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Reputation on the (green) line: revisiting the 'Plaza moment' in United Nations peacekeeping practice, 1964-1966

Tudor, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-7361-9408 (2021). Reputation on the (green) line: revisiting the 'Plaza moment' in United Nations peacekeeping practice, 1964-1966. Journal of Global History, 16(2), pp. 227-245. doi: 10.1017/s1740022821000048


Appointing a United Nations (UN) mediator to work in tandem with the United Nations Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) in March 1964 led to fundamental shifts in how the UN Secretariat inner circle orientated the organisation’s presence in Cyprus. The escalating crisis between the two communities in Cyprus and political pressure from UN member states to respond before Cold War superpower nations became engulfed, prompted the creation of UNFICYP and the recruitment of a UN mediator on 4 March 1964. This article argues that the UN leadership intended to restore member state trust following the controversial Congo mission (ONUC) and expand the organisation’s diplomatic agency through the innovation of deploying the dedicated mediator alongside the armed mission. However, the success of the meditator was diplomatically limited by the localised dynamics of the Cyprus conflict and the willingness of the Guarantor parties to surrender their sovereign imaginaries of post-colonial Cyprus. Ultimately, the experiment in field-based mediation forced the UN Secretariat leadership to acknowledge the incompatibility of appeasing all member states on one hand whilst leading field-based political negotiations with the other.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher Keywords: United Nations, peacekeeping, Cyprus, mediation, international diplomacy
Subjects: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > International Politics
SWORD Depositor:
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