Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO)

Reference work entry
Part of the The Statesman's Yearbook book series (SYBK)

UNPO is an international organization created by nations and peoples around the world who are not represented in the world’s principal international organizations, such as the UN. Founded in 1991, UNPO had 44 members as at Feb. 2018 representing more than 250m. people worldwide.

Membership. Open to all nations and peoples unrepresented, subject to adherence to the five principles that form the basis of UNPO’s charter: equal right to self-determination of all nations and peoples; adherence to internationally accepted human rights standards; to the principles of democracy; promotion of non-violence; and protection of the environment. Applicants must show that they constitute a ‘nation or people’ as defined in the Covenant.

Functions and Activities. UNPO offers an international forum for occupied nations, indigenous peoples, minorities and oppressed majorities, who struggle to regain their lost countries, preserve their cultural identities, protect their basic human and economic rights, and safeguard their environment.

It does not represent those peoples; rather it assists and empowers them to represent themselves more effectively. To this end, it provides professional services and facilities as well as education and training in the fields of diplomacy, human rights law, democratic processes, conflict resolution and environmental protection. Members, private foundations and voluntary contributions fund the Organization.

In total six former members of UNPO (Armenia, Belau, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia and Timor-Leste) subsequently achieved full independence and gained representation in the UN. Belau is now called Palau. Current members Bougainville and Kosovo have achieved a degree of political autonomy. Kosovo declared itself an independent state in 2008, although both Serbia and Russia oppose its sovereignty.

  • Headquarters: Avenue Louise 52, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium.

  • Website:

  • Email:

  • General Secretary: Marino Busdachin (Italy).

Publication. UNPO News (quarterly).

Copyright information

© The Author(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019

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