The Purposes and Principles of the UN Charter Origins Subsequent Developments in Law and Practice and (Mis)interpretation in the Context of Unilateral Secession Claims in the OSCE Area
The article reviews the purposes and principles of the UN Charter in light of persistent claims voiced in the context of protracted conflicts in the OSCE area that the principle of self-determination allegedly grants the right to unilateral secession. The drafting history of the Charter indicate that States did not recognise a right to unilateral secession of a part of population of a State as a means of exercising self-determination. Subsequent development of this principle in law and in practice in the decades after the adoption of the Charter to a large extent has been shaped by the original ideas and understanding that went into the Charter. Invalidation at the international level of secessionist claims and actions, collective non-recognition of the resulting situations and abstention from aid or assistance that contributes to their consolidation are among legal and political consequences that have been applied and need to be consistently maintained with regard to the protracted conflicts in the osce area and their settlement processes.