The UN and the Cold War
At one of the first news conferences after Hammarskjold was notified of his selection as Secretary-General, he was asked whether Soviet agreement on his candidacy was a sign the Soviet bloc intended to end the cold war.
"I can't put any such interpretation on my appointment," he answered carefully, "but I think I can interpret it as a sign of a more cooperative spirit on the part of the Big Five."
When he assumed office he considered the supreme, inescapable challenge facing the UN to be the peaceful resolution of the conflict between the Communist world and the West. Speaking to the UN staff in Geneva, he commented that "where our predecessors dreamt of a new heaven, our greatest hope is that we may be permitted to save the old earth."
The year 1953 was a time when powerful forces in both camps regarded coexistence as a form of appeasement. Hammarskjold soon ran afoul of the U.S. intransigents on this issue. With an