Blue Helmets in the Middle East

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They wear powder blue helmets, and over the past 55 years, they’ve been welcomed and reviled around the world. Now the head of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, is talking about sending his peacekeeping troops into the Middle East.

He floated the idea in an interview with the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz. So far, not a lot of enthusiasm from the Israeli government, the Palestinian Authority, or the American administration, despite the current tatters of the so-called “road map” to peace. And it’s true, the United Nations’s peacekeeping record is decidedly mixed.

Even so, the UN’s newly appointed assistant secretary general for peacekeeping, Jane Holl Lute, still believes that the men and women in blue berets are a troubled world’s best hope for peace.


Jane Holl Lute, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Mission Support in the Department of Peacekeeping-designate

Robert Oakley, former U.S. Ambassador.