Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization
Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO)
Map indicating worldwide UNPO membership (click to enlarge and for legend).
|Headquarters||The Hague, Netherlands|
|•||General Secretary||Marino Busdachin
(since December 2012)
(since July 2015)
(since July 2015)
|Establishment||February 11, 1991|
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|NGOs and political groups|
The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), formed on the 11 February 1991 in The Hague, Netherlands, is an international pro-democracy organization. Its purpose is to facilitate the voices of unrepresented and marginalised nations and peoples worldwide. Technically, it is not a non-governmental organization (NGO) as some of its members are governments or government agencies of unrecognized states.
Its members consist of indigenous peoples, minorities, and unrecognised or occupied territories. The organization trains groups in how to advocate their causes effectively. Some former members, such as Armenia, East Timor, Estonia, Latvia, Georgia, and Palau, have gained full independence and joined the United Nations.
UNPO was conceived in the 1980s by leaders of self-determination movements, Linnart Mäll of the Congress of Estonia, Erkin Alptekin, of East Turkestan, and Lodi Gyari of Tibet, together with Michael van Walt van Praag, long the international law adviser of the 14th Dalai Lama. The founders were representatives of national movements of Estonia, Latvia, Tibet, Crimean Tatars, Armenia, Georgia, Tatarstan, East Turkestan, East Timor, Australian Aboriginals, The Cordillera, the Greek Minority in Albania, Kurdistan, Palau, Taiwan, and West Papua. In 1991, UNPO chose The Hague in the Netherlands for its founding headquarters because the city aimed to become the International City of Peace and Justice and was also host to international institutions such as the International Court of Justice and International Criminal Court. UNPO has an advocacy office in Brussels, representation in Geneva and a network of associates and consultants based around the world. Funding comes from member contributions and donations from individuals and foundations. A key UNPO goal was to replicate the success of the 14th Dalai Lama's non-violent message; they often mentioned his name in the early years of the organization, included photos of him visiting UNPO in their publications and printed supporting statements he made for the organization.
To this end, UNPO trains its members in international law, international organizations, diplomacy, and public relations. UNPO has built its credibility by being the first organization to release on-ground information from remote areas, typically press releases from groups like MOSOP. As with Amnesty International, its techniques include issuing action alerts and being an objective source of information.
UNPO’s vision is to affirm democracy as a fundamental human right, implement human, civil and political rights worldwide, uphold the universal right to autonomy and self-determination and further federalism. It encourages nonviolent methodologies to reach peaceful solutions to conflicts and oppression. UNPO supports members in getting their human and cultural rights respected and in preserving their environments. The organization provides a forum for members to network and assists them in participating at an international level.
Although UNPO members often have different goals, they have one thing in common: they are generally not represented diplomatically (or only with a minor status, such as observer) in major international institutions, such as the United Nations. As a result, their ability to have their concerns addressed by the global bodies mandated to protect human rights and address conflict is limited.
UNPO is dedicated to the five principles enshrined in its Covenant:
- The equal right to self-determination;
- Adherence to the internationally accepted human rights standards as laid down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international instruments;
- Adherence to the principles of democratic pluralism and rejection of totalitarianism and religious intolerance;
- Promotion of non-violence and the rejection of terrorism as an instrument of policy; and
- Protection of the natural environment.
It should be noted that contrary to popular perception, self‐determination does not necessarily imply secession, separate nationhood, or even autonomy. It simply refers to the right of all peoples to freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development. The exercise of this right can result in a variety of outcomes, ranging from political independence to full integration within an existing state.
The following listed as members by the UNPO.
Original members are listed withand in bold.
|Member||Date Joined||Date Withdrew||Represented by|
|Abkhazia||6 August 1991||Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia|
|Aceh||15 July 2014||Aceh-Sumatra National Liberation Front|
|Afrikaner||15 May 2008||Freedom Front Plus|
|Ahwazi (Arabistan)||14 November 2003||Democratic Solidarity Party of Al-Ahwaz|
|Amazigh (Berberia)||28 November 2014||World Amazigh Congress|
|Assyria||6 August 1991||Assyrian Universal Alliance|
|Barotseland||23 November 2013|
|Brittany||1 July 2015||Kelc’h An Dael|
|Batwaland||17 January 1993||Community of Indigenous Peoples of Rwanda|
|Chin||15 July 2001||Chin National Front|
|Chittagong Hill Tracts||6 August 1991||United People's Party of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (JSS)|
|Circassia||16 April 1994||International Circassian Association|
|Cordillera (Igorot)||11 February 1991||Cordillera Peoples' Alliance|
|Crimean Tatars||11 February 1991||Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People|
|Degar-Montagnards||14 November 2003||Montagnard Foundation, Inc.|
|District of Columbia||9 November 2015|
|East Balochistan||1 March 2008||Balochistan National Party|
|East Turkestan||11 February 1991||World Uyghur Congress|
|Gilgit–Baltistan (Balawaristan)||20 September 2008||Gilgit–Baltistan Democratic Alliance|
|Haratin||18 September 2011||Initiative de Résurgence du Mouvement Abolitionniste en Mauritanie (IRA)|
|Hmong||2 February 2007||Hmong ChaoFa Federated State|
|Hungarians in Transilvania||30 July 1994||Hungarians in Romania|
|Inner Mongolia||2 February 2007||Inner Mongolian People's Party|
|Iranian Kurdistan||2 February 2007||Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran|
|Iraqi Kurdistan||11 February 1991||Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan|
|Iraqi Turkmen (Turkmenali)||6 August 1991||Dr. Muzaffer Arslan|
|Khmer Krom||15 July 2001||Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation|
|Kosova||6 August 1991||Democratic League of Kosova|
|Lezghistan||7 July 2012||Federal Lezgian National and Cultural Autonomy|
|Mapuche||19 January 1993||Mapuche Inter-Regional Council|
|Moro||26 September 2010||28 November 2014||NMFL|
|Nagaland||19 January 1993||National Socialist Council of Nagaland|
|Ogaden||6 February 2010||Ogaden National Liberation Front|
|Ogoni||19 January 1993||Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People|
|Oromia||19 December 2004||Oromo Liberation Front|
|Rehoboth||2 February 2007||Captains Council|
|Savoy||15 July 2014||The Government of the State of Savoy|
|Sindh||19 January 2002||World Sindhi Institute|
|Somaliland||19 December 2004||Government of Somaliland|
|South Moluccas||6 August 1991||Government in Exile of the Republic of South Moluccas|
|Southern Azerbaijan||2 February 2007||Southern Azerbaijan National Awakening Movement|
|Southern Cameroons||19 December 2004||28 November 2014|
|Sulu||28 November 2014||Sulu Foundation of Nine Ethnic Tribes|
|Taiwan||11 February 1991||Taiwan Foundation for Democracy|
|Talysh-Mughan||15 July 2014||The National Talysh Movement|
|Tibet||11 February 1991||Central Tibetan Administration|
|Trieste||28 November 2014||TRIEST NGO|
|West Balochistan||26 June 2005||Balochistan People's Party|
|West Papua||23 November 2013||National Government of the Republic of West Papua|
|Aboriginals of Australia||11 February 1991||7 July 2012||National Committee to Defend Black Rights|
|Dene||19 December 2004||9 October 2009||Buffalo River Dene Nation|
|Burma||15 May 2008||13 February 2010||National Council of the Union of Burma|
|Buryatia||3 February 1996||13 February 2010||All-Buryat Association for the Development of Culture|
|Greek Minority in Albania||11 February 1991||7 July 2012||Democratic Union of the Greek Ethnic Minority in Albania|
|Cabinda||17 April 1997||18 September 2011|
|Chechen Republic of Ichkeria||6 August 1991||10 September 2010|
|Inkeri||17 January 1993||9 October 2009|
|Kalahui Hawai'i||3 August 1993||7 July 2012||Ka Lahui Hawaii|
|Karenni State||19 January 1993 t||7 July 2012||Karenni National Progressive Party|
|Khalistan||24 January 1993||4 August 1993||(suspension made permanent 22 January 1995)|
|Komi||17 January 1993||9 October 2009|
|Maasai||19 December 2004||7 July 2012||Maasai Women for Education and Economic Development|
|Mari||6 August 1991||9 October 2009|
|Mon||3 February 1996||7 July 2012||Mon Unity League|
|Nahua del Alto Balsas||19 December 2004||20 September 2008|
|Scania||19 January 1993||18 September 2011|
|Shan||17 April 1997||6 February 2010|
|Tsimshian||2 February 2007||18 September 2011|
|Tuva Republic||3 February 1996||13 February 2010|
|West Papua||11 February 1991||20 September 2008|
|Aceh||6 August 1991||1 March 2008||Reached autonomy agreement with Indonesia in 2005, but rejoined 15 July 2014|
|Albanians in Macedonia||16 April 1994||1 March 2008||Reached agreement on wider rights with Macedonia in 2001|
|Armenia||11 February 1991||2 March 1992||Became member of the UN in 1992|
|Bashkortostan||3 February 1996||30 June 1998|
|Bougainville||6 August 1991||1 March 2008||Reached autonomy agreement with Papua New Guinea in 2000|
|Chuvash||17 January 1993||1 March 2008|
|Estonia||11 February 1991||17 August 1991||Became member of the UN in 1991|
|Gagauzia||16 April 1994||1 December 2007||Reached autonomy agreement with Moldova in 1994|
|Georgia||11 February 1991||31 July 1992||Became member of the UN in 1991|
|Ingushetia||30 July 1994||1 March 2008|
|Kumyk||17 April 1997||1 March 2008|
|Lakotah Nation||30 July 1994||1 December 2007||Followed by the declaration of the Republic of Lakotah|
|Latvia||11 February 1991||17 August 1991||Became member of the UN in 1991|
|Maohi||30 July 1994||1 December 2007|
|Nuxalk||23 September 1998||1 March 2008|
|Palau||11 February 1991||15 December 1994||Became member of the UN in 1994|
|Rusyn||23 September 1998||1 December 2007|
|Sakha||3 August 1993||30 June 1998|
|Talysh||26 June 2005||1 March 2008||Rejoined 15 July 2014|
|Tatarstan||11 February 1991||1 March 2008|
|Tamil Eelam||11 February 1991||19 May 2009||Sri Lankan victory in the Sri Lankan Civil War in 2009|
|Timor-Leste||17 January 1993||27 September 2002||Became member of the UN in 2002|
|Michael van Walt van Praag ( Netherlands)||1991–1998|
|Tsering Jampa ( Tibet)||1997–1998|
|Helen S. Corbett ( Australian Aboriginals)||1998–1999|
|Erkin Alptekin ( Uyghurs)||1999–2003|
|Marino Busdachin ( Italy)||2003–present|
- Karl Habsburg-Lothringen – (Austria) 19 January – 31 December 2002
Chairmen of the General Assembly
- Linnart Mäll - (Estonia) 1991–1993
- Erkin Alptekin - (Uyghurs) 1993–1997
- Seif Sharif Hamad - (Zanzibar) 1997–2001
- John J. Nimrod - (Assyrians) 2001–2005
- Göran Hansson - (Scania) 2005–2006
- Ledum Mitee - (Ogoni) 2006–2010
- Ngawang Choephel Drakmargyapon – Since 2010
- Federal Union of European Nationalities
- United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories
- Universal Declaration of the Rights of Peoples
- List of national liberation movements recognized by intergovernmental organizations
- European Free Alliance
- "Members". UNPO. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
- "UNPO Organizational Structure". UNPO. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
- "UNPO World Statesman.org". Worldstatesman. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
- "About UNPO". UNPO. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
- Barbara Crossette, Those Knocking, Unheeded, at U.N.'s Doors Find Champion, New York Times, 18 December 1994.
- Tishkov, Valerie, An Anthropology of NGOs, Eurozine, July 2008
- Simmons, ed. Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization Yearbook 1995. Kluwer Law International. pp. 1–3. ISBN 90-411-0223-X.
- UNPO 20 th Anniversary Publication: Twenty Years of Promoting Nonviolence, Human Rights and Self Determination (PDF). The Hague, Netherlands: UNPO. 2011.
- Gluckman, Ron (1998). "World's wanna-be republics find a home with UNPO". Asiaweek. Retrieved 4 November 2010.
- Bob, Clifford (2005). The Marketing of Rebellion: Insurgents, Media, and International Activism. Cambridge University Press. pp. 47–48, 76–77.
- "UNPO Welcomes New Member, District of Columbia". Retrieved November 11, 2015.
- International Organizations N - W
- "Worldstatesmen International Organizations". Worldstatesman. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
- UNPO Presidency & Secretariat, UNPO web site.