Summary of the Article
Montenegro’s proclamation of independence inspired statelets like Kosovo to demand the same (Weir par. 1). Kosovo’s independence had not been recognized by the international community. Hence, it resorted to the conflict to demand recognition, just like Montenegro. The greatest fear then, however, was that, should the international community accept Kosovo’s bid for independence, ethnic violence would be inevitable since other statelets would use the same tactic, but granting them independence would result into creation of many unviable little states (Weir par. 5). Most of these statelets are supported economically by the superpowers, which consider them their colonies, hence, granting them independence would make them lose this support.
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Weir reiterates the United Nations Charter claiming that all nations are equal and have two fundamental rights, self-determination and territorial integrity, but also warns statelets against compromising the peace and stability of other nations in the name of enjoying these rights (Weir par. 7).
However, statelets with valid reasons should not be denied the right to independence. Independence should be based on fairness to reduce the associated conflicts and wars. The United Nations should take the responsibility of determining states that deserve to be independent to ensure that independence is achieved in a fair and peaceful manner (Weir par. 19). World leaders should bear in mind that denying smaller states with valid reasons the right to independence is unfair.
It is paramount to view all nations as equal, despite of their economic power, geographical location and/or population size, if the number of conflicts and wars across the world are to be reduced significantly. Weir presents Dmitri Suslov’s view and argues that granting independence to statelets like Kosovo would not only further fragment the global order, but also lead to creation of more unviable little states (Weir par. 5).
This fear came out clear in President Vladimir Putin’s answer to journalists, in which he asserted, that precedents in the former Yugoslavia would also be the same in the post-Soviet space. He further stated that it would not be possible to deny Georgian breakaway republics, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, independence if Albanians in Kosovo are granted the same (Weir par. 9). I partly agree with Suslov, however, the situation could be different if independence is granted to states without discrimination. Independence should not be discriminative as it would be unfair to deny deserving states their rights.
However, states that aspire to disintegrate should have valid and convincing reasons before they are allowed independence to avoid unnecessary reorganization of borders because disintegration might destabilize an otherwise stable state. The United Nations should take charge of some of these cases, as a neutral body, to ensure that all states are recognized and are at peace.
Although some leaders may claim that certain states are privileged, because their case is different, this is rarely true in most cases. Even if it were so, other states would not be understanding or even care to find out what those reasons are. Therefore, it would just be fair and right to treat all nations the same, without favor, no matter what reasons they have.
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It is a noble course for some states to take up the responsibility of helping, economically or otherwise, small upcoming states. Russia is a good example of this. However, such philanthropic states should be careful not to ignite conflicts as they try to help since some states might view such help us unfair if they are not the beneficiaries.
Weir, Fred. “The Coming of the Micro-States.” Christian Science Monitor. 2006. Web.