Efforts by minority cultures or oppressed peoples to establish freedom, democracy and independence no longer attract more than token support by the international community. Suppression of such initiatives by force tends to be ignored.
International law is clear that the right to self-determination of is a binding, enforceable right extending to all peoples under colonial or any type of alien domination of the nature of jus cogens, a peremptory norm in international law. This conclusion follows from a plethora of United Nations instruments and resolutions, international agreements, and from several important opinions of the International Court of Justice. It derives specifically and most forcefully from the United Nations Charter, the two human rights covenants, Resolutions 1514(XV), and the Helsinki Accords. Since the Charter of the United Nations came into force in 1945, 88 countries have achieved independence with the support of the UN.
During the Cold War period, no support was given in the case of Poland in 1953, Hungary in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968, and Poland in 1980. Little support was given to the Baltic states prior to the final breakup of the USSR. In the 1990s, inaction concerning Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Macedonia has followed a similar pattern. The President of the USA in 1993 accused European governments, and notably that of the UK, of preferring Bosnia to fall rather than incur any political risk to their own governments, whilst its Secretary of State claimed that the USA was "doing all it could consistent with our national interest".