18 February 2000

Press Release



The Department of Public Information launched a new Web site on decolonization today. Entitled “The United Nations and Decolonization”, the site explains one of the success stories of the United Nations.

More than 80 nations whose peoples were formerly under colonial rule have joined the United Nations as sovereign independent States since the world organization was founded in 1945. Additionally, many other territories have achieved self-determination through political association with other independent States or through integration with other States. The United Nations has played a crucial role in that historic change.

Today, only 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories remain. These are: American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, East Timor, Falkland Islands (Malvinas), Gibraltar, Guam, Montserrat, New Caledonia, Pitcairn, St. Helena, Tokelau, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States Virgin Islands and Western Sahara.

The current administering Powers are France, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States. East Timor is now administered by the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET). The United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) is engaged in organizing a referendum in Western Sahara.

The new Web site on decolonization explains the history of decolonization, the General Assembly Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, the Special Committee of 24 on decolonization, the international trusteeship system, and the Trusteeship Council. It also contains the “Map of the World in 1945” and the “Map of the World Today” on decolonization.

The site can be found in the United Nations Home Page, , under Peace and Security Section, after Question of Palestine,or at www.un.org/dpi/decolonization/new.

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