UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF PEOPLES
Whereas the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (jointly referred to as the
International Bill of Human Rights) are universal and should be universally respected and implemented,
Whereas not all states respect human rights, including the right to self-determination of peoples, and the
International Bill of Human Rights has not yet achieved universal implementation,
Whereas human rights cannot be fully realized without the recognition of the right to cultural, national,
linguistic, and ethnic identity of individuals and peoples,
Whereas the coexistence of different peoples is a necessary condition for the preservation and
development of all cultures, languages, and spiritual traditions,
Whereas the diversity of peoples, cultures, languages, and spiritual traditions constitutes the genuine
richness of human existence, guaranteeing the continued survival and development of humankind, just as
preservation of the variety of natural species ensures continuation of life on Earth,
Whereas in the history of humankind, peoples have endured longer than the states of the world,
Whereas the attempts to force people to adopt new identities to suit the political objectives of states
have led to violations of human rights and the rights of peoples,
Therefore, the General Assembly of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation reaffirms the
universal human rights and the rights of peoples as inalienable rights in international law and declares:
All peoples have the equal right to self-determination. According to this right they freely determine their
political status and freely determine their economic, social and cultural development. States shall respect
this right and the principle of territorial integrity shall not unilaterally form an obstacle to its
All peoples have the equal right to live in dignity and to be respected. It is the duty of all states to treat
equally and justly all peoples living within their respective jurisdictions.
All peoples have the right to their own abode, within their ancestral territory, where they can exercise
their right to self-determination. Peoples shall not be expelled from their respective territories. These
territories or portions thereof shall not be taken from them, annexed or otherwise altered by force or without
the agreement of the people or peoples concerned.
All peoples have the right to return to their own abode if they have been expelled therefrom or their
territories have been taken in violation of Article 3.
All peoples have the right to sovereignty over the natural wealth and resources within their territories.
All peoples also have the right to intellectual property. They are obliged to respect the equal right
to natural wealth and resources of all other peoples.
All peoples have the right to organize and to form legitimate representative bodies. This may, if they so
wish, include their diaspora.
In accordance with the exercise of their right to self-determination, peoples should, if they so desire,
exercise self-government and create appropriate organs for self-government within their territory.
The right to self-determination includes the right to independent statehood where the exercise of the right
to self-determination cannot be implemented without establishing an independent state.
All peoples have the right to self-preservation and physical existence. Peoples with small populations
shall not be involuntarily subjected to harmful demographic policies, such as population transfers and
coercive birth controls.
All peoples have the right to live in peace. States shall not use force against peoples peacefully
exercising their right to self-determination. Peoples have the right to defend themselves against such use of
force against them.
All peoples have the right to security and international legal protection. They shall be protected
against genocide and illegal use of force, including terrorism, against them.
All peoples have the right to ecological security and protection of their natural environment.
All peoples have the right not to allow the production, testing, storage, transportation and use of weapons of
mass destruction, including nuclear, chemical and bacteriological weapons, on their territory and the
right to strive for the demilitarisation of their territory.
All peoples have the right to development as well as the right to preserve and develop their traditional way
All peoples have the right to self-identification and have the right to know, learn, preserve and develop
their own culture, history, language, religion and customs.
All peoples have the right to be informed about policies of the state and should be involved in
discussions on an international level on matters that affect their existence and their rights.
All peoples have the right to demand from state and international organisations the observance and
protection of their rights, as listed in this Declaration.
All peoples shall respect the equal rights of all other peoples and therefore abide by all the provisions of
this Declaration with respect to all such peoples.
The provisions of this Declaration should be interpreted in the context of the international law of
human rights, including, in particular, the right to self-determination of peoples.
Adopted by the UNPO VI General Assembly
In Tallinn, Estonia, February 17th, 2001