Diplomatic recognition

Diplomatic recognition in international law is a unilateral declarative political act of a state that acknowledges an act or status of another state or government in control of a state (may be also a recognized state). Recognition can be accorded either on a de facto or de jure basis. Recognition can be a declaration to that effect by the recognizing government or may be implied from an act of recognition, such as entering into a treaty with the other state or making a state visit. Recognition may, but need not, have domestic and international legal consequences. If sufficient countries recognise a particular entity as a state, that state may have a right to membership in international organizations, while treaties may require all existing member countries unanimously agreeing to the admission of a new member.

Allegory of the recognition of the Empire of Brazil and its independence. The painting depicts British diplomat Sir Charles Stuart presenting his letter of credence to Emperor Pedro I of Brazil, who is flanked by his wife Maria Leopoldina, their daughter Maria da Glória (later Queen Maria II of Portugal), and other dignitaries. At right, a winged figure, representing History, carving the "great event" on a stone tablet.[1]

A vote by a country in the United Nations in favour of the membership of another country is an implicit recognition of that country by the country so voting, as only states may be members of the UN. On the other hand, a negative vote for UN membership does not necessarily mean non-recognition of the applicant as a state, as other criteria, requirements or special circumstances may be considered relevant for UN membership. Similarly, a country may choose not to apply for UN membership for its own reasons, as was the case with the Vatican, and Switzerland was not a member until 2002 because of its concerns to maintain its neutrality policy.

The non-recognition of particular acts of a state does not normally affect the recognition of the state itself. For example, the international rejection of the occupation of particular territory by a recognised state does not imply non-recognition of the state itself, nor a rejection of a change of government by illegal means.

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