×

High Alert

Does the United Nations Need an Early-Warning System?

U.S. President Barack Obama arrives in Marine One at the Downtown Manhattan Heliport in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly September 18, 2016. Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

The United Nations Security Council has long been on notice that it should be able to provide early warning of impending international crises. As early as 1985, speaking on the 40th anniversary of the founding of the UN, Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar had already concluded that “as crises have frequently been brought before the Council too late for preventive action, it would seem to follow that the Council might well establish a procedure to keep the world under continuing survey in order to detect nascent causes of tension."

In the 30 years since Pérez de Cuéllar’s call, the idea of an early-warning system gained traction, with the General Assembly and the Security Council adopting several resolutions to that effect.  

Yet the Council has continued to underperform in anticipating and preventing conflicts, largely confining itself to reaction, which means higher political and financial costs, not to speak

Loading, please wait...

Related Articles

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

Continue