It is a truism to state that since the end of the Cold War there has been unprecedented activity in the United Nations Security Council. These days the Council adopts around a hundred resolutions every year, and acts in the most diverse fields. It is true that its actions fall within the framework of Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, but they are the expression of a considerable extension of the concept of international security. This dynamism is explained, inside the Council, by the fact that since the Gulf War the Council has no longer been stymied by the casting of a veto, and outside the Council, by the increased number of armed conflicts, especially in Africa (Mozambique, Somalia, Liberia and Angola) and in Eastern Europe. The Council has never until now been called upon so often to send peace-keeping forces to so many parts of the world.
These are the thoughts which induced the Curatorium to organize a workshop to evaluate the scale and significance of this phenomenon. This volume is the outcome of the workshop. First of all, it examines the development of the powers of the Security Council; secondly, the development of the areas in which it acts; and finally it determines the place of the Security Council within the United Nations system.