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Conflict Between Great Britain and Argentina

The Falklands/Malvinas conflict, however, was not of the intensity in which such a forum for discussions is useless. Despite the long history of disputed sovereignty, Great Britain in particular did not have that much at stake in the Falklands, as evidenced by the current negotiations between the two nations over the islands. Unfortunately, the conflict unfolded rapidly, leaving the United Nations and the rest of the international community caught by surprise.

By May 1, 1982, the United Nations was forced to decide whether to offer the good offices of the Secretary General for mediation. The answer was that it was imperative for the Secretary General to join in the fray, despite how quickly the conflict was unfolding.

Without a doubt, the credibility of Secretary General Perez de Cuellar and the U.N. Security Council was at stake (Nielsson, 1988, p. 44). If the United Nations had done nothing, it would violate the convention established by Lie that the United Nations must attempt to intervene whenever, and wherever, they threat of international conflict occurs. If the Secretary General is free to pick and choose which conflicts the United Nations should attempt to mediate, then the organization is relegated to a "partisan" status attributed to any individual nation which takes international action based of self interest. Secretary General Cuellar--from Peru--could easily have been cast, along with the United Nations, as choosing not to intercede in the conflict for Peruvian interests.

Just as importantly, Cuellar had recently assumed the post of Secretary General. Had he not attempted to act on behalf of international peace, Cuellar would have been stigmatized as weak and ineffectual and reluctant to defend international objectives. Cuellar would have been cast as little more than a "ceremonial figurehead" (Nielsson, 1988, p. 44).


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Conflict Between Great Britain and Argentina. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 00:48, August 24, 2017, from
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