What is the UN doing about War in Ukraine?

The visions of mud, craters and shattered trees have brought the horrors of the battlefields in Ukraine to our attention again this week. Brave correspondents such as Luke Harding, who delivered a compelling talk in Winchester on Thursday, have reinforced the impression that this war has settled into a stalemate and is unlikely to end in 2023.

The late David Trimble said at his Nobel award ceremony in Oslo that “No single conflict can be used as a model to find the solution to other conflicts”. That is certainly the case with the Ukraine War. The front-line images remind me of the situation in Bosnia 30 years ago, but the UN is not capable of intervening because the Security Council is split and there is no impartial power that can “enforce” the peace.

There are several long-term UN peacekeeping missions that impartially monitor and patrol so-called “green-lines”, including Kashmir, Lebanon and Cyprus. This must be the next stage of the war in Ukraine, but it will need a complex mission and first there must be a diplomatic truce. It seems incongruous that nobody in the UN is preparing for an effective peace support operation and begs the question what are they actually doing about it.

A Time When the UN was Effective

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