Archive | November, 2013

49. Good Office

19 Nov

Good Office

1. Internationally the term “good office” has been used with different meanings, but its increased use is probably more appropriate since international law regards it as a political-diplomatic means of peaceful settlement of disputes.

2. Good office consists of the friendly intervention of a third country (or personality with respected moral authority or an international body) outside the dispute in question, which acts to consult with two (or more) states which are in conflict (armed or not) in order to start or resume direct negotiations between them. The purpose is to try to establish an atmosphere conducive to peaceful dialogue.

3. Any State may offer good office if disputing States request it. The good office of mediation by a third may have a different approach if that third State is merely attempting rapprochement of the parties without making any proposal for resolving the conflict.

4. In essence, good office’s manager urges the disputing nations to initiate or resume negotiations when the problem has outstripped the capacity of solution by the principal parties.

5. The good office can also act as mediator if that is requested. In mediation, the good office intervenes more actively, not only proposing a solution to the problem but involving itself in the discussions between the parties to discuss and encourage the proposed solutions. Mediation is halfway between the good office and conciliation because it does more than just to bring the parties in conflict to the bargaining table.

6. The good office makes efforts of goodwill and reconciliation which are not compulsive. They consist of urging the disputing nations to resort to negotiations between them. The manager of the good office, if he expresses his opinion on the matter of substance, became the mediator – a situation which can occur frequently in the course of the exercise of good office.

7. The good office is part of the so-called political-diplomatic methods of settlement that provides for in Article 33 of the UN Charter. It is applied first and may be followed by other procedures such as commissions of inquiry and conciliation, and also legal settlement including arbitration and judicial settlement which are binding on the parties.

8. The good office coexists with other forms of conflict resolution, some of which are “coercive,” not involving a war but can through certain actions compel a State to fulfil its international duties.

9. The methods of peaceful settlement in general are proposed to solve the problem or dispute before it causes major consequences for the affected States and to world peace. As international disputes are very different in nature, procedures to fix them are also numerous and varied. The UN in its Charter has established the most desirable methods of peaceful settlement, while authorising its Member States to choose the system they deem most appropriate.

10. The good office as a major aspect of diplomacy can prevent the exercise of force by showing the effectiveness of nonviolence, that is, the possibility of settling disputes without provoking violent conflict. The guarantee of a dialogue requires that existence always of a reason to negotiate. The real test of strength is not war but peace which is not a state but a task. The involvement of the good office in finding solutions is laudable and does not imply a weakness by nations seeking peace, since by its very nature, it assists in the control of hostile factors that prevent amicable settlement.

 © by Odeen Ishmael 


48. Self-determination as a right

17 Nov

Self-determination as a right

1. Independence for the States today is the ability and willingness to freely set for themselves their own objectives and the relevant strategy for achieving them, and defining and implementing the internal and external politics which dictate their interests.

2. Self-determination and sovereignty cannot mean isolation. However, the exercise of this status gives a State to exercise its political power with the highest authority without external interference.

3. Similarly, independence usually means that the State has the constituent and reserve domain over domestic jurisdiction. Independence and self-determination are virtually synonymous and really are the essential attributes of the traditional legal conception of sovereignty and supremacy over the inhabitants of a territory without the intervention of an external party.

4. While the right of self-determination, secession and the principle of nationalities are different forms of inequity. In the field of international law are words that describe the same phenomenon.

5. Strictly speaking, self-determination must be understood by a community’s right to exercise the first act of popular sovereignty, namely the exercise of constituent power and, following this, to be respected in their independence by other members of the international community, under so-called principle of “non-intervention” in internal matters reserved to the domestic jurisdiction.

6. On the other hand, secessionist demands and repression on behalf of the territorial integrity of the States have generated fierce wars and other events including terrorism.

7. The case for the applicability of the right of self-determination by a secessionist entity becomes very strong when it is supported by the overwhelming majority of the citizens. The degree of global harmony resulting from the secession depends on the viability of the new state and the consequences of secession.

8. Over time, “self-determination of peoples” has achieved the prestige of regulatory recognition. Beginning in 1918, it was a late manifestation of the national claims of the nineteenth century which were closely linked to the treatment of national minorities. After WWII, with the establishment of the UN, this fundamental principle was to become the political and legal instrument to promote the decolonisation movement.

9. In a technical sense, self-determination of a territorial unit allows it to become independent and live separately from any other unit; and create a new state or the existing rule without interference from external parties.

10. There are two general forms of self-determination: external self-determination refers to a claim of sovereignty of a people without a state, while internal self-determination refers to the demand of people within an internal state. Both make the same request: non-intervention of others.

© by Odeen Ishmael