LISD Report Focusing on Self-Determination and Territorial Integrity Issued as a UN Document

A report including recommendations from LISD's March 2016 co-sponsored workshop, "Models of Self-Governance as Tools to Promote Peace and Stability in Europe," has been issued as UN document A/70/955-S/2016/547. The March 20-22 meeting, convened in Triesenburg, Liechtenstein in collaboration with Permanent Mission of Liechtenstein to the United Nations, brought together academics, experienced mediators and diplomats to focus on generating new and innovative ways of thinking about self-determination that do not equate it with independence or secession, in particular, in the context of ongoing conflicts in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe area. Participation in the meeting was by invitation only, and discussions were off the record. 

As the report notes, numerous conflicts within States as well as frozen conflicts remain unresolved—including in Europe—and an open debate about contentious self-determination claims is of continued urgency and relevance. To that end, final report summarizes conversations focusing on the ongoing tensions between the principles of self-determination and territorial integrity, explorations of ways of reconciling the two, and considerations of the possibilities for innovative application of the right of self-determination as a tool for conflict prevention and resolution. Key questions addressed and policy recommendations made in the report focus on the relevance of the principle of self-determination in contemporary international law and international relations, the difficulties in reconciling it with the principle of territorial integrity, and emerging opportunities and challenges for the right of self-determination in its various forms during a time of changes in the international order.