Explained:How is a new country formed?

News:Across the world,various territories are agitating for independence such as Catalonia in Spain, Kurdistan in Iraq, Tibet in China.Hence,there is a huge demand for New countries.


Who can declare itself a country?

  • There is no law barring regions from declaring independence.Somaliland in Somalia has been calling itself a country since 1991 but no one else recognises it.
  • Similarly,Kosovo in Serbia had also declared independence in 2008 and only a few other countries recognise it.
  • In 1945,the right of self-determination was included in the UN charter. This means that a population has the right to decide how and by whom it wants to be governed.
  • However, another widely accepted international rules is that of countries respecting each other’s territorial integrity.Hence,there is a conflict between Self-determination versus territorial integrity.

Criteria for declaring itself as a new country:

  • According to the 1933 Montevideo Convention,a region must meet four requirements to become a state which are (1) permanent population (2) defined territory (3) government and (4) ability to form relations with other nation states.
  • Other conditions must be met including clear evidence that a majority of people have freely chosen independence that minorities are welcome and respected. 
  • A state must also be able to agree divorce terms mutually with the country it breaks away from.

When is a state recognised as independent?

  • The Individual countries can recognise each other but there is a huge significance in recognition as a state by the United Nations.
  • The benefits of recognition by UN are (a) protection of international law (b)access to loans from the World Bank and the IMF (c)control over borders and (d)greater access to economic networks and mechanisms.
  • Further,the countries currency will also be recognised which allows it to trade.