The concept of self-determination is also included in several International conventions as discussed herewith.
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
In International Law the right to self-determination is upheld by Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that was undersigned on 3 October 1994 by the South African government, and reaffirmed and undersigned on 10 December 1998. The South African government is legally bound by this agreement, of which the appropriate portion reads as follows:
- All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
- All people may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth and without prejudice to any obligations arising out international economic cooperation, based upon the principle of mutual benefit, and international law. In no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence.
- The State Parties to the present Covenant, including those having responsibility for the administration of Non-Self- Governing and Trust Territories, shall promote the realization of the right, in conformity with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations.
African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights
The right to self-determination is also enshrined in the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, of which Article 20 reads as follows:
- All people shall have the right to existence. They shall freely have the unquestionable and inalienable right to self-determination. They shall freely determine their political status and shall pursue their economic and social development according to the policy they have freely chosen.
- Colonized or oppressed peoples shall have the right to free themselves from the bonds of domination by resorting to any means recognized by the international community.
- All peoples shall have the right to the assistance of the State Parties to the present Charter in their liberation struggle against foreign domination, be it political, economic or cultural.
Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States
The Montevideo Convention clearly states in Article 1 which conditions must be met when a "new" independent state is to be established, namely:
The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications:
- A permanent population
- A defined territory
- A government
- the capacity to enter into relations with other states