30 November 2006
General Assembly

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York




YANUCA ISLAND, Fiji, 30 November -– The Special Committee on Decolonization put forward 48 conclusions and recommendations today regarding the situation in Non-Self-Governing Territories as it concluded its three-day Pacific Regional Seminar.

The Seminar held five meetings in which representatives of United Nations Member States, Non-Self-Governing Territories, administering Powers, non-governmental, regional and other organizations as well as experts took part.

In proposing a resolution to express appreciation to the Government and people of Fiji, Albert Sitnikov ( Russian Federation), Rapporteur of the Special Committee, noted their outstanding contribution to the Seminar’s success, including their warm hospitality.

Conclusions and Recommendations

The Seminar reconfirmed the valid ongoing role of the United Nations in the decolonization process and urged the Organization to continue providing support until all outstanding decolonization issues were resolved in a satisfactory manner.

As the Seminar recommended that the Special Committee continue to monitor the evolution of Non-Self-Governing Territories towards self-determination, some participants noted the need to consider the adoption of new thinking on decolonization in the context of current global realities, on a case-by-case basis.

Participants affirmed the need for the Special Committee to actively embark on a public awareness campaign aimed at fostering an understanding among Non-Self-Governing peoples of the options for self-determination.  Participants encouraged the Department of Public Information to continue to disseminate relevant information using the available communication tools, and with the assistance of United Nations information centres.

The Seminar requested the cooperation of the Electoral Assistance Division of the Department of Political Affairs in providing support and assistance for any consultation or monitoring process to be held in a Non-Self-Governing Territory regarding any act of self-determination.  Participants reiterated the importance of such assistance and acknowledged the role of that Division in the Tokelau referendum.

Requests by numerous representatives of Non-Self-Governing Territories for visiting missions were noted, as was a call on the administering Powers to cooperate in facilitating such missions, where sovereignty was not disputed.

The Seminar noted the importance of regional seminars as effective forums for focused discussion on matters concerning Non-Self-Governing Territories, as well as the opportunities for representatives of their peoples to present their views and recommendations to the Special Committee.  The regional nature of the seminars, alternating between the Caribbean and Pacific, was a crucial element in their success.

Participants recommended that the Special Committee, the administering Powers and the Non-Self-Governing Territories engage in constructive discussions and innovative ways to expedite implementation of the goals of the Second International Decade and its Plan of Action for the Eradication of Colonialism.  The Special Committee and participants expressed appreciation to administering Powers participating in the Seminar -– New Zealand, France and the United States -- and to other Member States present -– Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Kiribati, Morocco and Spain.

The Seminar noted the progress made in the relationship between Tokelau, as a Non-Self-Governing Territory, and New Zealand as the administering Power.  Participants also noted that Territory’s preparation for a second self-determination referendum, scheduled for November 2007.

Participants took note of the advances made and challenges faced by some Non-Self-Governing Territories in the Caribbean, as the Seminar took into consideration statements by non-governmental organizations, as well as the perspectives of administering Powers, Pacific region experts and the views of territorial representatives.  The Seminar made recommendations on the question of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) and Western Sahara.

The Special Committee expressed its appreciation for the participation of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) representative and for that agency’s work in the Pacific.

Participants supported closer cooperation between the Special Committee and the Economic and Social Council in order to promote increased United Nations assistance to the Non-Self-Governing Territories.  The Seminar stressed that the wider United Nations system should continue to explore ways to strengthen existing measures of support and formulate appropriate assistance programmes for the remaining Non-Self-Governing Territories.

The representative of the Government of Fiji thanked the Special Committee and reminded participants of the importance of its work, which had affected millions of lives across the world to date.

Officially closing the Seminar, Anthony Bryan Severin ( Saint Lucia), Chairman of the Special Committee, thanked all participants, extending special gratitude to staff of the United Nations Secretariat and those of Fiji’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  He made particular mention of the presence of administering Powers at the Seminar, expressing the hope that it signalled the beginning of a sustained dialogue among all parties.

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For information media • not an official record