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World map with the current political division of countries.

As defined by Montevideo Convention, a country is a defined territory that claims sovereignty over a geographic area with a permanent population, controlled by one government that enters relations with other states. Some of the best-known countries are Germany, China, India, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. There are 196 of them in the world, or 195 if Taiwan is not counted as a country (see territorial disputes).[1]

Most countries in the world are sovereign states, meaning they are independent of each other. The term is most commonly used as both a state and a nation. 193 of the world's countries are part of the United Nations, which recognises lots of countries and other dependent territories.

Constituent country[change | change source]

Constituent country is a term sometimes used, usually by official institutions, in contexts in which a number of countries compose a long entity or grouping. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has used the term referring to the former Yugoslavia,[2] and the European institutions like the Council of Europe often use it in reference to the European Union.[3]

Territorial dispute[change | change source]

A disputed territory is that territory whose sovereignty is jealously desired by two or more countries. Usually the administration of the territory is carried out by one of the countries that claims sovereignty, while the other country does not recognize the sovereignty over the territory of the other country. This does not usually happen in land or sea areas on which none possesses effective control, such as Antarctica, or only partially. It can also be considered as a disputed territory to those areas that are given by two different governments, and therefore are divided. One example is the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Cyprus.

References[change | change source]

  1. "How Many Countries?". Sandbox Networks, Inc. Retrieved 14 April 2017.
  2. "Yugoslavia". OCDE. Retrieved January 15, 2009.
  3. "European Union". Council of Europe. Archived from the original on February 6, 2009. Retrieved January 15, 2009.

Other websites[change | change source]