SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES ADMINISTERING POWERS TO FIND APPROPRIATE FUTURE ARRANGEMENTS FOR NON-SELF-GOVERNING TERRITORIES

13 May 2002
SG/SM/8234-GA/COL/3062

SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES ADMINISTERING POWERS TO FIND APPROPRIATE FUTURE ARRANGEMENTS FOR NON-SELF-GOVERNING TERRITORIES

13/05/2002
Press ReleaseSG/SM/8234 GA/COL/3062

SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES ADMINISTERING POWERS TO FIND APPROPRIATE FUTURE

ARRANGEMENTS FOR NON-SELF-GOVERNING TERRITORIES

More Than 80 Million Have Achieved Self-Government

Since 1960, He Says in Message to Pacific Regional Seminar

Following is the message by Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the Pacific Regional Seminar to Review the Political, Economic and Social Conditions in the Small Island Non-Self-Governing Territories taking place in Nadi, Fiji 14-16 May:

On the occasion of the Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories, I am pleased to send my greetings to all who have gathered in Nadi, Fiji, for the Pacific regional seminar on decolonization.

Next week we shall witness a joyous event in the history of decolonization, when East Timor joins the ranks of sovereign States.  Since the adoption in 1960 of the historic Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, more than 80 million people have achieved self-government through independence, integration or free association.  Nonetheless, 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories remain, and our efforts should continue to ensure that the Declaration is implemented.  Seminars such as this one organized by the Special Committee offer the more than 2 million people who live in the Non-Self-Governing Territories a chance to make their views known on the unique problems they face.

In recent years, the Committee has found new and creative ways to engage the administering Powers in a dialogue on the future of the Territories.  It has called for programmes of work to be established on a case-by-case basis so that each Territory can freely determine its status and strive towards political, social and economic development.  I urge all the administering Powers to seize this opportunity, in full consultation with the Territorial Peoples, to find appropriate arrangements for the future in accordance with all relevant General Assembly resolutions.

There should be no room for colonialism in the twenty-first century.  I encourage you to do your utmost to close this chapter of history once and for all.  In that spirit, I would like to thank the Government of Fiji for its generosity in hosting this event and wish you all a most successful seminar.

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For information media. Not an official record.