The Right to National Self-Determination: The Faroe Islands and Greenland

By Sjúrður Skaale | Go to book overview

3 - Greenland under Chapter Xl
of the United Nations Charter
A Continuing International Law Dispute

Gudmundur Aifredsson1


Introduction

When a subordinated colony is incorporated by a metropolitan State and when that State seeks to obtain approval from the United Nations while overlooking substantive and procedural UN guarantees of Chapter XI of the UN Charter and of fair play, there is good reason to call for caution. A former colony, which has been incorporated by an administering power, must have a continuing right to opt for modification or even fundamental change in its international status under these same UN rules, concerning full information about the choices and full participation in the determination process, unless and until they have been scrupulously observed.

1 This article draws in part on the author’s doctoral dissertation entitled Greenland and the Right to External Self-Determination (for the S.J.D.-degree, Harvard Law School, 1982) and his contribution to the International Law and Constitutional Law Working Group of Greenland’s Self-Governance Commission, established by the Home Rule Government, under the chairmanship of Johan Lund Olsen, in Working Paper on Basic Choices under International Law of 2002 which is reproduced on the Commission’s website at “www.namminersorneq.gl”. See also the author’s articles entitled “Greenland and the Law of Political Decolonization” in German Yearbook of International Law, vol. 25, 1982, pp. 290–308; “Greenland” in Encyclopedia of Public International Law, edited by Rudolf Bernhardt, Amsterdam: North Holland, published with the Max Planck Institute, vol. 2, 1995, pp. 623–625:; “The Faroese People as a Subject of Public International Law” in the Faroese Law Review, vol. 1, no. 1, 2001, pp. 4557; and “The Greenlanders and their Human Rights Choices” in Human Rights and Criminal Justice for the Downtrodden, Essays in Honour of Asbjörn Eide, edited by Morten Bergsmo, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2003, pp. 453–459. The author is an Icelandic lawyer, now Director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and Professor at the Law Faculty of Lund University in Sweden.

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