Kofi Annan - Center of the Storm


1991: Persian Gulf War takes place
1992: Peacekeeping operations begin in Yugoslavia
1992: Rio Earth Summit held
1992: Peacekeepers killed in Somalia

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First-ever Security Council summit gathers heads of state of major powers and declares "the world now has the best chance of achieving international peace and security since the foundation of the UN."
UN vehicles in Yugoslavia UNPROFOR is established in what is soon to be the Former Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia starts breaking apart and into civil war in 1991. The UN Protection Force, UNPROFOR, is set up to safeguard delivery of humanitarian supplies to civilians caught in fighting in Bosnia and Croatia and to set up demilitarized "safe areas." The "safe areas" concept later proves unfeasible with tragic consequences.

Learn more: UN UN Protection Force
Full information on the mission to Yugoslavia.

Learn more: NPR Morning Edition: UN Peacekeeping in Bosnia
NPR reports on the lessons learned in Bosnia.
Smoke stacks Earth Summit in Rio The UN Conference on Environment and Development -- better known as the "Earth Summit" -- is held over two weeks in Brazil. Attended by world leaders from more than 100 countries, it is the largest intergovernmental gathering in history and results in Agenda 21, a plan of action for sustainable development that includes commitments to tackle deforestation and global warming.

Learn more: UN Earth Summit in Rio
Overview of the issues raised at the summit.
Eritrea gains independence from Ethiopia in UN-supervised referendum. In 1998, Ethiopia and Eritrea go to war over a border dispute. After two years of fighting, UN peacekeepers go in to monitor the cease-fire.

Learn more: UN UNMEE
United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea

Learn more: UN All Things Considered
Details on resolution of the Ethiopian-Eritrean border dispute.
Cambodians vote UN-supervised elections held in Cambodia The UN arrived in 1991 with a force of more that 20,000 troops, police and civilians, a budget of $1.6 billion and a threefold mission: to keep order after the end of hostilities, clear landmines and prepare for national elections.

Learn more: UN UNTAC
UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia

Learn more: PBS Online NewsHour
Details on UN peacekeepers' involvement in Cambodia's elections
Somalis U.S. support for peacekeeping operations in Somalia evaporates after 18 U.S. rangers are killed. The UN mission in Somalia began as an attempt to ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid, but soon expanded to restore order to a country in chaos. Taking the lead, the U.S. sent in troops in 'Operation Restore Hope.' During an attempt to capture Somali warlord Mohamed Aideed by U.S. Rangers not under UN command, two helicopters are shot down and 18 soldiers killed. Their bodies are dragged through the streets, the image broadcast internationally. President Clinton withdraws U.S. forces by March 31. The UN mission continues until 1995.

Learn more: UN UNAMIC
United Nations Operation in Somalia I

Learn more: PBS Frontline
An interactive timeline of U.S. operations in Mogadishu.

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