Stimson in the News

Ellen Laipson in International Business Times: Syria And Iran: The UN Proves Its Worth To The US

in Program

October 10, 2013

At this year’s annual meeting of the United Nations General
Assembly there was less idealistic posturing and more hard work done on the
most intractable of problems — Syria’s violent civil war and Iran’s nuclear
activities. The United States worked with and relied on the U.N. system to
advance its interests and move towards the goal of establishing international

One purpose of the U.N. Security Council is to regulate the
legitimate use of force in the international arena. The willingness of the
administration of US President Barack Obama to forego military action against
Syria in favor of a coordinated diplomatic solution to rid the nation of its
deadly stockpile of chemical weapons validates the role of the Security
Council, as envisioned by its founders more than 65 years ago.

In both Syria and Iran, other parts of the U.N. system have
also been mobilized and are playing important roles in managing, rather than
preventing, conflict.

The U.N. is playing both humanitarian and political roles in
Syria, where more than 100,000 people have been killed in fighting and millions
have fled their homes. The major U.N. agencies are implementing programs to
provide food, shelter and health care for internally displaced people in Syria
as well as Syrian refugees in the neighboring countries of Turkey, Lebanon and

To read the full op-ed, click here.


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