September 16, 2019
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 In Determining the Legitimacy of Secession Movements

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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