The General Assembly in World Politics

In This Review

The General Assembly in World Politics

By M. J. Peterson
Allen & Unwin, 1986
320 pp. $35.00

The U.N. General Assembly certainly plays a smaller role than was envisaged by those who signed the Charter in 1945. The Third World coalition which has controlled its decisions since the mid-1960s passes innumerable resolutions but does not determine the structure or content of world politics. The assembly may talk about a new world order but does not create one. Ms. Peterson's study shows in meticulous detail, with illustrations from the lengthening historical record, just how the assembly worked in the past and how it works now. It is not exciting reading, but both for those who look to the assembly as the town meeting of the world and for those who dismiss it as an engine of propaganda, this book is a mine of information and a most useful analysis of what the U.N. is and what it is not.

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