September 16, 2019

Determining the Legitimacy of Secession Movements

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General Assembly: Special Political Committee

Topic: Determining the Legitimacy of Secession Movements

Secession, the act of one group attempting to split from a larger pre-existing state is a common theme throughout history, usually the desperate bid of one group to improve their condition and have a form of true self-determination. It is often accompanied by political strife, warfare, and other such struggles in even the best of cases, those in which the secessionist movement receives recognition from the international community and the state from which it split originally. That, however, is not exactly commonplace. There are currently more than 60 active secessionist movements throughout the world on almost every continent, from Somaliland to South Ossetia, all with varying degrees of recognition and legitimacy. This can have dire consequences for the civilians living in these areas, often caught up in military conflicts, poverty, disease, famine, and other such issues as states with different levels of capacity vie for control of a secessionist region.

One of the very first principles to be found in the United Nations charter is that of self-determination. This has been interpreted largely to mean the right of a people to self-determination within the internal workings of a state, not necessarily the right of a people to a state of their own. However, challenges arise when a people are not given equal rights, and representation, or are otherwise treated unfairly within the structure of a state. This problem is loosely addressed within the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States which states that violation of the territorial integrity of states conducting themselves in compliance with international principles on equal rights and self-determination is not authorized. This gives a very loose sense of legitimacy to movements that are born from non-compliance to those principles. However, this is hardly a sound legal basis for secession movements and circumstances are almost never that simple. As a result, the problem of a secessionist movement’s legitimacy often boils down to which states a secession movement can receive recognition from, creating problems for all involved parties and international peace as a whole. Though the topic has been frequently debated, further guidelines about the legality and legitimacy of secession have yet to be created and remain vague.

This poses the question, what exactly gives legitimacy to a secessionist cause if any legitimacy is to be given at all? It is very important to view this question from all perspectives. Though a state’s territorial integrity is of high importance, it is also of high importance to consider the plights of a people, and how that could lend legitimacy to the idea of them having their own form of external self-determination.

Useful Links:

Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation Among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations:

The Right of Peoples and Nations to Self-Determination:

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Submitted Position Papers

FHEDelegates 11/23/2022 23:28:07

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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WilliamstonDelegates 11/23/2022 23:33:42

Country: Philippines
Delegate Name: Savannah Badra

Delegate: Savannah Badra
Country: Philippines
Committee: SPECPOL
Topic: Determining the Legitimacy of Secession Movements
Williamston High School

The United Nations is built upon one key principle; The idea of National Sovereignty. Without this accepted framework, there would be no cooperation between nations and the economic and social advancements of the 77 years since the formation of the United Nations would have never been possible.
The right of self determination is encompassed by this principle, and without a solid framework on how to best preserve the rights and freedoms of all peoples, The United Nations would fail to serve one of its main purposes outlined in its charter.

The Philippines, along with other post-colonial nations, knows what it means to be subjected unwillingly to the rule of an authority which does not represent its people nor their ideals. The Special Political and Decolonization Committee has worked since its creation to prevent the wrongs of the colonial era from being repeated, especially when it comes to independence movements. The Philippines would not be able to exist in the free and representative state it currently stands without the hardships and resulting blood spilled as a result. The Philippines supports the right of all peoples to petition for greater self autonomy, and wishes to greater empower all, in order to truly move past the damaging colonial era.

The Philippines supports a resolution that would clearly outline the grounds for secession, as previous measures have not clearly established guidelines for starting the process. Guarantees must be made in order to prevent modern-day imperialism, including guidelines that would discourage violent suppression of these secession movements. However, this does not mean that this cannot be achieved through peaceful and diplomatic discussions. The Philippines looks towards nations that have felt the suffocating grip of colonialism, such as Colombia, Brazil and Nigeria.

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KalamazooCentralDelegates 11/23/2022 22:28:10

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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RoyalOakDelegate 11/23/2022 21:36:05

Country: Kenya
Delegate Name: Giselle Green

Country: Kenya
Delegate Name: Giselle Green
Committee: Special Political Committee
Topic: Determining the Legitimacy of Succession

Determining the legitimacy of succession is a very important topic in the discussion of nations’ governments. Nations have their own framework outlining their country’s succession. The results of succession can either make or break a nation though. Many countries have had and still have problems due to not being able to determine the next ruler. The problem is that a nation’s succession laws can be interpreted differently. There doesn’t seem to be a constitution made by the UN to directly address this problem. Currently, the UN acknowledges a state when two-thirds of the existing members of the UN acknowledge the state as a sovereign nation. This can cause problems especially when many of the states not currently acknowledged need help fighting in the wars against parent countries who are trying to completely take over. A great example of this is the Israel-Palestinian Conflict. Although Palestine has been given some aid, it is only partially recognized by the UN while Israel is completely recognized. Because there is no clear set of guidelines concerning succession, Israel and Palestine have been in conflict since 1947.

Kenya is a relatively new nation. We won our independence from Britain in 1963 and this was a result of the Kenya Independence Act. It clearly laid out the guidelines and stated that Kenya was now in control of their government. Jomo Kenyatta was the first prime minister of Kenya giving it its independence. A few years before Kenya gained independence, a couple of political groups were born. The Kenyan African National Union and the Kenya African Democratic Union were created. When creating the constitution, regionalism vs. centralism was brought up. This caused some debate on how the constitution should be framed. Eventually an agreement was reached and four amendments were made. Now under the constitution, there is a Law of Succession Act which outlines the criteria in determining succession.

Right now, a major issue we have with the legitimacy of succession is unclear intentions which many times result in war or the denial of a nation’s independence. Kenya would like to bring forward the idea of forming an act to set certain standards for each nation’s laws in relevance to their determination of succession. This could prevent confusion with succession and create more order. Kenya would give full support to a resolution discussing the idea of making the framework dealing with the legitimacy of succession more clear and specific.

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FHEDelegates 11/23/2022 21:33:39

Country: Guatemala
Delegate Name: Shriya Nallan Chakravarthi

Special Political Committee
The Legitimacy of Secession Movements
The Republic of Guatemala
Shriya Nallan Chakravarthi
Forest Hills Eastern

There are at least 60 secessionist movements alive around the world, however, only a minority succeed. The majority of these movements slowly fade away or die violently. To the secessionist movements, secession could mean a new, safer life, but the process has to be safe for all involved parties, such as the state, residents, secessionists, and the country as a whole. There should be a way to decide legitimacy to protect the right to self-determination while maintaining what is best for the country. The United Nations have addressed this loosely in the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States. The UN created the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), but the guidelines are broad, and the interpretations vary.

Guatemala seceded from the Mexican Empire in the 1820s, and afterward, there have not been many major secessionist movements recently. There is a chance of a secessionist movement with the indigenous peoples of Guatemala, but there is little evidence or legitimacy whatsoever. Guatemala ratified and is bound to ICCPR. The ICCPR states that all “peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right, they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social, and cultural development.” The phrase ‘all peoples’ indicates that self-determination is a collective right, not an individual right. Guatemala believes that legitimate secession movements must have a group of people with the same goal and determination. Guatemala is part of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). ICESCR believes that all people have the right to self-determination, and through that, the group may freely show their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development, but as a 1999 UN Guatemalan delegate had said, secession and self-determination “should not be the detriment of territorial or independent integrity of the states”

The Republic of Guatemala recommends The United Nations create a specific definition of legitimate secession movements. As tensions rise in the country, a tighter and more detailed description of legitimate secession will help Guatemala determine what is the right course of action to ensure the integrity of the country while respecting the rights of the secessionist movements.

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FHEDelegates 11/23/2022 20:39:35

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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ForestHillsNorthernDelegates 11/23/2022 17:23:24

Country: Japan
Delegate Name: Celina Du

Succession can be defined as the act of a group of people splitting from a preexisting state. Unfortunately, this form of self-determination is usually accompanied by war, poverty, disease, and unrest. At this very moment there are over 60 secessionist movements seeking recognition from the international community. The legitimacy of these movements is not for one single country to decide, and Japan is eager to work with the international body of countries in the UN to promote peace and order in those particularly contentious areas of the world.
Japan has been making significant, as well as constructive contributions towards the establishment of the rule of law within the international community. Japan has emphasized peaceful settlement of international disputes and has shown strong support to the International Criminal Court by sending distinguished judges there. Japan has also been an active voice in the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly and has worked closely with the International Law Commission.
Japan hopes to work closely with other member states in establishing a bipartisan UN committee that will individually examine each case of succession. Each instance will have a unique set of needs and will need to be approached in a unique way. With each country contributing, the committee will take into account all perspectives, including concerns with human rights, territorial integrity, poverty, war, and the UN General Assembly can vote to lend legitimacy to the secession movement.

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WilliamstonDelegates 11/23/2022 20:20:26

Country: Nigeria
Delegate Name: Juliet Guenther

Delegate: Juliet Guenther
Country: Federal Republic of Nigeria
Committee: SPECPOL
Topic: Determining the legitimacy of secession movements.

Secession movements are a prevalent issue where are party seeks to split off from a pre-existing state. Secession movements are also referred to as separatist movements, and they have been prevalent throughout history. There are over 60 secession movements active as of 2022. The issue we face is justifying, and finding legitimacy within these movements. Causes can be found from mistreatment, and/or oppression of a population. These movements often cause violence, and even military conflict.
The Federal Republic of Nigeria has experienced secession and secession movements. On October 1st, 1960 Nigeria declared independence from the British government. Ever since colonial times, there have been secession movements in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Due to the Republic of Nigeria’s past, the Republic of Nigeria is in full support of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples. While that is what is supported for colonies the Republic of Nigeria does not view the secession movements as legitimate.
The Federal Republic of Nigeria plans on supporting policies that make secession with colonies. While making secession harder for movements trying to separate territory that borders the country they’re separating from. The Federal Republic of Nigeria will support policies that follow either of these values and pursue allyship with countries that share these values.

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KalamazooCentralDelegates 11/23/2022 19:45:54

Country: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Delegate Name: Aliah Mohmand

Special Political Committee
Determining the Legitimacy of Secession Movements
Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea
Aliah Mohmand
Kalamazoo Central High School

The question of the legitimacy behind the secession of nation-states has frequently been one that has challenged members of the United Nations since the charter’s conception. The United Nations’ The Right of Peoples and Nations to Self-determination, upholds the convention that “the right of peoples and nations to self-determination is a prerequisite to the enjoyment of all…human rights” (GA 7th Session, 1952). However, in subsequent resolutions, the UN rejects the means that may be necessary in order to achieve self-determination. The UN Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations exemplifies that “any attempt aimed at the partial or total disruption of national unity… is incompatible with the purpose of the charter” (GA 25th Session, 1970). It can be further noted that the United Nations has come to quickly recognize and champion the legitimacy and sovereignty of certain seceded states, such as South Sudan. Yet it has become increasingly evident that the UN often contradicts its own stances with its failure to acknowledge the repeated demands and calls for secession in other states, such as in Somaliland.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) firmly advocates for the recognition of the legitimacy of seceding nation-states. Considering the DPRK’s history of a struggle for proper sovereignty and independence, the DPRK can similarly empathize with other nation-states’ calls for self-determination in response to subjugation and imperialism. From the glorious words of the eternal leader, Kim-Il-sung, the DPRK managed to build a thriving society independent of incompetent American and Japanese subjugation and imperialist rule, demonstrating the triumphs of division and secession: “In the northern half of Korea, a magnificent building up of democracy has been undertaken since liberation. The people’s committees, the organs of genuine people’s power, have developed… Democratic reforms including the agrarian reform and nationalization of industries have been carried out” (Kim-Il-sung, 1950). With the DPRK’s established socialist government and Juche ideological system based on the prized Korean principle of self-reliance, it rendered the state entirely incompatible with the predatory, capitalist, Western dictated state of the Republic of Korea. Following its liberation, the DPRK sustained a diverse history of supporting seceding states and minorities. The DPRK has previously allied with, and supported the United States-based, Black Panther Party, in its struggle for African American self-determination and Black nationalism and against its white subjugators. The DPRK has also shown solidarity with the Workers’ Party of Ireland and the IRA in its struggles for self sufficiency and independence from the greater United Kingdom as Northern Ireland. In the case of South Sudan, the DPRK was quick to establish diplomatic relations with the sovereign state following its secession.

The Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea calls for the revision of past UN resolutions to better redefine what constitutes a legitimate secession and the means necessary to be formally recognized. The DPRK specifically calls for other nation-states to consider that secondary means may be imperative for obtaining self-determination and for the fulfillment of human rights. Benevolent solutions and UN interventions, especially ones that are instituted by the West, are ludicrously notorious for failing. Furthermore, the DPRK urges UN members to acknowledge the hypocrisy of their tendency to solely support and recognize secession movements that are in favor of propelling the Western hegemony and capitalist agendas. Western or Western-allied nation-states typically hold the majority of power in deciding what secession movements receive attention and are recognized by the UN. In regards to this, the DPRK demands the creation of a third-party council to handle and decide on issues relating to secession and recognition. If the UN fails to address its blights, the residing UN agenda and guidelines for dealing with the question of secession will soon result in disastrous consequences that will be brought forth by the eruption of tensions and injustice.

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EastGrandRapidsDelegates 11/23/2022 19:13:20

Country: France
Delegate Name: Mikey Beusse

Legitimacy of Secession Movements
Mikey Beusse

Secession is the process of separating from a pre-existing state usually based on political views, economical views, or warfare. Secession has been something shown throughout history. In 2020, there were roughly 60 active secessionist movements around the world all wanting freedom. There are many different reasons however a group may have for rising a secession movement. Many are brought up based on citizens not being treated fairly or not having equal rights or representation. Others are based on political disagrances that practically divide themselves to the point of secession. However, there has been debate over legitimacy of certain secession movements. The debate on whether or not those reasons for secession are necessarily valid or not. That brings up the debate over what reasons are legitimate to cause a secession movement. France supports secession upon the reason of unfair and unequal treatment towards a select group.

France has not had many issues concerning secession movements and this issue does not directly relate to France. France’s main experience was in the American Revolution when they were supporting the seceeding party (The United States) against Great Britian by supplying army and troops over to the continental army. France supports secession in this case because in this case they believed that the state was not being treated fairly from its larger pre-exisiting state (Great Britian)

The UN has mad the ‘Declaration of Principles of International Law’ which states that all states must comply with each other in a way of respect and corresponding with international law in order to maintain international peace and security. The UN is trying to draw lines stating reasons of secession from this by stating how no states should be treated in an unkidnly or unlawful way corresponding to international law.

France believes that secession may be necessary to states who have not been treated with respect or have not been treated equally. It is important to understand that there are some cases where secession is necessary but there is a certain degree to when secession can take place. Secession should not be caused by smaller actions but should be a resort of just plain inequality and disrespect a groups pre-existing state.

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RoyalOakDelegate 11/23/2022 16:45:18

Country: Israel
Delegate Name: Ethan Robine

Country: Israel
Committee: SPECPOL
Topic: Determining The Legitimacy of Secession Movements

Secession movements have been an ongoing worldwide issue for a long time. The act of one governing body attempting to split from another is almost never a simple process and a variety of factors go into justifying the cause and establishing the legitimacy of these movements. Often these movements arise due to feelings of oppression or mistreatment amongst a population of people, often there are historic or demographic factors playing a role in the division of governments. Across various examples of succession movements various strategies have been employed, yet the rise of violence, instability, and tension are common occurrences across nearly all instances.
The State of Israel recognizes their central role in this topic of debate due to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinian states. This long established dispute has been prevelant for numerous decades and a variety of approaches have been taken in an effort to appease both sides and establish some assemblance of peace. These efforts have largely failed as tensions remain high and a definitive resolution is yet to have been made. Through all of this turmoil Israel recognizes the two separate Israel and Palestine state solution being the most feasible means of establishing peaceful relations. Newly elected Israeli prime minister Lapid stated “despite all of the obstacles, still today, a large majority of Isralis support the vision of the two state solution, I am one of them.” The organization of governing groups within the succeeding state is directly tied to determining the success and legitimacy of separatist movements. In the case of the Palestian conflict the two regions of Gaza and the West Bank are largely controlled by two separate groups, Hamas and the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization, or Fatah). These two groups, in addition to having conflict with Israel, possess conflicts between one another. This has only further intensified the violence and instability surrounding the Palestine separation movement.
The State of Israel is ultimately not opposed to the idea of a separate Palestinian state, but we wish to establish a foundation that will produce a future of peace and prosperity amongst all parties involved. Israel wishes that others consider the defensive measures that it must take to ensure the safety and prosperity of its own citizens who may get caught in the crossfire of secession endeavors. Israel acknowledges that on a global scale the vast majority of UN member states recognize Palestine as a separate non member observer state, under general assembly resolution 67/19. Additionally a variety of nations provide aid to Palestine. Israel believes that it cannot be denied that the legitimacy of a secession movement is directly correlated with the amount of foreign aid and attention a seceding body receives. Israel understands that this is an incredibly pressing issue and encourages other nations to consider multiple perspectives.
On a more global scale the State of Israel understands that many of these conditions involving the legitimacy and difficulties surrounding secession movements are applicable, for instance the ongoing dispute in the Donbas region of Ukraine. Israel also recognizes that when it comes to determining a movement’s legitimacy it is largely specific from case to case, and individual factors need to be looked at, as one overarching outline cannot be applied to all instances. Thus when it comes to creating a resolution Israel would look to set an outline that ensures specifics are viewed before conclusions are made. It is also vital that a resolution would set in place grounds for ensuring a single effective governing body existed in a newly separated state. One must also consider a seceding state’s ability to function independently in a peaceful, socially and economically strong manner. A resolution must also in some way answer the numerous questions that arise given seceding circumstances, what happens to those who live within a seceding body that do not wish to secede, at what point is a movement formally recognized, and how do we ensure proper living standards are made and maintained in a new state? Additionally Israel would like to put in place some means of deciding who shall have access to specific land and resources that both a state and seceding party claim as their own. Most important of all, Israel would like to ensure that any movement is able to exist in a lasting peaceful manner, and can continuously coexist with its previous governing body.

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ForestHillsNorthernDelegates 11/23/2022 15:32:58

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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KalamazooCentralDelegates 11/23/2022 15:19:56

Country: Canada
Delegate Name: Mackenzie Brooks

Succession is the act of one group splitting from another already existing state. Often this leads to warfare and violence causing the citizens of this state to be victims of military conflicts, poverty, illness, and famine. Canada is a pluralist democracy and with the uprise of succession movements with over 60 current movements we are very neutral on the situation because of the many downsides but with the many upsides to succession. While succession can be very violent oftentimes it can be very necessary and could help the state that’s trying to split.
Succession has not been a problem in Canada since 1867 the state of Quebec has been trying to gain sovereignty from Canada. While they have not taken any actions to try and become sovereign they do seek political independence without severing economic relations. Their reasoning behind this is that the Quebeckers would no longer have citizenship.
In response, Canada would like to take action to help the states seeking succession but also help in a much safer, less violent way to help them seek their goal.

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ForestHillsNorthernDelegates 11/23/2022 13:55:38

Country: Romania
Delegate Name: Kenna Charbauski

Special Political Committee
Determining the Legitimacy of Secessionist Movements
Kenna Charbauski
Forest Hills Northern High School

One of the largest debates currently before the United Nations (UN) is determining the legitimacy of secession movements. With over 60 active secessionist movements in every continent taking place, there are many things to be considered. While preserving a state’s territorial integrity is of utmost importance, it is also necessary to consider the plights of the people, and whether they are being treated unjustly. Romania firmly believes in the preservation of territorial integrity in established states. In Article 30, paragraph 7 of the Constitution of Romania, it is made clear that unilateral secession is prohibited, stating “Any defamation of the country and the nation, any instigation to a war of aggression, to national, racial, class or religious hatred, any incitement to discrimination, territorial separatism, or public violence, as well as any obscene conduct contrary to morality shall be prohibited by law.” In this same statement it is also stated that national, racial, class or religious hatred, and any incitement to discrimination is against the law. This draws a thin line in determining the legitimacy of any movements.

The topic of secession is a current issue in Romania, with the Székely autonomy movement taking place. The Szeklers, a Hungarian sub-group in Eastern Transylvania, are demanding Hungarian autonomy. Although the Constitution of Romania states “Romania is a nation state, sovereign and independent, unitary and indivisible (Article 1),” the National Council for Combating Discrimination (CNDC) has found certain Romanian officials guilty of racism due to their anti-seccesion remarks. The Democratic Alliance of Hungarians submitted a draft legislation for the autonomy of Székely Land. The draft was automatically adopted by the Romanian Parliament after exceeding the 45-day deadline for debate. Romanian President Klaus Iohannis criticized the draft, speaking mockingly of it and the Szeklers. He was fined 5,000 lei by the CNDC for discrimination. The issue is an ongoing debate in Romania, with some arguing that the movement is clearly defined as illegal in the constitution, and others stating the denial of autonomy is a denial of their rights. The UN Charter does not clearly address the legitimacy of secessionist movements, which makes it difficult to determine the right of unilateral secession. Romania has not yet passed the draft to allow for Székely autonomy. It is necessary for secessionist movements to remain peaceful. Romania is debating the issue legally.

Romania urges the UN to pass clearer rules in relation to peaceful secession. The passage of secession related laws would assist Romania in the vital decision it must make. Although Romania has not allowed for Székely autonomy, it does recognize the plights of the people. Peaceful secession should have a strict process that can be followed by all members of the UN.

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ForestHillsNorthernDelegates 11/23/2022 14:05:49

Country: Yemen
Delegate Name: Quinn Suvedi

Special Political Committee
Determining the Legitimacy of Secession Movements
Republic of Yemen
Quinn Suvedi, Forest Hills Northern High School

By definition, secession is the action of withdrawing formally from membership of a federation or body. The goal of a secession movement is to create a new state that is separate from the territory that it seceded from. Secession is almost always accompanied by war. The Declaration of Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperations among states gives a loose sense of legitimacy to movements where international principles of equal rights and self-determination are not authorized. Therefore, the legitimacy of secession movements is based on whether or not a secession receives recognition.
Currently, Yemen itself is facing a secession crisis. So far, almost a quarter of a million people have died. In September 2014, the Houthis took over the Yemeni capital Sanaa, and by 2016, they had taken over much of northern Yemen. The Houthi movement in Yemen emerged in the 1990s as a reaction to Saudi financial and religious influence. They are backed by Iran. For years, they have been attacking Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Currently, four million people are internally displaced due to this. According to the national library of medicine, outbreaks of COVID-19, cholera, and other diseases have overwhelmed hospitals and gravediggers. Yemen “is already in the midst of the longest-running and largest cholera epidemic in recorded history.” Yemenis are “especially vulnerable to vector-borne diseases, since they often do not have adequate shelter.” In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that less than fifty percent of Yemen’s healthcare facilities were fully functional and accessible. This number has decreased since then. Because of all of this, there was no social distancing for COVID-19, people never wore masks in public, and transmission of this virus exploded. Three-quarters of Yemeni children are currently malnourished.
In conclusion, Yemen denounces the legitimacy of secessions. This is because Yemen’s secession crisis has killed many people and threatened many lives. Yemen does not want to see other countries going through similar catastrophes. Yemen looks forward to working with all nations to come up with a peaceful resolution to this brutal issue.

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RoeperDelegates 11/23/2022 13:39:43

Country: Brazil
Delegate Name: Goni Wong

Determining Legitimacy of Secession Movements
Federative Republic of Brazil
Goni Wong
The Roeper School

Brazil is riddled with secessionist movements, recently states such Sul and Sao Paulo in the south of Brazil have been pushing to be an autonomous region. Brazil is not the only country plagued with these issues. Ranging from mobs of Catalan nationalists marching down the streets of Barcelona to Kurds fighting for their self-determination in the middle east, the international community as a whole faces this issue together.

The topic of self-determination was one of the first principles to be found in the UN charter. “This has been interpreted largely to mean the right of a people to self-determination within the internal workings of a state, not necessarily the right of a people to a state of their own.” (Sunderlin). The right of peoples and nations to self-determination (GA 7th session, 1952) was one of the first “guidelines” for determining legitimate secession movements. It was and is a very vague guideline that encompasses multiple aspects of the issue such as, human rights, equal rights, universal peace, maintenance of self determination etc.

Brazil itself became what it is today through a secessionist movement against the Portuguese crown. Brazil has a strong history of understanding rights to self-determination and encourages other emerging states to have a level of power to determine their own future. That being said, not just any state can declare itself independent, a secession movement must fulfill some criteria, examples of criteria being under; Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation Among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and The Right of Peoples and Nations to Self-Determination. Secession movements such as “The South Is My Country” (Secession movement in southern Brazil) are deemed illegitimate due to an informal and disproportionate reflection of voters living in this area.

Brazil would like to see future cooperation between UN countries to outline further criteria to determine a legitimate secession movement. Additionally, Brazil would look favorably upon a way for either side of a secessionist movement to be able to be a part of facilitated diplomatic summits to discuss the issue at hand. In doing so, violence in Secession movements such as the Kurdish secessionist movement could be minimized or possibly eradicated. These summits would be held in countries with little stake in the outcome and a history of neutrality, e.g. Switzerland, Sweden etc.

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FHEDelegates 11/23/2022 12:46:46

Country: Finland
Delegate Name: Shep Bower

Determining the Legitimacy of Secession Movements
The Republic of Finland
Shep Bower
Forest Hills Eastern

Secession, the act of one group attempting to split from a larger pre-existing state, has been common throughout history. It is usually due to the desperate need to improve conditions and have a true form of self-determination. It is often also because of political strife, warfare, and other struggles. There are currently more than 60 active secessionist movements throughout the world, all with varying degrees of legitimacy and recognition. These movements can have dire consequences for the civilians of the areas. One of the first principles to be found in the United Nations charter is self-determination. This word has been interpreted to mean the right of the people to self-determination within the internal workings of a state. Challenges arise when people are not given equal rights, and representation, or otherwise treated unfairly within the structure of a state. This is loosely addressed in the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperations among States which says that violation of the territorial integrity of the states conducting themselves with international principles on equal rights and self-determination is not authorized.
This statement gives a very loose sense of legitimacy to movements that are born from non-compliance to those principles. The problem of a secession movement’s legitimacy is that it depends on the states it gets recognition from.

This topic is not a current issue in Finland as there are not any major secession movements occurring in Finland. Finland’s most recognized secession movement was when it seceded from the Soviet Union in 1917, yet they don’t have a strong opinion on determining the legitimacy of secession movements. Finland gained independence through many years of revolution and political autonomy. Finland would not like to be involved in any war from secession. Finland’s secession was found to be legitimate through the recognition of many notable states, like the United Kingdom and the United States.

Finland will condemn the legitimacy of most mild secessions, unless they are not caught in war from those secessions or those secessions seem illogical.Finland and their allies will determine the legitimacy of a secession movement through recognitions from other countries. Finland and their allies would also like to stay neutral in most secession movements.

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FHEDelegates 11/23/2022 10:43:28

Country: United States of America
Delegate Name: Shiva Rajan

Determining the Legitimacy of Secessionist Movements
United States of America
Shiva Rajan
Forest Hills Eastern

Secessionist movements occur all around the world. Currently, there are over 60 active secessionist movements in every continent. A secession movement is an attempt to separate a region into different governing bodies. The legitimacy of movements can be determined based on the individuals that participate in the movement. Because secession movements are driven by self-determination, it is a principal factor in the identification of these movements. The problem, however, rises when factors like discrimination and equal rights are not properly respected. The legitimacy of these movements vary as the scale of each secession movement is different. This varying size of conflict can cause different problems. While a smaller movement is going to be less of a problem and a larger movement will be a bigger problem, both can cause poverty, disease, and military action. The legitimacy of these movements are unclear and need to be taken seriously. This is a growing problem, and influences the culture, economy, and people of every country in the world and must be given a proper solution.

In recent years, secession has not been a drastic problem in the United States, but the nation experienced a large-scale secession movement in the 1800s. During the Civil War, the Confederacy wanted to split from the Union (United States) and form their own country due to the vast difference in slavery views. Since this was an action carried out from self-determination and the will of the people, this would be an occurrence of secession in US history. However, apart from this major event, the USA has not experienced another secession movement on this scale.

In response to this issue, the United States urges the United Nations to take a specific action on this imminent problem and recognize the effects of secession legitimacy. The United States recommends creating smaller committees with countries of similar views to create a proper method of identifying and responding to these secession movements.

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ForestHillsNorthernDelegates 11/23/2022 11:07:09

Country: United Kingdom
Delegate Name: Aanya Dogra

Special Political Committee
Determining the Legitimacy of Secession Movements
United Kingdom
Aanya Dogra, Forest Hills Northern High School

Secession has been prevalent throughout history—the US seceding from Great Britain or the Confederate States seceding from the Union. However, there are many more secession movements as time goes on and as people want freedom for themselves. There can only be so many independent movements, so determining their legitimacy is vital. Leaving a tyrannical country is justifiable, as independence would be a cause of the plights of the people. With a loose interpretation of the legitimacy of these movements and many different views, justified secession can be difficult to determine.

The United Kingdom has experience with secession. The Brexit movement was the withdrawal of the UK from the EU. Some of the reasons for Brexit included the economy, immigration, sovereignty, and politics. A majority of 51.8% of the votes were in favor of leaving the EU. England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales all have some sort of secession movement ideas, however, most of these issues rely on people wanting to be recognized for their own culture and wanting more power for their ideas, which is a common way of thinking for humans.

The right of peoples and nations to self-determination and the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations are some documents the United Kingdom abides by. The UK believes that secession should be available if lawful or as an escape from a tyrannical power. Lawfully, a state can withdraw from a treaty either in respect of the Determination Agent or by consent of all parties as Article 54 of the Vienna Convention states. Article 50 TEU confirms a Member State can ‘withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

The UK believes that secession should not always be a harmful act and can be achieved through law. However, not every country can secede and the legitimacy of this would be determined by the unique situation of the secession movement. The UK takes note of secession movements, considering all perspectives of it, and anticipates working with other countries.

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RoeperDelegates 11/23/2022 10:10:08

Country: Ukraine
Delegate Name: Andrew Klein

Legitimacy of Secession Movements

Secession and separatist movements have been very important in Ukraine’s history, illegitimate separatist groups have ravaged the people of Ukraine recently. One of the largest ideas of the UN charter is the right to self-determination by a group of people. This idea is heavily debated as the definition of a group of people and what brings them together can change from nation to nation. Ukraine would like to see a set standard to what defines a secession movement and penalties for foreign governments who meddle with these groups to start global conflict.
Ukraine in recent history has been ravaged by illegitimate seccion groups paid for by Russia. Russia has tried to occupy Crimea and the Dobnas regions of Ukraine because of fringe separatist groups. Russia has made these regions “People’s Republics” even though few citizens want these areas to go back to the brutal and tyrannical Russian regime. Russia has done this by propaganda. Wrongfully accusing Ukraine of having a “genoicde” against Russian speakers in these regions. These false claims has cost the lives of thousands of Ukrainians has impacted millions more through the horrors of war.
Ukraine does not believe that all secession or separatist groups are illegitimate.There are many groups who want freedom from religious persecution or have legitimate claims to a land. However, in cases like ours where there is an obvious outside body meddling in the region there can be no legitimacy.
Ukraine would like to see solutions such as penalties for nations who interfere in people’s rights to have self-determination. The people in the Donbas region and Crimea want to be Ukranains but the Russian governments has filmed fake videos, shot down planes and claimed genocide to make Ukraine look like the bad guys. Russia is a bad influence, trying to go on power trips to relieve the U.S.S.R. Ukraine would also like to see secession groups have to state their common goal, this can help determine legitimacy. There is a big difference in a group that wants freedom from execution to a terrorist group who are political outsiders.

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WilliamstonDelegates 11/22/2022 15:32:48

Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Delegate Name: Reagan Overmyer

Delegate: Reagan Overmyer
Country: The Democratic Republic of Congo
Committee: SPECPOL (GA)
Topic: Determining Legitimacy of Secession Movements

The Democratic Republic of Congo feels that determining the legitimacy of secession movements is a very important topic that needs to be addressed. African secession conflicts are rare in the post colonial era, and in many ways remain exceptional phenomena. These conflicts have combined violence and politics in ways unlike any other problems they face on the continent. DR Congo is against secession, and believes that it is unlawful as states cannot physically separate themselves from the other. It has been ruled that secession movements need to have a political motive behind them, and if they don’t that is one of a few things that qualify the movement as illegitimate. Another belief the DRC has is that if a government allows secession freely, then it can and will crumble into anarchy.

The DRC has been severely affected by secession in the past. When they became fully independent from Belgium in 1960, they descended into a political disaster better known as the Congo Crisis. The lines drawn by colonial powers mixed with uncertainty and racial tensions spiraled the country into racial violence and disorder, and at the front of this disaster stood the Belgian-led army. Belgium sent troops in to protect their own citizens, but they ended up fighting with Congolese forces which led to the UN ordering all Belgian troops be removed from the country at once. In July of 1960, not even two weeks after they had claimed independence, Moise Tshombe (politician) claimed the southernmost and wealthiest province of the DRC to be an independent nation, named the State of Katanga. The DRC as a whole didn’t support the secession. The British, Belgians, and French all wanted influence in this region, so they supported the secessionist movement in practice. Ignoring the regulations forbidding countries from supporting the movement directly, they did it anyway. The Prime Minister of Congo appealed to the United Nations for the forces to end this movement, but they initially refused, but later they passed a law authorizing UN forces to take all appropriate measures to stop civil war in the DRC.

The DRC wants secession to be made illegal. They believe that there are more peaceful ways to sort out conflict rather than becoming a separate country/state. Putting laws preventing or at least limiting secession in place would be vital when it comes to solving this issue. There will be a much more peaceful society if there isn’t the option to secede. That way countries can work together to solve conflicts rationally. The Democratic Republic of Congo expects to find allyship in countries such as China and Angola.

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WilliamstonDelegates 11/22/2022 15:30:54

Country: Russian Federation
Delegate Name: Paige Nichols

Country: Russian Federation
Topic: Secession Movements
Delegate: Paige Nichols
School: Williamston High School

Secession movements, also referred to as separatist movements, are a prevalent issue on almost every continent. They are defined as the act of one group attempting to split from a pre-existing governing body, and there are presently more than 60 active movements across the globe as of 2022. These movements often begin because of widespread oppression on behalf of governing bodies, but the outcomes can differ greatly. All too frequently these so-called independence movements contribute to the instability and violence of their regions, which only serves to make their citizens suffer further. Some secession movements have resulted in stability and freedom, but these make up a small minority of outcomes. It is of utmost importance for the United Nations to determine whether to lend support to these movements and under what circumstances, in order to maintain the authority of ruling states whilst protecting the human rights of those affected.
Historically, the Russian Federation has been an active player in supporting secession movements across the globe, such as in the Donbas and Crimean peninsula regions of Ukraine. A significant factor contributing to these movements’ success is the involvement of outside parties, which is why the Russian Federation deeply considers what movements they choose to support. The legitimacy, or necessity, of these movements, is often based on the degree of self-determination the people can exercise. In the case that citizens are denied basic rights such as self-determination, then support for secessionist movements would be justified despite the infringement of the involved nation’s state authority.
The Russian Federation would seek a resolution that would outline the legitimacy of secession movements, and the circumstances in which foreign support would be merited. If viable reasons for secession such as legitimate abuses on behalf of governing bodies and a lack of self-determination within a state can be demonstrated, Russia believes these movements would be considered justified. Additionally, they believe these movements would need to demonstrate their ability to maintain lasting stability in their respective regions, such as having regional autonomy, in order to make sure that these movements achieve more than just momentary success. Russia would seek to ally with other countries that have similar interests in maintaining regional stability, such as China and India.

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ForestHillsNorthernDelegates 11/22/2022 13:23:53

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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WilliamstonDelegates 11/22/2022 08:55:39

Country: Colombia
Delegate Name: Clare Cowen

The act of secession has been one of frequent reoccurrence throughout the course of human history. Secession movements are usually an act by a minority group who are living in dire conditions and are looking for self-determination. In the world today, there are somewhere around 60 secession movements, with the majority accompanied by warfare and political conflict. These movements not only affect the lives of those who are actively participating, but also those living in surrounding communities or regions, which are often riddled with poverty, famine, and disease. Secession movements are never simple. The question at hand is how to determine the legitimacy of these movements, and there is no written way to do this. There are no signed agreements or treaties that state when a secession movement is legitimate. The Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States declares that violation of the territorial integrity of states conducting themselves in compliance with international principles on equal rights and self-determination is not authorized, solving the issue for some movements but not others. The legitimacy of the remaining secession movements are left to be decided by the governing states, meaning that it is likely that recognition will not be gained. An official way to determine a movement’s legitimacy must be made to achieve both national and international peace, and ensure that every citizen receives the rights they deserve.

Colombia has struggled with secession movements of their own since the founding of their country. Attempts have been made to negotiate peace, which has been successful in recent years, but issues still occasionally arise. The secessionists, a group called the FARC, have committed crimes against peaceful civilians, which makes determining the legitimacy of their movement even more difficult. The Colombian government is taking the approach of making peace with the secessionists, rather than listening to the grievances of the secessionists. These attempts at making peace gave way to the formation of The Special Jurisdiction for Peace. This committee declared that the secessionists, the demobilized FARC fighters, were facing a “grave situation of human rights violations,” however, they did not specify the rights that were being violated, and made no attempts to actually address the FARC fighters’ grievances. Colombia has signed no treaties relating to secession movements, and has remained rather private about their personal struggles.

Looking forward, the government of Colombia would like to continue their previous strategy of attempting to make peace. They believe that peace should be prioritized, and that the secessionist movements should disarm and look to the Colombian government for further instructions. Applying this policy to the world as a whole, Colombia believes that, for both national international peace to be achieved, secession movements and their governing states should prioritize reaching an agreement, so that peace and prosperity will be restored to the country as a whole.

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WilliamstonDelegates 11/22/2022 08:07:16

Country: Turkey
Delegate Name: Elleah Berger

Delegate: Elleah Berger
Country: Turkiye
Committee: SPECPOL
Topic: Determining the Legitimacy of Secession Movements

The geopolitical world is ever changing with the rise and fall of countries, changes in borders, and regional wars. One factor that contributes to this ever changing nature is secession movements. These movements often rise with the good intentions of improving their condition and gaining self determination, but the journey to becoming a stable state is most often riddled with political strife, warfare, and many other struggles, and often ends much worse than it started. Military conflicts related to secession cause thousands to die every year, and many of them are civilians who had nothing to do with the secession, and were just caught in the crossfire. Poverty, disease, and famine are other detrimental consequences faced by innocent civilians during secession movements. The success of a secession movement is not a well defined term, but sometimes a new state is assumed when the seceded state receives recognition from preexisting states and countries and is treated as such. However, the lack of clear definition creates problems for the parties involved in a secession movement and disrupts international peace as a whole. In the interest of protecting international peace and the lives of civilians, it is critical that we as United Nations members clearly define the legitimacies and success of secession movements.

Turkiye was not a nation born from a secession movement, but was formed from the broken pieces of the Ottoman Empire after World War I. However, Turkiye has been dealing with secession movements led by the Kurdish people of Turkey and nearby countries. The Kurds themselves are split between those who desire secession and those who do not. Many enjoy their lives and wish for the continuous conflict to end. Turkiye believes that it would be better for the security and stability of the Kurdish people and the region if the Kurdish people did not secede, but remained in their respective countries of origin. Already this conflict has caused much strife in the Middle East, but has also brought Turkiye and neighboring countries into conflicts with the United States. The United States does not truly wish for the stability and prosperity of this region, but to have control over it and access to its precious resources. And so, the United States continues to stir up conflict in this region and aid in the division of its people.

Turkiye believes that oftentimes there is legitimacy in a secession movement, but that even more often than not the movement is sparked by a larger world power who is trying to gain power from the surrounding countries and project its influence upon the newly formed, struggling state. Turkiye believes that if a movement has developed solely on its own accord, if the people calling for the movement have been oppressed or mistreated in some terrible way by the country they are currently under, or if the people have no safe haven and are at great risk of extinction there could be legitimacy in the movement and that it should be considered peacefully by the countries involved. Many of these issues are often able to be resolved peacefully without creating a new state and dealing with the destructive aftermath that so often follows. Turkiye is interested in working with other Middle Eastern countries in defining this loose term and determining the legitimacy of secession movements, but is open to working with any countries. Turkiye would prefer to not work with the United States and other prominent NATO nations, but is willing to if necessary.

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