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Basters attend Defacto States Conference

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A Rehoboth Baster delegation headed by Kaptein John McNab attended a conference on defacto states, which was held on Thursday 15 May 2008 in the European Parliament.


The conference was organized by the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe (ALDE) in cooperation with UNPO, the NRP and the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy.

The event brought together specialists and academics from varying discipline relevant to the unique position of defacto states in the current world order. Furthermore, representatives from defacto states shared their experiences and viewpoints with the public and the media. Defacto states that were the topic of discussion were amongst others Somaliland, Abkhazia, Taiwan and Northern Cyprus.

The conference consisted of three panels that each dealt with a specific topic. Panel one analysed the legal position of defacto states in international law. The second panel focused on health, economic development and security as it relates to unrecognized states. The final panel investigated the challenges of good and democratic governance for defacto states.

A question and answer session followed after the speakers of each panel presented their views.

The conference was concluded with the adoption of the UNPO Declaration on De Facto States by the representatives and speakers present.The Rehoboth Baster delegation consisted of Kaptein John McNab, Mr. Bernard Buys and Mr. Johannes Dentlinger.




- Programme -

Opening Session

Marino Busdachin, General Secretary, UNPO

Scott Pegg, Associate Professor, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis: “International Society and the de facto State”

Address by Guests of Honor

Graham Watson, Member European Parliament, Chairman ALDE Group

Marco Pannella, Member European Parliament, Leader of the Nonviolent Radical Party

Marco Cappato, Member European Parliament, ALDE Group

Michael Kau, Taiwan Representative in the EU and Belgium

Maxim Gunjia, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Abkhazia

Mohamoud Daar, Ambassador, Representative of the Republic of Somaliland


Panel I  --  “De facto States in the International System”

Scott Pegg (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis): “Impact of de facto states on international law and the international community”

Tozun Bahcheli (King’s University College): “State Building without Recognition: the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”

Daria Isachenko (Humboldt University): “De facto states and their sponsors”

Michael Kau (Taipei Representative Office in Brussels): “Taiwan as de facto state participation in the international community”


Panel II  --  “Health, Economics and Security”

Emma Tania (Abkhazia National Bank): “A national bank without recognized nationality”

Michael Alkan (Ben Gurion University): “Rebuilding healthcare in post-conflict areas”

Mandy Turner (Bradford University): “Maintaining security and stability in the state-building process”


Panel III  --  “Challenges of Good Governance for de facto States”

Antje Herrberg (Crisis Management Initiative): “Maintaining effective and open dialogue within a de facto state”

Pål Kolsto (University of Oslo): “Sustainability and future of unrecognized states”

Steve Kibble (Progressio): “Somaliland - the road to recognition and democracy”

Nina Caspersen (Lancaster University): “Promoting democracy without international  recognition”

 For more information on the conference see: