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What Countries are not in the UN - 2024


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What Countries are not in the UN – 2024

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Flag of UN
Flag of United Nations

The United Nations (UN) is like a big group of countries working together to make the world a better place. This organization promotes global cooperation, peace, and sustainable development. But guess what? Not every country is a member of the UN. Let’s explore what countries are not in the UN, categories of non-membership, and the concept of non-member observer countries.

Categories of Non Membership

Countries which are not the part of the UN falls into the three categories:

  • Non-member states

The countries which lack full international recognition as a country come in this category. 

  • Non-self-governing territories

The territories which are controlled by the country which are part of the UN come in this category. They’re waiting for a decision about what will happen to them in the future, like whether they will become their own country or stay part of the country that controls them now.

  • Micronations

The countries which identify themselves as the countries but are not recognized as a country by other countries. They’re often small and don’t have a lot of land or resources. 


Observer Nations 

Observer countries are not official members, but they still have a recognized status. They can join in on discussions, talk about important things, and suggest changes, but they don’t get to vote on decisions. It’s a way for them to be part of the organization even if they’re not full members, recognizing that they have their own special situations.

The two non-member nations with observer status are – the Holy See (Vatican City) and the State of Palestine.

The Holy See

The Holy See, represented by Vatican City, has held non-member observer status at the UN since 1964. Despite being the smallest independent state globally, the Holy See actively contributes to discussions on various global issues, emphasizing its commitment to moral and ethical considerations in international affairs.

The State of Palestine

The State of Palestine, recognized as a non-member observer state since 2012, actively participates in UN discussions. This status allows the State of Palestine to engage in debates, make statements, and propose amendments. While not having voting rights, it provides a platform for Palestinian representation on the international stage. The State of Palestine is recognized by 136 member states of the UN but not by Israel. Palestine’s attempts to secure a UN membership were foiled by a failure to gain support at the Security Council.

Countries Not in the United Nations

Let’s take a closer look at countries which are not in the UN from each category of non membership. Countries from the first category, Non-member states are:

  1. Taiwan

    Taiwan is recognized as a sovereign state by 20 UN members. Due to the One-China policy, the People’s Republic of China claims sovereignty over Taiwan, and Taiwan is not a UN member. The UN recognizes the PRC as the legitimate representative of China. This complex geopolitical situation significantly impacts Taiwan’s international standing and ability to participate in certain global initiatives.

  2. Kosovo

    Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008. It is recognized by 111 UN members but is claimed by Serbia as the latter’s territory. It is not a UN member. Russia is likely to veto its attempts to gain membership.

Second category, Non-self-governing territories are:

  1. Western Sahara (partly administered by the United Nations, partly claimed by Morocco)
  2. Christmas Island (administered by Australia)
  3. Cocos (Keeling) Islands (administered by Australia)
  4. Norfolk Island (administered by Australia)
  5. Faroe Islands (administered by Denmark)
  6. Greenland (administered by Denmark)
  7. French Polynesia (administered by France)
  8. New Caledonia (administered by France)
  9. Saint Barthélemy (administered by France)
  10. Saint Martin (administered by France)
  11. Wallis and Futuna (administered by France)
  12. Tokelau (administered by New Zealand)
  13. Anguilla (administered by UK)
  14. Bermuda (administered by UK)
  15. British Virgin Islands (administered by UK)
  16. Cayman Islands (administered by UK)
  17. Falkland Islands (administered by UK)
  18. Gibraltar (administered by UK)
  19. Montserrat (administered by UK)
  20. Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha (administered by UK)
  21. Guam (administered by USA)
  22. Northern Mariana Islands (administered by USA)
  23. United States Virgin Islands (administered by USA)
  24. Puerto Rico  (administered by USA)

Third category, Micronations are:

  1. Sealand – Former WWII platform off England, claims independence since 1967.
  2. Somaliland – Declared independence from Somalia in 1991, established government and military.
  3. Hutt River Principality – Australian micronation established in 1970, claims secession.
  4. Molossia – Micronation in Nevada with claimed territory and unique currency.
  5. Christiania – Autonomous freetown within Copenhagen since 1971.
  6. Liberland – Self-proclaimed micronation on Danube River between Croatia and Serbia.

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