Latest Issue

The UN – mission impossible

No one felt like celebrating at the UN's 50th anniversary last year - the wounds of Bosnia, Rwanda and Somalia were too raw. David Hannay, formerly British ambassador to the UN, says its failings are overstated

By David Hannay   February 1996

The dust is beginning to settle after the 50th anniversary of the United Nation’s founding. It is time to take a cool look at the UN’s role in achieving international peace and security.

Much of the public comment which accompanied that anniversary last year was disappointingly short term in its outlook and unjustifiably negative in content. There was an obsession with Bosnia, almost to the exclusion of everything else the UN has done in recent years. There was a failure to recognise that the UN will never be a complete success story-but that its failures and its weaknesses do not…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect