United Nations

The United Nations system has undergone myriad changes from the moment of its inception to the present. The most significant of these changes occurred after the end of the Cold War, which saw the organization move from a period of near paralysis to one of decided activism. Nowhere is this shift more evident than in the conduct of peacekeeping operations (PKOs), which were decidedly weaker during the Cold War as the two superpowers avoided encroaching on each other’s spheres of influence. This stalemate would be broken in the early post–Cold War era with PKOs in Cambodia, Somalia, and the former Yugoslav Republic.

As of August 2012, the United Nations maintained 15 peacekeeping missions and a special political mission to Afghanistan. The United Nations staffed these operations ...

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