A Blueprint for Territorial Dispute Resolution
Independence is a basic human right.
Essentially, all territorial disputes should be settled by referendum
(as opposed to war). Voting rights are held by all who live in the
region in question. The majority decide the issue. Once the issue has
settled, there will inevitably be those outside the region, that would
to be inside it, and there will be those inside who would prefer to be
it. Generally, if the region is initially well chosen, then these
only form a small percentage of the total, and should also be
balanced. In order to facilitate the transfer of both minorities, a
arm is added to the World Bank, which would be responsible for
the properties vacated on both sides of the new border, and reselling
same properties to new tenants from the opposite side of the border. No
is forced to move against their will, but the existence of such an
and neutral international property dealer would greatly facilitate
process for those who do, and also reduce the vast material losses
experienced during war.
If even after this process is widely recognized, some states are
loath to comply with it, there remains a simple and non-violent way in
people may gain their independence, as proposed by Mahatma Gandhi.
should if necessary hold their own referendum. If the result is in
of independence then most people wishing their independence should
ignore the mechanism of government and all it's trappings of the
country (especially the payment of taxes). They should also at that
petition the UN for recognition, and this should de facto be granted.
Then the proposal as above can take effect, and people can move as they
Also the people themselves can organize their own elections, and form
At this point, should the recalcitrant original country intervene
militarily, then world wide all encompassing trade (especially trade in
arms and ammunition),
and diplomatic sanctions are automatically invoked against that nation.
The very knowledge that this invocation is automatic should act as a
Invariably the property arm of the World Bank, will sometimes be left
excess cash, sometimes with excess property.
Over the long term, and averaged over many situations, this should
Wars with their ensuing loss of life and property are reduced
Footnote: Needless to say none of the above should be undertaken
until such time as those considering independence have first made every
reconcile their differences with the government of the original
process should be one of last resort.