The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization—an international group consisting of historically oppressed ethnic minorities—today welcomed the District of Columbia as its newest member, days after D.C. Shadow Sen. Paul Strauss led a delegation to Brussels seeking to gain D.C. acceptance into the UNPO as a tactic to advance statehood.

“In recognition of its lack of self-determination, lack of voting representation in the national legislature, and potential unequal weight in Presidential elections, District of Columbia [sic] was admitted as a member of UNPO through a vote by the Presidency Members,” the UNPO announced

The UNPO’s now 45 members, as the Post reported last week, include separatist groups from Ethiopia, Georgia, and Indonesia. Also among those parties: Tibetans, Tartars, and Haratins. In a statement, D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton praised Strauss for his lobbying efforts, which, she says, partly consisted in showing UNPO members John Oliver‘s Last Week Tonight segment on D.C. statehood.

“I recognize that some of UNPO’s members are ethnic groups or territories that present different kinds of abuse than we usually discuss in the District, but the fact that we are among strange bedfellows only points up the recognition that the denial of democracy takes many forms,” Norton said.

You heard it from Brussels, folks: Statehood or else!

Photo by Mr. T in D.C. via Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0