BBC BLOGS - Graham Smith's Blog
« Previous | Main | Next »

Celtic League recognised by United Nations

Graham Smith | 16:03 UK time, Monday, 14 June 2010

Many thanks to my friends in the Kernow branch of the Celtic League for their press release announcing they have been granted "Roster Status" within the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at the United Nations.

As the League says, Roster Status was set up to improve and enhance the involvement of Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) at the UN. The Celtic League will join only another 979 organisations from around the world with this privileged status.

Roster Status is normally restricted to NGOs with a narrow and/or technical focus and includes the Association for World Education, International Federation for the Protection of the Rights of Ethnic, Religious, Linguistic & Other Minorities and Refugees International.

As the League's press release says:

"The League is in limited consultative status with the UN and can be called on by the UN to contribute to discussions to help it form an opinion on certain topics in particular areas. The status also means that the League can attend UN meetings, are invited to attend international conferences, contribute to forums and designate UN representatives."

The League's recognition by the UN is thanks to a proposal from Egypt. The UK's UN mission, based in New York, tells me that such proposals are very rarely turned down unless there is an objection raised by the nation which hosts the NGO. In the case of the Celtic League that would have been either the UK, France or Ireland.

The League made news recently when some of its members called for a boycott of the flag of St George during the World Cup, claiming it represented a symbol of pro-English cultural oppression in Cornwall. A spokeswoman for the UK UN mission said the UK does not block "Roster Status" proposals on the grounds of freedom of speech, or unless there are clear links to terrorism.

Meanwhile the League celebrates "a fantastic result!"


  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    Perhaps this good news will help sensitise you to the offensiveness of the BBC's relentless deployment of the offensive anglo-imperialist-kernow-assimilationist expletive 'c' word and enable you to, in its place, deploy the factual word 'Duchy' in accordance with the findings and recommendations of the Royal Commission On The Constitution 1973 (aka The Kilbrandon Report):

    'Just as the people of Scotland and Wales tend to resent the description of their countries as regions of the United Kingdom, so the people of Cornwall regard their part of the United Kingdom as not just another English county. The creation of the Duchy of Cornwall in the 14th century may have been in some respects a mark of English overlordship, but it established a special and enduring relationship between Cornwall and the Crown. Use of the designation (Duchy) on all appropriate occasions would serve to recognise both this special relationship and the territorial integrity of Cornwall, on which our witnesses laid great stress.'

    Handy source:

  • Comment number 3.

    I would be interested to know why the BBC insist on calling it a county when, constitutionally, it's a Duchy. The Kilbrandon report recommends that it be called a Duchy so why the resistance?

    I asked the BBC via the freedom of informations act to explain this but they refused to do so and apparently they don't have to.

    Graham perhaps you can tell us why? What instructions or other advice are you given on referring to Cornwall and the Duchy?

  • Comment number 4.

    The short answer is that the BBC has given me no instructions or advice, but that might be simply because I haven't asked for any. I will "refer up" to see if there is a policy and will report my findings.

  • Comment number 5.

    Why does the BBC have BBC Wales, BBC Northern Ireland and BBC Scotland but do not have a BBC ENGLAND? Please do not tell me it is because there are regions in ENGLAND. My Grandchildren know more about the Middle East than they do about their own country because it is disrespected on television. Are you part of the Government conspiracy to subvert ENGLAND into the amorphous mass called Britain? We have a pride in our Nation but the BBC seem to ignore the ENGLISH people at every occasion while at the same time promoting Scottish, Welsh and Irish culture and values. We are the only country in the UK not to have a Parliament or Assembly but the BBC never mentions this in any of its programmes. On BBC Parliament channel you have debates from the other three counties but do not question why ENGLAND is unrepresented. You confuse Unionists and Britain with the ENGLISH and I, for one, would be perfectly happy to disband the UK and have ENGLAND go it alone and I know there are many more like me.I truly hope that this tiny pebble, that is my voice, will subsequently lead to an irresistible landslide that the BBC cannot ignore.

  • Comment number 6.

    The BBC does not have a policy, which is a relief because if it did I probably should have known about it. A key word in the Kilbrandon Report is "appropriate" and, in very general terms, I think that accurately describes the words BBC journalists try to use whatever we're reporting on.

  • Comment number 7.

    Well then, Mr Smith, surely all reports of events that occur within The Duchy Of Cornwall should refer to the territory within which they occur as 'Cornwall', 'The Duchy Of Cornwall' or 'The Duchy'. That's 'appropriate' and applies the Kilbrandon Report recommendation and demonstrates respect for that Royal Commission's findings by an official body - the BBC.

    Re John's point. BBC Cornwall is also long overdue.

    PS If you are indeed doing some up-line communication, Mr Smith, you should also ask that they stop perversely referring to The Celtic Nation And Duchy Of Cornwall as being in 'the south west of England' which it clearly isn't - the 'south west of England' ends at the River Tamar. Here are some valuable references that may assist your orientation (feel free to pass them up the line also):
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 8.

    I find it disturbing. There is much doubt about the "Celtic" impact on the UK biologically anyway, but to back the concept that the Scots, Welsh, and "Cornish" are all descendants of ancient white tribes alarms me. Surely the UK is multi-cultural and multi-ethnic? And as the Scots and Welsh were not even referred to as "Celtic" until the 1700s, I think that the BBC is backing a form of racism here.

  • Comment number 9.

    Further to my recent e-mail, I don't have any problems with Cornish independence - or independence elsewhere. The people should be heard. I just find this false assertion of an ancient white ethnicity disturbing in the modern day UK.

  • Comment number 10.


    Please be careful not to confuse concepts of race and ethnicity. Race is biological and I would agree there is no Cornish race. Indeed in modern Europe, Afro-eurasia even, there are no genetic frontiers between people. DNA drifts.

    However ethnic identity is really ones perceptions of ones own identity not necessarily based on race. For example one can grow up in a Basque family speaking Basque and therefore acquire a Basque ethnic identity but have been adopted from African origins.

    In this light people have been thinking of themselves as Cornish continuously now for a very long time. Perhaps longer than England has existed.

  • Comment number 11.

    "I will "refer up" to see if there is a policy and will report my findings"

    Any results so far?

  • Comment number 12.

    As per comment 6 above: there is no BBC policy, other than trusting journalists to use their commonsense.

  • Comment number 13.

    So why do all BBC journalists use 'county' when its clear that there is a case for using Duchy?

    Equally why does the Beeb in Kernow never investiage the unanswered questions that surround the Duchies relationship with Cornwall? It's really fascinating stuff when you start to scratch the surface.


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.