Humanitarian catastrophes are reaching 'irrevocable crisis proportions yet the UN has has a very poor response to its appeals;' the UN secretary general, Kofi Annan has declared. At the root of most of these crises in the 90s is prolonged insecurity or civil war.
In mid-1994, the United Nations was running seventeen peacekeeping or peace enforcement operations around the world. The cost of peacekeeping in 1993 was estimated at US$3,200 million. The peacekeeping budget of the UN showed a deficit of $1,600 million in October 1994.
The capacity of the UN to mount peacekeeping operations, and other preventive measures, is of fundamental importance to the future of global society. The UN has not been given the resources to do this job effectively. Finding resources for peacekeeping operations is increasingly difficult. Significantly increased funds need to be made available by the international community for these purposes, notably through the reduction of defence expenditures.