Sometimes it seems that then end of the Cold War has moved world statesman from a chronic condition of justified professional apprehension in the face of a global nuclear standoff to one of acute personal uncertainty when confronted by morally vexing localized conflicts. And now, the democracies, that have “inherited the earth,” seem a trifle lost in the aftermath of the triumphs over communist totalitarianism. But, of course, the greatest difference for contemporary nations and statesmen is that there are no “adult” players ready to guide them into this the new global scene.
Not surprisingly, the 1990s have tossed the supports of the preeminent international institution, the United Nations, from the highest of hopes to troughs of despair. As Rosemary Righter explores the history and current state of the United Nations, she begins to unveil her understanding that continuous change is a certainty for the UN.
Righter provides an in-depth survey if the history, operation, and recent activities of the United Nations. But the greatest strength of her work is that she asks the right questions about the future of the UN, and that it offers provocative answers by seeking to define the comparative advantage of the United Nations as a global actor. Her observations are symbolically timely as well, coming as they do virtually on the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the United Nations.