The Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, adopted in 1960, affirmed the right of all people to self-determination and proclaimed that colonialism should be brought to a speedy and unconditional end. The text states that the subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation constitutes a denial of fundamental human rights, contravenes the United Nations Charter and impedes the promotion of world peace and cooperation.
Two years later, a Special Committee on decolonization was established to monitor its implementation.
In 1990, the Assembly proclaimed the International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism (1990-2000), which included a specific plan of action. In 2001, it was followed by a Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism (2001-2010). In 2011, it was followed by the Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism (2011-2020).
The past 10 years have seen several achievements, in particular the independence of East Timor as Timor-Leste and thus its successful decolonization. Furthermore, there was considerable progress on the question of Tokelau.
As a result, since the creation of the United Nations, 80 former colonies have gained their independence. This includes all 11 Trust Territories, which have achieved self-determination through independence or free association with an independent State. The Special Committee continues to examine the situation in the remaining 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories, and to recommend, as appropriate to the General Assembly the most suitable steps to be taken.