The Persian Gulf and controversial borders
Borders are volatile (to say the least) in the already tense Persian Gulf region. With communities presenting very different living standards and the myriad of checkpoints the situation deteriorates on an ongoing basis. Recent events are self-evident.
A general approach previously used in the region (and in many others around the world by former colonial powers imposing them to former colonies) has to do with partition solutions.
They work under the assumption that the hostilities between opposing ethnic groups makes it impossible for them to live peacefully together in a single state (Haklai and Loizides, ed., 2015).
There are many reasons to disagree with the partition solution. For an academic reference see for example Laitin (2004), Sambanis (2000), Sambanis and Schulhofer-Wohl (2009), and others.
The EGALITARIAN SHARED SOVEREIGNTY may rule out extreme situations such as:
- Sovereignty of the disputed territories to be totally in the hands of only one of the claiming parties.
- Existing sovereignty should automatically continue, or that everything should remain in a status quo.
- The intervention of the United Nations or any other party alien to the dispute. Several problems immediately arise.
United Nations (UN): although UN aims to grant sovereign equality amongst the States its own system reveals a contradiction: veto power in the Security Council is only granted to certain sovereign States.This may be translated (in the perception of at least one of claiming parties) as an unbalanced and unfair starting point to have negotiations, and with a predictable result.
Not only does the Security Council present these problems but also other UN organizations. Even the UN General Assembly, at first glance a fair environment for sovereign States to participate in, has been regarded as ineffective or irredeemably biased because of the different bargaining powers of its members.
Finally, in cases of contested sovereignty over populated territories, stateless people are not UN members.Other parties: in terms of other parties alien to the dispute (for example, the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, China) history is self-evident in demonstrating their policies in the region have been far from successful, have taken little care about the local population and their needs, and have been more (only) centered on their geostrategic domestic policies rather than taking Israel and Palestine into consideration.
In brief, in order to acknowledge the controversial features the EGALITARIAN SHARED SOVEREIGNTY advises to remove the borders and any checkpoints in the disputed territories. As we discussed when assessing population in the context of the Israel-Palestine difference a while ago in this blog series, by applying the EGALITARIAN SHARED SOVEREIGNTY, the inhabitants of the disputed territories would be citizens of both bordering sovereign states, they would have a common passport valid in the disputed territories.
In terms of religion, as the second pre-requisite recognizes basic non-political liberties, freedom of movement and residence would be adopted at a constitutional level. The lexically prior prerequisite of non-political liberties controls this.
This post is based on Jorge Emilio Núñez, Territorial Disputes and State Sovereignty. International Law and Politics (Routledge 2020).Previous published research monograph about territorial disputes and sovereignty by the author, Jorge Emilio Núñez, Sovereignty Conflicts and International Law and Politics: A Distributive Justice Issue London and New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2017.
The Persian Gulf: Partial Conclusions.