UNREPRESENTED NATIONS AND PEOPLES ORGANIZATION

UNPO COVENANT

As amended on 28 June 2017 - XIII General Assembly - Edinburgh, Scotland

 

 

INDEX

Title I: General Provisions

Title II: Provisions Governing Participation

Title III: Provisions Governing Institutions

Section I: The Assembly

Section II: The Presidency

Section III: The Secretariat

Section IV: Regional Chapters

Title IV: Financial Provisions

Title V: Suspension and Termination of Participation

Title VI: Liquidation of the Organization

Title VII: Amendments to the Covenant

 

PREAMBLE

Affirming the principles of Democracy, as enshrined in the Vienna declaration, as fundamental and inalienable human rights;

Noting that political and civil rights are guaranteed to individuals and communities through international law and binding covenants, such as the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights;

Aware that individual rights are inextricably linked to the recognition and protection of collective rights, as well as the free expression of collective identity, religious beliefs, opinions and dignity;

Convinced that the existence and enjoyment of these political and civil rights are themselves the product of past struggles and solidarity, and that a continued and committed effort is still necessary in order to achieve their universal and effective implementation;

Whereas the right to self-determination is enshrined in the United Nations Charter, the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and is affirmed as a fundamental human right and international peremptory norm, its implementation should be based on its broadest and most comprehensive understanding; including autonomy, devolution, and power-sharing, and federalism in all its forms, rejecting thereby a narrow focus and charges of secessionism;

Convinced that the principles, methodology, and practice of Gandhian nonviolence and nonviolent civil-resistance are the most effective means of pursuing and enforcing both collective and individual rights, we, the undersigned Nations and Peoples, reaffirm our unreserved commitment to such principles, rejecting in the process terrorism, extremism, discrimination and violence in all its forms;      

Convinced that the protection of the environment and its natural resources, in particular in the context of climate change and related shortages of potable water, is linked to the fundamental rights of Nations and Peoples everywhere, necessitating respect for the enshrined rights of free, prior, and informed consent, so as to guarantee their right to determine their own future and the protection and respect for their ancestral lands and resources;

Also convinced that the fulfilment of indigenous rights can only be achieved through the promotion of equality in rights and opportunities between the genders, as well as equal participation in civic life for all individuals;

Aware that whilst the forceful transfer of populations and other forms of demographic manipulation, including ethnic cleansing, represent serious breaches of universal rights, the free circulation of ideas, information, people, and capital should be guaranteed as central to the promotion and affirmation of freedom and democracy everywhere within the overarching paradigm of human rights and international law;

 

Therefore,

by the present Covenant, the Participating Nations and Peoples, represented by the undersigned Representatives, establish among themselves the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (the "Organization").

 

Title I - General Provisions

 

Article 1

It shall be the aim of the Organization, by assisting Participating Nations and Peoples (“Participants”) to express their positions, needs and grievances in legitimate forums and by providing a community of support, to advance the fulfilment of the aspirations of Participating Nations and Peoples by effective non-violent means.

 

Article 2

For the purposes set out in Article 1, the activities of the Organization shall include, but shall not be limited to:

a) the facilitation of consultation, exchange of views and experiences, and cooperation with each other, to the extent desired by the Participants;

b) assistance in effectively utilising available procedures of United Nations bodies and specialised agencies and of other international and regional organisations;

c) training in bilateral and multilateral diplomacy, including United Nations diplomacy and the principles of international law;

d) training in advocacy, negotiation skills and professional assistance in conflict management and resolution;

e) training in non-violent strategies and professional assistance in the development of strategic plans and policies;

f) professional legal and public relations advice;

g) providing an information service for the dissemination of information provided by Participants to the public and among their own people;

h) assistance in the development of democratic institutions and processes and in the monitoring of elections and referenda;

i) assistance in the development and implementation of measures designed to protect the natural environment and the creation of sustainable development projects.

 

Article 3

a) The achievement of the tasks entrusted to the Organization shall be ensured by:

1. General Assembly

2. Presidency

3. Secretariat

Each of these institutions shall act within the limits of the powers conferred upon in this Covenant.

b) The institutions listed in subsection (a) of this Article may be assisted by an International Advisory Council, acting in a consultative capacity, under the direction of the GA, the Presidency and the Secretariat.

c) The Secretariat may be assisted by a UNPO Support Group, consisting in an association of individual members who may provide assistance to the Secretariat in carrying out its tasks as volunteers and/or provide financial support to the organisation through membership fees and individual donations.

 

Article 4

Each Participant shall take general and specific measures which are appropriate to assist the Organization in achieving its aims and shall refrain from actions intended or reasonably expected to harm the Organization or impede its activities.

 

 

Title II - Provisions Governing Participation

 

Article 5

Participation is open to all Nations and Peoples who are not adequately represented at the United Nations and whose Representative Body, as defined in Article 6 of this Title, fulfils all requirements set out in this Title and declares:

a) Belief in the equality of all Nations and Peoples and in their inalienable right to self determination;

b) Adherence to the internationally accepted human rights standards as laid down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities and the United Nations Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, among others, adopted by the UN Human Rights Council;

c) Adherence to the principles of democratic pluralism and rejection of totalitarianism and any forms of religious intolerance;

d) Rejection of terrorism as an instrument of policy;

e) Respect for all peoples and population groups, including minority or majority populations within territories inhabited by the Participant but belonging to different ethnic, religious or linguistic groups;

f) To promote democracy, non-violence and the rule of law.

g) To promote and protect the natural environment, keeping in mind the purpose of social justice between all and in particular the UN Sustainable Development Goals;

h) To believe in and promote equality between genders and move toward more gender balance within the Representative Body.

 

Article 6

For the purposes of this Covenant:

a) A Nation or People shall mean a group of human beings which possesses the will to be identified as a nation or people and to determine its common destiny as a nation or people, and is bound to a common heritage which can be historical, racial, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, religious or territorial. A section of a people constituting a minority, living on a portion of its ancestral territory, incorporated into a State other than a State represented by that People, is included in this Article’s definition.

b) Representative Body shall mean a government, legislative body, liberation movement or other organ of leadership, whether in the territory of the Nations or People or in exile, recognised as such by a substantial section of the people which the Representative Body claims to represent; a Representative Body can also mean a coordinating organisation or other form of association of two or more organs of leadership of one Nation or People or an organisation or association of two or more Nations and Peoples. An organisation shall be considered representative when it has substantial recognition as a leadership body of the nation or people it claims to represent; it promotes the interests of the people; has a form of democratic governance; and is committed to non-violence.

 

Article 7

A Nation or People, through its Representative Body, may apply to become a Participant in the Organization by submitting the following information to the Secretariat for consideration of Membership to the Organization by the Presidency:

a) a brief history of the Nation or People;

b) the reasons for the desire to become a Participant in the Organization;

c) adequate evidence of the recognition of the Representative Body as an organ of leadership by the people it claims to represent;

d) a formal declaration of adhesion to the present Covenant and the principle of non-violence;

e) evidence of the democratic character of the Representative Body’s leadership structure;

f) the statute of the Representative Body;

g) the latest annual financial- and activity report of the Representative Body.

h) payment of the application fee

 

Article 8

Participation in the Organization does not in any way imply agreement among Participating Nations and Peoples on each other’s objectives, policies, or allegiances and does not require any form of cooperation or solidarity beyond what is contained in this Covenant.

 

Article 9

Participants adhere to peaceful means to achieve their goals. Participants shall not use the Organization or any of its bodies, specialised agencies or services in its name, to promote the use of violence.

 

Article 10

The Presidency, on recommendation of the General Secretary, will decide on all applications. The General Assembly must ratify this decision with a simple majority vote. Membership applications will not directly be considered by the General Assembly.

 

Article 11

The General Secretary shall make prior notification to all Participants of all Membership applications that he or she intends to recommend for the Presidency’s consideration, providing Participants with a sufficient and clearly defined period to ascertain if any Participant has specific grounds for objection to an application.

 

Article 12

The Presidency shall take serious note of the interest of existing Members so that the admittance of a new Member does not harm the interest of the existing Members or damage the Organization’s credibility, harmony and unity.

 

Article 13

Every Participant of the Organization is obliged to contribute an annual Membership fee to the Organization; the amount of this contribution will be set by the General Assembly.

 

Title III - Provisions Governing Institutions

 

Section I: The Assembly

 

Article 14

The Assembly, which shall be composed of delegations representing participating Nations and Peoples, shall exercise the powers of deliberation and control which are conferred upon it by this Covenant.

 

Article 15

Each delegation shall have the right to one vote in the Assembly and all Members shall have equal rights to be elected and participate in the Assembly, provided that they fulfil the duties of Membership and have paid all their due annual fees.

 

Article 16

The Assembly shall hold regular sessions at least once every 18 months. The Assembly may meet in extraordinary sessions at the request of a majority of Participants or at the request of the Presidency or the General Secretary. The date and location of each Assembly session shall be determined by the President of the General Assembly, the Presidency and the General Secretary. In case the General Assembly is not convened within 18 months, the Presidency or 40% of the Members of the Organization, shall decide on the date and location of the General Assembly, which will be held no later than 60 days after such a decision.

 

Article 17

The Assembly shall adopt the agenda at the start of each session on the basis of recommendations of the President of the General Assembly and the General Secretary.

 

Article 18

The Assembly shall elect the President and Vice-Presidents at the end of every session. The President and the Vice-Presidents shall serve in this function until elections at the subsequent General Assembly.

 

Article 19

The Assembly shall act by a simple majority of votes of delegations present.

 

Article 20

The President of the General Assembly or the General Secretary may invite individuals, governmental or non-governmental organisations or States to attend as Observers to the regular sessions of the Assembly, subject to the approval of the Assembly. The Assembly shall decide on the rights and duties of Observers by a simple majority.

 

Article 21

The General Assembly will consider and approve the last year’s financial report of the Organization.

 

Article 22

The General Assembly will consider the reports of the General Secretary and the Presidency and adopt (a) General Resolution(s) concerning the mandate of the General Secretary and the Presidency.

 

Section II: The Presidency

 

Article 23

The Presidency shall be composed of the President and two Vice Presidents of the General Assembly and eight persons, each representing a Participant, who will serve for one term of 18 months until the next General Assembly.

 

Article 24

The Presidency shall be elected by the General Assembly.

 

Article 25

The Presidency shall meet at least three times during their term. The Presidency shall adopt its own rules of procedure and vote with a simple majority.

 

Article 26

The Presidency shall have the duty to supervise the implementation of the overall policy of the Organization during its term as mandated by the Assembly. The Presidency will represent the General Assembly and will closely collaborate with the General Secretary in carrying out the overall activity of the Organization.

 

Section III: The Secretariat

 

Article 27

1) The Secretariat shall consist of a General Secretary who shall serve as the Executive Director and a Treasurer who shall serve as the Financial Director of the Organization.

2) The General Secretary may, in carrying out his duties, appoint one or two assistants.

3) The General Secretary and Treasurer, who need not belong to a nation or people represented in the Organization shall be approved by the Assembly for a three year renewable term on recommendation of the Presidency.

 

Article 28

The duties of the General Secretary shall include:

a) to direct the day-to-day operations of the Organization;

b) to represent the Organization;

c) to establish and operate bank accounts for the benefit of the Organization, in cooperation with the Treasurer;

d) to present status reports annually to the Participants, periodic reports to the Presidency and status reports to the General Assembly. These reports shall include the following information: the names and addresses of representatives of Participants and of members of the Presidency, the status of Membership applications, a description of the overall financial situation of the Organization and a description of the activities of the Organization during the previous year, including any additions, changes or amendments to the Covenant;

e) to coordinate the activities of Regional Chapters when established in order to better accomplish the aims and objectives of the Organization;

f) to perform any duties delegated or requested by the Assembly or Presidency and Participants;

g) to inform the Participants on the Organization’s activities through the website of the Organization and other available means of communication including social media;

h) to prepare a plan of work for the Organization for the next term to the General Assembly, as well as a strategic plan outlining the medium- to long-term goals of the Organisation.

 

Article 29

The duties of the Treasurer shall include:

a) to co-operate with the General Secretary;

b) to maintain proper and regular books of accounts of all receipts and payments of the Organization, including the creation of an annual balance sheet;

c) to present a financial report of the Organization to the Presidency and the Assembly;

d) to present a budget and financial plan for the following year, indicating sources of income.

 

Section IV: Regional Chapters

 

Article 30

The Regional Chapters shall be established for the purpose of supporting the Organization and its activities, including the solicitation of funds. The statutes and bylaws of each of the Regional Chapters shall ensure that they shall exist for no other purpose, and shall expressly incorporate this Covenant by reference or otherwise.

 

Title IV - Financial Provisions

 

Article 31

Funding for the Organization shall come from Participants, and from international organisations, corporate or private contributions and fundraising activities.

 

Article 32

The Membership fee of the Participants set by the General Assembly shall be paid before the end of the six months of every year.

 

Article 33

The system of accounting shall conform to generally accepted accounting standards, which includes an external auditing of the financial reports.

 

Title V - Suspension and Termination of Participation

 

Article 34

Participants may terminate their Membership in the Organization if they desire upon sending formal notice through their main representative of the organisation to the General Secretary. Termination shall be effective upon receipt of notice by the General Secretary and the Presidency.

 

Article 35

In the event that the Participating organisation representing a Member is no longer representative for the specific nation or people, when the organisation ceases to exist, merges with another organisation or in any other way sees a profound change in organisational status, or when there is an indication that the participating organisation might not fulfill other requirements of Membership as laid down in this Covenant, the Presidency at the recommendation of the Secretariat can start a preliminary examination.

 

Article 36

1) The Presidency may suspend any Participant upon a report, based on an investigation by the Secretariat, determining that the Participant has been in grave breach of the Covenant or persistently failed in its obligations under the Covenant.

2) Without prejudice to section 1 of this article, the Presidency may temporarily suspend a Participant summarily without such an investigation if, in its opinion, the breach or failure on the part of the Participant has been grave enough to warrant immediate intervention.

3) Any suspension must be reported to the General Assembly which may ratify, revoke, or decide on any appropriate measure.

 

Article 37

A Nation or People which becomes a member of the United Nations is expected to remain a supporter of the organisation. 

 

Title VI - Liquidation of the Organization

 

Article 38

The Organization shall cease to exist if:

a) Participants so decide with a two-third majority;

 

Article 39

The procedure to dissolve the Organization shall be executed by a committee, appointed by the General Assembly and the General Secretary.

 

 

Title VII - Amendments to the Covenant

 

Article 40

1) Amendments to the Covenant shall be approved by two-thirds of the Participants present at the General Assembly.

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