19 June 2012
General Assembly
GA/COL/3241

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

Special Committee on Decolonization

8th Meeting (AM)


Special Committee Approves Texts Concerning Implementation of 1960 Decolonization


Declaration, Economic Activities in Territories, UN Specialized Agencies

 


The Special Committee on Decolonization today approved three draft resolutions dealing with various aspects of its work, as it continued its session at Headquarters.


The 24-member Committee monitors implementation of the 1960 Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples in the 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories under its purview.


Today’s drafts, which were approved without a vote, deal with general implementation of the Declaration; implementation by the specialized agencies and the international institutions associated with the United Nations; and economic and other activities which affect the interests of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories.


The draft text on economic and other activities which affect the interests of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories (A/AC.109/2012/L.11) would have the General Assembly urge the administering Powers in those Territories to take effective measures to safeguard the inalienable right of the inhabitants to their natural resources and to maintain control over the future development of those resources. The Assembly would also request the administering Powers to take all steps necessary to protect the property rights of the peoples, in accordance with relevant resolutions of the United Nations on decolonization.


It would also call upon the administering Powers to ensure that no discriminatory working conditions prevailed in the Territories under their administration and to promote, in each Territory, a fair system of wages applicable to all the inhabitants without any discrimination.


The text would also have the General Assembly decide to follow the situation in the Non-Self-Governing Territories, so as to ensure that all economic activities there were aimed at strengthening and diversifying their economies in the interests of their peoples, including the indigenous populations, and at promoting the economic and financial viability of those Territories.


The draft resolution 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 (A/AC.109/2012/L.10), would have the General Assembly request those agencies and organizations to examine and review conditions in each Territory, so as to take appropriate measures to accelerate progress in the economic and social sectors of the Territories.  It would further urge those of them that had not yet provided assistance to such Territories, to do so as soon as possible.


The text would also have the General Assembly request the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system concerned to provide information on topics, including environmental problems facing the Non-Self-Governing Territories, the impact of natural disasters, such as hurricanes and volcanic eruptions, and other environmental problems, such as beach and coastal erosion and droughts, and ways and means to assist the Territories to fight drug trafficking, money-laundering and other illegal and criminal activities.


Further, the draft resolution would have the General Assembly commend the Economic and Social Council for its debate and resolution on the question and request it, in consultation with the Special Committee, to continue to consider appropriate measures for the coordination of the policies and activities of specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system in implementing the relevant General Assembly resolutions.


Speaking after the approval of the text, the representative of the Russian Federation said that his country stood by its traditional position on the draft resolution that had just been approved.  The Russian Federation had particular view on the item.  It had always called for the implementation of rights of people in Non-Self-Governing Territories, but believed that it was a very political issue and it should not be discussed in the Economic and Social Council.  He had called for the removal of the item from the agenda of ECOSOC.  He had not interfered with the consensus on the draft resolution that had been approved, but would continue to be guided by its consistent principle on the item.


The third draft resolution, on the general implementation of the Declaration (A/AC.109/2012/L.9), would have the General Assembly request the Special Committee to continue to seek suitable means for the immediate and full implementation of that Declaration and to carry out the actions approved by the Assembly regarding the Second and Third International Decades for the Eradication of Colonialism in all Territories that had not yet exercised their right to self-determination, including independence.


The text would also have the General Assembly call upon administering Powers to ensure that economic and other activities in the Non-Self-Governing Territories under their administration did not adversely affect the interests of the peoples but, instead, promoted development and assisted them in the exercise of their right to self-determination.  It would also have the General Assembly urge all States, directly and through their action in the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system, to provide moral and material assistance to the peoples of those Territories, and request administering Powers to take steps to enlist and make effective use of all possible assistance, on both a bilateral and a multilateral basis, in the strengthening of the economies of the Territories.


In addition, the text would have the Assembly request the Secretary-General, the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system to provide economic, social, and other assistance to the Non-Self-Governing Territories.


The Special Committee will meet again at 10 a.m., Wednesday, 20 June, to take up the questions of New Caledonia and of American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guam, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Saint Helena, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the United States Virgin Islands.


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