September 16, 2019
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 In Determining the Legitimacy of Secession Movements

Country: Egypt
Delegate Name: Abigail Huffman

Special Political Committee
Determining the Legitimacy of Secession Movements
The Arab Republic of Egypt
Abigail Huffman
Forest Hills Eastern

Secession movements have existed in the international community since nations were organized. However, with the complexities of modern-day global affairs, when to recognize these movements as entirely new states has become uncertain. In the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States, The United Nations vaguely suggests that secession movements may be valid if they fit the following criteria: “By virtue of the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, all people have the right freely to determine, without external interference, their political status and to pursue the economic, social and cultural development, and every state has the duty to respect their rights in accordance with the provisions of the Charter.” The UN has clearly stated that all people have the right to challenge their standard of living within their country. Still, it is unclear if the UN would recognize a new state, or would just encourage positive development for the already existing state. In order to become a legitimate member of the United Nations, states must first be approved by the security council, and then be recognized by two-thirds of existing members. The latest country to be added to the UN was South Sudan, which successfully seceded from Sudan in 2011. South Sudan’s motive for secession was the oppression by the North Sudan governance in the country’s policy. The country was recognized first by Sudan itself, in order to bring an end to the brutal conflict between the two warring groups. Soon after, the globe’s most powerful countries began to recognize South Sudan as a country as well. It appears that secession movements are often deemed legitimate once the parent country agrees to the new state’s independence.

Geographically, Egypt has been surrounded by multiple secession movements. One of the most notable is the ongoing Palestinian and Israeli conflict. Egypt was one of the first countries to recognize Palestine as a country on November 15th, 1988. Yet, the nation still maintains diplomatic relations with Israel, as Egypt serves as a peacemaker in the Middle East. Egyptian Diplomacy and International Relations hold the belief that the best solution for all Middle Eastern parties stems from a peaceful Middle East region. Therefore, Egypt would most likely support a secession movement within the Middle East if it was reasonable to assume the separation of the two states would not evoke uproar and could be reached peacefully. This policy is again demonstrated in South Sudan’s secession, which was considered the best solution by Sudan and South Sudan. Egypt was the second country globally to recognize South Sudan as an independent state which indicates Egypt’s support of succession in accordance with the UN criteria.

In order to ensure international cohesion, the Arab Republic of Egypt encourages the United Nations to consider the effects legitimizing secession movements will have on both parties of the conflict. In order for secession movements to be legitimized both the parent state and newly independent state must come to an agreement that serves the greater interest of their people. Egypt respects and supports secession for marginalized and oppressed populations, but also acknowledges the necessity of civility between the two parties.

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