Press Release

Special Committee on


2nd Meeting (AM) 



The Special Committee on decolonization this morning approved the final arrangements for its upcoming Caribbean Regional Seminar on Advancing the Decolonization Process in the Caribbean and Bermuda, which will be held at
The Valley, Anguilla, from 20 to 22 May.

The Seminar –- set to be an early highlight of the Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism (2001-2010) -- will aim to assess the current situation in Non-Self-Governing Territories, particularly their constitutional evolution towards self-determination, and will help the Special Committee develop a constructive, case-by-case programme of work for those Territories.  As in the past, the Special Committee will also celebrate the Week of Solidarity at the Seminar.

By approving the Seminar’s guidelines and rules of procedure (document A/AC.109/2003/6), the Special Committee decided that the meeting would give priority to the views of the peoples of those Territories, but would also identify areas in which the wider international community could increase and enhance its participation in assistance programmes and adopt a comprehensive and integrated approach to ensuring the political and socio-economic sustainable development of the Territories concerned.

This morning, the Special Committee also decided on the composition of its official delegation to the Anguilla Seminar.  That delegation will include the Special Committee Chairman, Earl Stephen Huntley (Saint Lucia), as well as representatives from the Special Committee’s major groups:  Côte d’Ivoire;
Sierra Leone; United Republic of Tanzania; Syria; Iran; India; Antigua and Barbuda; Bolivia; Cuba; and Russian Federation.

The Special Committee also approved the participation of five experts who will speak or present papers at the Anguilla Seminar, as well as the topics they would discuss.  The agreed experts include Carlyle Corbin (political and constitutional implications); Dwight K.D. Venner (economic and social implications); Vaughn Lewis (self-government and regional integration); Walton Brown (economic implications of self-determination for Bermuda), and Howard Fergus (issues involving the United Kingdom).  The Chairman noted that the Organization would fund the experts’ participation.

The Chairman informed the Committee that invitations would be extended to other Member States, administering Powers, specialized United Nations agencies, and some regional organizations.  Appointed officials of the Non-Self-Governing

Territories would also be invited.  The contributions of all the participants will make up the Seminar’s outcome and serve as conclusions and recommendations, which will be carefully studied by the Special Committee with a view to submitting proposals to the General Assembly on fulfilling the objectives of the Second International Decade.

The Special Committee on decolonization –- formally known as the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples and commonly referred to as the “Special Committee of 24” -- was established by the General Assembly in 1961.  It meets annually, hears appointed and elected representatives of Non-Self-Governing Territories and petitioners, dispatches visiting missions to those Territories, and organizes seminars on the political, social, economic and educational situations there.

The 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories covered by the Committee are:  American Samoa; Anguilla; Bermuda; British Virgin Islands; Cayman Islands; Falkland Islands/Malvinas; Gibraltar; Guam; Montserrat; New Caledonia; Pitcairn; Saint Helena; Tokelau; Turks and Caicos Islands; United States Virgin Islands; and Western Sahara.

Its current membership 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; Venezuela; and Serbia and Montenegro.

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

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