That the United Nations has lasted 50 years is in itself an accomplishment. A third world war could have been the culmi nation of the cold war era - although what role the United Nations played in this regard is not certain. That the end of the cold war made the United Nations less important is certainly not true. The unexpected proliferation of regional conflicts, if anything, made the United Nations more, not less important. Yet, the United Nations' experience shows that the institution has not risen to this challenge and thus did not meet the increased expectations of the international community. This continues to intrigue and concern Member States. The 50th Anniversary of the Organization should be used as an opportunity to identify the reasons for this shortcoming and to propose ways in which it can be overcome. The brief historical analysis of the transition from the League of Nations to the United Nations in this chapter will serve as background for the development of what in our opinion are the reasons why the United Nations, in spite of some successes, continues to be perceived as ineffective and unable to meet the expectations of its Members.