From the beginnings of the Cold War to efforts to control Saddam Hussein's weapons program, this indispensable guide to the history and workings of the UN system shows how this widely misunderstood organization has helped to make the world a safer place and what its future prospects are likely to be.
Rising from the ashes of World War II, the UN's birth was announced on October 24, 1945. Its military arm began in 1948 with the deployment of just 36 soldiers, tasked with supervising a fragile cease-fire in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Since then it has undertaken more than 50 peacekeeping missions and concluded 500 multilateral conventions on human rights, arms control, environment, terrorism, and many other subjects.
The United Nations System examines the continuing controversy that surrounds this organization. Whereas conservatives accuse the UN of wavering in the face of gross violations of its own resolutions by Saddam Hussein, many liberals have lambasted it for failing to take decisive action against genocide in the Balkans and in Rwanda. Highly readable and packed with useful facts and illustrations, this book is essential reading for those who wish to make up their own minds.