The Sovereign Military Order of Malta is another country whose passports are recognized. This country is a non-state sovereign entity. It does not control any land except for a handful of buildings in Italy and Malta. It is an elective monarchy which is ruled by a Prince and a Grand Master. But Italy and Malta have given the Order special jurisdiction from local law in the buildings they hold.
Despite not having land and borders like a traditional country, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta has established full diplomatic relations with 107 sovereign states. So that means its passport is accepted by over 100 nations. There are only about 500 people who hold this passport. This is truly a unique country.
United Nations List Of Non-Self Governing Territories – 17
This list was created in 1946 by the United Nations. The UN deems these places to be “non-self-governing” and subject to the decolonization process. Meaning these places should become independent countries one day. Or maybe not.
Over the years, this list has had dozens of names on it, but today, there are only 17 names remaining.
One territory that used to be on this list was Portuguese Angola, but in 1975 this African country gained its independence from Portugal, and now it is just simply the independent nation of Angola.
Another example would be the Falkland Islands, which is still on the list, this is an island found off the coast of Argentina in the Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the United Kingdom (while claimed by Argentina and known as Malvinas).
In March of 2013, the autonomous government of the Falkland Islands organized a referendum. The territory would vote if it should remain a British Overseas Territory. Only three islanders voted in favor of independence while 99.8% voted for the status quo.
And a fun fact … the Falkland Islands love their sheep, there are only 3,000 residents on the island but there are over 450,000 sheep.
Photo Credit: Amanderson2