A personal narrative and lessons drawn from direct experience provide the frame for an examination of major questions concerning the future of humanitarian response - how effectively have international institutions discharged their responsibilities towards people affected by conflict? Specifically, how did the UN perform? And how might the UN better help such people in the 21st century? Barber analyses recent policy developments intended to improve the quality and effectiveness of the UN's work in humanitarian fields, and assesses the extent to which recent reforms are likely to make the UN a more effective partner for countries emerging from conflict. In the final chapter he highlights seven 'blind spots' whose significance has been consistently ignored or overlooked, and in each case suggests a radical new approach.
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