September 16, 2019
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 In Determining the Legitimacy of Secession Movements

Country: Spain
Delegate Name: Ishaan Muchumarri

Special Political Committee
Determining The Legitimacy of Secession Movements
Kingdom of Spain
Ishaan Muchumarri
Forest Hills Eastern

For centuries, nations across the globe have experienced secession movements, a movement of a certain region within a country to form a new and independent nation. Instances of secession can vary, from Ireland leaving Great Britain to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Of concern, is how these movements have impacted the nations they originated from and how foreign nations have been supporting the movements within another country. Passed by the United Nations in 1970, the DPILFRC(Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation) states that the affairs within a nation are not to be interfered with by another. In recent years this has been violated. In 2005, the United Nations involved itself in the Bougainville Secession Crisis, going into the domestic affairs of Papua New Guinea. With the current situation of secession movements being uncertain and the United Nations having an un-definitive stance on the matter, Spain seeks to establish a singular international stance on secession movements.

The Kingdom of Spain, has in the past and, currently is facing several succession movements within its country. The Spanish Constitution allows regions of Spain to declare autonomy and govern themselves if it is the will of the people, which has resulted in the creation of 17 autonomous states within Spain. This allows the people of Spain the right to self-govern while still maintaining national identity and unity under the Monarchy. Certain states, including the Basque Country and Catalonia, are not satisfied with their autonomy and have sought to entirely cut off relations with the Spanish Government and form their own government. While these movements claim to be driven by the desires of the people, they come at the cost of the general public. The current movement in Catalonia has seen corruption spread, embezzlement of public funds to pursue opposition of the government, and many more harmful acts. The Spanish government has sought to end these movements and protect the public from separatist forces. With the most recent election of Prime Minister Sanchez, the government has taken a more lenient stance on secession, but still stands against it. In 2020, the Prime Minister began regular meetings with the leader of Catalonia, though these meetings did experience a pause at the outbreak of COVID-19. These meetings are proving to be very unproductive though, as Catalonia is unable to negotiate with reason and remains unaccepting of compromise.

While the United Nations has addressed this issue, too much has been left unclear, and what has been made clear remains weakly enforced. The Kingdom of Spain proposes that the United Nations further enforces the policy of preventing foreign nations from interfering in the domestic affairs of a nation(as stated in the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation), something which has been tolerated and even supported in the UN’s history. Additionally, Spain is advocating for a requirement of specific legal evidence or events of mistreatment and/or denial of human rights in order for secession movements to gain support from foreign countries. While Spain does believe that domestic affairs should stay within a country, mistreatments of humans does serve as an exception and prompt a legitimate need for secession. Adding on to this, Spain sees that secession movements at the wrong time could be absolutely disruptful to the state and security of a nation, and as a result desires to grant nations the power to seek aid from the United Nations to delay a secession movement within the aid-seeking nation for a 5-year period to allow the nation to deal with current pressing issues.

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