The result of a 300-year-long experiment, the United Nations has preserved its position as an indispensable actor on the world stage. As Kofi Annan famously remarked, “more than ever before in human history, we share a common destiny. We can master it only if we face it together. And that, my friends, is why we have the United Nations.” Since its formation, the international community of states averted a third World War, replaced colonialism with self-determination, reduced poverty and hunger, eradicated many diseases, and established mechanisms for promoting and protecting human rights. Yet, the way the United Nations operates to achieve these objectives is not well known. There has yet to be a comprehensive and accessible text that presents a holistic overview of the United Nations as an institution through a multidisciplinary approach to the study of the UN rather than an exclusively legal or political analysis.
United Nations Law, Politics, and Practice explores the important events that shaped the United Nations under different Secretaries-General, describes the legal framework in which it operates, and discusses its politics and practice from an insider’s viewpoint. It provides sufficient information on the UN’s evolution, structure, functioning, and activities in order to empower readers to form their own thoughts about the strengths, weaknesses, successes, and failures of the UN. Students, professors, lawyers, diplomats, international public servants, and those with any interest in international relations or international law will consider this book a valuable resource examining the world’s most prominent intergovernmental organization.