Sheathing the Sword: The UN Secretary-General and the Prevention of International Conflict

Sheathing the Sword: The UN Secretary-General and the Prevention of International Conflict

Sheathing the Sword: The UN Secretary-General and the Prevention of International Conflict

Sheathing the Sword: The UN Secretary-General and the Prevention of International Conflict

Synopsis

Forty years after its mandated inception, the practical role of the Secretary-General of the United Nations is still not clearly defined. Based on an in-depth understanding of the pertinent articles of the United Nations Charter as well as the experiences of the five Secretaries-General of the United Nations, this study addresses the need to clarify the position of Secretary-General by examining and evaluating the diplomatic resources currently available to the office in the critical area of crisis prevention. Convinced that the prevention of international conflict will be well-served by increasing the Secretary-General's direct involvement, Thomas E. Boudreau builds upon recent reforms and proposes a global system of conflict identification which will enable the office to fulfill its intended role.

Excerpt

While conducting research on the United Nations over the past several years (1982-1988), I have been fortunate to have the help of many people. Yet, regretfully, I cannot thank or acknowledge all of them here; some have requested confidentiality, others have moved on, and one, Wilfred Mercer, Chief of the UN Communications Service, died unexpectedly in 1984. Mr. Mercer provided invaluable assistance in helping me understand UN communications.

The idea for this book began as I worked as Project Director of the UN and Crisis Management Research Projects (1982-1984) at the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs in New York City (then called the Council on Religion and International Affairs). Working there was an extremely rewarding experience. I want to give a special thanks to Robert J. Myers, President of the Carnegie Council; I would also like to thank Ulrike Klopfer, Susan Wolfson, and John Tessitore (the latter two are now at the United Nations Association of the U.S.A.) for their help and editorial assistance during my time at the Carnegie Council (1982-1984). Furthermore, this book would never have been written without the original inspiration and support of L.F. Goldie, Director of the International Legal Studies Program at the Syracuse University's Ernest I. White College of Law. He served as legal advisor to my research projects at the Carnegie Council. Many UN diplomats and Secretariat officials provided insights and assistance as well. I want to thank James O. C. Jonah, Assistant Secretary-General and head of the Secretary-General's new Office of Research and Collection of Information (ORCI). I also want to thank Tapio Kanninen, Timour Dmitrichev, Juergin Dedring, and David Biggs of ORCI for their help and constructive criticisms. I would especially like to thank James

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