The North-South Divide in the United Nations: Fading at Last?
Security Dialogue, Vol. 33, No 4, 399-414, December 2002
20 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2008
Date Written: December 2002
After an early period in which the Western countries dominated the debates and decisions of most United Nations bodies, the era of decolonization introduced several decades in which the UN debates (and sometimes votes) came to be organized mainly through a North-South divide. The authors provide a brief history of this often poisonous dynamic, then focus on three recent debates at the UN: the discussion surrounding the Brahimi report on UN peace operations, the question of humanitarian intervention, and the issue of financing for development. They argue that the North-South divide has hampered the work (and often the reputation) of the United Nations, a more sober, less ideological mood seems to have taken hold of the UN, particularly in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001.
Keywords: United Nations, North-South, Brahimi report, peace operations, financing for development
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