Economic sanctions

Economic sanctions are commercial and financial penalties applied by one or more countries against a targeted self-governing state, group, or individual.[1] Economic sanctions may include various forms of trade barriers, tariffs, and restrictions on financial transactions.[2] An embargo is similar, but usually implies a more severe sanction. Economic sanctions generally aim to change the behavior of elites in the target country. However, the efficacy of sanctions is debatable and sanctions can have unintended consequences.[3] Economic sanctions are not necessarily imposed because of economic circumstances—they may also be imposed for a variety of political, military, and social issues. Economic sanctions can be used for achieving domestic and international purposes.[4][5][6]

An embargo (from the Spanish embargo, meaning hindrance, obstruction, etc. in a general sense, a trading ban in trade terminology and literally "distraint" in juridic parlance) is the partial or complete prohibition of commerce and trade with a particular country/state or a group of countries.[7] Embargoes are considered strong diplomatic measures imposed in an effort, by the imposing country, to elicit a given national-interest result from the country on which it is imposed. Embargoes are generally considered legal barriers to trade, not to be confused with blockades, which are often considered to be acts of war.[8]

Embargoes can mean limiting or banning export or import, creating quotas for quantity, imposing special tolls, taxes, banning freight or transport vehicles, freezing or seizing freights, assets, bank accounts, limiting the transport of particular technologies or products (high-tech) for example CoCom during the cold-war.[9]

In response to embargoes, a closed economy or autarky often develops in an area subjected to heavy embargo. Effectiveness of embargoes is thus in proportion to the extent and degree of international participation.

Embargo can be an opportunity to some countries to develop faster a self-sufficiency.

Politics of sanctions

Economic sanctions are used as a tool of foreign policy by many governments. Economic sanctions are usually imposed by a larger country upon a smaller country for one of two reasons. —either the latter is a threat to the security of the former nation or that country treats its citizens unfairly. They can be used as a coercive measure for achieving particular policy goals related to trade or for humanitarian violations. (in some cases economic sanctions are imposed to ensure the larger country's resource acquisition schemes, e.g. Venezuelan oil reserves)Economic sanctions are used as an alternative weapon instead of going to war to achieve desired outcomes.

Some policy analysts believe imposing trade restrictions only serves to hurt ordinary people.[10][11]

Effectiveness of economic sanctions

According to the data of Hufbauer et al., regime change, the most frequent foreign-policy objective of economic sanctions, accounts for just over 39 percent of cases of their imposition.[12]

Researchers debate the effectiveness of economic sanctions in their ability to achieve their stated purpose. Hufbauer et al. claimed that in their studies 34 percent of the cases were successful.[13] When Robert A. Pape examined their study, he claimed that only five of their forty so-called "successes" stood up,[14] reducing economic sanctions' success rate to 4% in his analysis. Success of sanctions as a form of measuring effectiveness has also been widely debated by scholars of economic sanctions.[15] Success of a single sanctions-resolution does not automatically lead to effectiveness, unless the stated objective of the sanctions regime is clearly identified and reached.

Imposing sanctions on an opponent also affects the economy of the imposing country to some degree. If import restrictions are promulgated, consumers in the imposing country may have restricted choices of goods. If export restrictions are imposed or if sanctions prohibit companies in the imposing country from trading with the target country, the imposing country may lose markets and investment opportunities to competing countries.[16]

British diplomat Jeremy Greenstock suggests that the reason sanctions are popular is not that they are known to be effective, but "that there is nothing else between words and military action if you want to bring pressure upon a government".[17]

Implications for businesses

Companies must be aware of embargoes that apply to the intended export destination.[18] Embargo check is difficult for both importers and exporters to follow. Before exporting or importing to other countries, firstly, they must be aware of embargoes or risk facing unintended punitive measures for violating sanctions. Subsequently, firms need to make sure that they are not dealing with embargoed countries by checking those related regulations. Finally, they probably need a license in order to ensure a smooth export or import business. Sometimes the situation becomes even more complicated with the changing of politics of a country.

Embargoes keep changing. In the past, many companies relied on spreadsheets and manual process to keep track of compliance issues related to incoming and outgoing shipments, which takes risks of these days help companies to be fully compliant on such regulations even if they are changing on a regular basis. If an embargo situation exists, the software blocks the transaction for further processing.

Examples

GASOLINE SHORTAGE HIT THE STATE OF OREGON IN THE FALL OF 1973 BY MIDDAY GASOLINE WAS BECOMING UNAVAILABLE ALONG... - NARA - 555405
An undersupplied U.S. gasoline station, closed during the oil embargo in 1973

The United States Embargo of 1807 involved a series of laws passed by the U.S. Congress 1806–1808, during the second term of President Thomas Jefferson.[19] Britain and France were engaged in a major war; the U.S. wanted to remain neutral and to trade with both sides, but neither side wanted the other to import American supplies.[20] American policy aimed to use the new laws to avoid war and to force both France and Britain to respect American rights.[21] The embargo failed to achieve its aims, and Jefferson repealed the embargo legislation in March 1809.

One of the most comprehensive attempts at an embargo occurred during the Napoleonic Wars of 1803-1815. In an attempt to cripple the United Kingdom economically, Napoleon in 1806 promulgated the Continental System – which forbade European nations from trading with the UK. In practice the French Empire could not completely enforce the embargo, which proved as harmful (if not more so) to the continental nations involved as to the British.[22]

The United States imposed an embargo on Cuba on March 14, 1958, during the Fulgencio Batista regime. At first the embargo applied only to arms sales, however it later expanded to include other imports, extending to almost all trade on February 7, 1962.[23] Referred to by Cuba as "el bloqueo" (the blockade),[24] the U.S. embargo on Cuba remains as of 2018 one of the longest-standing embargoes.[25] Few of the United States' allies embraced the embargo, and it apparently has done little to affect Cuban policies over the years.[26] Nonetheless, while taking some steps to allow limited economic exchanges with Cuba, President Barack Obama reaffirmed the policy in 2011, stating that without the granting of improved human rights and freedoms by Cuba's current government, the embargo remains "in the national interest of the United States".[27]

In 1973–1974, Arab nations imposed an oil embargo against the United States and other industrialized nations which supported Israel in the Yom Kippur War of October 1973. The results included a sharp rise in oil prices and in OPEC revenues, an emergency period of energy rationing, a global economic recession, large-scale conservation efforts, and long-lasting shifts toward natural gas, ethanol, nuclear and other alternative energy sources.[28][29] Israel continued to receive Western support.

In effort to punish South Africa for its policies of apartheid, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a voluntary international oil-embargo against South Africa on November 20, 1987; that embargo had the support of 130 countries.[30]

Current sanctions

By targeted country

List of sanctioned countries:

By targeted individuals

By sanctioning country

By targeted activity

  • In response to cyber-attacks on April 1, 2015 President Obama issued an Executive Order establishing the first-ever economic sanctions. The Executive Order was intended to impact individuals and entities (“designees”) responsible for cyber-attacks that threaten the national security, foreign policy, economic health, or financial stability of the US. Specifically, the Executive Order authorized the Treasury Department to freeze designees’ assets.[45]
  • In response to intelligence analysis alleging Russian hacking and interference with the 2016 U.S. elections, President Obama expanded presidential authority to sanction in response to cyber activity that threatens democratic elections.[46] Given that the original order was intended to protect critical infrastructure, it can be argued that the election process should have been included in the original order. It can be further argued that democratic elections are our most critical infrastructure.

Bilateral trade disputes

  • Vietnam as a result of capitalist influences over the 1990s and having imposed sanctions against Cambodia, is accepting of sanctions disposed with accountability.
  • In March 2010, Brazil introduced sanctions against the US. These sanctions were placed because the US government was paying cotton farmers for their products against World Trade Organization rules. The sanctions cover cotton, as well as cars, chewing gum, fruit, and vegetable products.[47] The WTO is currently supervising talks between the states to remove the sanctions.

Former sanctions

See also

References

  1. ^ Financial Weapons of War, Minnesota Law Review (2016), available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2765010
  2. ^ Haidar, J.I., 2015."Sanctions and Exports Deflection: Evidence from Iran," Paris School of Economics, University of Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne, Mimeo
  3. ^ "Lee, Yong Suk, 2018. "International isolation and regional inequality: Evidence from sanctions on North Korea," Journal of Urban Economics".
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ "Playing to the Home Crowd? Symbolic Use of Economic Sanctions in ..." Ingentaconnect.com. 2011-09-01. Retrieved 2015-03-30.
  6. ^ [2] Archived August 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ University of California, Irvine (April 8, 2013). "Trade Embargoes Summary". darwin.bio.uci.edu.
  8. ^ "Blockade as Act of War". Crimes of War Project. Archived from the original on 2012-06-18. Retrieved 2012-07-01.
  9. ^ Palánkai, Tibor. "Investor-partner Business dictionary".
  10. ^ [3] Archived February 27, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Hans Köchler (ed.), Economic Sanctions and Development. Vienna: International Progress Organization, 1997. ISBN 3-900704-17-1
  12. ^ Hufbauer, Gary Clyde; Schott, Jeffrey J.; Elliott, Kimberly Ann; Oegg, Barbara (2008). Economic Sanctions Reconsidered (3 ed.). Washington, DC: Columbia University Press. p. 67. ISBN 9780881324822. Retrieved 2018-05-10. By far, regime change is the most frequent foreign policy objective of economic sanctions, accounting for 80 out of the 204 observations.
  13. ^ Economic Sanctions Reconsidered, 3rd Edition, Hufbauer et al. p. 159
  14. ^ Pape, Robert A (Summer 1998). "Why Economic Sanctions Still Do Not Work". International Security. 23 (1): 66–77. doi:10.2307/2539263. JSTOR 2539263. I examined the 40 claimed successes and found that only 5 stand up. Eighteen were actually settled by either direct or indirect use of force; in 8 cases there is no evidence that the target state made the demanded concessions; 6 do not qualify as instances of economic sanctions, and 3 are indeterminate. If I am right, then sanctions have succeeded in only 5 of 115 attempts, and thus there is no sound basis for even qualified optimism about the effects of sanctions.
  15. ^ A Strategic Understanding of UN Economic Sanctions: International Relations, Law, and Development, Golnoosh Hakimdavar, p. 105
  16. ^ Griswold, Daniel (2000-11-27). "Going Alone on Economic Sanctions Hurts U.S. More than Foes". Cato.org. Retrieved 2015-03-30.
  17. ^ Marcus, Jonathan. "Analysis: Do economic sanctions work?". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-03-30.
  18. ^ "Do I need an export licence?". gov.uk. 3 August 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  19. ^ University of Houston (2013). "The Embargo of 1807". digitalhistory.uh.edu.
  20. ^ Aaron Snyder; Jeffrey Herbener (December 15, 2004). "The Embargo of 1807 Grove City College Grove City, Pennsylvania" (PDF). gcc.edu. Grove City College. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-05-17.
  21. ^ "Embargo of 1807". monticello.org. April 8, 2013.
  22. ^ "Continental System Napoleon British Embargo Napoleon's 1812". Archived from the original on 2011-07-10.
  23. ^ National Archives and Records Administration. "Proclamation 3447--Embargo on all trade with Cuba". archives.gov.
  24. ^ Elizabeth Flock (February 7, 2012). "Cuba trade embargo turns 50: Still no rum or cigars, though some freedom in travel". washingtonpost.com.
  25. ^ Eric Weiner (October 15, 2007). "Officially Sanctioned: A Guide to the U.S. Blacklist". npr.org.
  26. ^ Daniel Hanson; Dayne Batten; Harrison Ealey (January 16, 2013). "It's Time For The U.S. To End Its Senseless Embargo Of Cuba". forbes.com.
  27. ^ Uri Friedman (September 13, 2011). "Obama Quietly Renews U.S. Embargo on Cuba". The Atlantic.
  28. ^ Maugeri, Leonardo (2006). The Age of Oil. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 112–116. ISBN 9780275990084.
  29. ^ "Energy Crisis (1970s)". The History Channel. 2010.
  30. ^ "Oil Embargo against Apartheid South Africa on richardknight.com".
  31. ^ Howse, Robert L. and Genser, Jared M. (2008) "Are EU Trade Sanctions on Burma Compatible with WTO Law?" Archived June 7, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Michigan Journal of International Law 29(2): pp. 165–96
  32. ^ Leo Cendrowicz (February 10, 2010). "Should Europe Lift Its Arms Embargo on China?". Time.
  33. ^ "Russia announces 'full embargo' on most food from US, EU". Deutsche Welle. 7 August 2014.
  34. ^ "Russia expands food imports embargo to non-EU states". English Radio. 13 August 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  35. ^ "Russia expands food import ban". BBC News. 2015-08-13. Retrieved 2018-06-17.
  36. ^ "Australia bans all live cattle exports to Indonesia". BBC News. 8 June 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  37. ^ United States Department of the Treasury. "What You Need To Know About U.S. Economic Sanctions" (PDF). treasury.gov.
  38. ^ Josh Levs (January 23, 2012). "A summary of sanctions against Iran". cnn.com.
  39. ^ "Clinton Ends Most N. Korea Sanctions". Globalpolicy.org. 1999-09-18. Retrieved 2015-03-30.
  40. ^ [4] Archived July 23, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  41. ^ "Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea)". Department for Business Innovation and Skills. Archived from the original on 9 June 2009. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  42. ^ "Syria sanctions". BBC News. 27 November 2011.
  43. ^ "President Trump Approves New Sanctions On Venezuela".
  44. ^ Emmott, Robin. "EU readies sanctions on Venezuela, approves arms embargo".
  45. ^ "Sanctions: U.S. action on cyber crime" (PDF). http://www.pwc.com/us/en/financial-services/regulatory-services/publications/sanctions-cyber-crime.jhtml. PwC Financial Services Regulatory Practice, April, 2015. External link in |website= (help)
  46. ^ Bennett, Cory (29 March 2016). "Obama extends cyber sanctions power".
  47. ^ "Brazil slaps trade sanctions on U.S. to retaliate for subsidies to cotton farmers". Content.usatoday.com. 2010-03-09. Retrieved 2015-03-30.
  48. ^ Cockburn, Patrick (February 4, 1994). "US finally ends Vietnam embargo". The Independent. London.
  49. ^ a b Pakistan and India UK nuclear exports restrictions Archived 2010-02-18 at the Wayback Machine
  50. ^ Lydia Polgreen (April 2, 2012). "Mali Coup Leaders Suffer Sanctions and Loss of Timbuktu". nytimes.com.
  51. ^ "Kosovo imposes embargo on Serbia". The Sofia Echo. 21 July 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  52. ^ "Georgia Doubles Wine Exports as Russian Market Reopens". RIA Novosti. 16 December 2013.

External links

1994–95 UEFA Champions League

The 1994–95 UEFA Champions League was the 40th edition of UEFA's premier European club football tournament, and the third since its rebranding as the UEFA Champions League. The tournament was won by Ajax of the Netherlands with a late goal in the final against defending champions Milan of Italy. Ajax won the competition without losing a game, either in the group or the knock-out stage in winning the title for the first time since 1973.

Compared to the previous edition of the European Cup, radical changes were made to the format of the tournament, due to a recently expired contract that bound UEFA to the EBU for the transmission of the final, and this gave occasion for a general review of the format, which attracted the interest of new and financially well-off private television companies. This year included four groups of four teams each in the group stage, up from two groups of four teams each in 1993–94. It was also the first year in which eight teams advanced to the knock-out stage and the first of three years in which smaller clubs entered the UEFA Cup instead of the Champions League. It was also the first time that this competition was known as UEFA Champions League from the first to the last match of the competition, the two previous seasons, the UEFA Champions League involved the round(s) between the round of 16 and the final of the European Champions Cup.

Former Yugoslavia was unable to participate for the third season in a row due to the UN economic sanctions. Milan were the defending champions, but were defeated by Ajax in the final.

2006–07 economic sanctions against the Palestinian National Authority

The 2006–07 economic sanctions against the Palestinian National Authority were economic sanctions imposed and other measures taken by Israel, the United States and other countries against the Palestinian National Authority (PA) and the Palestinian territories, including the suspension of international aid to Palestinians following the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) election on 25 January 2006 that resulted in a decisive victory for Hamas.

On 18 February 2006, following the swearing in of the new PLC, Israel imposed sanctions on the PA, including the suspension of transfers to the PA of customs revenues Israel collected on the PA's behalf. The US also imposed economic sanctions and prohibited all Hamas-related financial transactions. The Middle East Quartet called for a review of all assistance to any new government that was formed against its commitment to the principles of nonviolence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of agreements previously entered into by the PA. After Hamas refused to concede these conditions, the international community suspended international aid to Palestinians, causing significant damage to the Palestinian economy. Eventually, aid was diverted via a Temporary International Mechanism or directly to the accounts of President Mahmoud Abbas, bypassing the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority.After the formation of an emergency government in 2007 by Abbas, international aid to the Ramallah-based PA was resumed, but the Hamas-led government in Gaza remained boycotted. The US and Israel lifted sanctions against the Abbas government.

Anti-Apartheid Movement

The Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM), originally known as the Boycott Movement, was a British organisation that was at the centre of the international movement opposing the South African apartheid system and supporting South Africa's non-White population who were persecuted by the policies of apartheid. The AAM changed its name to ACTSA: Action for Southern Africa in 1994, when South Africa achieved majority rule through free and fair elections, in which all races could vote.

Arab–Eritrean relations

Eritrea is one of the three non-Arab League states that adopt Arabic as an official language, and is the closest to become an Arab League member, with Chad and Israel having numerous problems with the League.

Canada–Iran relations

Prior to 1955, Canadian Consular and Commercial Affairs in Iran were handled by the British Embassy. Foreign relations and diplomatic ties between Canada and Iran began with the founding of an Iranian mission in Ottawa in 1956, and a Canadian mission in Tehran in 1959. The Canadian mission was granted embassy status in 1961.The most significant event took place during the Iranian revolution of 1979, when the Canadian embassy hid six American diplomats after the violent takeover of the U.S. embassy. The Canadian government played a key role in arranging the departure of these diplomats undetected by officials. In January 1980, the Americans were secretly smuggled out of Iran using Canadian passports. In parallel, all Canadian diplomats left to avoid retaliation from the Iranian regime.

As of September 2012, there are no formal diplomatic relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Canada. Canadian consular and passport services are provided through other Canadian diplomatic missions in other countries in the Middle East while Iran maintains an interests section at the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington, D.C.

The government headed by PM Justin Trudeau which took office in 2015, has reportedly been reviewing relations with Iran and, like most countries, lifted most of its economic sanctions following the Iran nuclear agreement in July 2015.

Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 1987

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 1987 was the tenth Meeting of the Heads of Government of the Commonwealth of Nations. It was held in Vancouver, Canada, between 13 October 1987 and 17 October 1987, and was hosted by that country's Prime Minister, Brian Mulroney.

The meeting was marked by a confrontation between most Commonwealth leaders, including conference chair Mulroney, and Britain's Margaret Thatcher over the issue of economic sanctions against South Africa with Thatcher opposing sanctions.

Constructive engagement

Constructive engagement was the name given to the policy of the Reagan administration towards the apartheid regime in South Africa in the early 1980s. It was promoted as an alternative to the economic sanctions and divestment from South Africa demanded by the UN General Assembly and the international anti-apartheid movement.

Disinvestment from South Africa

Disinvestment (or divestment) from South Africa was first advocated in the 1960s, in protest of South Africa's system of apartheid, but was not implemented on a significant scale until the mid-1980s. The disinvestment campaign, after being realized in federal legislation enacted in 1986 by the United States, is credited by some as pressuring the South African Government to embark on negotiations ultimately leading to the dismantling of the Apartheid system.

Duqu 2.0

Duqu 2.0 is a version of malware reported in 2015 to have infected computers in hotels of Austria and Switzerland that were sites of the international negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program and economic sanctions. The malware, which infected Kaspersky Lab for months without their knowledge, is believed to be the work of Unit 8200.

Kaspersky discovered the malware, and Symantec confirmed those findings. The malware is a variant of Duqu, and Duqu is a variant of Stuxnet. The software is "linked to Israel", according to The Guardian. The software used three zero-day exploits, and would have required funding and organization consistent with a government intelligence agency.According to Kaspersky, "the philosophy and way of thinking of the “Duqu 2.0” group is a generation ahead of anything seen in the advanced persistent threats world."

Economy of Montenegro

The economy of Montenegro is mostly a service based economy, currently in the process of economic transition. The economy of this small Balkan state is recovering from the impact of the Yugoslav Wars, the decline of industry following the breakup of SFRY, and UN economic sanctions.

Hard power

Hard power is the use of military and economic means to influence the behavior or interests of other political bodies. This form of political power is often aggressive (coercion), and is most immediately effective when imposed by one political body upon another of lesser military and/or economic power. Hard power contrasts with soft power, which comes from diplomacy, culture and history.According to Joseph Nye, hard power involves "the ability to use the carrots and sticks of economic and military might to make others follow your will". Here, "carrots" stand for inducements such as the reduction of trade barriers, the offer of an alliance or the promise of military protection. On the other hand, "sticks" represent threats - including the use of coercive diplomacy, the threat of military intervention, or the implementation of economic sanctions. Ernest Wilson describes hard power as the capacity to coerce "another to act in ways in which that entity would not have acted otherwise".

International sanctions

International sanctions are political and economic decisions that are part of diplomatic efforts by countries, multilateral or regional organizations against states or organizations either to protect national security interests, or to protect international law, and defend against threats to international peace and security. These decisions principally include the temporary imposition on a target of economic, trade, diplomatic, cultural or other restrictions (sanctions measures) that are lifted when the motivating security concerns no longer apply, or when no new threats have arisen.

According to the Charter of the United Nations, only the UN Security Council has a mandate by the international community to apply sanctions (Article 41) that must be complied with by all UN member states (Article 2,2). They serve as the international community's most powerful peaceful means to prevent threats to international peace and security or to settle them. Sanctions do not include the use of military force. However, if sanctions do not lead to the diplomatic settlement of a conflict, the use of force can be authorized by the Security Council separately under Article 42.

UN sanctions should not be confused with unilateral sanctions that are imposed by individual countries in furtherance of their strategic interests. Typically intended as strong economic coercion, measures applied under unilateral sanctions can range between coercive diplomatic efforts, economic warfare, or as preludes to war.

There are several types of sanctions.

Economic sanctions – typically a ban on trade, possibly limited to certain sectors such as armaments, or with certain exceptions (such as food and medicine)

Diplomatic sanctions – the reduction or removal of diplomatic ties, such as embassies.

Military sanctions – military intervention

Sport sanctions – preventing one country's people and teams from competing in international events.

Sanctions on Environment – since the declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, international environmental protection efforts have been increased gradually.Economic sanctions are distinguished from trade sanctions, which are applied for purely economic reasons, and typically take the form of tariffs or similar measures, rather than bans on trade.

List of companies of Syria

Syria is a country in Western Asia. It is a unitary republic consisting of 14 governorates and is the only country that politically espouses Ba'athism. Since March 2011, Syria has been embroiled in an armed conflict, with a number of countries in the region and beyond being involved militarily or otherwise. Political instability poses a significant threat to future economic development. Foreign investment is constrained by violence, government restrictions, economic sanctions, and international isolation. Syria's economy also remains hobbled by state bureaucracy, falling oil production, rising budget deficits, and inflation.

Myanmar

Myanmar (English pronunciation below; Burmese: [mjəmà]), officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and also known as Burma, is a country in Southeast Asia. Myanmar is bordered by India and Bangladesh to its west, Thailand and Laos to its east and China to its north and northeast. To its south, about one third of Myanmar's total perimeter of 5,876 km (3,651 mi) forms an uninterrupted coastline of 1,930 km (1,200 mi) along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. The country's 2014 census counted the population to be 51 million people. As of 2017, the population is about 54 million. Myanmar is 676,578 square kilometres (261,228 square miles) in size. Its capital city is Naypyidaw, and its largest city and former capital is Yangon (Rangoon). Myanmar has been a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) since 1997.

Early civilisations in Myanmar included the Tibeto-Burman-speaking Pyu city-states in Upper Burma and the Mon kingdoms in Lower Burma. In the 9th century, the Bamar people entered the upper Irrawaddy valley and, following the establishment of the Pagan Kingdom in the 1050s, the Burmese language, culture and Theravada Buddhism slowly became dominant in the country. The Pagan Kingdom fell due to the Mongol invasions and several warring states emerged. In the 16th century, reunified by the Taungoo dynasty, the country was for a brief period the largest empire in the history of Mainland Southeast Asia. The early 19th century Konbaung dynasty ruled over an area that included modern Myanmar and briefly controlled Manipur and Assam as well. The British took over the administration of Myanmar after three Anglo-Burmese Wars in the 19th century and the country became a British colony. Myanmar was granted independence in 1948, as a democratic nation. Following a coup d'état in 1962, it became a military dictatorship under the Burma Socialist Programme Party.

For most of its independent years, the country has been engrossed in rampant ethnic strife and its myriad ethnic groups have been involved in one of the world's longest-running ongoing civil wars. During this time, the United Nations and several other organisations have reported consistent and systematic human rights violations in the country. In 2011, the military junta was officially dissolved following a 2010 general election, and a nominally civilian government was installed. This, along with the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and political prisoners, has improved the country's human rights record and foreign relations, and has led to the easing of trade and other economic sanctions. There is, however, continuing criticism of the government's treatment of ethnic minorities, its response to the ethnic insurgency, and religious clashes. In the landmark 2015 election, Aung San Suu Kyi's party won a majority in both houses. However, the Burmese military remains a powerful force in politics.

Myanmar is a country rich in jade and gems, oil, natural gas and other mineral resources. In 2013, its GDP (nominal) stood at US$56.7 billion and its GDP (PPP) at US$221.5 billion. The income gap in Myanmar is among the widest in the world, as a large proportion of the economy is controlled by supporters of the former military government. As of 2016, Myanmar ranks 145 out of 188 countries in human development, according to the Human Development Index.

Power politics

Power politics (or, in German, Machtpolitik) is a theory in international relations, which contains the idea that distributions of power and interests, or changes to those distributions, are fundamental causes of war and of system stability.

The concept of power politics provides a way of understanding systems of international relations: in this view, nations compete for the world's limited resources and it is to an individual nation's advantage to be manifestly able to harm others. Power politics prioritizes national self-interest over the interests of other nations or the international community, and thus may include threatening one another with military, economic or political aggression to protect one nation's own interest.

Techniques of power politics include:

deterrence theory

conspicuous weapons-development (including nuclear development)

pre-emptive strike

blackmail

the massing of military units on a border, whether for stationing or for exercises

the imposition of tariffs or economic sanctions

proxy warfare

bait and bleed and "bloodletting"

hard and soft balancing

buck passing

covert operations

shock and awe

asymmetric warfare

Robert Pape

Robert Anthony Pape Jr. (born April 24, 1960) is an American political scientist known for his work on international security affairs, especially the coercive strategies of air power and the rationale of suicide terrorism. He is currently a professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago and founder and director of the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism (CPOST). In early October 2010, the University of Chicago press released Pape's third book, co-authored with James K. Feldman, Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It.

South Africa–Zimbabwe relations

South Africa–Zimbabwe relations have been generally cordial since the end of apartheid in South Africa, although there have been tensions due to political troubles in Zimbabwe in recent years.South Africa has a mission in Harare. Zimbabwe has an embassy in Pretoria and a consulate general in Johannesburg.

The Government of Zimbabwe took a particular interest in the search for independence for Namibia (South-West Africa) from South Africa. In addition, as chairman of the Frontline States in southern Africa, Zimbabwe spoke out vigorously against the policies of apartheid in South Africa and frequently called for the imposition of economic sanctions against the government. However, whilst supporting democratic change in South Africa, Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe did not support the idea of Zimbabwe being used as a base for anti-South African guerillas.In the 2007 Zimbabwean political crisis, South African President Thabo Mbeki mediated with the MDC and ZANU–PF to form a unity government, and often remained silent on the issues in Zimbabwe, which drew criticism. Following a cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe, the ruling ANC in South Africa became impatient and urged the parties to form a unity government.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1160

United Nations Security Council resolution 1160, adopted on 31 March 1998, after noting the situation in Kosovo, the Council, acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, imposed an arms embargo and economic sanctions on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, hoping to end the use of excessive force by the government.Some countries had suggested a comprehensive arms embargo to be imposed against Serbia and Montenegro, including Kosovo. The Security Council condemned the violence that the Serbian police used against peaceful demonstrators, and the terrorist acts of the Kosovo Liberation Army.

Yugoslavia was urged to seek a political solution to the conflict, while the Kosovar Albanians were called upon to condemn all terrorist actions and pursue their goals through peaceful means. It was stated that the only way to avoid further violence was to allow the Kosovar Albanian community a genuine political process and prospects for meaningful autonomy and self-determination.

Acting under Chapter VII, the Council imposed an arms embargo on Serbia and Montenegro, and established a Committee to monitor its implementation and suggest improvements. The measures would be revised if it noted in reports from the Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Contact Group and European Union that Serbia and Montenegro had begun a dialogue, withdrew its police forces, allowed access to humanitarian aid agencies and accepted missions from the OSCE and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to the region.The resolution concluded by asking the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia to begin gathering information on human rights violations, affirming that further measures would be imposed if there was no constructive progress. The arms embargo was lifted under Resolution 1367 (2001).Resolution 1160 was approved by 14 votes to none against, with one abstention from China, which argued that it was an internal matter.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 2371

The United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2371 on August 5, 2017, with approval of all the five permanent members and the ten non-permanent members in response to North Korea’s July 2017 missile tests.The resolution tightened economic sanctions for the 6th time, since they were first imposed in 2006, when North Korea had its first nuclear test.The new restrictions ban purchases of North Korean coal, iron, lead and seafood (the country’s main exports). According to some estimates, this will deprive the regime of $1 billion a year—a third of its foreign earnings. The sanctions also prohibit governments around the world from admitting any more North Korean workers, as the regime pockets most of their wages.

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