ABSTRACT

For many people, the United Nations' experience in the Gulf War represented a transition from a period of relative ineffectiveness in the area of international security to one of solid achievement. The success in the Gulf should not be underestimated, but a sober assessment of the use made of the United Nations by the great powers reveals some grounds for concern. Expectations of a New World Order were quickly disappointed, and with the events in Somalia, ex-Yugoslavia and many other places, there was a rapid swing back to a mood of disillusionment with the United Nations. This mood was clearly reflected in the growing reluctance to launch UN peacekeeping operations unless certain conditions were met, and an increasing willingness to encourage regional organisations to do the "dirty work". The Security Council's sanctioning of the CIS peacekeeping force in Georgia typifies this trend.