The Māori are the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand. Māori originated with settlers from eastern Polynesia, who arrived in New Zealand in several waves of canoe voyages some time between 1250 and 1300. Over several centuries in isolation, the Polynesian settlers developed a unique culture, with their own language, a rich mythology, distinctive crafts and performing arts. Early Māori formed tribal groups based on organisation. Horticulture flourished using plants; the arrival of Europeans to New Zealand, starting in the 17th century, brought enormous changes to the Māori way of life. Māori people adopted many aspects of Western society and culture. Initial relations between Māori and Europeans were amicable, with the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, the two cultures coexisted as part of a new British colony. Rising tensions over disputed land sales led to conflict in the 1860s. Social upheaval, decades of conflict and epidemics of introduced disease took a devastating toll on the Māori population, which fell dramatically.
By the start of the 20th century, the Māori population had begun to recover, efforts have been made to increase their standing in wider New Zealand society and achieve social justice. Traditional Māori culture has thereby enjoyed a significant revival, further bolstered by a Māori protest movement that emerged in the 1960s. In the 2013 census, there were 600,000 people in New Zealand identifying as Māori, making up 15 percent of the national population, they are the second-largest ethnic group in New Zealand, after European New Zealanders. In addition, more than 140,000 Māori live in Australia; the Māori language is spoken to some extent by about a fifth of all Māori, representing 3 per cent of the total population. Māori are active in all spheres of New Zealand culture and society, with independent representation in areas such as media and sport. Disproportionate numbers of Māori face significant economic and social obstacles, have lower life expectancies and incomes compared with other New Zealand ethnic groups.
They suffer higher levels of crime, health problems, educational under-achievement. A number of socioeconomic initiatives have been instigated with the aim of "closing the gap" between Māori and other New Zealanders. Political and economic redress for historical grievances is ongoing. In the Māori language, the word māori means "normal", "natural" or "ordinary". In legends and oral traditions, the word distinguished ordinary mortal human beings—tāngata māori—from deities and spirits. Wai māori denotes "fresh water", as opposed to salt water. There are cognate words in most Polynesian languages, all deriving from Proto-Polynesian *maqoli, which has the reconstructed meaning "true, genuine"; the spelling of "Māori" with or without the macron is inconsistent in general-interest English-language media in New Zealand, although some newspapers and websites have adopted the standard Māori-language spelling. Early visitors from Europe to New Zealand referred to the indigenous inhabitants as "New Zealanders" or as "natives".
The Māori used the term Māori to describe themselves in a pan-tribal sense. Māori people use the term tangata whenua to identify in a way that expresses their relationship with a particular area of land; the term can refer to the Māori people as a whole in relation to New Zealand as a whole. The Māori Purposes Act of 1947 required the use of the term "Māori" rather than "Native" in official usage; the Department of Native Affairs was renamed as the Department of Māori Affairs. Before 1974, the government required documented ancestry to determine the legal definition of "a Māori person". For example, bloodlines or percentage of Māori ancestry was used to determine whether a person should enroll on the general electoral roll or the separate Māori roll. In 1947, the authorities determined that a man, five-eighths Māori had improperly voted in the general parliamentary electorate of Raglan; the Māori Affairs Amendment Act 1974 changed the definition, allowing individuals to self-identify as to their cultural identity.
In matters involving financial benefits provided by the government to people of Māori ethnicity—scholarships, for example, or Waitangi Tribunal settlements—authorities require some documentation of ancestry or continuing cultural connection but no minimum "blood" requirement exists as determined by the government. The most current reliable evidence indicates that the initial settlement of New Zealand occurred around 1280 CE, at the end of the medieval warm period. Previous dating of some kiore bones at 50–150 has now been shown to have been unreliable. Māori oral history describes the arrival of ancestors from Hawaiki, in large ocean-going waka. Migration accounts vary among tribes, whose members may identify with several waka in their genealogies. In the last few decades, mitochondrial-DNA research has allowed an estimate to be made of the number of women in the founding population—between 50 and 100. Evidence fro
The Cook Islands is a self-governing island country in the South Pacific Ocean in free association with New Zealand. It comprises 15 islands; the Cook Islands' Exclusive Economic Zone covers 1,800,000 square kilometres of ocean. New Zealand is responsible for the Cook Islands' defence and foreign affairs, but they are exercised in consultation with the Cook Islands. In recent times, the Cook Islands have adopted an independent foreign policy. Although Cook Islanders are citizens of New Zealand, they have the status of Cook Islands nationals, not given to other New Zealand citizens; the Cook Islands has been an active member of the Pacific Community since 1980. The Cook Islands' main population centres are on the island of Rarotonga, where there is an international airport. There is a larger population of Cook Islanders in New Zealand itself. With about 100,000 visitors travelling to the islands in the 2010–11 financial year, tourism is the country's main industry, the leading element of the economy, ahead of offshore banking and marine and fruit exports.
In March 2019 it was reported that the Cook Islands had plans to change its name and remove the reference to Captain James Cook in favour of "a title that reflects its'Polynesian nature'". The Cook Islands were first settled in the 6th century by Polynesian people who migrated from Tahiti, an island 1,154 kilometres to the northeast. Spanish ships visited the islands in the 16th century; the first written record came in 1595 when the island of Pukapuka was sighted by Spanish sailor Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira, who gave it the name San Bernardo. Pedro Fernandes de Queirós, a Portuguese captain working for the Spanish crown, made the first recorded European landing in the islands when he set foot on Rakahanga in 1606, calling the island Gente Hermosa. British navigator Captain James Cook arrived in 1773 and again in 1777 giving the island of Manuae the name Hervey Island; the Hervey Islands came to be applied to the entire southern group. The name "Cook Islands", in honour of Cook, first appeared on a Russian naval chart published in the 1820s.
In 1813 John Williams, a missionary on the Endeavour made the first recorded sighting of Rarotonga. The first recorded landing on Rarotonga by Europeans was in 1814 by the Cumberland; the islands saw no more Europeans until English missionaries arrived in 1821. Christianity took hold in the culture and many islanders are Christians today; the islands were a popular stop in the 19th century for whaling ships from the United States and Australia. They visited, from at least 1826, to obtain water and firewood, their favourite islands were Rarotonga, Aitutaki and Penrhyn. The Cook Islands became a British protectorate in 1888 because of community fears that France might occupy the islands as it had Tahiti. On 6 September 1900, the islanders's leaders presented a petition asking that the islands be annexed as British territory. On 8 and 9 October 1900, seven instruments of cession of Rarotonga and other islands were signed by their chiefs and people. A British Proclamation was issued, stating that the cessions were accepted and the islands declared parts of Her Britannic Majesty's dominions.
However, it did not include Aitutaki. Though the inhabitants regarded themselves as British subjects, the Crown's title was unclear until the island was formally annexed by a Proclamation dated 9 October 1900. In 1901 the islands were included within the boundaries of the Colony of New Zealand by Order in Council under the Colonial Boundaries Act, 1895 of the United Kingdom; the boundary change became effective on 11 June 1901, the Cook Islands have had a formal relationship with New Zealand since that time. When the British Nationality and New Zealand Citizenship Act 1948 came into effect on 1 January 1949, Cook Islanders who were British subjects automatically gained New Zealand citizenship; the islands remained a New Zealand dependent territory until the New Zealand Government decided to grant them self-governing status. Albert Henry of the Cook Islands Party was elected as the first Premier. Henry led the nation until 1978, when he resigned, he was succeeded by Tom Davis of the Democratic Party.
In March 2019 it was reported that the Cook Islands had plans to change its name and remove the reference to Captain James Cook in favour of "a title that reflects its'Polynesian nature'". The Cook Islands are in the South Pacific Ocean, northeast of New Zealand, between French Polynesia and American Samoa. There are 15 major islands spread over 2,200,000 km2 of ocean, divided into two distinct groups: the Southern Cook Islands and the Northern Cook Islands of coral atolls; the islands were formed by volcanic activity. The climate is moderate to tropical; the Cook Islands consist of two reefs. The table is ordered from north to south. Population figures from the 2016 census; the Cook Islands is a representative democracy with a parliamentary system in an associated state relationship with New Zealand. Executive power is exercised with the Chief Minister as head of government. Legislative power is vested in the Parliament of the Cook Islands. There is a pluriform multi-party system; the Judiciary is inde
Polynesia is a subregion of Oceania, made up of more than 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean. The indigenous people who inhabit the islands of Polynesia are termed Polynesians, share many similar traits including language family and beliefs, they had a strong tradition of sailing and using stars to navigate at night. The largest country in Polynesia is New Zealand; the term Polynesia was first used in 1756 by a French writer named Charles de Brosses, applied to all the islands of the Pacific. In 1831, Jules Dumont d'Urville proposed a restriction on its use during a lecture to the Geographical Society of Paris; the islands of the South Seas have been known as South Sea Islands, their inhabitants as South Sea Islanders though the Hawaiian Islands are located in the North Pacific. Another term, the Polynesian Triangle, explicitly includes the Hawaiian Islands, as they form its northern vertex. Polynesia is characterized by a small amount of land spread over a large portion of the mid and southern Pacific Ocean.
Most Polynesian islands and archipelagos, including the Hawaiian Islands and Samoa, are composed of volcanic islands built by hotspots. New Zealand, Norfolk Island, Ouvéa, the Polynesian outlier near New Caledonia, are the unsubmerged portions of the sunken continent of Zealandia. Zealandia is believed to have sunk 23 million years ago and resurfaced geologically due to a change in the movements of the Pacific Plate in relation to the Indo-Australian plate, which served to uplift the New Zealand portion. At first, the Pacific plate was subducted under the Australian plate; the Alpine Fault that traverses the South Island is a transform fault while the convergent plate boundary from the North Island northwards is called the Kermadec-Tonga Subduction Zone. The volcanism associated with this subduction zone is the origin of the Kermadec and Tongan island archipelagos. Out of 300,000 or 310,000 square kilometres of land, over 270,000 km2 are within New Zealand; the Zealandia continent has 3,600,000 km2 of continental shelf.
The oldest rocks in the region are found in New Zealand and are believed to be about 510 million years old. The oldest Polynesian rocks outside of Zealandia are to be found in the Hawaiian Emperor Seamount Chain and are 80 million years old. Polynesia is defined as the islands within the Polynesian Triangle, although some islands inhabited by Polynesian people are situated outside the Polynesian Triangle. Geographically, the Polynesian Triangle is drawn by connecting the points of Hawaii, New Zealand, Easter Island; the other main island groups located within the Polynesian Triangle are Samoa, the Cook Islands, Tokelau, Niue and Futuna, French Polynesia. Small Polynesian settlements are in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, the Caroline Islands, Vanuatu. An island group with strong Polynesian cultural traits outside of this great triangle is Rotuma, situated north of Fiji; the people of Rotuma speak a non-Polynesian language. Some of the Lau Islands to the southeast of Fiji have strong cultural links with Tonga.
However, in essence, Polynesia is a cultural term referring to one of the three parts of Oceania. The following are the islands and island groups, either nations or overseas territories of former colonial powers, that are of native Polynesian culture or where archaeological evidence indicates Polynesian settlement in the past; some islands of Polynesian origin are outside the general triangle that geographically defines the region. The Phoenix Islands and Line Islands, most of which are part of Kiribati, had no permanent settlements until European colonization, but are sometimes considered to be inside the Polynesian triangle. In pre-colonial times, Polynesian populations existed in the Kermadec Islands, the Auckland Islands and Norfolk Island. However, when European explorers arrived, these islands were uninhabited. Anuta Bellona Island Emae Fiji Mele Nuguria Nukumanu Ontong Java Pileni Rennell Sikaiana Takuu Tikopia The United States Minor Outlying Islands Kapingamarangi Nukuoro Auckland Islands The Polynesian people are considered to be by linguistic and human genetic ancestry a subset of the sea-migrating Austronesian people.
Tracing Polynesian languages places their prehistoric origins in the Malay Archipelago, in Taiwan. Between about 3000 and 1000 BCE speakers of Austronesian languages began spreading from Taiwan into Island Southeast Asia. There are three theories regarding the spread of humans across the Pacific to Polynesia; these are outlined well by Kayser et al. and are as follows: Express Train model: A recent expansion out of Taiwan, via the Philippines and eastern Indonesia and from the northwest of New Guinea, on to Island Melanesia by 1400 BCE, reaching western Polynesian islands around 900 BCE. This theory is supported by the majority of curren
'Oro is a god of the Polynesian pantheon. The veneration of Oro, although practiced in varying intensity among the islands, was a major cult of the Society Islands in the 17th and 18th centuries Tahiti. Tahaa and Raiatea. On Tahiti'Oro was the god of war; the secret society of Arioi was linked because of its rites. On the Marquesas Islands,'Oro bore the name Mahui. Four main gods were venerated on the Society Islands: Ta'aroa the god of the sea and fishing, god of the forest and handicrafts, Tu, the old god of war and Ro'o, god of agricultural products and the weather; these main gods were venerated on the other Polynesian islands. The colonists who settled as part of the Polynesian expansion spread their religion amongst the various islands. Over the centuries the continual movement and developments of the original society groups brought about local differences and adaptations of the cult within the Polynesian Triangle. On the island of Raiatea the priests elevated the god Ta'aroa from the role of sea god - an important function in a maritime society - to the god responsible for creating the world.
A possible explanation for this is that the ariki, the hereditary chiefs and members of the highest noble ranks on Raiatea, could trace their lineage directly to Ta'aroa. A further development of this cult was the veneration of Oro, the son of Ta'aroa and Hina tu a uta, to whom the marae Taputapuatea in the Opoa valley on Raiatea is dedicated. According to tradition, Taputapuatea is the mythical birthplace of Oro; the cult of Ta'aroa spread to the Cook Islands, the Tuamotu Archipelago and Mangareva. Large islands, such as New Zealand and Hawaii, remained unaffected by the cult and its developments and Ta'aroa retains his original function there as god of the sea. On many of the other islands of the south Pacific Oro did not have the same superior function as on Tahiti and Raiatea. Due to the growing influence of Taputapuatea - one can characterize it as a type of central pilgrimage site - Oro gained more political power and religious influence within the Polynesian pantheon. On the neighboring island of Tahiti the veneration of Oro grew in importance during the late proto-historical or early historical period and can be seen as a clear step from Polytheism to Monotheism.
This development was driven by the influential secret society of Arioi, who were of great religious and political importance. From within their ranks came the upper echelons of the nobility and the priesthood; the Arioi could trace the foundation of their order back to the god Oro himself. On Tahiti Oro was the god of war, who in times of peace became the god of the fine arts. Not only pigs but humans were sacrificed to him. During his third voyage in 1777 James Cook was witness to such a human sacrifice; the prisoner was held securely on a platform. According to legend Oro lived with his sisters Teouri and Oaaoa on Mount Pahia on the island of Bora Bora, he asked his sisters for help in finding a suitable wife and descended to earth on a rainbow in the guise of a warrior. His search of the various islands at first proved futile, which saddened his sisters. In the course of their journey home to Pahia the sisters arrived in the village of Vaitape, near Vai'otaha marae on Bora Bora. There they spotted a beautiful young woman bathing in a pool of water.
The sisters told Oro of their encounter and he decided to make Vairaumati his wife. Vairaumati found this strong warrior attractive; every morning Oro would descend to earth to meet Vairaumati and leave again in the evening to return to Pahia.'Oro's brothers'Oro-tetefa and Uru-tetefa, transformed themselves into a bunch of red feathers and a pregnant sow as wedding gifts. Vairumati gave birth to a son. Oro made Vairaumati into a goddess; the rainbow is a symbol in Hawaiian mythology though the cult of Oro is a late creation, coming about sometime after the settlement of the Hawaiian Archipelago by Polynesians from the Society Islands. In Hawaii the god Lono descended to earth on a rainbow; the motif of the marriage of a human woman with a god descended from the sky is recurrent in Polynesian mythology, as well as being evident in numerous other mythologies from various cultures. Polynesian gods manifest themselves in two different ways: as "Ata" and as "To'o". Ata was a natural object or artefact sought after by humans that would symbolise the incarnation of the gods.
For the god Oro this was as either: Oro-i-te-maro-tea:, the manifestation of Oro as a light yellow thrush. Oro-i-te-maro-ura:, the manifestation of Oro as a red-green A'a-bird. To'o was a man-made object, for example a figure made of wood or stone, that presented a figurative image of the god. On Tahiti the god Oro was presented in an effigy wrapped in coconut fibers with a mace-shaped wooden "soul" in the middle. Red and yellow feathers—the symbols of the god—were placed within the layers of coconut fiber; the To'o was stored and kept safe on the ceremonial platform and would be re-clothed in tapa fiber during a complicated ceremony. This ritual has to do with the local burial cult where the body would be swathed in tapa. Robert D. Craig. "Oro". Dictionary of Polynesian mythology. Greenwood Publishing Group, p. 193-194
The Tahitians, or Maohis, are a nation and Polynesian ethnic group native to Tahiti and thirteen other Society Islands in French Polynesia, as well as the modern population of these lands of multiracial Polynesian-French, ancestry. The Tahitians are one of the largest indigenous Polynesian ethnic groups, behind the Māori and Hawaiians; the first Polynesian settlers arrived in Tahiti around 400AD by way of Samoan navigators and settlers via the Cook Islands. Over the period of half a century there was much inter-island relations with trade and Polynesian expansion with the Islands of Hawaii and through to Rapanui; the original Tahitian society was unaware of metal. However, it enabled Tahitians to clear land for cultivation on the fertile volcanic soils and build fishing canoes, their two basic subsistence activities; the tools of the Tahitians when first discovered were made of stone, shell or wood. The Tahitians were divided into three major classes: ra'atira and manahune. Ari'i were few in number while manahune constituted the bulk of population and included some members who played essential roles in the society.
It is estimated that by the first contact with Europeans in 1767 the population of Tahiti was no more than 40,000 while other Society Islands held 15,000-20,000 natives. Tahitians divided the day into the periods of daylight and darkness. There was a concept of irrational fear called mehameha, translated as uncanny feelings; the healers, familiar with herbal remedies, were called ta'ata rā ` ta'ata rapa'au. In the 19th century Tahitians added the European medicine to their practice; the most famous Tahitian healer Tiurai, of ari'i, died aged 83 during the influenza outbreak on Tahiti in 1918. When British Captain Samuel Wallis "discovered" Tahiti on 18 June 1767, the natives were eager to trade in iron nails unknown to them. Philibert Commerçon in his The Tahitian Savage to the French wrote: "They have a fruit instead of bread, their other foods are simple". Commerçon described the practice of public sex, which he said Tahitians engaged in while being cheered on by applause and musical instruments.
In the marital relationships Tahitians approached the situation where all women were the wives of men and the wife of every man was the wife of his friend. Louis Antoine de Bougainville described a scene, where a young girl came on board, placed herself upon the quarter deck and carelessly dropt the cloth. Charles Darwin wrote on Tahitians during the voyage on the Beagle: "There is a mildness in the expression of their countenances, which at once banishes the idea of a savage; the European ships however brought such diseases for which Tahitians had little or no immunity, such as dysentery, scarlet fever, typhoid fever and tuberculosis. As a result of these changes by 1797 the population of Tahiti decreased to 16,000 from estimated 40,000 in 1767, when the first European ship HMS Dolphin touched on the island; the 1881 census enumerated about 5,960 native Tahitians. The recovery continued in spite of a few more epidemics. Three hundred Tahitian volunteers fought in the European theatre of World War II with the Free French Forces.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s Tahitian poets Henri Hiro, Charles Manutahi and Turo Raapoto spearheaded the anticolonial writing in Tahiti. Hiro's God of Culture implores Oihanu, the Tahitian god of culture and husbandry, to empower the'new generation'. Three women writers - Michou Chaze, Chantal Spitz and Vaitiare explore the problems of Tahitian identification in contemporary French Polynesia. Tahitian peasants and workers call themselves the'true Tahitians' to distinguish from part-Europeans. At the same time demis quite identify themselves as indigenous people in terms of culture and political affiliation; such Tahitian activists as Pouvanaa a Oopa, Francis Sanford and Charlie Ching and Catholic bishops Michel-Gaspard Coppenrath and Hubert Coppenrath are of demi ancestry. Many natives were painted from life by Paul Gauguin. In Ea haere ia oe, for example, a pensive young girl wears the white flower tiare behind her left ear, signifying readiness to take a lover. Tahitians are French citizens and are represented by two elected deputies to the French National Assembly and one representative in the French Senate.
Tahitians vote by universal adult suffrage in all major French elections. Media related to People of Tahiti at Wikimedia Commons
New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and 1,000 kilometres south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia and Tonga; because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal and plant life; the country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington. Sometime between 1250 and 1300, Polynesians settled in the islands that were named New Zealand and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Dutch explorer Abel Tasman became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the United Kingdom and Māori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, which declared British sovereignty over the islands.
In 1841, New Zealand became a colony within the British Empire and in 1907 it became a dominion. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.9 million is of European descent. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration; the official languages are English, Māori, NZ Sign Language, with English being dominant. A developed country, New Zealand ranks in international comparisons of national performance, such as quality of life, education, protection of civil liberties, economic freedom. New Zealand underwent major economic changes during the 1980s, which transformed it from a protectionist to a liberalised free-trade economy; the service sector dominates the national economy, followed by the industrial sector, agriculture. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the prime minister Jacinda Ardern.
Queen Elizabeth II is the country's monarch and is represented by a governor-general Dame Patsy Reddy. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes; the Realm of New Zealand includes Tokelau. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, ASEAN Plus Six, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Pacific Community and the Pacific Islands Forum. Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sighted New Zealand in 1642 and named it Staten Land "in honour of the States General", he wrote, "it is possible that this land joins to the Staten Land but it is uncertain", referring to a landmass of the same name at the southern tip of South America, discovered by Jacob Le Maire in 1616. In 1645, Dutch cartographers renamed the land Nova Zeelandia after the Dutch province of Zeeland. British explorer James Cook subsequently anglicised the name to New Zealand. Aotearoa is the current Māori name for New Zealand.
It is unknown whether Māori had a name for the whole country before the arrival of Europeans, with Aotearoa referring to just the North Island. Māori had several traditional names for the two main islands, including Te Ika-a-Māui for the North Island and Te Waipounamu or Te Waka o Aoraki for the South Island. Early European maps labelled the islands North and South. In 1830, maps began to use North and South to distinguish the two largest islands and by 1907 this was the accepted norm; the New Zealand Geographic Board discovered in 2009 that the names of the North Island and South Island had never been formalised, names and alternative names were formalised in 2013. This set the names as North Island or Te Ika-a-Māui, South Island or Te Waipounamu. For each island, either its English or Māori name can be used. New Zealand was one of the last major landmasses settled by humans. Radiocarbon dating, evidence of deforestation and mitochondrial DNA variability within Māori populations suggest New Zealand was first settled by Eastern Polynesians between 1250 and 1300, concluding a long series of voyages through the southern Pacific islands.
Over the centuries that followed, these settlers developed a distinct culture now known as Māori. The population was divided into iwi and hapū who would sometimes cooperate, sometimes compete and sometimes fight against each other. At some point a group of Māori migrated to Rēkohu, now known as the Chatham Islands, where they developed their distinct Moriori culture; the Moriori population was all but wiped out between 1835 and 1862 because of Taranaki Māori invasion and enslavement in the 1830s, although European diseases contributed. In 1862 only 101 survived, the last known full-blooded Moriori died in 1933; the first Europeans known to have reached New Zeala
Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization
The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization is an international membership organization established to facilitate the voices of unrepresented and marginalised nations and peoples worldwide. It was formed on 11 February 1991 in The Hague, Netherlands, its members consist of indigenous peoples and unrecognised or occupied territories. UNPO works to develop the understanding of and respect for the right to self-determination, provides advice and support related to questions of international recognition and political autonomy, trains groups on how to advocate for their causes and directly advocates for an international response to human rights violations perpetrated against UNPO member groups; some former members, such as Armenia, East Timor, Latvia and Palau, have gained full independence and joined the United Nations. UNPO was conceived of in the 1980s by leaders of self-determination movements, Linnart Mäll of the Congress of Estonia, Erkin Alptekin, of East Turkestan, Lodi Gyari of Tibet, together with Michael van Walt van Praag, long the international law adviser of the 14th Dalai Lama.
The founders were representatives of national movements of Estonia, Tibet, Crimean Tatars, Georgia, East Turkestan, East Timor, Australian Aboriginals, The Cordillera, the Greek Minority in Albania, Palau and West Papua. UNPO chose for its founding headquarters in 1991 The Hague in the Netherlands because the city aimed at becoming the International City of Peace and Justice and hosts international courts like the ICJ and ICC. UNPO has an advocacy office in Brussels, representation in Geneva and a network of associates and consultants based around the world. UNPO is funded by member donations from individuals and foundations. A key UNPO goal was to replicate the success of the 14th Dalai Lama's non-violent message, they mentioned his name in the early years of the organization, as well as including in publications pictures of him visiting UNPO and supporting statements he made of the organization. To this end, UNPO trains its members in international law, international organizations and public relations.
UNPO has built its credibility by being the first organization to release on-ground information from remote areas press releases from groups like MOSOP. Like Amnesty International, its techniques include issuing action alerts and being an objective source of information. UNPO is funded by member donations from individuals and foundations. UNPO's vision is to affirm democracy as a fundamental human right, implement human and political rights worldwide, uphold the universal right to autonomy and self-determination and further federalism, it encourages nonviolent methodologies to reach peaceful solutions to conflicts and oppression. UNPO supports members in getting their human and cultural rights respected and in preserving their environments; the organization provides a forum for members to network and assists them in participating at an international level. Although UNPO members have different goals, they have one thing in common: they are not represented diplomatically in major international institutions, such as the United Nations.
As a result, their ability to have their concerns addressed by the global bodies mandated to protect human rights and address conflict is limited. UNPO is dedicated to the five principles enshrined in its Covenant: The equal right to self-determination. All members are required to abide by the UNPO Covenant. UNPO members are required to be nonviolent. Contrary to popular perception, self-determination does not imply secession, separate nationhood, or autonomy, it refers to the right of all peoples to determine their political status and pursue their economic and cultural development. The exercise of this right can result in a variety of outcomes, ranging from political independence to full integration within an existing state; the following are listed as members by the UNPO. Original members are listed in bold. Organizations representing nations may become suspended from the UNPO if they fail to follow its covenant; some members of the UNPO have left because of United Nations recognition, autonomy agreements, or for other reasons.
The following lists suspended members. Former members who became part of UN are highlighted with a blue background. Original members are listed in bold. Secretaries General Executive Director Karl Habsburg-Lothringen – 19 January 2002 – 31 December 2002Chairmen of the General Assembly Linnart Mäll – 1991–1993 Erkin Alptekin – 1993–1997 Seif Sharif Hamad – 1997–2001 John J. Nimrod – 2001–2005 Göran Hansson – 2005–2006Presidents Ledum Mitee – 2006–2010 Ngawang Choephel Drakmargyapon – 2010–2017 Nasser Boladai Federal Union of European Nationalities Micronations United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories Universal Declaration of the Rights of Peoples List of national liberation movements recognized by intergovernmental organizations European Free Alliance Stateless nation Official website