To what extent would it be true to say that the UN has been more successful in dealing with conflicts since 1990 than it was during the Cold War?
In this new unipolar world, UN experienced some successes as cold war geopolitics ended. But serious problems aroused due to the asymmetrical relationship between the USA and the UN.
- The best example of the former situation was the resolution of Cambodian crisis. Problems in Cambodia dragged on for twenty years. Vietnam invaded Cambodia and drove out the Khmer Rouge. The UN prompted by the USA condemned this action although Vietnam, on the other hand, saved Cambodians from cruel Pol Pot government. The only reason for condemning was that Vietnam was an ally of the USSR. Only after the end of cold war solution was found.
- The asymmetrical relation situation can be judged from the invasion of Iraq (March 2003) by the USA and Britain. They attacked despite the fact that UN security council had not authorized for it.
With the collapse of the USSR cold war ended but this didn’t mean that the political conflicts also ended. New sets of problem aroused, the USA became so powerful that it can now simply ignore the UN. The USA rejected 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and the Kyoto protocol of 1997. So the old sets of problems were replaced by new sets of problem.