Dag Hammarskjold’s Assumptions and the Future of the UN

Published in The Adventures of Peace: Dag Hammarskjold and the future of the UN, edited by Sten Ask and Anna Mark-Jungkvist (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005)

Hammarskjold’s Context

The United Nations, of which Dag Hammarskjold became Secretary-General in 1953, had already had to establish itself in a world very different from the one imagined by those who drafted its Charter. It was set up to put an end to aggressive acts of war such as those unleashed by Japan, Italy, and Germany in the 1930s. It hoped to do so by getting all states to sign up to a charter renouncing the use of war as an instrument of policy. Enforcement (Chapter VII of the Charter) was the province of the Security Council, in which were seated the permanent members (Britain, China, France, the USA and the USSR), each equipped with a veto. Most of the remaining forty states, in the General Assembly, could be relied on to support anything the Security Council decided.

The main idea behind enforcement, which harked back to the League of Nations, was that a permanent coalition or ‘directorate’ of law-abiding Great Powers would provide ‘collective security’ against ‘rogue’ states not only for each other but for its lesser members. The Charter was thus both forward-looking in its aspiration for a law-governed system of international relations, and static in its aim to perpetuate into a far future the fruits (and simplifications) of the victory of 1945. It assumed, wrongly, that the Great Powers had the same ideas about how the post-war world should be organised. It assumed that they would remain in control of the structure of international relations –at least for the foreseeable future.

Neither assumption proved valid. The first big change was the break-up of the wartime Grand Alliance. This should not have come as a surprise, and perhaps it didn’t. The start of the Cold War destroyed the collective security concept on which the Security Council was based. Security Council action was blocked by the great power veto; therefore security arrangements had to be developed outside the framework of the Charter. Collective security was sought through the hostile military blocs of NAT0 and the Warsaw Pact; collective identity was expressed through the rival concepts of ‘Atlantic Community’, ‘Socialist bloc’, and ‘Non-Aligned world’.Instead of the universal disarmament envisaged by the Charter, with its corollary of a UN ‘police force’, both super-powers accumulated huge stocks of nuclear weapons to deter the other from attacking their ‘empires’.

The second big change was decolonization. This cut across the primary division of the Cold War, pitting, in Hammarskjold’s time, the fading European colonial powers against both the United States and the Soviet Union.This tension boiled over in the Suez crisis of 1956. The more durable impact of decolonization on the UN was threefold. It increased the number of members, ie., states whose independence and sovereignty the UN was pledged to defend against ‘aggression’. It turned the vacated empires into the fluid battlelines of the Cold War. And it enlarged the constituency of ‘non-aligned’ states –those which looked to the UN to protect their interests against the Great Powers.

The result of the two developments was to shift the centre of gravity of the UN from the Security Council to the General Assembly. This was to make it a bystander in the Cold War, but a centre of activity in those areas only lightly touched by it.

It was Hammarskjold’s genius to articulate a philosophy and modus operandi for the UN which fitted the changed context. Basically, he shifted its mission from dealing with the legacy of Hitler to dealing with the legacy of colonialism.Excluded from the sphere of great power relations, it would become the spokesman and protector of the ‘third world’. It would insert itself into the political and economic spaces left vacant by the collapse of the European empires, and prevent the newly-formed nations from becoming pawns in the superpower game. They would become clients of the United Nations, not of the United States or the Soviet Union. It would be ‘their’ United Nations.

His principal instrument of UN insertion (and great power exclusion) was peace-keeping presences, consisting of observer groups, and where necessary lightly-armed military contingents (the ‘blue helmets’) supplied by lesser powers.The object of the UN ‘presence’ was to prevent war breaking out, or being renewed, in former colonial territories or protectorates by placing a peacekeeping ‘force’ between the warring factions. ‘Peacekeeping by a multinational police-type force drawn from non-major powers was substituted for collective security action dependent upon the might of the five major powers’.

The device of the peacekeeping force was first suggested by Lester Pearson, the Canadian foreign minister, to get the British and French off the hook at Suez. Hammarskjold turned the (fraudulent) excuse for Anglo-French intervention in 1956 (to separate Egyptian and Israeli forces in the Canal zone) into a genuine, though limited, mechanism for peace-keeping. Formally, the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) was authorised by the General Assembly, sidestepping British and French vetoes in the Security Council. Its activation was made possible by the fact that Britain and France were in no position to resist a joint superpower reaction against a classical colonial intervention. UNEF patrolled the Egyptian side of the armistice-line between the Israelis and Egyptians for eleven years.

Hammarskjold also brought into prominence the political role of the Secretary-General,barely hinted at in Articles 99-102 of the Charter. Ther key point here was his use of Article 99, which gave him the right to bring matters involving peace and security to the attention of the Security Council. By means of the Article 99 procedure Hammarskjold was able to obtain Security Council authorisation for peace keeping which would not have been available for peace making. .The Congo intervention of 1960 is the main example.

Hammarskjold liked to think of the Secretary-General as analogous to the CEO of a corporation, responsible to the board (the Security Council), but with a wide operational discretion. His exploitation of this concept brought him into conflict not just with the Soviet Union but with the USA and France. By 1960 Khruschchev was proposing the abolition of the Secretary-Generalship, and its replacement by a ‘troika’. De Gaulle thought Hammarskjold was growing too big for his boots. His death in the Congo can be viewed as a release from failure.

In a lecture at Oxford in 1961, entitled ‘The International Civil Servant in Law and Fact’, Hammarskjold defended the concept of a ‘neutral civil service’ against Khrushchev’s charge that ‘while there are neutral countries, there are no neutral men’. By ‘neutral’, Hammarskjold meant ‘politically celibate’, not neutered. The Secretary-General must take stands of a ‘politically controversial nature’ without infringing his neutrality.Hammarskjold meant by neutrality ‘independence’ of particular interests. His duty was to uphold ‘general interest’ as expressed in principles and purposes of the Charter which are ‘the fundamental law accepted and binding on all States’.He saw himself as the fifth wheel of the chariot, or the extra oar in the boat, of international relations. In the ultimate area of personal judgment, integrity, or conscience, had to decide his actions. ‘If integrity and respect for law drive [the Secretary-General] into conflict with particular interests that is a sign of neutrality, not lack of neutrality’.

Hammarskjold was improbably, but as it turned out admirably, fitted for the role in which context and his own instincts cast him. The most important thing about his background was that he was a Swede, heir to the Swedish tradition of neutrality in war, a member of its civil service aristocracy, and one of the inventors of Swedish social democracy – an ideological third way between capitalism and communism. The ‘third party view’ which he brought to his job came naturally to the son of a country which had stood outside the main military and ideological conflicts of the twentieth century.As a Swede, Hammarskjold was also free from the taint of a colonial past. Henri Hoppenot wrote of him that ‘Some of the most exquisite traditions of the old Europe took refuge and stayed alive in these Nordic oases, sheltered for more than a century and half, from war and revolution’. The ‘soft’ power which Hammarskjold sought to deploy was soft only if one equates ‘hard’ with the liberal use of guns and bombs. Hammarskjold’s was an active neutrality, a muscular pacifism. In this, too, he echoed his country’s tradition. His Swedish background made him turn naturally to other ‘middle rank’ powers for ‘neutral’ peace-keeping operations.

But the Swedish background was not unmixed blessing. Hammarskjold was too suspicious of the use of military power, and he hated the idea of the great powers running the world. The situation he found, and the opportunities he exploited, thus fitted his idea of how international relations should develop. The main effort of the UN should be directed not to tackling the great power conflict, but to marginalising it. By this means the Swedish concept of active neutrality would itself move into the centre.

His personal qualities enhanced the stature of the Secretary-General. He was, in essence, an administrator of genius, but one with a far greater intellectual and cultural range, self-awareness, toughness and personal charm than is usually associated with the type. The way he was able to secure the release of US airmen shot down by the Chinese in 1954 showed him to be ‘an international negotiator of exceptional resources, daring and competence’. He appreciated high quality in others, as they did in him, remarking of the Chinese Prime Minister Chou En-lai that ‘he appears to me as the most superior brain I have so far met in the field of foreign politics’. He brought to his role a high standard of personal ethics, maturity of mind, and spiritual strength. His consummate public presentation of himself turned him into a figure of glamour and mystery, the nearest to a ‘celebrity’ that the UN has ever had. He was fascinated by the image of the unicorn, a mythical animal, with a long thin horn projecting from its forehead which was said to have magical properties. He appeared in his heyday as a kind of unicorn on the political stage, set apart by his loneliness and the profound, somewhat Delphic, quality of his utterances. Hammarskjold claimed that political celibacy did not imply virginity, but there was something virginal about him, too. To the novelist Sven Stolpe it was his ‘purity of spirit’ which stood out and his biographer Brian Urquhart wrote that ‘in all his worldiness of office, he preserved an almost childlike purity and innocence’. He refused to believe in the reality of evil. Standing aside from the Cold War, he was admirably placed to be the spokesman and even executive of the ‘general interest’ of humanity.

Yet there were alternatives which Hammarskjold did not pursue because they were alien to him.

It was not inevitable that the UN should have stayed on the sidelines of the Cold War. With the coming of détente in the 1950s, opportunities arose to use the Security Council as a tool for harmonizing super-power views and actions on disarmament, Germany, the Middle East, and South East Asia, in the tradition of the wartime conferences at Teheran and Yalta.This course was consistently favoured by Khrushchev and intermittently by Eisenhower, but Hammarskjold was lukewarm, arguing against turning the UN into a ‘Munich of international co-operation’. Hammarskjold, that is, was keener that the UN should stand apart from great power confrontations, rather than that it should try to facilitate great power negotiation.

For a somewhat similar reason he rejected the chance to set up a permanent UN military force.Eisenhower suggested this in 1959 and Khrushchev endorsed the idea in 1960, as part of his proposal for general disarmament. Hammarskjold opposed both suggestions, Eisenhower’s because it would contravene the the need for the consent and cooperation of the host country, Khrushchev’s because it would have involved the replacement of the Secretary-Generalship by a ‘troika’ of Western, Soviet, and neutral representatives to prevent the force being used for ‘reactionary’ purposes, but mainly, one suspects, because the proposal smacked of the great power directorate which he suspected. It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that opportunities were missed to end the Cold War during the Eisenhower- Khrushchev years, which Hammarskjold might have sponsored had he not been so fixated with placing the UN outside the orbit of great power conflict.

A second negative decision of great importance was the refusal of the European colonial powers to transfer their African colonies to the UN Trusteeship Council, Churchill refusing to countenance UN fingers prying into the affairs of the British empire. Hammarskjold fully shared the standard anti-colonial attitudes of the day. As the pressure for decolonisation grew in the 1950s, it never occurred to him that the Trusteeship Council might be used as a stepping-stone to self-government and full independence. Decolonisation, when it came in a rush, pushed much of sub-Saharan Africa into tribal conflict, civil war, genocide, dictatorship, economic mismanagment and great power meddling from which it has yet to recover. Hammarskjold experienced its full horror in the Congo crisis of 1960-1.

Hammarskjold’s Assumptions

‘To succeed’, Hammarskjold once said, ‘means to realize the possible’. Let me set down in a formal way what seem to have been Hammarskjold’s assumptions –the limits within which he felt constrained to act, -before considering the question of their validity today.

The first two may be called assumptions about the state of the world:

1.Permanence of the Cold War –at least for his time as Secretary-General. This meant the Security Council would stay blocked, and no Chapter VII action would be possible. If the UN was to work as ‘peacekeeper’ it had to find a way round this blockage. It also seemed to follow that the the UN should try to insulate as much of the world as it could from superpower competition.

2. Absolute sovereignty of states. Hammarskjold took very seriously ‘the legal restrictions imposed on the Organisation by national sovereignty, as recognised in the Charter’. The UN existed to protect states from external attack. In terms which have become more familiar, Hammarksjold interpreted the Charter as a Westphalian document. The task of the UN was to keep the peace between ‘sovereigns’.

The next five assumptions may be considered more personal to Hammarskjold –more in the nature of beliefs –though they were certainly widely shared.

3.Rejection of any form of imperialism or colonialism. Decolonisation was necessary and right; the new states should be accorded exactly the same rights of sovereignty as the old. Hammarskjold also understood that the more new members in the General Assembly, the stronger would be the position of the Secretariat vis-à-vis the permanent members of the Security Council.

4. Rejection of the idea of a great power ‘directorate’.Hammarskjold believed that, contrary to the Charter’s expectation, there was no ‘existing or conceivable alliance of nations’ which could enforce peace or settle political disputes. He disbelieved, that is, in the efficacy of Chapter VII action, irrespective of whether or not the Security Council was blocked. Therefore the general method of peace-keeping had to be one of mediation and conciliation, based on respect for the equal sovereignty of states.

5. ‘Peacekeeping operations’. The principles Hammarskjold established for a UN peace-keeping force were that it could be deployed only with the approval of the country on whose territory it would function, it could not intervene in the internal affairs of that country, it would include no contingents from the permanent five members of the Security Council, its executive management would be in the hands of a UN command responsible to the Secretary General, its costs would be contributed voluntarily, in addition to the ordinary UN budget, and it would be armed only for self-defence, not fighting unless attacked. These principles were a consequence of assumptions 1-4. The official line was that ‘the moment a peacekeeping force starts killing people it becomes part of the conflict it is supposed to be controlling, and therefore a part of the problem’. Hammarskjold relied on middle-ranking states like Sweden, Ireland, India and Tunisia to supply personnel for his ‘fire-brigades’, since these were both competent and ‘neutral’.

6.Economic and Social Development. This was a corollary, indeed component, of independence, and would tend to promote peace.

7. ‘International Civil Service’. The political independence of the Secretariat was key to the role Hammarskjold wanted the UN to play. Any initiative taken by the Secretary-General, for example under Article 99, had to be from a position of unimpeachable neutrality.

8.Evolutionary development. Hammarskjold did not take the limits on UN action in his day to be permanent.He looked forward to evolution through ‘case law’. He saw international relations, driven by the increasing danger of destruction, evolving beyond relations between sovereign states. ‘We are working’, he said, ‘on the brink of the unknown’. Emergencies were triggers for evolutionary development. The rules nations develop to deal with each other point to the emergence of ‘international society’. The ‘international civil service’, the subject of his lecture at Oxford in 1961, was a kind of bridge from the concept of the UN as an intergovernmental organisation to one in which it is the government of the world, with final sovereignty vested in Charter. At any rate, he believed that ‘any movement that bypasses the UN system, any conflict that is not transferred to the relevant organs, any grave international problem that is not substantially dealt with by the UN, weakens the incentives and potential for growth’

The brink of today’s unknown

The UN has lived off Hammarskjold’s legacy. The question today is whether a further radical change in context of international relations requires an equally radical re-definition of the UN’s mission. The world of the old UN was defined by the Cold War, the threat of nuclear destruction, and decolonisation; that of the UN today by US supremacy, the threat of trasnational terrorism, and enforcement of human rights.

The two things which have changed most profoundly since Hammarskjold’s day are the collapse of the Soviet Union, leading to the flattening of all powers except the United States, and the shift in philosophy from absolute to conditional national sovereignty. The latter is partly the result of the emergence of a a single super-power; but is also associated with disenchantment with the results of de-colonisation, acceptance of intervention in a country’s domestic affairs to promote and protect human rights, and a general perception that the interconnectedness of things–globalization – has reached a new, and in some respects, threatening level. When Hammarskjold in 1958 deplored the lack of ‘world community’ to deal with problems of ‘interdependence’, he had in mind mainly the threat of large-scale destruction through the use of nuclear weapons. Today interdependence has deepened from the military to the economic and environmental.. We are certainly ‘working on the brink of the unknown’, but it is a different unknown. The question is: what part can the UN play? Does it have any substantial role at all?

The first reaction to the end of military and ideological competition between the United States and the Soviet Union was that now the Security Council could work as it was originally intended to. This seemed confirmed when the Security Council agreed a chapter VII resolution demanding Iraq’s withdrawal from Kuwait in 1990 –the first such in the history of the organization. But there was bad faith as well as naivete in this reaction. The US, in particular, interpreted the UN ‘working as it was originally intended to’ as rubber-stamping US foreign policy after suitable discussion. When it became apparent that the Security Council would not ‘work’ in this way, America rapidly became disenchanted with the United Nations, and turned towards ‘unilateralism’.

No less an important change has been the fading of the doctrine of state sovereignty. In law, state sovereignty may still be absolute. In practice, it is increasingly seen as contingent on states performing certain duties, not committing certain acts – for example, protecting human rights, not harbouring terrorism. In the past, the only specific obligation which membership of the UN carried was not to attack other members. Everything else was ‘domestic affairs’. Today, the matters considered ‘essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state’ (Article 2) have shrunk relative to those matters which are now thought legitimate for other states to concern themselves with. The implication of this is profound. If sovereignty is conditional, a state which fails to meet the conditions ceases to be sovereign, and is therefore no longer entitled to the protection against attack afforded by membership of the UN. This greatly enlarges scope for ‘coercive intervention’ by the UN itself.

How might the UN respond to these changes in context?

The United States, understandably in the light of the terrorist attack of 11 September 2001, and also of its unique power, is currently disposed to take unilateral preventive action against any threats it perceives to its own security. It welcomes UN endorsement of such action, but, as Iraq showed, is not willing to make action conditional on that endorsement or transfer operational command of its military forces to the UN, citing Article 51 which allows an ‘inherent right of self-defence’. It is also true, as Bosnia and Kosovo showed, that the USA alone has the will and capacity to intervene on the scale needed to stop large-scale humanitarian crime, though it perceives this as an option, not a necessity. The ability of the UN to curb US –or in the end other great power -unilateralism depends crucially on the ability of its organs to create a satisfactory security environment and maintain a decent standard of domestic state behaviour.

Stopping the spread of nuclear devices to terrorist groups is primarily a matter of preventing them getting hold of supplies of highly enriched uranium. This is mainly a matter for those states –the United States and the Russian Federation –with the largest stockpiles of HEU. The United Nations can, however, play a pivotal role in stopping the proliferation of nuclear weapons among states. On this, I recently wrote:

The UN [1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty]system cannot prevent determined proliferators from acquiring nuclear weapons…However, if the political will were there, it would not be too difficult to convert the present incomplete patchwork of voluntary renunciations into a binding and effectively policed regime, covering the whole world….Any reported breach in the agreements would automatically trigger UN sanctions. This proposal has the disadvantage of leaving the present possessors with a monopoly of the most deadly weapons. But a pacific hegemony of the nuclear powers is surely better than the US fighting a series of preventive wars. And if a secure non-proliferation regime can be established, existing stockpiles of WMD can be gradually eliminated.

Hans Blix, too, has suggested ‘making a modified UNMOVIC [the ‘most intrusive inspection system that the world had devised’ established for Iraq] with a roster of inspectors a permanent instrument for the Security Council. This would also allow for international inspections on issues related to biological weapons and missiles…’ Blix acknowledges that securing a nuclear free-zone in the Middle East requires ‘dynamic political efforts to ..solve the central Israeli-Palestinian question’. Here again the Security Council could play a central role by, for example, authorising a temporary UN protectorate for the West Bank and Gaza strip, as has been suggested by a number of eminent organisations and individuals, including Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan. This is not so different from the 1959 Eisenhower proposal for a standing UN military force for the Middle East, which Hammarskjold rejected as premature.In practice, protectorates already exist, whether they are called that or not. There is a UN protectorate in Kosovo (as well as an EU one in Bosnia), the UN recently administered East Timor for three years, and there will be a US protectorate in Iraq for years to come. So the concept is not as novel as is sometimes claimed.

‘Obtrusive’ weapons inspections systems and imposed protectorates carry us beyond the peacekeeping operations, virtually weaponless, excluding the great powers, and depending on the goodwill of host governments, designed by Dag Hammarskjold in the 1950s.The same will be true of interventions designed to avert humanitarian disaster.

Hammarskjold strongly believed that ‘peacekeepers must remain above the conflict: they must never become part of it’. In practice, this meant that they kept below the parapet. This pacifist conception of peace-keeping had already started to crack in the Congo. In ordering the Secretary-General to restore order (that is, prevent civil war, genocide, and economic breakdown) ‘without using force or interfering in internal affairs’, the Security Council ‘from the start injected an inherent contradiction into the Congo operation’ writes Urquhart. However, the solution of the contradiction is not to have no force, but to give the UN a mandate to use force. In the Congo case, this would have amounted to authorising a temporary trusteeship. But this was never suggested, out of pusillanimous concern for African sensibilities. Instead, the country was eventually left in charge of one of Africa’s greatest kleptocrats, General Mobutu, who looted it for thirty years.A similar situation arose in Rwanda 1994 when a UN peacekeeping force was withdrawn as soon as the genocide started. A hapless Belgian paratrooper remarked: ‘My perception of the classic UN operation was that the UN does not fight…I was blinded by this logic, paralysed by it’.This logic is plainly inconsistent with stopping mass murder.

Following the Rwanda genocide of 1994, concern for ‘susceptibilities’ has diminished. The High-Level Panel on Threats,Challenges, and Change, set up in 2003 by Kofi Annan, has endorsed the principle of international responsibility to ‘protect the innocent’. This implies willingness forcibly to restrain or overthrow any government carrying out atrocities against its own people. But the modalities of humanitarian intervention remain obscure.The Panel proposes to replace the Trusteeship Council with a Peace-Building Commission, which could be set up by the Security Council acting under Article 29 of the Charter. But even if this is done, it will be useless without the political commitment to use appropriate force when necessary to prevent genocide and mass murder. The simple fact is that if the ‘international community’ is serious about preventing humanitarian disasters, it has to be prepared to intervene by force and establish an effective government in the affected country. The only countries able to do this are ‘great powers’, acting separately or together, through the UN or outside it.

‘We prefer poverty in freedom to riches in slavery’ said Sekou Toure to De Gaulle in 1958. He was taken at his word by De Gaulle, who cut off all French aid. Today poverty in freedom is a luxury too far. The link between poverty and terrorism is well-recognised (though it can be exaggerated), as is proposition that if poverty is unalleviated, freedom and security are likely to vanish. Hammarskjold’s stress on economic and social development as a corollary of peace is thus completely in line with modern thinking, but his ideas on the subject were the conventional truisms of the day. Thus he talked of poor countries ‘utilizing the manpower now wasted in disguised unemployment’, and the need to free aid of ‘any taint of dependence or submission to political pressure’. He failed to recognise that formal independence is not a sufficient, and perhaps not even a necessary, condition of economic development. Economic development depends on the quality of government; it is not a matter of ‘mobilising resources’, but of establishing good institutions. Hammarskjold was far-sighted in recognising that ‘the reintegration of the refugees in the Middle East would have to run parallel to an increase in the national income at least proportional to the numbers reintegrated’. But he failed to recognise that his ambitious scheme of capital development depended on a political settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which might have to be imposed, and which still eludes us. The conditions of economic development –and hence security – are still far from secure in the most troublesome places in the world.

Today we talk about the ‘international community’. But which community is it supposed to be? The American hegemony championed by Americans and their foreign political and academic cheer-leaders? The multipolar world espoused by France as well as by China, India, and Russia? Or the United Nations? The debate in US domestic politics is essentially about how US hegemony should be exercised. Republicans favour unilateralism; Democrats prefer to work through the United Nations. As Nancy Soderberg explains in this volume. ‘The United Nations is poised to play a signficant role in sharing America’s burden….’ However, if the UN is seen chiefly as a US burden-sharing device it will cease to be legitimate to a large part of the world. An international community has to be a negotiated one, not simply a reflection of Western values.

It may be that the centrifugal forces of unilateralism and regionalism will be too strong for the UN to hold together. If, on the other hand it is to remain central to the new world, it can only be on the basis of great power agreement on the political order it exists to uphold and the means which should be available to it to carry out its mandate. Some way needs to be found to bring the main concentrations of authority and power in the world –for example, the G-8 and NATO, suitably enlarged –into the Security Council system. The way would then be opened up for transforming the Security Council into a Political and Economic Council of the world, with its own standby military capacity. At present, this is a visionary prospect.

Hammarskjold was a man of his country and of his age. With great courage and aplomb he put the UN on the map. He saw very clearly that for the UN to flourish it had to stand above the special interests of its most powerful members; he did not see so clearly its role as a centre for harmonizing their actions. There is no reason to suppose that he would not have moved with the times. He believed that the growing complexity and interconnectedness of the planet would inevitably move the United Nations forwards to world government. Even in his time he could see its existence as a sign of the growing self-consciousness of international society, as a ‘bridge’ to the concept of a ‘world community’. He would have welcomed the chance to cross that bridge.

Modification:

‘quasi-states’

Niall Ferguson: Points out that in Sierre Leone, 800 British paratroopers in a few days ended a bloody civil war which 10,000 UN peackeepers had been unable to do in several months. He writes: ‘What is required is an agency capable of intervening in the affairs of sucvh states to contain epidemics, depose tyrants, end local wars and eradicate terrorist organizations’. Niall Ferguson, Colossues, Allen Lane, an Imprint of Penguin Books, 2004, p.24. This will either be done by UN forces or by forces which bypass the UN.

If rest of world wants UN to be more than a creature of US, it must increase its resources and pay a much larger share of them. (Its regular budget is $2.54, of which a quarter is contributed by USA.) Budgetary contributions shouldn’t be based on GDP, but on need of countries for UN.

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