UMthwakazi Review.com's Agenda4Action programme's guest this week is one of the founders of an organization called Nations without states (NwS) Mr Graham Williamson. Nations without States organization participated in the 54th Anniversary of the Human Rights Day on the 10th of December 2012 in the UK in which a number of international organizations were represented.
The 10th of December has long been celebrated as International Human Rights Day. On this day in 1948, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Mr Williamson shares his views about Nations without States organization and the first question put to him was what Nations without States was all about?
Graham Williamson: Thank you Thembani for having me as a guest in uMthwakazi Review.com's Agenda4Action programme as a representative of Nations without States organization. In response to your question, Nations without States is an organisation based upon the concept of, and promotion of self-determination. It is also a facility for stateless nations to showcase their cause and cooperate with others similar self-determinist groups.
Thembani Dube: So how many Stateless Nations are represented in Nations without states?
Graham Williamson: We haven�t counted them all! Needless to say there are many, many more that have not yet contacted us. No doubt it takes a long time for people to hear about it but in time we hope to encompass all of them. Possibly a half of all states contain within them a nation (as apart from a national minority or community) crying to get out. We hope to help them achieve that.
Thembani Dube: On the 10th of December 2012 several organizations, including Matebeleland Liberation Organization (MLO) from Zimbabwe, representing Nations without States participated in the 54th Anniversary of Human Rights Day in the UK. Tell us about this event and what was achieved.
Graham Williamson: NwS composed a document entitled Declaration for self-determination calling upon the International Community and their institutions to recognise the concept as a human right. Delegates representing a number of nations handed in a copy to the EU London offices, leafleted a Sikh meeting and addressed a Tamil one calling for an International investigation into war crimes and genocide.
Thembani Dube: That is really good. How is your organization going to prod former colonial powers to right the wrongs they created for these nations that find themselves stateless today?
Graham Williamson: In a number of ways; by promoting and lobbying for not only an acceptance of the Self-Determination principle but to act on it, an acknowledgement that the decolonisation process was flawed, and a mobilisation of all the "national" Diasporas to apply pressure upon the Governments of the country's they reside in.
The fundamental problem was that the colonial powers had created administrative units/territory out of the land they conquered that cut across tribes and absorbed nations. When they left in a hurry post World War 2 the borders were unchanged and the smaller nations were oppressed by the larger nations.
Thembani Dube: What legal and political instruments can be used by these nations to advance their self-determination cause?
Graham Williamson: Well it will be difficult for many of these nations to campaign on their own country as some make even the calling for (including flying of the flag!) self-determination illegal. Legally, Constitutions will oppress rather than liberate such views. Therefore local campaigning will be difficult if not dangerous. Matters are often better in the West e.g. Scotland, Catalans etc but the media and political institutions frown upon those who wish to devolve power let alone call for secession. In the more dangerous spots organising Diasporas overseas to lobby external Governments are important. Spreading the word by mouth and literature, including the internet when not blocked, is probably the best (if not the only) actions that organisations can do in relative anonymity?
Thembani Dube: Some of these nations without states have suffered genocide and continue to suffer genocide at the hands of dominant groups within colonial borders drawn by colonial powers and the Matebele are one of those who have suffered genocide in the 80s when Zimbabwe became independent. What is Nations without States agenda for Truth and Justice for those who have suffered genocide?
Graham Williamson: We must support International Independent Investigations into genocides, preferably UN inspired or organised. Campaigning for this and the profiling of such genocides will highlight the behaviour of Governments and demonise them in the eyes of the IC. This will assist the wider call for self-determination.
Thembani Dube: How can organizations that would want to be represented in Nations without States make contact with NwS?
Graham Williamson: We are on facebook as Nations without States group but others may wish to contact me directly on:Williamson_graham@yahoo.co.uk
Thembani Dube: Mr Williamson it has been a pleasure to have you on uMthwakazi Reveiw's Agenda4Action programme. We look forward to engaging with you in this programme in the future. Thank you.
Graham Williamson: You are welcome Thembani and many thanks for having me on this programme. I am more than happy to be your guest in the future. Many thanks once again.
Source: uMthwakazi Review.com