RIGHT OF NON-SELF-GOVERNING TERRITORIES TO SELF-DETERMINATION REAFFIRMED, AS FOURTH COMMITTEE APPROVES NINE DECOLONIZATION TEXTS

4 October 2002
GA/SPD/238

RIGHT OF NON-SELF-GOVERNING TERRITORIES TO SELF-DETERMINATION REAFFIRMED, AS FOURTH COMMITTEE APPROVES NINE DECOLONIZATION TEXTS

04/10/2002
Press ReleaseGA/SPD/238

Fifty-seventh General Assembly

Fourth Committee

6th Meeting (PM)

RIGHT OF NON-SELF-GOVERNING TERRITORIES TO SELF-DETERMINATION REAFFIRMED,

AS FOURTH COMMITTEE APPROVES NINE DECOLONIZATION TEXTS

Small Island Territories, Western Sahara,

Natural Resource Exploitation among Other Issues Addressed

The General Assembly would reaffirm the inalienable right of the peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories to self-determination, including -- if they so wished -- independence, by the terms of one of seven draft resolutions and two decisions on decolonization questions approved this afternoon by the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization).

Following the conclusion this afternoon of its general debate, the Committee, acting without a vote, approved that two-part consolidated text on small island Territories, by which the Assembly would reaffirm that it is ultimately for the people of the remaining 16 Territories on the Committee's list to determine freely their future political status.

Under a further provision, the Assembly would call upon the administering Powers, in cooperation with territorial Governments, to facilitate political education programmes in the Territories to foster awareness of the right to   self-determination.  It would stress the importance of it being apprised of the wishes and views of the peoples of the Territories.

The second part of the draft text concerns the individual Non-Self-Governing Territories of American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Guam, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Saint Helena, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the United States Virgin Islands.

According to a draft resolution on the question of Western Sahara, also approved without a vote, the Assembly would reiterate its support for the Secretary-General's further efforts for the organization and supervision, by the United Nations and in cooperation with the Organization of African Unity, of a referendum for self-determination of the people of Western Sahara that is impartial and free of all constraints, in conformity with Security Council resolutions which approved the Settlement Plan.

Also by the text, the Assembly would, while taking note of the fundamental differences between the parties in implementing the main provisions of the Settlement Plan, support the Secretary-General's efforts, as well as those of his

Personal Envoy, to reach a mutually acceptable political solution to that dispute.

By a recorded vote of 122 in favour to two against (Israel, United States), with two abstentions (France, United Kingdom), the Committee approved a draft resolution on economic and other activities which affect the interests of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories (For details of the vote, see Annex II).

By that text, the Assembly would reiterate that the damaging exploitation and plundering of marine and other natural resources of the Non-Self-Governing Territories, in violation of the relevant United Nations resolutions, threatened the integrity and prosperity of those Territories.

In other action, the Committee approved a draft resolution on information from Non-Self-Governing Territories transmitted under Article 73 e of the United Nations Charter, by a vote of 118 in favour to none against, with four abstentions (France, Israel, United Kingdom, United States) (Annex I).

By that text, the Assembly would request the administering Powers concerned to transmit to the Secretary-General under Article 73 e, the fullest possible information on political and constitutional developments in the Territories concerned.

The Assembly would deplore the continued alienation of land in colonial and Non-Self-Governing Territories, particularly in the small island Territories of the Pacific and Caribbean regions, for military installations, by a draft decision on military activities and arrangements by colonial Powers in Territories under their administration approved by a vote of 80 in favour to 41 against, with     one abstention (Bulgaria) (Annex III).

The Committee also approved a draft resolution on 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 a vote of 81 in favour to none against, with 44 abstentions.(Annex IV).

By its terms, the Assembly would request those bodies, as well as international and regional organizations, to examine and review conditions in each of the Territories and take appropriate measures to accelerate their economic and social progress.

Acting without a vote, the Committee also approved draft resolutions concerning offers by Member States of study and training facilities for inhabitants of Non-Self-Governing Territories and the question of New Caledonia, as well as a draft decision on the question of Gibraltar.

Speaking in explanation of position this afternoon were representatives of United Kingdom, Denmark (on behalf of the European Union), Saint Lucia, Morocco, and Spain.

(page 1b follows)

In closing remarks, the Chairman said that members' cooperation had ensured

that the Committee was able to efficiently conclude its consideration of the issues related to decolonization.  In most instances, the Committee had achieved consensus.  That was of great significance and in keeping with the importance most delegations attached to the decolonization question.

Statements in the general debate were made by the representatives of Mozambique, Guinea, Ethiopia, Spain, Angola, Pakistan, China, Ghana, Congo, Bahrain, Lesotho, Haiti, Malawi, and Senegal.  The representative of the United Kingdom spoke in exercise of the right of reply.

The Committee will meet again at 10 a.m. on Monday, 7 October, to begin its general debate on international cooperation on the peaceful uses of outer space.

Background

The Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) met this afternoon to continue its debate and to take action on eight draft resolutions and two draft decisions relating to decolonization issues.  The following are listed in the order in which the Committee was expected to take action.

Among the drafts before the Committee was a text on information from     Non-Self-Governing Territories transmitted under Article 73 e of the United Nations Charter (document A/57/23, Part III, chap. XIII) by which the General Assembly would request the administering Powers concerned to transmit to the Secretary-General under Article 73 e, the fullest possible information on political and constitutional developments in the Territories concerned.  It would request the Secretary-General to continue to ensure that adequate information is drawn from all available published sources in connection with the preparation of working papers related to the Territories concerned.

By a draft resolution on economic and other activities which affect the interests of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories (document    A/57/23, Part III, chap. XIII), the Assembly would reiterate that the damaging exploitation and plundering of marine and other natural resources of the Non-Self-Governing Territories, in violation of the relevant United Nations resolutions, is a threat to the integrity and prosperity of those Territories.

The Assembly would decide, by other terms, to follow the situation of the Non-Self-Governing Territories so as to ensure that all economic activities in those Territories are aimed at strengthening and diversifying their economies in the interest of their peoples, including the indigenous populations, and at promoting the economic and financial viability of those Territories.

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

Further, the Assembly would urge the administering Powers to take effective measures to safeguard and guarantee the inalienable rights of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories to their natural resources and to establish and maintain control over the future development of those resources.  It would also request the administering Powers to take all necessary steps to protect the property rights of the peoples of those Territories.

By the terms of a draft decision on military activities and arrangements by colonial Powers in Territories under their administration (document A/57/23, Part III, chap. XIII), the General Assembly would deplore the continued alienation of land in colonial and Non-Self-Governing Territories, particularly in the small island Territories of the Pacific and Caribbean regions, for military installations.  It would take note of the decision of some of the administering Powers to close or downsize some of those military bases in Non-Self-Governing Territories.  It would also request the Secretary-General to continue to inform world public opinion of military activities and arrangements in colonial and   Non-Self-Governing Territories, which constitute an obstacle to implementing the Decolonization Declaration.

Also before the Committee was a draft resolution on 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 (document A/57/23, Part III, chap XIII).  It would have the Assembly request those bodies, as well as 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.

By other terms of the text, the Assembly would request those bodies to provide information on:  environmental problems facing the Territories; the impact of natural disasters, beach and coastal erosion and droughts; ways to assist them in fighting 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 use them for the benefit of their peoples.  The Assembly would encourage the Territories to establish and/or strengthen disaster preparedness and management institutions and policies.

In addition, the Assembly would request the administering Powers to facilitate the participation of appointed and elected territorial representatives 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 bodies.

The Committee also had before it a draft resolution on offers by Member States of study and training facilities for inhabitants of Non-Self-Governing Territories (document A/C.4/57/L.3) submitted by Algeria, Argentina, China, Cuba, Egypt, Ghana, India, Iran, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and United Republic of Tanzania.  According to the text, the Assembly would express its appreciation to those Member States that have made scholarships available to the inhabitants of Non-Self-Governing Territories.  It would invite all States to make generous offers of study and training facilities to the inhabitants of those Territories that have not yet attained self-government or independence and, wherever possible, to provide travel funds to prospective students.

By further terms of the text, the Assembly would urge the administering Powers to take measures to ensure the widespread and continuous dissemination in the Territories under their administration of information relating to offers and to provide facilitates to enable students to avail themselves of such offers.

Also before the Committee was a draft resolution the question of Western Sahara (document A/C.4/57/L.2).  According to text, the Assembly, reaffirming the United Nations responsibility towards the people of Western Sahara as provided for in the Settlement Plan, would reiterate its support for the Secretary-General's further efforts for the organization and supervision, by the United Nations and in cooperation with the Organization of African Unity, of a referendum for       self-determination of the people of Western Sahara that is impartial and free of all constraints, in conformity with Security Council resolutions which approved the Settlement Plan.

Further, taking note of the fundamental differences between the parties in implementing the main provisions of the Settlement Plan, the Assembly would support the efforts of the Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy to reach a political solution to the dispute, which will provide for self-determination for the people of Western Sahara.  In that regard, the Assembly would urge the two parties to continue their cooperation with the Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy with a view to reaching a mutually acceptable political solution to the dispute.

By further terms of the text, the Assembly would call upon the parties to cooperate with the International Committee of the Red Cross to solve the problem of the fate of people unaccounted for, and call upon the parties to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law to release without delay all those held since the start of the conflict.  The Assembly would also request the Special Committee on decolonization to continue to consider the situation in Western Sahara, bearing in mind the implementation of the Settlement Plan and to report to the Assembly at its fifty-eighth session.

By the terms of the draft decision on the question of Gibraltar (document A/C.4/57/L.4), the Assembly would take note of the fact that, as part of the Brussels negotiating process, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Spain and the United Kingdom hold annual meetings alternately in each country, the most recent of which were held in Barcelona on 20 November 2001 and in London on 4 February 2002.  It would urge both Governments to continue their negotiations with the object of reaching a definitive solution to the problem of Gibraltar in light of relevant General Assembly resolutions and in the spirit of the United Nations Charter.

Also before the Committee was a text on the question of New Caledonia (document A/57/23, Part III, chap. XIII) by which the Assembly would urge all the parties involved, in the interest of all the people of New Caledonia, to maintain, in the framework of the Noumea Accord, their dialogue in a spirit of harmony.  [The Noumea Accord was signed on 5 May 1998 by representatives of New Caledonia and the French Government.]

In addition, the Assembly would invite all the parties to continue promoting a framework for the peaceful progress of the Territory towards an act of self-determination in which all options are open and which would safeguard the rights of all New Caledonians according to the letter and spirit of the Noumea Accord, which is based on the principle that it is for the population of New Caledonia to choose how to control its destiny.

By further terms, the Assembly would note positive initiatives aimed at protecting the natural environment of New Caledonia, notably the "Zoneco" operation designed to map and evaluate marine resources within the economic zone of New Caledonia.  Acknowledging the close links between New Caledonia and the peoples of the South Pacific, the Assembly would welcome the accession by New Caledonia to observer status in the Pacific Islands Forum.

By the terms of a text on the question of Tokelau (document A/57/23, Part III, chap. XIII), the Assembly would note Tokelau's desire to move at its own pace towards an act of self-determination.  It would also note the special challenge inherent in the situation of Tokelau -- among the smallest of the Non-Self-Governing Territories -- and how the exercise of a Territory's inalienable right to self-determination may be brought closer, as in Tokelau, by meeting that challenge in an innovative way.

In addition, the Assembly would acknowledge Tokelau's goal to return authority to its traditional leadership and its wish to provide that leadership with the necessary support to carry out its functions in the contemporary world.  It would also acknowledge progress made towards that goal under the Modern House of Tokelau project, and Tokelau's view that that project is seen by its people as the means to achieving their act of self-determination.  Further, the Assembly would acknowledge Tokelau's initiative in devising a strategic economic development plan for the period 2002 to 2004 to advance its capacity for self-government.

Also by the text, the Assembly would note that Tokelau has established a local public service employer, which enabled the New Zealand State Services Commissioner to withdraw from his role of employer of the Tokelau Public Service as of 30 June 2001.  It would also note that the Constitution of a self-governing Tokelau would continue to develop as a part of the building of the Modern House of Tokelau.  The Assembly would also acknowledge Tokelau's need for continued reassurance, given the cultural adjustments that are taking place with the strengthening of its capacity of self-government and, given that local resources could not adequately cover the material side of self-determination, the ongoing responsibility of Tokelau's external partners to assist Tokelau in balancing its desire to be self-reliant to the greatest extent possible with its need for external assistance.

The Committee also had before it a consolidated text concerning American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guam, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St. Helena, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the United States Virgin Islands (document A/57/23 Part III, chap. XIII).  By Part A of that draft, the Assembly would reaffirm the inalienable right of the peoples of the Territories to self-determination, including -- if they so wish -- independence.  It would also reaffirm that it is ultimately for those people to determine freely their future political status and, in that connection, call upon the administering Powers, in cooperation with the territorial Governments, to facilitate political education programmes in the Territories to foster awareness of the right to self-determination.

Also by that text, the Assembly would further reaffirm that in the process of decolonization, there is no alternative to the principle of self-determination, which is also a fundamental human right.  The Assembly would stress the importance of it being apprised of the wishes and views of the peoples of the Territories.  It would also reaffirm that United Nations visiting missions, in consultation with administering Powers, are an effective means of ascertaining the situation in the Territories.

By further terms, the Assembly would reaffirm the responsibility of the administering Powers to promote the Territories' economic and social development, preserve their cultural identity, and give priority, in consultation with the territorial Governments, to strengthening and diversifying their respective economies.

The Assembly would, by further terms, call upon the administering Powers, in cooperation with the territorial Governments, to continue to take all necessary measures to counter problems related to drug trafficking, money-laundering and other offences.  It would also call upon the administering Powers to enter into constructive dialogue with the Special Committee to develop a framework for the implementation of provisions of Article 73 e of the Charter and the decolonization Declaration for the period 2001 to 2010.

By other terms, the Assembly would take note of statements made by the elected territorial representatives that their respective Territories have repeatedly shown their willingness to cooperate with all international efforts aimed at preventing abuse of the international financial system and promoting regulatory environments with highly selective licensing procedures, robust supervisory practices and well-established anti-money-laundering regimes.

The Assembly would, by further terms, call for enhanced dialogue between the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the concerned territorial Governments towards achieving the highest standards of financial supervision and request the administering Powers to assist those Territories in the matter.

Part B of the consolidated draft resolution deals with the individual Territories.  Regarding American Samoa, the General Assembly 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 territorial Government.  The Assembly would also welcome the invitation from the territorial Governor to send a visiting mission to the Territory.

By the text on Anguilla, the Assembly would request the administering Power, bearing in mind the views of the Territory's people 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 and all States, organizations and United Nations agencies to continue to assist the Territory in social and economic development.

By the draft on Bermuda, the Assembly would call upon the administering Power to continue to work with the Territory for its socio-economic development.  It would also welcome the agreement between the United States, the United Kingdom and the Territory in June 2002 formally transferring the former military base lands to the territorial Government and the provision of financial resources to address some of the environmental problems.

The text on the British Virgin Islands, bearing in mind the vulnerability of the Territory to external factors, would have the administering Power, the specialized agencies and organizations of the United Nations system and all financial institutions continue to provide the Territory with assistance for socio-economic and human resources development.

By the terms of a draft on the Cayman Islands, the Assembly would take note of the adoption of the Legislative Assembly in 2001 of a referendum law, which confirmed that only a referendum makes it possible for the electorate to give a clear judgement on a single issue of immediate relevance and that the Constitution of the Cayman Islands can only be amended through a referendum.

By further terms of the text, the Assembly would welcome the completion of the report of the Constitutional Modernization Review Commission, which conducted an extensive review of the current constitution, with recommended changes, following public discussions with community groups and individuals, pursuant to the recommendations as stated in its “White Paper on Partnership for Progress and Prosperity:  Britain and the Overseas Territories”.

Under the provisions of the text relating to Guam, the Assembly would call upon the administering Power to take into consideration the expressed will of the Chamorro people as supported by Guam voters in the plebiscite of 1987 and as provided for in Guam law, and encourage the administering Power and the territorial Government of Guam to enter into negotiations on the matter.  It would request 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 Guam's decolonization and to keep the Secretary-General informed of the progress to that end.

Also by the text, the Assembly 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 take all necessary measures to respond to the concerns of the territorial Government with regard to the immigration question.  It would request the administering Power to cooperate in establishing programmes specifically intended to promote the sustainable development of economic activities and enterprises, noting the special role of the Chamorro people in Guam's development.

The text on Montserrat would have the Assembly call upon the administering Power, the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system, as well as regional and other organizations, to continue to provide urgent emergency assistance to the Territory in alleviating the consequences of the volcanic eruption.  The Assembly would welcome support of the Caribbean Community in the construction of housing in the safe zone to alleviate a shortage caused by the environmental and human crisis of the eruption of the Montsoufriere volcano, as well as material and financial support from the international community.

Also by the text, the Assembly would welcome the Chief Minister's        2002 budget presentation, in which he noted that in 2001, for the first time in seven years, the economy of Montserrat experienced positive growth -- from negative 5.43 per cent in 2000 to .04 per cent in 2001 -- with the implementation of several major public work projects accounting for growth in the construction sector.  It would welcome the establishment of the Constitutional Review Commission to embark on a public education programme on the Constitution, to ascertain the views of the population and to make recommendations to the administering Power on changes which may be envisaged, pursuant to the recommendations as stated in its “White Paper on Partnership for Progress and Prosperity:  Britain and the Overseas Territories”.

By the text on Pitcairn, the Assembly would 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.  It would also call upon the administering Power to continue its discussions with the representatives of Pitcairn Island on how best to support their economic security.

By the draft resolution on St. Helena, the Assembly would request the administering Power and relevant regional and international organizations to continue to support the efforts of the territorial Government to address the socio-economic development challenges, including high unemployment and limited transport and communications problems.

According to the text on the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Assembly 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 of the Territory.  It would welcome the first Country Cooperation Framework approved by the United Nations Development Programme for 1998 to 2002, which should, among others, assist in the creation of a national integrated development plan that would put into place procedures for determining the national development priorities over 10 years, with the focus on health, population, education, tourism and socio-economic development.

By the draft text on the United States Virgin Islands, the Assembly would note with interest the entering into force in 2001 of the joint memorandum of cooperation on the exchange of artefacts between the Territory and Denmark, the Territory's former administering Power, as a companion agreement to the  1999 memorandum for the repatriation of archival material from the Danish colonial period.  It would request the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), under its records and archives management programme, to assist the Territory in carrying out its archival and initiative.

By other terms, the Assembly would take note of the position of the territorial Government opposing the assumption by the administering Power of submerged land in territorial water, having regard to relevant resolutions of the General Assembly on the ownership and control of natural resources, including marine resources, by the people of the Non-Self-Governing Territories.  It would also call for the return of those marine resources to the people of the Territory.  The Assembly would also note with concern that some 32.5 per cent of the population is living in poverty, with about 47 per cent of children in St. Croix and 33 per cent of children on St. Thomas living in poverty.

Statements

FULGENCIO MADINGA (Mozambique) said the independence of Timor-Leste attested to the importance of the Committee as the appropriate body to tackle the scourge of colonialism.  He called on all administering Powers to open the road to the peoples of all remaining Non-Self-Governing Territories to enjoy their inalienable right to self-determination.  The 2001 to 2010 Second Decade for the Elimination of Colonialism was an important political framework for continued efforts in support of the decolonization process.

He was deeply concerned with the lack of progress on the problem of Western Sahara.  The Settlement Plan remained the only legal framework agreed upon by the parties and endorsed by the international community.  It was the most appropriate way to ensure a just, lasting and definite solution and it would allow the Saharawi people to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination.  He urged the two parties to cooperate fully with the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy and his Special Representative to ensure the implementation of the various phases of the plan.  It was high time that the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) completed the identification process.

ALMAMY BABARA TOURÉ (Guinea) said that, in the efforts of the international community in decolonization, the United Nations had played a historic role by setting the goals and standards for promoting the attainment of independence.  The Special Committee on decolonization had carried out high quality work, making it possible for peoples seeking independence to choose one of the three options.  Despite the gains made so far against colonialism, much remained to be done. 

On Western Sahara, he said his position was clear -- he favoured a political solution to the conflict in accordance with Security Council resolution        1429 (2002).  Within that framework, he reiterated his support of the actions of the Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy James Baker III and encouraged them to continue in their efforts towards finding a satisfactory settlement to the conflict.

BIRHANEMESKEL ABEBE (Ethiopia) said that the Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism was a new opportunity for the United Nations to help the remaining Non-Self-Governing Territories to realize their right to   self-determination.  He hoped the Decade would mark the complete eradication of colonialism.  He urged the United Nations, the specialized agencies and the administering Powers to remain fully engaged in the process of decolonization to ensure results that were in the interest of the people of the Territories. 

In that regard, he noted with satisfaction the cooperative relationship between the Special Committee, New Zealand and Tokelau.  Also, he supported the Committee’s plan to intensify cooperation with the administering Powers and to develop new programmes of work for the Non-Self-Governing Territories on a    case-by-case basis.

Western Sahara was the only Territory in Africa that remained to be decolonized, he noted.  He strongly supported the struggle of the Saharawi people for the right to self-determination.  It was high time for the impartial referendum to be held in Western Sahara in conformity with the United Nations Settlement Plan and agreement between the two parties.  The unhindered exercise of the right to self-determination by the Saharawi people was the only valid and viable solution to the problem.

ROMÁN OYARZÚN MARCHESÍ (Spain) said that, in the context of the General Assembly resolution urging the Governments of Spain and the United Kingdom to continue their negotiations aimed at reaching a definitive solution to the question of Gibraltar, talks resumed on 26 July 2001 between the two Governments in the framework of the "Brussels process", established by them in 1984 to solve their differences.  On 20 November 2001, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the two countries confirmed, in a Joint Communiqué, their aim to conclude an overall agreement that would cover all outstanding issues, with the shared objective of granting Gibraltar a modern, sustainable status.

He said that in the second ministerial meeting on 4 February, the Ministers adopted a new Joint Communiqué, in which they reiterated their shared objective.  That negotiating process had received the full support of the European Union.  The Union's Heads of State and Government assembled in the European Council in Barcelona on 15 and 16 March had underlined in their conclusions their support of the commitment of both Governments to overcome their differences over Gibraltar and to conclude a comprehensive agreement.  One week later, those conclusions were endorsed by the European Parliament. 

In the last ministerial meeting, both Governments invited the Chief Minister of Gibraltar to attend the meetings on the basis of the "two flags, three voices" formula, he recalled.  The Chief Minister, who had so far declined such invitations, had recently adopted a unilateral initiative to hold consultations in Gibraltar.  That lacked any legal foundation and, consequently, was devoid of any validity or effect.  The Spanish Government wished to refer in the Committee to the fact that any initiative of that sort contravened the annual decisions of the General Assembly urging both countries to continue their negotiations towards a definitive solution.  Further, the British Government, in its capacity as administering Power, had neither called for nor endorsed such a consultation.

ISMAEL A. GASPAR MARTINS (Angola) said he welcomed the progress made in the decolonization processes, including in East Timor, but believed that it fell short of fully complying with the plan of action established by the General Assembly in its 1946 resolution on the eradication of colonialism.  With regard to Western Sahara, Angola reaffirmed its support of Security Council resolution   1429 (2002) of 30 July, which affirmed the validity of the United Nations plan of action on the right of the Saharawi people to self-determination.  It also supported the Houston Accords and all other pertinent resolutions calling for a free and fair referendum on self-determination, with a view to finding a solution to the conflict there.

He said that the impasse on the implementation of the peace process in Western Sahara was impeding peace in the region and contributing to the deterioration of living conditions.  He urged the parties to seize the opportunity to make meaningful progress towards lasting peace and upon all Member States to implement resolution 1429 (2002) as the sole instrument approved by the parties to the conflict.  Regarding the situation in the Middle East, the resurgence of violence might challenge efforts towards a peaceful settlement, but he urged the warring parties to return to the negotiating table to seek a political formula that would satisfy the political and security interests of all inhabitants of the region. 

TARIQ S. CHAUDHRY (Pakistan) said it was incumbent on the Committee to persevere in attaining the goal of the Second Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism.  Administering Powers must work closely with the United Nations to realize the decolonization objectives.  Regarding the question of Western Sahara, he upheld the application of the principle of self-determination, as well as the non-selective implementation of all Security Council resolutions.  He hoped that an amicable solution could be found on the issue that had affected relations between countries with whom Pakistan shared fraternal bonds.

At the heart of the decolonization issue was the fundamental principle that peoples under alien subjugation, domination and exploitation had an inalienable right to exercise their right to self-determination.  The objective was not simply to remove the names of the Territories on the Special Committee’s list; it was to ensure that all peoples under colonial administration or foreign occupation were allowed to exercise the inalienable right to self-determination.  Even after independence, colonialism had a bitter legacy of foreign occupation, conflict and violent confrontation in two regions of the world.  For over half a century, the peoples of Kashmir and Palestine had endured foreign military occupation and had been denied the exercise of their right to self-determination. 

The United Nations decolonization agenda would be incomplete without the resolution of the two issues, he said.  He urged in the strongest terms the implementation of all Security Council resolutions, especially those with reference to the self-determination of peoples.  Council resolutions 91 (1951) and 122 (1957) stated that the final disposition of the State of Jammu and Kashmir would be made in accordance with the will of the people expressed through a free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the United Nations auspices.  Any action that the Constituent Assembly might attempt to take to determine the future affiliation of the entire State or any part thereof would not constitute a disposition of the State in accordance with the provisions of the resolutions.  He called on all Member States to make the utmost efforts to resolve the dispute.

ZHANG YISHAN (China) called on the administering Powers of Non-Self-Governing Territories to cooperate more with the United Nations and the people in those Territories, in order to create the necessary conditions for them to realize their right to self-determination.  The realization of that goal required the joint efforts of the United Nations, the people of Non-Self-Governing Territories and the administering Powers.

He said his Government had consistently supported the efforts of the people of Non-Self-Governing Territories to exercise their right to self-determination.  It would continue to participate actively in the United Nations work in that field and closely cooperate with other Member States in their efforts to fulfil the requirements of the United Nations Charter and Decolonization Declaration.  He added that most of the Non-Self-Governing Territories today were small, with fragile environments.  Administering Powers should, therefore, take effective measures that would enable a well-balanced development of society, the economy, culture and education in those Territories, while protecting their natural and human resources.

YAW O. OSEI (Ghana) said it was a recurring blight on the conscience of the international community that at the end of the decade, and at this juncture in mankind's development, 16 Territories still remained non-self-governing.  It was even more regrettable, since the peoples of those Territories, through their repeated petitions, had demonstrated sufficient evidence of their yearning for self-determination and independence.  That state of affairs reflected less on international inaction and more on the unwillingness of the administering Powers to heed to the terms of the relevant General Assembly resolutions. 

He said that the declaration of the Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism had rekindled hope, but achieving the targets set by Member States, and particularly by the Committee, required renewed vigour.  The informal contacts between the Special Committee and New Zealand, and the delegations of the United Kingdom, United States and France, respectively, were refreshing.  At the same time, there should be new approaches to foster confidence- building measures that would promote cooperation between the Special Committee and the other administering Powers, in a manner that reflected the wishes of the peoples of those Territories. 

LUC JOSEPH OKIO (Congo) fully adhered to the Special Committee’s recommendations, including those on visiting missions, the dissemination of information on self-determination and appeals to administering Powers to cooperate with the United Nations pursuant to article 73 e of the Charter.  The Committee deserved the international community’s full support.  The achievement of the objectives of the Second International Decade was still pending.  The decolonization movement, which had allowed so many States to be represented in the world body, had slowed in recent years, however.  The international community should continue to support the aspirations of the remaining 16 Territories.  Nothing could justify the abandonment of colonial peoples to their sad destiny.

On 20 May, the first new independent State of the 21st century, Timor-Leste, was born, he said.  He saluted the 191st Member of the United Nations.  The young State must be given substantial support.  Among the 16 remaining Territories,   one was in Africa.  He supported a fair and final solution to the problem pursuant to relevant General Assembly and Security Council resolutions.  A peaceful solution was the only way to end the sovereignty conflict on the Falkland Islands (Malvinas).  He called on Argentina and the United Kingdom to devote their energies to a peaceful outcome of the dispute.

FAISAL AL-ZAYANI (Bahrain) said the adoption of the Millennium Declaration was an opportunity to reflect on the gains made in the area of decolonization and the goals still unfulfilled.  The proclamation of a Second International Decade on the Eradication of Colonialism reaffirmed the aspiration of the international community to free the world from the yoke of colonialism.  Through several resolutions and the unstinting efforts by the United Nations to eliminate colonialism through innovative means, most colonial countries were able to free themselves, thus concluding that ugly chapter in their histories.  Hopefully, the Second International Decade would fully and finally complete the decolonization process.

LEBOHANG MOLEKO (Lesotho) reminded the Committee that 36 years ago his country had attained its independence.  While that was a joyous occasion, it would be a glorious moment when all African nations attained their right to self-determination.  It was regrettable that there was still one Non-Self-Governing Territory in Africa, Western Sahara.  It was also regrettable that the Saharawi people were still denied their right of self-determination, a fundamental principle that was enshrined in the United Nations Charter.

He fully supported all General Assembly and Security Council resolutions calling for the decolonization of Western Sahara, particularly through the implementation of the Settlement Plan and the holding of a free and fair referendum.  The holding of a referendum was the only way to ensure a just and lasting solution of a conflict that had dragged on for more than 27 years.  Lesotho appreciated the efforts of the Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy in trying to achieve that goal.

BERTRAND FILS-AIMÉ (Haiti) endorsed General Assembly resolution    1514 (XV) of 1960 on the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples.  That multilateral instrument had allowed more than 80 countries to achieve sovereignty.  It had also been one of the main successes of the United Nations.  Haiti welcomed the accession of Timor-Leste to independence and he applauded the Special Committee for its implementation of General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV).  He saluted the special relations between New Zealand and the people of Tokelau, who were on the road to self-determination.  The actions of New Zealand should be an example for the decolonization process.

He said that Haiti was currently planning the festivities to mark 200 years of independence.  The people of the remaining 16 Territories must also be allowed to find their own way.  He asked that the year 2004 be proclaimed the international year of the struggle against slavery and its abolition.

ISAAC C. LAMBA (Malawi) said the situation in Timor-Leste had not been different from that of Western Sahara -- when the first colonizers pulled out of the Territories, a second set of colonizing powers took charge.  Now, while Timor-Leste had won independence, the decolonization of Western Sahara remained elusive.  The United Nations Settlement Plan was the only arrangement that would allow the people of Western Sahara to fully exercise their rights to self-determination and independence, and he urged implementation.  The United Nations and the international community should work relentlessly towards that goal. 

He said he was deeply concerned at the worsening situation in the Middle East.  The explosive state of affairs continued unabated, despite various hopeful Security Council texts.  The Declaration and Plan of Action adopted in September at the United Nations International Conference of Civil Society in Support of the Palestinian People deserved support, he said.  Violence could not serve as the ultimate formula.  Urgent strong efforts should be made to stop it and encourage the parties to embrace a negotiated settlement for the sake of peace and self-determination for the Palestinian people.  The United Nations had an immutable responsibility to see that through to its resolution. 

PAPA LOUIS FALL (Senegal) said his country had followed with sustained attention the question of Western Sahara, to which it attached particular importance owing to the indissoluble links forged over many centuries of a common history.  Just as Senegal would remain faithful to its close relations with its neighbours, so was it attached to strengthening that rapport and supporting the aspirations of all peoples for self-determination.  All forms of "Balkanization" and separatism, and the disintegration of a national or subregional fabric, should be discouraged.

On Western Sahara, he noted that Morocco had stated, once again, that it was ready to cooperate fully with all of the parties through the channels of the Secretary-General and his Special Envoy in the search for a peaceful solution.  Under the latest Security Council resolution, the Secretary-General and his envoy were asked to promote a political solution before February 2003.  So, there was a premise of negotiations with a view to a political settlement that was fair, mutually acceptable and durable.

Action on drafts

By a recorded vote of 118 in favour to none against with four abstentions (France, Israel, United Kingdom and United States), the Committee approved draft resolution I on information from Non-Self-Governing Territories under Article    73 e of the United Nations Charter (See Annex 1).

The representative of the United Kingdom, speaking in explanation of vote, said he did not take issue with the main objective of the resolution.  However, the decision as to whether a Non-Self-Governing Territory had reached a level of self-government sufficient to relieve the administering Power of the obligation to submit information under Article 73 e was ultimately for that Territory’s Government and the administering Power concerned, not the General Assembly.

Taking up draft resolution II, on economic and other activities which affect the interests of the people of the Non-Self-Governing Territories, the Committee approved it by a recorded 122 votes in favour to two against (Israel, United States), with two abstentions (France, United Kingdom) (Annex II).

It then took up a draft decision on military activities and arrangements by colonial Powers in Territories under their administration, approving that text by a recorded vote of 80 in favour to 41 against, with one abstention (Bulgaria) (Annex III).

Explaining his vote, the representative of Denmark, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said that some years ago the Union had initiated a dialogue with the Special Committee on Decolonization with a view to working towards a broader consensus in certain areas concerning the Committee’s activities.  The Special Committee should continue its efforts with the aim of proposing, in the future, balanced texts that attracted the broadest possible support.  Once again, the question covered by the draft did not appear on the General Assembly’s agenda to the Fourth Committee and, therefore, fell outside of its sphere of competence. 

The Committee then took up draft resolution III 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.  That text was approved by a recorded 81 votes in favour to zero against, with 44 abstentions (Annex IV).

Explaining his vote, Denmark’s representative, speaking on behalf of the European Union, renewed the Union’s support for the specialized agencies in their efforts to offer assistance to Non-Self-Governing Territories in the humanitarian, technical and educational fields.  The statute of those agencies must be carefully respected, however, and that was why the Union had abstained in the vote on the resolution.

The Committee then took up a draft resolution on offers by Member States of study and training facilities for inhabitants of Non-Self-Governing Territories.  The Chairman informed the Committee that Nigeria had become a co-sponsor of the draft resolution.  The text was approved without a vote.

The Committee then turned to draft resolutions relating to specific Territories.  The Chairman said that the texts contained no programme budget implications.

Taking up the draft resolution on the question of Western Sahara, the Committee approved it without a vote, as orally revised.

Speaking in explanation of vote after that action, St. Lucia’s representative expressed his deep concern about the resolution.  The right to self-determination was a fundamental principle of the Charter, and the people of Western Sahara must be able to exercise that right.  The referendum should take place as soon as possible.  He wished the resolution had recognized the factors preventing the resolution of the question.  The Committee must not waste the second decolonization decade.

Denmark’s representative, speaking in explanation of position on behalf of the European Union and associated States, welcomed the fact that the resolution on Western Sahara had been submitted as a proposal of the Chairman and that it had been adopted without a vote.  The Union continued to follow the question of Western Sahara closely and it supported a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution, which would provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara. 

The Union supported Security Council resolution 1429 (2002) of 30 July  2002, she said.  In that resolution, the Council had indicated the way forward.  It strongly supported the efforts of the Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy to find a political solution to the long-standing dispute.  It invited the Personal Envoy to pursue efforts taking into account the concerns expressed by the parties.  Also in that text, the Council expressed its readiness to consider any approach that provided for self-determination that might be proposed by the Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy consulting, where appropriate, others with relevant experience.

She reiterated the Union’s strong support for the tireless efforts of the Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy, James Baker III.  The Union encouraged all parties to the conflict to fully cooperate to find a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution to the question of Western Sahara.  The humanitarian aspects of the conflict remained a source of great concern.  Certain pressing humanitarian needs, such as the detention of prisoners of war, must be dealt with immediately. 

The Union welcomed the release by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Rio de Oro (POLISARIO) of 101 Moroccan prisoners of war in July 2002 and called on POLISARIO to release the some 1,000 remaining prisoners.  The Union also called on both parties to continue to cooperate with the efforts of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to solve the problem of those unaccounted for since the beginning of the conflict.  She also encouraged the parties to collaborate with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the implementation of confidence-building measures.

Also speaking after the vote, the representative of Morocco said he had joined consensus on the text, in which the Committee reiterated the approach advocated by the Security Council for a final settlement of the dispute.  In fact, the Committee had concluded that, due to the fundamental differences between the parties on the main provisions, it was impossible to implement the Settlement Plan and the referendum.  Consequently, the Committee supported the mandate entrusted by the Council to the Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy to propose a political solution.  The Committee urged the parties to cooperate.

The Committee then took up the draft decision on the question of Gibraltar, approving that text without a vote.

The representative of Saint Lucia said he was not entirely satisfied with the decision, but he had decided to join consensus.  The representative of Spain had indicated today that his Government had sought a comprehensive, satisfactory agreement that took into account the legitimate interests of the residents of that colony.  He would have preferred that the text just adopted had taken note of all aspects of the situation, including negotiations between Spain and the United Kingdom, and the actions of people of Gibraltar. 

In July, he noted, the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom had said that, following 12 months of negotiations, his country and Spain were in broad agreement on the main principles underpinning a lasting settlement, including shared sovereignty over Gibraltar, which should retain its institutions and, if it

chose, participate fully in the European Union's activities.  He had further stated that the United Kingdom and Spain had not settled all their differences, including those with respect to co-sovereignty.

Taking up draft resolution IV on the question of New Caledonia, the Committee also approved that text without a vote.

The Committee then decided to defer action on the draft resolution on the question of Tokelau, as consultations were still pending on the draft text.

The Committee then took up a consolidated draft resolution on the Non-Self-Governing Territories of American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Guam, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St. Helena, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the United States Virgin Islands.  It approved the two-part text without a vote.

Speaking in explanation of vote, the representative of the United Kingdom said he was pleased to support the consensus.  He drew the Committee’s attention to the British Overseas Territory Act, which had this year received Parliament’s approval.  The act had changed the nomenclature to the British Overseas Territories.  The changes were made to reflect the United Kingdom’s key commitment in the 1999 “White Paper to Grant British Citizenship to Peoples of its Overseas Territories”.  The British Government also set environmental targets for each of the Territories and action plans were being prepared in each of the Territories.

The representative of Spain said he had joined the consensus in support of the resolution.  Spain supported the principle of self-determination for the Territories included in the resolution.  There were certain cases, such as Gibraltar, where the principle of territorial integrity must be implemented pursuant to a number of General Assembly resolutions.

The representative of the Sudan said he would have voted in favour of the four drafts.

Latvia’s representative said he would have voted in favour of draft resolution I.

Right of reply

The representative of the United Kingdom, responding to the remarks made today by the representative of Spain, said that talks over the past year had made significant progress over the shared goal of settling the dispute in Gibraltar and providing a successful future for the people there.  The present referendum was a local initiative, in which the British Government was not involved.  It was not clear what purpose that referendum would serve, but the principle of Gibraltar's consent was central to his country's approach.  If agreement could be reached on a comprehensive settlement, the whole package would be put before the people of Gibraltar and they would decide.

(annex I follows)

ANNEX I

Vote on Information from Territories

The draft resolution on information from Non-Self-Governing Territories transmitted under Article 73 e of the United Nations Charter (document     A/57/23, part III, chapter XIII -- Draft Resolution I) was approved by a recorded vote of 118 in favour to zero against, with four abstentions, as follows:

A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:  Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Bahrain, Belarus, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:  None.

Abstaining:  France, Israel, United Kingdom, United States.

Absent:  Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Iraq, Italy, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mongolia, Nauru, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu.

(annex II follows)

ANNEX II

Vote on Economic and Other Activities

The draft resolution on economic and other activities which affect the interests of the people of the Non-Self-Governing Territories (document    A/57/23, part III, chapter XIII –- Draft Resolution II) was approved by a recorded vote of 122 in favour to two against, with two abstentions, as follows:

A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:  Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Bahrain, Belarus, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:  Israel, United States.

Abstaining:  France, United Kingdom.

Absent:  Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Gabon, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Iraq, Italy, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Nauru, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu.

(annex III follows)

ANNEX III

Vote on Military Activities and Arrangements

The draft decision on military activities and arrangements by colonial Powers in Territories under their administration (document A/57/23, Part III, Chapter XIII) was approved by a recorded vote of 80 in favour to 41 against, with one abstention, as follows:

A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:  Algeria, Argentina, Bahrain, Belarus, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Syria, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:  Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Yugoslavia.

Abstaining:  Bulgaria.

Absent:  Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Gabon, Georgia, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Iraq, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Luxembourg, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mongolia, Nauru, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu.

(annex IV follows)

ANNEX IV

Vote on Specialized Agencies

The draft resolution implementation of the Declaration on decolonization by specialized agencies and international institutions associated with the United Nations (document A/57/23 Part III, Chapter XIII –- Draft Resolution III) was approved by a recorded vote of 81 in favour to zero against, with 44 abstentions, as follows:

A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:  Algeria, Argentina, Bahrain, Belarus, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Syria, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:  None.

Abstaining:  Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Yugoslavia.

Absent:  Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Iraq, Italy, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Nauru, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu.

* *** *

For information media. Not an official record.