September 16, 2019
 In Determining the Legitimacy of Secession Movements

Country: Denmark
Delegate Name: Alex Mochel

Special Political Committee
Determining the Legitimacy of Succession Movements
the Kingdom of Denmark
Alex Mochel, Forest Hills Northern High School

Throughout history, countless succession movements have existed in ancient and modern empires. Succession in an etymological sense originates from Secessio Plebis, a joint strike in one of the Roman provinces. In recent times, succession and separatist movements have been seen in the USSR, Africa, and Asia during the fall of the colonial era. Additionally, throughout history, the determined legitimacy of succession has been granted by the country being left and/or the international community around it. As a result, countries like South Sudan and East Timor have gained independence and been recognized by the rest of the world. However, other succession cases, such as Kosovo and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, haven’t achieved full recognition for various reasons.

Under the flag of the Kingdom of Denmark, a notable case of movement toward independence for Greenland. Greenland is an autonomous overseas territory that depends on the danish crown for most of its survival. Containing a population of 56,000, Greenland has little economic prowess. Of Greenland’s 3.076 Billion dollar GDP, 87% originates from its sizeable commercial fishing industry. Yet, with this relatively large GDP, almost all of Greenland’s income comes directly from loans and support from Denmark. As for the move toward Greenland’s independence, support has wavered considerably in the past 50 years. In 1973 53% of Greenland supported independence; in 2016, 64% supported independence, and in 2017 only 22% supported independence. During the pandemic, support for independence dwindled considerably as their reliance on Denmark became more apparent.

Looking at this data with respect to the unique situation of the independence movement in Greenland, it can be assured that Greenland would see more benefits as a dependent autonomous territory. To understand the legitimacy of a succession movement, specific data regarding local support, the ability to sustain independence, grant its citizens adequate living standards, and support itself economically, politically, and with respect to the larger international community. In order to determine the legitimacy of succession movements, similar statistics and approaches must be made. Overall, the need to make a steady and cooperative agreement between the state and its succeeding body is of the utmost priority.

The Kingdom of Denmark recognizes that as a state with its own form of succession, it has a strong role in the debate on this issue. Denmark believes solving this issue is necessary as it can provide a precedent for future succession movements. Countries experiencing peaceful and violent independence movements will have considerable weight in this issue and will both equally benefit from solving it. The Kingdom Of Denmark calls upon not only nations with succession movements but the international community as a whole to ensure their interests and motives are for the benefit of the people. Furthermore, Denmark looks forward to working with these nations and all other interested parties to create a cohesive solution in order to tackle this pervasive issue.

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