To Create a New World? American Presidents and the United Nations

By John Allphin Moore Jr.; Jerry Pubantz | Go to book overview

throughout his term he sought new ways to utilize the organization. In his first address to the General Assembly, he told the delegates, "The UN is moving closer to the ideal....The possibility now exists for the creation of a true community of nations built on shared interests and ideals." 6 On the eve of war with Saddam Hussein, he told the American people that there was a real chance at an order in which a credible United Nations could use its peacekeeping role to fulfill the promise and vision of its founders. 7 To support the UN's peacekeeping efforts the president established a permanent peacekeeping curriculum at the American military academies and offered assistance for multinational training of UN personnel. On the policy level, Bush suggested that nuclear proliferation should become a concern of the Security Council, even recommending that the enforcement mechanisms of Chapter VII be used against violators. Clearly, the president conceived of the United Nations as an important element in the construction of the new world order emerging from the demise of cold war hostilities. In cooperation with the USSR and the other permanent members of the Security Council, Bush saw an opportunity for the United States to move world politics toward an era of stability, relative peace, and American principles on a global scale. Bush's new world order with an active United Nations augured a revived multilateral moralist impulse in American foreign policy.


President Bush's UN Odyssey

George Bush's relationship with the United Nations was characterized by many ironies. He began his political career highly critical of the institution, but he would "rediscover" 8 the UN at its moment of greatest promise since 1945. In fact, he would be responsible for much of that promise. A president not given to grand theorizing, he would describe a new world order based on globalized American values, and he would do more than any past president to employ the United Nations to actualize his concept. He would serve eight years as vice

____________________
6
Address to the 44th Session, September 25, 1989, PPP, 1989, II, 1248-1249.
7
PPP, 1991, I, 74. When asked at a meeting of the Economic Club of New York for a definition of the NWO, the president noted the value of UN peacekeeping. See " Remarks and a Question-and-Answer Session at a Meeting of the Economic Club in New York, New York," PPP, 1991, I, 123.
8
The term is Robert Gregg's. See Robert W. Gregg, About Face? The United States and the United Nations ( Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Reinner, 1993), 1.

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