Letter: Commercial restraints limit UN's effectiveness

Sir: Conor Cruise O'Brien reports that as UN representative in Katanga in 1961 he was surprised to be informed of a thriving illegal currency exchange market ('Forces for the good, and bad', 27 August). It is disconcerting that UN personnel appear to be inadequately prepared for even the most basic situations in countries to which they are assigned. Can the failure of UN mediators in Bosnia be traced, in part, to an incomplete understanding of the complexity of local circumstances?

Yours faithfully,

JASON M. REESE

Oxford

27 August

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