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List of sovereign states

The meaning of «list of sovereign states»

The following is a list providing an overview of sovereign states around the world, with information on their status and recognition of their sovereignty.

The 206 listed states can be divided into three categories based on membership within the United Nations System: 193 member states,[1] 2 observer states and 11 other states. The sovereignty dispute column indicates states having undisputed sovereignty (188 states), states having disputed sovereignty (16 states, of which there are 6 member states, 1 observer state and 9 other states), and states having a special status (2 states).

Compiling a list such as this can be a difficult and controversial process, as there is no definition that is binding on all the members of the community of nations concerning the criteria for statehood. For more information on the criteria used to determine the contents of this list, please see the criteria for inclusion section below. The list is intended to include entities that have been recognised as having de facto status as sovereign states, and inclusion should not be seen as an endorsement of any specific claim to statehood in legal terms.

and Brčko District, a self-governing administrative district.[10]

China claims, but does not control Taiwan, which is governed by a rival administration (the Republic of China) that claims all of China as its territory.[m]

China is not recognised by 15 UN member states and Vatican City, which, with the exception of Bhutan, all recognise Taiwan instead.[n]

Cyprus is not recognised by Turkey due to the Cyprus dispute, with Turkey recognising Northern Cyprus.

The continental territory of Denmark, the Faroe Islands, and Greenland form the three constituent countries of the Kingdom.[s] The Kingdom of Denmark as a whole is a member of the EU, but EU law does not apply to the Faroe Islands and Greenland.[14][15]

Israel is not recognised as a state by 28 UN members and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. The Palestine Liberation Organization, which enjoys recognition by a majority of UN member states as the sole representative of the Palestinian people, also does not recognise Israel.

South Korea is not recognised by North Korea, which claims to be the sole legitimate government of Korea.

The Rebel Zapatista Autonomous Municipalities have de facto autonomy.

The continental part of the Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten form the four constituent countries of the Kingdom. Three other overseas territories (Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius) are special municipalities of the continental Netherlands.[ac] The Kingdom of the Netherlands as a whole is a member of the EU, but EU law applies only to parts within Europe.

The New Zealand Government acts for the entire Realm of New Zealand in all international contexts, which has responsibilities for (but no rights of control over) two freely associated states:

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