Press Release



To Review Political, Economic,

Social Conditions in Small Island Non-Self-Governing Territories

The Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, also known as the Special Committee of 24 on decolonization, will hold a Pacific regional seminar to review the political, economic and social conditions in the small island Non-Self-Governing Territories at Nadi, Fiji, from 14 to 16 May 2002. It is being hosted by the Government of Fiji.

The seminar, which is taking place within the framework of the Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism (2001-2010), will focus on the situation in the Non-Self-Governing Territories, in particular their constitutional evolution towards self-determination that will facilitate the development by the Special Committee of a constructive work programme on a case-by-case basis for the Non-Self-Governing Territories.  The meeting will also identify areas where the international community could increase and enhance its participation in assistance programmes and adopt a comprehensive and integrated approach to ensuring the political and sustainable socio-economic development of the Territories concerned. 

In addition to United Nations Member States, participants in the seminar will include representatives of Non-Self-Governing Territories, administering Powers, non-governmental organizations, regional organizations and experts.  The contributions of the participants will serve as a basis for the conclusions and recommendations of the seminar, which will be carefully studied by the Special Committee with a view to submitting proposals to the General Assembly concerning the fulfilment of the objectives of the Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism.

The topics to be considered by the seminar include:

-- Strategies for the Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism;

-- the role of the administering Powers under the Charter of the United Nations and United Nations resolutions related to decolonization;

-- the role of the Special Committee in facilitating the decolonization of the Non-Self-Governing Territories;

-- development strategies for strengthening assistance to the Non-Self-Governing Territories by the United Nations system;

-- recent political, economic and social development in the Non-Self-Governing Territories, particularly those in the Pacific region; and

-- socio-economic conditions in the Non-Self-Governing Territories and their effect on decolonization.

Earl Stephen Huntley, Permanent Representative of Saint Lucia to the United Nations and Chairman of the Special Committee, will preside over the seminar.  He will be assisted by the following members of the Committee:  Chile, China, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Fiji (host country), Grenada, Russian Federation, Syria and Tunisia.  France, New Zealand and the United Kingdom will participate in the seminar in their capacity as administering Powers.

The Non-Self-Governing Territories are:  Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands (Malvinas), Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St. Helena, and Turks and Caicos under the United Kingdom; New Caledonia under France; Tokelau under New Zealand; American Samoa, Guam and the United States Virgin Islands under the United States; East Timor under United Nations transitional administration, and Western Sahara.

East Timor, which is set to become independent on 20 May 2002, will be removed from the list upon its accession to independence.

The current membership of the Special Committee of 24 is as follows:  Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Chile, China, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Ethiopia, Fiji, Grenada, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Mali, Papua New Guinea, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Sierra Leone, Syria, Tunisia, United Republic of Tanzania, and Venezuela.  There are now 23 members of the Committee.

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