Sturgeon's speech was part of her week-long tour of the US
The First Minister said the long-running push for Scottish independence should inspire other nations – because it has continued for years “without a drop of blood being shed”.
Speaking during her weeklong US tour, Sturgeon told an audience in the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York: “I feel that Scotland is unusual, and I actually think it sets a really positive example for the world.
I want Scotland to be independent not from any insular or separatist motivation, but because I believe that countries should govern themselves
“The campaign for independence – which has existed for much, much longer than my lifetime – has got to where it is – a referendum, a vigorously fought referendum campaign – without one drop of blood shed.
“It is an entirely peaceful and progressive movement.
“I think that is an example to the world, in terms of how constitutional differences can be debated and settled in a peaceful way.”
Sturgeon gave the speech to a packed room at the UN headquarters in New York
Despite her recent push for independence, Sturgeon went ahead with her speech to UN officials – a body which stands for unity.
She added: “My mission is not to break anything.
“I want Scotland to be independent not from any insular or separatist motivation, but because I believe that countries should govern themselves.
Sturgeon also spoke at Stanford University as part of her US visit
“And also, this is perhaps what sets the movement that I am part of aside from other movements in other parts of the world that we are paired with: one of the reasons I want Scotland to be independent is so we can play a positive, powerful, bigger role in an entirely non aggressive way.
“And if Scotland becomes an independent country in the future, we will still be part of the British Isles, and part of the British Irish council.
LIVE: Scotland reacts as Sturgeon gets her referendum Tue, March 28, 2017
A total of 69 MSPs voted to hold another referendum and 59 voted against
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Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (R) reacts as she leaves the chamber following a vote on the second day of the 'Scotland's Choice' debate on a motion to seek the authority to hold an indpendence referendum at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh
“And hopefully an independent Scotland will play its part in Europe, in a free and constructive way. I hope that demonstrates that even before that, Scotland can play its part in the world.”
Sturgeon’s praise for the Scottish independence movement comes despite a number of suggestions that the repeated calls to break away from the Union are dividing Scotland.
Shadow Attorney General Shami Chakrabarti said referendums can be “very divisive moments in a society’s life”.
She added: “The toxicity of that campaigning on both sides – families split and not speaking over it, communities divided over it – are we really in the mood for another referendum?”
Meanwhile, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson blasted Sturgeon’s endless independence bid, telling MSPs: "Most people in Scotland are sick to death of the SNP's games.
"They don't want another referendum any time soon, just three years after the last one.”