It is for the world to decide whether it is prepared to commit its best troops, and its best diplomats, to dealing with civil wars far from home. As many of these conflicts were deliberately encouraged during the Cold War, there is at least a moral responsibility to do so. It also seems strange that the world's leading powers do not understand that they have the same interest in promoting peace that they had in promoting the Cold War conflict.
Despite its many problems the United Nations is still the best institution to coordinate the halting steps towards a 'new world order'. The UN has a reputation for impartiality no other organisation can equal. It also has peacekeeping and mediating skills nobody else can offer.
What is needed is a redoubled commitment to the United Nations by its member states. Britain could start the process by increasing the provision it made in the last defence review for just a handful of troops to be put under UN command.
The United Nations is not overstretched, it is under-used.
The writer is the BBC United
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