SPECIAL COMMITTEE SEEKS DIALOGUE WITH ADMINISTERING POWERS ON NEED TO SAFEGUARD INTERESTS OF PEOPLE IN COLONIAL TERRITORIES

21 July 1999
GA/COL/3019

SPECIAL COMMITTEE SEEKS DIALOGUE WITH ADMINISTERING POWERS ON NEED TO SAFEGUARD INTERESTS OF PEOPLE IN COLONIAL TERRITORIES

21 July 1999

Press ReleaseGA/COL/3019

SPECIAL COMMITTEE SEEKS DIALOGUE WITH ADMINISTERING POWERS ON NEED TO SAFEGUARD INTERESTS OF PEOPLE IN COLONIAL TERRITORIES

19990721

Aim Is to Ensure Priority for Promotion of Their Well-being for Period Beyond Year 2000, in Terms of UN Charter and Decolonization Declaration

As the Special Committee on decolonization this morning concluded consideration of all the items on its agenda, it called upon administering Powers to enter into constructive dialogue with the Special Committee before the fifty-fifth session of the General Assembly, to develop a framework for the implementation of Article 73 of the Charter and the Declaration of the Granting of Independence to the Colonial Countries and Peoples for the period beyond the Year 2000.

[By the Declaration, the Assembly declared that alien subjugation, domination and exploitation of peoples constitutes a denial of fundamental human rights, is contrary to the United Nations Charter and is an impediment to the promotion of world peace and cooperation. All people have the right to self- determination, to freely determine their political status and their economic, social and cultural development.]

[Article 73 of the Charter states that Members of the United Nations which have or assume responsibilities for the administration of Territories whose peoples have not yet attained a full measure of self-government recognize the principle that the interests of the inhabitants of those territories are paramount, and accept as sacred trust the obligation to promote to the utmost the well-being of the inhabitants of those Territories.]

As the Committee met to consider the questions of Non-Self- Governing Territories, it took that action by adopting without a vote -- as orally amended -- a consolidated two-part draft resolution submitted by its Chairman, Peter Donigi (Papua New Guinea), on the questions of American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guam, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St. Helena, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the United States Virgin Islands. The resolution was originally introduced by the representative of Saint Lucia on 12 July.

Decolonization Committee - 1a - Press Release GA/COL/3019 15th Meeting (AM) 21 July 1999

By the terms of the text the Committee stressed that the eradication of colonialism would require the full and constructive cooperation of all the parties concerned. It also noted with concern that the Plan of Action of the International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism could not be concluded by the year 2000.

Also by the text, the Committee urged Member States to contribute to the efforts of the United Nations to usher in the twenty-first century in a world free of colonialism, and called upon them to continue to give their full support to the Special Committee in its endeavours towards that goal.

The Committee reaffirmed that it was ultimately for the peoples of the Territories themselves to freely determine their future political status in accordance with relevant provisions of the Charter, the Declaration and relevant resolutions of the Assembly. It therefore called upon the administering Powers, in cooperation with territorial Governments, to facilitate programmes of political education in the Territories to foster an awareness among the peoples of their right to self-determination in conformity with the legitimate political status options based on the principles clearly defined in Assembly resolution 1541 (XV).

[Resolution 1541 (XV) contains the principles that should guide Member States in determining whether or not an obligation exists to transmit information called for under Article 73 e of the Charter of the United Nations. Article 73 e states that administering Powers should transmit regularly to the Secretary- General statistical and other information of a technical nature relating to the economic, social and educational conditions in the Territories for which they are respectively responsible.]

In other action today, the Committee adopted without a vote a 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.

By the terms of that draft, the Committee recommended that all States intensify their efforts in the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system to ensure the full and effective implementation of the Declaration contained in General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV), and other relevant resolutions of the United Nations.

Also by the text, the Committee requested the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations and international and regional organizations to examine and review conditions in each Territory so as to take appropriate measures to accelerate progress in the economic and social sectors there. It urged those specialized agencies and organizations of the United Nations system which had not yet provided assistance to Non-Self-Governing Territories to do so as soon as possible.

Decolonization Committee - 1b - Press Release GA/COL/3019 15th Meeting (AM) 21 July 1999

In addition the Committee requested the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations to provide information on: environmental problems facing the Territories; the impact of natural disasters, and other environmental problems; ways and means to assist them in the fight against drug trafficking, money-laundering and other illegal and criminal activities; and the illegal exploitation of marine resources and the need to utilize those resources for the benefit of the peoples of the Territories.

The Committee also adopted without a vote -- as orally amended -- its draft report of the Caribbean Regional Seminar, which was held in Castries, Saint Lucia, from 25 to 27 May, and decided to annex it to the report of the Committee for submission to the Assembly.

Among the recommendations and conclusions included in that report, which was introduced by the Committee's Rapporteur, Fayssal Mekdad (Syria), it was stressed that in the process of decolonization there was no alternative to the principle of self- determination, which was also a fundamental human right. All available options for self-determination were valid as long as they were in accordance with the freely expressed wishes of the people concerned and in conformity with the clearly defined principles of the Charter, Assembly resolutions 1514 (XV) and 1541 (XV) and other relevant resolutions and decisions.

The report also said the United Nations had an ongoing role in the process of decolonization and that the mandate of the Special Committee was a major political programme of the Organization. It was also stressed there was still a need for identifying and implementing innovative and practical approaches in the search for a specific solution to each of the remaining Non-Self-Governing Territories, in accordance with the freely expressed wishes of the populations concerned and in conformity with the Charter and relevant resolutions and decisions of the Organization.

The report also stated that, further to approval by the Economic and Social Council, access by the Non-Self-Governing Territories to relevant United Nations programmes in the economic and social sphere, including those emanating from the plans of action of the Organization's world conferences, was in furtherance of capacity-building and consistent with necessary preparations for the attainment of internal self-government.

Recommendations also emphasized the desirability of holding future seminars in Non-Self-Governing Territories with a view to educating the respective peoples in those Territories on the aims and objectives of the International Decade. It was emphasized that such seminars should reflect, in more precise ways, the feelings and aspirations of the peoples of those Territories.

The report also recommended that the administering Powers be called upon to facilitate the holding of future seminars in the Non-Self-Governing Territories. The need to dispatch periodic visiting missions to the Non-Self-

Decolonization Committee - 1c - Press Release GA/COL/3019 15th Meeting (AM) 21 July 1999

Governing Territories, with the aim of assessing the situation in those Territories, was also reconfirmed.

Regarding Guam, the report recommended that the Committee should call upon the United States -- the administering Power -- to work with Guam's Commission on decolonization for the implementation and exercise of Chamorro self-determination with a view to facilitating the Territory's decolonization and to keep the Secretary-General informed of progress to that end.

Statements were made this morning by the Chairman of the Committee, Peter Donigi (Papua New Guinea), and by the representatives of Cuba, United States, Chile, Côte d'Ivoire, Russian Federation and India.

The Special Committee will meet again at a date to be announced.

Decolonization Committee - 2 - Press Release GA/COL/3019 15th Meeting (AM) 21 July 1999

Special Committee Work Programme

The Special Committee on the Situation with Regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples met this morning to begin its consideration of: the questions of American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guam, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St. Helena, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the United States Virgin Islands, and to take action on a related draft resolution. It will also review 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. It is expected to take action on a related draft resolution as well.

In addition, the Committee will consider the report of the Caribbean Regional Seminar to review the political, economic and social conditions in the Small Island Non-Self-Governing Territories, which was held in Castries, Saint Lucia, from 25-27 May.

Consolidated Draft Resolution

By the terms of Part A of a consolidated text submitted by its Chairman (document A/AC.109/1999/L.15/Rev.1), the Committee would reaffirm that it was ultimately for the peoples of the Territories themselves to freely determine their future political status in accordance with relevant provisions of the Charter, the Declaration and relevant resolutions of the Assembly. It would therefore call upon the administering Powers, in cooperation with territorial Governments, to facilitate programmes of political education in the Territories to foster an awareness among the people of their right to self-determination in conformity with the legitimate political status options based on the principles clearly defined in Assembly resolution 1541 (XV).

The Committee would stress the importance for it to be apprised of the views and wishes of the peoples of the Territories and to enhance its understanding of their conditions. It would request the administering Powers, in consultation with the peoples of the territories, to take all the necessary measures to protect and conserve the environment of the Territories under their administration against any environmental degradation, and would request the specialized agencies concerned to continue to monitor environmental conditions in those Territories.

The Committee would call upon the administering Powers, in cooperation with the respective Territorial Governments, to continue to take all the necessary measures to counter problems related to drug trafficking, money laundering and other offences. It would note with concern that the Plan of Action of the International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism could not be concluded by the year 2000.

The Committee would call upon the administering Powers to enter into constructive dialogue with the Special Committee before the fifty-fifth session of the General Assembly to develop a framework for the implementation of provisions of Article 73 of the United Nations Charter and the Declaration on the granting of Independence for the period beyond the year 2000.

The Committee would also urge Member States to contribute to the efforts of the United Nations to usher in the twenty-first century in a world free of colonialism, and would call upon them to continue to give their full support to the Special Committee in its endeavors towards that goal. It would invite the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system to initiate or to continue to take all the necessary measures to accelerate progress in the social and economic life of the Territories and would call for closer cooperation between the Committee and the Economic and Social Council in furtherance of the provision of assistance to the territories.

By the terms of Part B (I) of the text on American Samoa, the Committee would request the administering Power (United States), bearing in mind the views of the people of Territory through a democratic process, to keep the Secretary-General informed of the wishes and aspirations of the people regarding their future political status. It would call upon the administering power to continue to assist the territorial Government in the economic and social development of the Territory, including measures to rebuild financial management capabilities and strengthen other governmental functions of the Government of the territory.

By the terms of Part B (II) on Anguilla, the Committee would request the administering Power (United Kingdom), bearing in mind the views of the people of the Territory ascertained through a democratic process, to keep the Secretary-General informed of the wishes of the people regarding their future political status. It would also call on the administering Power and all States, organizations and United Nations Agencies to continue to assist the territory in social and economic development.

By the terms of Part B (III) on Bermuda, the Committee would request the administering Power (United Kingdom), bearing in mind the views of the people of the Territory ascertained through a democratic process, to keep the Secretary-General informed of the wishes and aspirations of the people regarding their future political status. It would call upon the administering Power to continue to work with the Territory for its socio-economic development. It would also request the administering Power to elaborate, in consultation with the Territorial Government, programmes specifically intended to alleviate the economic, social and environmental consequences of the closure of the military bases and installations of the United States in the territory.

By the terms of Part B (IV) of the text on the British Virgin Islands, the Committee would request the administering Power (United Kingdom), bearing in mind the views of the people of the Territory ascertained through a democratic process, to keep the Secretary-General informed of the wishes and aspirations of the people regarding their future political status. It would request the administering Power, the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system and all financial institutions to continue to provide assistance to the Territory for socio-economic development and the development of human resources, bearing in mind the vulnerability of the Territory to external factors.

By the terms of Part B (V) of the text on Cayman Islands, the Committee would request the administering Power (United Kingdom), bearing in mind the views of the people of the Territory ascertained through a democratic process, to keep the Secretary-General informed of the wishes and aspirations of the people regarding their future political status. It would request the administering Power, the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system to continue to provide the Territorial Government with all required expertise to enable it to achieve its socio-economic aims.

The Committee would also call on the administering Power and the territorial Government to continue to cooperate to counter problems related to money-laundering, smuggling of funds and other related crimes, as well as drug trafficking. It would request the administering Power, in consultation with the territorial Government, to continue to facilitate the expansion of the current programme of securing employment for the local population, in particular at the decision-making level.

By the terms of Part B (VI) of the text on Guam, the Committee would request the administering Power (United States) to work with the Territory's Commission on Decolonization for the Implementation and Exercise of Chamorro Self-Determination with a view to facilitating Guam's decolonization and to keep the Secretary-General informed of the progress to that end. It would call upon the administering Power to take into consideration the expressed will of the Chamorro people as endorsed by the people of Guam, and would encourage the administering Power and the territorial Government to continue negotiations on the matter. The Committee would also request the administering Power to inform the Secretary-General of progress to that end.

The Committee would request the administering Power to continue to assist the elected territorial Government, to continue to transfer land of the people of the Territory. It would further request the administering Power to continue to recognize and respect the political rights and the cultural and ethnic identity of the Chamorro people of Guam and to take all the necessary measures to respond to the concerns of the territorial Government with regard to the immigration issue. The Committee would also request the administering Power to cooperate in establishing programs specifically intended to promoted the sustainable development of economic activities and enterprises, noting the special role of the Chamorran people in Guam's development. It would further request the administering Power to continue to support appropriate measures by the territorial Government aimed at promoting growth in commercial fishing and agricultural and other viable activities.

By the terms of Part B (VII) of the text on Montserrat, the Committee would request the administering Power (United Kingdom), bearing in mind the views of the people of the Territory ascertained through a democratic process, to keep the Secretary- General informed of the wishes and aspirations of the people regarding their future political status. It would call upon the administering Power, the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system as well as regional organizations to continue to provide emergency assistance to the Territory in alleviating the consequences of the volcanic eruption.

By the terms of Part B (VIII) of the text on Pitcairn, the Committee would request the administering Power (United Kingdom), bearing in mind the views of the people of the Territory ascertained through a democratic process, to keep the Secretary- General informed of the wishes and aspirations of the people regarding their future political status. It would also 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.

By the terms of Part B (IX) of the text on St. Helena, the Committee would request the administering Power (United Kingdom), bearing in mind the views of the people of the Territory ascertained through a democratic process, to keep the Secretary- General informed of the wishes and aspirations of the people regarding their future political status. It would also request the administering Power and the relevant regional and international organizations to continue to support the efforts of the territorial Government to address the socio-economic development of the Territory.

By the terms of Part B (X) of the text on Turks and Caicos Islands, the Committee would request the administering Power (United Kingdom), bearing in mind the views of the people of the Territory ascertained through a democratic process, to keep the Secretary-General informed of the wishes and aspirations of the people regarding their future political status. It would invite the administering Power to take fully into account the wishes and interests of the Government and the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands in the governance of the Territory. The Committee would call upon the administering Power and the relevant regional and international organizations to continue to provide assistance for the improvement of the economic, social, educational and other conditions of the population in the Territory. It would further call upon the administering Power and the territorial Government to continue to cooperate to counter problems related to money laundering, smuggling of funds and other related crimes, as well as drug trafficking.

By the terms of Part B (XI) of the text on the United States Virgin Islands, the Committee would request the administering Power (United States), bearing in mind the views of the people of the Territory ascertained through a democratic process, to keep the Secretary-General informed of the wishes and aspirations of the people regarding their future political status. It would also request the administering Power to continue to assist the territorial Government in achieving its political, economic and social goals. The Committee would further request the administering Power to facilitate the participation of the Territory, as appropriate, in various organizations, in particular the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Association of Caribbean States (ACS).

The Committee would express its concern that the territory, which is already heavily indebted, was forced to borrow $21 million from a commercial bank to carry out its year 2000 computer compliance program, and would call for the United Nations year 2000 programme to be made available to the Non-Self- Governing Territories. Noting that the general elections held in the Territory in November 1998 had resulted in the orderly transfer of power, the Committee would express concern at the severe fiscal problems faced by the territorial Government, amounting to an accumulated debt of more than 1 billion dollars, and would welcome the measures being taken by the newly- elected territorial Government in addressing the crisis. It would call upon the administering Power to provide every assistance required to alleviate the fiscal crisis, including by providing debt relief and loans.

Draft resolution on Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples by the specialized agencies and the international institutions associated with the United Nations

By the terms of the draft (document A/AC.109/1999/L.11/Rev.1) the Committee would recommend that all States intensify their efforts in the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system to ensure the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, contained in General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV), and other relevant resolutions of the United Nations.

By the text the Committee would reaffirm that the specialized agencies and other organizations and institutions of the United Nations system should continue to be guided by the relevant resolutions of the Organization in their efforts to contribute to the implementation of the Declaration and all other relevant Assembly resolutions. The Committee would reaffirm also that the recognition by the Assembly, the Security Council and other United Nations organs of the legitimacy of the aspirations of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories to exercise their right to self-determination entails, as a corollary, the extension of all appropriate assistance to those peoples.

The Committee would request the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system and international and regional 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 urge those specialized agencies and organizations of the United Nations system which have not yet provided assistance to Non-Self-Governing Territories to do so as soon as possible. The Committee would request the specialized agencies and other organizations and institutions of the United Nations system and regional organizations to strengthen existing measures of support and formulate appropriate programmes of assistance to the remaining Non-Self-Governing Territories, within the framework of their respective mandates, in order to accelerate progress in the economic and social sectors of those Territories.

The Committee would also request the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system concerned to provide information on: environmental problems facing the Non- Self-Governing Territories; the impact of natural disasters, such as hurricanes and volcanoes, and other environmental problems, such as beach and coastal erosion and droughts, on those Territories; ways and means 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 and the need to utilize those resources for the benefit of the peoples of the Territories.

The Committee would recommend that the executive heads of the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system formulate, with the active cooperation of the regional organizations concerned, concrete proposals for the full implementation of the relevant resolutions of the United Nations and submit the proposals to their governing and legislative organs. The Committee would also recommend that the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system continue to review at the regular meetings of their governing bodies the implementation of Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) and other relevant resolutions of the United Nations.

The Committee would encourage the Non-Self-Governing Territories to take steps to establish and/or strengthen disaster preparedness and management institutions and policies. It would request the administering Powers concerned to facilitate the participation of appointed and elected representatives of Non- Self-Governing Territories in the relevant meetings and conferences of the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system so that the Territories may benefit from the related activities of those agencies and organizations. The Committee would also recommend that all Governments intensify their efforts in the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system of which they are members to accord priority to the question of providing assistance to the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories. It would request the Secretary-General to continue to assist the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system in working out appropriate measures for implementing the relevant resolutions of the United Nations and to prepare for submission to the relevant bodies, with the assistance of those agencies and organizations, a report on the action taken in implementation of the relevant resolutions, including the present resolution, since the circulation of his previous report. It would further request the specialized agencies to report periodically to the Secretary-General on the implementation of the present resolution.

Report of the Caribbean Regional Seminar

The report of the Seminar (document A/AC.109/1999/CRP.2) provides an introduction to the International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism and details the organization of the seminar and the conduct of the Seminar including the proceedings, consideration of questions and issues and a summary of statements and discussions. Annexed to the report are: a message from the Secretary-General to participants of the Conference; statements by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Saint Lucia, the Chairman of the Special Committee and the Permanent Representative of Saint Lucia to the United Nations; a list of participants; and a resolution on expression of appreciation to the Government of Saint Lucia.

According to draft conclusions and recommendations contained in the report, the Seminar also concluded that implementation of the Declaration is not yet complete as long as there remain Non- Self-Governing Territories that still have to exercise their right to self-determination. In the process of decolonization, there is no alternative to the principle of self-determination, which is a fundamental human right. All available options for self-determination are valid as long as they are in accordance with the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned and in conformity with the clearly defined principles contained in the Charter of the United Nations, and as enunciated in relevant General Assembly resolutions and decisions.

The Seminar also concluded that the United Nations has a valid ongoing role in the process of decolonization and that the mandate of the Special Committee is a major political programme of the United Nations. In the present stage of global developments, there is still a need for identifying and implementing innovative, practical and pragmatic approaches in the search for a specific solution to each of the remaining Non- Self-Governing Territories. This should be in accordance with the freely-expressed wishes of the populations concerned and in conformity with the Charter and relevant resolutions and decisions of the Organization. In addition, specific characteristics of the remaining Non-Self-Governing Territories should in no way prevent their populations from exercising the inalienable right to self-determination in conformity with the Charter and relevant Assembly resolutions.

Seminar participants supported closer cooperation between the Special Committee and the Economic and Social Council in furthering the provisions of assistance in the economic and political sphere from the United Nations to the Non-Self- Governing Territories. They also emphasized a need for effective and constructive consultations between the administering Powers, Member States of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the representatives of Non-Self-Governing Territories in formulating appropriate laws in respect of offshore banking.

Accepting a pre-requisite for transparency, accountability and good governance, the Seminar affirmed the need to ensure that the economic rights of Non-Self-Governing Territories are not compromised by the administering Powers and that the views of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories should be ascertained through legitimate acts of self-determination.

Continued examination of the options for self-determination by all parties concerned and dissemination of relevant information among the peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories are important elements in achieving the goals of the Declaration and the Plan of Action, the Seminar concluded. Subject to the approval of the Economic and Social Council, access by the Non- Self-Governing Territories to relevant United Nations programmes in the economic and social sphere would further capacity-building and would be consistent with necessary preparations for assuming full internal self-government.

The seminar emphasized the desirability to hold future seminars in the Non-Self-Governing Territories, with a view to educating the respective peoples in those territories on the aims and objectives of the International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism. Furthermore they emphasized that such seminars would reflect in a more precise way the feelings and aspirations of the peoples of these territories. The administering Powers are also called upon to facilitate the holding of future seminars in the Non-Self-Governing Territories. Participants also reconfirmed the need to dispatch periodic visiting missions to the Territories to assess the situations there.

Finally, the Seminar recommended that the Special Committee adopt the Seminar's report and that before the end of the International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism the Committee formulate an updated plan of action for the eradication of colonialism focusing on the self-determination of the Non- Self-Governing Territories.

Action on Drafts

The Chairman introduced the draft on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples by specialized agencies and international institutions associated with the United Nations (document A/AC.109/1999/L.11/Rev.2).

The resolution was adopted without a vote.

The Committee then took up the resolution on Questions of the Non-Self-Governing Territories (document A/AC.109/1999/L.15/Rev.1).

Statements before Vote

FAYSSAL MEKDAD (Syria), Rapporteur of the Special Committee, read an oral amendment to paragraph nine of the draft. The phrase, "Stresses that the eradication of colonialism requires the full and constructive cooperation of all parties involved and", was added to the existing phrase, "notes with concern that the Plan of Action of the International Decade for the Eradication cannot be concluded by the Year 2000". That had been the actual consensus language reached.

PETER DONIGI (Papua New Guinea), the Chairman of the Special Committee, said he had circulated several documents as an aide- mémoire. One was a letter to the Special Committee from the Governor of the United States Virgin Islands requesting reimbursement of funds for the Territory's representative to the Special Committee for participation in informal consultations of the Committee.

Another letter in the aide-mémoire was an e-mail from the United States dated 20 July requesting amendments to references concerning the 1993 elections in operative paragraph two. Also requested were alterations to operative paragraphs: four, referring to the Territory's indebtedness to service its Y2K problem; five, referring to the 1998 elections; six, referring to fiscal problems; and seven, assistance to alleviate the fiscal crisis. A third letter in the aide-mémoire was from the Governor of the United States Virgin Islands stating that references to the fiscal situation of the United States Virgin Islands were a matter for the Federal Government to consider, not the Special Committee.

The issue had been discussed generally in the informal meetings, the Chairman continued. The request regarding preambular paragraph two had already been reconciled. With regard to the other requests, the United States was maintaining that paragraphs four to seven related to matters that were for the United States and the United States Virgin Islands to discuss rather than for the Committee to consider; those issues, however, dealt with financial elements, which had been mentioned in the Secretariat's report on the United States Virgin Islands. Information contained in the paragraphs was nothing confidential, but what had already appeared in the press.

THOMAS DUFFY (United States) said his concerns regarding preambular paragraph 2 had been taken into account.

JUAN EDUARDO EGUIGUREN (Chile) said consultations between the United States and the United States Virgin Islands had been directed to be held. Had they been held? As far as the present draft was concerned, there should be consensus.

The CHAIRMAN said that point had been agreed on, and ample time had been given to the United States to respond to the suggested drafts. When no objections had come by 6 p.m. on Friday, 16 July, the authorization for the draft as worded had been given.

BERNARD TANOH-BOUTCHOUÉ (Côte d'Ivoire) said not enough was known about the United States. What was the procedure now? Was it to adopt the draft as it was, or to continue trying for consensus?

Mr. EGUIGUREN (Chile) said it was disappointing the United States had not gotten into the consultations in a timely manner.

The CHAIRMAN, summing up, said the United States accepted paragraph two, but wanted to delete paragraphs four to seven. However, paragraphs four to seven did not contain new information but only what was in the public domain.

VLADIMIR ZAEMSKIY (Russian Federation) said an important virtue of the draft would be the consensus behind it, as it had been previously. Was there hope the draft would remain a consensus one? If not, could consultations continue?

The Rapporteur said there were two kinds of consensus, one representing the views of the Special Committee and the other where the views of the Fourth Committee and the General Assembly were expressed. What could be adopted by consensus here was different from what could be reached in the Fourth Committee. Consensus resolutions were not adopted here for Fourth Committee consensus. The Committee could come to consensus and the Administering Power could disagree with that later.

The CHAIRMAN said the question was whether paragraphs four to seven would be accepted. He recommended they be adopted since they referred to fiscal issues in the public domain, unless someone could point to an element not in the public domain.

RAFAEL DAUSA CESPEDES (Cuba) said he agreed with the Rapporteur. The text should be adopted now. Mr. ZAEMSKIY (Russian Federation) said he had no difficulties with the paragraphs, but if discussions were begun with administering Powers, they should not stop half-way. Consultations should either be held or not.

Mr. TANOH-BOUTCHOUÉ (Côte d'Ivoire) asked what concerns of the United States were being considered, the content or some other understanding? Information in the paragraphs was not secret. What if a number of administering Powers needed to be accommodated? "We have tried to achieve consensus", he said, adding that he favoured adopting the resolution.

The CHAIRMAN said there was nothing secret about the elections or the reference to debt. There was nothing wrong with mentioning steps being taken by the Territory to alleviate its debt, nor with a call for the administering Power to help. There was nothing controversial.

YASHVARDHAN KUMAR SINHA (India) asked for a clarification on the consultations. He said he had no problem with the operative paragraphs of the draft. However, it had been decided there would be consultations with the administering Power. Had those been held? If consensus could be held here, why wait to reach it for the Fourth Committee?

The CHAIRMAN said there should be no complications. The letter from the Governor dealt with issues of financial concerns, to be discussed between the United States and the United States Virgin Islands.

Mr. TANOH-BOUTCHOUÉ (Côte d'Ivoire) asked if the paragraphs could be deleted outright.

Mr. EGUIGUREN (Chile) said there was a problem with the delay in the United States putting its objections on the table. With proper procedure, there would be no problem now. Earlier, the objection could have been worked into the paragraphs. He had no problem with further consultations.

The CHAIRMAN said if the mandate of the Territory's financial situation was up to the Government and not to the Committee, then the Committee had nothing to do. The Governor's letter could be taken into consideration but it must be carefully considered. It challenged the prerogative and mandate of the Committee. The major issue was that the Committee had to take a stand. Otherwise, it would not come up with a plan of action for 2001.

The Rapporteur said the door was still open to consultation with the administering Power. Today, the Committee was simply adopting a document that still could be negotiated before going to the Fourth Committee. If the administering Power had a problem, it could come to the Committee later. But the paragraphs should not be dropped because the administering Power had not responded by the deadline. It was not the formulation reached in the "informals". It was a new formulation by the Chairman. But everyone accepted it. The draft should be adopted by consensus.

Mr. TANOH-BOUTCHOUÉ (Côte d'Ivoire) said problems such as money-laundering had been tackled in previous drafts. Those had not been called money issues. How could asking the administering Power to help with a debt be a secret issue? In his own country, friendly nations were appealing to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to try and help with the debt. If the paragraphs were deleted nothing would be left. Everyone wanted consensus but there were time constraints. Constant questioning brought into question the work itself. Why should those paragraphs be deleted?

The CHAIRMAN said the only basis for asking the paragraphs to be deleted was a letter from the Governor of the United States Virgin Islands. It came back to the principle of whether the letter from the Governor should be recognized as a substantive authority. If the paragraphs were deleted, it would be a precedent for other Governors and it challenged the mandate of the Committee.

Mr. EGUIGUREN (Chile) said the prerogative of the Governor of a Territory had been touched upon. The Governor was the supreme authority of the Territory, but it was not the issue for the Committee.

Mr. SINHA (India) said he wanted consensus. The United States should clarify its position.

Mr. ZAEMSKIY (Russian Federation) said a consensus text should be accepted.

Mr. DUFFY (United States) said that without the deletions of those paragraphs, the United States could not agree to consensus on the draft.

The resolution was adopted without a vote as orally amended.

The Rapporteur introduced the report of the Caribbean Regional Seminar (document A/AC.109/1999/CRP.2). Three paragraphs on Guam had remained pending. He read paragraphs from last year's resolution and said they would remain the same.

Statements before Vote

Mr. SINHA (India) said he was happy that agreement had been reached on the report's conclusions. He made one minor amendment in paragraph two, changing "the" process of decolonization to "this process of decolonization".

Mr. ZAEMSKIY (Russian Federation) recommended adopting the report. The text would become the official version and it was based on extensive discussions. Harmonious agreement by all members of a Committee was important.

The Committee adopted the report as orally amended without a vote. The report would be annexed to the Committee's report to the General Assembly.

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For information media. Not an official record.