United Nations at Forty

Archive Report

Reagan's U.N. Policy

Administration's Shift Away from U.N.

The united nations turned 40 this year. And not unlike many an individual approaching middle age, the U.N. is troubled. Torn by the conflicting goals of its members, the international forum often appears to be an ineffectual debating society rather than a mediator of international problems. Reflecting on the organization's 40-year history, many critics say the U.N.'s failures outweigh its successes, while others question the worth of its very existence.

Since the founding 51 nations ratified the U.N. Charter Oct. 24, 1945, the world has undergone technological and political revolutions that have repeatedly challenged the organization's primary mandate: to maintain world peace. The hydrogen bombs that exploded over Hiroshima and Nagasaki just as the finishing touches were being put ...

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