Right to Self Determination
Right to Self-Determination
Right of all the nations in the world to self-determination is a crucial part of international laws adopted by the UN General Assembly Resolution 1514 (XV) dated December 14, 1960. According to Chapter I
of “Purposes and Principles of Charter of the United Nations”, it states that every nation in the world have the right to freely choose and/or devise their sovereignty and international political status without any kind of pressure and/or discrimination i.e. on geographical basis, race, sex, economic authority, language or religion. There’re no universally accepted statements about this right. It means we have no legal content that tells how various cases should be tackled. Every case is different. So, there’s generalization regarding this right that every nation (and every person in it) must be entertained respectfully with what they do. This doesn’t mean that peoples do harmful stuff to other peoples. This includes peoples being free to pursue their civil, political, economic, social and cultural development. For this purpose, a multilateral treaty called ‘The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)’ was adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 16, 1966, and in force from January 3, 1976 (which was actually drafted back in 1955). States Parties presented the covenant, recognizing that, in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the ideal of free human beings enjoying freedom from fear and want can only be achieved if and only if conditions are created whereby everyone may enjoy his/her economic, social, civil, political and cultural rights. Charter of United Nations was also one of the stimulants for adopting the right of self-determination in it. Every country faces such issues whose roots are religious, cultural and/or economic basis. There should be proper check on such issues.
Part 1 The article 1 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) says that every nation must enjoy the right of self-determination as given below:
“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.”
Choosing political status freely is one of the main features of true democracy. It means peoples must be free from coercion and oppression in the international and/or national politics. Peoples can have
different political views and on the basis of those political views, they cannot be discriminated, oppressed and/or coerced. This is actually kind of a political positive liberty. According to political philosopher Nikolas Kompridis, the pursuit of freedom in the modern era can be broadly divided into two motivating ideals: freedom as autonomy or independence; and freedom as the ability to cooperatively
initiate a new beginning.
Right of self-determination also possesses the right of economic freedom. Peoples must be undertaking economic activities without any prejudice. They have the right to choose their own economic stream-line freely (but that should not violate international laws).The concept of free market has a lot to do with the economic freedom. As everyone is equal, so must be treated equally (with equal opportunities on all the levels and grounds). Peoples can freely choose their economic track.
Social freedom is also an essential part in enjoying the right of self-determination. Social freedom refers to the places of high value on individual liberties even at expense of having an orderly society. Peoples can (and should) interact with other peoples freely and follow to social reforms. This can be different depending upon the geographical and cultural basis. But this difference should be chosen by the respective group of people, freely.
There must not be any kind of a cultural oppression or pressure among peoples of the world as per the right of self-determination. Cultural right means the rights of choosing any culture of their choice. They
can participate in their elected culture. Some ethnic group of people’s culture is diminishing and going to be extinct. Other human beings must protect and preserve their culture. This is what the ICESCR is there for. The cultural rights movement has invigorated attention to protect the rights of groups of people, or their culture, in similar fashion to the manner in which the human rights movement has brought attention to the needs of individuals throughout the world.
Part 2 of the article 1 of ICESCR states that all peoples may utilize natural resources of their own land, based upon the principle of mutual benefit, and international law. In no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence. This widens the track for economic freedom. Peoples owning means must have the right to use them (according to international law, obviously).
I consider the last part of article 1 of ICESCR the most benefiting and the most crucial in reforming the world. According to this, “The States Parties to the present Covenant, including those having responsibility for the administration of Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories, shall promote the realization of the right of self-determination, and shall respect that right, in conformity with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations.”
The action is important, everywhere. But to awaken the awareness to take particular action is even more important. So helping other peoples in the world enjoy their right to self-determination is also encouraged as per signed by ICESCR parties.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.