United Nations conflict resolution attempts in Afghanistan
By Elise Boulding
This Article Summary written by: Tanya Glaser, Conflict Research Consortium
Citation: Elise Boulding, "United Nations conflict resolution attempts in Afghanistan" in New Agendas for Peace Research. Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1992, pp. 199.
In 1988, under negotiations chaired by the UN Secretary-General, the Soviet Union agreed to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. However, the issue of Afghanistan's future political and social order remained open. After the Soviet troop withdrawal, the UN General Assembly authorized the Secretary-General to extend his good offices role to include helping Afghanistan to develop its own broad-based government.
The Secretary-General had two goals. The first task was to negotiate an agreement between outside nations, such as the United States, China and India. The Secretary-General was seeking agreement from such nations to end military aid to Afghanistan, and to stop fighting over the country. With Afghanistan's fate returned to its own hands, the Secretary-General's second task was to assist that nation in resolving its internal ethnic, political and religious conflicts, and in creating a broad-based government.
The Afghanistan case represents a departure from the traditional good offices role played by the Secretary-General. Although participation by other nations internationalized the conflict, the Afghani conflict was essentially internal in nature.