I have left this freedom to near the end of the year as it is a complex subject from so many points of view. It was also difficult from a personal point of view, as I had to leave my country of birth for some of the reasons in this article. After this year of wars and rumors of wars, I had to tackle it as a vital part of the Constitution. What does it actually mean?
Freedom of self-determination is a fundamental human right enshrined in various international instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The right to self-determination is defined as the power of a people to determine their own political, economic, social, and cultural systems. It is a principle that recognizes the inherent dignity and worth of every human being and their ability to freely determine their own future.
MORE THAN THE RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE
Self-determination is also a moral and ethical principle. It acknowledges the importance of individual choice and the right to choose one’s destiny. It also embodies the right to freedom of expression and association, the right to participate in the political process, and the right to access justice.
Self-determination is also closely linked to the principle of sovereignty. Sovereign states are recognized as having the right to govern themselves without interference from other states or external actors. The principle of self-determination is the foundation for the modern system of nation-states, where people have the right to determine their own political future. But this can also be in conflict with different systems of governance. There are those nation-states that favor a dictator and/or support different ideologies. When two or more nations with opposing ideologies claim the right to self-determination, we end up with conflict and wars.
However, despite recognizing self-determination as a fundamental human right, the practice of self-determination remains limited in many parts of the world. In many cases, states have attempted to restrict the right to self-determination through various means, including using force, economic sanctions, and other forms of coercion. In some instances, self-determination has been used to justify acts of aggression, including wars of conquest and occupation.
One of the most significant challenges to the right to self-determination is the issue of minority rights. In many countries, ethnic and religious minorities are denied the right to self-determination and are subjected to discrimination, persecution, and other forms of abuse. This is particularly true in cases where minority groups are seen as a threat to the dominant culture or political system.
POWER IN THE HANDS OF FEW
In addition to the challenges posed by minority rights, the right to self-determination is also threatened by globalization and the increasing concentration of power in the hands of a few large corporations and states. In this context, the ability of people to freely determine their own future is increasingly limited, as economic, political, and cultural systems are shaped by a small group of powerful actors. Over the last few years, we have seen this at work in the growth of Amazon, the control of Meta on social media, etc. The control of medicine by big Pharma.
Despite these challenges, the right to self-determination remains a crucial principle for protecting and advancing human rights. It is essential that all states and other actors respect the right to self-determination and work to promote the development of democratic institutions that are responsive to the needs and aspirations of the people. There needs to be a better balance between parties and groups, not either or, but incorporating a more comprehensive section of thoughts and ideas to create a more balanced government, not merely a bi-partisan government.
To protect and promote the right to self-determination, states must uphold the rule of law and respect the principles of democracy and human rights. This requires establishing solid and independent judicial systems, protecting freedom of expression and assembly, and promoting inclusive political processes that engage all members of society.
The right to self-determination is a fundamental human right essential for exercising other rights and freedoms. Despite the challenges posed by minority rights, globalization, and the concentration of power, the principle of self-determination remains crucial for the advancement and protection of the dignity of every person.
“I am referring to the other person’s conscience, not yours. For why is my freedom being judged by another’s conscience? Corinthians 10:29
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17″