There is no principle in international law more fundamental than the right of all peoples to self-determination. This is universally accepted by the entire world, yet nearly 70 years after the signing of the UN Charter, the United States continues to fight tooth and nail against this most basic human right.
On December 18, 2014, the U.S. was one of only seven countries to vote against a UN General Assembly resolution that passed with 180 votes affirming the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. Earlier that year, the U.S. also found themselves on the wrong side of the international consensus when the UN Special Committee on Decolonization approved a statement to “reaffirm the inalienable right of the people of Puerto Rico to self-determination.”
Self-determination “denotes the legal right of people to decide their own destiny in the international order,” according to the Legal Information Institute. This right was enshrined in international law with its inclusion in the UN Charter in 1945. Article 1 of the Charter states that one of the purposes of the United Nations is: “to develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples.”