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JC History Tuition Bishan Singapore - What is the role of the International Court of Justice - JC History Essay Notes

What is the role of the International Court of Justice?

Topic of Study [For 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 International Court of Justice to understand this judicial organ of the United Nations.

Role of the International Court of Justice (ICJ)
The ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN). Its establishment took place during the San Francisco Conference (25 April to 26 June 1945) that officially formed the UN itself.

The International Court of Justice shall be the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. It shall function in accordance with the annexed Statute, which is based upon the Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice and forms an integral part of the present Charter.

Article 93, Chapter XIV of the UN Charter

Functions of the ICJ
There are two main functions performed by the ICJ. The Court provides advisory opinions and facilitates dispute resolution.

Feature #1: Advisory Opinion
The ICJ can provide advisory opinions for UN members for any legal matters. In other words, the Court is an embodiment of world opinion to reflect the international community’s will. Examples include the ‘Legality of the Use or Threat of Nuclear Weapons‘ [19 December 1994].

The General Assembly or the Security Council may request the International Court of Justice to give an advisory opinion on any legal question.

Article 96, Chapter XIV of the UN Charter [Advisory Opinion]

Feature #2: Dispute Resolution
Second, the Court is responsible for dispute resolution between sovereign states. It acts as a fair mediator and provides an internationally-recognised platform. Examples include the Pedra Branca dispute‘ [24 July 2003] and Frontier Dispute‘ [18 October 1983].

The parties to any dispute, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, shall, first of all, seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice.

Article 33, Chapter VI of the UN Charter [Dispute Resolution]

In making recommendations under this Article the Security Council should also take into consideration that legal disputes should as a general rule be referred by the parties to the International Court of Justice in accordance with the provisions of the Statute of the Court.

Article 36, Chapter VI of the UN Charter [Dispute Resolution]

Institutionalization of the ICJ: First Case
In April 1946, the precursor to the ICJ, also known as the Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ), was dissolved. Subsequently, the President Judge, José Gustavo, was elected in the ICJ. In May 1947, the first case that was submitted by United Kingdom against Albania. It was known as the ‘Corfu Channel’ incident.

Enforcement of Court’s Decisions
Should any involved party refuse to comply with the Court’s decision, the Security Council can enforce the decisions. In fact, all members of the United Nations must adhere to the decisions of the Court, if they are involved in a submitted dispute.

Each Member of the United Nations undertakes to comply with the decision of the International Court of Justice in any case to which it is a party.

If any party to a case fails to perform the obligations incumbent upon it under a judgment rendered by the Court, the other party may have recourse to the Security Council, which may, if it deems necessary, make recommendations or decide upon measures to be taken to give effect to the judgment.

Article 94, Chapter XIV of the UN Charter

Final Summary
In view of the ICJ’s roles, the United Nations has arguably remained relevant in ensuring adherence to the international law. Although there are occasional setbacks that hamper its ability to resolve complex disputes, particularly in the South China Sea region, many countries still defer to the Court’s decision.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following questions to understand the topic:
– To what extent do you agree that the International Court of Justice was hindered by the great powers in ensuring adherence to the international law? [to be discussed in class].

Now that you have examined the functions of the ICJ, you can consider signing up for our JC History Tuition. We will teach you to write concise and well-organised paragraphs to ace your A Level History essay sections in Paper 1 and Paper 2 [for H2 History].

Besides, you can sign up for other JC tuition programs, such as GP TuitionEconomics TuitionJC Chemistry TuitionJC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Secondary English TuitionSecondary Math tuitionSecondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to learn more.

JC History Tuition Bishan Singapore - What are the UN Reforms - JC History Essay Notes

What are the UN Reforms?

Topic of Study [For 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 obstacles encountered in the United Nations Security Council to understand why reforms are needed to keep this international organization relevant.

Obstacles that affected the United Nations (UN)
In the previous article, we have examined how the conceptualization of peacekeeping was essential in enhancing the United Nations’ role in maintaining international peace and security. Although such efforts are noteworthy, the UN encountered several impediments that hampered its functions.

Challenge #1: Operational Constraints
Given that the UN is an international organization that functions on the basis of cooperation by member states, these individual countries are expected to contribute troops and finances to enable the deployment of peacekeeping forces.

However, voluntary contribution is problematic as every member state is guided by political interests. This issue was even more severe during the Cold War as ideological interests shaped the decisions of superpowers and affected the availability of operational support. Examples include the Congo Crisis, Somali Civil War and Rwandan Genocide.

“An Agenda for Peace” Report
Fortunately, some of the UN Secretary-Generals (UNSGs) have exercised their independence and engaged in innovative attempts to reform the peacekeeping aspect. In 1992, the Egyptian UNSG Boutros Boutros-Ghali submitted the report titled “An Agenda for Peace: Preventive diplomacy, peacemaking and peace-keeping.

In this report, Boutros-Ghali proposed how the United Nations should respond to conflicts in the post-Cold War era. In particular, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) was established in the same year to streamline and manage peacekeeping operations effectively. For instance, the United Nations Standby Arrangements System (UNSAS) was formed to provide military forces that are capable of deploying in a short span of time to manage threats to international peace and security.

Challenge #2: Great Power Politics
With reference to the featured video in the above, great power politics have been a persistent obstacle that impeded the functioning of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

Some critics have claimed that the membership of the Permanent Five in the UNSC is outdated and irrelevant in the modern world. For example, there is over-representation of Europe, while other regions are not, such as Asia and Africa. In 2013, South African President Jacob Zuma expressed similar sentiments, arguing that the UNSC was ‘outdated’ and ‘undemocratic’.

The prime concern was the veto power, which challenges the democratic principles enshrined in the UN Charter. Again, the Cold War rivalry was known to create frequent political deadlocks within the UNSC. Superpowers were known to exercise the veto to block UN action should the UN response be perceived as a threat to their ideological interests. Examples include the Hungarian Revolution (1956), Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (1979) and the US invasion of Grenada (1983).

Veto Reforms
With regards to this contentious issue, some of the member states have supported the proposal of abolishing the veto. Yet, such an approach was unrealistic, given that any amendment to the UN Charter required complete consensus from the Permanent Five (P5). Furthermore, some of the P5 members have disagreed with the abolishment.

Others suggested a less extreme reform, such as the consideration of a ‘veto restraint’. This mean that the P5 UNSC would accept self-imposed restrictions without having to amend the Charter. The intention was to enable the freer changes in the membership and appointment of the UNSG. Again, these efforts were met with limited success.

Conclusion
From the above-mentioned reforms, we can conclude that there are several obstacles that limit the functioning of the United Nations, such as operational constraints and the outdated Security Council structure. Although the progress of UN reforms was constrained by the reluctance of some member states to comply, we should acknowledge these efforts to keeping the organization relevant in the 21st Century.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following questions to understand the topic:
– Assess the effectiveness of the United Nations reforms to maintain international peace and security. [to be discussed in class].

Join our JC History Tuition to broaden your content awareness and knowledge application. We prepare you by examining many basic and challenging essay questions to ensure that you are ready for the GCE A Level History examinations. Furthermore, you can sign up for other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics TuitionJC Chemistry TuitionJC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Secondary English TuitionSecondary Math tuitionSecondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Bishan Singapore - What is peacekeeping - JC History Essay Notes

What is peacekeeping?

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 role of the United Nations peacekeepers.

Origins of ‘Peacekeeping’
At the initial stage, the United Nations Charter did not consider the notion of ‘peacekeeping’. In the Chapter VI and Chapter VII, the United Nations Security Council is empowered to carry out ‘peace-making’ and ‘peace enforcement’. ‘Peacekeeping’ is commonly known as ‘Chapter V 1/2’ as it includes both diplomatic solutions and forceful actions.

‘Peacekeeping’ was formalized by the United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold and Canadian Minister of External Affairs Lester Pearson. This development coincided with the Suez Canal Crisis of 1956.

Three principles of Peacekeeping
The conceptualization of peacekeeping led to the definition of three principles: (i) Consent of the parties (ii) Impartiality (iii) Non-use of force except in self-defence and defence of the mandate

(i) Consent of the parties
Before the United Nations peacekeepers are deployed to the conflict zone(s), the international organization must require consent by the involved parties. Should a country be involved, the government must grant host-state consent, as it reflects the respect of national sovereignty.

(ii) Impartiality
The second principle involves the need for United Nations peacekeepers to be neutral throughout the conflict. Impartiality is needed to preserve the legitimacy of the United Nations and maintain the consent of all parties.

(iii) Non-use of force except in self-defence and defence of the mandate
Although the peacekeepers are armed for self-defence, they are not authorized to use force as it may compromise the other two principles. Nevertheless, there are instances in which the United Nations Security Council authorizes the peacekeepers to ‘use all necessary means’ to fulfil the resolutions (e.g. Congo Crisis and Gulf War).

Phases of Peacekeeping
From the 1950s to 1980s, the United Nations was involved in ‘traditional peacekeeping’, which involved inter-state conflicts. The peacekeepers are charged with the responsibility of monitoring ceasefires. The relevant case studies include Suez Canal Crisis (UNEF I) and the Cyprus Crisis (UNFICYP).

From the 1980s onwards, the evolution of peacekeeping began, which included intra-state conflicts. The role of the United Nations peacekeepers expanded to the provision of humanitarian aid and monitoring of elections. Examples of such case studies are the Cambodian Crisis (UNTAC), East Timorese Crisis (UNTAET).

Reflections on peacekeeping
In view of these roles and responsibilities of peacekeeping, the successes of the United Nations were occasionally limited by obstacles, such as Cold War rivalry and operational constraints. In the next article, we will examine the challenges of peacekeeping and how the international organization has derived solutions to overcome them.

What can we learn from this case study?
Consider the following questions to understand the topic:
– How far do you agree that the effectiveness of the United Nations peacekeeping missions were dependent on great power consensus? [to be discussed in class].

Sign up for our JC History Tuition and learn more about peacekeeping case studies to answer JC History essay questions. Also, you can sign up for related JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics TuitionJC Chemistry TuitionJC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Secondary English TuitionSecondary Math tuitionSecondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to learn more.

JC History Tuition Bishan Singapore - What is the role of the United Nations Security Council - JC History Essay Notes

What is the role of the United Nations Security Council?

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 Security Council to understand its significance in maintaining international peace and security.

Role of the UN Security Council (UNSC)
The Security Council is the primary organ that bears the responsibility to maintain international peace and security. It is comprised of 15 members: Five permanent members (known as the ‘P5’ in short – namely USA, Russia, UK, France and China) as well as ten non-permanent members (elected for two-year terms).

In order to ensure prompt and effective action by the United Nations, its members confer on the Security Council primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and agree that in carrying out its duties under this responsibility the Security Council acts on their behalf.

In discharging these duties the Security Council shall act in accordance with the Purposes and Principles of the United Nations. The specific powers granted to the Security Council for the discharge of these duties are laid down in Chapters VI, VII, VIII, and XII

Article 24, Chapter V of the United Nations Charter

#1: Empowerment of the UNSC
As outlined in Article 24, the UNSC is granted the empowerment tools to invoke Chapters VI (Pacific Settlement of Disputes), VII (Actions with respect to Threats to the Peace), VIII (Regional arrangements) and XII (International Trustee System) to fulfill its primary role.

The Members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter.

Article 25, Chapter V of the United Nations Charter

Furthermore, the resolutions of the UNSC are binding, implying that affected parties, including members of the United Nations must comply.

Chapter VI: Pacific Settlement of Disputes
We will be examining three aspects to understand the significant role of the UNSC in invoking the relevant ‘Chapters’. First, Chapter VI involves the diplomatic and peaceful approach of encouraging warring parties to cooperate with the UN and resolve the conflicts without violence.

1. The parties to any dispute, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, shall, first of all, seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice.

2. The Security Council shall, when it deems necessary, call upon the parties to settle their dispute by such means.

Article 33, Chapter VI of the United Nations Charter

In practice, the United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG) is instructed by the Security Council to act on these resolutions through peaceful means, if possible.

Chapter VII: Action with respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace, and Acts of Aggression
Another critical option that the UNSC can introduce is Chapter VII. Should diplomacy fail, the use of force is considered as the next possible option. According to the UN Charter, a ‘Military Staff Committee’ is established to oversee the procedures on how it can be carried out appropriately.

The ‘Collective Security’ principle was applied in practice notably in two situations: the Korean War (1950) and the Gulf War (1990).

The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42, to maintain or restore international peace and security.

Should the Security Council consider that measures provided for in Article 41 would be inadequate or have proved to be inadequate, it may take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security. Such action may include demonstrations, blockade, and other operations by air, sea, or land forces of Members of the United Nations.

Article 39 and 42, Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter

Chapter VIII: Regional Arrangements
Lastly, the UNSC can employ the assistance of ‘regional arrangements’, which simply can be referred to regional organizations to fulfill its resolutions. The benefit of relying on these groupings is that UN can gather operational resources, including troop contributions, rapidly to conduct swift crisis responses. This is backed by the observation that the United Nations lacks a ‘permanent standing army’. Throughout the UN-sponsored operation, these ‘regional arrangements’ must adhere to the principles of the UN Charter to ensure the maintenance of international peace and security.

In particular, the UNSC must authorize any form of enforcement before the ‘regional arrangement’ can do so.

The Security Council shall, where appropriate, utilize such regional arrangements or agencies for enforcement action under its authority. But no enforcement action shall be taken under regional arrangements or by regional agencies without the authorization of the Security Council

Article 53, Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter

Yet, there were instances in which authorization was not sought after, as exemplified by the Kosovo War. During the conflict, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) carried out its bombing campaign in Yugoslavia from March to June 1999. China and Russia opposed NATO’s proposal for military action.

What can we learn from this case study?
Consider the following questions to understand the topic:
– Assess the view that structural limitations were the greatest hindrance to the functioning of the United Nations Security Council from 1945 to 2000. [to be discussed in class].

Join our JC History Tuition and find out how you can organise your areas of study for these comprehensive topics, such as ‘Safeguarding International Peace and Security’ and ‘Economic Development after Independence’. Additionally, you can sign up for related JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics TuitionJC Chemistry TuitionJC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Secondary English TuitionSecondary Math tuitionSecondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to register now!

JC History Tuition Bishan Singapore - What is the role of the United Nations General Assembly - JC History Essay Notes

What is the role of the United Nations General Assembly?

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 UNGA to understand its contributions to the world.

Role of the UN General Assembly (UNGA)
The General Assembly is the principal deliberative organ of the United Nations. It comprises of the representatives of all member states that admitted the international organization.

#1: Discussions and recommendations on matters affecting international peace and security
In particular, the UNGA is charged with the responsibility to facilitate discussions among member states to address matters pertaining to international peace and security.

The General Assembly may discuss any questions or any matters within the scope of the present Charter or relating to the powers and functions of any organs provided for in the present Charter, and, except as provided in Article 12, may make recommendations to the Members of the United Nations or to the Security Council or to both on any such questions or matters.

Article 10, Chapter IV of the UN Charter

However, it is imperative to acknowledge the advisory role of the UNGA as the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) bears the primary responsibility in the authorization of use of force in dealing with such matters.

The General Assembly may discuss any questions relating to the maintenance of international peace and security brought before it by any Member of the United Nations, or by the Security Council, or by a state which is not a Member of the United Nations in accordance with Article 35, paragraph 2, and, except as provided in Article 12, may make recommendations with regard to any such questions to the state or states concerned or to the Security Council or to both. Any such question on which action is necessary shall be referred to the Security Council by the General Assembly either before or after discussion.

Article 11(2), Chapter IV of the UN Charter

#2: Voting Process and Resolutions
After much deliberation, member states of the UNGA would undertake a voting process to decide whether to adopt a resolution (i.e. a course of action). Each member state is entitled to one vote. A two-thirds majority must be made before the resolution can be passed.

These resolutions can be passed to address matters, such as the admission of new member states to the General Assembly.

Decisions of the General Assembly on important questions shall be made by a two-thirds majority of the members present and voting. These questions shall include: recommendations with respect to the maintenance of international peace and security, the election of the non-permanent members of the Security Council…

Article 18, Chapter IV of the UN Charter

#3: ‘Uniting for Peace’ Resolution
Although there were Charter limitations that inhibited the UNGA’s role, a reform was introduced on 3 November 1950, known as the ‘Uniting for Peace’ (UfP) resolution.

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, including in the case of a breach of the peace or act of aggression the use of armed force when necessary, to maintain or restore international peace and security.

Resolution 377(V), 3 November 1950

In practice, the UfP resolution was first invoked during the Suez Canal Crisis of 1956. Due to the vetoes by France and the United Kingdom, the resolution empowered the UNGA to act. This lead to the successful formation of the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) that supervised the cessation of hostilities in Egypt.

What can we learn from this case study?
Consider the following questions to understand the topic:
– Assess the view that great power politics impeded the role of the United Nations General Assembly during the Cold War [to be discussed in class].

Sign up for our JC History Tuition as we teach you to organise your content for the United Nations topics, which is one of the most comprehensive chapters that JC History students will cover in the A Level History syllabus. Also, you can sign up for related JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics TuitionJC Chemistry TuitionJC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Secondary English TuitionSecondary Math tuitionSecondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to find out more.

What is the role of the United Nations Secretariat

What is the role of the United Nations Secretariat?

Role of the UN Secretariat
The Secretariat is one of the six main organs of the United Nations and is headed by the UN Secretary-General [UNSG].

The UNSG is described as the ‘de facto’ head’ of the international organization and acts as the ‘chief administrative officer’ as stated in Article 97 of the UN Charter.

Additionally, as outlined in Article 99, the UNSG has the responsibility of ‘[bringing] to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security’.

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

In the following part, we will examine the contributions of each UNSG during their respective terms in the period of 1945 to 2000.

1. [1946-1952] Trygve Lie
As the first official Secretary-General of the United Nations, he took the lead in managing various international issues, such as the Arab-Israeli conflict in 1948 and the Korean War in 1950. However, Lie was impeded by Cold War politics during the latter conflict.

Lie condemned the North Korean invasion and supported the US-led UN coalition that repelled the attacks. As such, Soviet Union perceived Lie as a pro-West, biased UNSG and blocked Lie’s reappointment. Eventually, Lie resigned from the UN.

2. [1953-1961] Dag Hammarskjöld
In contrast to Lie, Dag Hammarskjöld was looked up to by many as the role model for United Nations, given his outstanding contributions during his term.

First, Hammarskjöld’s negotiations with Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai had paid off as the latter agreed to release the American pilots, who were prisoners-of-war during the Korean War.

Second, Hammarskjöld oversaw the creation and deployment of the first-ever peacekeeping troops, known as the United Nations Emergency Forces [UNEF], that facilitated the withdrawal of foreign troops in Egypt during the Suez Canal Crisis of 1956.

Third, Hammarskjöld once again led the formation of the United Nations Operation in the Congo [ONUC] to deal with the Congo Crisis in 1960. He made sure that the ONUC comprised of ‘middle powers’ to circumvent great power politics that frequently caused political deadlock within the Security Council.

However, the UNSG died in a plane crash in 1961, causing the abrupt end to his illustrious career.

3. [1961-1966] U Thant
Following Hammarskjöld’s untimely death, U Thant was appointed to replace him. Although U Thant was recognised for his efforts in overseeing the management of Third World issues, given the growing membership in the 1960s [due to the decolonization of the Afro-Asian bloc], his achievements were marred by several failures.

After the Suez Canal Crisis, the UNEF I oversaw a ten-year transition period and was stationed in Egypt. Yet, U Thant quickly acceded to Egyptian president Nasser’s request to withdraw the UNEF I from Sinai, thus indirectly causing the start of the Six-Day War in 1967.

Furthermore, U Thant’s harsh criticisms towards American involvement in the Vietnam War proved detrimental to his role as the UNSG. In 1966, he put forward a three-stage proposal for conflict resolution. Yet, the US ignored and bypassed his efforts.

4. [1972-1981] Kurt Waldheim
The Austrian diplomat, Kurt Waldheim, played a significant administrative role during his term. Partially, his cautious approach to avoid being criticized or hindered by the Great Powers proved successful, as evidenced by his reappointment for the second term.

For example, Waldheim was successful in responding to the apartheid regime [institutionalized racial segregation] in South Africa and Namibia. His open statements towards the inhumane regime galvanized the General Assembly into action, as seen by the adoption of the Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid.

However, Waldheim proved to be unsuccessful in managing conflicts that involved Great Powers directly, especially the superpowers. For instance, Waldheim was hindered by Soviet Union during the Soviet-Afghan War in 1979.

5. [1982-1991] Javier Pérez de Cuéllar
The Peruvian diplomat, Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, was recognised for his successful efforts, partly due to the changing international climate. In the 1980s, the Cold War continued to be a hindrance as observed by the lack of progress during the 1980 Iran-Iraq War. Likewise, the US-backed proxy conflicts in Central America, such as Nicaragua, were problematic as US constantly relied on the use or threat of veto to block de Cuéllar’s diplomatic efforts.

Fortunately, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the end of the Cold War proved fortuitous for him as the superpowers became more supportive of UN efforts.

For example, the UNSG was now able to set up the United Nations Good Offices Mission in Afghanistan and Pakistan [UNGOMAP] to facilitate the withdrawal of Soviet forces in Afghanistan. Clearly, this was a stark contrast as compared to his predecessor’s time.

6. [1992-1996] Boutros Boutros-Ghali
In the post-Cold War period, Boutros-Ghali contributed to several noteworthy successes. During the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia [1978-1993], he oversaw the deployment of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia [UNTAC] to facilitate a smooth political transition, such as the monitoring of elections.

However, Boutros-Ghali also encountered failures, such as the Somali Civil War [1992] and Rwandan Genocide [1993]. For example, unfavourable local conditions led to the departure of UN forces in Somalia, resulting in the failed attempts to provide humanitarian assistance to the civilians.

7. [1997-2006] Kofi Annan
Kofi Annan explored other roles besides the monitoring of peacekeeping missions, as observed by his pursuit of structural changes within the United Nations.

For example, Annan engaged in UN reforms to overcome structural issues through the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ [R2P] framework. Also, he advocated the pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals, which covered objectives like the proliferation of education, gender equality and poverty reduction.

What can we learn from this case study?
Consider the following questions to understand the case study:
– How far do you agree that Cold War rivalry was the greatest obstacle in affecting the effectiveness of the UN Security Council? [to be discussed in class]

Apart from analyzing various case studies in this broad and vast theme on the United Nations, you can also join our JC History Tuition to assess your knowledge application skills. We teach students to think critically and write persuasively. Furthermore, we use different teaching approaches to engage students as they learn to grasp concepts effectively.

Also, we offer other JC tuition classes, such as GP Tuition, Economics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition classes, we offer Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to sign up for the JC Tuition programmes to get discounts.

JC History Tuition Notes Bukit Timah Bishan Bedok Singapore - What caused the Cambodian-Vietnamese War - United Nations

What caused the Cambodian-Vietnamese War?

What happened in 1978?
On 25 Dec 1978, Vietnam invaded Cambodia and installed a pro-Vietnam communist government, known as the People’s Republic of Kampuchea (PRK). Given that this crisis took place during the Cold War period, the perceived expansion of communist influence in Southeast Asia prompted regional organizations, such as the ASEAN and UN, to take action and resolve the security threat. Eventually, with the assistance of great powers, namely USA, USSR and China, Vietnam agreed to withdraw its troops in 1991.

Find out what happened during the Vietnamese occupation of Cambodia in 1978.

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

In the following part, we will analyze the roles of Vietnam, regional organizations and great powers to understand how the Cambodian conflict started and ended.

1. [Cambodia vs Vietnam] Origins of the conflict
Before the 1978 invasion, there was a longstanding historical conflict between Cambodia and Vietnam. Before the 20th century, Vietnam was seen as a security threat to Cambodia. Then, from 1977 to 1978, there was a series of confrontations between the two nations as a result of the Cambodian incursions into Vietnam.

2. [Vietnam] Vietnamese occupation of Cambodia, 1978-1989
Following the Vietnamese invasion, Hun Sen ruled PRK in Cambodia. On the other hand, the government-in-exile (under Prince Norodom Sihanouk) formed the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea (CGDK). Clearly, there was a formation of two camps – the pro-Vietnamese PRK backed by Soviet Union; the pro-West CGDK supported by China, USA and ASEAN.

3. [United Nations] Futile responses
In view of this occupation, the United Nations (UN) Security Council tried to draft resolutions in Jan 1979 to request the withdrawal of Vietnamese troops from Cambodia. However, Cold War interests hampered the UN as Soviet Union vetoed to defend Vietnam.

Likewise, the UN General Assembly’s efforts proved futile. After ASEAN raised the matter in Aug 1979, the International Conference on Kampuchea was held in Oct 1980, in which Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim requested Vietnam to end the occupation in Cambodia. Yet, Vietnam boycotted the event, thus limiting the effectiveness of the UN.

4. [Great Powers] The end of Cold War: International co-operation
Fortunately, the changing international climate ended the UN inaction. From the mid-1980s, great powers, particularly Soviet Union and China, worked together to support the UN in resolving the conflict.

As Soviet leader Gorbachev rose to power, he directed the withdrawal of economic and military support and pressured Vietnam to end its occupation in Cambodia. Additionally, Soviet Union and China held diplomatic talks in Kampuchea. Similarly, ASEAN conducted the ‘Jakarta Informal Meetings’ to improve relations between the PRK and CGDK.

As a result of international cooperation, the Cambodian conflict ended with the Paris Peace Agreement that was signed in Oct 1991. Vietnam agreed to withdraw its troops from Cambodia.

5. [United Nations] New roles: Peacekeeping and peacebuilding
Afterwards, UN could finally perform its role with minimal hindrances. In Feb 1992, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 745, which authorised the deployment of the UNTAC (United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia).

In contrast to the peacekeeping missions during the Cold War (1950s-1991), the post-Cold War operations expanded beyond ceasefire monitoring. As the name suggests, the UNTAC played an administrative role by overseeing the smooth political transition of Cambodia. In particular, it succeeded in facilitating the elections held in May 1993.

What can we learn from this case study?
Consider the following questions to understand the case study:
– How far do you agree that Cold War rivalry was the greatest obstacle in affecting the effectiveness of the UN Security Council? [to be discussed in class]

Apart from analyzing various case studies in this broad and vast theme on the United Nations, you can also join our JC History Tuition to assess your knowledge application skills. We teach students to think critically and write persuasively. Furthermore, we use different teaching approaches to engage students as they learn to grasp concepts effectively.

Also, we offer other JC tuition classes, such as GP Tuition, Economics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition classes, we offer Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to sign up for the JC Tuition programmes to get discounts.

JC History Tuition Notes Bukit Timah Bishan Bedok Singapore - What happened in East Timor - United Nations

What happened in East Timor?

Overview
The 1999 East Timorese crisis broke out due to resistance by Indonesian militants that protested against the independence movement. Following a period of armed confrontation, the United Nations intervened and deployed a peacekeeping force to restore peace and oversee the conduct of elections in East Timor.

Topic of Study [For 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

In the following section, we will analyze the roles of Indonesia and East Timor to measure the political effectiveness of the United Nations (UN) in the post-Cold War period.

1. [Indonesia] Prelude to the crisis: Indonesian invasion of East Timor
In 1974, Portuguese Timor (later named East Timor) was granted independence by Portugal. However, a civil war broke out within East Timor as there were differing opinions over the inclusion of East Timor as part of Indonesia. The FRETILIN (Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor supported independence, whereas the UDT (Timorese Democratic Union) pushed for annexation.

This civil war escalated into an inter-state conflict when the Fretilin declared East Timor independent on 28 Nov 1975. In Dec 1975, Indonesia launched ‘Operation Lotus’ (i.e. Operasi Seroja), which a massive military operation that involved both naval and aerial invasions.

As a result of the Indonesian invasion, many East Timorese people were killed.

2. [United Nations] International actions: Limited response
Following the invasion, the UN General Assembly condemned the invasion and demanded the immediate withdrawal of Indonesian troops from East Timor. Likewise, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 384, which reminded Indonesia to respect the right to self-determination.

Even so, the UN response proved to be insignificant, thus allowing Indonesia to control East Timor forcefully from 1975 to 1999.

3. [United Nations] Changing political situation
In 1998, following the Asian Financial Crisis, the Indonesian government changed its position and offered to grant East Timor greater political autonomy. Notably, the government stopped short of declaring East Timor independent.

The UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan proposed to the incoming Indonesian President Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie to conduct a referendum for East Timor.

4. [East Timor] A turning point: The referendum
In Jun 1999, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1249, which led to the deployment of the UNAMET (UN Mission in East Timor). The purpose of UNAMET is to oversee the proceedings of the referendum. As expected, the referendum reflected a resounding ‘yes’ to the push for independence.

Unfortunately, some Indonesian militants rejected the results and engaged in armed confrontation against the East Timorese people after the referendum. The brutal attacks led to the destruction of public facilities and significant casualties, resulting in the departure of affected victims to flee from their homes.

5. [United Nations] Swift international responses
As a result, the international scene responded with widespread outrage and US President Bill Clinton threatened to withdraw the economic aid (i.e. IMF loans) that Indonesia depended on to recover from the aftermath of the Asian Financial Crisis.

Additionally, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1264, which called for the deployment of the Australian-led peacekeeping force, known as the INTERFET (International Force East Timor). Gradually the INTERFET succeeded in ending the violence.

Next, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1272, which established the UNTAET (UN Transitional Administration in East Timor). Primarily, the UNTAET took charge of managing the administration in East Timor, thus ensuring a smooth and stable transition to independence.

What was the outcome?
Indonesia finally recognised East Timor, thereby leading to East Timor’s attainment of independence on 20 Mar 2002.

What can we learn from this case study?
Consider the following questions to understand the case study:
– What are the determining factors that affect the political effectiveness of the United Nations peacekeeping operations in the post-Cold War period?
– In view of the changing nature of UN operations after the Cold War, was the United Nations more successful in this new era? [to be discussed in class]

After examining this case study, you can apply this knowledge to A Level History essay questions to review your level of comprehension. Additionally, you can join our JC History Tuition to receive useful summary notes and practice questions to enhance your revision efforts productively.

Besides, you can join other related JC tuition progrmames, such as GP Tuition, Economics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition classes, we offer Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Under the guidance of experienced and engaging JC and Secondary tutors, rest assured that you are in good hands.

JC History Tuition Notes Bukit Timah Bishan Bedok Singapore - What happened in the Persian Gulf War - United Nations

What happened in the Persian Gulf War?

Entering the post-Cold War phase
In Aug 1990, the Gulf War broke out due to the Iraqi invasion in Kuwait due to economic disputes. In response, the US-led coalition force conducted ‘Operation Desert Storm’ from Jan to Feb 1991. In general, the United Nations (UN) benefited from the resolute American support, resulting in a swift and decisive victory that ended with the liberation of Kuwait.

Find out what happened during the Persian Gulf War to understand the role of the USA and the UN.

Topic of Study [For 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

In the section below, we will find out more about the historical developments of the Persian Gulf War by focusing on the specific roles of Iraq, USA and the United Nations.

1. [Iraq] Growing discontent over economic matters
Before Iraq began its invasion of Kuwait, it is important to consider the contributing factors that led to that fateful day. There are two main factors – economic problems and political motivations

First, following the Iran Hostage Crisis of 1979, the Iran-Iraq War began (1980-1988), which resulted in the decline of oil prices. Given that Iraq’s economic progress was heavily reliant on oil, the fall in oil prices affected its national income. Additionally, Iraq accused Kuwait of producing oil beyond the quota set by OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries). Iraq blamed Kuwait for the slump in oil prices that harmed its economy.

Second, Iraq has been challenging Kuwait’s sovereignty, given the latter’s strategic location in the northern part of the Persian Gulf. Iraq perceived Kuwait is situated in a region that yields tremendous economic potential.

As such, after an exchange of threats between the two nations, Iraq commenced its invasion of Kuwait, which took place on 2 Aug 1990.

2. [United Nations] Sanctions and condemnations
In response to the illegal occupation of Kuwait, the United Nations (UN) Security Council passed a series of resolutions that condemned the invasion and demanded the immediate withdrawal of Iraqi troops: Resolution 660, Resolution 661, Resolution 664 and Resolution 665.

Similarly, the UN General Assembly had a resounding ‘yes’ to the condemnation of the invasion. The UN Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar used diplomatic means to seek a peaceful resolution with the Iraqi leaders and avoid the escalation of conflict.

Yet, Iraq ignored the repeated calls for withdrawal. Therefore, the UN Security Council applied the principles of ‘collective security’. In Nov 1990, the Resolution 678 was adopted, which authorized the use of force to enforce compliance.

3. [USA] Operation Desert Storm: A unified response
This time, the USA backed the UN by leading a coalition force that comprised of 34 member states to enforce the Resolution and free Kuwait. The US-led forces conducted both aerial and ground operations that led to a swift victory against the Iraqi army. Clearly, the overwhelming military might of the United Nations resulted in the eventual departure of the Iraqi forces.

What was the outcome?
After the Iraqi troops had left Kuwait, the UN passed Resolution 687 that led to the deployment of the UNIKOM (United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission) and the UNSCOM (United Nations Special Commission). The UNIKOM focused on patrolling the Iraq-Kuwait border, whereas the UNSCOM oversaw the destruction of nuclear facilities and missiles in Iraq.

However, both UN forces faced obstacles that hindered their operations. The UNIKOM lacked military strength to prevent the entry of unauthorised personnel into the demilitarized zone. Similarly, the UNSCOM had to deal with an uncooperative Iraq. Eventually, the UNSCOM was replaced by the UNMOVIC (United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission) in 1999.

What can we learn from this case study?
Consider the following questions to understand the case study:
– Was the USA more of a help or hindrance to the United Nations?
– How far do you agree that the operational constraints was the most significant factor that affected the successes of UN operations in the post-Cold War period? [to be discussed in class]

Now that you have reviewed this case study, we would like to share with you other relevant JC tuition classes that you can sign up for, such as the GP Tuition, Economics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition classes, we offer Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Under the guidance of experienced and engaging JC and Secondary tutors, rest assured that you are in good hands.

JC History Tuition Notes Bukit Timah Bishan Bedok Singapore - What happened in the Kosovo War - United Nations

What happened in the Kosovo War?

What happened in Kosovo?
Between 1996 and 1999, an armed conflict broke out between the Serbian and Yugoslav forces due to the desire of the Kosovars to secede from Yugoslavia. The Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) was supported by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), which led the controversial bombing campaign that affected the UN efforts in conflict resolution. In general, after a series of violent confrontation, Serbian President Slobodan Milošević accepted mediation (Kumanovo Treaty) and allowed United Nations (UN) to provide humanitarian relief to the affected people. In 2008, Kosovo declared independence.

Find out what happened in the past before Kosovo became an independent nation in the 21st century.

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

In the following parts, we will examine the developments of the conflict to understand the role of the UN. It is important to identify and analyze the contributing factors affecting the Kosovo War to comprehend the limitations of the UN.

1. [Kosovo] Ethnic tensions in Kosovo
Following the death of Josip Broz Tito, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) experienced an outbreak of political and economic instability. In 1992, four out of six republics declared independence, whereas Serbia and Montenegro remained as part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY). The FRY was led by President Slobodan Milošević.

Within Kosovo, the population comprised of an ethnic Albanian majority and Serb minority. In contrast, the FRY was governed by the Serbians. As such, the Serbian government was against the Albanian Kosovars’ idea of secession due to the political problems of separatist movements.

In 1995, the Albanian Kosovars formed the KLA, which used guerilla tactics to attack the Serbian minority in Kosovo, marking the start of the Kosovo War. The conflict escalated during the Račak massacre, in which 45 Albanians were killed by Serbian security troops in Jan 1999.

As a result, this humanitarian crisis prompted NATO to consider the use of force against the FRY, thus causing the conflict to include regional organizations.

2. [United Nations/NATO] International condemnation and intervention
In Mar 1998, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1160, which imposed an arms embargo on the FRY and disallowed governments from arming the KLA. Although the NATO initiated Operation ‘Determined Falcon’ as a warning to the Serbian government over its aggression, the latter refused to back down.

In view of the continued hostilities between the Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1199, which demanded the cessation of Serb aggression against the KLA and the end of KLA’s secession.

3. [NATO] Desperate times; Desperate measures
NATO sought to resolve them conflict on their terms as seen by the ‘Rambouillet Accords’, which the regional organization had drafted. The Accord was a peace agreement between the FRY and the Albanian majority in Kosovo. It pushed for NATO’s administration in Kosovo as well as the deployment of NATO peacekeeping forces.

However, the Serbian government of FRY rejected the Agreement as they perceived the Accord would have enabled NATO to have full access into the whole Yugoslavia. Hence, the breakdown of the peace negotiations led to the start of the disastrous NATO bombing campaign in Mar 1999 that lasted for 78 days.

Unexpectedly, NATO began the aerial bombardments against the FRY without the UN Security Council’s authorization, claiming that the use of force was necessary to resolve the humanitarian problem. Furthermore, the bombing campaign worsened the crisis as thousands of Albanians were forced to evacuate their homes and flee to neighbouring countries.

3. [United Nations] Conflict resolution
As conflict resolution seemed like a forgone conclusion, even with the bombing campaign, NATO declared its intent to conduct a ground invasion. This was motivated by the persistence of the Serbians to escalate the conflict by conducting an ‘ethnic cleansing’ campaign against the Albanians.

Eventually, Milošević backed down, partially due to the Russian-Finnish mediation. In Jun 1999, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1244, which led to the deployment of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). Additionally, the Kosovo Force (KFOR) supported the UN with its 45,000-strong NATO peacekeeping troops. On 9 Jun 1999, the Kumanovo Treaty was signed between Yugoslavia and Serbia, signalling the end of hostilities and the withdrawal of the FRY security forces.

What can we learn from this case study?
Consider the following questions to comprehend the case study:
– Was NATO more of a help or hindrance to the UN peacekeeping efforts in Kosovo?
– How far do you agree that the Security Council played the most important role in determining the successes of the UN peacekeeping efforts? [to be discussed in class]

In addition to the History case studies found in this website, we also offer other JC tuition classes that you can join, such as the GP Tuition, Economics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition classes, we offer Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Get started in this exciting learning experience as we teach you how to think critically and write convincingly.