If the UN is to maintain its credibility, he says, it has to conserve its resources--unless its members are prepared to approach peacekeeping in a more serious and generous spirit.
On May 13th Mr Boutros Ghali told the Security Council that it was impractical to send UN peacekeepers to Bosnia while the war there was still pursued with such ferocity. If the council members wanted to intervene, they should not try to do so on the cheap; they would have to consider sending in tens of thousands of troops equipped with offensive capability. Even if they opted, at this stage, only for armed escorts to protect the relief convoys, they would have to think along similarly expansive lines; a convoy led by the UN had been brutally ambushed by Muslim militiamen. But the council, ignoring his warning, voted two days later for the provision of armed escorts without going into their military needs.
The new secretary-general, who for many years was the eminence grise of Egyptian foreign policy, is not a table-thumper, a politician or even a good speaker. But he is beginning to show a sure touch and may be less worried than his predecessor about making enemies. One sign of this is his readiness to accuse the council of telling him to find people to do difficult and dangerous things without giving them the wherewithal to do them. ...Show more