The Right to Self Determination

05/12/2018

The Right to Self Determination

There has been much debate in recent years about "the right to self-determination" I have been doing some research. The right is an important principle laid down in Article I of the UN Charter giving the right of a people to determine its own destiny. In particular, the principle "allows a people to choose its own political status and to determine its own form of economic, cultural and social development". The exercise of this right can result in a variety of different outcomes ranging from political independence through to full integration within a state. The importance lies in the right of choice, so that the outcome of a people's choice should not affect the existence of the right to make a choice. In practice, however, the possible outcome of an exercise of self-determination will often determine the attitude of governments towards the actual claim by a people or nation. Thus, while claims to cultural autonomy may be more readily recognized by states, claims to independence are more likely to be rejected by them. Nevertheless, the right to self-determination is recognized in international law as a right of process (not of outcome) belonging to peoples and not to states or governments. No doubt there will be followers of the 'Cymru-Catalunya Association' who have different views about Wales and or Catalunya becoming INDEPENDENT which is as it should be. I hope however that everyone agrees that the 'right' to self-determination is an important international principle that should be sacrosanct.

PETER HARRIS