17 July 2000


Press Release
GA/COL/3037



SPECIAL DECOLONIZATION COMMITTEE APPROVES TEXT ON MILITARY ACTIVITIES IN NON-SELF-GOVERNING TERRITORIES

20000717

Committee Also Approves Text on Economic Activities Affecting Territories, Adopts Report on Regional Pacific Seminar

The General Assembly would once again call upon administering Powers to terminate military activities and eliminate military bases in Non-Self-Governing Territories under their administration and provide alternative sources of livelihood for the peoples of those Territories, by the terms of a draft decision approved without a vote this morning by the Special Committee on Decolonization.

By other terms of that text, on military activities and arrangements by colonial Powers, the Assembly would deplore the continued alienation of land in colonial and Non-Self-Governing Territories, particularly in the small island Territories of the Pacific and Caribbean regions, for military installations. It would reiterate that colonial and Non-Self-Governing Territories and adjacent areas should not be used for nuclear testing, dumping of nuclear wastes or deployment of nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction.

Again acting without a vote, the Committee then approved a draft resolution on economic and other activities affecting the interests of the Non-Self- Governing Territories. By that text, the General Assembly would reaffirm its concern about any activities aimed at the exploitation of the natural and human resources of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories in the Caribbean, Pacific and other regions to the detriment of their interests, and in such a way as to deprive them of their right to dispose of those resources.

Also by that text, the Assembly would reiterate that the damaging exploitation and plundering of the Territories' marine and other natural resources was a threat to the integrity and prosperity of those Territories. It would affirm the value of foreign economic investment undertaken in collaboration with the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories in order to make a valid contribution to the socio-economic development of the Territories.

Further by the text, the Assembly would call upon the administering Powers to ensure that no discriminatory working conditions prevailed within the Territories under their administration and to promote in each Territory a fair system of wages applicable to all the inhabitants without any discrimination.


- 1a - Press Release GA/COL/3037 17 July 2000

Also this morning, the Special Committee adopted the report on the Pacific Regional Seminar to review the political, economic and social conditions in the small island Non-Self-Governing Territories, held at Majuro, Marshall Islands, from 16 to 18 May 2000.

Prior to the adoption of the report, the representative of Iran asked whether it was necessary for the role of the United Nations to be reflected in paragraph 35 of the report.

[Paragraph 35 states that the Seminar welcomed the inclusion in the medium- term plan for the period 2002 to 2005 of the Political Affairs programme, the stipulation "to ensure the provision of assistance by the specialized agencies and institutions association with the United Nations to the peoples of Non-Self- Governing Territories" and in this regard calls for the inclusion of those Territories in relevant programmes and projects of the Organization.]

The representative of Fiji then asked whether it was appropriate to say that there would be a medium-term plan for 2002 to 2005 before the General Assembly had approved it.

Peter Donigi (Papua New Guinea), Committee Chairman, explained that consideration of the plan was purely for budgetary purposes. He added that consultations on the decade to end decolonization would be held this afternoon.

Expressing their support for the report this morning were the representatives of Cuba and Antigua and Barbuda.

The Special Committee will meet again at a date to be announced.


Documents before Special Committee

The Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples met this morning to take up issues relating to economic and other activities which affect the interests of peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories, and military activities and arrangements by colonial Powers in Territories under their administration.

Before the Committee was a draft resolution submitted by the Chairman on economic and other activities (document A/AC.109/2000/L.12), and a draft decision on military activities (document A/AC.109/2000/L.13), also submitted by the Chairman. The Committee also had before it the draft report on the Pacific Regional Seminar to review the political, economic and social conditions in the small island Non-Self-Governing Territories, held at Majuro, Marshall Islands, from 16 to 18 May (document A/AC.109/2000/CRP.1).

By the terms of the draft on economic activities, the General Assembly would reaffirm its concern about any activities aimed at the exploitation of the natural resources that are the heritage of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories, including the indigenous populations, in the Caribbean, Pacific and other regions, as well as their human resources, to the detriment of their interests, and in such a way as to deprive them of their right to dispose of those resources.

Also by that text, the Assembly would reiterate that the damaging exploitation and plundering of the marine and other natural resources of the Non- Self-Governing Territories, in violation of the relevant United Nations resolutions, is a threat to the integrity and prosperity of those Territories.

By other terms, the Assembly would affirm the value of foreign economic investment undertaken in collaboration with the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories and in accordance with their wishes in order to make a valid contribution to the socio-economic development of the Territories. Further, it would affirm the need to avoid any economic and other activities which adversely affect the interests of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories, by further terms.

The Assembly would urge the administering Powers concerned to take effective measures to safeguard and guarantee the inalienable right of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories to their natural resources and to establish and maintain control over the future development of those resources, and request the administering Powers to take all necessary steps to protect the property rights of the people of those Territories.

Further by the text, the Assembly would call upon the administering Powers concerned to ensure that no discriminatory working conditions prevail within the Territories under their administration and to promote in each Territory a fair system of wages applicable to all the inhabitants without any discrimination. It would appeal to the mass media, trade unions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as well as individuals, to continue their efforts to promote the economic well-being of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories.

By the terms of the draft decision on military activities, the Assembly would deplore the continued alienation of land in colonial and Non-Self-Governing Territories, particularly in the small island Territories of the Pacific and Caribbean regions, for military installations. It would reiterate that the colonial and Non-Self-Governing Territories and adjacent areas should not be used for nuclear testing, dumping of nuclear waste or deployment of nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction.

The Assembly would once again call upon the administering Powers concerned to terminate such activities and to eliminate such military bases in compliance with the relevant General Assembly resolutions. Alternative sources of livelihood for the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories should be provided. It would take note of the decision by some administering Powers to close or downsize some of the military bases in the Non-Self-Governing Territories.

Also by the text, the Assembly would reiterate its concern that military activities and arrangements by colonial Powers in Territories under their administration might run counter to the rights and interests of the colonial peoples concerned, especially their right to self-determination and independence.

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