Effective State: for the Sake of Recognition

By Hayk KHANUMYAN
Chairman of “European Movement in Artsakh” NGO
Stepanakert 

In the present world formalism is treated as important thing. Not so much tame has gone since authoritarian times, and the world-view, not fitting to our times is still preserved by inertia. Although a human is declared as a basis of this world, we often witness the violation of that human’s rights. It is especially obvious for the unrecognized or partially recognized states.

Violations of the human rights may happen, let say, as a result of blackmailing a medium range official of the former metropolitan state by a pan-European organization, the aim of which is just the protection of human rights in the European space.

And although Article Two of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights specifies that all people enjoy equal rights, regardless the status of their countries, the status quite often becomes a cause for limitation of the rights of the residents in unrecognized states.

The Montevideo Convention of 1933 sets four criteria for a state: a permanent population,  a defined territory,  its own government and the capacity to enter into relations with other states. Most of the unrecognized or partially recognized states can proudly say that they possess all four parameters, so in this matter there is no difference between the unrecognized and recognized states. The only difference is just the recognition. But although the recognition has its political and legal importance, its absence does not suppose limitation of the rights and commitments of the state. They emerge at the moment of proclamation of the state, not just when it is recognized.

Most of the currently recognized UN member states and the same UN are products of the post-Potsdam world order, the viability of which is questioned by various think tanks and other centers. The opinions by American neo-conservators on the matter are remarkable enough. During the presidential electoral campaign in the USA, Senator John McCain pointed out that the Organization of United Nations became obsolete, and it is necessary to create a new organization, uniting the U.S. and their democratic allies, for which the only criterion would be democracy. This is the U.S. neo-conservators’ approach to the new world order, and in such conditions some new perspectives may open for unrecognized, but democratic countries.

According to the Freedom House report “Freedom in the world in 2011,” only the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus and Taiwan are considered free or democratic among the unrecognized or partially recognized states.

No matter how unreal the intentions of the American neo-conservators to change the world order would seem, it is apparent that the democratic stance makes the chances of states in the international relations higher. It is especially important for the unrecognized states as a telling argument on the way to recognition.

Laying aside the foreign political dividends of democracy, it is necessary to comprehend that democracy is the most suitable model for statehood construction. If we localize the problem on the Artsakh example, there has been an unprecedented democratic decline:  the restriction of freedoms has been displayed in the lack of opposition, free press, pluralism, weakness of the civil society, ignoring the right to inviolability of property,  the diminishing level of education, corruption of the ruling class, other negative trends.

Practically all experts, occupied with Artsakh, indicate the reason of such situation: the leadership of Armenia. Through the efforts of Armenian authorities and Serj Sargsyan, in particular, ineffective governance has been established in Artsakh, based on the incompetence of the higher leadership of the country. Yerevan is afraid of Artsakh’s potential to influence the internal political developments in Armenia, so they isolate the Artsakh factor.

It is absolutely obvious that the main task should be building an effective state. We can use Taiwan as an example: despite the conflict with such a superpower as China, it has not only effectively developed itself, but also filled such developed and highly competitive markets, as the United States and European Union, with its products.

Only will is needed to build such a country and the strong intention to respect several basic principles. The world history shows that while developing two rights should be respected: inviolability of property and free entrepreneurship. Respecting these rights stimulated the enterprising people to create wealth, enriching their society as well.

Unfortunately, Artsakh is positioning itself in the eyes of the world and the Armenian Diaspora as the needy. The image of a poor relation may sometime raise disenchantment.   We have failed to present ourselves for the whole Armenian nation, possessing a colossal potential, as a country that respects the rights to entrepreneurship, where besides the patriotic initiatives, some serious business projects may be realized. Even more, with our untalented governance and behavior, we have alienated the Diaspora, dropping its role to donations of a pair of millions of dollars once a year.

During the years of independence, Artsakh has not become a homeland for our compatriots from Diaspora, where they might settle in big numbers, working and establishing themselves. And here also the reasons should be searched in ourselves. Only recognizing our guilt, we will be able to search for the ways to solve the problems.

The international recognition is a result of the targeted work, especially when there is a conflict. But it is far more important to create an effective state. If the recognition depends on the behavior of other countries and various situations in the international politics, the effective statehood building is only our responsibility as the residents of Artsakh. Even more, the creation of the effective state will get our international recognition closer.

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