array

coordination

of

organizations

act more

must

committee

Secretar

layering of offices and duties at


some results and must
has brought
institutional

and

agencies

specialized

the U.N.
restructuring
was
to eliminate

on Coordination
Committee
heads
the executive
together

The Administrative
est body bringing
This

of
aim

is often

U.N.

the

Social
proved

system.

to guide

definitively

of

organizations

is the high
of all the

the

Council,
too weak

regional

programs.
nominal;

system.

its

despite
to

of the specialized
the

and

provide

agencies,

economic
Duplication
bureaucratic

com
is
bat

a particular
at monopolizing
subject are rife, and
are
in conflict.
sometimes
objectives
organizational
The proliferation
of institutions that characterize U.N. work
in the economic,
fields has been
social and environment
states often
of previous
another product
decades. Member
tles aimed

on a
Bureaucracies
basis.
for measures
piecemeal
pressed
as
set up
substitutes
for
sometimes
problem-solving
to
rather
in some
cases,
served,
camouflage
problems
to
them
serious
attention.
expose

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were
and
than

EMPOWERING THE U.N.


I have

in a continuous

spond
the

and

economic

enable
It

sphere.

should

threats

encompassing

the

high
to

council

re

to new developments

and timely way


social

function

warning

to

mechanism

intersessional

level

of a flexible

the introduction

recommended

101

an

possess

to

and

security

in
early
well

being: from energy crisis to the burden of debt, from the risk
of famine to the spread of disease. As the Security Council can
so the Eco
in the cause of peace,
envision new possibilities
role can be significantly
nomic and Social Council's
strength
are
of development
ened. At this time when old conceptions
new
are
of
the
and
element
each
fading
departures
required,
anew
to
U.N.
reexamine
and justify
its
system will need
it employs.
mission
and the human and financial resources
The

of Peoples

Interaction

exist for shared, delegated


POSSIBILITIES
and
to
the
interactive
contributions
world
NEW
organization
from the burgeoning
number
of regional
and
associations
agencies and the huge network of nongovernmental
organi
zations that in the past largely operated from North America
and Europe but increasingly are a feature in countries all over
the world. More than a thousand NGOs are active in the United
Nations, working
through and with people everywhere.
There

an

is

level

to

ships

among

this

even

deeper

trend:
nations

relation
are in-

creasingly shaped by continu-

ous

interaction

bodies

among
and

politic

entire

"Governments

increas

ingly prove

ineffective

?n ?/^r
.

economic.

effortS

to COn
L

.jr

Such activity almost resembles ^ol, guide or even keep


a force of nature, and indeed track of these flows of

may be just that. Political borders and geographic


boundaries

pose

process.

slight barriers
Governments

ingly prove
these

for

flows

influences

ideas,

the foreseeable

evolving
As

of

one

relationships
area

for

such

increas

in efforts

ineffective

and

ideas,
influences
transactions."

to this

to guide
and

or even keep

transactions.

The

sense
future will be to make
between and among peoples.
efforts,

I have

of

"post-conflict
peace-building."
concrete
cooperative
projects

challenge

of

these

the concept
put forward
the aftermath
of warfare,
link two or more
countries

In
that

track of

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102 FOREIGN AFFAIRS


in a mutually

and peoples

beneficial

to economic

contribute
hance

the

can not only

undertaking

and

confidence

social
development
to peace.
is so essential

that

but

en

also

Freer

travel,

exchanges,
youth projects and changes in educational
serve
to forestall a reemergence
of cultural
practices all could
tensions
and national
that could spark renewed
hostilities.
not
will
be
Post-conflict
needed
peace-building
only in cases of
for
the
international
but
also
of
conflict,
increasing number
cultural

internal

intrastate,

tions, beyond
as

is now

achievement

crucial;

plans
Nations
United

action.

Beyond

must

undergo

required.

Beyond

declara

to look at ideas

the time is here

position-taking,

for

today.

the U.N. Charter was kept alive for


very difficult circumstances.
Hope has

SPIRIT OF
decades under

THE
been

arising

Culture

U.N.

Changing

conflicts

culture

the
restructuring,
a transformation.

of

the

to a status
The bipolar contest relegated
the United Nations
to rhetoric,
far removed from its original design. A propensity
to protocol and a delight in maneuvering
for marginal
advan
tage
tions'

or

national

prestige
Committees

activities.

came

to characterize

and

many
have

commissions

delega
as
been

to find
duties
governments
signed
important
only
of
lower level officials, un
through assignment
participating
to engage

authorized
tasks

too

urgent

today

is too

Time

seriously.
to
permit

these

precious

and

the

indulgences.

era a fundamental
In the Cold War
split was taken for
granted on virtually every issue. We have been relieved ofthat
we

But

burden.

or

cannot

debate.

expect

The

dispute
problems
not at all obvious.
the solutions
we must
serious
differences
expect

to be
free
us
before
If we work
of

of

controversy,
and
complex
on them,
seriously
Rather
than be
opinion.
are

deterred by this we should be grateful and eager to engage in


are
the intellectual
struggle that is needed.
Sharp differences
but
inevitable,
broad
dialogue

between

requires
ment
of

the
all

empowerment
at all

fullest
states,

states

authority

of

the

and

of the United
and
turn

society

and

Nations
engage
the

for their

institutions.

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secretary

requires

in civil society and a hearing

international

to

committed

consultation,
participation
in
small. This
and
large

of people
levels

I am

is possible.
the member

the world

Preserving

general.

voices

consensus