chapter
Introduction
Pages 5

The anchor of faith, the growing wheat of hope, and the heart of charity adorn the walls of the United Nations Security Council Chamber in New York City. In the center of the chamber hangs a mural, which depicts a phoenix rising from the ashes of the Second World War. Surrounding the image of the phoenix are scenes of hope for a new world devoid of conflict and human suffering. It is clear that both Arnstein Arneberg and Per Krohg sought to encapsulate, through the interiors, the expectations held for the council.1 Lofty expectations are, however, seldom met. For the council this adage could not hold more truth. The council was expected to operate as the custodian of international order in the postwar era. As the preeminent international institution, the council, through its decisions, mandated operations, and enforcement actions directly influences the present and the future state of international peace and security. Throughout its history, the council has proven a remarkably adaptable and enduring citadel at the center of international politics; and continues to stand as the “most powerful international institution in the history of the nation-state system.”2