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Between Incapacity and Indispensability: Th E United Nations and International Order in the 21St Century

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Chapter Summary

This chapter talks about the original idea behind the Charter system of collective security and compares it to role of the United Nations in the early days of 21st Century, a century that is marred by the uneasy relationship of inter-State system as built after World War II with an emerging, &t;neo-medieval&t; world of non-State actors, from the economic forces of globalization to the neo-Islamist enemies of modernity, and with the neo-hegemonic aspirations of the only superpower claiming superior values and special rights for itself. On the other hand, a more &t;realist&t; reading of the Charter can be based on the special role given to the victors of the Second World War who hold veto power on the Security Council. The sovereign equality of States gives way to the prevalence of great powers to react to threats to international peace and security, breaches of peace and aggression.

Keywords: 21st century; international peace; neo-hegemonic aspirations; Security Council; sovereign equality; United Nations



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