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Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States

The Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States is an international treaty that was signed in Montevideo, Uruguay, on December 26, 1933. It is one of the key legal instruments that outlines the principles and norms governing statehood and the rights and responsibilities of states in international law. The convention has been widely accepted and has become a cornerstone of statehood recognition.

Statehood criteria: The convention sets out the four criteria that determine statehood: a defined territory, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other states.

Political independence: The convention emphasises the principle of political independence, stating that states have the right to choose their political, social, economic, and cultural systems without interference from other states.

Equality of states: The convention recognises the equality of states, regardless of their size, population, or economic strength. It affirms that all states possess the same legal rights and duties and are entitled to equal respect and recognition.

Non-intervention: The convention emphasises the principle of non-intervention, stating that no state has the right to interfere in the internal affairs or exercise coercive measures against another state. It promotes the idea of peaceful coexistence and respect for the sovereignty of states.

Diplomatic relations: The convention outlines the rules and principles governing diplomatic relations between states. It recognises the importance of diplomatic immunity, the establishment of embassies, and the rights and privileges of diplomats.

Recognition of statehood: While the convention does not explicitly address the issue of state recognition, it is often cited in discussions on the recognition of states. It does not require formal recognition by other states as a condition for statehood, but recognition is generally considered an important factor in determining statehood.

The Montevideo Convention has been widely ratified by many countries and is considered a fundamental document in international law. Its principles and criteria for statehood continue to shape the understanding of statehood and the rights and obligations of states in the international community.

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