Policing by United Nations

January 9, 1957

Report Outline
New Opportunities for U. N. Peace Force
Development of International Policing
U.N. Police Action in Korea and Middle East

New Opportunities for U. N. Peace Force

Dispatch of an international armed force to the Middle East, to patrol the danger zones between Israel and the Suez Canal, opened a new chapter for the United Nations. The action in 1950 to repel Communist aggression in Korea was carried out in the name of the world organization, but the United States played so dominant a part in that operation that the participation of other nations, with the exception of the Republic of Korea itself, was almost lost to view. The U.N. Emergency Force in the Middle East, composed of small contingents from small countries and functioning under direct United Nations control, has a more truly international character.

The relative ease and speed which marked creation and organization of Unef—ten days from adoption of the General Assembly resolution to arrival of the first contingents in Egypt—revived hopes that the United Nations might after all find a dependable and effective way to bring military force to bear for enforcement of peace. Charter provisions to put armed contingents at the disposal of the Security Council had long since been reduced to nullity by lack of agreement between East and West; the Council had been able to act at all on Korea only because the representative of the Soviet Union was fortuitously not present to veto U.N. intervention.

In the Middle East case the General Assembly, unimpeded by any veto privilege, managed to break new ground and rush troops to the scene of trouble—not fast enough to have stopped a determined military push but in time to help stabilize a potentially dangerous situation. This demonstration of what could be done at brief notice brought proposals for establishment of a standing U.N. military force, capable of being moved with utmost celerity and in impressive strength against an aggressor.

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