A People without a State is an ethno-cultural group which is not the majority population in any Nation State or who is dominated by an ethno-cultural minority in that State, and moreover, has a century long historic link with a specific territory. As there are several thousand individual languages, and due to colonial and neocolonial dominations fewer than 200 independent States, it follows that the vast majority of ethno-cultural groups are Peoples without a State.
The United Nations Charter defines in its first two articles the right of self-determination of Peoples as a priority in order to achieve international peace and security. Unfortunately, this right has been disregarded and in many cases made impossible due to recent international political developments. As a consequence, the oppression of people, dictatorial and authoritarian regimes, extreme poverty with an ever growing gap between poor and rich, ethnic conflicts, genocides, annexations, environmental degradation, exploitation of natural resources, hidden slavery, a lack of respect for cultural identities, (state-) terrorism, forced displacements, diseases and other dramatic effects continue to proliferate. However, it is not our intention to rally against the UN, although this organization is badly in need of deep reforms. We do not regard this as our mission, because Peoples without a State and their elites have responsibilities too. They also make choices...
Therefore, there is a global need for outreach, advocacy and debate to put the right of self-determination of Peoples at the epicenter of international political debate and propose appropriate international reforms in order to fulfill this basic, but disregarded cornerstone of universal human rights. The International Centre of Peoples without a State (ICPS) is a recently founded organisation in Brussels. The founders are from Kurdish, Amazigh (Berber) and Flemish origin, but we seek the participation of as many Peoples without a State as possible. Our main objective is to co-develop a Universal Declaration of Peoples without a State with stakeholders and to take peaceful action to have the right of self-determination accepted as a 'jus cogens' (imperative) norm towards ALL Peoples.
Our founding documents will be the Universal Declaration of Peoples without a State (see Draft 1) and the ‘We, the Peoples’ Declaration on the right of self-determination (see Draft 2), the outcome of an international conference. This conference will be the 1st International Conference of Peoples without a State, to be organised next year.
However, first things first. We seek your comments on these two Drafts in order to update them with your own rich experiences and knowledge, into more perfect Declarations. We are determined to start a global dialogue on the right of self-determination of ALL Peoples, on a new world order, on global democratic governance, on effective human rights implementation and, equally important, on the staggering inequalities between the rich and the poor.
Finally, everybody has a stake in this dialogue. ALL the Peoples need equal representation in world politics. And it will take time, much time to come there. But your voice is important and will be heard. Starting with reading, commenting or approving the two Draft Declarations. Only together we can think out of the (UN) box and change the system, change the status quo, change together the 'unchangeable'!