June 5, 2010

THEY'RE A STATE IF WE SAY THEY ARE:

How many countries are there and what makes a nation?: World football's governing body FIFA has 208 member countries, the UN has 192 members. But how many countries are there really and what defines a nation? (Deutsche-Welle, 6/05/10)

According to the Montevideo Convention, which in 1933 set out the rules for defining a state, there are 203 nations worldwide. But that figure should be taken with a pinch of salt, said Momal-Vanian.

"Every student of international law knows about the Montevideo Convention, which says a country must fulfil four criteria for it to be a state: it must have a territory, a population, a government and the ability to enter into a relationship with other states."

The Convention doesn't say what nations this applies to, Momal-Vanian said, but pointed out that lists of countries are often created based on the text of the Convention.

The difference between 192 UN member states on the one hand and 203 or maybe even more on the other is politically explosive: Taiwan, Kosovo, Palestine, Somaliland, Western Sahara, Northern Iraq and Northern Cyprus – every one of those names stands for an unsolved political conflict. And all of these 'geographic entities' have at some point unilaterally declared their independence.

Marcelo Kohen, professor for International Law at the Graduate Institute, Geneva, said the international community was sceptical about these secessionist territories.

"You have many secessionist movements around the world, and they can proclaim independence, but this is nothing but words," he said.


The ever rising number is indicative of what a force for destabilization America has been in the world.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 5, 2010 7:15 AM
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