Resolution of the First World Congress of Subcarpathian Ruthenians
April 25, 2009, Pardubitse, Czech Republic
At the end of the First World War "Ruthenians to the south of the Carpathians", along with other Slavic people of the former Austro-Hungarian monarchy, having obtained the right to self-determination, became a subject of international law. At the same time, in 8.01.1918, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed well-known 14-point conditions of the beginning of the truce with the enemies of The Principal Allied, especially with Germany and Austro-Hungary.
In paragraph 10 stated that the people of the Habsburg monarchy, including Ruthenians, should be able to obtain full independence.
In the 23 of October 1918, "Ruthenians to the south of the Carpathians" were included to the "Union of enslaved people of Europe" and by its decision recognized as an individual nation with the right to self-determination.
In the history of law, subjectivity has never been of a first or second class. International law does not divide the sovereignty of the people by rank "great", "less than great", or "small." International practice knows several ways to implement the people’s right to self-determination: the creation of an independent state, free association to another independent State or association with it, or granting any other political status freely determined by the people.
Sovereignty, as we know, exists only within the nation - a single and indivisible, inalienable and inviolable.
Decision of the Ruthenians, as expressed in the resolution of Central (Ruthenian) People's Parliament in Uzhgorod in the 8
th of May 1919 "on behalf of all the people" had fully supported the proposal of American Hungarian-Ruthenian Council to join the people of Czechoslovakia, on the basis of "full national autonomy". So it was made in the peace treaty of Saint-Germaine in September 10, 1919, which stated that "the territory of the Ruthenians to the south of the Carpathians" would join Czechoslovakia, with the proviso that it would provide the highest degree of autonomy to the Ruthenians, while preserving the unity of the Czechoslovak State. "So way, using the right to self-determination, Ruthenians, existing at the time of historical realities, voluntarily, without coercion, joined the Czech Republic as a "self-governing territory, given the broadest autonomy compatible with the unity of the Czechoslovak Republic, so that the part of their sovereign rights was delegated to the central Prague government". However, this in no way meant that they were refused or deprived of their sovereignty.
Hungary, in turn, in 1920, at the signing of the treaty in Trianone in the Art .4 also stated, that "Hungary recognized for its part, as it was already done by The Principal Allied and Associated Powers, the full independence of Czechoslovakia, which included an autonomous territory of the Ruthenians to the south of the Carpathians".
"Subcarpathian Ruthenia' (the name was introduced by the decision of the General Charter of 16 November 1919 and included in the CHSR Constitution, adopted in 1920), became part of Czechoslovakia. Ruthenians, with their territories, joined the CHSR as people with the right to self-determination, with a special status of the constitutive nation on equal terms with the Czechs and Slovaks. Subcarpathian Ruthenia gained international recognition, and its position was not disputed thereafter.
In 1938, Subcarpathian Ruthenia became an autonomous part of CHSR, headed by the Prime Minister and the Government, with the subsequent election of Parliament, as a state formation and independent nation. The Second World War disrupted the process of Ruthenian statehood.
The central Czechoslovak government, by signing in Moscow in June 29, 1945 "Treaty between the USSR and CHSR on Transcarpathian Ukraine," "had no right to unilaterally decide the fate of Subcarpathian Ruthenia providing the fact that it did not possess absolute jurisdiction in the territory, according to CHSR Constitution."
International law allows for secession in agreement between all parties concerned, i.e. voluntary consent, and in accordance with international law. However, during the negotiations and signing of the treaty in Moscow there was no third subject of international law - Subcarpathian Ruthenia, which in this case was presented as not a subject, but merely an object of international law.
At the time of signing of the treaty, there were serious breaches of the protocol. Czechoslovak signatories, Prime Minister Z. Firlinger and the State Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs CHSR B. Clementis had no actual authority to the signing of the treaty, as E. Benes who had authorised them was not President of CHSR at the time, according to the Constitution. We know that in 05.10.1938 E. Benes perfectly legally refused the post of President of CHSR, and has never been constitutionally elected to this post.
Art. 2 of the treaty provided ratification by the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR and the National Assembly of the CHSR. Czechoslovak side ratified the agreement by the Provisional People’s Assembly, which was not elected but appointed by decree of E. Benes, who had no constitutional right to approve the decision to change the borders of State and transfer part of its territory to another State. This fact was well understood by then Prime Minister of the CHSR Firlinger. In his speech on the signing of the treaty, he said he was confident that the National Assembly, which in the near future would be elected based on universal suffrage, would unanimously ratify this agreement.
International law regulates the expression of the people’s will in state ownership as the expression of will in the form of a plebiscite in accordance with all the appropriate conditions for its implementation, in particular, absence of the occupying forces in the territory during the plebiscite.
The reference to the treaty of 1945 on the freely expressed will of the people of Subcarpathian Ruthenia about secession from CHSR and accession to the USSR, was described in the" Manifest of the First Congress of People's Committees ". It was adopted in Mukachevo in 26.12.1944. As the matter of principle, it could not express the will of the people either in its form or in content
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