The United Nations: Structure for Peace

The United Nations: Structure for Peace

The United Nations: Structure for Peace

The United Nations: Structure for Peace

Excerpt

The United Nations combines a code of international conduct with a machinery for giving it practical effect.

When the San Francisco Conference met in 1945, every delegation present spoke for a nation still at war. The battlefield of Europe had already counted more than fourteen million dead. Furthermore, it was understood "that another war would be fought, if there were another war, with weapons capable of reaching every part of the earth--that similar weapons had indeed been brought to the point of use in the present conflict."

Appraisal of the "spirit of San Francisco" should take into account its wartime mood and setting. The nations there assembled were indeed united, pursuing the most common of all human interests: survival.

Notwithstanding occasional warnings that the Charter is "pre-atomic"--a comment which could, with equal irrelevance, be made about the U.S. Constitution--few delegates at San Francisco had illusions concerning the perils and challenges ahead. Soviet intransigence had already begun to arouse grave doubt concerning the validity of Winston Churchill's prediction in 1943 that, after the war, "the most intense effort will be made by the leading powers to prolong their honorable association," which was also an assumption of American policy.

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