Whose Peace Will the United Nations Keep?

The opinion-page column "Who Should Keep the World's Peace?," Aug. 29, overlooks the fact that from the United Nations' first mission in Korea in 1950 to its recent role in the US-Iraq war, its "peacekeeping" function has been constrained by its most powerful members, especially the United States.With the USSR and China now going begging to Western creditors and governments, the future UN will increasingly reflect Western ownership, consolidated through the overwhelming financial contributions made by European countries and the US. The "ownership" of the UN by these capitalist nations is reflected in the undue influence exercised by representatives from European countries and the US in staffing and running the UN bureaucracy, as well as in the UN's record of selectively sanctioning the use of for ce to solve regional disputes. Clearly, there is no disputing the fact that the UN has in the past "kept the peace." Given the pivotal role which the US and the new Europe will play in the "new world order" of the coming decades, one can expect the UN to play an important "peacekeeping" role in the future. The question is not whether the UN will fulfill such a function, but rather, "whose peace will the UN keep?" G. Guillory-Crevince, La Crosse, Wisc.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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