September 16, 2019
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 In Determining the Legitimacy of Secession Movements

Country: Poland
Delegate Name: Clara DeWaele

Secession movements have occurred many times throughout history, as groups have left their countries in an attempt to gain self determination for themselves. Though these movements are generally meant to better the lives of the group seceding, they can severely hurt the citizens of the country, who are caught in the crossfire. These citizens suffer from the military warfare, famine, and disease that occur when a country is divided, fighting for leadership within itself.

Poland has a recent history of secession movements within its borders, with the Silesian group, a large minority within Poland, founding the Silesian Autonomy Movement in 1990. Silesians have continuously been oppressed by multiple countries, including Germany and Czechoslovakia, as its territory has been transferred, dating back to World War II. But they have consistently fought for their own nationality, as a census from Poland in 2011 states, “847,000 people declared themselves to be of Silesian nationality”. Silesians have since argued for autonomy, but have been unsuccessful in gaining the support needed to properly become an independent state. Along with this recent secession movement, Poland has experienced division within its country in the past, with annexation of its own territory revolving around World War II. These two events have given Poland a good understanding of the pain that division can cause a country, and the devastating effects it has on the citizens living there.

With these issues in mind, Poland believes that secession movements can deeply hurt a country and its people, and therefore the United Nations should only legitimize such movements if it is obvious that the group in the act of secession has established its own proper leadership, and has the means of supporting its citizens. Though secession movements are important for separate groups to determine their own nationality, it is just as important that their actions do not create complete chaos within the country. Furthermore, if a secession movement is necessary for the people within the country to feel safe from its own government, then such a movement should be legitimized, as it is a means of protection and a preservation of human rights. Poland hopes to work with other nations who have come to the same conclusion on this topic, and are willing to work for more peaceful actions of secession in the future.

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