15 October 2007
General Assembly
GA/SPD/375

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

Sixty-second General Assembly

Fourth Committee

6th Meeting (AM)


FOURTH COMMITTEE, CONCLUDING ITS GENERAL DEBATE ON DECOLONIZATION, RECOMMENDS NINE


DRAFT RESOLUTIONS FOR ADOPTION BY GENERAL ASSEMBLY, INCLUDING ON WESTERN SAHARA


The Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) would have the General Assembly reaffirm the legitimacy of the aspirations of the peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories to exercise their right to self-determination, while also affirming the need for the United Nations to extend all appropriate assistance to those peoples, by one of nine draft resolutions approved today.


That draft -- on the implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples by the specialized agencies and the international institutions associated with the United Nations -- was approved by a recorded vote of 93 in favour to none against, with 55 abstentions, capping the Committee’s five-day general debate on decolonization.  (For details of the vote, see Annex III).


In another proposed text, approved by a vote of 145 in favour to 3 against, (Israel, United Kingdom, United States) with 2 abstentions (Belgium, France), the Committee would have the Assembly call on administering Powers to cooperate fully with the Special Committee on Decolonization -- created by the General Assembly in 1961 -- to finalize a programme of work to help carry out the Special Committee’s mandate, tailored to specific Territories, where necessary. (See Annex V).


By that second text, on the implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, the Committee would have the Assembly reaffirm that colonialism in all its forms, including economic exploitation, was incompatible with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


Three other draft texts were approved by a recorded vote, including on information from Non-Self Governing Territories transmitted under Article 73 e of the Charter of the United Nations; on economic and other activities which affect the interests of the peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories; and on dissemination of information on decolonization. (See Annexes I, II, and IV, respectively).


Resolutions relating to 13 of the 16 remaining Non-Self-Governing Territorieswere approved without a vote.  Those included texts on the questions of New Caledonia and Western Sahara, and an omnibus resolution on the questions of American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Guam, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St. Helena, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the United States Virgin Islands.


Also acting without a vote, the Committee approved a draft text on offers by Member States of study and training facilities for inhabitants of Non-Self-Governing Territories.


During consideration of the various draft texts, the representatives of the United Kingdom, Argentina, Portugal (speaking on behalf of the European Union), and the Russian Federationspoke in explanation of position.  The representative of Saudi Arabia also spoke.


The Committee also heard a statement by an elected representative from Gibraltar, whose Territory was one of the 16 on the Committee’s agenda.  (The draft text on that item would be considered at a later time.)  Peter Caruana, the Chief Minister of Gibraltar, called attention to the conclusion in the Special Committee’s report from its regional seminars that the existence of a sovereignty dispute in a particular Territory would mean that its people did not have the right of self-determination.  [There is currently a dispute between Spain and the United Kingdom over Gibraltar.]  He called on the Fourth Committee to investigate that statement saying it was unacceptable for the United Nations to circulate and adopt such “concocted reports”.


The representative of the United Kingdom, speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said he agreed with that position.  The United Kingdom would never enter into sovereignty negotiations about which Gibraltar was not content, he added.


A petitioner from Gibraltar’s Opposition party also spoke.


At the start of the meeting, the following representatives from the following delegations made general statements:  Venezuela; Equatorial Guinea; Zimbabwe; India; Spain; Guinea; Burkina Faso; Nicaragua; and Bahrain.


The Committee will meet at 10 a.m. on Thursday, 18 October to begin its general debate on questions relating to information.


Background


The Fourth Committee (Special Committee, and Decolonization) was expected to conclude its general debate on decolonization issues and to take action on eight draft resolutions -- seven of them recommended by the Special Committee on Decolonization in its report on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (document A/62/23).  Consideration of draft texts on the questions of Gibraltar and Tokelau were postponed to a later date.


Draft Resolutions


By the terms of draft resolution I, on information from Non-Self Governing Territories transmitted under Article 73 e of the Charter of the United Nations, the Assembly would request administering Powers to transmit, or continue to transmit, to the Secretary-General, the information prescribed in Article 73 e of the Charter, as well as the fullest possible information on political and constitutional developments in the Territories concerned.  It would request the Secretary-General to continue to ensure that adequate information is drawn from all available published sources in connection with the preparation of the working papers relating to the Territories concerned.


Draft resolution II, on economic and other activities which affect the interests of the peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories, recommends that the Assembly reaffirm the right of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories to self-determination in conformity with the United Nations Charter and with General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV), containing the Declaration on Decolonization, as well as their right to enjoy their natural resources, and to dispose of them in their best interest.


Affirming the value of foreign economic investment undertaken collaboratively with the people of the Territories, the Assembly would, by the terms of the draft, reaffirm the responsibility of administering Powers to promote the political, economic, social and educational advancement of the Non-Self-Governing Territories, while reaffirming the legitimate right of their peoples over their natural resources.  It would reaffirm its concern about any activities aimed at exploiting the natural resources that are the heritage of the peoples of the Territories, including the indigenous populations, in the Caribbean, the Pacific and other regions, and of 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.


By further provisions of the text, the Assembly would call on all Governments to put an end to enterprises in the Territories -- undertaken by those Governments’ nationals, or corporate bodies under their jurisdiction -- that are detrimental to the interests of the inhabitants, through legal, administrative or other measures, in accordance with relevant provisions of Assembly resolution 2621 of 1970.  It would call on administering Powers to ensure that exploitation of marine and other natural resources on the Territories under their administration was not in violation of United Nations resolutions, and that they did not adversely affect the interests of the Territories’ peoples.


Also according to the text, the Assembly would urge administering Powers to take effective measures to guarantee the inalienable right of the peoples of the Territories to their natural resources, and to establish and maintain control over the future development of the resources.  Administering Powers would also be requested to take steps to protect the property rights of the peoples in accordance with relevant United Nations resolutions.


The Assembly would, by further provisions, call upon administering Powers to ensure that no discriminatory working conditions prevailed in the Territories under their administration, and promote, in each Territory, a fair system of wages applicable to all the inhabitants without any discrimination.  It would request the Secretary-General to continue informing the world of any activity that affected the exercise of the right of the peoples of the Territories to self-determination, in conformity with the Charter and Assembly resolution 1514 (XV).


By yet further provisions, the Assembly would appeal to trade unions and non-governmental organizations, as well as to individuals, to continue their efforts to promote the economic well-being of the peoples of the Territories, and also appeal to the media to disseminate information about developments in that regard.  It would also decide to follow the situation in Non-Self-Governing Territories to ensure that economic activities taking place there were aimed at strengthening and diversifying their economies in the interest of the Territories’ people, including the indigenous populations, and at promoting the economic and financial viability of those Territories.


By terms of draft resolution III, on the implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples by the specialized agencies and the international institutions associated with the United Nations, the Assembly would reaffirm the recognition by the General Assembly, the Security Council and other United Nations organs, that the legitimacy of the aspirations of the peoples of the Territories to exercise their right to self-determination entails, as a corollary, the extension of all appropriate assistance to those peoples.


By other provisions, the specialized agencies and organizations of the United Nations would be requested to strengthen programmes within their mandates that touch on the Territories, so as to accelerate the Territories’ economic and social progress.  Also, they would be requested to provide information on environmental problems facing the Territories; the impact of natural disasters and environmental problems on those Territories; ways to assist the Territories to fight drug trafficking, money-laundering and other illegal and criminal activities; and the illegal exploitation of the marine resources of the Territories.


According to that same draft, the Assembly would recall the adoption by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) of its resolution 574 (XXX) of 16 May 1998, in which it called for mechanisms for associate members -- including Non-Self-Governing Territories -- to participate in the special sessions of the General Assembly, where appropriate, and in ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies.  The Chairperson of the Special Committee would be requested to maintain close contact on those matters with the ECOSOC President.


By other terms of the text, the Assembly would request the administering Powers concerned to facilitate, when appropriate, the participation of appointed and elected representatives of Non-Self-Governing Territories in the relevant meetings and conferences of the United Nations specialized agencies and other organizations, so that the Territories may benefit from their activities.  It would also recommend that all Governments intensify efforts in the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system to give priority to the question of providing assistance to the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories.


By provisions of draft resolution IV, on the question of New Caledonia, the General Assembly would welcome the significant developments that had taken place in New Caledonia since the signing of the Nouméa Accord in May 1998.  It would note the relevant provisions of the accord aimed at taking more broadly into account the Kanak identity in the political and social organization of New Caledonia, and would welcome the approval of the territorial Congress, in January, to establish the first Kanak Academy aimed at preserving indigenous languages and dialects.


Further, the Assembly would note the efforts of French authorities to resolve the question of voter registration by adopting, in the French Congress, amendments to the French Constitution allowing New Caledonia to restrict eligibility to vote in local polls to those voters registered on the 1998 electoral rolls when the accord was signed, thus ensuring strong representation of the Kanak population.  The Assembly would also decide to keep under continuous review the process unfolding in New Caledonia, as a result of the signing of the accord, and request the Special Committee to continue examining the question of New Caledonia and to report thereon to the General Assembly at its sixty-third session.


Also before the Committee is draft resolution VI, concerning the Questions of American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Guam, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Saint Helena, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the United States Virgin Islands.


The draft’s general section, part A, would have the Assembly reaffirm the inalienable right of the peoples of the Territories to self-determination.


The Assembly would also reaffirm that, in the decolonization process, there was no alternative to the principle of self-determination, which was also a fundamental human right.


The Assembly would further reaffirm that it was ultimately for the peoples of the Territories themselves to determine freely their future political status and, in that connection, would reiterate its long-standing call for the administering Powers, in cooperation with the Territorial Governments, to promote political education in the Territories, in order to foster an awareness among the people of their right to self-determination.


The Assembly would stress the importance of the Special Committee being kept apprised of the views and wishes of the peoples of the Territories, enhancing its understanding of their conditions, including the nature and scope of the existing political and constitutional arrangements between the Non-Self-Governing Territories and their respective administering Powers.


Further, the Assembly would also stress the importance of implementing the action plan of the Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism, particularly by expediting the application of the work programme for the decolonization of each Non-Self-Governing Territory, on a case-by-case basis, and by completing the periodic analyses of the progress and extent of implementation of the Declaration.


By a further provision, the Assembly would reaffirm the responsibility of the administering Powers to promote the economic and social development, and to preserve the cultural identity, of the Territories.  It would recommend that priority continue to be given, in consultation with the Territorial Governments concerned, to strengthening and diversifying their respective economies.


Part B of the text takes up the question of the specific Territories.  On American Samoa, the Assembly would, among other things, call on the administering Power to assist the Territorial Government in the diversification of its economy, and help facilitate a visiting mission to the Territory, as expressed in the invitation of Governor of American Samoa to the Special Committee.  The Assembly would also request the administering Power to assist the Territory in facilitating the work of the newly established Future Political Status Study Commission, consistent with Article 73 b of the Charter of the United Nations.


On Anguilla, the Assembly would welcome the establishment of a new constitutional and electoral reform commission in 2006 and hold public and other consultative meetings in early 2007, which would aim to make recommendations to the administering Power on proposed changes to the Territory’s Constitution.  It would also request the administering Power to assist the Territory in facilitating the work of the newly established Future Political Status Study Commission, consistent with Article 73 b of the Charter of the United Nations.


With respect to Bermuda, the Assembly would stress the importance of the 2005 report of the Bermuda Independence Commission, which provided an examination of the facts surrounding independence.  It would also express regret that plans for public meetings and the presentation of a “green paper” to the House of Assembly, followed by a “white paper” outlining the policy proposals for an independent Bermuda had not materialized.  The Assembly requested that relevant United Nations organizations provide assistance to the Territory in the context of its public education programme, if requested.


Regarding the British Virgin Islands, the Assembly would urge the Special Committee to rethink and broaden the concept of self-determination for certain Territories on a case-by-case basis.  It would also welcome the negotiations on constitutional advancement and balance of authority between the administering Power and the Territorial Government during 2006-2007, that resulted in the draft constitution, which was unanimously passed by the Territory’s Legislative Council in May 2007.


Concerning the Cayman Islands, the Assembly would note that the Caribbean regional seminar, which took place from 22 to 24 May 2007 in St. George’s, discussed the establishment of the Cayman Islands Constitutional Review Secretariat and had began work to raise awareness and disseminate information about the Territory’s constitutional review process.  It would also request the administering Power to assist the Territory in facilitating its work concerning public awareness outreach efforts.


On the situation in Guam, the Assembly would call on the administering Power to take into consideration the expressed will of the Chamorro people, as supported by Guam voters in the plebiscite of 1987 and as provided for in Guam law, and it would encourage the administering Power and Guam’s Territorial Government to enter into negotiations on the matter.  It would further request that the administering Power continue to transfer land to the original landowners of the Territory and cooperate in establishing programmes intended to promote sustainable development.


On Montserrat, the Assembly would welcome the Territorial Government’s intention to negotiate improvements to the present Constitution to reserve its ability to move towards greater self-determination at a later stage and to publish and discuss publicly the Constitution, when a final draft was ready.  Noting with concern the continued consequences of the volcanic eruption, the Assembly would call upon the administering Power to provide assistance to the Territory in alleviating its consequences.


Taking into account the unique nature of Pitcairn in terms of population and area, the Assembly would request the administering Power to continue its assistance for the improvement of the economic, social, educational and other conditions of the population of the Territory and to continue its discussions with the representatives of Pitcairn on how best to support their economic security.


Concerning Saint Helena, the Assembly would welcome the continuing constitutional review process and the decision by the administering Power to provide funding for the construction of an international airport on Saint Helena to become operational in 2011-2012.  It would also ask the administering Power and relevant international organizations to continue to support the Territorial Government’s efforts to address the socio-economic development challenges, including the high unemployment and the problem of limited transport and communications, as well as to support the additional infrastructure required for the airport project.


On the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Assembly would welcome the new Constitution, which took effect in August 2006, and note the emphasis by the re-elected Government on economic development and modernization.  It would also welcome the Government’s ongoing efforts to address the need to enhance social cohesion across the Territory.


Regarding the United States Virgin Islands, the Assembly would ask the administering Power to assist the Territorial Government in achieving its political, economic and social goals, particularly through the upcoming Constitutional convention exercise, which will be the fifth attempt to review the existing Revised Organic Act.  It would once again request the administering Power to facilitate the Territory’s participation in various regional United Nations Development Programmes and welcome the Territory’s ongoing work with the elected Government of the British Virgin Islands in the Inter-Virgin Islands Council.


Draft resolution VII, on the dissemination of information on decolonization, would have the Assembly approve the activities of the United Nations Department of Public Information and the United Nations Department of Political Affairs in the dissemination of information on decolonization, particularly the information leaflet entitled “What the UN Can Do to Assist Non-Self-Governing Territories”, issued in March.  It would consider it important to expand the Special Committee’s efforts to disseminate information on decolonization as widely as possible, especially on options of self-determination available to the peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories.


By that text, the Secretary-General would be requested to enhance the information provided on the United Nations website, and would also request the Department of Public Information to continue efforts to update web-based information on assistance programmes available to the Territories.  The Assembly would request the Departments of Information and Political Affairs to implement the Special Committee’s recommendations to continue taking measures through all the available media, including publications, radio, television and Internet, to publicize the work of the United Nations on decolonization.


Among other things, the two Departments would be requested to develop ways to collect, prepare and disseminate, particularly to the Territories, material on the issue of self-determination; to seek the full cooperation of administering Powers in the discharge of the above tasks; to explore the idea of collaborating with focal points of Territorial Governments, particularly in the Pacific and Caribbean regions, in improving information exchange; and to encourage the involvement of non-governmental organizations, as well as the Non-Self-Governing Territories, in the dissemination of information on decolonization.  All States would be requested to accelerate the dissemination of information referred to above.


By the terms of draft resolution VIII, on the implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, the Assembly would reaffirm, that the existence of colonialism in any form or manifestation, including economic exploitation, is incompatible with the United Nations Charter, the Declaration on Decolonization and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 


The Assembly would also affirm its support for the aspirations of peoples under colonial rule to exercise their right to self-determination, including independence.  It would call on administering Powers to cooperate fully with the Special Committee to finalize, before the end of the Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism, a constructive programme of work to facilitate the implementation of the Special Committee’s mandate and relevant decolonization resolutions, on a case-by-case basis, including those on specific Territories.


By further terms of the text, the Assembly would commend the professional, open and transparent referendum to determine the future status of Tokelau, held under United Nations supervision in February 2006, and welcome the announcement by New Zealand and Tokelau of their intention to hold another referendum in November.


The Assembly would request the Special Committee, by further terms, to continue to seek suitable means for the immediate and full implementation of the Declaration and to carry out the actions approved by the Assembly regarding the International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism and the Second Decade in all Territories that have not yet exercised their right to self-determination, including independence.  In particular, the Special Committee would be asked to formulate specific proposals to end colonialism; examine the implementation by Member States of resolution 1514 (XV) and other relevant resolutions; finalize, before the end of the Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism, a constructive programme of work on a case-by-case basis for the Territories to facilitate the implementation of the Special Committee’s mandate.


The Special Committee would also be requested to continue dispatching visiting missions to the Territories; to conduct seminars for the purpose of receiving and disseminating information on the Special Committee’s work; to take all necessary steps to enlist worldwide support among Governments, as well as national and international organizations, for achieving the objectives of the Declaration; and to observe the Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories.


By other terms of the draft, the Assembly would call upon all States, in particular the administering Powers, as well as United Nations specialized agencies, to give effect within their respective spheres of competence to the Special Committee’s recommendations for the implementation of the Declaration and other relevant United Nations resolutions.  It would call upon the administering Powers to ensure that the economic activities in the Territories under their administration do not adversely affect the interests of the peoples, but instead promote development, and to assist them in the exercise of their right to self-determination.  It further called upon all administering Powers to cooperate fully in the work of the Special Committee and to participate formally in the Committee’s future sessions.


The Assembly would also approve the Special Committee’s report covering its 2007 session, including the programme of work for 2008.


The Committee also had before it a draft text on offers by Member States of study and training facilities for inhabitants of Non-Self-Governing Territories (document A/C.4/62/L.2), by which the Assembly, expressing its appreciation to those Member States that had made scholarships available to the inhabitants of Non-Self-Governing Territories, would invite all States to make or continue to make generous offers of study and training facilities to the inhabitants of those Territories and, wherever possible, to provide travel funds to prospective students.


The Assembly would also urge the administering Powers to take effective measures to ensure the widespread and continuous dissemination in the Territories under their administration of information relating to such offers, and to provide all the necessary facilities to enable students to avail themselves of such offers.


The Committee also had before it a draft resolution on the question of Western Sahara (document A/C.4/62/L.3).  By its terms, the Assembly would take note of the Secretary-General’s report and express strong support for Security Council resolution 1754 (2007), by which the Council called upon the parties to enter into negotiations without preconditions in good faith.  It would also welcome the negotiations between the parties, held on 18 and 19 June and on 10 and 11 August in the presence of neighbouring parties and under the auspices of the United Nations.  It would commend the efforts of the Secretary-General and his Personal envoy in implementing resolution 1754 (2007) and encourage all parties to show political will and a sprit of cooperation, and create a propitious environment for dialogue.


The Assembly would also ask the parties to cooperate with the International Committee for the Red Cross and abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law.  It would request the Special Committee to continue to consider the question of Western Sahara and report to the Assembly at its sixty-third session.  The Assembly would also ask the Secretary-General to submit a report to it at its next session on the implementation of the present resolution.


Statements


AURA MAHUAMPI RORDIQUEZ DE ORTIZ ( Venezuela), endorsing the statements made on behalf of the Rio Group and on behalf of the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR), said that more than four decades had passed since adoption of General Assembly resolution 1514.  Yet it was still disturbing that, in Venezuela’s hemisphere, decolonization persisted.  The Malvinas Islands were part of Venezuela, and, according to paragraph 6 of resolution 1514, “any attempt to break partially or wholly the territorial integrity of a country is incompatible with the Charter of the United Nations”.  It was not enough to invoke the principle of self-determination with respect to a transplanted population from the administering Power.  Despite the lack of response from the United States, the question of Puerto Rico should be addressed.  Venezuela supported the right of self-determination of the Puerto Rican people.  Their case could not be ignored.  She welcomed General Assembly resolution 61/130 (2007), which recognized the need to eliminate colonialism, and she reiterated Venezuela’s commitment to the Special Committee’s work.


GABRIEL JUAN ONDO MATOGO ( Equatorial Guinea) spoke on the question of Western Sahara, saying that the people of that region had their own culture.  His country commended the flexibility shown by Morocco in seeking a solution, which had made Security Council resolution 1754 (2007) possible.  The international community should support the Council’s efforts on that question.


SIMON NYOWANI (Zimbabwe), aligning himself with the statement made on behalf of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), said that the General Assembly had called for the decolonization of Western Sahara since 1965. His country strongly supported that Territory’s decolonization, and reaffirmed the inalienable right of the people of Western Sahara to self-determination. Moreover, Zimbabwe supported Security Council resolution 1754 (2007), and recognized efforts by the Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy aimed at finding a lasting solution to the problem.


Calling negotiations currently under way a “step in the right direction”, he urged parties to negotiate in good faith, so that a lasting solution could be found. The Committee had an obligation to pave the way for self-determination for all peoples in territories under colonial domination, including the Saharawi people.  He, therefore, urged the Committee to “leave no stone unturned” in pursuit of that goal for Western Sahara and the 15 other Non-Self Governing Territories.


RAMESHWAR ORAON ( India) said the world continued to grapple with the vestiges of colonialism, a bygone system that ran contrary to the fundamental principles of the United Nations.  The approach to the decolonization task should blend urgency and activism, on the one hand, and sensitivity and circumspection, on the other.  Plus, the importance of avoiding a “one size fits all” approach could not be overstated.  Disseminating relevant information to the people in the Territories on their options was crucial.  Other important tools that could bridge the information deficit were the visiting missions of the Special Committee and the regional seminars.  Administering Powers should also extend their full cooperation in facilitating visiting missions.  The role of the administering Powers was important, and a spirit of cooperation and flexibility had imbued their actions in recent years, particularly in the case of Tokelau.  He extended full support to the efforts by the Territorial Government and New Zealand on the upcoming referendum.


He said that the statement made by Pakistan before the Committee last week had referenced the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir in a way that had been “unwarranted and completely irrelevant” to the Committee’s work.  Pakistan would have been better served by focusing on giving the right of self-determination and democracy to its own people.  Not only was Jammu and Kashmir an integral part of India, but it had a democratically elected government.  Bilateral issues should be discussed bilaterally, not in multilateral forums.  Vigilance against voicing sentiments or using language that could be tantamount to supporting terrorists was needed.


ALBERTO VIRELLA (Spain), speaking on the question of Gibraltar, said that the General Assembly had acknowledged, through its resolutions and decisions, that keeping the colonial situation in Gibraltar did not conform to the United Nations Charter.  It undermined Spain’s unity and territorial integrity.  As in the case of all other Non-Self-Governing Territories, the decolonization of Gibraltar required a solution that clarified issues relating to sovereignty.  However, despite having repeatedly expressed Spain’s will to resume negotiations with the United Kingdom to examine those issues, there “had not been any news”. 


He said that Spain had already explained to the Fourth Committee and the Special Committee that Gibraltar’s process of constitutional reform, whose goal was to improve and modernize its Territorial Government, had neither produced nor could produce any change that was “relevant to the decolonization process”.  Neither the new constitutional decree of Gibraltar, nor its vote in the referendum that had recently taken place, could have any “repercussions in the international sphere”.  As the United Nations had made clear in the past, Gibraltar’s decolonization could only come about as a result of bilateral negotiations between Spain and the United Kingdom, which had begun in 1980.  For its part, the United Kingdom claimed to have a commitment with the people of Gibraltar, and the new constitutional decree states that they would not reach agreements or understandings over the issues of sovereignty, which went against the wishes of the people of Gibraltar.  However, that should not be used as an excuse to avoid negotiations.


ALPHA IBRAHIMA SOW ( Guinea) expressed support for the Special Committee’s work and the documents, which it had provided to the Committee.  Guinea also supported the Special Committee’s visiting missions and regional seminars.  Dialogue and cooperation with administering Powers should be strengthened.  Progress on Tokelau was welcome, particularly the work done by the Territorial Government and New Zealand on the upcoming referendum.  The conclusions of the recent regional seminar held in St. George on actions to end colonialism had also been welcome.  The Moroccan initiative submitted in April on the question of Western Sahara had positively contributed to overcoming the stalemate.  The Security Council had urged the parties in resolution 1754 (2007) to reach a just, lasting and mutually beneficial political solution and to take part in negotiations.  He saluted Morocco’s openness in responding to the resolution, and the engagement of the States in the region in the recent negotiations.


This was not a time of hesitation, he said.  The efforts of the United Nations, the Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy should be supported.  The parties should be encouraged to step up confidence-building measures, particularly those in the military arena and with respect to the ceasefire.  The end of the Second International Decade to Eradicate Colonialism was approaching and its goal was still far from being accomplished.  Guinea had hoped that those goals would be met with success.


MICHEL KAFANDO (Burkina Faso), speaking on the question of Western Sahara, commended Morocco for submitting its proposal for ending the impasse, and praised Security Council resolution 1754 (2007).  The Manhasset talks in June and August represented “glimmers of hope”.  If all parties to those talks showed the same level of commitment, then a solution was possible.  The international community, and Members of the Fourth Committee in particular, must encourage the parties to engage in dialogue in a climate of peace, and to urge them to be “daring” in their approach.  He commended the Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy for their contribution in establishing a “new environment” for dialogue.  Hopefully, the General Assembly resolution on that issue, to be approved by the Committee during the present session, would send out the right signals.


JAIME HERMIDA CASTILLO ( Nicaragua) welcomed the recommendations of the Special Committee and urged the administering Powers to cooperate with the body.  The appeals of the people of the Territories should, not only be heard, but respected.  He underlined the Special Committee’s attention to the question of Puerto Rico, which this year had called for a full review.  Puerto Rico should not continue to be the exception to the self-determination and independence of the people of the Caribbean.  The recent negotiations on the question of Western Sahara had been welcome, and he saluted the participation of all the parties.  He also expressed solidarity with the people of South America on the question of the Malvinas.  The people of his country could not be satisfied with their own freedom, while other Territories did not enjoy self-determination.  Nicaragua sought peace, democratic participation, happiness and solidarity, and hoped for a better world.


FAYSAL EBRAHIM AL ZAYANI ( Bahrain) noted that the United Nations continued to play an effective role in bringing about decolonization and alleviating the suffering of peoples living under foreign rule.  As the United Nations Charter stated, the peoples of the world must establish friendly relations among themselves, and that they each had a right to self-determination.  The Millennium Declaration supported United Nations efforts to bring about equality among all people, in particular, through the implementation of the Declaration on Decolonization.  The Special Committee had a right to be proud of its contribution in that regard.  Continued colonization prevented non-self-governing peoples from achieving development.  The First International Decade on Decolonization had reinforced that message.  Hopefully, the Second International Decade would see the end to all colonization.


The Committee concluded its general statements on decolonization and turned to the question of Gibraltar.


PETER CARUANA, Chief Minister of Gibraltar, noting that his party had been re-elected last week, said that the only principle applicable in the decolonization process was the right to self-determination.  That principle could not be extinguished by the mere existence of a sovereignty dispute, even if the dispute was by some Member States to be an overriding, “unilaterally invocable” rule.  Such a view would not be so serious if those Member States had not become prepotent on the Special Committee.  They had successfully inserted in the Conclusions and Recommendations of the Regional Seminars a statement to that effect.  The Committee should look into that situation.  It was unacceptable that the United Nations should circulate and adopt “concocted reports” that included that view.


He said that Gibraltar was not part of Spain now, and had not been for 303 years.  Gibraltar’s attempt to emerge from colonialism, therefore, could not result in the disruption of Spain’s territorial integrity.  The people of Gibraltar had voted in a referendum in November 2006 to accept a new constitutional relationship with the United Kingdom.  That Constitution eliminated the last few remaining colonial trappings from its Constitution and had given it a government in all matters except foreign affairs and defence.  If Spain, despite having joined the European Union, was independent, why would Gibraltar still be a colony just because it chose a Constitutional relationship with the United Kingdom? he asked.


The real question was what decolonization was and by what methods it could be achieved, he said.  Every method should necessarily involve the free and genuine choice and wishes of the colonial people.  Yet the Special Committee’s set of so-called “de-listing criteria” had never been adapted to evolving times and circumstances, or to the special needs of the few remaining Territories, which were mostly small, remote or economically unviable.  The Government of the United Kingdom had no powers in, or over, Gibraltar, either executive or legislative.  Thus, it did not act like, nor did it have any ability to act like, an administering Power.  Gibraltar should be removed from the list of Non-Self-Governing Territories, and the United Nations should no longer concern itself with the decolonization of Gibraltar, except its delisting.  Gibraltar was still exposed to Spain’s territorial sovereignty claim, but that was a totally separate issue from decolonization.  Gibraltar did not accept that that could be a matter of dispute between Spain and the United Kingdom.  The United Kingdom did not consider itself free to deal with Gibraltar’s sovereignty.  The new Trilateral Forum for dialogue between the Governments of Gibraltar, Spain and the United Kingdom continued to function well, and its first agreements were now being implemented.


Petitioner on the Question of Gibraltar


JOE BOSSANO, member of Parliament and leader of the Opposition, Gibraltar, said that the people of Gibraltar had elected a new Parliament under the new Constitution, with a voter turnout of 81 per cent.  There were 10 Government seats and 7 Opposition seats.  In the election campaign, the Opposition party’s manifesto had contained a commitment to carry out a public information programme on all the United Nations decolonization options and their implications.


He said that the current Constitution, approved by a referendum in November 2006, had been recognized by the United Kingdom as an exercise of self-determination.  To the contrary, Spain had said that the referendum was not an act of self-determination, but merely the “modernization” of Gibraltar’s relationship with the United Kingdom.  Furthermore, Spain had said that neither the referendum nor the Constitution had any effect on the decolonization question, and that the decision recommended by the Fourth Committee every year to the General Assembly would not change.


The Committee’s current session was the acid test:  it would remain to be seen whether the United Kingdom would do as Spain predicted, which was to continue supporting the decision before the Committee, thus confirming that nothing had changed, he said.  Geoff Hoon, a Minister from the United Kingdom, had welcomed the 2006 referendum result, adding that the approved Constitution would entail a more mature United Kingdom-Gibraltar relationship.  But the question remained whether “modern relationship” meant the same as being decolonized.


He said that Spain claimed that the new Constitution kept Gibraltar as a colony, and that the United Kingdom had agreed that that status could not be changed without its consent.  The United Kingdom must “stop playing games” at the United Nations and stand by its obligations to Gibraltar; that country should raise the issue of Gibraltar’s decolonization, even at the risk of offending Spain.  If the United Kingdom felt that the criteria for decolonization needed to be made more modern, it should propose, to the United Nations, the necessary amendments.


If the people of Gibraltar were deemed to have fallen short of what was required to cease to be a colony, even with the present Constitution, the United Nations must tell them what was missing.  The people of Gibraltar deserved to know where they stood, in the eyes of the international community.


Action on Draft Texts


Having concluded its consideration of the question of Gibraltar, the Committee took up several draft texts on the issue of decolonization, beginning with Draft Resolution I, information from Non-Self-Governing Territories transmitted under Article 73e of the Charter of the United Nations (document A/62/23, p. 51), for which a vote had been requested.


The resolution was approved by a vote of 134 in favour to none against, with 4 abstentions ( France, Israel, United Kingdom, United States).  (Annex I.).


Explanation of vote


The representative of the United Kingdom said that her country had abstained from the vote not because it took issue with the objective, which was to seek compliance with Article 73e, but because it believed that such a decision was for the Territory and its administering Power to make, and not the General Assembly.


The Committee then took up draft resolution II, economic and other activities which affect the interest of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories (document A/62/23, p. 52), for which a vote had also been requested.


The resolution was approved by a vote of 142 in favour to 2 against ( Israel, United States), with 2 abstentions ( France, United Kingdom).


Speaking after the vote, the representative of Argentina said the applicability of the resolution on a given territory depended on that Territory’s right to self-determination.  In specific cases, such as those of the Malvinas Islands and the surrounding maritime areas, was not applicable, as those areas were part of Argentina’s Territory.


Next, the Committee took up the draft text on the implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples by the specialized agencies and the international institutions associated with the United Nations (document A/62/23, draft resolution III), for which a vote had been requested.


The Committee then approved the draft resolution by a recorded vote of 93 in favour to none against, with 55 abstentions.  (See Annex III.)


The representative of Portugal, speaking on behalf of the European Union after the vote, reaffirmed his support for the specialized agencies in their efforts to offer assistance to the Territories in the humanitarian, technical and education fields.  The statute of those agencies, however, must be carefully respected, and for that reason, the European Union had again abstained in the vote.


The representative of Argentina said his country had also abstained from the voting, as the resolution just adopted needed to be in line with previous resolutions and decisions.


The representative the Russian Federation said her country had long advocated for the right to self-determination and independence, but consideration of such a political issue in the format provided by the draft was not feasible.  Her country, therefore, had also abstained.


Acting without a vote, the Committee then approved the draft text on offers by Member States of study and training facilities for inhabitants of non-self-governing territories (document A/C.4/62/L.2).


The Committee took up the draft resolution on the question of Western Sahara (document L/C.4/62/L.3), and approved it by consensus, as amended.


Speaking after the text’s approval, the representative of Argentina said that his country supported the right of all people to self-determination.  However, with respect to the resolution just adopted, he reminded the Committee of the special situation governing the Malvinas Islands, over which Argentina and the United Kingdom were engaged in a sovereignty dispute.  As recognized by the General Assembly in several resolutions, the way to resolve that dispute was through bilateral negotiations, while taking account of the population’s interest.


The representative of Portugal, speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States, welcomed the fact that the resolution on the question of Western Sahara had passed by consensus.  She expressed strong support for Security Council resolution 1754 (2007).  She commended the efforts undertaken by the Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy, and encouraged the parties to continue their negotiations.


Next, the Committee took up the draft resolution on the question of New Caledonia (document A/62/23, draft resolution IV), which it approved without a vote.


Following that, the Committee approved -- also without a vote -- draft resolution VI, questions of American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guam, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St. Helena, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the United States Virgin Islands (document A/62/23, draft resolution VI).


The representative of Argentina had joined the consensus on the draft.   Argentina endorsed the need to put an end to colonialism in all its forms, as the process of self-determination was a fundamental human right.  The decolonization process would take place both in cases where there was a territorial dispute and in cases where defined as “particular and special” colonial situations, and had recommended negotiations between the parties to end colonialism.


The representative of the United Kingdom said her country had reluctantly agreed to approve the resolution because it did not want to break the consensus.  However, the Special Committee had continued with its outdated approach, some language in the resolution was unacceptable since it did not reflect the modern relationship enjoyed by the United Kingdom with its overseas Territories.


The Committee then took up the draft resolution VII on the dissemination of information on decolonization (document A/62/23), which was approved by a recorded vote of 145 in favour to 3 against ( Israel, United Kingdom, United States), with 1 abstention ( France). (Annex IV.)


Explaining his vote, the representative of the United Kingdom said the resolution put a burden on the Secretariat and was a drain on its resources.


The representative of Saudi Arabia explained that, despite his absence while the Committee considered the draft texts, his country had nevertheless supported them.


The Committee turned to the draft resolution VIII, implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (document A/62/23), on which a vote had been requested, approving it by a vote of 145 in favour to 3 against, (Israel, United Kingdom, United States) with 2 abstentions (Belgium, France).


The representative of Argentina recalled that missions took place only in Territories not subjected to dispute.  Indeed, for a mission to take place, it must have a special mandate from the General Assembly.


The representative of the United Kingdom said his country had voted against the resolution because it found some elements within it to be unacceptable.  The United Kingdom remained fully committed to modernizing its relationship with overseas Territories, while taking into account the views of the people.


Right of Reply


The representative of the United Kingdom, exercising the right of reply, responded to statements made by the representative of Spain on the question of Gibraltar.  He welcomed the Tripartite Forum’s dialogue and progress, and noted the implementation of the Cordoba Agreements, which had already had a tangible effect on the lives of many people in Gibraltar.  The new Gibraltar Constitution provided for a modern relationship between Gibraltar and it would not apply to any relationship based on colonialism.


He said that the United Kingdom regretted the Committee’s outdated approach to the question of Gibraltar; its criteria for delisting failed to take into account how the relationships between the United Kingdom and Gibraltar, and other overseas Territories had been modernized in ways that were acceptable to the parties.  The relationship between the United Kingdom and Gibraltar was non-colonial in character, and he confirmed the right of the Gibraltarian people.  Its right of self-determination was not constrained by the Treaty of Utrecht, except for the fact that Spain had the right of refusal should Britain ever renounce sovereignty.  The act of deciding on a new Constitution had been an exercise of self-determination.  It had been organized by the Government of Gibraltar and was an entirely legal act.


The United Kingdom retained its full responsibility for Gibraltar on defence and foreign policy, he went on.  It did not accept that the principle of territorial integrity had ever been applicable to Gibraltar’s decolonization.  Nor did it accept the conclusion of the Special Committee’s report that the existence of a sovereignty dispute implied that the people of Gibraltar did not have the right of self-determination.  It would never enter into sovereignty negotiations for which Gibraltar was not content.  While the United Kingdom joined the consensus approval of this resolution, any reference to the Brussels process should be understood in that context.


Replying to the representatives of Argentina and Venezuela, among others, on the Falkland Islands and the surrounding maritime areas, he said that the United Kingdom’s position was well-known.  It had no doubt about its sovereignty over the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, and that the relationship would not be in question until the people of those overseas Territories so desired.


ANNEX I


Vote on Information from Non-Self-Governing Territories


The draft resolution on information from Non-Self-Governing Territories transmitted under Article 73e of the United Nations Charter (document A/62/23 draft resolution I) was approved by a recorded vote of 134 in favour to none against, with 4 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Finland, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Viet Nam, Zimbabwe.


Against:  None.


Abstain:  France, Israel, United Kingdom, United States.


Absent:  Benin, Bhutan, Botswana, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Kenya, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Malawi, Monaco, Nauru, Niger, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Suriname, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Yemen, Zambia.


ANNEX II


Vote on Economic Activities Affecting Non-Self-Governing Territories


The draft resolution on economic and other activities affecting peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories (document A/62/23 draft resolution II) was approved by a recorded vote of 142 in favour to 2 against, with 2 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Finland, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Israel, United States.


Abstain:  France, United Kingdom.


Absent:  Benin, Bhutan, Botswana, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Monaco, Nauru, Niger, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Yemen.


ANNEX III


Vote on Implementation of Declaration on Decolonization by United Nations Agencies


The draft resolution on implementation of the Declaration on Decolonization by agencies and international institutions associated with the United Nations (document A/62/23 draft resolution III) was approved by a recorded vote of 93 in favour to none against, with 55 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Senegal, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  None.


Abstain:  Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guinea-Bissau, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Micronesia (Federated States of), Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States.


Absent:  Benin, Bhutan, Botswana, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Grenada, Haiti, Kenya, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Nauru, Niger, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Yemen.


ANNEX IV


Vote on Dissemination of Information


The draft resolution on the dissemination of information on decolonization by the United Nations Departments of Public Information and Political Affairs (document A/62/23 draft resolution VII) was approved by a recorded vote of 145 in favour to 3 against, with 1 abstention, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Finland, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Israel, United Kingdom, United States.


Abstain:  France.


Absent:  Antigua and Barbuda, Benin, Bhutan, Botswana, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Grenada, Kenya, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Micronesia (Federated States of), Mozambique, Nauru, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Yemen.


ANNEX V


Vote on Declaration on Decolonization


The draft resolution on implementation of the Declaration on Decolonization (document A/62/23 draft resolution VIII) was approved by a recorded vote of 145 in favour to 3 against, with 2 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Finland, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Israel, United Kingdom, United States.


Abstain:  Belgium, France.


Absent:  Antigua and Barbuda, Benin, Bhutan, Botswana, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Grenada, Kenya, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Niger, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Yemen.


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For information media • not an official record