Delegate Name: Shep Bower
Determining the Legitimacy of Secession Movements
The Republic of Finland
Forest Hills Eastern
Secession, the act of one group attempting to split from a larger pre-existing state, has been common throughout history. It is usually due to the desperate need to improve conditions and have a true form of self-determination. It is often also because of political strife, warfare, and other struggles. There are currently more than 60 active secessionist movements throughout the world, all with varying degrees of legitimacy and recognition. These movements can have dire consequences for the civilians of the areas. One of the first principles to be found in the United Nations charter is self-determination. This word has been interpreted to mean the right of the people to self-determination within the internal workings of a state. Challenges arise when people are not given equal rights, and representation, or otherwise treated unfairly within the structure of a state. This is loosely addressed in the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperations among States which says that violation of the territorial integrity of the states conducting themselves with international principles on equal rights and self-determination is not authorized.
This statement gives a very loose sense of legitimacy to movements that are born from non-compliance to those principles. The problem of a secession movement’s legitimacy is that it depends on the states it gets recognition from.
This topic is not a current issue in Finland as there are not any major secession movements occurring in Finland. Finland’s most recognized secession movement was when it seceded from the Soviet Union in 1917, yet they don’t have a strong opinion on determining the legitimacy of secession movements. Finland gained independence through many years of revolution and political autonomy. Finland would not like to be involved in any war from secession. Finland’s secession was found to be legitimate through the recognition of many notable states, like the United Kingdom and the United States.
Finland will condemn the legitimacy of most mild secessions, unless they are not caught in war from those secessions or those secessions seem illogical.Finland and their allies will determine the legitimacy of a secession movement through recognitions from other countries. Finland and their allies would also like to stay neutral in most secession movements.