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The right of nations to self-determination, or in short form, the right to self-determination is the cardinal principle in modern international law principles of international law, binding, as such, on the United Nations as authoritative interpretation of the Charter’s norms. It states that nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and fair equality of opportunity have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion or interference which can be traced back to the Atlantic Charter, signed on 14 August 1941, by Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, and Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom who pledged The Eight Principal points of the Charter. The principle does not state how the decision is to be made, or what the outcome should be, whether it be independence, federation, protection, some form of autonomy or even full assimilation. Neither does it state what the delimitation between nations should be — or even what constitutes a nation. In fact, there are conflicting definitions and legal criteria for determining which groups may legitimately claim the right to self-determination. (via Freebase)