Article

The United Nations, the Cold War, and Its Legacy

Gerd Hankel

in The Oxford Handbook of Genocide Studies

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199232116
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199232116.013.0029

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

 The United Nations, the Cold War, and Its Legacy

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According to the Preamble of the Charter of the United Nations, the member states of this organization resolved ‘to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war’ as well as to act in a way that demonstrates ‘faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person’. As demonstrated by the emergence and consolidation of the Cold War, the reality of the situation was very different. The two superpowers (USA and Soviet Union) pursued their own agendas based on their respective power politics. For the most part, the United Nations watched helplessly from the sidelines. The states were meticulous in their efforts to ensure that the United Nations was not allocated any powers that could have led to any appreciable infringement of their sovereignty.

Keywords: United Nations; Cold War; genocide; human rights; international law; power politics; USA; Soviet Union

Article.  8250 words. 

Subjects: History ; Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing ; Cold War

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