ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Gorbachev s United Nations and Peace Initiatives-Steps in the Right Direction

Peace Initiatives Steps in the Right Direction We are on the brink of an abyss. Let's take a big step forward? No, better take a bold step back! MIKHAIL GORBACHEV is addressing the United Nations on December 7, the first time for a Soviet leader to do so since Nikita Khrushchov banged his shoe there. However, Gorbachev has already taken several important UN initiatives. He made detailed concrete proposals to strengthen the UN, which were published in September 1987, but received little attention and are examined below. To put his money where his mouth is as the Americans say, he has paid up all Soviet arrears still owing to the UN (while the United States has so far failed to do so). His government has agreed for the first time to submit the Soviet Union to the jurisdiction of the UN International Court at The Hague (which the United States refuses to do in 'politicar cases, such as Nicaragua's unchallenged charge that the US mined its harbour). Gorbachev's diplomatic initiatives also facilitated last year's INF treaty between the USSR and the US and this year's successful UN and other peace initiatives to end foreign wars in Iraq-Iran, Afghanistan-USSR and Angola (and Cuba)-Namibia-South Africa, prompting the recent award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the UN forces. We may expect Gorbachev to use his UN address to press his proposals to strengthen the UN and perhaps to offer additional new initiatives beyond those examined below.

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