By redefining its mission as the protection of human rights the UN has positioned itself to intervene in many cases where an active military presence would not have been considered ten years ago. This redefining of the UN function first became policy when the heads of state of the members of the United Nations Security Council held their first-ever summit meeting in 1992. They met to discuss the strategies to be employed by the organization in a world without the Cold War. Their decision to concentrate on human security even when it means intervening in nations' internal affairs can be seen in the UN's recent record. Of the eleven new operations undertaken by the Council since that summit, nine have been deployed in civil wars (Weiss 223). In the new world the UN views all the problems humanity faces as being interconnected. "Famine, disease, pollution, drug trafficking, terrorism, ethnic disputes, and social integration [have] consequences [that] travel the globe" (United Nations 229). Thus, although respect for national sovereignty remains essential, the UN has increasingly redefined those cases in which it is both necessary and justified "to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state" (UN Charter quoted by Weiss 223). These words from the Charter describe the actions the UN was not to take. But under the new thinking intervention is allowable in cases where there actually is no sovereign. Examples are Somalia and Bosnia, where government and civil order have collapsed. And "sometimes sovereignty is overridden in the names of higher principles" as with the protection of the Kurds in northern Iraq (Weiss 223).
Weiss, Thomas G.. "The United Nations at Fifty: Recent Lessons." Current History 94 (1995): 223-8.
olicy, or as global security from the threat of nuclear holocaust" (United Nations 229). In this narrow approach, the UN Development Program now says, "the legitimate concerns of ordinary people wh