chapter  4
18 Pages

Peacekeeping resumed: from Palestine and Kashmir to Suez

In Chapter 2, when we discussed the League of Nations’ record in peacekeeping, we referred to an exercise undertaken by the UN General Assembly’s Palestine Commission in 1948 that laid out the League’s experience with multilateral military operations. This, we observed, indicated a continuity in peacekeeping thinking that has often gone unacknowledged. There was certainly an interregnum after the League’s loss of relevance and authority and during the early years of the United Nations when its ambitions were focused on its far-reaching plans for enforcement-backed collective security. But with the deep-seated flaws of this new collective security exposed by the Korean crisis, this underlying continuity in the peacekeeping role became more evident. After Korea it gradually came to be accepted that a security role for the UN could be developed, and it could involve the use of military personnel, but it would be a much more modest one than that envisaged by Chapter VII of the Charter.