This completely revised edition of Linda Fasulo’s popular guide to the United Nations surveys the world body’s programs and activities, and covers key issues including human rights, climate change, counterterrorism, nuclear proliferation, peacekeeping, and UN reform. It also offers guidelines for setting up a Model UN.
"No one knows the big picture and inner workings of the UN better than Linda Fasulo. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in international affairs."—Tom Brokaw, NBC News
"With fine journalistic clarity, the author leads readers through the complex organizational structure of the United Nations, shedding light on its mission, evolution, and controversies."—Christine C. Menefee, School Library Journal
"The indispensable source on the United Nations for everyone from students to diplomats. I keep it handy on my desk."—Joseph S. Nye, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Former UN ambassador Richard Holbrooke has called the UN "the flawed but indispensable institution." These two books illustrate what he meant. NPR correspondent Fasulo has written an overview for lay readers of the myriad activities under the UN umbrella. Most of her attention is given to topics that appear in the news frequently, such as the Security Council, General Assembly, and peacekeeping operations. Shorter chapters cover social and economic development, environmental programs, weapons of mass destruction, globalization, and drug traffic. In trying to cover many agencies, she has made the entries too brief to provide an accurate impression of all that the UN does in these areas. Anyone who has ever sent or received mail from abroad, bought an imported product, or flown in a commercial airliner has benefited from one or more UN agencies. Her intended readers are those totally unfamiliar with the UN, and they will likely find the book informative. But they will also need to consult John Alphin Moore Jr.'s and Jerry Pubantz's Encyclopedia of the United Nations. Alleyne (UCLA) has written a detailed analysis of one of the UN's functions, its Department of Public Information. In his earlier News Revolution, he discussed the importance of the media and public diplomacy in international affairs; here he focuses on the UN's public diplomacy efforts. Barred from propaganda activities and needing to maintain good relations with all member states, the department has necessarily avoided controversial topics. Descriptions of the agency and its programs are tediously bureaucratic in many places, the analytical discussions could have been more fully developed, and the framework used here is not in the mainstream of international relations analysis. However, recent events have led to increased discussion of public diplomacy, which makes this a useful work for collections specializing in media studies or international relations.-Marcia L. Sprules, Council on Foreign Relations Lib., New York Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.