World is populated by more than 1,600 stateless nations, most of which are in one way or another engaged in national movements.
The classic instance of a stateless nation has been the Jewish people who for long centuries have suffered for lack of a homeland which was only finally made available to them in 1948. Other examples include many indigenous peoples that have been manoeuvred into minority status in their home countries by colonial powers. A further example is the gypsy people or Rom.
The Kurds, numbering an estimated 20 million, are commonly seen as the world's largest nation without a state. About 10 million are in Turkey, 4 million in Iraq, 5 million in Iran and a million in Syria. There may be another million in the former Soviet Union. About 400,000 of the 1.8 million guest workers from Turkey living in Germany are of Kurdish origin. Kurds believe they are descended from Noah. They speak several sub-dialects of Persian. They have never had an independent state, although in the Middle Ages many Kurdish princes had their own fiefdoms. President Woodrow Wilson of the USA promised the Kurds a state in 1918 but was frustrated by the British, French and Turks. The present Federal Government of Iraqi Kurdistan is the closest to a state yet. The population is landlocked between empires in Iran and Anatolia. Its 3.5 million people have a prime minister, a government, foreign embassies, an army of sorts, borders, even passport stamps; but they have no currency, no flag and no international recognition.
Okinawa is considered by some to be an independent nation.
Interdependence between developed countries and between developed and developing countries is eroding the principles of natural sovereignty and nonintervention.