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The Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States was a treaty signed at Montevideo, Uruguay, on December 26, 1933, during the Seventh International Conference of American States. The Convention codified the declarative theory of statehood as accepted as part of customary international law. At the conference, United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Secretary of State Cordell Hull declared the Good Neighbor Policy, which opposed U.S. armed intervention in inter-American affairs. The convention was signed by 19 states. The acceptance of three of the signatories was subject to minor reservations. Those states were Brazil, Peru and the United States.[1]

Contents

Background

The convention sets out the definition, rights and duties of statehood. Most well-known is article 1, which sets out the four criteria for statehood that have sometimes been recognized as an accurate statement of customary international law:

The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: (a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government; and (d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states.

Furthermore, the first sentence of article 3 explicitly states that "The political existence of the state is independent of recognition by the other states." This is known as the declarative theory of statehood.

A fundamental remark must be underlined: the condititions of article 1 are limited by article 11, which forbids the use of military force to obtain sovereignty. Article 11 reflected the contemporary Stimson Doctrine, and it is now a fundamental part of international law through article 2 paragraph 4 of the Charter of the United Nations. Article 11 allows a clear distinction between sovereign and puppet states, the latter ones being excluded from international recognition of statehood.

Some have questioned whether these criteria are sufficient, as they allow less-recognized entities like the Republic of China (Taiwan) to claim full status as states. According to the alternative constitutive theory of statehood, a state exists only insofar as it is recognized by other states. It should not be confused with the Estrada doctrine.

There have also been attempts to further broaden the convention's definition, although they have gained less support. Founders of non-territorial micronations commonly assert that the requirement in the Montevideo Convention of a defined territory is in some way wrong-headed, for largely unspecified reasons. Some non-territorial entities, notably the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, are indeed considered subjects of international law, but these do not aspire to statehood.

The conference is also notable in American history because one of the U.S. representatives was the famous social worker and educator, Dr. Sophonisba Preston Breckinridge (1866-1948). She was first U.S. female representative at that level in an international conference.

Criticisms

In most cases the only avenue open to self-determination for colonial or national ethnic minority populations was to achieve international legal personality as a nation state.[2] The majority of delegations at the International Conference of American States represented independent States that had emerged from former colonies. In most cases their own existence and independence had been disputed, or opposed, by one or more of the European colonial empires. They agreed among themselves to criteria that made it easier for other dependent states with limited sovereignty to gain international recognition. "Independence" and "sovereignty" are not mentioned in article 1 of the convention.[3]

Signatories

The states that have signed this convention are limited to the Americas:[4]

However, as a restatement of customary international law, the Montevideo Convention merely codified existing legal norms and its principles and therefore does not apply merely to the signatories, but to all subjects of international law as a whole.[5]

The European Union, in the principal statement of its Badinter Committee,[6] follows the Montevideo Convention in its definition of a state: by having a territory, a population, and a political authority. The committee also found that the existence of states was a question of fact, while the recognition by other states was purely declaratory and not a determinative factor of statehood.[7]

Switzerland, although not a member of the European Union, adheres to the same principle, stating that "neither a political unit needs to be recognized to become a state, nor does a state have the obligation to recognize another one. At the same time, neither recognition is enough to create a state, nor does its absence abolish it."[8]

See also

External links

References

  1. ^ List of signatories of the Montevideo Convention
  2. ^ The Postcoloniality of International Law, Harvard International Law Journal, Volume 46, Number 2, Summer 2005, Sundhya Pahuja, page 5
  3. ^ see for example State Failure, Sovereignty and Effectiveness, Legal Lessons from the Decolonization of Sub-Saharan Africa, Gerard Kreijen, Published by Martinus Nijhoff, 2004, ISBN 9004139656, page 110
  4. ^ Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States
  5. ^ Harris, D.J. (ed) 2004 "Cases and Materials on International Law" 6th Ed. at p. 99. Sweet and Maxwell, London
  6. ^ The Badinter Arbitration Committee (full title), named for its chair, ruled on the question of whether the Republics of Croatia, Macedonia, and Slovenia, who had formally requested recognition by the members of the European Union and by the EU itself, had met conditions specified by the Council of Ministers of the European Community on December 16, 1991. [1]
  7. ^ Opinion No 1., Badinter Arbitration Committee, states that "the state is commonly defined as a community which consists of a territory and a population subject to an organized political authority; that such a state is characterized by sovereignty" and that "the effects of recognition by other states are purely declaratory."
  8. ^ Switzerland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, DFA, Directorate of International Law: "Recognition of States and Governments," 2005.
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From Wikisource

Montevideo Convention
The Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States was a treaty signed at Montevideo, Uruguay on December 26, 1933, at the Seventh International Conference of American States. At this conference, United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Secretary of State Cordell Hull declared the so-called Good Neighbor Policy, which opposed U.S. armed intervention in inter-American affairs. This was a FDR's diplomatic attempt to reverse the perception of "Yankee imperialism," brought about by policies instituted (largely) by his predecessor, President Herbert Hoover. The convention was signed by 19 states, 3 with reservations.Excerpted from Montevideo Convention on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Introduction

Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States

Signed at Montevideo, 26 December 1933 Entered into Force, 26 December 1934 Article 8 reaffirmed by Protocol, 23 December 1936

Bolivia alone amongst the states represented at the Seventh International Conference of American States did not sign the Convention. The United States of America, Peru, and Brazil ratified the Convention with reservations directly attached to the document.


CONVENTION ON RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF STATES

The Governments represented in the Seventh International Conference of American States:

Wishing to conclude a Convention on Rights and Duties of States, have appointed the following Plenipotentiaries:

For Honduras

  • Miguel PAZ Baraona
  • Augusto C. COELLO
  • Luis BOGRAN

For the United States of America

  • Cordell HULL
  • Alexander W. WEDDELL
  • J. Reuben CLARK
  • J. Butler WRIGHT
  • Spruille BRADEN
  • Miss Sophonisba P. BRECKINRIDGE

For El Salvador

  • Hector David CASTRO
  • Arturo Ramon AVILA
  • J. Cipriano CASTRO

For the Dominican Republic

  • Tulio M. CESTERO

For Haiti

  • Justin BARAU
  • Francis SALGADO
  • Antoine PIERRE-PAUL
  • Edmond MANGONES

For Argentina

  • Carlos SAAVEDRA Lamas
  • Juan F. CAFFERATA
  • Ramon S. CASTILLO
  • Carlos BREBBIA
  • Isidoro RUIZ Moreno
  • Luis A. PODESTA Costa
  • Raul PREBISCH
  • Daniel ANTOKOLETZ

For Venezuela

  • Cesar ZUMETA
  • Luis CHURTON
  • José Rafael MONTILLA

For Uruguay

  • Alberto MANE
  • Juan José AMEZAGA
  • José G. ANTUNA
  • Juan Carlos BLANCO
  • Senora Sofia A. V. DE DEMICHELI
  • Martin R. ECHEGOYEN
  • Luis Alberto DE HERRERA
  • Pedro MANINI Rios
  • Mateo MARQUES Castro
  • Rodolfo MEZZERA
  • Octavio MORATA
  • Luis MORQUIO
  • Teofilo PINEYRO Chain
  • Dardo REGULES
  • José SERRATO
  • José Pedro VARELA

For Paraguay

  • Justo Pastor BENITEZ
  • Geronimo RIART
  • Horacio A. FERNANDEZ
  • Senorita Maria F. GONZALEZ

For Mexico

  • José Manuel PUIG Casauranc
  • Alfonso REYES
  • Basilio VADILLO
  • Genaro V. VASQUEZ
  • Romeo ORTEGA
  • Manuel J. SIERRA
  • Eduardo SUAREZ

For Panama

  • J. D. AROSEMENA
  • Eduardo E. HOLGUIN
  • Oscar R. MULLER
  • Magin PONS

For Bolivia

  • Casto ROJAS
  • David ALVESTEGUI
  • Arturo PINTO Escalier

For Guatemala

  • Alfredo SKINNER Klee
  • José GONZALEZ Campo
  • Carlos SALAZAR
  • Manuel ARROYO

For Brazil

  • Afranio DE MELLO Franco
  • Lucillo A. DA CUNHA Bueno
  • Francisco Luis DA SILVA Campos
  • Gilberto AMADO
  • Carlos CHAGAS
  • Samuel RIBEIRO

For Ecuador

  • Augusto AGUIRRE Aparicio
  • Humberto ALBORNOZ
  • Antonio PARRA
  • Carlos PUIG Vilassar
  • Arturo SCARONE

For Nicaragua

  • Leonardo ARGUELLO
  • Manuel CORDERO Reyes
  • Carlos CUADRA Pasos

For Colombia

  • Alfonso LOPEZ
  • Raimundo RIVAS
  • José CAMACEO Carreno

For Chile

  • Miguel CRUCHAGA Tocornal
  • Octavio SENORET Silva
  • Gustavo RIVERA
  • José Ramon GUTIERREZ
  • Felix NIETO DEL RIO
  • Francisco FIGUEROA Sanchez
  • Benjamin COHEN

For Peru

  • Alfredo SOLE Y MURO
  • Felipe BARREDA Laos
  • Luis Fernan CISNEROS

And for Cuba

  • Angel Alberto GIRAUDY
  • Herminio PORTELL Vila
  • Alfredo NOGUEIRA


Who, after having exhibited their Full Powers, which were found to be in good and due order, have agreed upon the following:

Text of the Convention

Article 1

The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications:

  • (a) a permanent population;
  • (b) a defined territory;
  • (c) government; and
  • (d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states.

Article 2

The federal state shall constitute a sole person in the eyes of international law.

Article 3

The political existence of the state is independent of recognition by the other states. Even before recognition the state has the right to defend its integrity and independence, to provide for its conservation and prosperity, and consequently to organize itself as it sees fit, to legislate upon its interests, administer its services, and to define the jurisdiction and competence of its courts.
The exercise of these rights has no other limitation than the exercise of the rights of other states according to international law.

Article 4

States are juridically equal, enjoy the same rights, and have equal capacity in their exercise. The rights of each one does not depend upon the power which it possesses to assure its exercise, but upon the simple fact of its existence as a person under international law.

Article 5

The fundamental rights of states are not susceptible of being affected in any manner whatsoever.

Article 6

The recognition of a state merely signifies that the state which recognizes it accepts the personality of the other with all the rights and duties determined by international law. Recognition is unconditional and irrevocable.

Article 7

The recognition of a state may be express or tacit. The latter results from any act which implies the intention of recognizing the new state.

Article 8

No state has the right to intervene in the internal or external affairs of another.

Article 9

The jurisdiction of states within the limits of national territory applies to all the inhabitants.
Nationals and foreigners are under the same protection of the law and the national authorities and the foreigners may not claim rights other or more extensive than those of the nationals.

Article 10

The primary interest of states is the conservation of peace. Differences of any nature which arise between them should be settled by recognized pacific methods.

Article 11

The contracting states definitely establish as the rule of their conduct the precise obligation not to recognize territorial acquisitions or special advantages which have been obtained by force whether this consists in the employment of arms, in threatening diplomatic representations, or in any other effective coercive measure. The territory of a state is inviolable and may not be the object of military occupation nor of other measures of force imposed by another state directly or indirectly or for any motive whatever even temporarily.

Article 12

The present Convention shall not affect obligations previously entered into by the High Contracting Parties by virtue of international agreements.

Article 13

The present Convention shall be ratified by the High Contracting Parties in conformity with their respective constitutional procedures. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uruguay shall transmit authentic certified copies to the governments for the aforementioned purpose of ratification. The instrument of ratification shall be deposited in the archives of the Pan American Union in Washington, which shall notify the signatory governments of said deposit. Such notification shall be considered as an exchange of ratifications.

Article 14

The present Convention will enter into force between the High Contracting Parties in the order in which they deposit their respective ratifications.

Article 15

The present Convention shall remain in force indefinitely but may be denounced by means of one year's notice given to the Pan American Union, which shall transmit it to the other signatory governments. After the expiration of this period the Convention shall cease in its effects as regards the party which denounces but shall remain in effect for the remaining High Contracting Parties.

Article 16

The present Convention shall be open for the adherence and accession of the States which are not signatories. The corresponding instruments shall be deposited in the archives of the Pan American Union which shall communicate them to the other High Contracting Parties.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the following Plenipotentiaries have signed this Convention in Spanish, English, Portuguese and French and hereunto affix their respective seals in the city of Montevideo, Republic of Uruguay, this 26th day of December, 1933.

Reservations

The Delegation of the United States of America, in signing the Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, does so with the express reservation presented to the Plenary Session of the Conference on December 22, 1933, which reservation reads as follows:

The Delegation of the United States, in voting "yes" on the final vote on this committee recommendation and proposal, makes the same reservation to the eleven articles of the project or proposal that the United States Delegation made to the first ten articles during the final vote in the full Commission, which reservation is in words as follows:
"The policy and attitude of the United States Government toward every important phase of international relationships in this hemisphere could scarcely be made more clear and definite than they have been made by both word and action especially since March 4. I [Secretary of State Cordell Hull, chairman of U.S. delegation] have no disposition therefore to indulge in any repetition or rehearsal of these acts and utterances and shall not do so. Every observing person must by this time thoroughly understand that under the Roosevelt Administration the United States Government is as much opposed as any other government to interference with the freedom, the sovereignty, or other internal affairs or processes of the governments of other nations.
"In addition to numerous acts and utterances in connection with the carrying out of these doctrines and policies, President Roosevelt, during recent weeks, gave out a public statement expressing his disposition to open negotiations with the Cuban Government for the purpose of dealing with the treaty which has existed since 1903. I feel safe in undertaking to say that under our support of the general principle of non-intervention as has been suggested, no government need fear any intervention on the part of the United States under the Roosevelt Administration. I think it unfortunate that during the brief period of this Conference there is apparently not time within which to prepare interpretations and definitions of these fundamental terms that are embraced in the report. Such definitions and interpretations would enable every government to proceed in a uniform way without any difference of opinion or of interpretations. I hope that at the earliest possible date such very important work will be done. In the meantime in case of differences of interpretations and also until they (the proposed doctrines and principles) can be worked out and codified for the common use of every government, I desire to say that the United States Government in all of its international associations and relationships and conduct will follow scrupulously the doctrines and policies which it has pursued since March 4 which are embodied in the different addresses of President Roosevelt since that time and in the recent peace address of myself on the 15th day of December before this Conference and in the law of nations as generally recognized and accepted".

The delegates of Brazil and Peru recorded the following private vote with regard to article 11:

"That we accept the doctrine in principle but that we do not consider it codifiable because there are some countries which have not yet signed the Anti-War Pact of Rio de Janeiro 4 of which this doctrine is a part and therefore it does not yet constitute positive international law suitable for codification".

Signatories

For Honduras

  • Miguel PAZ Baraona
  • Augusto C. COELLO
  • Luis BOGRAN

For the United States of America

  • Alexander W. WEDDELL
  • J. Butler WRIGHT

For El Salvador

  • Hector David CASTRO
  • Arturo Ramon AVILA

For the Dominican Republic

  • Tulio M. CESTERO

For Haiti

  • J. BARAU
  • F. SALGADO
  • Edmond MANGONES
  • A. PIERRE-PAUL

For Argentina

  • Carlos SAAVEDRA Lamas
  • Juan F. CAFFERATA
  • Ramon S. CASTILLO
  • I. RUIZ Moreno
  • L. A. PODESTA Costa
  • D. ANTOKOLETZ

For Venezuela

  • Luis CHURTON
  • J. R. MONTILLA

For Uruguay

  • A. MANE
  • José Pedro VARELA
  • Mateo MARQUES Castro
  • Dardo REGULES
  • Sofia Alvarez Vignoli DE DEMICHELI
  • Teofilo PINEYRO Chain
  • Luis A. DE HERRERA
  • Martin R. ECHEGOYEN
  • José G. ANTUNA
  • J. C. BLANCO
  • Pedro MANINI Rios
  • Rodolfo MEZZERA
  • Octavio MORATA
  • Luis MORQUIO
  • José SERRATO

For Paraguay

  • Justo Pastor BENITEZ
  • Maria F. GONZALEZ

For Mexico

  • B. VADILLO
  • M. J. SIERRA
  • Eduardo SUAREZ

For Panama

  • J. D. AROSEMENA
  • Magin PONS
  • Eduardo E. HOLGUIN

For Guatemala

  • M. ARROYO

For Brazil

  • Lucillo A. DA CUNHA Bueno
  • Gilberto AMADO

For Ecuador

  • A. AGUIRRE Aparicio
  • H. ALBORNOZ
  • Antonio PARRA V.
  • C. PUIG V.
  • Arturo SCARONE

For Nicaragua

  • Leonardo ARGUELLO
  • M. CORDERO Reyes
  • Carlos CUADRA Pasos

For Colombia

  • Alfonso LOPEZ
  • Raimundo RIVAS

For Chile

  • Miguel CRUCHAGA
  • J. Ramon GUTIERREZ
  • F. FIGUEROA
  • F. NIETO DEL RIO
  • B. COHEN

For Peru

  • Alfredo SOLE Y MURO

For Cuba

  • Alberto GIRAUDY
  • Herminio PORTELL Vila
  • Ing. NOGUEIRA

Simple English

The Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States is a treaty. Today, it is part of customary international law. The treaty was signed at Montevideo, Uruguay, on December 26, 1933, at the Seventh International Conference of American States. At this conference, United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Secretary of State Cordell Hull declared the so-called Good Neighbor Policy which opposed U.S. armed intervention in inter-American affairs. Franklin D. Roosevelt tried to reverse the perception of "Yankee imperialism" with this treaty. The view of Yankee imperialism was brought about by policies instituted (largely) by his predecessor, President Herbert Hoover. The convention was signed by 19 states, three with reservations (Brazil, Peru and the United States[1]).

The convention is about what is a state and what rights and duties it has. Most well-known is article 1, which sets out the four criteria for statehood that have sometimes been recognized as an accurate statement of customary international law:

The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: (a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government; and (d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states.

In addition, the first sentence of article 3 explicitly states that "The political existence of the state is independent of recognition by the other states." This is known as the declarative theory of statehood.

Some have questioned whether these criteria are sufficient, as they allow less-recognized entities like the Republic of China (Taiwan) or even entirely non-recognized entities like the Principality of Sealand to claim full status as states. According to the alternative constitutive theory of statehood, a state exists only insofar as it is recognized by other states. It should not be confused with the Estrada doctrine.

There have also been attempts to further broaden the convention's definition, although they have gained less support. Founders of non-territorial micronations commonly assert that the requirement in the Montevideo Convention of a defined territory is in some way wrong-headed, for largely unspecified reasons. Some non-territorial entities, notably the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, are indeed considered subjects of international law, but these do not aspire to statehood.

Signatories

The states that signed this convention are: Honduras, United States of America, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Argentina, Venezuela, Uruguay, Paraguay, Mexico, Panama, Guatemala, Brazil, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Cuba[2]. The Montevideo Convention only codified existing norms, there is nothing new in the convention. For this reason, it does not only apply to those who signed it, but to all subjects of international law as a whole.[3]

The European Union, in the principal statement of its Badinter Committee,[4] follows the Montevideo Convention in its definition of a state: by having a territory, a population, and a political authority. The committee also found that the existence of states was a question of fact, while the recognition by other states was purely declaratory and not a determinative factor of statehood.[5]

Switzerland, although not a member of the European Union, adheres to the same principle, stating that "neither a political unit needs to be recognized to become a state, nor does a state have the obligation to recognize another one. At the same time, neither recognition is enough to create a state, nor does its absence abolish it."[6]

Other pages

Wikisource has original text related to this article:

References

  1. List of signatories of the Montevideo Convention
  2. Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States
  3. Harris, D.J. (ed) 2004 "Cases and Materials on International Law" 6th Ed. at p. 99. Sweet and Maxwell, London
  4. The Badinter Arbitration Committee (full title), named for its chair, ruled on the question of whether the Republics of Croatia, Macedonia, and Slovenia, who had formally requested recognition by the members of the European Union and by the EU itself, had met conditions specified by the Council of Ministers of the European Community on December 16, 1991. [1]
  5. [Opinion No 1., Badinter Arbitration Committee, states that "the state is commonly defined as a community which consists of a territory and a population subject to an organized political authority; that such a state is characterized by sovereignty" and that "the effects of recognition by other states are purely declaratory."]
  6. [Switzerland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, DFA, Directorate of International Law: "Recognition of States and Governments," 2005.]


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