Interventions: A Life in War and Peace

Vikash Chandra is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Dr B.R. Ambedkar Government Degree College, Mainpuri, Uttar Pradesh, India
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  • November 2013
    Book Review

    Post-Cold War structural change (from bipolar to unipolar) brought about by the demise of the Soviet Union, redefined the role and responsibilities of the United Nations (UN). The constraints imposed by the Cold War rivalry in the UN were removed. On one hand, it ensured the smooth functioning of the UN, but on the other hand, state failure and civil strife posed challenges and provided new opportunities as well. At this crucial juncture, fortunately, the UN was led by qualified secretaries-general: Boutros Boutros Ghali (1992–1996) and his successor Kofi Annan (1997–2006). By introducing the ‘Agenda for Peace’ to cope with the changing situations, Ghali redefined the UN’s role in peace and security, which included peace-making and peace-building, among other things. Rising state failures and ethnic conflicts required greater involvement of the UN in implementing the newly defined security agenda. Kofi Annan, first as deputy secretary-general of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and later as secretary-general of the UN, played a crucial role in not only implementing it but also expanding its scope.