Guest Author - Rebecca Graf
The role of the United Nations was very proactive as it moved froth from the day of its inception to today. Though it found itself in many dilemmas, the United Nations had made several inroads toward peace. It was the early 1990s that showed the United Nations as a whole that while it had been successful overall throughout the years the world was not the same anymore. Just as the world had changed to bring about World War II, the world had changed in the post-Cold War, and the United Nations was not prepared for it. It had been designed for post WWII. Post-Cold War was an entirely new animal that had to be dealt with. The world was not interacting as it had in earlier years as “conflicts were now in many cases intra-state or failed state scenarios” that did not “necessarily represent traditional political actors.” (1) The United Nations was created to prevent another horrible world war. One nation against another one they were prepared to deal with and attempt to bring about peace. A nation turning on itself was something new. It was internal which was not a ‘world’ problem, but it was a cry for peace. The definition of peacekeeping was expanding. The argument could have been made that it was internal did not have to be dealt with on a global scale, but the world was not as small as it once was. Now the events in one nation drastically impacted their neighbors and beyond. It could lead to a worldwide event that would need attention. The United Nations now had to address issues as they brewed within one nation before it spilled out into other nations. This would not be a minor repositioning for the United Nations. It was developed for one way and now had to chance how it thought and implemented peacekeeping operations. The UN had to go about its own changes to meet the needs of the world.
(1) Sunil Ram, The History of United Nations Peacekeeping Operations from Retrenchment to resurgence: 1997 to 2006, (Peace Operations Training Institute: Williamsburg, 2008), 3.