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International Relations

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Aaron Ong

on 30 October 2014

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Transcript of International Relations

Few nations can exist alone independent of its surrounding
Types of International Relations
Diplomacy and cooperation between states usually offers benefits over overt conflicts and wars.
Benefits usually fall under Economy, Security, State Sovereignty & Problem-solving.
Nevertheless, negotiations may still fail at times -> the need for an army to serve as a deterrence.
Benefits are of a commercial/economic nature
Moden day threats are not bound by physical barriers or borders
Maintaining State Sovereignty
Bilateral Relations
Regional Relations
International Relations
Singapore and Diplomacy
Diplomacy as the next part of Singapore's two-pronged approach.
In fact, Diplomacy can be summarised to be:
negotiations to gain a strategic advantage
or cooperation to seek a mutually acceptable/beneficial outcome
Diplomatic ties has benefits

Can be analyzed from 4 perspectives
Why (Cont')
Conflicts over resources/decisions, state/national level emergencies are inevitable
Singapore is a small state and highly vulnerable to cross borders changes
Small states also rely heavily upon foreign communities for their survival.
Diplomacy is the main engine, and a very powerful one at that, for making her voice heard globally
This acts as a strong incentive to support international cooperation.
The form it takes can vary depending on the situation. For example:
Simple trade agreement between neighbours
Suzhou Industrial Park
Three areas:
Why the need?
Benefits of Diplomacy
Means of Diplomacy
Nations may cooperate towards a common goal of fighting terrorism.

Maintaining a strong defense force capable of responding to situations is part of both DEFENCE and DETERRENCE.
Increases weight behind its international policies via cooperation and alliances
Diplomacy plays a role in Regional and International Relations.
3 main types of Diplomatic Relationships for Singapore
Each differs in its characteristics, and plays a different role in contributing to Singapore's International Relations.
Each diplomatic relationship is equally important on a different scale.
Has greatly impacted Singapore's economic and social development
Some examples include:
Diplomatic relations signed between 2 countries
More efficient, but loses out in global impact and sphere of influence
President Tony Tan receiving the Brunei Crown Prince
Singapore/Brunei enjoys excellent economic and defence ties
Reaffirm strong bilateral cooperation, underscored by our Currency Interchangeability Agreement
When agreements are signed between more than 2 countries
usually neighbouring or within the same region
Combines strength of member nations when dealing with global powers or associations.
Notable involvements includes but are not limited to:
ASEAN was founded on 3 aims
2003 Singapore-US Free Trade Agreement
Drastically reduced barriers for movements of citizens and goods between them
Supporters claim the agreement leads to a growth of exports and trade.
Formed as a response to geo political and economical instability and changes during the 1970s
Need for stability and trust within the region.
Promote Economic, Social and cultural Development
Protect Peace and Stability
Provide opportunities for members to resolve disputes peacefully
ASEAN initiatives
ASEAN has several policies in play for the benefit of its member nations
Examples includes:
ASEAN Free Trade Agreement
ASEAN Regional Forums
But ASEAN initiatives are still heavily influenced by global situations
Eg: 44th ASEAN meeting saw no official statement due to China's ambiguous stance over territorial boundaries.
Singapore & ASEAN
Agreements between multiple countries and groups throughout the globe
The United Nations, or UN remains one of the most major body of countries.
UN membership affirms a state's sovereignty and independence through providing protection and helping to settle territorial disputes
Did you Know??
There are 196 countries in the world, of which 193 are member states of the UN.
Can you think of any reasons why some states may not be a member? What does it mean for those states?
The UN as an organisation has a structure where member nations elect representatives to attend or chair conferences.
Follow up from the previous 2006 visit

Structure of the UN
6 Major organs of the UN
General Assembly
Security Council
International Court of Justice
Economic and Social Council
Trusteeship Council
Security Council
5 Permanent Members, 10 non-permanent members
Main roles includes peacekeeping operations, international sanctions and military activities.
or even as a
Cross-continent commercial venture
1991 SQ117 Plane Hijack
State security is a matter of multiple allied nations working together against a common enemy.
PM Lee on Brunei Bilateral Ties
K.Shanmugan: "Being in a neighbourhood, where everyone [country] is successful is good for us"
Pavin: "small country...difficult to compete...in ASEAN all members are equal"
Singapore also benefits enormously from the growth of its neighbours (ASEAN).
cooperation or discussion via diplomacy has more benefits for parties involved rather than going to war.
Recap Quiz!!!!
1: What is it that makes both Deterrence and Diplomacy so critical to Singapore's continued survival?
While conflicts are inevitable hence making deterrence indispensable, it is usually best avoided via diplomacy due to the disadvantages it poses.
These issues are magnified in small states like Singapore, which depends heavily upon foreign communities for economic and security benefits.

Quiz Time!!!!
2: In a hypothetical situation you are Minster of Foreign affairs for Country X. Recently your country has been experiencing cases of maritime [sea] piracy. What would you do and why?
Did you seek your neighboring country and engage in a bilateral discussion? Or did you approach your regional community to start a motion proposing a joint effort against piracy? Both are acceptable with suitable reason.
On the other hand, seeking aid from the UN would be inappropriate, as the issue is a local/regional issue which the UN does not usually involve itself in.
Note: UNSC is also not an appropriate answer.
Aid in solving common problems like the haze, avian flu and transnational terrorism.
Why is there a need to help other countries with their problems?
We don't live independently of one another. Everything that happens around us will affect us in one way or another. To ensure our survival and that our interests are protected, we need to help others.
Singapore has no hinterland or strong backer to support her; hence the need to rely on her neighbours to sustain development

ASEAN membership, globalisation and economic benefits are closely linked
Singapore and ASEAN
Education and professional exchange
Economic cooperation and assistance
Environmental collaboration
Through ASEAN:
forged better relations with neighbours
an avenue for SG to have peaceful discussions to settle disputes with
allows countries to manage environmental issues through peaceful dialogue (e.g. haze)
Singapore and the UN
UN Law of the Sea Conference
Professor Tommy Koh was President of the Third UN Conference on the Law of the Sea from 1980-1982
Security Council
SG elected by the UN General Assembly
Served as a non-permanent Security Council member from 2001-2002
SG served as President of the Council in Jan '01 & May '02
UN peacekeeping operations
SG involved in many UN peacekeeping efforts since 1989
Case Study: Pedra Branca
Diplomacy at work
Dispute between SG & Malaysia over a strategic island (Pedra Branca) in 1979
Case brought up to ASEAN but it was not resolved
Went to International Court of Justice (UN) to settle the matter
SG's claim was accepted
Full transcript