Preventive Diplomacy at the United Nations
Ramcharan, Bertrand G., UN Chronicle
The idea of preventive diplomacy has captivated the United Nations ever since it was first articulated by Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold nearly half a century ago. Preventive diplomacy was presaged by Article 99 of the United Nations Charter, which allowed the Secretary-General to bring to the Security Council's attention threats to international peace and security. From the outset of the United Nations, Secretary-General Trygve Lie used the competence under this Article to gather information about situations, to establish contacts with those concerned, to send emissaries to look closely at situations, and to do whatever he could to head off or contain crises of international concern.
Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold knew that the United Nations could do little where there was a direct clash of interests between the superpowers during the Cold War. But he had in mind that, if the opportunity presented itself, he might be able to head off disputes between lesser powers and prevent them from the gravitational pull of the superpowers contest. Hammarskjold put down markers on the practice ol preventive diplomacy that are still very much in use today. He would decide if his efforts might be useful. Judgment was always involved; there was no automaticity about his involvement. He used representatives, whom he sent out on special missions or outposted in particular situations. He had in mind the deployment of a ring of representatives around the world.
Secretary-General U That moved Hammarskjold's vision forward. His role in preventing a nuclear confrontation over …
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Publication information: Article title: Preventive Diplomacy at the United Nations. Contributors: Ramcharan, Bertrand G. - Author. Magazine title: UN Chronicle. Volume: 48. Issue: 2 Publication date: June 2011. Page number: 18+. © 1998 United Nations Publications. COPYRIGHT 2011 Gale Group.
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