Argument: There is no international consensus on the rights of nationalities to self determination

Issue Report: Tibet independence

Supporting Evidence

  • Melvyn C. Goldstein, “The Dalai Lama’s Dilemma”, From Foreign Affairs, January/ February 1998 “As a classic nationalistic dispute, the Tibet question pits the right of a people, Tibetans, to self-determination and independence against the right of a multiethnic state, the People’s Republic of China, to maintain what it sees as its historical territorial integrity. Such disputes are difficult to resolve because there is no clear international consensus about the respective rights of nationalities and states. The U.N. Charter, for example, states that the purpose of the world body is to ensure friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination, but it also states that nothing contained in the charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters that are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state. The ambiguity about when entities have the right to seek self- determination has made international opinion an important dimension of such disputes, and the struggle to control representations of history and current events is often as intense as the struggle to control territory.