Magazine article UN Chronicle

Reinforcing a Humanitarian Mandate

Magazine article UN Chronicle

Reinforcing a Humanitarian Mandate

Article excerpt

THE TIME OF ABSOLUTE SOVEREIGNTY HAS PASSED

At the beginning of the new century, the world stands as troubled as it ever was. Many problems of the last century will most probably be present in the new one as well. After the intervention in Kosovo and the establishment of the United Nations Mission there, for Kosovar Albanians the world we are living in has become a better one. However, many others living in unsettled parts of the world would undoubtedly disagree with such a view. A great number of ethnic, religious and other conflicts, global heating, "failed" States and other serious threats that we witness today are only a reminder of challenges we have to face in the new millennium. And most of the time answers and solutions for these problems are usually sought in one place--the United Nations.

However, while being the main source of hope for many oppressed people throughout the world, the United Nations today is also often viewed with skepticism and distrust. It was created after the end of the Second World War and as such it reflected the reality of that time. For many years during the cold war, the Organization rather successfully played its role as the only international body responsible for the world's security. However, the reality today has greatly changed. The interstate conflicts which the United Nations was created to deal with are very rarely a threat to international security. Instead, we are increasingly witnessing new types of ethnic and religious conflicts that usually take place within internationally recognized borders of the UN Member States. These internal conflicts have unfortunately shown the inadequacy of the international community in general, and the existing structures of the United Nations in particular, to deal with the challenges of the new century.

Therefore, in the new millennium the world would like to see a reformed and more efficient United Nations--a United Nations that reflects today's reality and needs. While the veto system of its Security Council served well during the cold wax, its functioning to day needs to be improved in a way that enables the Organization to successfully implement its mandate.

How can Africans or Latin Americans full-heartedly trust the United Nations if they have no representatives sitting permanently in the Security Council? …

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