You don’t need UN membership to be a sovereign nation. But you need the UN to get a few things moving, especially if you are a newly established territorial entity. The Vema Seamount Authority has reached out to the United Nations today to start the process that would lead to a formal invitation as an Observer territory to make it easier for the Kingdom of Mount Vema to have its own ISO country code.
The ISO standard is a broadly accepted list of country-codes intended for many uses, especially now as the evolution of the Vema Seamount Territory enters a new stage, as registered today when Peter Goldishamn – The Vema Seamount Authority, begun the process to make the 'Vema Seamount Territory' an Observer Member of the UN.
“Although below sea level, Vema Seamount and its adjacent waters is a unique territory, which should have a representation at the UN, at least as an Observer status afforded to observer member states, international organizations and entities whose statehood or sovereignty is not precisely defined.” This was the message sent by the Monarch to UN according to the Mount Vema public record data made available today.
The criteria for admission of new members to the UN are set out in Chapter II, Article 4 of the UN Charter: 1. Membership in the United Nations is open to all peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judgement of the Organization, are able and willing to carry out these obligations.
Section 1, looks alright for the Vema Seamount Territory, but the problem would be section 2, where it says: The admission of any such state to membership in the United Nations will be effected by a decision of the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.
That is where the problem is. Although it is obvious that Mount Vema is not a security risk to anyone as a territory, but because a recommendation for admission from the Security Council requires affirmative votes from at least nine of the council's fifteen members, with none of the five permanent members able to use their veto power, which then needs the Security Council's recommendation that must be approved in the General Assembly by a two-thirds majority vote, Mount Vema will need to work hard to make as many friends as possible to get there, so maybe a full UN membership at present is not a good idea, but as an observer it could work.
In principle, only sovereign states can become UN members, and currently all UN members are sovereign states. Although five members were not sovereign when they joined the UN, all subsequently became fully independent between 1946 and 1991. Because a state can only be admitted to membership in the UN by the approval of the Security Council and the General Assembly, a number of states that are considered sovereign according to the Montevideo Convention are not members of the UN. This is because the UN does not consider them to possess sovereignty, mainly due to the lack of international recognition or due to opposition from one of the permanent members.
In addition to the member states, the UN also invites non-member states to become observers at the UN General Assembly (currently two: the Holy See and Palestine), allowing them to participate and speak in General Assembly meetings, but not vote. Observers are generally intergovernmental organizations and international organizations and entities whose statehood or sovereignty is not precisely defined.