ICO’s self-determination mandate is a combination of community work and public policy that, for many public and private actors, can be highly a sensitive matter. The political perception and media representation of self-determination discourses in several countries is, albeit wrongly, regarded as identical to secessionist movements and armed-conflicts. ICO assures our stakeholders, members and supporters that ICO and its agencies only aim to bring about peaceful outcomes through our activities.
ICO’s mandate is definitely not to break up countries. ICO believes that self-determination is not in conflict with the territorial integrity of pluri-national states. The right to self-determination can take place in different constitutional forms and governance arrangements; and that empowering communities as the basic units of public policy making contributes to sustainable development, peace and stability.