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How successful has the UN been as a peacekeeping organization?

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Presentation on theme: "How successful has the UN been as a peacekeeping organization?"— Presentation transcript:

1 How successful has the UN been as a peacekeeping organization?

2 Successes West New Guinea (1946) The Korean War ( ) The Suez Crisis(1956)

3 West New Guinea Un helped to arrange independence for Dutch East Indies from Holland in However, no agreement was reached on the future of West New Guinea which was claimed by both countries. In 1961, fighting broke out. IN 1962, it was agreed that the territory should become part of Indonesia. The transfer was organised and policed by a UN force. Although UN played an important role in getting negotiations off ground, it did not itself make negotiations about West New Guinea’s fututre.

4 The Korean War This was the only occasion on which the UN was able to take decisive action in a crisis directly involving the interests of a superpower. South Korea was invaded by communist North Korea in The security council condemned North Korea and asked other states to help South Korea. This was only possible because of the absence of Russian delegates. Troops from 16 countries were able to stop the invasion and preserve the frontier between the two Koreas at the 38 th parallel. Although this is considered a great UN success, it was greatly an American operation. Most of the troops and the commander in chief of the operation were American. America had already decided to stop the invasion a day before the same decision was taken by the UN. Only the absence of Russian delegates made it a UN mission.

5 The suez crisis This arguably showed the UN at its best When president Nasser of Egypt suddenly nationalized the Suez Canal, many of whose shares that were owned by the French and British, both these powers protested strongly and sent troops ‘to protect their interest’. At the same time the Israelis invaded Egypt from the East. ( The real aim of all 3 states : Britain, France, Israel was to bring down President Nasser ) A Security council resolution condemning the force was vetoed by Britain and France, where upon the General Assembly, by a majority of 64 votes to 5, condemned the invasions and called for withdrawal of troops. The Aggressors agreed to withdraw. This provided the UN a reasonable settlement over the canal and kept the Israelis and the Arabs from slaughtering each other. Prestige of the UN and Dag Hammarskjold ( General Secretariat ) who handled the operation with considerable skill was greatly enhanced, though American and Russian pressure was also important in bringing about a ceasefire. End Result

6 URES

7 Palestine (1947) The dispute between Jews and Arabs in Palestine was brought before the UN in After an investigation, the UN decided to divide Palestine, setting up the Jewish state of Israel. This was one of the UN’s most controversial decisions and it was not accepted by the majority of Arabs. Due to this decision, a series of wars broke out between Israel and various Arab states ( , 1967 and 1973) which the UN was unable to prevent. And even though it did useful work arranging ceasefires and providing supervisory forces, while the UN relief and works agency cared for the Arab refugees, the UN failed as a whole in preventing these wars.

8 The Hungarian Rising (1956) This took place at the same time as the Suez crisis and ironically showed UN at its most ineffective. When the Hungarians tried to exert their independence from Russian control, Soviet troops entered Hungary to crush the revolt. The Hungarian government appealed to the UN but the Russians Vetoed a security council resolution calling for withdrawal of forces. The General Assembly passed the same resolution and set up a committee to investigate the problem, but the Russians refused to cooperate and no progress should be made. This contradicted with the management of the Suez Crisis: there, Britain and France were willing to bow to international pressure. However, here, the Russians simply ignored the UN and nothing could be done.

9 The Czechoslovak Crisis ( 1968 ) Almost a repeat of the Hungarian rising. When the Czechs showed what Moscow considered to be too much independence, Russian and other Warsaw Pact troops were sent in to enforce obedience to the USSR. The Security Council tried to pass a motion condemning this action, but the Russians vetoed it, claiming that the Czech government had asked for their intervention. Although this was denied, UN could do nothing in view of USSR’s refusal to co-operate.

10 Somalia ( 1991 ) Somalia disintegrated into a civil war in 1991 when its dictator Siad Barre was overthrown. A power struggle developed, between General Aidid and Ali Mohammed, giving rise to chaos as food supplies and communications broke down and thousands of refugees fled into Kenya. The Organization of African Unity ( OAU ) asked for UN help, and UN troops, mainly American, arrived ( Dec 1992 ) to safeguard the aid and restore law and order by disarming the warlords. However, the warlords were unwilling to disarm, especially Aidid and UN troops began to suffer casualties. The Americans withdrew ( March 1994 ) and the remaining UN troops were withdrawn as well ( March 1995 ), leaving the warlords to fight it out.

11 Consequence of Somalia? Led to humiliation of UN Then again, such conflict was inevitable as the 2 parties were determined to carry on fighting one another; it was impossible to forcibly disarm them.

12 Authors: Vaishakh Pillay Sean Low Chen Yi Tan Wei Quan


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