JC History Tuition Online - What is the Generalised System of Preferences - Global Economy Notes

What is the Generalised System of Preferences?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]: 
Paper 1: Understanding the Global Economy (1945-2000)
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 1: Reasons for growth of the global economy

Historical context: Disagreements over the MFN
Before the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) was introduced in 1971, member nations in the developing world had concerns over the “most favoured nation” (MFN) concept. In particular, these countries argued that the MFN disincentivised more advanced counterparts from supporting tariff reductions and eliminations.

The most-favored-nation (MFN) clause embodied in article I of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was the defining principle for a system that emerged in the post-World War II era, largely in reaction to the folly of protectionism and managed trade that contributed to the global economic depression of the 1930s.

An excerpt taken from “Trade Preference Erosion: Measurement and Policy Response” by Bernard M. Hoekman, Will Martin and Carlos Alberto Primo Braga.

About the Generalised System of Preferences
In 1971, the GSP was introduced as part of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). It functions as a system that grants products that came from developing countries lower tariff rates than those enjoyed under the MFN status. Ideally, the GSP was meant to boost export growth of developing countries and thereby advance economic development.

Unlike trading partners under the MFN status, the GSP features preferential tariffs that apply not only to countries with distinct historical and political relationships, but also to developing nations in general. Examples of such relationships can be observed in the case of US pro-trade policies with its Cold War allies in Asia, such as Japan.

Japan’s GSP
On 1 August 1971, Japan established the GSP, a month after the European Community had done so. The GSP scheme featured two regimes, namely the general preferential regime and a special preferential regime. The first type applies to preferential tariffs on import of designated items that originated from GSP beneficiaries. The second type focuses on duty-free treatment granted to import of designated items that came from least developed countries.

In principle, GSP preferences are not granted in the agricultural-fishery sector, given the weak competitiveness of Japan’s domestic industries. Items that are covered under the GSP are enumerated in a Positive List. Safeguards enable the government to suspend preferential treatment for items on the Positive List under certain conditions.

An excerpt taken from “Trade Preference Erosion: Measurement and Policy Response” by Bernard M. Hoekman, Will Martin and Carlos Alberto Primo Braga.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that the Generalised System of Preferences have worked effectively in promoting trade liberalisation?

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the Global Economy. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as JC Math Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition, Social Studies Tuition, Geography, History Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English, Math and Science Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - What is the steel trigger price mechanism - Global Economy Notes

What is the steel trigger price mechanism of 1978?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]: 
Paper 1: Understanding the Global Economy (1945-2000)
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 2: Reasons for problems of the global economy

Find out more about the protectionist policies set by past administrations in the USA that affected the steel industry [Video by MarketWatch].

Historical background: Intensified competition
In the post-WWII years since the 1950s, world steel exports have increased tremendously. Yet, the key exporter USA faced a decline. One possible reason raised by steel producers is traced to ‘dumping‘.

According to the Word Trade Organisation (WTO), ‘dumping’ refers to a practice in which the “price of a product when sold in the importing country is less than the price of that product in the market of the exporting country”. It is arguably a destructive policy that undermines the trading partner’s industry-specific interests.

Yet dumping is more often perceived as being harmful to the importing country. At its worst, price discrimination in international trade may be a weapon of economic warfare. An exporter may sell goods cheaply in a foreign market with the intent to drive out competition or to prevent the establishment of a rival industry. After competition has been eliminated, the exporter may raise prices to the detriment of the same consumers who had temporarily benefited from bargain prices.”

An excerpt taken from “The Reinstated Steel Trigger Price Mechanism: Reinforced Barrier to Import Competition” by Garry P. McCormack.

The ‘steel’ problem worsened as the world entered a decade of high oil prices in the 1970s. As a result of the twin oil shocks, inflation contributed to higher steel prices, which forced businesses to explore alternative materials like plastic and aluminum to replace steel in the production of appliances and cars. Consequently, the demand for steel declined.

As early as 1959, the United States imported more steel than it exported. By 1970, the U.S. share of world steel production had plummeted to 20 percent, down from 50 percent in 1945. Steel production then fell from 130 million tons in 1970 to 88 million tons in 1985.

An excerpt taken from “Understanding Globalization: The Social Consequences of Political, Economic, and Environmental Change” by Robert K. Schaeffer.

The Eagle Strikes Back: Steel trigger price mechanism
In response to the American steel industry’s claim that foreign producers were ‘dumping’ steel in the US market, the Carter administration introduced the trigger price mechanism (TPM) in 1978. The TPM sought to identify steel imports sold at unfairly low prices, prompting legal intervention.

There were three aims of the TPM:

  • Support the enforcement of existing anti-dumping laws
  • Promote higher import prices and lower import volume to stimulate the domestic steel industry
  • Avoid the use of undesirable protectionist policies

True enough, the price of imported steel increased by 10% a year later. At the same time, US steel exports rose by 3.1 million tons and employment of steel workers increased by 12400.

Yet, there were shortcomings for the use of the TPM. One such consideration was the legality of selling steel below the trigger price, which led to a large influx of European steel in 1981.

It was legal to sell at less than the trigger price as long as steel was not sold at less than fair value. Apparently, many firms decided to do just that, as shown by the European requests for preclearance. Depreciation of European currencies relative to the U.S. dollar lowered European production costs relative to trigger prices. […] European Economic Community (EEC) steel producers increased their tonnage sold in the United States by 63 percent.

An excerpt taken from “Economic Commentary: The Steel Trigger Price Mechanism” by Gerald H. Anderson.

In January 1982, the Commerce Department processed 132 anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases filed by 7 domestic firms. Subsequently, the TPM was suspended. Notably, US protectionist policies took other forms as well, such as the imposition of steel tariffs under the Reagan administration.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that the rise of trade protectionism was the result of American policies in the 1970s?

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the Global Economy. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as JC Math Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition, Social Studies Tuition, Geography, History Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English, Math and Science Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - How did the 1973 Oil Crisis affect the United States - Global Economy Notes

How did the 1973 Oil Crisis affect the United States?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]: 
Paper 1: Understanding the Global Economy (1945-2000)
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 2: Reasons for problems of the global economy

Learn more about the 1973 oil crisis that hit the USA adversely. [Video by WFAA]

Weaponisation of the ‘Black Gold’: Yom Kippur War
During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the USA launched Operation ‘Nickel Grass’, which was a strategic operation to send military supplies to its ally, Israel. Between October and November 1963, the USA aided Israel to counter a coordinated attack from Egypt and the Syrian Arab Republic. Armed with Soviet weaponry, these two nations fought back after their defeat in the Six-Day War of 1967.

Neither as well known as the Berlin Airlift nor as large as Desert Storm, Operation Nickel Grass airlifted thousands of tons of materiel and restored the balance of power, helping Israel survive the Soviet-backed assault from Egypt and Syria.

[…] The Egyptian Third Army pretended to conduct exercises until the Israelis began to ignore their machinations. Choosing the most holy day in the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, in hopes of catching the Israelis off-guard, the Egyptians attacked across the Suez Canal.

An excerpt taken from “Air Warfare: An International Encyclopedia” by Walter J. Boyne.

Viewed as an act of defiance, the oil-exporting Arab nations that were part of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) imposed an oil embargo on the United States and other countries that helped Israel (such as Britain).

Four days after President Nixon’s authorisation of US aid to Israel, OPEC announced its decision to raise oil price by 70%, which was over $5 per barrel. Later, a total embargo on shipments of oil to the USA caused the oil price hike to $12 per barrel.

Oil shortage
By the summer of 1973, the USA experienced shortages of refined petroleum products, which were used extensively in activities such as refueling of automobiles. In response to the serious problem, the Emergency Petroleum Allocation Act (EPAA) was passed on 27 November 1973. The EPAA oversaw the control of oil prices and even rationing.

The retail prices of gasoline rose by 40% in November 1973. Long lines of cars were a common sight back then during the gas shortage. Gas stations revised their prices multiple times per day. Unfortunate drivers were met with signs that wrote “Sorry, No Gas Today” in the fall months.

On 17 March 1974, the Arab petrostates announced the end of the oil embargo against the USA. However, the economic repercussions were widespread. The 1973 oil crisis has caused prolonged economic stagnation. The American economy shrank by 2.5% and increased unemployment rate.

The American economy was shedding jobs at the fastest rate since the Great Depression. The deficit was climbing. Inflation had roared to life. Consumers were cutting back on spending. The export sector had slumped because of falling demand for American goods overseas. Factories were closing down. A noxious economic phenomenon known as “stagflation”—high levels of unemployment and inflation—had taken root. If relief did not come soon, feared some economists, then a financial catastrophe on a par with the Great Crash of 1929 could not be ruled out.

An excerpt taken from “The Oil Kings: How the U.S., Iran, and Saudi Arabia Changed the Balance of Power in the Middle East” by Andrew Scott Cooper.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– Assess the view that the 1973 oil crisis devastated the American economy.

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the Global Economy. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as JC Math Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition, Social Studies Tuition, Geography, History Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English, Math and Science Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - What is the Reverse Course Policy - Global Economy Notes

What is the Reverse Course policy?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]: 
Paper 1: Understanding the Global Economy (1945-2000)
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 1: Reasons for growth of the global economy

Historical context
On 15 August 1945, Japan surrendered to the Allied Powers, thus bringing the Second World War to an end. Under the leadership of the Supreme Command for the Allied Powers (SCAP), General Douglas MacArthur, Japan underwent a process of social and political reform. The USA aimed to ensure that Japan would not endanger international peace and security.

For instance, SCAP broke up the business conglomerates, also known as Zaibatsus, which used to support Japan’s warmongering conquests in Asia. In 1947, a new Constitution was established, which included a noteworthy Article 9 that prohibited Japan from maintaining a military force.

The postsurrender instructions given MacArthur recommended dissolution of “large Japanese industrial and banking combines or other large concentrations of private business control.” This concern reflected the fact that some ten zaibatsu families controlled nearly three fourths of Japan’s industrial, commercial, and financial resources. Obviously, any program to curb this power and redistribute the “ownership and means of production and trade” required a tremendous effort and will.

An excerpt taken from “The American Occupation of Japan: The Origins of the Cold War in Asia” by Michael Schaller.

The Red Menace: Cold War tensions in East Asia
However, the rise of Communist China in 1949 as well as the start of the Korean War a year later provoked the USA. Fearing the fall of Japan to Communism, the ‘Reverse Course’ (逆コース, gyaku kōsu) policy was launched, which implied a shift in American policies towards Japan from demilitarisation to economic reconstruction and remilitarisation.

The onset of the Cold War altered U.S. thinking about Japan, which suddenly took on a new strategic significance, and a “reverse course” was initiated in 1947. […] Behind the reverse course were concerns about the spread of communism. Global politics once again conspired to intervene in Japanese politics. The victory of Mao Zedong’s communist forces over the Kuomintang (the nationalists) in 1949, the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, and the Soviet Union’s grip on Central and Eastern Europe created concern in Washington that communism could spread to a weak Japan.

An excerpt taken from “Comparative Politics: Interests, Identities, and Institutions in a Changing Global Order” by Jeffrey Kopstein, Mark Lichbach and Stephen E. Hanson.

From then on, the Japanese economy recovered and soon became one of the most prominent competitors in the global markets. Its economic miracle was heavily studied by academics.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that the USA played a paramount role in realising the economic miracle of Japan after World War Two?

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the Global Economy. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as JC Math Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition, Social Studies Tuition, Geography, History Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English, Math and Science Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - Golden Age of Capitalism Revisited - Global Economy Notes

Golden Age of Capitalism: Revisited

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]: 
Paper 1: Understanding the Global Economy (1945-2000)
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 1: Reasons for growth of the global economy

A remarkable phase for the world economy: The Golden Age
Initially, the economic conditions were dire. Critical infrastructure, such as factories, schools and hospitals, were destroyed by bombing campaigns. People starved as food was scarce. Unemployment rates were high, giving rise to strikes in parts of Europe. Governments were in need of monetary assistance to begin their post-war recovery efforts.

Against the Cold War backdrop, the USA stepped up and offered financial aid (e.g. Marshall Plan) to countries affected by WWII. While its financial support to countries was mainly for economic recovery, the USA also capitalised on its economic might to counter the encroaching influence of the Communists led by the Soviet Union.

Between 1945 and 1973, the global economy grew rapidly. Many countries achieved pre-war industrial levels by the 1950s. In addition, the advent of international trade accelerated growth of the world economy.

Between 1950 and 1975 income per person in the developing countries increased on average by 3 per cent p.a., accelerating from 2 per cent in the 1950s to 3.4 per cent in the 1960s. This rate of growth was historically unprecedented for these countries and in excess of that achieved by the developed countries in their period of industrialization.

An excerpt taken from “The Golden Age of Capitalism: Reinterpreting the Postwar Experience” by Stephen A. Marglin and Juliet B. Schor.
Table - Golden Age of Capitalism - Maddison 1982
Table depicting the upward growth trend after World War Two [by Stephen A. Marglin and Juliet B. Schor].

Keep moving: The rise of automobiles
During the ‘Golden Age’, many American households reaped the benefits of post-war economic advancements. It became a norm for each household to own an automobile. Interestingly, Elvis Presley purchased a pink Cadillac in 1955. The Cadillac represented pinnacle of American automobile production.

The 1950s are seen by many as the “golden age” of the automobile in America, with absolute and per capita car sales hitting new heights, styling on a rampage, and the auto becoming a part of every aspect of American life, with drive-in restaurants, movies, churches, and funeral parlors.

[…] The post-World War II period also marks the beginning of a series of studies that attempt to analyze the hierarchical organization and managerial techniques that have been and are being applied in the automotive industry.

An excerpt taken from “The Automobile in American History and Culture: A Reference Guide (American Popular Culture)” by Michael L Berger.

The OECD: Club of the Rich?
On 30 September 1961, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) was formed with the aim to promote economic progress and world trade. OECD members were considered advanced economies that occupied most of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

However, the growth of the global economy was not entirely smooth sailing. As the post-war allies of the USA recovered, notably West Germany and Japan, the open markets had intensified trade competition. These growing economies then challenged the economic supremacy of the USA in the 1960s.

One of several ironies in these developments was that they were led by Germany and Japan, former enemies of the US and its allies, who are now major challengers to US economic power and serious competitors in world trade. By 1960, Germany and Japan together accounted for only 6.3 percent of world trade, but by 1970, after a decade of unprecedented growth and export expansion, their share of world trade had increased to 18.8 percent. Over the same period the US share of world trade fell from 20 percent to 15 percent, a situation reflected by a rapidly growing deficit on its national trade account.

An excerpt taken from “Empire with Imperialism: The Globalizing Dynamics of Neoliberal Capitalism” by James Petras, Henry Veltmeyer, Luciano Vasapollo and Mauro Casadio.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– Assess the view that the first three decades after the Second World War was truly a ‘Golden Age of Capitalism’.

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the Global Economy. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as JC Math Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition, Social Studies Tuition, Geography, History Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English, Math and Science Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - What is the Monnet Plan - Global Economy Notes

What is the Monnet Plan?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]: 
Paper 1: Understanding the Global Economy (1945-2000)
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 1: Reasons for growth of the global economy

Learn more about the ‘Father of Europe’ Jean Monnet [Video by SEAGoRM]

A historical background of the Trente Glorieuses: The French economic miracle
By the end of World War Two, France was badly devastated. Infrastructure such as bridges and railways were destroyed. Industrial output was at 44% of pre-war level. The French had to rely on rationing. Given the urgent need for post-war economic recovery, Charles de Gaulle formed the General Planning Commission on 3 January 1946.

This Commission aimed to raise productivity, improve living standards, restore national production and increase employment. Key sectors were being identified and targeted, namely coal mining, steel, rail transport, electricity, farm machinery and cement. Subsequently, other sectors were included in the Plan, such as fertilisers, oil, shipbuilding and chemicals.

Enter Jean Monnet, who was later known as the ‘Father of Europe’. Monnet was appointed the Commissioner of the French Plan Commission. He came up with the ‘Modernisation and Re-equipment Plan’, which was more commonly known as the ‘Monnet Plan‘.

And the French economic plan became a landmark in the history of postwar Europe, helping to shape the structure of the Marshall Plan, the European Coal and Steel Community, the abortive attempt to construct a European Defense Community, and the Common Market itself. There was a direct line from the Monnet Plan through the Marshall Plan to the Schuman Plan and the Pleven Plan. All of them were, in varying degrees, Monnet Plans.

An excerpt taken from “Jean Monnet: The Path to European Unity” by Douglas G. Brinkley and Clifford Hackett.

A giant leap for France: The Monnet Plan
The Plan aimed to restore France’s production levels to pre-war standards. For instance, Monnet aimed to restore output level that of 1929 by 1948. Notably, the Monnet Plan was not simply a plan to modernise France and bring it back on its feet economically. In addition, the Plan was meant to shape the minds of the French.

The Monnet Plan was integral in accelerating steel production in France. The Monnet Plan aimed to attain an output of 15 million tonnes of steel, which exceeded the peak level in 1929. This ambitious target was to increase France’s international competitiveness, particularly against Germany. In other words, increased French steel exports should replace German steel exports.

The Monnet Plan had become a guideline to French policy towards the reconstruction of Europe as well as to domestic reconstruction. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had tried to make it so from the outset and to draw out its implications for French national security.

[…] In 1950, at a level of pig-iron output of 7.76 million tonnes the total consumption of coke for all purposes by the French steel industry was 8.14 million tonnes. Of this, 4.66 million tonnes were domestically produced and 3.48 million came from imports. By 1952 pig-iron output had reached 9.77 million tonnes.

An excerpt taken from “The Reconstruction of Western Europe, 1945-51” by Alan S. Milward.

Between 1951 and 1973, France’s growth averaged 5.4% per annum. Compared to West Germany, its economic growth rate was considerably high, thus explaining why its thirty years after World War Two were termed as the ‘Glorious Thirties‘.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that the post-war reconstruction of Europe can be explained by American aid?

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the Global Economy. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as JC Math Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition, Social Studies Tuition, Geography, History Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English, Math and Science Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - Who is U Thant - United Nations Notes

Who is U Thant?

Topic of Study [For H1/H2 History Students]:
Paper 1: Safeguarding International Peace and Security 
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme III Chapter 2: Political Effectiveness of the UN in maintaining international peace and security

Examine the role of the third Secretary-General of the United Nations U Thant [Video by United Nations]

Background
U Thant (သန့်) was appointed Secretary-General of the United Nations on 30 November 1961. It was six weeks after the distinguished Dag Hammarskjöld died in an air crash. U Thant was the first non-European Secretary-General. He served for two terms that eventually ended on 31 December 1971.

U Thant led diplomatic efforts in the different missions, such as the ongoing Congo Crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa, the protracted Arab-Israeli War in the Middle East and the Vietnam War in Indochina.

U Thant’s Diplomacy
During the Cuban Missile Crisis, U Thant helped to pass messages between American and Soviet leaders, Kennedy and Khrushchev, averting a nuclear confrontation. U Thant also visited the Cuban leader Fidel Castro to oversee the smooth removal of missiles.

U Thant called for urgent negotiations, informing the Security Council that he had sent identical messages to Kennedy and Khrushchev appealing for a two- to three-week moratorium. […] U Thant received lavish praise inside and outside the Security Council for his part in helping defuse the crisis. In the Security Council on 25 October, Ambassador Quaison-Sackey expressed appreciation to U Thant for his “tremendous show of statesmanship and initiative.”

An excerpt taken from “Preventive Diplomacy at the UN” by Bertrand G. Ramcharan.

However, U Thant’s efforts were hindered by the United States. During the Vietnam War, he tried to mediate by arranging peace talks between Washington and Hanoi, but the Johnson administration rejected his proposals. The US Secretary of State Dean Rusk objected to U Thant’s ceasefire and peace talks in Rangoon. Rusk alleged that U Thant’s enthusiasm in facilitating peace talks was influenced by his desire to claim the Nobel Peace Prize.

The third UN Secretary-General, U Thant, made a spirited attempt to find a means of ending the disastrous Vietnam War. He evolved a plan for a cease-fire in place and for a meeting of all the parties in Rangoon, where all the diplomatic representation, to agree on how to negotiate a final end to the war.

[…] Nothing more was heard from Washington, and there is no written record of what Stevenson did about it, although it now seems likely that Secretary of State Dean Rusk, who distrusted U Thant’s efforts on Vietna, may have blocked it.

An excerpt taken from “Adlai Stevenson’s Lasting Legacy” by A. Liebling.

According to Sir Brian Urquhart, there was a stark contrast between the personality of U Thant and his predecessor Hammarskjöld. U Thant was viewed as a “simple and direct” individual who spoke few words, whereas Hammarskjöld was much more articulate.

[U Thant] was friendly, informal, and genuinely interested in what one had to say – in contrast to Hammarskjöld, who paid little heed to subordinates. U Thant also differed from his predecessor in more fundamental ways.

He was simple and direct where Hammarskjöld was complicated and nuanced; a man of few words where Hammarskjöld was immensely articulate; a devout traditional Buddhist where Hammarskjöld was increasingly inclined to a personal brand of mysticism; a man of imperturbable calm where Hammarskjöld could be highly emotional; a modest and unpretentious middlebrow where Hammarskjöld was intensely intellectual; a taker of advice where Hammarskjöld almost invariably stuck to his own opinion.

An excerpt taken from “Character Sketches: U Thant” by Brian Urquhart.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that U Thant was effective in performing his duties as the United Nations Secretary-General in the 1960s?

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the United Nations. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as JC Math Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition, Social Studies Tuition, Geography, History Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English, Math and Science Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - How did the UN support decolonisation - United Nations Notes

How did the UN support decolonisation?

Topic of Study [For H1/H2 History Students]:
Paper 1: Safeguarding International Peace and Security 
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme III Chapter 2: Political Effectiveness of the UN in maintaining international peace and security

Find out more about the United Nations’ contributions to Third World decolonisation in the 1960s. [Video by the United Nations]

Historical context
After World War Two, Third World colonies in the Africa and Asia went through decolonisation. However, not all member states of the United Nations were supportive of decolonisation, particularly those that were former colonial powers. In the early 1950s, Indonesia raised its concerns over West Irian, which was still controlled by the Netherlands.

On August 17, 1954, a day chosen with appropriate concern for nationalist symbolism, the Indonesian representative to the United Nations requested the UN Secretary-General to place the West Irian question on the agenda of that year’s regular session of the General Assembly. […] When debate was begun on the issue, Indonesia came forth with ringing declarations of the case against colonial rule.

An excerpt taken from “The Decline of Constitutional Democracy in Indonesia” by Herbert Feith.

Furthermore, the Cold War rivalry has hindered efforts at international cooperation. Although the USA has always been a strong advocate of decolonisation, its British ally convinced it not to express support for this process in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

Resolution 1514
During the fifteenth session of the UNGA, member states were called upon to vote for the independence of countries and end of colonial rule. Notably, the USA abstained, whereas the Soviet Union supported the draft resolution. In total, 89 voted for the resolution, whereas 9 abstained.

As a result, UNGA Resolution 1514 (XV) was passed, which was known as the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.

2. All peoples have the right to self-determination; by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

[…] 5. Immediate steps shall be taken, in Trust and Non-Self-Governing Territories or all other territories which have not yet attained independence, to transfer all powers to the peoples of those territories, without any conditions or reservations, in accordance with their freely expressed will and desire, without any distinction as to race, creed or colour, in order to enable them to enjoy complete independence and freedom.

An excerpt taken from General Assembly Resolution 1514 (XV), 14 December 1960.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– In view of Third World decolonisation, assess the challenges to the political effectiveness of the United Nations General Assembly.

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the United Nations. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as JC Math Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition, Social Studies Tuition, Geography, History Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English, Math and Science Tuition . Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - What is the Uniting for peace resolution - United Nations Notes

What is the Uniting for Peace resolution?

Topic of Study [For H1/H2 History Students]:
Paper 1: Safeguarding International Peace and Security 
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme III Chapter 2: Political Effectiveness of the UN in maintaining international peace and security

Learn more about the ‘Uniting for Peace’ to understand the relevance of the United Nations General Assembly. [Video by Noah Zerbe]

Historical context: The Acheson Plan
After the outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) was able to capitalise on the Soviet boycott to authorise a United Nations military coalition to repel the North Korean aggression. In its absence, Security Council Resolution 83 was passed.

However, such fortunes were fleeting. From August 1950, the Soviet delegate returned and cast a negative vote (veto) on a UNSC draft resolution to condemn the aggression by the North Korean forces in the war. In response, the US Secretary of State Dean Acheson convinced the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to assume responsibility of maintaining international peace and security, as stated in Article 14 of the United Nations Charter.

Subject to the provisions of Article 12, the General Assembly may recommend measures for the peaceful adjustment of any situation, regardless of origin, which it deems likely to impair the general welfare or friendly relations among nations, including situations resulting from a violation of the provisions of the present Charter setting forth the Purposes and Principles of the United Nations.

Taken from Article 14 of the United Nations Charter.

Resolution 377A(V): Circumventing the Veto
As a result, UNGA Resolution 377A(V) was passed, empowering the UNGA to hold an emergency special session (ESS) to make recommendations on collective measures to maintain international peace and security. This ESS may be called if requested by the UNSC “on the vote of any seven members [nine since 1965], or by a majority” of the member states.

If the Security Council, because of lack of unanimity of the permanent members, fails to exercise its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security in any case where there appears to be a threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression, the General Assembly shall consider the matter immediately with a view to making appropriate recommendations to Members for collective measures […] If not in session at the time, the General Assembly shall therefore meet in emergency special session within twenty-four hours of the request.

An excerpt taken from General Assembly Resolution 377A(V), 3 November 1950.

Also known as the ‘Uniting for Peace’ (UfP), its first application was observed during the Korean War. On 6 and 12 September 1950, the UfP was adopted in response to Soviet vetoes.

A more relevant case study is exemplified in the Suez Canal Crisis of 1956. In response to French and British vetoes of a Resolution 119, the UfP was invoked by the UNSC, enabling the UNGA to hold its First Emergency Special Session on “The Situation in the Middle East”. Notably, Resolution 1000 was adopted, authorising the creation of the first peacekeeping force, known as the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF I).

The “Uniting for Peace” resolution pointed to the flexible, if not uncontested, mechanisms of the Charter that allowed the United Nations to take action even when the Security Council was blocked. Due to the contentious nature of the decision, this procedure has not been invoked very often. One instance was during the Suez crisis in 1956, when the General Assembly adopted a resolution to send a ten-nation peacekeeping force to supervise the cessation of hostilities. Such agreement was possible since the interests of the two superpowers converged, acting against the veto of France and Britain, which were directly involved in the conflict.

An excerpt taken from “The United Nations: Confronting the Challenges of a Global Society” by Jean E. Krasno.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that ‘Uniting for Peace’ has enhanced the political effectiveness of the United Nations General Assembly from 1950 to 1997?

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the United Nations. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

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JC History Tuition Online - What is the United Nations Standby Arrangement System - United Nations Notes

What is the United Nations Standby Arrangement System?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]: 
Paper 1: Safeguarding International Peace and Security 
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme III Chapter 3: UN Reforms

Find out how the Chinese contribute to peacekeeping. [Video by the CGTN]

Historical context: Agenda for Peace
In 1992, the United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG) Boutros Boutros-Ghali published a report known as “An Agenda for Peace” in response to a request made by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to derive analysis and recommendations to enhance peacekeeping in the post-Cold War phase.

As a result, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) was formed in March 1992 to focus on the planning, preparation and management of peacekeeping operations. Under Boutros-Ghali’s report, the DPKO served to enhance the United Nations’ capacity for peacekeeping and preventive diplomacy.

Hesitation: Operational Constraints
As one of the many UN reforms, this report led to the establishment of the United Nations Standby Arrangement System (UNSC) in a year later. The UNSAS was meant to provide standby military forces that are deployable at short notice, so that peacekeeping operations can be carried out efficiently.

While member nations deliberated on the conditions for deployment, the ongoing peacekeeping mission in Somalia diminished the US willingness to support new operations. Over time, more member nations became worrying cautious.

Moreover, by May 1994, in the wake of disasters in Somalia and elsewhere, the Security Council was becoming more cautious than before about embarking on new peacekeeping missions. At the same time, many states were devising restrictive criteria about the circumstances in which they would be prepared to commit forces to UN operations. In May 1994, with the adoption of the Presidential Decision Directive 25, the US Government set firm limits regarding the situations in which the US would support the creation of, or be willing to participate in, UN peacekeeping forces.

An excerpt taken from “The United Nations Security Council and War: The Evolution of Thought and Practice since 1945” by Vaughan Lowe, Adam Roberts, Jennifer Welsh and Dominik Zaum.

Enhancements to the Standby Arrangement System
In February 1995, the UNSC responded to Boutros-Ghali’s ‘Supplement to An Agenda for Peace‘, asserting the urgent need to improve the capacity for ‘rapid deployment’ through existing stand-by arrangements. This Supplement included a suggestion to develop a rapid-reaction force to ensure that operational constraints could be minimised or even resolved.

UNSAS was designed to serve four overlapping objectives.

First, it seeks to provide the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations with a precise understanding of the forces and capabilities member states have available at an agreed state of readiness for peacekeeping.

Second, it aims to facilitate mission planning and force generation by helping to identify appropriate resources for a deployment, as well as options for contingency plans.

Third, UNSAS is designed to assist with rapid deployment. Although the arrangements are conditional, it is hoped that those members who have confirmed their willingness to provide standby resources will be more forthcoming and committed than might otherwise be the case.

Fourth, UNSAS should encourage member states to discuss and prepare for a possible contribution to a UN peacekeeping operation, providing guidance for plans, budgets, and appropriate training. In short, UNSAS provides an initial commitment to service and a better understanding of the requirements in advance.

An excerpt taken from “Improving United Nations Capacity for Rapid Deployment” by Dr. H. Peter Langille.

Notably, the UNSAS also functions as a database system to keep track of potential troop-contributing countries (TCCs). However, these TCCs that pledge specific operational capabilities are conditional, meaning that contributions remain voluntary in nature. A United Nations request for permission to deploy these capabilities must be sort and financial compensation will be given after deployment.

Moreover, by May 1994, in the wake of disasters in Somalia and elsewhere, the Security Council was becoming more cautious than before about embarking on new peacekeeping missions. At the same time, many states were devising restrictive criteria about the circumstances in which they would be prepared to commit forces to UN operations. In May 1994, with the adoption of the Presidential Decision Directive 25, the US Government set firm limits regarding the situations in which the US would support the creation of, or be willing to participate in, UN peacekeeping forces.

Jennifer Welsh and Dominik Zaum.

Is it enough: The Brahimi Report
Although the UNSAS was considered a work-in-progress in the 1990s, the United Nations still struggled to deploy its peacekeeping forces quickly, especially in cases when the missions are complex. In view of these setbacks, a Panel on UN Peace Operations was established in 2000 and chaired by the former Algerian Foreign Minister Lakhdar Brahimi. It concluded with the publication of the Brahimi Report that listed recommendations for the improvement of peacekeeping operations.

D

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– Assess the effectiveness of United Nations reforms to maintain international peace and security in the 1990s.

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the United Nations. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC Tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.