Courtesy Reuters

Peacekeeping and Peacemaking

If conflict in Rhodesia or Viet Nam-or half a dozen other places-should develop in a way that makes a United Nations peacekeeping force desirable and even urgent, what would happen? Could such a force be organized? Would the Soviet Union and France try to block action if the force were created by the General Assembly? Where would the troops come from? Would they be authorized to use their weapons? Who would pay for the undertaking?

In the ten years since the creation of the first United Nations Emergency Force, no better alternative to U. N. peacekeeping operations has been devised for avoiding escalation at two danger points: violent small-power quarrels, and internal disorders of the Congo or Cyprus variety which threaten to draw in powerful outsiders. Regional organizations may offer an alternative in the future, but for today, U. N. peacekeeping seems the most likely method of dealing with potential crises at such points as Kashmir, if a third round ensues; Rhodesia, Angola or Mozambique; South West Africa; Guyana; Aden and South Arabia; any one of a dozen African states that are far from being nations and may have chronic border disputes; or South Africa, where the potential for violence is unlimited. Though without any fundamental consensus on political values, and lacking the firm foundation of community agreement about law and order, the United Nations may once more be expected to act as if it were a form of government. Diplomats gathered in alarm some midnight may once again ask, as Adlai Stevenson said Adam asked when Eve hesitated for a moment after his proposal of marriage, "Is there someone else?"

There will be no one else, but the sad fact is that the most important ingredients of effective peacekeeping-firm political support, a workable directive and consistent revenues-are likely to be missing. Their absence reflects the insufficient sense of community in a divided world, and as long as that situation persists, Dag Hammarskjöld's cautious ground rules for UNEF will remain

Loading, please wait...

Browse Related Articles on {{search_model.selectedTerm.name}}

{{indexVM.results.hits.total | number}} Articles Found

  • {{bucket.key_as_string}}

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more.

Continue