Sovereign state

Member states of the United Nations (UN), as defined by the UN.
De facto map of control of the world, May 2019

Political entity represented by one centralized government that has supreme legitimate authority over territory.

- Sovereign state
Member states of the United Nations (UN), as defined by the UN.

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The Hittite version of the Treaty of Kadesh, among the earliest extant examples of an international agreement.

International law

Set of rules, norms, and standards generally recognized as binding between nations.

Set of rules, norms, and standards generally recognized as binding between nations.

The Hittite version of the Treaty of Kadesh, among the earliest extant examples of an international agreement.
Hugo Grotius' De jure belli ac pacis, is considered one of the foundational texts of international law. (Pictured is the title page from the second edition of 1631).
A portrait of the Dutch jurist Hugo Grotius (alias Hugo de Groot)
Sir Alberico Gentili is regarded as the Father of international law.
The First Geneva Convention (1864) is one of the earliest formulations of international law

During the 20th century, it was recognized by legal positivists that a sovereign state could limit its authority to act by consenting to an agreement according to the contract principle pacta sunt servanda.

United Nations

Intergovernmental organization whose purpose is to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.

Intergovernmental organization whose purpose is to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.

Members of the United Nations
1943 sketch by Franklin Roosevelt of the UN original three branches: The Four Policemen, an executive branch, and an international assembly of forty UN member states
The UN in 1945: founding members in light blue, protectorates and territories of the founding members in dark blue
Dag Hammarskjöld was a particularly active secretary-general from 1953 until his death in 1961.
Kofi Annan, secretary-general from 1997 to 2006
Flags of member nations at the United Nations Headquarters, seen in 2007
Mikhail Gorbachev, Soviet general secretary, addressing the UN General Assembly in December 1988
Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State, demonstrates a vial with alleged Iraq chemical weapon probes to the UN Security Council on Iraq war hearings, 5 February 2003
Current secretary-general, António Guterres
The ICJ ruled that Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008 did not violate international law.
Under Sukarno, Indonesia became the first and only country to leave the United Nations.
A Nepalese soldier on a peacekeeping deployment providing security at a rice distribution site in Haiti during 2010
The UN Buffer Zone in Cyprus was established in 1974 following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.
Eleanor Roosevelt with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1949
Three former directors of the Global Smallpox Eradication Programme reading the news that smallpox has been globally eradicated in 1980
In Jordan, UNHCR remains responsible for the Syrian refugees and the Zaatari refugee camp.
The 2001 Nobel Peace Prize to the UN—diploma in the lobby of the UN Headquarters in New York City
Marking of the UN's 70th anniversary – Budapest, 2015

At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; with the addition of South Sudan in 2011, membership is now 193, representing almost all of the world's sovereign states.

Palestinian National Authority

Fatah-controlled government body that exercises partial civil control over West Bank areas "A" and "B" as a consequence of the 1993–1995 Oslo Accords.

Fatah-controlled government body that exercises partial civil control over West Bank areas "A" and "B" as a consequence of the 1993–1995 Oslo Accords.

Yitzhak Rabin, Bill Clinton and Yasser Arafat at the Oslo Accords signing ceremony on 13 September 1993.
CIA remote-sensing map of areas governed by the Palestinian Authority, July 2008.
The Palestinian legislative election in 2006, Hamas (green) and Fatah (yellow)
Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), President of the Palestinian Authority since 2005 (disputed since 2009).

The deal came amidst an international campaign for statehood advanced by the Abbas administration, which is expected to culminate in a request for admission into the General Assembly as a member state in September.

State of Palestine

Demonstration against road block, Kafr Qaddum, March 2012
The destroyed Palestinian Legislative Council building in Gaza City, Gaza–Israel conflict, September 2009
Map of Israeli settlements in the West Bank
International recognition of the State of Palestine
Children waving a Palestinian flag, West Bank
Palestinian girls in Nablus
Illustration of Palestinian Christian home in Jerusalem, ca 1850. By W. H. Bartlett

Palestine (فلسطين), officially the State of Palestine (دولة فلسطين), is a de jure sovereign state in Western Asia.

Indigenous march right to self-determination (2008). Lumads from all over Mindanao march through the streets of Davao City at the end of a three-day conference.

Self-determination

Cardinal principle in modern international law , binding, as such, on the United Nations as authoritative interpretation of the Charter's norms.

Cardinal principle in modern international law , binding, as such, on the United Nations as authoritative interpretation of the Charter's norms.

Indigenous march right to self-determination (2008). Lumads from all over Mindanao march through the streets of Davao City at the end of a three-day conference.
Map of Ottoman Empire in 1683
Map of territorial changes in Europe after World War I (as of 1923)
Map of the world in 1945, showing United Nations Trusteeship Council territories in green
Western European colonial empires in Asia and Africa disintegrated after World War II
Changes in national boundaries after the end of the Cold War
Southern Sudanese expressed joy and jubilation on their day of independence, July 9, 2011, from Sudan.
Celebration of the Declaration of Independence of Kosovo in 2008
Donetsk status referendum organized by separatists in Ukraine. A line to enter a polling place, 11 May 2014
During the 2019-20 Hong Kong protests, calls rose for self-determination by Hongkongers.
The first major demonstration in Stepanakert on February 13, 1988. Traditionally considered the start of the Artsakh movement.
Tuareg rebels in the short-lived proto-state of Azawad in 2012
2014 human chain for Basque Country's right to decide
A girl during the Nigerian Civil War of the late 1960s. Pictures of the famine caused by Nigerian blockade garnered sympathy for the Biafrans worldwide.
Protest in Barcelona on 1 October 2018
Pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk, April 2015
Malvinas and South Atlantic Islands Museum in Buenos Aires, 2015
Gibraltar National Day, September 2013
Pro-independence Hong Kong flag put up before a football match between the Hong Kong Football Team and the China national football team
Indian soldiers on the streets of Kashmir during the 2016 unrests
Kurdish YPG's female fighters during the Syrian War
Pro-independence rally in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan in September 2017
Atatürk Square, North Nicosia in 2006, with the Northern Cyprus and Turkish flags.
A republican mural in Belfast showing support for Palestine
A Native American woman in traditional dress
Native Americans and their supporters protest during the Washington Redskins name controversy.
A demonstration in Madrid for the independence of Western Sahara, 2007

Most sovereign states do not recognize the right to self-determination through secession in their constitutions.

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International relations

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The field of international relations dates from the time of the Greek historian Thucydides.
The official portraits of King Władysław IV dressed according to French, Spanish and Polish fashion reflects the complex politics of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth during the Thirty Years' War.
Empires of the world in 1910
NATO International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan
The United Nations Secretariat Building at the United Nations headquarters in New York City
The World Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C.
NATO E-3A flying with USAF F-16s in a NATO exercise

International relations (IR), international studies or international affairs (IA) is the scientific study of interactions between sovereign states.

Women in Somaliland wearing the colors of the Somaliland flag

List of states with limited recognition

[[File:Limited recognition.png|thumb|upright=1.8|

[[File:Limited recognition.png|thumb|upright=1.8|

Women in Somaliland wearing the colors of the Somaliland flag

A number of polities have declared independence and sought diplomatic recognition from the international community as de jure sovereign states, but have not been universally recognised as such.

Member states of the United Nations (UN), as defined by the UN.

Government in exile

Member states of the United Nations (UN), as defined by the UN.

A government in exile (abbreviated as GiE) is a political group that claims to be a country or semi-sovereign state's legitimate government, but is unable to exercise legal power and instead resides in a foreign country.

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International recognition of the State of Palestine

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President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil formally recognized the State of Palestine in December 2010.
President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia reconfirmed its support for the State of Palestine in January 2011.
UN observer state status voting results:

International recognition of the State of Palestine has been the objective of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence formally established the de jure sovereign state on 15 November 1988 in Algiers, Algeria, at an extraordinary session in-exile of the Palestinian National Council.

Czechoslovakia

Czechoslovakia during the interwar period and the Cold War
Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, founder and first president
Czechoslovak troops in Vladivostok (1918)
Czechoslovak declaration of independence rally in Prague on Wenceslas Square, 28 October 1918
A monument to Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk and Milan Štefánik—both key figures in early Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia in 1928
Linguistic map of Czechoslovakia in 1930
The partition of Czechoslovakia after Munich Agreement
The car in which Reinhard Heydrich was killed in 1942
Territory of the Second Czechoslovak Republic (1938–1939)
Socialist coat of arms in 1960–1989
Spartakiad in 1960
Czechoslovakia after 1969
The Visegrád Group signing ceremony in February 1991
Federal Assembly in Prague
Federative coat of arms in 1990–1992

Czechoslovakia, or Czecho-Slovakia ( Czech and Československo, Česko-Slovensko), was a sovereign state in Central Europe, created in October 1918, when it declared its independence from Austria-Hungary.