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The role of the United Nations in Conflict Management

International governmental organizations are more frequently and prominently engaged in conciliation and mediation. . . . UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar sought to mediate between the United Kingdom and Argentina in the Falkland/Islas Malvinas crisis in l982 (174).

In order to be as effective as possible in promoting and maintaining international peace and security, and in order to "save face" and not foolishly over-extend its limited powers, the United Nations must carefully apply those powers according to the circumstances of each individual crisis. The Falkland/Malvinas crisis was from the start an event which precluded any military or even economic steps on the part of the UN. Events escalated quickly in the crisis, and the isolated region of the conflict made it unlikely from the start that the UN would take a crucial role in resolving the crisis.

After the crisis deepened quickly in a few days and it became clear that Great Britain and Argentina were on a collision course over the possession and fate of the islands in dispute, the Secretary-General of the UN appealed to both nations for restraint. The Security Council met and made the same plea. Argentina invaded the islands to enforce its territorial claim, and Britain responded by offering Resolution 502, which demanded Argentine withdrawal. At the same time, the UN had in other resolutions generally accepted that B

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