The UN has deployed more than 35 peacekeeping forces and observer missions since 1945 in order to reduce or prevent conflicts from breaking out and/or continuing. In order for it to succeed, and to reflect the changing needs of the community of nations, peace-keeping has to be continually re-invented. The task of peace-keeping is subject to an essential constraint: for peace-keeping to succeed, the parties to a conflict must have the necessary political will to adhere to a peaceful resolution of the conflict, such as ceasefires. Under the concept of peace-enforcing, ceasefires would be kept, wether all parties were in agreement or not, by the presence of armed and determined forces of blue helmets.
The stated objectives of the current Secretary-General of the UN were that the UN would move from peace-keeping to peace-enforcing. In Bosnia and Somalia, the UN Peacekeepers did not fulfill this vision, nor was peacekeeping effective. Future peacekeeping and peace-enforcing missions will be undertaken with the hard learned but invaluable experiences of the above conflicts.
Peace-enforcing can succeed if the UN obtains the political and military backing from its members that it needs. Also, the UN Peacekeeping operational structure needs to be reformed.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.