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Bougainville and nationhood

Bougainville and nationhood

What to study?

For Prelims: Where is Bougainville?

For Mains: How a region becomes an independent country? And why UN recognition is necessary?


Where is Bougainville?

It is an island in the Pacific.

Why in news? It is holding a referendum to decide if it wants to remain a part of Papua New Guinea or become an independent country.


How does a territory become a new country?

There is no straightforward rule. A region’s quest for nationhood mainly depends on how many countries and international organisations it manages to convince to recognise it as a country.

The biggest sanction of nationhood is the United Nations recognising a territory as a country.


Why UN recognition matters?

With UN recognition, a new country has access to the World Bank, the IMF, etc.

  • Its currency is recognised, which allows it to trade.
  • There is protection against parent country’s aggression, and international trade.


And as per 1933’s Montevideo Convention, a region wanting to become independent should meet 4 criteria:

A country-hopeful must have a defined territory, people, government, and the ability to form relationships with other countries.

Sources: Indian Express.