The United Nations in the 1990s; To Unite Our Strength: Enhancing the United Nations Peace and Security System

In This Review

The United Nations in the 1990s

By Peter B. Baehr and Leon Gordenker
St. Martin's, 1992
202 pp. $45.00

To Unite Our Strength: Enhancing the United Nations Peace and Security System

By John M. Lee, Robert von Pagenhardt and Timothy W. Stanley
University Press of America/Washington, 1992
180 pp. $46.50

As the bipolar system has dissolved and international issues have become more fractionalized, countries are increasingly turning to the United Nations to help resolve problems. Despite its title, the Baehr and Gordenker work does not say much about the potential for the United Nations in this decade and breaks little new ground. But it does serve as a succinct and accurate summary of the considerable institutional development of the organization since 1945.

In contrast, the study by Lee, von Pagenhardt and Stanley focuses on the United Nation's most urgent need, the creation of new methods of peacekeeping, peacemaking and conflict prevention. It makes a number of specific suggestions, such as the creation of a U.N. military chief of staff with a standing military force and placement of earmarked national forces at the disposal of the Secretary General. The Security Council would be expanded and a Peace Management Committee would be established as a subsidiary organ. Although the political hurdles that would have to be overcome in making such innovations are not sufficiently addressed, the study brings an imaginative and important contribution to the current debate on these questions.

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