The United Nations? Involvement in Somalia and Rwanda: Transitioning Roles of U.N. Peacekeeping and the Concept of Sovereignty


Mary Kanny

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In The United Nations and Changing World Politics, Weiss, Forsythe and Coate suggest that ?A Conceptual and operational leap must be made, striking a new balance between state sovereignty and the need for effective UN security operations in the post-Cold War era? (105). Upon review of the United Nations? security operations since 1990, it is apparent that in order to adapt to changing issues of security, the traditional concept of sovereignty as outlined by chapter 2(7) of the U.N. charter, must be challenged. The United Nations? security operations in Somalia illustrate some of the new difficulties that arise in a multilateral approach to an issue previously considered a sovereign issue. In particular, this case represents a pivotal shift in the concept of third-generation peacekeeping, and the need for effective peace-building as part of the United Nations? involvement in conflict. In review of the approaches taken in Somalia, the U.N. has been able to alter their involvements and international interest in state conflicts, previously considered domestic matters. Thus, it is evident that this case contributes to an overarching concept of the ideological and structural shifts that have taken place in the United Nations during the period of increased peacekeeping in the post-Cold War era.


Larry Caldwell




Anderson Fund Grant

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