September 16, 2019
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 In Determining the Legitimacy of Secession Movements

Country: Jordan
Delegate Name: Ella Moses

Special Political Committee
Determining the Legitimacy of Secession Movements
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Ella Moses, Forest Hills Northern High School

The issue of secession has been prevalent since the beginning of recorded history. While international law doesn’t prohibit secession, both secessionist and separatist movements have brought countries’ integrity into question by challenging legitimacy. For instance, the international community has recognized Taiwan as an autonomous nation, distinct from China, but China has failed to authenticate Taiwan’s independence; this issue brings about political turmoil in foreign relations because of the differing viewpoints. Most cases of secession are created from a group’s desire for improved conditions or self-determination. However, in all cases of secession, it’s the civilians who are made to deal with the actual day-to-day consequences. The Montevideo Convention in 1933 determined that conditions for statism include a permanent population, defined territory, government, and a capacity to enter into relations. Since then, the ideals of secession have grown to include a majority of independence, respect for minorities, a viable state, and settlement in neighboring controversies. As a result of secession’s controversial nature, it’s important to consider the issue from a multilateral perspective.

Although Jordan hasn’t had major internal issues with secession since the Ottoman Empire, Jordan is familiar with its challenges. In the regions surrounding Jordan, issues of civil unrest have persecuted the area. In 1988, King Hussein of Jordan acknowledged the Palestinian people’s right to secession; from Jordan, there would be an independent state made up of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. However, Jordan’s compromise wasn’t forged from having a strong relationship with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Instead, the Act of Union of 1950 allied Jordan and the Palestinian people together. After this crucial decision, issues regarding Jerusalem shifted focus back toward the Israeli-Palestine conflict.

Recently, King Abdullah of Jordan met separately with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz. Jordan is working towards creating improved relations with Israel in order to encourage peace talks between Palestinians and Israelis.

While Jordan has had a history of political disparities, the movement toward secession has been successfully prevented thus far. Jordan is attentive in looking out for other potential issues of secession around the area and within Middle East rebel groups. As shown through efforts with the Israel-Palestine conflict, Jordan values peaceful, diplomatic relations. Matters of self-determination cannot be generalized, so any future issues at hand will have to be solved with specificity to the individual characteristics. Jordan hopes to continue protecting its people, but also protecting the good of humanity. Secession has serious influence over territorial integrity and international law, so matters pertaining to it will not be taken lightly.

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