Courtesy Reuters

Scandinavia's Peace-Keeping Forces for U.N.

It is a major aim of the Danish Government and the Danish people to do everything within their power to strengthen the United Nations. Small countries have a vital stake in supporting the development of the United Nations so that it becomes an effective instrument of the international rule of law. Obviously, this is not an aim that can be achieved at once. But by helping to preserve and strengthen the United Nations as an effective instrument for peace in the current international situation, we can help in the longer run to bring about conditions which foster gradual progress toward the distant but all-important goal.

Such is the general background of the initiative taken by Denmark, together with Norway and Sweden, to set up separate national military forces which are to be kept in permanent readiness and which can be made available to the United Nations at short notice. Let me begin with a short account of the way in which this idea developed.

II

The deliberations go back to the Suez crisis in 1956. Previous international conflicts had shown that by bringing the United Nations into the picture-by creating a "U.N. presence"-it was possible to alleviate the tensions of a dangerous situation. During the Suez crisis we saw the United Nations intervene with military forces. By taking direct military action the organization succeeded in bringing the military conflict to an end and in keeping the peace. Since then, similar United Nations peace-keeping forces have been used in other areas, for instance in the Congo and Cyprus. In these cases the U.N. forces were provided by certain member countries which, in an acute situation and in response to U.N. requests, made military units available for peace-keeping activities.

The successful Suez experience suggested to us in the Nordic countries that it might be desirable to establish more permanent arrangements within the United Nations. It had now been accepted that the organization could ask member countries to make military forces

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