We defer to the United Nations geo-schema1<unstats.un.org/unsd/methods/m49/m49regin.htm> in general to list and organize nation states. We endeavour to include all fully independent and sovereign states in the report; while some disputed territories, overseas territories, dependencies, constituent countries, or non-self-governed territories are not included. If there is known information pertinent to a dependent state or territory, then this will be included under the country entries of the administering sovereign state or claimants. Exclusion neither means there are no issues nor that subsequent editions might not include these territories under their own entries.

In full, the excluded non-self-governing nations or otherwise excluded territories are:

  • Norfolk Island — administered under Australia
  • Greenland — administered under Denmark
    • the Faroe Islands are included in this Report, under the entry for Denmark
  • Åland Islands — administered under Finland
  • French Polynesia; French Guiana; New Caledonia; Mayotte; Réunion; Guadeloupe; Martinique; Saint-Barthélemy; Saint Martin; Saint Pierre and Miquelon; Wallis and Futuna Islands — administered under France
  • Aruba, Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba; Curaçao; Sint Maarten — administered under Netherlands
  • Tokelau; Cook Islands; Niue — administered under New Zealand
  • Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands — administered under Norway
  • Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; Bermuda; Anguilla; British Virgin Islands; Cayman Islands; Falkland Islands; Montserrat; Turks and Caicos Islands; Gibraltar; Pitcairn Islands; Isle of Man; the Channel Islands (Guernsey, Jersey, Sark) — administered under United Kingdom
    • England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are include in this Report, under the entry for United Kingdom
  • United States Virgin Islands; American Samoa; Guam; Puerto Rico; Northern Mariana Islands — administered under the United States
  • Western Sahara — a disputed territory in the Maghreb region of North Africa, on the Atlantic coast, bordered by Morocco, Algeria, and Mauritania, it is two thirds controlled by Morocco and the remainder by the SADR strongly backed by Algeria

Kosovo, despite declaring independence, is excluded from the UN geo-schema as a transitional state, and there are extant claims by Serbia. Kosovo is nevertheless included in the report, as its independence is widely recognised and autonomously asserted.

Taiwan is not recognised by the United Nations (and is not included in the geo-schema). It is claimed by mainland China (“People’s Republic of China”) as a province, under its “one China” policy. Taiwan is included in this report as a discrete country.

As with other administered territories, China’s Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions are considered under the China entry.

We do not cover the pseudo-state of the “Holy See”.

The Palestinian Territories were recognised as a state by the UN General Assembly in 2013 and are unambiguously included in this report.

Out of respect for the autonomy of subjugated North Koreans, and respect for basic semantic coherence, we do not refer to the “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea” but to “North Korea”.

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