Press Release



To Review Constitutional Developments, Political,

Economic, Social Situation in 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 Caribbean regional seminar at the Valley, Anguilla, from 20 to 22 May 2003.  In agreement with the United Kingdom, for the first time in history, the Seminar will take place in a Non-Self-Governing Territory and will be hosted by the Government of Anguilla.

The Seminar is conducted within the framework of the Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism (2001-2010) and will focus on practical steps to advance the decolonization process in the Caribbean and Bermuda.  Among the issues to be discussed during the Seminar are the role of the Special Committee in facilitating decolonization of the Non-Self-Governing Territories; the perspective of the administering Powers on the completion of the decolonization process in the Territories within the context of the United Nations decolonization mandate; the views of the representatives of Non-Self-Governing Territories on their present status and prospects for decolonization; as well as an overview of the political, constitutional, economic and social implications of self-government, particularly in the Caribbean  Non-Self-Governing Territories. The Seminar will also examine the role of the United Nations system in providing assistance to the Non-Self-Governing Territories.

In addition, the Chairman and the members of the Special Committee intend to meet with the representatives of the non-governmental organizations and of the civil society in Anguilla to hear their views and concerns, answer their questions, thus making full use of their valuable expertise.

The participants will include the delegation of the Special Committee and other United Nations Member States, representatives of the administrating Powers, elected representatives of the Non-Self-Governing Territories and a number of experts in decolonization in the Caribbean.  The contributions of the participants will serve as a basis for the conclusions and recommendations of the Seminar, which will be studied by the Special Committee at its forthcoming session 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 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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