1 October 2009
General Assembly

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

Approving Work Programme, Fourth Committee Agrees to Consider Decolonization,


University of Peace, Outer Space, Atomic Radiation Items


In a brief organizational meeting today, the Fourth Committee (Special, Political and Decolonization) approved its work programme for the current session, during which it planned to consider more than a dozen topics, ranging from the peaceful uses of outer space to the University of Peace and the decolonization of the remaining non-self-governing territories.

Meeting for the first time since the start of the General Assembly’s sixty-fourth session, the Committee elected Vice-Chairperson Heidi Schroderus-Fox(Finland).  Following that action, Chairperson Nassir Abdulaziz Nassir (Qatar) introduced the other Vice-Chairs, Reniery Valladares (Honduras)and Ridas Petkus (Lithuania), as well as the Committee’s Rapporteur Khalid Ali (Sudan).

According to its work programme (document A/C.4/64/L.1),the Committee would consider a cluster of items relating to decolonization, among them, implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, during its general debate from 5 to 9 October. 

Further in that regard, an aide-mémoire and an addendum (documents 01/09 and 01/09/Add.1), containing 96 requests for hearings related to the questions of Gibraltar, Guam, New Caledonia, Western Sahara and the United States Virgin Islands, were issued.  The Chief Minister of Gibraltar and the President of the Government of New Caledonia would make statements, the Chairperson announced.

The Committee would devote one meeting to the University of Peace, on 12 October.  Three meetings would be devoted to considering peaceful uses of outer space, from 20 to 22 October.  The Committee also agreed, as was its tradition, to establish a working group on outer space, to be chaired this year by Colombia.

During three meetings on 13, 14 and 15 October, the Committee would consider questions relating to information.  Delegations would also consider the effects of atomic radiation on 16 October, and would hold a comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations, from 23 to 28 October.  On 29 and 30 October, they would consider assistance in mine action.

In addition, the Committee would consider the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) from 2 to 4 November.  From 6 to 10 November, it would take up the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and other Arabs of the Occupied Territories.

Panels and interactive dialogues were scheduled under items on the University for Peace, outer space, questions relating to information, peacekeeping and assistance in mine action, as well as UNRWA.

The Committee expected to complete its work by Wednesday, 11 November, once action had been taken on all draft resolutions submitted under the last two agenda items related to the Middle East.

The Fourth Committee will meet again at 3 p.m. on Monday, 5 October, to begin its consideration of the issues relating to the implementation of the decolonization Declaration.

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For information media • not an official record