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Extended Essay - The Role of a UN-Secretary General to Achieve World Peace: The Endeavor of U Thant in Handling the Cuban Missile Crisis

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Candidate Number: 006048004 Topic: The Role of a UN Secretary-General to Achieve World Peace: The Endeavour of U Thant in handling the Cuban Missile Crisis Question: To what extent did U Thant play a vital role as Secretary-General of the United Nations, maintaining his neutral position, in keeping the peace and preventing a Nuclear Warfare by Disentangling the US-Soviet Conflict in the Caribbean Area in 1962? Name: Zwe Kyaw Zwa Candidate Number: 006048-004 Centre Number: 6048 Subject: History Extended Essay Supervisor: Ms. Sandar Chen Date: 16/9/2012 Word Count: 3975 Abstract: 280 Abstract This extended essay examines the question: To what extent did U Thant play a vital role as Secretary-General of the United Nations, maintaining his neutral position, in keeping the peace and preventing a nuclear warfare by disentangling the US-Soviet Conflict in the Caribbean area in 1962? My thesis examines the historical investigation of the US naval quarantine of the Soviet shipment of nuclear warheads to Cuba, the confrontational conversations between the conflicting governments and U Thant?s unbiased negotiation for compromised solution for world peace. Along with the withdrawal of the Soviet warships and bombers, and the disassembling of nuclear weapons in Cuba, the crisis ends with US?s pledge of not invading Cuba. The scope of the essay is restricted only to the negotiations between the state leaders of the conflicting nations, John F. Kennedy, Nikita Khrushchev and Fidel Castro, and the UN Secretary-General U Thant. Also, the essay does not explore the historical details of the background of the crisis but focuses mainly on U Thant?s compromised solution destined to peace during the Cuban missile crisis. In order to examine the research question, secondary sources relating to U Thant?s position in the crisis written by both foreign and Burmese authors, including the Secretary-General himself, are used. The investigation undertaken leads to the conclusion that U Thant?s attempt to solve the crisis was more significant rather than the role played by Kennedy, Khrushchev and Castro. ...read more.

Middle

On 30th October, U Thant?s first meeting in Havana with Castro was a failure. Even though Thant had stressed on the plea for trading the US?s pledge of not invading Cuba for UN?s supervision of dismantling the Cuban missile sites, as agreed by Khrushchev, Castro bluntly rejected this offer. This might be due to Castro?s desire to gain power as a strong military leader of Cuba by possessing these offensive weapons. In addition, he might not believe the US?s promise of not invading Cuba, and so, could not accept U Thant?s proposal. The very same day, U Thant received good news from a Soviet general; that, the Soviet had begun disassembling the missiles in Cuba and would complete the operation by 2nd November.[35] This was encouraging news not only for the national security of the US, but also for the world to avoid a nuclear warfare. On 31st October, despite Thant's second meeting with Castro remaining futile, he still managed to persuade Castro to return the body of the US pilot, Major Rudolph Anderson.[36] Returning to New York, U Thant could conclude that his trip to Cuba had been fairly successful; he had acquired direct information of withdrawal of missiles in Cuba as well as retrieved the US pilot?s body. 1. Resolution From 1st to 20th November, U Thant continued to serve as a mediator to ensure an absolute cessation of the crisis. During this time, he achieved consent from Castro, in agreement from both the US and the USSR, to send the ICRC (International Committee of Red Cross) to verify the uprooting of missiles in Cuba, instead of the UN observers.[37] On 20th November, after the US air surveillance of the withdrawal of Soviet bombers in Cuba, Kennedy lifted the quarantine. The Cuban missile crisis had come to an end. The following results have been obtained from the UN?s intervention in the Cuban missile crisis: * Dismantle of the Soviet nuclear missiles from Cuba * US?s pledge with USSR of not invading Cuba ...read more.

Conclusion

484?85. [26]Ramses Nassif, U Thant in New York, 1961-1971, A Portrait of the Third UN Secretary-General, C. Hurst & Company, London, 1988, p. 31. [27]Edward C. Keefer and Erin R Mahan, eds. Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969-1976: SALT I, 1969-1972. Volume XXXII. Washington, DC: United States Government Publication Office, 2010, pp. 258-259. (<http://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1969-76v32>). [28]Ramses Nassif, U Thant in New York, 1961-1971, A Portrait of the Third UN Secretary-General, C. Hurst &Company, London, 1988, p. 32. [29]Ernest R. May, Philip Zelikow, eds., The Kennedy Tapes: Inside the White House during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Harvard University Press (HUP), 1997, p. 520. [30]Ibid., p. 688. [31]New York Times, October 30, 1962, p. 1. [32]Ramses Nassif, U Thant in New York, 1961-1971, A Portrait of the Third UN Secretary-General, C. Hurst & Company, London, 1988, p. 33. [33]Ramses Nassif, U Thant in New York, 1961-1971, A Portrait of the Third UN Secretary-General, C. Hurst & Company, London, 1988, p. 32. [34]Ibid., p. 33. [35]Ibid., p. 34. [36]Ibid., p. 35. [37] ?Russian Documents,? CWIHPB, p. 293. [38]Ramses Nassif, U Thant in New York, 1961-1971, A Portrait of the Third UN Secretary-General, C. Hurst & Company, London, 1988, p. 37. [39]ABC-TV, ?Adlai Stevenson Reports,? December 23, 1962. [40] Gertrude Samuels, ?The Meditation of U Thant,? New York Times Magazine, December13, 1964, p. 115. [41]Primary Resource: Interview with U Thant's grand-nephew, Dr. Than Naing [42]Picture of U Thant - Havel's House of the History: Autographs of Leaders of the United Nations, p 6. (<http://www.havelshouseofhistory.com/Autographs%20of%20Leaders%20of%20the%20UN%20Page%206.htm>) [43]October 27, 1962: U.S. and U.S.S.R. in confrontation at U.N. Security Council (<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/October_1962>) [44]Oracle Education Foundation - The Cuban Missile Crisis- Fourteen Days in October (<http://library.thinkquest.org/11046/days/index.html>) [45]Picture of Poltava on its way to Cuba - About Facts Net - Cuban Missile Crisis Pictures 1 (<http://aboutfacts.net/DocsCubanMissleCrisisPictures1.htm>) [46]Hla Oo's Blog - 1974 U Thant Uprising - Former UNSG U Thant (< http://hlaoo1980.blogspot.com/2010/10/1974-u-thant-uprising.html>) [47]Michael Dobbs - The National Security Archive - One Minute to Midnight: "Kennedy, Khrushchev and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War," 18th June 2008 (<http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/nsa/cuba_mis_cri/dobbs/warheads.htm>) ...read more.

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