Today, the United Nations and other international organizations have been placed on center stage to help maintain international security and peace. As the threat of nuclear proliferation has increased in the Middle-East and in Eastern Asia, the UN has begun taking a fresh response to any threat of international security. In the fall of 1993, for example, 75,105 UN peacekeepers were deployed in seventy-two countries to help maintain peace and unrest. There have also been intensified pressures on the United Nations to work on solutions to the social and economic problems that underlie conflicts. It is hard to imagine, however, that the United Nations can fulfil these demanding missions without significant reform of its structure, organization, mission.
With these issues in mind, the Twentieth Century Fund and Wilton Park cosponsored a conference on the United Nations to address the concerns at hand. Some eighty scholars, diplomats, and UN officials from around the world attended this event for international concern. Addressing such issues as the problems and unfulfilled promise of the specialized and functional agencies, focusing on the potential for reforming their staffing, management, financing, program integration, and organization. The essays in this volume were either presented at this historic conference in 1993 or were a direct product of the discussions and issue briefings sponsored at this event.