“Peoples must decide how they see their futures to set the scene for the creation of a more harmonious geo-political environment” Alan Sandry

News / 17.4.14

The recent UNPO Conference at the European Parliament provided the perfect platform for expressing views on national and collective self-determination. Following the precedents set by the UN Charter of 1945 and the UN Declaration of Human Rights 1948, peoples throughout the world are beginning to assert themselves in a bottom-up demand for recognition of their traditions and places.

Individual freedoms should be paramount, and no individual should be forced to accept group practice. However, community development should be encouraged, and a history of democratic conviction, or the willingness to accept new democratic processes, in the case of a nation emerging from totalitarianism, should ensure acceptance of the self-determination position by other actors.

Plurality of citizenship is important for societies to progress. Alongside this, we have to start envisaging communities of ‘peoples’ who can interact through paradiplomacy and cultural diplomacy. In the long term this may prove a more fulfilling option for personal and collective freedoms than rushing into organising those peoples within centralised state structures.

Ultimately, the peoples must decide, without hindrance or persuasion, how they see their futures. Only then will self-determination through collective deliberation begin to set the scene for the creation of a more harmonious geo-political environment.