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The May 26 arrest of former Serbian military leader Gen. R. Mladic evokes serious questions of both moral and legal character. Clearly aware of the shakiness of the indictment Mladic is about to face, the global media tend to avoid touching upon the legal aspect of the Mladic case.

The recent arrest of the Chief of the General Staff of the Republika Srpska Army, General Ratko Mladic, as well as preparations for his extradition to The Hague is another in the chain of events that are part of the on-going “mopping-up of History”… Ratko Mladic was the central figure in the Bosnian War.

IN RESPONSE to my lamenting about how difficult it is to choose a topic for an article at New Year, a historian I know said with a shrewd wink: "Write about New Year 'in reverse.'" Anticipating my bewilderment, he went on to say that he has long used this kind of exercise; he chooses a recent date and, reading it in reverse, tries to reinstate what was happening in world history at that distant time.

I found the suggestion intriguing; indeed, why not picture what was going on at New Year "in reverse," in other words in 1102 A.D.

That year King Henry I became embroiled in a fierce confrontation with the barons in England. Henry did not have any chance of ascending to the throne. On his death bed, his father did not bequeath him any of his dominions, either in Normandy, or in England, but left him only a round sum of five thousand pounds. All the land went to his brothers. Nevertheless, Henry made advantageous use of the money he inherited by buying the Cotentin Peninsula and Avranches in northwestern France from his brothers. In this way, he became a duke and gained an immediate advantage in the political struggle.

Since the 1990’s, India’s foreign policy has gone through a metamorphosis in tune with the changing global scenario. The disintegration of USSR, demise of the bipolar world and domestic economic problems prompted India to reassess its foreign policy and adjust its foreign relations of the earlier decades.  Serious domestic and international problems compelled India to reorganize its foreign policy on the basis of more pragmatic considerations.

The arrest of the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Dominique Strauss-Kahn onboard of the plane ten minutes before flying to Paris from New York shook the global mass media not less than the elimination of terrorist N 1 Osama bin laden in Pakistan. Does it mean that both of them, each in his own right, posed the same danger for the United States?

AMID THE CRISIS OF GLOBAL GOVERNANCE the UN invites new approaches to its role and potential. In fact, collapse of the bipolar system, the obvious inadequacy of the unipolar world and the financial and economic crisis heated up the hopes and expectations pinned on the UN reform. It has been generally agreed that the UN should be reformed yet there is no agreement on how to proceed.

The range of opinions is impressive: from skeptical to obviously enthusiastic. What else if not the UN? So far, however, its future mission remains vague.

The majority is convinced that the UN should pass decisions related to global challenges such as hunger, climate change, WMD, human rights violations, etc and act upon them.

The sustainable development issue and the financial and economic turmoil, however, create contexts which shed a different light on what the UN can and should do. The recent crisis, for example, created a fast changing environment in which countries had to move equally fast to set up a compact group able to adequately respond to the emerging challenges. The UN, however, failed to come up with impressive recommendations on how to reform the world financial and economic system.

The ongoing crisis of global governance naturally turnes the spotlight on the role and potential of the UN. The collapse of the bipolar system, the unipolar world inability, the mounting pressure of global challenges, the lingering financial crisis altogether created a climate of heightened expectations around the UN. While broad consensus exists on the need for the reform - controversy persists virtually over the reform’s every practical aspect.

On the 23d of May the naval forces of the US, NATO, South Europe and North Africa launched the maneuvers codenamed Phoenix Express. Politically, the aim is to demonstrate that members of the alliance are ready to join efforts in case anything goes wrong in Libya. As far as the maneuvers themselves are concerned, training is primarily aimed to be ready to land troops no only in Libya but in Syria as well.

Three months after the outbreak of the carefully arranged foreign-backed mutiny in Libya, it transpired that the plan to topple the regime in the country as it had been done almost effortlessly in Tunisia and Egypt was not going to materialize. The failure clearly left the plan’s authors in a state of paralysis. As of today, the amount of criticism drawn by Bahrain where doctors and nurses ended up in jails and were tortured for having treated those injured during the clashes in the country regardless of which side they belonged to is minimal, and the UN seems to have nothing to say about Yemen and Syria where weeks of fighting led to a death toll comparable to that in Libya.

A conference on Libya convened in London on March 29 and was attended by representatives from 40 countries which had voted for UN Security Council Resolution 1973. The panel included such dignitaries as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, his Libya envoy Abdul Ilah Khatib, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen, US Secretary of State H. Clinton, French foreign minister Alain Juppé, etc.