The Year 1945 is a landmark in the history of modern world. It marked the end of multi-polar world and balance of power. The World saw the emergence of bi-polar world and the rise of Super Powers, the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. In the 1990s the collapse of Soviet Union once again changed the existing world order. The New World Order is witnessing a Uni-polar world, Globalisation, new technologies, age of information and also global terrorism.
Mikhail Gorbachev became the President of the Soviet Union in March 1985. He instituted a number of political reforms under the name of 'glasnost'. However, Gorbachev's relaxation of censorship and attempts to create more political openness had the unintended effect of re-awakening long suppressed nationalist and anti-Russian feelings in the Soviet Union's constituent republicsDomestically, Gorbachev implemented economic reforms that he hoped would improve living standards and worker productivity as part of his Perestroika program. This new Economic Policy permitted private ownership.
All these reforms led to revolutionary changes in the U.S.S.R. On 8th December 1991, the leaders of the Russian, Ukrainian, and Byelorussian republics issued a declaration that the Soviet Union was dissolved and replaced by the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Gorbachev became president without a country. On 25th December 1991, he resigned as president of the U.S.S.R. and returned the powers of his office over to Boris Yeltsin. The next day, the Supreme Soviet voted to dissolve itself and repealed the declaration written in 1922 that had officially established the U.S.S.R. Thus, the collapse of the Soviet Union took place.
After the Second World War, Germany was divided into two separate nations. East Germany was fully under the control of the U.S.S.R. West Germany was supported by the U.S.A. and her allies. A wall was erected across Berlin to separate these two German territories. It was the famous Berlin Wall. But with the collapse of U.SS.R, the German reunification took place on October 3, 1990. The areas of the former German Democratic Republic (East Germany) were incorporated into the Federal Republic of Germany [FRG] (West Germany). After the GDR's first free elections on 18th March 1990, negotiations between the GDR and FRG culminated in a Unification Treaty.
In the history of warfare, nuclear weapons have been used only twice on 6th and 8th of August 1945, when the United States dropped atom bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Since then, nuclear weapons have been detonated on over two thousand occasions for testing and demonstration purposes. The countries known to have detonated such weapons are the United States, Soviet Union, United Kingdom, France, People's Republic of China, India, Pakistan, and North Korea.
In order to minimize the risk of future nuclear war the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was proposed. The NPT is the mostextensive inspection and control system ever devised to prevent the diversion of nuclear material form civilian nuclear programmes for weapon purposes. The idea of Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (NWFZ) was mooted to convince the countries refusing to join NPT club. The concept of nuclear weapon free zone means that countries without nuclear weapons should agree not to produce nuclear weapons and declare their region free from nuclear weapons. It was followed by the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) to tighten the control over nuclear weapons programme.
Globalisation has become an important issue in the national and international economic field. Globalisation has assumed great importance in the recent changes in global business environment. Now business has global-orientation and the whole world has become just like a global village. Globalisation implies integration of economy of one nation with the rest of the world economy and liberalising the rules and regulations for foreign investment in economy. Broadly speaking the term Globalisation means integration of economies and societies through cross-country flows of information, ideas, technologies, goods, services, capital, finance and people. Cross border integration can have several dimensions- cultural, social, political and economic.
The economic policy of India since 1991 proved to be a turning point in the history of Indian economy. In 1991 Indian government introduced a series of reforms to liberalize and globalize the Indian economy. These economic reforms move towards the market economy and globalization. These policies of economic reforms were intended to integrate the Indian economy with the world economy.
The origin of World Trade Organization could be traced from the Bretton Woods Conference of 1944. In this conference, it was proposed for the creation of an International Trade Organization to establish rules and regulations for trade between countries. It finally succeeded in creating the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Seven rounds of negotiations occurred under the GATT. The eighth round - known as the Uruguay Round - which began in 1986 and concluded in 1995 established the WTO. The main aim of WTO is to increase international trade by promoting lower trade barriers and providing a platform for the negotiation of trade.
The World Trade Organization sets the rules for the global trading system and resolves disputes between its member states. The WTO headquarter is located in Geneva, Switzerland. There are 149 members in the organization with Vietnam set to join in January, 2007. The General Council of the WTO is highest decision-making body. This meets regularly to carry out the functions of the WTO.
One of the criticisms against the WTO is that it favours rich countries and multinational corporations which affect the smaller states. Another criticism is the introduction of Trade-Related Aspects of the Intellectual Property Rights [TRIPs] into the WTO rules and regulations.
The European Economic Community (EEC) was an organization established (1958) by the treaty between Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany, known informally as the Common Market. The EEC was the most significant of the three treaty organizations that were consolidated in 1967 to form the European Community. It is known as the European Union since 1993. The European Union or EU is an intergovernmental and supranational union of 25 European countries, known as member states.
The term terrorism means politically motivated violence carried out against mostly unarmed civilian population by a group of terrorists.
The term international terrorism means terrorism involving citizens of more than one country. Today, terrorism is globalised. Hence, the UN Security Council, on 28th September 2001 passed a resolution against terrorism. The UN Resolution condemned all forms of terrorism such as political, ideological, ethnic, religious or any other form.
There are several acts of terrorism committed all over the world. The most violent terrorist attack was made on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre, New York on September 11, 2001 in the U.S.A. On the morning of September 11, 2001, nineteen terrorists affiliated with al-Qaeda terrorist organization hijacked four commercial passenger jet planes in U.S.A. Each team of hijackers included a trained pilot. The hijackers crashed two of the planes into the World Trade Center in New York City, one plane into each tower.
As a result both buildings collapsed. A third plane was crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia. In this terrorist attack 2,973 people died. They belonged to many countries.
India has been witnessing terrorist violence since 1980, first in Punjab and then in Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of India. Nearly 20,000 people have been killed in terrorist violence in Jammu and Kashmir, involving both shootings and bombings. In the Jammu and Kashmir India is experiencing cross border terrorism.
The 1992 serial bomb blasts in Bombay were one of the major incidents of terrorism in India in recent years. The bomb blast in Lajpat Nagar in Delhi in 1996 had also resulted in a large number of civilian causalities. There have been many more incidents of bomb blasts in different parts of the country. An Indian Airlines aircraft was hijacked to Kandahar, the headquarters of the Taliban. 178 innocent passengers were held hostage there for a week. Indian government had to make a very difficult decision. It was forced to release three terrorists from Indian prisons to secure the safety of the hostages. On 13th December, 2001 there was an attack on the Indian Parliament. Hence, India along with U.N. has condemned terrorism because it violates the human rights of the innocent citizens.
Today the world is much more worried about the environmental changes that are taking place around the globe. The major threats identified are: Global warming, Green House Effect and Ozone depletion. There is awareness among the educated public as well as general population to reduce the environmental pollution and make the earth a safe place to live.
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