Рефераты. Years of UN peacekeeping efforts

Years of UN peacekeeping efforts

Student’s Scientific Society «Integral»


Section: English Language

Author: Sokolova Olga, School #5, Form 11A

Supervisor: Gorina Elena Vasilievna

English Teacher, 1st category,

School #5 with extensive English learning

N. Tagil



1. Introduction 2

2. Origin of the UNO 3

3. The way UN works 4

1. Main bodies 4

2. Security Council activity 6

4. UN activity 8

1. UN peacekeeping missions 8

2. UN and human rights 12

3. UN humanitarian assistance to developing countries


5. Disarmament 15

1. UN activity in the sphere of disarmament 15

2. The problem of Iraqi military arsenal


5.2.1 Iraq/Kuwait conflict 17

5.2.2. UNIKOM Establishment 18

5.2.3. Blitzkrieg 20

6. Conclusion 23

7. References 24

8. Appendixes 25


Most people are familiar with the work of the United Nations in

peacekeeping or in delivering humanitarian assistance to a far-off country.

But the many ways in which the UN has a direct impact on all our lives,

everywhere in the world, is not always so well-known.

Now that world mass media reflect the news about the UNO in detail, it

is very challenging to know different points of view, and I took an

interest in this problem. I heard about UN activity but didn’t reach the

main point, like the majority of my coevals, who are familiar with the

events that concern the UNO but don’t fully understand the essence of them.

UN activity in preserving peace has attracted me most of all. The arms

race, disputes between nations, wars, military conflicts have turned into

the real danger to the mankind. I think that people must stop killing each

other and end this violence. I’ve chosen the UN peacekeeping missions and

especially in Iraq as a specific example of UN’s work. It is very urgent



Day in, day out, the UN and its family of organizations work together

and individually to protect human rights; promote the protection of the

environment; help the advancement of women and the rights of children;

fight epidemics, famine, poverty. Throughout the world, the UN and its

agencies assist refugees and help improve telecommunication; deliver food

aid and protect consumers; combat disease and help expand food production;

make loans to developing countries and help stabilize financial markets. UN

agencies define the standards for safe and efficient transport by air and

sea, work to ensure respect for intellectual property rights and coordinate

allocation of radio frequencies. The UN's work has a long-term impact on

the quality of our lives.

The name "United Nations" was devised by United States President

Franklin D. Roosevelt and was first used in the "Declaration by United

Nations" of January 1, 1942, during the Second World War, when

representatives of 26 nations pledged their Governments to continue

fighting together against the Axis Powers.

The United Nations Charter was drawn up by the representatives of 50

countries at the United Nations Conference on International Organization,

which met at San Francisco from April 25 to June 26, 1945. Those delegates

deliberated on the basis of proposals worked out by the representatives of

China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States at

Dumbarton Oaks in August-October 1944. The Charter was signed on June 26,

1945 by the representatives of the 50 countries. Poland, which was not

represented at the Conference, signed it later and became one of the

original 51 Member States.

The United Nations officially came into existence on October 24, 1945,

when the Charter had been ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the

United Kingdom, the United States and by a majority of other signatories.

United Nations Day is celebrated on October 24 each year.


The United Nations is an organization of sovereign nations. It

provides the machinery to help find solutions to international problems or

disputes, and to deal with pressing concerns that face people everywhere.

It does not legislate like a national parliament. But in the meeting

rooms and corridors of the UN, representatives of almost all countries of

the world -large and small, rich and poor, with varying political views and

social systems -have a voice and vote in shaping the policies of the

international community.

The UN has six main bodies listed below. All are based at UN

Headquarters in New York, except the International Court of Justice, which

is located at the Hague, Netherlands.

In addition, 14 specialized agencies, working in areas as diverse as

health, finance, agriculture, civil aviation and telecommunications, are

linked together through the Economic and Social Council. The UN and its

specialized agencies constitute the UN system. Main bodies of the UN are:

the General Assembly, Security Council, the Economic and Social Council,

the Trusteeship Council, the International Court of Justice and the


3.1 Main Bodies

The General Assembly

The General Assembly, sometimes called the nearest thing to a world

parliament, is the main deliberative body. All 185 Member States are

represented in it, and each has one vote. Decisions on ordinary matters are

taken by simple majority. Important questions require a two-thirds


The Assembly holds its regular sessions from mid-September to mid-

December. Special or emergency sessions are held when necessary. When the

Assembly is not in session, its work goes on in special committees and


The Assembly has the right to discuss and make recommendations on all

matters within the scope of the UN Charter - the Organization's founding

document. It has no power to compel action by any Government, but its

recommendations carry the weight of world opinion. The Assembly also sets

policies and determines programs for the UN Secretariat, directs activities

for development, and approves the UN budget, including peacekeeping

operations. Occupying a central position in the UN, the Assembly receives

reports from other organs, admits new Members and appoints the UN Secretary

- General.

The Economic and Social Council

Working under the authority of the General Assembly, the Economic and

Social Council coordinates the economic and social work of the UN and

related specialized agencies and institutions. The Council has 54 members,

and meets for a one-month session each year, alternating between New York

and Geneva. The session includes a special meeting at the level of

ministers to discuss major economic and social issues.

The Council oversees UN activities and policies promoting economic

growth in developing countries, administering development projects,

promoting the observance of human rights, and fostering international

cooperation in areas such as housing, family planning, environmental

protection and crime prevention.

The Trusteeship Council

The Trusteeship Council was established to ensure that Governments

responsible for administering trust territories take adequate steps to

prepare them for self-government or independence. The task of the

Trusteeship System was completed in 1994, when the Security Council

terminated the Trusteeship Agreement for the last of the original 11 UN

Trusteeships - the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (Palau),

administered by the United States. All Trust Territories have attained self-

government or independence, either as separate States or by joining

neighbouring independent countries. The Trusteeship Council will now meet

as and where circumstances so demand.

The International Court of Justice

The International Court of Justice (also known as the World Court) is

the main judicial organ of the UN, settling legal disputes between member

states and giving advisory opinions to the UN and its agencies. It consists

of 15 judges, elected by the General Assembly and the Security Council.

Only countries may be parties in cases brought before the Court. If a

country does not wish to take part in a proceeding, it does not have to do

so (unless required by special treaty provisions), but if it accepts, it is

obligated to comply with the Court's decision.

The Secretariat

The Secretariat works for the other five organs of the UN and

administers their programs. With a staff of some 8,900 under the regular

budget, working at headquarters and all over the world, it carries out the

day-to-day work of the UN. At its head is the Secretary - General.

He plays a central role in peacemaking, both personally and through

special envoys. The Secretary - General may bring to the attention of the

Security Council any matter which appears to threaten international peace

and security. To help resolve disputes, the Secretary - General may use

"good offices" to carry out mediation, or exercise "quiet diplomacy" behind

the scenes. The Secretary - General also conducts "preventive diplomacy" to

help resolve disputes before they escalate.

In many instances, the Secretary - General has been instrumental in

securing a peace agreement or in averting a threat to peace. The current

secretary general is Kofi Annan, who succeeded Boutros Boutros Ghali in

1997 (see appendix C).

Staff members are drawn from some 170 countries.

3.2 Security Council Activity

The Security Council has primary responsibility, under the Charter,

for the maintenance of international peace and security. It is so organized

as to be able to function continuously, and a representative of each of its

members must be present at all times at United Nations Headquarters.

When a complaint concerning a threat to peace is brought before it,

the Council's first action is usually to recommend to the parties to try to

reach agreement by peaceful means. In some cases, the Council itself

undertakes investigation and mediation. It may appoint special

representatives or request the Secretary - General to do so or to use his

good offices. It may set forth principles for a peaceful settlement.

When a dispute leads to fighting, the Council's first concern is to

bring it to an end as soon as possible. It also sends United Nations peace-

keeping forces to help reduce tensions in troubled areas, keep opposing

forces apart and create conditions of calm in which peaceful settlements

may be sought. The Council may decide on enforcement measures, economic

sanctions (such as trade embargoes) or collective military action.

A member state against which preventive or enforcement action has been

taken by the Security Council may be suspended from the exercise of the

rights and privileges of membership by the General Assembly on the

recommendation of the Security Council. A member state which has

persistently violated the principles of the Charter may be expelled from

the United Nations by the Assembly on the Council's recommendation.

The presidency of the Council rotates monthly, according to the

English alphabetical listing of its member states (see appendix D).

The Council has 15 members - five permanent members and 10 elected by

the General Assembly for a two-year term.

The following countries ended their two-year membership term on

December 31, 1997:





Republic of Korea

Each Council member has one vote. Decisions on procedural matters are

made by an affirmative vote of at least nine of the 15 members. Decisions

on substantive matters require nine votes, including the concurring votes

of all five permanent members. This is the rule of "great power unanimity",

often referred to as the "veto" power.

Under the Charter, all Members of the United Nations agree to accept

and carry out the decisions of the Security Council. While other organs of

the United Nations make recommendations to Governments, the Council alone

has the power to take decisions which member states are obligated under the

Charter to carry out.

Under the Charter, the functions and powers of the Security Council


to maintain international peace and security in accordance with the

principles and purposes of the United Nations;

to investigate any dispute or situation which might lead to international


to recommend methods of adjusting such disputes or the terms of settlement;

to formulate plans for the establishment of a threat to peace or act of

aggression and to recommend what action should be taken;

to call on Members to apply economic sanctions and other measures not

involving the use of force to prevent or stop aggression;

to take military action against an aggressor;

to recommend the admission of new members and the terms on which states may

become parties to the Statute of the International Court of Justice;

to exercise the trusteeship functions of the United Nations in "strategic


to recommend to the General Assembly the appointment of the Secretary -

General and, together with the Assembly, to elect the Judges of the

International Court.


4.1 UN Peace-Keeping Missions

United Nations peacekeepers, wearing distinctive UN blue helmets or

berets, are dispatched by the Security Council to help implement peace

agreements, monitor cease-fires, patrol demilitarized zones, create buffer

zones between opposing forces, and put fighting on hold while negotiators

seek peaceful solutions to disputes. But ultimately, the success of

peacekeeping depends on the consent and cooperation of the opposing


The UN does not have an army. For each peacekeeping mission, member

states voluntarily provide troops and equipment, for which they are

compensated from a special peacekeeping budget. Police officers, election

observers, human rights monitors and other civilians sometimes work

alongside military personnel in peacekeeping operations. Lightly armed for

self-defense — and often unarmed — peacekeepers’ strongest “weapon” is

their impartiality. They rely on persuasion and minimal use of force to

defuse tensions and prevent fighting. It is dangerous business;

approximately 1,500 UN peacekeepers have died in the performance of their

duties since 1945.

Rank-and-file soldiers on peacekeeping missions do not swear

allegiance to the United Nations. Governments that volunteer personnel

carefully negotiate the terms of their participation — including command

and control arrangements. They retain ultimate authority over their own

military forces serving under the UN flag, including disciplinary and

personnel matters, and may withdraw their troops if they wish. Peacekeeping

soldiers wear their own national uniforms. To identify themselves as peace-

keepers, they also wear blue berets or helmets and the UN insignia.

The cost of UN peacekeeping personnel and equipment peaked at about $3

billion in 1995, reflecting the expense of operations in the former

Yugoslavia. Peacekeeping costs fell in 1996 and 1997, to $1.4 billion and

some $1.3 billion, respectively — and estimated budgetary requirements for

1998 are expected to drop to under $1 billion.

All Member States are obligated to pay their share of peacekeeping

costs under a formula that they themselves have agreed upon. But as of 15

March 1998, member states owed the UN $1.7 billion in current and back

peacekeeping dues. The United States is by far the largest debtor, owing

$958 million.

Since 1945, there have been 48 United Nations peacekeeping operations.

There are currently 16 under way. Thirty-five peacekeeping operations were

created by the Security Council in the years between 1988 — when UN

peacekeeping operations were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize — and June 1998:

…in Africa

In Angola, UN mediation led to the 1994 peace accord and to the

installation of a government of national unity in 1997, formally uniting a

country devastated by 20 years of civil war. A UN operation is in place to

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