Dependent territory

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A dependent territory is a territory that is not fully independent or sovereign. They belong to a sovereign state, and are dependent on that state to some degree. There are varying degrees and forms of such a dependence. They are commonly distinguished from subnational entities in that they are not considered to be part of the state. A subnational entity typically represents a division of the country proper, while a dependent territory is a legally separate territory that enjoys a greater degree of autonomy.

As an example, Greenland is a dependent territory of Denmark, and Saint Helena is a dependent territory of the United Kingdom.

Lists of dependent territories[change | change source]

World map of dependent territories
      AUS       CHI       DAN       FRA       NZL       NOR       GBR       USA

Dependency claims without general international recognition, including all claims in Antarctica, are listed in italics. The list includes several territories that are not included in the list of non-self-governing territories listed by the General Assembly of the United Nations,[1] as well as those that are not legally classified as dependencies by their respective sovereign government.

Australia[change | change source]

See also: States and territories of Australia

Although all territories of Australia are considered to be fully integrated in its federative system, and the official status of an external territory does not differ largely from that of a mainland territory, debate remains as to whether the external territories are integral parts of Australia, due to their not being part of Australia in 1901, when its constituent states federated.[2] They are often listed separately for statistical purposes.

Territory Administration
 Christmas Island Administered from Canberra by the Attorney-General's Department.[3][4]
 Cocos (Keeling) Islands
 Norfolk Island Commonwealth responsibilities administered from Canberra through the Attorney-General's Department.[3]
Territory Administration
Australia Ashmore and Cartier Islands Administered from Canberra by the Attorney-General's Department.[3]
Australia Coral Sea Islands
Australia Australian Antarctic Territory Administered from Canberra by the Australian Antarctic Division of the Department of the Environment and Heritage.
Australia Heard Island
and McDonald Islands

Denmark[change | change source]

See also: Rigsfællesskabet

France[change | change source]

See also: Overseas departments and territories of France

Overseas France consists of 5 overseas departments (Départements d'outre-mer) and all overseas territories (Territoires d'outre-mer). Overseas departments, along with those of Metropolitan France, are constituent units of the French Republic. Overseas territories are listed below.

Territory Administration
 French Polynesia Overseas collectivity since 2003; Overseas country since 2004.
France &  New Caledonia "Sui generis" collectivity since 1999; appears on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories.
 Saint Barthélemy Overseas collectivities since 2007.
France Saint Martin
 Saint Pierre and Miquelon Territorial collectivity since 1985; overseas collectivity since 2003.
 Wallis and Futuna

Mayotte

French Guiana

Overseas territory since 1961; overseas collectivity since 2003.

Overseas department since 31 March 2011.

Overseas region of France.

Territory Administration
France Clipperton Island Island administered by the Minister for Overseas Territories.
 French Southern and Antarctic Lands The French Southern and Antarctic Lands (called TAAF for Terres australes et antartiques françaises) is an Overseas territory since 1955, administered from Paris by an Administrateur Supérieur. Includes the French territorial claim in Antarctica: Adelie Land.

New Zealand[change | change source]

See also: New Zealand
In free association Administration
 Cook Islands Self-governing state in free association with New Zealand since 1965. The Cook Islands are fully responsible for their internal affairs; New Zealand, in consultation, retains some responsibility for external affairs and defence. As of 2005, the Cook Islands have diplomatic relations in their own name with eighteen countries.
 Niue Self-governing state in free association with New Zealand since 1974. Niue is fully responsible for its internal affairs; New Zealand retains responsibility for external affairs and defence. New Zealand's responsibilities confer no rights of control and are only exercised at the request of the Government of Niue.
Territory Administration
 Tokelau Territory of New Zealand. As it moves toward free association with New Zealand, Tokelau and New Zealand have agreed to a draft constitution. A UN-sponsored referendum on self-governance in February 2006 did not produce the two-thirds supermajority necessary for changing the current political status. Another one was in October 2007, which failed to reach the 2/3 margin.
New Zealand Ross Dependency New Zealand's Antarctic claim.

Norway[change | change source]

See also: Possessions of Norway
Dependency Administration
 Bouvet Island Dependency administered from Oslo by the Polar Affairs Department of the Ministry of Justice and the Police.
Norway Peter I Island Dependencies (subject to the Antarctic Treaty System) administered from Oslo by the Polar Affairs Department of the Ministry of Justice and the Police.
Norway Queen Maud Land

In contrast, Svalbard is fully a part of Norway. Svalbard is subject to several special laws, but its government is not independent and does not decide laws on its own.

Spain[change | change source]

See also: Western Sahara
Overseas territories Administration
 Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Previously the Spanish colony of Spanish Sahara, now called Western Sahara. 85% of the territory is now occupied and administered by Morocco. The rest of the territory is under the control of the Polisario Front and administerd by the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. The UN however still considers Spain as the country in charge of the whole territory,[5] until the end of the ongoing Manhasset negotiations and resulting election to be overseen by the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara.

United Kingdom[change | change source]

See also: British overseas territories, Crown dependency, and Sovereign Base Areas
Overseas territories Administration
 Anguilla British overseas territories.
 Cayman Islands
 Montserrat
 Pitcairn Islands
 Turks and Caicos Islands
 South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands British oversea territory, administered by the Falkland Islands
 Saint Helena British overseas territory which administers Ascension and Tristan da Cunha as dependencies of itself
 Bermuda British overseas territory or self-governing territory as defined by the UK.
 British Antarctic Territory The UK's Antarctic claim.
 British Indian Ocean Territory British overseas territory administered by a commissioner resident in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London.
 British Virgin Islands British overseas territory with internal self-government.
 Falkland Islands British overseas territory. Falkland Islands also administers South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands through the Governor of the Falkland Islands as representative of the British monarch.
 Gibraltar British overseas territory.
Sovereign Base Areas Administration
United Kingdom Akrotiri and Dhekelia British overseas territory administered by the Commander of British Forces, Cyprus. Note SBAs are primarily required as military bases and not ordinary dependent territories.[6]
Crown dependencies Administration
 Guernsey Fully internal self governing territories, allegiance is to the Monarch of the United Kingdom, not the UK government, which has no control, except for defence and international representation for thwhich the islands make a financial contribution.[7][8][9]
 Jersey
 Isle of Man

United States[change | change source]

See also: Insular area and Territories of the United States
Territory Administration
 American Samoa Unincorporated and unorganized territory administered by the Office of Insular Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior. Appears on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories.
 Guam Unincorporated organized territory; policy relations between Guam and the U.S. conducted under the jurisdiction of the Office of Insular Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior. Appears on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories.
 Northern Mariana Islands Commonwealth in political union with the U.S.; federal funding administered by the Office of Insular Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 Puerto Rico Unincorporated organized territory of the U.S. with commonwealth status; policy relations between Puerto Rico and the U.S. conducted under the jurisdiction of the Office of the President.
 U.S. Virgin Islands Unincorporated organized territory; policy relations between the Virgin Islands and the U.S. conducted under the jurisdiction of the Office of Insular Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior. Appears on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories.
Territory Administration
United States Baker Island Unorganized and unincorporated territory administered from Washington, D.C. by the Fish and Wildlife Service of the United States Department of the Interior.
United States Bajo Nuevo Bank Unincorporated territory of the U.S. administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior. Also claimed by Colombia, Jamaica and Nicaragua.
United States Howard Island Unorganized and unincorporated territories administered from Washington, D.C. by the Fish and Wildlife Service of the United States Department of the Interior.
United States Jarvis Island
United States Johnston Atoll
United States Kingman Reef
United States Midway Island
United States Navassa Island Unincorporated territory of the U.S. administered by the Fish and Wildlife Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior from the Caribbean Islands National Wildlife Refuge in Boquerón, Puerto Rico. Claimed by Haiti and privately via the Guano Islands Act.
United States Serranilla Bank Unincorporated territory of the U.S. administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior. Also claimed by Colombia and Nicaragua. Beacon Cay is occupied by Colombia.
United States Wake Island Supervised by the U.S. Air Force, administered from Washington, D.C. by the U.S. Department of the Interior, and is claimed by the Marshall Islands.

References[change | change source]

  1. For the list, see Special Committe on Decolonization (2002). "Non-Self-Governing Territories". United Nations, Department of Political Affairs. http://www.un.org/Depts/dpi/decolonization/trust3.htm. Retrieved 2010-09-23.
  2. Carney, Gerard (2006). The constitutional systems of the Australian states and territories. Canberra: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521863056. http://books.google.com.au/books?id=6Pd8F1mFp1oC&source=gbs_navlinks_s.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 First Assistant Secretary, Territories Division (2008-01-30). "Territories of Australia". Attorney-General's Department. http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/territories/index.aspx. Retrieved 2008-02-07. "The Federal Government, through the Attorney-General's Department administers Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Christmas Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, the Coral Sea Islands, Jervis Bay, and Norfolk Island as Territories."
  4. Territories and Information Law Division; First Assistant Secretary, Territories and Information Law Division (7 September 2009). "Cocos Islands Governance and Administration". Territories of Australia. Australian Government, Attorney-General's Department. http://www.ag.gov.au/www/agd/agd.nsf/Page/TerritoriesofAustralia_Cocos(Keeling)Islands_CocosIslandsGovernanceandAdministration. Retrieved 2010-09-23.
  5. UN General Assembly Resolution 34/37 and UN General Assembly Resolution 35/19
  6. http://www.sba.mod.uk/web_pages/appdx-o.htm
  7. CIA (2010-07-15). "Guernsey at the CIA's page". CIA. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/gk.html. Retrieved 2010-07-15.
  8. CIA (2010-07-15). "Jersey at the CIA's page". CIA. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/je.html. Retrieved 2010-07-15.
  9. CIA (2010-07-15). "The Isle of Man at the CIA's page". CIA. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/im.html. Retrieved 2010-07-15.