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GP Samples Essays – International Affairs

Are you a JC H1 General Paper student in Singapore searching for good sample essays on international affairsOr are you preparing for this topic that is part of theme of Global Issues, Humanity, Politics, etc for your upcoming GP exam?


Bookmark us, and visit often, as we plan to add a few more sample essays for this General Paper topic of International Affairs. This is definitely a repeated trends question, and ought to be re-visited often.


Q1: Recent world developments have made a Third World War more likely. Comment.


As the world braces itself for the twenty-first century, many recent political, economic and technological advances are gradually transforming it into a global village. However, as parts of the world remain embroiled in unresolved feuds, the threat of a global war remains real. Nevertheless, as international trust and co-operation slowly become prevalent, I believe that the threat of a global war (WW3) is becoming a distant possibility.


Fifty years after the bombing of Hiroshima, the horrors of the Second World War continue to haunt the world. Man has learnt from the destruction of this war and is conscious of the need to maintain peace. Extensive efforts have been made to reduce the threat of war, with the United Nation (UN) as the most significant landmark. The UN has helped reduce many conflicts through inter national co-operation, and continues to receive tremendous support from member states. Despite recent fighting in Bosnia and Chechnya, the UN continues to function as a medium to ease tensions, through mediation and international pressure, virtually removing possibilities of an all-out global armed confrontation.


Another major post-war development was the Cold War between the Communist and Western democratic nations. However, this ideological conflict has since thawed and greatly reduced tensions in world politics. Replacing the military build-ups of the Cold War, are previously seemingly impossible scenes of international friendship and co-operation. For example, former Warsaw Pact members recently sought NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) membership, and trade between the former communist bloc and the European Union has also increased enormously. Even though the ideal of world brotherhood remains distant, one can only look at these developments with optimism.


One of the results of the end of the Cold War is the reduction of arms by major military powers. For example, the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) be tween the United States and Russia augurs well for world peace.


Even though critics may argue that a subsequent effect of this is the purchasing of arms by Third World countries, we should not be unduly worried. This is because as many of the weaker countries arm themselves in defense, aggressor nations will be effectively deterred from waging wars. Hence, this redistribution of military might will serve to implement a new world balance of power and probably reduce the chances of a major war.


Another reason for optimism is the increasing importance of international trade in our world. As competition for trade intensifies with the rise of many developing countries, countries have never been as reliant on economic co-operation. This helps to divert attention from differences and also allows nations to be open to one another. Moreover, isolation from the global community. would be catastrophic and this subsequently allows space for international diplomacy and pressure to be applied in the name of peace. For instance, North Korea’s initial stand of indifference over the inspection of its nuclear facilities was softened after promises of economic aid, thus removing an impending nuclear crisis.


Furthermore, with increasing standards of education, many people are learning the need for acceptance and integration with other races and religious groups. The vehement opposition to Neo-Nazis in Germany and the political breakthrough made in Israel-Arab relations are evidence of this. This development has greatly down played racism and ultra-nationalism, ensuring global understanding.


In conclusion, the world will always remain under the threat of a global conflict. Peace-keeping efforts should be maintained and complacency must never be allowed to develop. With these in points mind, recent developments should have reduced the likelihood of a Third World War.


Remarks from General Paper tuition teacher: Bring in the recent summit between Kim and Trump in Singapore, signifying reduction of nuclear arms race. But also the pseudo, phony war of Cold War 2.0 between USA and China.


Q2: ‘We should only be concerned with our affairs.” Discuss whether this attitude should be adopted by your country?


Key Terms:
World affairs and issues are of no significance to Singapore. As a nation we should only focus our attention on domestic issues. We should also not intervene in the affairs of others.

Hence, there are 2 ways to interpret this question.

Question Type:
The presence of “should” makes this a justification question.

Students are therefore to provide reasons to justify stand taken i.e. why we should not intervene or know about other world affairs and not what has happened so far. However, the absolute term ‘only’ expects students to reject the absolute claim before proceeding to provide reasons / areas in which Singapore needs to be involved in.

Things to look out for:
As much as this is an absolute inviting options, students must not merely list out options / other areas in which Singapore should be involved in without highlighting the nature of the globalised world we live today.

Students need to show understanding of the current global economy and lifestyle such that events that happen in one country will inevitably affect another. Hence the need to focus on international or regional issues / affairs.

Possible Areas to Consider. o Economic Development – domestically, regionally and internationally,

Security – Terrorism (international, geopolitical)
Health-  Diseases
Environment Issues
Political Tensions in the region


Q3: ‘The worst of times.’ Consider whether this view is an apt description of the 21st century.


Key Terms:
The 21st century is the worst era to live in due to the many disasters that have occurred, both naturally and due to man’s actions.

Question Type:
This is an absolute comparative question.

Candidates must refute the statement by contrasting the current century with the past in order to show that this era is as bad as if not better than certain periods in history.

It must be evident that candidates are doing a contrast and not merely listing the disasters that have taken place this century and/or those that occurred in the past.

Hence, candidates must: discuss the factors that would make others believe we live in the worst era while simultaneously showing that these factors were non-existent in the past;

show however that they believe the disasters we witness are similar in impact as those in the past today, and that there are instances to show that today, man has been able to solve problems that plagued him in the past.

Areas to Consider:
Economic Aspect:
Economic crises
Income disparity

Social Aspect;
Global warming
Diseases/ epidemics
Natural disasters

Political Aspect:
Power struggle, unilateralism, international affairs
War and terrorism

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