List of special entities recognized by international treaty or agreement

A number of geographical political entities have a special position recognized by international treaty or agreement ("Andorra", "Åland" in Finland, "Monaco", "Svalbard" in Norway, "Kosovo" in Serbia, the "Vatican City state, the "Occupied Palestinian Territories", as well as the special administrative regions of "Hong Kong" and "Macau" in the People's Republic of China) and many other territories and states.

Entities on the list


Andorra could until 1993 be considered "de facto" to have been under dual French and Spanish rule due to the lack of clear division of powers while it was ruled by a Spanish bishop and the French president, according to a treaty [Politics_of_Andorra#Executive_branch] . In 1278, the conflict between the French Count and the Catalan bishop was resolved by the signing of a pareage ("pariatges") [Andorra#History] , which provided that Andorra's sovereignty be shared between the Count of Foix and the Bishop of La Seu d'Urgell (Catalonia, Spain). The pareage, a feudal institution recognizing the principle of equality of rights shared by two rulers, gave the small state its territory and political form.Today Andorra is a co-principality with the President of France and the Bishop of Urgell, Spain as co-princes, in a diarchy or duumvirate.

People's Republic of China

* Hong Kong: special administrative region; after the Sino-British Joint Declaration on the Question of Hong Kong was signed on December 19, 1984, the People's Republic of China resumed the exercise of sovereignty of Hong Kong on July 1, 1997. It is now largely autonomous operating under the Basic Law of Hong Kong.
* Macau: special administrative region; after the Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration on the Question of Macau was signed in 1987, the People's Republic of China resumed the exercise of sovereignty of Macau on December 20, 1999. It is now largely autonomous operating under the Basic Law of Macau.


The Treaty of Kiel [Treaty of Kiel] in 1814 terminated the Danish-Norwegian union. Norway came under the rule of the King of Sweden, but the Faroe Islands, Iceland, and Greenland remained as possessions of Denmark.
* Faroe Islands: Subsequently, the Løgting was abolished (1816), and the Faroe Islands were to be governed as a regular Danish amt, with the Amtmand as its head of government. In 1851 the Løgting was resurrected, but served mainly as an advisory power until 1948. Since 25 April 1940 the Faroe flag was approved for use on Faroese vessels by the British occupation government. The Faroese have, over the years, taken control of most matters except defence (though they have a native coast guard), foreign affairs and the legal system. These three areas are the responsibility of Denmark. The Faroes declined to join Denmark in entering the European Community (now European Union) in 1973. [Faroe Islands#History]
* Greenland: Denmark-Norway reasserted its latent claim to the colony in 1721. The island's ties with Norway were severed by the Treaty of Kiel [Treaty of Kiel] of 1814, through which Norway was ceded to the king of Sweden. In 1978, Denmark granted home rule to Greenland, making it an equal member of the Rigsfællesskab. Unlike Denmark, Greenland is not part of the European Union, having left the European Community, one of the pillars of the EU, in 1985.


* Åland: neutral and demilitarised autonomous region of Finland. It was demilitarised by the Treaty of Paris [Treaty of Paris] in 1856, which was later affirmed by the League of Nations in 1921, and in a somewhat different context reaffirmed in the treaty on Finland's admission to the European Union in 1995.


Until the 1911 constitution, the princes of Monaco were absolute rulers. In July 1918, a treaty was signed providing for limited French protection over Monaco [Monaco#History] . The treaty, part of the Treaty of Versailles [Treaty of Versailles] , established that Monegasque international policy would be aligned with French political, military, and economic interests. France has in many ways still control over the state.The executive branch consists of a Minister of State (the head of government), who presides over a four-member Council of Government (the Cabinet). The minister of state is a French citizen appointed by the prince from among candidates proposed by the French government. [Monaco#Law_and_government] In 2002, a new treaty between France and Monaco clarified that if there are no heirs to carry on the dynasty, the principality will remain an independent nation rather than revert to France [House of Grimaldi] . Monaco's military defence, however, is still the responsibility of France.


* Svalbard: part of the Kingdom of Norway; administered by the Polar Department of the Ministry of Justice, through a governor ("sysselmann") residing in Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen; Norwegian sovereignty was recognized by the Svalbard Treaty (February 9, 1920) [Svalbard Treaty] .

The former British Mandate of Palestine

* Occupied Palestinian Territories: portions of the former British Mandate of Palestine captured and administered by Jordan and Egypt in the late 1940's, and later by Israel following the 1967 Six-Day War. They include Gaza Strip and West Bank, both of which are now divded into 3 areas (Area A, Area B, and Area C) and 16 governorates under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian National Authority in accordance with the Oslo Accords [Oslo Accords#Principles of the Accords] . The permanent legal and political status of these places are subject to further negotiation between the government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization.


* Kosovo: a "de jure" autonomous province of Serbia, the formal name of which is "Kosovo and Metohija". It has been under United Nations administration since 1999 under the terms of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 [United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244] that ended the Kosovo conflict. That resolution reaffirmed the sovereignty of Serbia over Kosovo but required the UN administration to promote the establishment of 'substantial autonomy and self-government' for Kosovo pending a 'final settlement' for negotiation between the parties.

Vatican City

The Vatican City state came into existence by virtue of the Lateran Treaty in 1929 [Vatican City] , which spoke of it as a new creation (Preamble and Article III), and not as a vestige of the much larger Papal States (756 to 1870) that had previously encompassed central Italy. Of which, most were absorbed into the Kingdom of Italy in 1860, and the city of Rome with a small area close to it, ten years later in 1870. The state has no firm population as its citizens are only granted citizenship for the duration of service in the state. Those without dual citizenship will then get Italian citizenship. [Vatican_City#Citizenship]


See also

*List of countries
*List of sovereign states
*List of subnational entities
*List of dependent territories
*List of non-independent areas such as disputed or occupied territories
*List of unrecognized countries
*Dependent territories in the European Union
*Kosovo, "de jure" part of Serbia, currently under UN administration.
*Palestinian territories
*Sovereign Military Order of Malta

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