The Millennium Assembly and the war on terrorism
Before the new millennium, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan emphasized the need to reform the UN’s activities. He took the initiative to call the General Assembly meeting in the autumn of 2000 the Millennium Assembly and devote itself to important reform issues. A summit was held before the Millennium Assembly. The so-called Millennium Declaration, which was then adopted, set goals for the work for peace and security as well as the protection of the environment and human rights. The UN members agreed on a number of concrete time-bound goals, the so-called millennium goals.
The following year, the General Assembly, which began on September 12, was marked by the terrorist attacks that had paralyzed the United States the day before. Just two kilometers from the UN building in New York, the skyscrapers of the World Trade Center had been destroyed by two hijacked planes that had crashed into the buildings. See healthknowing for definition of UNICEF.
The General Assembly condemned the terrorist attacks and the Security Council declared in a resolution (1368) that the terrorist attacks threatened international peace and security and referred to the right of self-defense in the Charter.
After the terrorist attacks, US President George W Bush concentrated all his efforts on finding those responsible. The United States would not only strike at the terrorists themselves but also attack countries that hosted terrorist groups.
In early October 2001, the United States and Britain launched attacks on targets in Afghanistan. The attacks were directed at the terrorist network al-Qaeda and its leader Osama bin Laden, who were in the country and identified as responsible for the terrorist attacks. They also wanted access to the ruling Taliban, which had refused to extradite bin Laden. The US attack on Afghanistan was supported by many countries, and Security Council Resolution 1368 was interpreted as approving the attack based on the US right to self-defense. All NATO members had declared their willingness to participate by military means. The Taliban’s resistance ceased in November. Following a UN-sponsored conference in Bonn in 2001, a provisional government was formed in Afghanistan (see also Afghanistan). The Security Council approved the creation of a military force, ISAF, under British command to maintain security. Through the Bonn Agreement, the UN was given a major role in the reconstruction of war-torn Afghanistan. In 2002, the Security Council appointed the UN Mission Unama.
The Iraq war
The next step in the Bush administration’s fight against terrorism was the Iraq war in 2003. President Bush’s goal was to overthrow Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq, partly because the country was suspected of having or in the process of developing weapons of mass destruction, and partly because of al Qaeda contacts. and Iraqi security services. As of February 2003, UN weapons inspectors had still not obtained any information on weapons of mass destruction, but it could not be ruled out that they did.
Most member states felt that the right to self-defense that had applied to the Afghanistan attack could not be extended to an attack on Iraq. China, France and Russia have stated they will veto the Security Council’s proposal to intervene in Iraq. Nevertheless, in March 2003, the United States launched airstrikes on the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. In parallel with the bombings, the United States and Britain entered with ground troops. The war was short. In April, the Saddam regime gave up, but armed resistance to US troops continued in several quarters.
The self-willed actions of the United States and Britain were a severe loss of prestige for the UN. In May of that year, the Security Council adopted a resolution lifting sanctions against Iraq. Although the United States and Britain initially seemed to want to keep the UN out of Iraq, the political and economic problems soon became too great. Support was sought from the UN and the Secretary-General appointed a Special Representative for Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello, to coordinate the activities of the UN agencies and help hold general elections. In August 2003, de Mello was killed along with 15 UN staffers in a bomb attack on a UN agency in Iraq.
In 2006, at the request of the Iraqi government, the Security Council extended the mandate of the multinational US-led force, which would work for security and stability in Iraq. In 2011, the last American troops left the country.
Even in Afghanistan, the political and security situation remained unstable. The NATO-led ISAF force continued to be responsible for security in the country, while the UN mission UNAMA worked to support the peace process, build a functioning political system and ensure that the people received humanitarian aid.