Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization

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Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO)
Map indicating worldwide UNPO membership (click to enlarge and for legend).
Headquarters The Hague, Netherlands
Membership 46 groups[1]
 •  General Secretary[2] Marino Busdachin
(since 2003)
 •  Treasurer[2] Jeroen Zandberg
(since December 2012)
 •  President[2] Nasser Boladai
(since July 2015)
 •  Vice-President[2] Abdirahman Mahdi
(since July 2015)
Establishment February 11, 1991

The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), formed on the 11 February 1991[3][4] in The Hague, Netherlands, is an international pro-democracy organization. Its purpose is to facilitate the voices of unrepresented and marginalised nations and peoples worldwide. Technically, it is not a non-governmental organization (NGO) as some of its members are governments or government agencies of unrecognized states.

Its members consist of indigenous peoples, minorities, and unrecognised or occupied territories. The organization trains groups in how to advocate their causes effectively. Some former members, such as Armenia, East Timor, Estonia, Latvia, Georgia, and Palau, have gained full independence and joined the United Nations.[5][6]


UNPO was conceived in the 1980s by leaders of self-determination movements, Linnart Mäll of the Congress of Estonia, Erkin Alptekin, of East Turkestan, and Lodi Gyari of Tibet, together with Michael van Walt van Praag, long the international law adviser of the 14th Dalai Lama. The founders were representatives of national movements of Estonia, Latvia, Tibet, Crimean Tatars, Armenia, Georgia, Tatarstan, East Turkestan, East Timor, Australian Aboriginals, The Cordillera, the Greek Minority in Albania, Kurdistan, Palau, Taiwan, and West Papua.[7] In 1991, UNPO chose The Hague in the Netherlands for its founding headquarters because the city aimed to become the International City of Peace and Justice and was also host to international institutions such as the International Court of Justice and International Criminal Court. UNPO has an advocacy office in Brussels, representation in Geneva and a network of associates and consultants based around the world. Funding comes from member contributions and donations from individuals and foundations.[8] A key UNPO goal was to replicate the success of the 14th Dalai Lama's non-violent message; they often mentioned his name in the early years of the organization, included photos of him visiting UNPO in their publications and printed supporting statements he made for the organization.[8][9]

To this end, UNPO trains its members in international law, international organizations, diplomacy, and public relations. UNPO has built its credibility by being the first organization to release on-ground information from remote areas, typically press releases from groups like MOSOP. As with Amnesty International, its techniques include issuing action alerts and being an objective source of information.


UNPO’s vision is to affirm democracy as a fundamental human right, implement human, civil and political rights worldwide, uphold the universal right to autonomy and self-determination and further federalism. It encourages nonviolent methodologies to reach peaceful solutions to conflicts and oppression. UNPO supports members in getting their human and cultural rights respected and in preserving their environments. The organization provides a forum for members to network and assists them in participating at an international level.[8]

Although UNPO members often have different goals, they have one thing in common: they are generally not represented diplomatically (or only with a minor status, such as observer) in major international institutions, such as the United Nations. As a result, their ability to have their concerns addressed by the global bodies mandated to protect human rights and address conflict is limited.[8]

UNPO is dedicated to the five principles enshrined in its Covenant:

All members are required to sign and abide by the UNPO Covenant.[citation needed] UNPO members are required to be nonviolent.[10]

It should be noted that contrary to popular perception, self‐determination does not necessarily imply secession, separate nationhood, or even autonomy. It simply refers to the right of all peoples to freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development. The exercise of this right can result in a variety of outcomes, ranging from political independence to full integration within an existing state.


The following listed as members by the UNPO.[1]

Original members are listed with pink background and in bold.

Member Date Joined Date Withdrew Represented by
Abkhazia Abkhazia 6 August 1991 Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia
Flag of Aceh.svg Aceh 15 July 2014 Aceh-Sumatra National Liberation Front
Afrikaner Vryheidsvlag.svg Afrikaner 15 May 2008 Freedom Front Plus
Flag of Arabistan.svg Ahwazi (Arabistan) 14 November 2003 Democratic Solidarity Party of Al-Ahwaz
Berber flag.svg Amazigh (Berberia) 28 November 2014 World Amazigh Congress
Flag of Assyria.svg Assyria 6 August 1991 Assyrian Universal Alliance
Flag of Barotseland.svg Barotseland 23 November 2013
Flag of Brittany (Gwenn ha du).svg Brittany 1 July 2015 Kelc’h An Dael
Bandera poble Batwa.svg Batwaland 17 January 1993 Community of Indigenous Peoples of Rwanda
Flag of Chin State.svg Chin 15 July 2001 Chin National Front
Flag of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Shanti Bahini.svg Chittagong Hill Tracts 6 August 1991 United People's Party of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (JSS)
Flag of Adygea.svg Circassia 16 April 1994 International Circassian Association
Cordillera (Igorot) 11 February 1991 Cordillera Peoples' Alliance
Flag of the Crimean Tatar people.svg Crimean Tatars 11 February 1991 Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People
Flag of FULRO.svg Degar-Montagnards 14 November 2003 Montagnard Foundation, Inc.
Flag of Washington, D.C..svg District of Columbia[11] 9 November 2015
Flag of Balochistan.svg East Balochistan 1 March 2008 Balochistan National Party
Kokbayraq flag.svg East Turkestan 11 February 1991 World Uyghur Congress
Flag of Balawaristan.svg Gilgit–Baltistan (Balawaristan) 20 September 2008 Gilgit–Baltistan Democratic Alliance
 Haratin 18 September 2011 Initiative de Résurgence du Mouvement Abolitionniste en Mauritanie (IRA)
Hmong Flag.png Hmong 2 February 2007 Hmong ChaoFa Federated State
Bandera Hongaresos Romania.svg Hungarians in Transylvania 30 July 1994 Hungarians in Romania
Flag of the Inner Mongolian People's Party.svg Inner Mongolia 2 February 2007 Inner Mongolian People's Party
Flag of Kurdistan.svg Iranian Kurdistan 2 February 2007 Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran
Flag of Kurdistan.svg Iraqi Kurdistan 11 February 1991 Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
Flag of Iraq Turkmen Front.svg Iraqi Turkmen (Turkmenali) 6 August 1991 Dr. Muzaffer Arslan
Flag of KKF.svg Khmer Krom 15 July 2001 Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation
Kosovo Kosova 6 August 1991 Democratic League of Kosova
Flag of the Lezgi people.svg Lezghistan 7 July 2012 Federal Lezgian National and Cultural Autonomy
Flag of the Mapuches.svg Mapuche 19 January 1993 Mapuche Inter-Regional Council
MNLF flag.svg Moro 26 September 2010 28 November 2014 Moro Islamic Liberation Front
In nagaland.png Nagaland 19 January 1993 National Socialist Council of Nagaland
Flag of Ogaden National Liberation Front(2).svg Ogaden 6 February 2010 Ogaden National Liberation Front
Flag of the Ogoni people.svg Ogoni 19 January 1993 Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People
Flag of the Oromo Liberation Front.svg Oromia 19 December 2004 Oromo Liberation Front
Rehobothflag.svg Rehoboth 2 February 2007 Captains Council
Savoie flag.svg Savoy 15 July 2014 The Government of the State of Savoy
Flag of Sindh.svg Sindh 19 January 2002 World Sindhi Institute
Somaliland Somaliland 19 December 2004 Government of Somaliland
Flag of South Moluccas.svg South Moluccas 6 August 1991 Government in Exile of the Republic of South Moluccas
Flag of South Azerbaijan.svg Southern Azerbaijan 2 February 2007 Southern Azerbaijan National Awakening Movement
Southern Cameroons Southern Cameroons 19 December 2004 28 November 2014
Bandeira Sultanato de Sulu Moderna.svg Sulu 28 November 2014 Sulu Foundation of Nine Ethnic Tribes
Taiwan Taiwan 11 February 1991 Taiwan Foundation for Democracy
Flag of the Talysh-Mughan Republic1.jpg Talysh-Mughan 15 July 2014 The National Talysh Movement
Tibet Tibet 11 February 1991 Central Tibetan Administration
Free Territory Trieste Flag.svg Trieste 28 November 2014 TRIEST NGO
Flag of BNP.svg West Balochistan 26 June 2005 Balochistan People's Party
Morning Star flag.svg West Papua 23 November 2013 National Government of the Republic of West Papua
Australian Aboriginal Flag.svg Aboriginals of Australia 11 February 1991 7 July 2012 National Committee to Defend Black Rights
Dene 19 December 2004 9 October 2009 Buffalo River Dene Nation
Flag of Myanmar.svg Burma 15 May 2008 13 February 2010 National Council of the Union of Burma
Flag of Buryatia.svg Buryatia 3 February 1996 13 February 2010 All-Buryat Association for the Development of Culture
Flag of Greece.svg Greek Minority in Albania 11 February 1991 7 July 2012 Democratic Union of the Greek Ethnic Minority in Albania
Flag of Cabinda Province.svg Cabinda 17 April 1997 18 September 2011
Flag of Chechen Republic of Ichkeria.svg Chechen Republic of Ichkeria 6 August 1991 10 September 2010
Inkerin lippu.svg Inkeri 17 January 1993 9 October 2009
Flag of Hawaii.svg Kalahui Hawai'i 3 August 1993 7 July 2012 Ka Lahui Hawaii
Flag of Kayah State.svg Karenni State 19 January 1993 t 7 July 2012 Karenni National Progressive Party
Flagge Khalistans.svg Khalistan 24 January 1993 4 August 1993 (suspension made permanent 22 January 1995)
Flag of Komi.svg Komi 17 January 1993 9 October 2009
Bandera masai.svg Maasai 19 December 2004 7 July 2012 Maasai Women for Education and Economic Development
Flag of Mari El.svg Mari 6 August 1991 9 October 2009
New Mon State Party flag.png Mon 3 February 1996 7 July 2012 Mon Unity League
Flag of Mexico.svg Nahua del Alto Balsas 19 December 2004 20 September 2008
Flag of Skåne.svg Scania 19 January 1993 18 September 2011[12]
Flag of the Shan State.svg Shan 17 April 1997 6 February 2010
Bandera Nis'ga Nation.png Tsimshian 2 February 2007 18 September 2011
Flag of Tuva.svg Tuva Republic 3 February 1996 13 February 2010
22px West Papua 11 February 1991 20 September 2008
Flag of Aceh.svg Aceh 6 August 1991 1 March 2008 Reached autonomy agreement with Indonesia in 2005, but rejoined 15 July 2014
Flag of Albania.svg Albanians in Macedonia 16 April 1994 1 March 2008 Reached agreement on wider rights with Macedonia in 2001
 Armenia 11 February 1991 2 March 1992 Became member of the UN in 1992
Flag of Bashkortostan.svg Bashkortostan 3 February 1996 30 June 1998
23x15px Bougainville 6 August 1991 1 March 2008 Reached autonomy agreement with Papua New Guinea in 2000
Flag of Chuvashia.svg Chuvash 17 January 1993 1 March 2008
 Estonia 11 February 1991 17 August 1991 Became member of the UN in 1991
Flag of Gagauzia.svg Gagauzia 16 April 1994 1 December 2007 Reached autonomy agreement with Moldova in 1994
 Georgia 11 February 1991 31 July 1992 Became member of the UN in 1991
Flag of Ingushetia.svg Ingushetia 30 July 1994 1 March 2008
Flag of the Kumukh people.png Kumyk 17 April 1997 1 March 2008
Pine Ridge Flag.svg Lakotah Nation 30 July 1994 1 December 2007 Followed by the declaration of the Republic of Lakotah
 Latvia 11 February 1991 17 August 1991 Became member of the UN in 1991
Frondalliberamentdepolinesia.png Maohi 30 July 1994 1 December 2007
Nuxalk 23 September 1998 1 March 2008
 Palau 11 February 1991 15 December 1994 Became member of the UN in 1994
Rusyn 23 September 1998 1 December 2007
Sakha 3 August 1993 30 June 1998
Talysh 26 June 2005 1 March 2008 Rejoined 15 July 2014
Tatarstan 11 February 1991 1 March 2008
23x15px Tamil Eelam 11 February 1991 19 May 2009 Sri Lankan victory in the Sri Lankan Civil War in 2009
 Timor-Leste 17 January 1993 27 September 2002 Became member of the UN in 2002


Secretaries General[13]

Name Term
Michael van Walt van Praag (Netherlands Netherlands) 1991–1998
Tsering Jampa (Tibet Tibet) 1997–1998
Helen S. Corbett (Australian Aboriginal Flag.svg Australian Aboriginals) 1998–1999
Erkin Alptekin (East Turkestan Uyghurs) 1999–2003
Marino Busdachin (Italy Italy) 2003–present[14]

Financial Director/Treasurer

Executive Director

Chairmen of the General Assembly


  • Ledum Mitee - (Ogoni) 2006–2010
  • Ngawang Choephel Drakmargyapon – Since 2010

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Members". UNPO. Retrieved 27 January 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "UNPO Organizational Structure". UNPO. Retrieved 30 January 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "UNPO World Statesman.org". Worldstatesman. Retrieved 7 February 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "About UNPO". UNPO. Retrieved 7 February 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Barbara Crossette, Those Knocking, Unheeded, at U.N.'s Doors Find Champion, New York Times, 18 December 1994.
  6. Tishkov, Valerie, An Anthropology of NGOs, Eurozine, July 2008
  7. Simmons, ed. Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization Yearbook 1995. Kluwer Law International. pp. 1–3. ISBN 90-411-0223-X. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 UNPO 20 th Anniversary Publication: Twenty Years of Promoting Nonviolence, Human Rights and Self Determination (PDF). The Hague, Netherlands: UNPO. 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Gluckman, Ron (1998). "World's wanna-be republics find a home with UNPO". Asiaweek. Retrieved 4 November 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Bob, Clifford (2005). The Marketing of Rebellion: Insurgents, Media, and International Activism. Cambridge University Press. pp. 47–48, 76–77.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "UNPO Welcomes New Member, District of Columbia". Retrieved November 11, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. International Organizations N - W
  13. "Worldstatesmen International Organizations". Worldstatesman. Retrieved 9 July 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. UNPO Presidency & Secretariat, UNPO web site.

External links