Since its inception in 1945, the United Nations has been involved in peacekeeping operations and conflict resolutions in the international system. According to Article 1 of the Charter of the United Nations, the UN is expected “to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by lawful means, and in conformity with the principle of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace.” The United Nations has been charged with vast responsibilities for the maintenance of international peace and security. Two organs were created for this purpose: the Security Council (which consists of fifteen members, five permanent members with veto power and ten non permanent members) and the General Assembly (which consist of representatives from all member states). This essay seeks to examine and analyze the role of the United Nations in the maintenance of international peace and security using the Korean War as a case study. THE UN AND PEACEKEEPING
Peacekeeping is defined by the United Nations as “a unique and dynamic instrument developed by the organization as a way to help countries torn by conflict, create the conditions for lasting peace. The Security Council of United Nations has been given the responsibility to take collective action to maintain international peace and security. The “Uniting for Peace” resolution adopted by the General Assembly in 1954 imposes the responsibility of maintenance of international peace and security on the General Assembly under certain conditions. The United Nations, after the approval by the Security Council sends peacekeepers to regions where armed conflict has recently ceased or paused to enforce the terms of peace agreements and to discourage combatants from resuming hostilities. Since the United Nations does not maintain its own military, peacekeeping forces are voluntarily provided by member states of the United Nations. The founders of the United Nations envisaged that the organization would help to prevent conflicts between states and in the process, prevent outbreak of another major war in the future. The United Nations would have been able to achieve this successfully if not for the outbreak of the Cold War. The outbreak of the Cold War made it extremely difficult for the United Nations to successfully resolve issues and conflicts because of the division of the world into hostile camps. The United States and Western Europe on one side and the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and part of Asia on the other side. This caused a stalemate in decision making in the Security Council as both powers (United States and Soviet Union) used their veto power to check each other. The United Nations found it extremely difficult to come to a resolution on issues where both super powers had national interests. In such case as the Korean War where after the Soviet Union used her veto power to reject resolutions and left the Security Council completely paralyzed, the General Assembly through the “Uniting for Peace” resolution assumed the responsibility of making decisions. In spite of the various obstacles the United Nations faced during the Cold War era in conflict resolution, it was however to an extent successful in maintaining international peace and security and most importantly, the outbreak of another World War.
THE UNITED NATIONS AND THE KOREAN WARThe Korean War from 1950 to 1953 was the most severe test the United Nations had to face since its inception in 1945. As part of the Cold War scenario, the Korean War was a complicated issue with which the United Nations had to successfully deal with or lose credibility just five years after it had come into being. The Korean experience tested the United Nations ability...