The Significance of Kashmir Resolution for Global Peace and Security

On Oct 14, 2020, President of the UN General Assembly, Ambassador Volkan Bozkir, said, I encourage this committee [Special Committee on Decolonization] to ensure the self-determination of all colonial countries and its people implemented under the Charter of the United Nations.” Self-determination leaped into common diplomatic parlance in the 20th century with US President Woodrow Wilson’s so-called 14 points. They included a right to self-determination for all peoples. But on close examination and application, the concept seemed to approach meaninglessness.

The critical deficiency was the failure to provide earmarks for identifying the universe of people who enjoyed the right. And the earmarks are far from intuitively obvious. Is it common language, culture, art, history, ethnicity, religion, folklore, or education? Nothing in the Wilsonian self-determination principle offered even a clue to an answer. At the Paris Peace Conference, the Irish pleaded with President Wilson to insist that the British recognize their right to self-determination. The Irish enjoyed a common language, heritage, ethnicity, history and had universally celebrated the 1916 Easter Uprising and its dead martyrs. President Wilson, however, mixed the idea. He had larger aims in mind at Versailles, such as the League of Nations and an International Court of Justice, which demanded British support. After a virtual civil war, the Irish gained self-determination in 1921,
but sans the six counties of Northern Ireland, which were predominantly but far from exclusively Protestant.

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