The U.N. General Assembly just took a small step toward strengthening its role in international peace and security. The assembly typically plays second fiddle to the Security Council on such issues. But with the council embroiled in debates between Russia and the West, many U.N. members feel the assembly should compensate for its flaws.
When Mali demanded last month that the U.N. withdraw peacekeepers from its territory “without delay,” it sent a chill through diplomats in New York. Many observers have speculated over whether Mali’s move could presage the end of other U.N. missions in Africa, dealing a blow to the institution’s contribution to security there.