The United Nations Emergency Force

The United Nations Emergency Force

The United Nations Emergency Force

The United Nations Emergency Force

Excerpt

The greatest prayer of man does not ask for victory but for peace.
-DAG HAMMARSKJOLD

A new "weapon for peace"--an international security force--was created by the United Nations in the autumn of 1956. For the first time in history, a force of this type worked toward the peaceful settlement of a dangerous dispute. Efforts to achieve this goal had been made many times in the past: always they had failed.

When the General Assembly in emergency special session on November 5 and 7, 1956, brought into being the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) to help resolve a severe crisis in the Middle East and stem the invasion of Egypt by the troops of Britain, France, and Israel, it was a swift and improvised action. UNEF was designed as a temporary police force operating with the consent of Egypt and the cooperation of contributory states. It was primarily assigned the task of supervising withdrawal of non- Egyptian troops from Egyptian territory and promoting compliance with United Nations resolutions. In its years of service, however, the Force has been concerned with a great number of far-reaching duties and responsibilities, and has also been recognized as an important contribution to international organization's technique of peacekeeping.

Indeed UNEF, although "a new and in many ways unique experiment by the United Nations in a type of operation which previously it had not been called upon to conduct," represents the prototype of a small police force which the international community might well find useful at other times of crisis. It was the continuing success of the Emergency Force which encouraged the establishment on July 14, 1960 . . .

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