Preface: The Annual Review of United Nations Affairs 2017/2018: The United Nations in the Time of Trump
in Annual Review of United Nations Affairs 2017/2018, vol. I (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019), pp. 1-16
19 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2019 Last revised: 9 Apr 2019
Date Written: 2019
In accordance with its comprehensive mandate, the United Nations is concerned with peace and security, development, social affairs, and human rights. The Organization has developed into a complex global institution with a well-established governance structure involving 193 member states. A large part of the Organization's work can be considered routine United Nations business, including negotiating and elaborating treaty obligations, maintaining peacekeeping missions, implementing development projects, and providing for refugees. Many of the activities involved—important as they are—can be described as “low politics”, typically being under the radar of senior policy decision makers. On the other hand, such “high politics” issues as the situation on the Korean peninsular, Syria, the Middle East and Yemen, attract the attention of senior decision makers and often do not lend themselves to solutions in the United Nations. The first of these issues, the situation on the Korean peninsular is a good example of this situation: although, as Kenzo Matsuura Müller explains, the United Nations was involved in the Korean War from the beginning, a peace treaty may well be negotiated without the Organization. Since virtually all high politics issues require the cooperation of the United States to be addressed effectively, the Preface—and the Commentaries that precede each chapter—review the approach that the US Administration has taken so far toward the United Nations.
The main body of this six-volume publication documents the principal developments during the 2017/2018 UN year in the UN's major organs: the General Assembly, the Security Council, ECOSOC, the International Court of Justice, and the UN Secretariat. These developments are discussed in the Commentaries that accompany the principal documents relating to these organs. Jacques Fomerand, Alexander K.A. Greenawalt, Kahlil Hamdani, John Mathiason, and Lorraine Turner Ruffing wrote the Commentaries.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation