On Self-Determination

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On Self-Determination _ Rectifying Misconceptions One of the most debatable provisions in the Ethiopian Constitution is article 39, Rights of Nations, Nationalities and Peoples. The main concern of this article is the right to self-determination. But the question is whether the debates around it helped the proper understanding of this right? I believe there is still a huge misconceptions around this right. The right to self-determination refers to the entitlement of people to have control over their destiny and to be treated respectfully. This includes their freedom to pursue their economic, social, cultural and political development. It is a group right, a right perused for a group of people. In this short piece I will try to put light on…show more content…
The first one is about representation in political process and the second one focuses on rights based on the identity of community. Representation in political process starts from the lower level (Kebele and Woreda) to higher stages of governmental positions. The second component of the right to self-determination mostly concerns language and history. These rights are usually referred as cultural rights. The essence of these rights is to ensure the continuity of culture as a way of life, culture as a unique identity, culture as a truly esthetic beauty and a source of happiness. The second component of self-determination also deals with right of persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities and rights of indigenous peoples. The Ethiopian constitution puts these rights in article 39(2) it reads; “every Nation, Nationality and People in Ethiopia has the right to speak, to write and to develop its own language; to express, to develop and to promote its culture; and to preserve its history.” The right to self-determination as a prerequisite to political…show more content…
However, all human rights are universal and eternal in nature. This stems from the universal nature of human rights. Self-determination as a human right is destined for all humanity, irrespective of race, nationality, or membership to any particular social group. This point has been reaffirmed in recent times with the growing popularity of the right following Scotland’s vote on independence. There is also a question of self-determination in other western countries like Spain (Catalan and Basque), and Canada (Quebece). The right to self-determination is backed by major international agreements The right to self-determination is given a major focus in various international covenants. The International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESC) and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) place the right in their first article. It reads, “All Peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right, they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.” Moreover, the International Court of Justice has confirmed the right of people to self-determination by considering it as an “erga omnes”, i.e., an obligation owed by all states to all community as a whole. In addition in 1992, the United Nations passed

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