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7 Does the United Nations Have What It Takes?

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Chapter Summary

As one reads the debate and discussions at the Paris peace conference and immediately afterwards it becomes apparent that the great issues that so preoccupy us today – sovereignty, human rights and the protection of minorities – were regularly atop the agenda then. If the United Nations (UN) has been a force, a peacemaker and an interlocutor, today it must also seriously consider the need to become a coloniser. Perhaps too, and even more important, it could become more innovative in pre-empting potential conflicts with artful diplomacy, a clamp down on arms supplies, the interposition of on-the-ground peace negotiators following the Norwegian model, and a more ready preparedness to seize and bring warlords and the politicians who support them to trial at the International Criminal Court before they have got up an overpowering head of steam. The pursuit of human rights has to be fought on all these fronts.

Keywords: coloniser; human rights; International Criminal Court; Norwegian model; Paris peace conference; peacemaker; United Nations



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