19 April 2012
General Assembly
GA/COL/3231

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

Special Committee on Decolonization

2nd Meeting (PM)


Special Committee on Decolonization to Hold Regional Seminar

 

in Quito, Ecuador 30 May – 1 June

 


The Special Committee on Decolonization — also known as the Special Conference of 24 — today decided to hold its Pacific Regional Seminar in the Ecuadorian capital Quito, from 30 May to 1 June this year, to review progress in the United Nations decolonization process.


The Seminar will seek to assess the past decade and focus on goals and expected accomplishments in decolonization over the coming years within the framework of the Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism (2011-2020), declared by the General Assembly in December 2010.  The discussions will focus on the dynamics and possible action concerning the 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories, as well as United Nations system assistance.  The Seminar’s conclusions and recommendations will then be considered at the Committee’s substantive session in June and were expected to be transmitted to the General Assembly.


Oscar León González, Deputy Permanent Representative of Cuba, standing in for Committee Chairman Diego Morejón Pazmino (Ecuador), said that, as in the past, the Committee would also celebrate the Week of Solidarity with the Peoples’ of the Non-Self-Governing Territories at that Seminar.  Cuba is one of the Committee’s two Vice-Chairpersons.


The Seminar’s participants will include a formal delegation of the Committee, United Nations Member States, representatives of the Non-Self-Governing Territories, the nations administering them, as well as experts from civil society and non-governmental organizations.


With the question of the seminar venue now settled, the Secretariat will be able to proceed expeditiously with the logistical preparations for that Seminar, in close consultation with the Committee’s Bureau and the Ecuadorian Government, Mr. González said.


The Committee agreed that the composition of its 8-member delegation to the seminar will include members representing the four regional groups — the African Group and the Asia-Pacific Group, both of which were still consulting with regard to their respective nominations; the Eastern European Group, represented by the Russian Federation, as the only member in that group; and Nicaragua, nominated by the Group of the Latin American and Caribbean States.


Today’s session — the Committee’s second meeting for 2012 — also discussed related items, such as the Seminar’s agenda and travelling costs, including the endorsement of English and Spanish as the official languages to be used, among other guidelines and rules of procedure.


The members of the Committee are Antigua & Barbuda, Bolivia, Chile, China, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Grenada, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Mali, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sierra Leone, Syrian Arab Republic, Timor-Leste, Tunisia, United Republic of Tanzania and Venezuela.


In a vast political reshaping of the world, more than 80 former colonies comprising some 750 million people, have gained independence since the creation of the United Nations.  At present, 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories across the globe remain to be decolonized, home to nearly 2 million people.  Those territories 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.


The meeting was adjourned at 3:30 p.m.


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For information media • not an official record