self determinationright to self-determinationright of self-determinationnational self-determinationnational independenceCatalan right of self-determinationautonomydeterminationself-determination of all nationsself-determining
The right of a people to self-determination is a cardinal principle in modern international law (commonly regarded as a jus cogens rule), binding, as such, on the United Nations as authoritative interpretation of the Charter's norms.wikipedia
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Nationalism emerged as a uniting ideology not only between competing powers, but also for groups that felt subordinated or disenfranchised inside larger states; in this situation, self-determination can be seen as a reaction to imperialism.
Nationalism holds that each nation should govern itself, free from outside interference (self-determination), that a nation is a natural and ideal basis for a polity, and that the nation is the only rightful source of political power (popular sovereignty).


autonomousnational autonomyautonomously
The principle does not state how the decision is to be made, nor what the outcome should be, whether it be independence, federation, protection, some form of autonomy or full assimilation.
Institutional autonomy was often seen as a synonym for self-determination, and the government feared that it would lead institutions to an irredentist or secessionist state.

Atlantic Charter

Atlantic Conferencewartime Anglo-American partnershipArgentia conference
During World War II, the principle was included in the Atlantic Charter, signed on 14 August 1941, by Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States, and Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, who pledged The Eight Principal points of the Charter.
3) all people had a right to self-determination;


They also supported the right of all nations, including colonies, to self-determination." The 1918 Constitution of the Soviet Union acknowledged the right of secession for its constituent republics.
Self-determination of peoples

1920 East Prussian plebiscite

plebisciteEast Prussian plebiscite1920 plebiscite campaigns in Warmia and Masuria
On 11 July 1920, the East Prussian plebiscite called for by the Treaty of Versailles led to two disputed regions between Germany and Poland choosing the former.
The East Prussia(n) plebiscite (Abstimmung in Ostpreußen), also known as the Allenstein and Marienwerder plebiscite or Warmia, Masuria and Powiśle plebiscite (Plebiscyt na Warmii, Mazurach i Powiślu), was a plebiscite for self-determination of the regions southern Warmia (Ermland), Masuria (Mazury, Masuren) and Powiśle, which had been in parts of the East Prussian Government Region of Allenstein and of West Prussian Government Region of Marienwerder, in accordance with Articles 94 to 97 of the Treaty of Versailles.


During the 1920s and 1930s there were some successful movements for self-determination in the beginnings of the process of decolonization.
The United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization has stated that in the process of decolonization there is no alternative to the colonizer but to allow a process of self-determination, but in practice decolonization may involve either nonviolent revolution or national liberation wars by pro-independence groups.

Fourteen Points

14 Points14 points of President Wilson14- point peace program
Having announced his Fourteen Points on 8 January 1918, on 11 February 1918 Wilson stated: "National aspirations must be respected; people may now be dominated and governed only by their own consent. 'Self determination' is not a mere phrase; it is an imperative principle of action."
The speech made by Wilson took many domestic progressive ideas and translated them into foreign policy (free trade, open agreements, democracy and self-determination).

United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories

non-self-governing territorynon-self-governing territorieslist of non-self-governing territories
Article 5 states: Immediate steps shall be taken in Trust and Non-Self-Governing Territories, or all other territories which have not yet attained independence, to transfer all powers to the people of those territories, without any conditions or reservations, in accordance with their freely expressed will and desire, without any distinction as to race, creed or colour, in order to enable them to enjoy complete independence and freedom.
Also in 1960, the General Assembly adopted Resolution 1514 (XV), promulgating the "Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples", which declared that all remaining non-self-governing territories and trust territories were entitled to self-determination and independence.

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

ICCPRInternational Covenant of Civil and Political RightsInternational Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
Article 1 in both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) reads: "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 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.

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

ICESCREconomic, Social and Cultural RightsInternational Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights
Article 1 in both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) reads: "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. "
Each would also contain an article on the right of all peoples to self-determination.


sovereignsovereign entitysovereign nation
It states that people, based on respect for the principle of equal rights and fair equality of opportunity, have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no interference.
A community of people who claim the right of self-determination based on a common ethnicity, history and culture might seek to establish sovereignty over a region, thus creating a nation-state.

Bangladesh Liberation War

liberation warliberation war of Bangladesh1971 Liberation War
In 1971 Bangladesh obtained independence from Pakistan.
The Bangladesh Liberation War, also known as the Bangladesh War of Independence, or simply the Liberation War''' in Bangladesh, was a revolution and armed conflict sparked by the rise of the Bengali nationalist and self-determination movement in what was then East Pakistan during the 1971 Bangladesh genocide.

State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs

National CouncilNational Council of Slovenes, Croats and SerbsKingdom of SHS
The end of the war led to the dissolution of the defeated Austro-Hungarian Empire and Czechoslovakia and the union of the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs and the Kingdom of Serbia as new states out of the wreckage of the Habsburg empire.
The meeting produced a joint resolution that proclaimed the unity of the people of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs (a "unified nation" with the latter described as equal "tribes" whose peculiar historical positions and desires are to be accommodated), demanded a right of self-determination and possession of the territory they occupied, including the whole of Cisleithania.

1920 Schleswig plebiscites

plebisciteplebiscitesSchleswig plebiscites
Germany lost land after WWI: Northern Schleswig voted to return to Denmark after a referendum.
At the same time, he effectively abandoned his second line, as the population of Central Schleswig remained pro-German, and as he considered it vital that the future border should be based on the self-determination of the local populace.

World War I

First World WarGreat WarFirst
During and after World War I, the principle was encouraged by both Vladimir Lenin and United States President Woodrow Wilson.
In April 1918, the Rome Congress of Oppressed Nationalities met, including Czechoslovak, Italian, Polish, Transylvanian, and Yugoslav representatives who urged the Allies to support national self-determination for the peoples residing within Austria-Hungary.

National Socialist Program

25-point programNazi Party PlatformNazi Party Program
And Italy, Japan and Germany all initiated new efforts to bring certain territories under their control, leading to World War II. In particular, the National Socialist Program invoked this right of nations in its first point (out of 25), as it was publicly proclaimed on 24 February 1920 by Adolf Hitler.
1) We demand the unification of all Germans in the Greater Germany on the basis of the people's right to self-determination.

Republic of Artsakh

ArtsakhNagorno-Karabakhpartially recognized breakaway republic
Republic of Artsakh (Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh) declared its independence basing on self-determination rights on September 2, 1991.
In 1991, a referendum held in the NKAO and the neighbouring Shahumian region resulted in a declaration of independence based on its right of self-determination.

Sovereign state

statestatessovereign states
Most sovereign states do not recognize the right to self-determination through secession in their constitutions.
Sovereignty has taken on a different meaning with the development of the principle of self-determination and the prohibition against the threat or use of force as jus cogens norms of modern international law.

Nagorno-Karabakh War

Nagorno-Karabakh conflictKarabakh warNagorno-Karabakh
It successfully defended its independence in subsequent war with Azerbaijan, but remains largely unrecognized by UN states today.
But the Armenians viewed the 1921 Kavburo decision with disdain and felt that in their efforts they were correcting a historical error through the principle of self-determination, a right also granted in the constitution.

United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1541 (XV)

On 15 December 1960 the United Nations General Assembly adopted United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1541 (XV), subtitled "Principles which should guide members in determining whether or nor an obligation exists to transmit the information called for under Article 73e of the United Nations Charter in Article 3", which provided that "[t]he inadequacy of political, economic, social and educational preparedness should never serve as a pretext for delaying the right to self-determination and independence."
United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1541 of 15 December 1960, titled "Principles which should guide members in determining whether or not an obligation exists to transmit the information called for under Article 73e of the Charter" was a resolution of the United Nations General Assembly during its fifteenth session with annexes of 12 principles, that affirmed that to ensure decolonisation, complete compliance with the principle of self-determination is required.

Localism in Hong Kong

localistlocalist movementlocalism
Since then, localism has gained momentum, particularly after the failure of the peaceful Umbrella Movement.
On the autonomy of Hong Kong, many of them advocate the Hong Kong people's right to self-determination, while milder elements advocate for greater autonomy while remaining part of China, and the most radical call for return to British rule or full independence as a sovereign state.


State of HawaiiHIHawaiian Islands
After the American Civil War and with increasing capability, the United States government did not accept self-determination as a basis during its Purchase of Alaska and attempted purchase of the West Indian islands of Saint Thomas and Saint John in the 1860s, or its growing influence in the Hawaiian Islands, that led to annexation in 1898.
Generally, their focus is on self-determination and self-governance, either for Hawaii as an independent nation (in many proposals, for "Hawaiian nationals" descended from subjects of the Hawaiian Kingdom or declaring themselves as such by choice), or for people of whole or part native Hawaiian ancestry in an indigenous "nation to nation" relationship akin to tribal sovereignty with US federal recognition of Native Hawaiians.

Patriotic Union of Kurdistan

PUKKurdistan PatrioticPatriotic Union (Kurdistan)
The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan which currently holds the Iraqi presidency and the Kurdistan Democratic Party which governs the Kurdistan Regional Government both explicitly commit themselves to the development of Kurdish self-determination, but opinions vary as to the question of self-determination sought within the current borders and countries.
The PUK describes its goals as self-determination, human rights, and democracy and peace for the Kurdish people of Kurdistan and Iraq.

Treaty of San Francisco

San Francisco Peace TreatyPeace Treaty with JapanJapanese Peace Treaty
Korea was specifically granted independence but the receiver of various other areas was not stated in the Treaty of San Francisco, giving Taiwan de facto independence although its political status continues to be ambiguous.
According to the treaty's travaux préparatoires, a consensus existed among the states present at the San Francisco Peace Conference that, while the legal status of the island of Taiwan is temporarily undetermined, it would be resolved at a later time in accordance with the principles of peaceful settlement of disputes and self-determination, ideas that had been enshrined in the UN Charter.

ETA (separatist group)

ETAEuskadi Ta AskatasunaBasque Country And Freedom
Euskadi Ta Askatasuna or ETA (Basque Homeland and Freedom; pronounced ), is an armed Basque nationalist, separatist and terrorist organization.
The Democratic Alternative offered the cessation of all armed ETA activity if the Spanish-government would recognize the Basque people as having sovereignty over Basque territory, the right to self-determination and that it freed all ETA members in prison.